IN ISOLATION WITH…
Co-owner, Ampersand Interiors, Paphos
Glen Young and Andreas Pavlou met over 26 years ago when they were both working in London. They relocated to Cyprus where Andreas was born and opened Ampersand Interiors in Paphos nearly fifteen years ago. Combined, they are a leading force in interior design, providing everything necessary to create the perfect decorative scheme. Here, we speak to Glen to learn more about how they have both been getting on in isolation.
Ampersand reopens for business today – Wednesday 6th May 2020. Sanitiser and gloves are provided at the entrance and strict Government guidelines are being adhered to. Operating a No-Touch Policy for safety.
Where are you spending isolation and who with? Any pets?
Andreas and I have been in isolation at our home in Stroumpi. We are very grateful for the garden and surrounding countryside. We are with our two cats Lulu and Bibi who seem ready for us to return to work, no longer needing their personal doorman services now that the warmer days are here!
How are you coping with isolation? How are you staying busy?
I’m sure like most people we started with good intentions of keeping fit, and we made a list of jobs to complete, some of which we have achieved and many that remain on the “To do” list!
Andreas has kept busy in the garden and started a new vegetable patch, having made raised beds from old wooden pallets collected from recent deliveries to our shop. We have been cooking a lot. Deciding what meals to have has been very motivating, and our extensive collection of cookery books have never seen so much action with Rick Stein and Mary Berry being our firm favourites.
We have also been doing a small yoga routine that we found on YouTube, which is only fifteen minutes long, but we feel smug once we’ve finished it!
Also, Sundowner FaceTime meetings have kept us in touch with our friends and family.
What is the current status of your business?
We opened our doors today, but up until now were answering emails and chasing customer orders in production as much as we could from home.
Do you have anything you would like to promote?
Two days before we had to close, we took delivery of some beautiful new stock. We have also taken delivery of some stunning new upholstered sofa sets and to make room for these we currently have three sofas reduced by 50%. Under normal circumstances, these would have sold by now, so if anyone is looking for a stylish new sofa, come as soon as you can.
Do you have a message/advice for business owners?
Keep positive and remain focused on what made your business a success in the first place. Don’t expect things to get back to normal straight away and look at other opportunities to promote yourself. We have been so impressed with some of the restaurants and takeaway businesses that have arranged group deliveries to out of town locations.
What is positive about being in isolation?
Appreciation of how lucky we are to have a safe home in beautiful surroundings and having time to cook, read and relax together.
What is negative about being in isolation?
It was sad locking the doors of Ampersand, not knowing when we could resume trading, having to tell customers with pending orders that we could not give them a completion date. We also miss going out to eat with our friends.
Are you cooking and if so, share your favourite dish?
Cooking has kept us going! Mainly Italian recipes. Andreas made the most delicious stuffed squid poached in a tomato and caper sauce, served with linguine pasta, which came from Jamie Oliver’s Italy cookbook.
What have you been watching to pass the time? Can you recommend any films/series?
Julian Fellow’s ‘Belgravia’ was a great series and we are now into ‘Ozark’ showing on Netflix. We would also recommend another Netflix series called ‘Anne with an E’; it was excellent comfort watching. We are also loving ‘The Repair Shop’.
Some close friends advised us to watch performances from the National Theatre which are showing on YouTube. You register online then look through the list to choose what you would like to see.
What have you been listening to in terms of music? Can you recommend an album?
Having been invited to a Zoom Eurovision song event on 16th May, we have spent a lot of time listening to what would have been this year’s song entries! Malta, Azerbaijan, Ireland and Sweden are in our top five!! Plus, you can’t beat a bit of George Michael while gardening.
When things get back to normal, what are you looking forward to the most?
A short break to one of the Greek islands and a meal out with our friends.