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From 'woe to go' in one month

When Kelly Bertrand was made redundant during noho rāhui / lockdown, she brought a longstanding idea to life.

One month later, her new media venture, Capsule was launched and she was working alongside a team of supportive and like-minded women.

Kelly, former deputy editor of the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly, was one of the mostly female team of 237 at Bauer Media who lost their jobs, when the business closed several magazines during the alert level four lockdown.

In Kelly’s team, which included those who worked on Woman’s Day, 30 people lost their jobs.

“The biggest learning from it all is that healing and dealing with these things isn’t linear. You expect things to get a little better each day but it doesn’t work like that and it’s one of the most frustrating things,” says Kelly.

In the first few days, she was in shock. It’s a time she doesn’t really remember.

What followed was a feeling of empowerment, and a desire to be proactive about paving her new future. But by week three, the reality of the situation had hit home.

“You rally as much as you can and you do what you need to do to cope.”

After talks with former colleagues, a decision was made to start Capsule.

“It was just a case of ‘well do we give it a go’. We really missed writing – we all loved our jobs and we missed being able to be creative.”

One month later, on May 7, Capsule was launched.

“We just started tinkering away on it. I built a website, which was shocking to me and everybody, as I have no technical ability whatsoever.”

The idea was to start it as a “little blog” to see how it went. However the second they hit launch on the media platform, it exploded.

“We realised we were on to something and we haven’t looked back since.”

Kelly says she and her team had nothing to lose, so went into it with little fear about the future.

“It was quite freeing... This was the time to just try something and we thought if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work and let’s just give it a bash.”

Although she loved her job at NZWW, losing it was the push Kelly needed.

“I never thought I would have done it.”

If anything, the experience has taught Kelly to trust her instincts and that there is no limitation on what she can do.

“I never thought that I would be the type of person to go out on my own and start a business with a group of my mates. It’s not really my personality but it was a needs must situation. And I am so glad it happened.”

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