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May 2023


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Moving from arias as an opera singer to area rugs as an interior designer might seem an unusual career pivot… but it’s a journey that our cover star, Emilia Lacy, the new owner of Ash Interiors, credits for her focus on bringing harmony and homeliness to every space she curates. 

The latest location is the iconic 17th century Morel Farm, which has just opened as holiday let after undergoing a £2m renovation, as we explore in our lead feature (Heritage harmony in design, P4). 

Emilia’s story, and that of photo studio manager-come-‘Tinder for social brands’ developer Tamsin Raine (No Ordinary Day Job, P50), are lessons in the benefits that can be reaped by having the courage to trust your gut instinct and pivoting when you don’t feel quite ‘at home’ in a career. 

This special property-themed edition of Connect includes a 12-page supplement touching on everything from the new app-driven ways to search for property, to borrowing, and the story of how cricket teammates became estate agency partners (P46-47). 

It also takes a close look at the long-running push for a land windfall tax, which last month resulted in Ministers agreeing to a yet-to-be-defined “charge” (P12), while the impact the housing and cost of living crises are having on homelessness are examined in-depth by the Housing Minister and former Chief Minister and Sanctuary Chair Frank Walker OBE (A ‘hotbed’…or a cold one?, P76). 

We also hear from the new CEO of Jersey Business, Paul Murphy (Unplugged, P28), as he gets set to embark on a review of the ‘Barriers to Business’ in Jersey, which will feed into the Economic Development Minister’s seven-pillar programme to make local enterprise easier. While Mr Murphy doesn’t want to speculate on what the results of that review might be, he has a sneaking suspicion that stakeholders will raise Planning red tape. 

But the key takeaway is his productivity rallying cry - remembering businesses are not brands, systems or properties, but people. 

"If the team is engaged, and feels great, and the culture is good, then of course there's a lift,” he says. 

It’s an important reminder - particularly for our island’s largest employer, the Government, coming at a time when, again, we’re debating our future health facilities (while what’s been described as a staffing and wellbeing “crisis” in Health rumbles on), and allegations of a “toxic culture” at the top levels of the civil service abound. 

Today, being a ‘good’ business means not only doing good business, but offering a space where everyone in the team - regardless of background or ability - feels valued, supported and welcome. At home. 

Kick off your shoes, get comfy, and enjoy Connect.

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