As Valentine's day quickly approaches it is the perfect time for me to indulge in drooling all over one of my favourite kinds of prints - the ever adorable heart print! While it may be slightly too cutesy for some I will never bore of it! (Then again I do tend to go OTT outfit wise!) If I see some heart shaped fashion goodness I'm all over it - especially in a classic red and white colour combo!
So with my Queen of Hearts Crown as a starting point I have scoured the internet in search of plenty of heart shaped loveliness to feast your eyes on and maybe add to basket too...
Words can not describe just how much love I have for this heart print crop top and circle skirt from Style Icon's Closet the print is perfection and i think that twirling around the full skirt with layers of frothy petticoats underneath would most definitely take me to my happy place! And I have been eyeing up the acrylic heart necklace from Sugar and Vice's new gemstone collection ever since I first saw it on Instagram ( the major downside to self-employment is not being able to buy these things immediately!)
In my dreams I shall be wearing all of these goodies at once because subtlety just isn't my thing! Will you be rocking any heart shaped prints this february?
With the post christmas slump that is January nearly over I decided it was time to start booking events for the year ahead! If you run a small business events are a great way to get yourself out there, meet like-minded people and learn more about your customers than just an email address and postcode.
Over the past several months I have taken Alternate Normality to several events and fairs and while it can be daunting at first once you get into the swing of it, it's a great way to spread the word about your business. Even after attending several I am still learning which events work best for me and the business.
But if like me you are a bit clueless about where to start here are a few tips I've picked up along the way!
Choose established events!
In the beginning there is nothing more disheartening than spending your day in an empty village hall with no potential customers in sight! (trust me I've been there) If a fair is a regular ongoing event the organisers are much more likely to have a vested interest in it. This means that they are more likely to spend more time on promotion and ensuring traders have a great experience because they want them to come back again and again.
Take extra stock!
I personally always take more stock than I think I will need. This is especially important if like me you have a wide range of different items, having extra set aside means that if on the day a certain product range isn't performing you can easily swap it out for something different. Also if the day goes well and the world recognises your creative genius (and why wouldn't they?) you will need extra stock to refill your displays. Having a half empty table by lunch time is not a good look!
Find your target market!
If possible attend these events in advance as a customer. This will enable you to get a better feel for the people who are likely to be walking through the door on the day. Speak to the other traders and ask their opinion, if they regularly attend the event they are likely to be a treasure trove of information. They may also have some insider knowledge of other events that will be of interest to you and your business!
Money, money, money
What is your target for the day? When figuring this out you also need to bear in mind how much it cost your for materials as well as the cost of your stall. In the beginning when your business is still a baby money is often tight so you will probably be better off booking more affordable events to start off with. There are plenty of options available from as little as £15 per table! These events provide a low risk way to help you find your feet, practice your customer interaction and fine tune your display & product lines. As a side note make sure all your items have visible pricing! In the beginning as the socially awkward shy girl, I would often get flustered when someone asked me how much an item was that I would end up selling it for less than its worth just to try to be nice! Visible prices save awkwardness on both sides!!!
Accept the uncontrollable
Sometimes for whatever reason events will not do as well as expected! Any number of factors from the weather to transport strikes can affect footfall on the day. Try not to get disheartened if you don't meet your targets for the day. In the past I have attended events that did not meet my expectations but do not feel like you have failed! Quite often the person that you chatted with but didn't buy anything or the customer that only spent a few pounds will turn into a regular customer. Take a step back and look at the bigger picture! Make sure your business cards are readily available & they clearly show how to find your online shop and social media.
Making connections with your fellow stallholders can be invaluable! They will often recommend you to others, share info about other events and generally be the perfect person to have a natter with. They are also great if you are attending an event alone, going several hours without a hot drink or toilet break is no fun! Help each other out!
So go forth, get out from behind your desk and smile!!!
If you have any tips you think i missed let me know on Twitter!
For me the black pencil skirt is definitely a wardrobe staple - it can be worn in all seasons, day or night. But just incase you are lacking a little inspiration on how to style it up I have put together a few examples of my favourite ways to wear one.
First up for an easy daytime look I have teamed the pencil skirt with and adorable red and white cropped jumper and some über comfy converse. The perfect finishing touch being the adorable cherry motif bag from Collectif. This bag is most definitely on my wish list! Its cute, quirky and big enough to hold those daily essentials without being bulky. This is the kind of outfit I would wear to go shopping or for a trip to the park with my mini me, its comfy and casual but still put together enough that I feel like I have made an effort.
For a comfortable work outfit that works in most environments I have swapped out the jumper for a nautical themed anchor print shirt. I chose this shirt in white but it is also available in black and beige if white isn't your thing. Continuing the nautical theme I love these shoes from Poetic license, they have a slightly lower heel than I would normally choose but that makes them super comfortable and perfect for a full day at work and the sailboat wheel embellishment adds just enough quirk to make them fun.
Finally to take the pencil skirt to a nighttime look perfect for going out for cocktails I have teamed it with a tattoo print blouse from Dead Threads. I actually own this shirt and it is beautiful but it is also super sheer so if you aren't feeling brave I would suggest wearing a top underneath! Paired with a gorgeous perspex detail clutch bag and some seriously sexy tattoo themed peep toes you are all ready to hit the town and rock the rockabilly look!
2014 is now upon us and the internet is awash with hope filled resolutions and dreams for the year to come. The food and alcohol fuelled haze of the festive period has been shaken off it is time to put your best foot forward.
It has taken me longer than usual this year to decide on a "resolution", I remember all too well the abandoned or broken resolutions of years gone by. So this year I wanted to keep it simple, I wanted to focus on something that I would be excited to commit to. I wanted to make a promise to myself that would make the year to come full of possibility and new experiences.
So I have set myself just one resolution for 2014. I will make this the year that I say yes more. I will not sidestep new experiences because they scare me. I will open myself up to exciting opportunities and new adventures. No matter how big or small, in my personal or professional life I will take full advantage of all that 2014 has to offer.
I have taken the first baby steps to being open to the unknown by relinquishing my obsessive control over my hair. I am going to be a hair model for a competition which means my hair will be cut and coloured with no ideas or input from me - EEEK! This may not seem like a big deal but no-one other than myself has touched my hair in over 4 years so expect some Americas next top model style makeover meltdown!
Let's make 2014 a rollercoaster ride of love, excitement, happiness and maybe even a few surprises. All you have to do is say yes!
It's no secret that I flipping love christmas. The joy i feel when the festive season finally rolls around is unparalleled. I mean whats not to love about indulgent food, twinkly lights and of course the obligatory christmas jumper.
So with that in mind I decided it was about time for things to get a little festive around here! So here is the first of several christmas themed posts. An easy peasy DIY christmas jumper for even the most ham-fisted crafter!
You will need:
A plain jumper
5m sequin trim
Embellishments ( I chose pom poms & gemstones)
The first thing you will need to do is chalk the outline of your chosen design onto your jumper. I went for a simple christmas tree shape.
Then you can begin applying the fabric glue on top of the outline. Grab your sequins and press down onto the glue as you go. Continue like this until you have a solid sequin outline.
Once your outline is complete begin working inwards until eventually you have completely filled in your design with the sequins.
Then it is time to grab your embellishments and go to town! Glue down your embellishments until you are happy with your design. There is no right or wrong so go wild!!!
Once you are happy with the arrangement all that's left to do is wait for the glue to dry. I fully recommend using this time to make yourself a Baileys coffee to truly get yourself in the festive mood.
Then ta-da! A unique christmas jumper for you to rock throughout December.
Once you have done one, the possibilities are endless! White sequin snowflakes, A red sequin Santa hat or a multicoloured present - the only limit is your imagination!
Will you be DIY'ing this christmas? Show me your creations on twitter or instagram!!!
Kitsch accessories inspired by rockabilly and pin up culture for women who like to make a statement!