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West Norfolk women who found a new passion during lockdown



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Lockdown gave many of us a chance to contemplate our purpose in life.

For many, their way of life had been irrevocably changed from the spinning, rushed world of the office to a slower existence.

We swapped glass buildings for cobbled together offices in the front room.

We became firm friends with our delivery guys and girls, the ones who brought cheese covered sustenance to add to our paunches, and the ones who chucked Amazon Prime parcels on our steps for the fifth time that week.

Netflix was our social life, and for some lockdown was a relief from the pressure cooker of consumerism, work, fitness and travel.

However for two inspiring West Norfolk women, it was a time to reflect and change.

Kirstyn Jackson went from an academic job in mechanical engineering to helping young people (53126077)
Kirstyn Jackson went from an academic job in mechanical engineering to helping young people (53126077)

Kirstyn Jackson was a mechanical engineer who turned her hand to helping young people.

She has gone from being an engineer in the medical device industry to something that "builds on passion" and previous experiences in volunteering.

She said: "Lockdown made me realise , like most people I think, that I really value time and experiences with people, rather than materialistic things."

Kirstyn said she felt "unchallenged and comfortable" in the early days of the pandemic.

She said: "I wanted to be proud of the output I was giving and not just contributing to a massive pool.

"I've gone from a very academic job, but helping young people gives me great pride in what I do and will have a greater impact on the world.

"It encouraged me to do something I enjoy rather than just something I'm good at on paper."

Kirstyn now believes that many people have a greater appreciation of the "free" things in life because of the lockdown days.

She said: "My future now looks much happier and fulfilling that I will be doing things to help young people and I'm developing skills that are transferable to any job.

"It's turned my passion into a paid job."

Krystal has had a drastic career change (53126284)
Krystal has had a drastic career change (53126284)

Krystal McCalmont is a mother of three who went from working on a unit at the hospital, to starting her own creative business.

She was heavily pregnant when lockdown was announced and wasn't able to go to work as her pregnancy was deemed high risk.

To occupy her mind while at home she started to make personalised items ranging from shoes to dog poo bags.

Krystal is now selling creative and wonderful items on her bestselling Etsy shop, which is in the top six per cent of sellers on the site (53126080)
Krystal is now selling creative and wonderful items on her bestselling Etsy shop, which is in the top six per cent of sellers on the site (53126080)

She said: "Soon though I needed to sheild because of my pregnancy and had to stay at home.

"It was a weird time and I started my new skill as a hobby."

Krystal now has a five star Etsy shop called Amabilis.

A more aesthetic way to store your dog poo bags! (53126083)
A more aesthetic way to store your dog poo bags! (53126083)

Amabilis is within the top six per cent of sellers and has been nominated for the Lynn News Mayor's Business Awards.

She has a range of cute products with fashionable transfers and designs.

That includes a leather dog poo bag with a zip, shoes with dragon's wings and hair accessories.

There are several types of pretty poo bags to choose from that can be personalised with your pooch's name.

She said: "My new job now allows me to spend more time with our three children not to mention extra income to be able to enjoy life.

"Lockdown changed everything, I realised it was more of a priority to spend time with my family and that life is too short.

"I have so many goals and dreams that feel closer and closer each day."

The entrepreneur wants to show her children that "taking risks can be profitable" and that life doesn't have to be shift work and 9 'til 5.

She said: "In the past I would have doubted myself but that's not the case now."

Like Kirstyn, Krystal thinks that the lockdown has changed people for the better.

It seems lockdown has shifted people from a spinning hamster wheel of work and consume to what is really important in life-family and helping others.

To visit Krystal's shop head to Amabilis.



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