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Field Guide - Working from home with our Founder, Phil James


Phil wears:
LUCKY No.4 Indigo American Sweatshirt - Click here to buy
&SONS Rocker 12oz Double Black Selvedge Denim Jeans - Click here to buy
&SONS Black Leather Key Fob - Click here to buy
Funnily enough, I’ve always enjoyed working from home in the past, but that was always a rare occasion. Now that we have no other choice I’ve found it a very humbling and calming experience. My life as a photographer had me travelling all over the world and I was away from home for long periods of time. Having a young family, I missed out on many special moments and quality time with my wife and sons.
However, I accepted that was the job and, like most parents, I always planned to make it up to them one day...

Fate seems to have played its part there as I have spent more sustained quality time with my family now than ever before and I can honestly say it has been a special time for me just to ‘be there’ for them. I have two sons, Cooper (14) and Jackson (12), so both teenagers really, who bring all the wonderful and frustrating things ;) that children at that age can bring into a household, especially during a pandemic lockdown.
 
I’ve loved being able to include them in the business while at home, assisting on photographing products and bouncing ideas around. Teenagers always seem to have an opinion on everything it seems (lol). I’m a great believer in LIFE Lessons as well as school time so we’ve also been working on practical projects like chopping wood, making things, drawing and painting, cooking together and generally mucking about in the garden – another space I’ve really appreciated for the first time.

 

Phil wears:
&SONS Grey Lincoln Waistcoat / Vest - Click here to buy
&SONS Green Dot Japanese scarf - Click here to buy
&SONS Elder Henley Shirt - Click here to buy
Starting &SONS was the first step to changing my life so that I could be in one place and simplify my life and the lives of my family. Four years later we’ve created a business that has allowed myself and my wife to work together but also established a living that could be run from home. We’re lucky enough to have the freedom to continue running &SONS from here with our online ordering and delivery services remaining operational during these strange times. I’m aware this hasn’t been the same for every self-employed person or family-run company.
The design-side is certainly one area where all you really need is your imagination and the ability to track down visual references to help inspire and shape your creative ideas. I’m on Pinterest constantly sourcing mood images and, as I’m old school, my ideas always start with a sketch so I only need a pencil and a sheet of paper to begin the design process.

With the help of our suppliers and factories operating in a safe and considerate way, we’ve still managed to complete our new collections for the rest of this season and for Autumn/Winter 2020, so we’re still working hard and being productive.

Although this is a testing time for all of us, we’ve embraced the situation as much as we can and learned to move more slowly, think more quietly and produce more considered creative, mainly due to the lack of white noise from all the daily distractions that normal life can bring. I’ve even started meditating, something I thought I could never relax enough to do.

I for one, have enjoyed running our company this way and being able to carry on a business remotely during such an unprecedented time has made us very thankful.

Phil James: founder of &SONS



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