Updated: Jun 11, 2020
Bridget Taylor (Hellospace) and Rachel Challinor (People Like Us) chat with writer Elo Jack all about Helloface. A new product, designed to help businesses keep their staff and customers protected.
COVID-19 has already had a profound effect on the retail and hospitality industries, and the changes are only just beginning. Even after service-based businesses have reopened their doors to the public, business-as-usual may well look anything but – with social distancing likely to stay in place for some time to come.
To help hospo and retail businesses navigate this uncharted consumer landscape, Bridget Taylor, founder of Auckland commercial interior design studio Hellospace, is preparing to launch “Helloface.” A line of stand-alone counter-top protective shields, Helloface is a stylish alternative to the bulky and intimidating perspex screens currently on the market. “Business-owners put a lot of time and energy into crafting the look of their spaces,” says Taylor. “So we designed Helloface to be both practical and beautiful, and help protect staff and customers without sacrificing the brand’s aesthetic.”
As businesses prepare to reopen their doors under alert level 2, Rachael Challinor, owner of premium activewear retailer People Like Us, believes we may see a surge in demand for products that create a safe space – without impacting the customer experience. “Your physical store is probably your strongest brand voice. It needs to be a seamless, memorable experience,” Challinor says. “A product like Helloface would give our clients peace of mind, while also making a statement that aligns with our brand.”
Taylor is collaborating with New Zealand joinery designers and makers, Fieldcraft, to fabricate and roll-out Helloface as soon as their factory reopens at alert level 3. The design’s heavy base is made of easy-to-source terrazzo stone, available in a range of shapes and colours, and with added brass detailing. The acrylic protective shield comes with the option to etch a custom brand logo or message. Helloface’s modular partitions will be easy to assemble, and designed to give business-owners the flexibility to work with any counter size and type. “Because it’s free-standing, it can sit on the counter without needing to be screwed in,” explains Taylor. “So you can easily remove it without damaging the counter-top.”
For businesses facing the very real possibility of shifting between COVID-19 alert levels at short notice, that level of flexibility will prove invaluable. “Businesses need to feel confident that we can open our doors under the new rules, whatever they may be,” says Challinor. “With Helloface, Hellospace is proving once again that they’re innovative, cutting-edge, and quick to adapt to the ever-changing world of retail and business.”
For Hellospace – a studio specialising in retail, hospitality, and pop-up interior design – coming up with creative solutions to solve business problems is nothing out of the ordinary. “As COVID-19 physically changes the way we use and move through space, business-owners will start to face all kinds of new challenges,” says Taylor. “At Hellospace, we’re focusing on how we can use design and creativity to help them rethink the commercial environment. We’re here to offer as much guidance and expertise as we can.”
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