Life in Lockdown - Sheena Bhattessa, Actress and Founder of Citizen Femme, a travel and style guide for globetrotting women
Life in lockdown
Each day we speak to a journalist about their new normal.
Today we hear from Sheena Bhattessa, Actress and Founder of Citizen Femme, a travel and style guide for globetrotting women.
Where are you working from right now?
At home in Marylebone but my husband is in St Maarten, so unfortunately we were separated with a very quickly changing world and no flights. Thankfully we have FaceTime.
What’s your new morning routine?
I don’t rise and shine. I snooze, I listen to the radio (not the news) and make myself a coffee. Actually, investing in a great coffee machine was one of my highlights, as I learn to perfect a skinny cap.
Have you got dressed today?
Yes absolutely. Other than waking up a little later than I usually do (as I indulge in watching shows I’ve been dying to see), I do get up and change. Having said that, getting ‘dressed up’ is a little more fluid - more yoga pants and a hoodie. God help me when I need to put on a pair of fitted trousers or jeans again.
How has your working week changed since Covid-19 hit?
Frankly, I have learnt more balance. Because home and work can end up becoming one great grey area, I’m managing to separate it more. I don’t currently have the stress of managing children and home schooling, so I can indulge in treats like reading and the occasional banana bread!
What are the current plans for coverage?
We had particular themes lined up for the next 3 months, but as we are daily, it was easy enough to change direction and accommodate more relevant topics. Travel is still very much a focus with the theme ‘Dream Now, Travel Later’. The way people approach travel will change and we are exploring this theme throughout April and self-care is a big part of our focus. In May, we are continuing to focus on design, including interviews with Kit Kemp, Marie-Louise Scio, Hannah Cecil Gurney, Jen Rubio, alongside a series of podcasts.
What does a work lunch look like these days?
I’m not a breakfast person, so lunch looks like breakfast.
What’s the biggest challenge for your desk/publication right now?
In fact the most interesting thing has been the change in traffic. It is very apparent that people are devouring content more than ever whilst at home and so the site has seen a jump in traffic and engagement. The problem is some brands are not being able to deliver, hotels are shut, airports are closed, etc. I think it’s at times like this loyalty plays a big part, so keeping inspiration alive is key.
Has anything positive come out of this?
Re-evaluating goals for not only Citizen Femme, but also personally. And generally, I think there will be real growth in the appreciation and awareness for the entire tourism value chain, from the initial booking process to the destination and hotel where you stay, to the taxi driver or mode of transport, to the street vendor selling local goods. A revised consciousness in everything, including travel, food, clothing, any activity or purchasing we do.
What’s your top tip for PRs right now?
More than ever, relevance. But we want to keep receiving ideas that keep travel dreams alive. The time will soon come when people are going out and travelling, and we want to make sure they are excited about where to go.
What’s your comeback plan?
There are many things people will discover they don’t need after this is over, but travel is not one of them. The travel industry will bounce back, with people becoming more conscious of their travel habits. I think travellers will also look at how hotels, brands and destinations care for guests, their staff and their local community, as well as increased value for time with friends and family. We will be conscious of this in all our content and strategy moving forward.