Lydia Okello and Hannah Rebecca attended one of our “Share Your Story” pop-ups, an ongoing event-series we host to connect the creatives in our community and to collect stories of the everyday woman.
“We met at a party,” Lydia began the story.
I sat across from the married couple, Lydia and Hannah, and asked what had brought them together in the first place. Lydia’s answer sounded casual — typical even, but their interactions were underlined with something special. A lighthearted side-eye was met with a cheeky grin, and Hannah placed her hand on her partner’s shoulder.
“Yes, it was a party, but that wasn’t the true beginning of our relationship,” Hannah smiled.
Hannah and Lydia’s relationship originated from distant admiration. The former confessed that she had a crush on Lydia long before they met at the fated party. She had seen Lydia’s fashion blog, and was attracted by the impeccable sense of style. While following Lydia’s online journey, Hannah then fell in love with the bold, genuine personality she saw.
Yet, Lydia was more than what Hannah had imagined. She recalls her first glimpse of Lydia at the party.
Hannah’s deep-rooted admiration was instantly returned by Lydia, who smiled as they described their first week of getting to know each other.
“It was just non-stop texting. We had so much to say to one another, so much to share — all of which eventually led to our wedding last year,” Lydia laughed, “We have been together for five beautiful years since the night of the party.”
Hannah explained that Lydia was more than an online fashion personality. Both women are vested in various creative fields. Blogging aside, Lydia is a model, writer and content creator. Lydia’s current day job consists mainly of copywriting and marketing for an interior design company.
Lydia added that since meeting one another — it seemed as though the two had swapped careers. Hannah had always loved home decor and interior design, but now works as the manager of a local fashion and homeware boutique. On top of managing operations, she also offers style advice on the floor for customers.
As they spoke, I examined the pieces we had styled them in — both women had put on our Vivendi Tops. On Lydia, it was tucked underneath her own denim overalls, but worn off the shoulder. The grey-blue of our top was a soothing tonal match to the blue denim. Hannah was clad in the brown Vivendi top, which also coordinated with the white denim pants she wore.
Although the two women had dressed in the same top, they exuded their own personality — different, but ones that complimented each other with ease.
“Hannah has a great talent for making any space beautiful and comfortable,” Lydia said, with pride in her voice, “Now that I work in an interior design company, I am able to borrow Hannah’s realm of knowledge and natural talent in home decor.”
“And I can tap into Lydia’s styling tips for my work,” Hannah chuckled.
Not only did the two become partners in life, their interests had melded together. They have become the greatest influence in their each other’s creative pursuits. Their relationship is at once a support and a guiding light.
On a slightly graver note, creativity and inspiration is perhaps what we need in our times of mandatory social and physical distancing.
The emergency response for COVID-19 had grown more serious in Canada, and I reached out again to the couple again to see how they are doing.
Much & Little, the clothing shop Hannah works at is now temporarily closed, until a point in the future where they feel it is socially responsible to open again.
“The decision to close was tough, but this is a matter of supporting our community! Closing protects us, the customers, and everyone we come in contact with. I've been laid off — Sarah will be handling the online orders and email until we're back up and running, and then I look forward to rejoining the team,” Hannah explained.
She held an unwavering faith in her employer, Sarah Savoy, a beloved figure in our local community who is also known to be a big supporter of small businesses and independent designers.
Local boutique Much & Little, where Hannah works as the store manager.
Lydia had always worked from home, and the two decide to keep a daily routine.
They would wake up together at the same time, take breaks at the same time, and even made an effort to get dressed and do their makeup every day — a activity that surprisingly added some normalcy into their social distancing life.
“Next week, since I will be home full time, I am making a list of tasks to keep myself busy during “work hours” — deep cleaning, books I’ve been meaning to read, shows I’ve been meaning to watch. A few years ago I started making a rug but abandoned it, so maybe I’ll work on that!” Hannah added.
When evening falls, Lydia and Hannah enjoyed making meals and worked on small crafts together. They put together playlists for each other, and took their favourite soundtracks on late night walks when the streets were quiet.
From admirers to married couple to work mates and now to best isolation housemates, the love story of Lydia and Hannah have proven their compatibility and their ability to inspire each other.
“The little things we do each day now aren’t so far out of what we normally do, but with spending all of our time at home with each other, I think we have become more deliberate with these tasks. Most importantly, we take our time to enjoy the tasks, and every moment we spend together.”