Corona Stories – Gone Viral: Eskayel Founder Shanan Campanaro on Trying to Maintain Normality
Central St. Martin’s graduate Shanan Campanaro founded Eskayel in 2008 as an eco-conscious textile studio. The Brooklyn based workshop has since been committed to marrying environmental responsibility and rigorous craftsmanship, using regional production and sustainably sourced materials. Every one-of-a-kind design is actually based on a nature or travel inspired painting by Campanaro herself, with end products including highly-coveted hand-tied rugs, wall coverings, home linens, furnishings and beyond.
For our new Corona Stories series, she expounds on the need to maintain routine during the pandemic crisis.
Striving to Maintain Some Sense of Normality
After safely rushing my husband home from Switzerland after the travel ban announcement, and situating my employees to work from home, I wanted to reach out to our Eskayel friends and family, but, to say what, exactly, as news seemed to be changing by the hour? I feel incredibly fortunate to be a part of this design community and to have fostered so many long term relationships with my clients and peers, both creatively and personally. So what I really wanted to know is…how was everybody doing? How was this situation affecting my clients and friends personally and professionally?
It is so important for us to stay connected at this time when we are all so physically distanced. It is essential for us to share our experiences so that we can better support each other.
For me, some things have been a bit easier: I’m fortunate enough to live one block away from the studio. Because of this, we have been able to operate almost normally—requests for swatches are being sent out—while the rest of our staff safely works remotely on projects from home. But other things have been harder, like worrying about family in California, or friends who own shops and restaurants that had to close; not to mention sharing their anxiety about the financial implications and the impact it could have on my small business.
All of us at Eskayel felt it was important to send positive energy and support into the universe, with the belief that we will come together to overcome this hardship and bounce back more resilient and connected than ever. We are committed to continuing to share beautiful and inspiring designs, and to celebrate the ongoing work of designers in our community and around the world.
We are prioritizing keeping our staff and our spaces and servicing our clients as best as we can. My husband and I do yoga every morning during the same time we would typically be at our favorite local studio. We FaceTime with our staff at 10 am from the studio to maintain a schedule and sense of normalcy. Maintaining normal office hours until 6 pm as we always did helps the day go by, ending with a rewarding walk for some fresh air, followed by cooking and possibly drinking a bit more than usual. Last night I went on the house party app with all my girlfriends and we had a drink together. In a way, I am more connected virtually to people than I have ever been before.