It's almost the middle of February. I know I always say it, but where has the time gone? The next few months are full of exciting projects and ventures. On 8th April I will be showing at the Flawless Charity Fashion Show in central Manchester. You can get your tickets here or follow us on Facebook for updates. There are also links via my Twitter and Instagram feeds. It's going to be a fabulous event that I'm really looking forward to it. Tickets include a 3 course dinner and celebrity guests. What's not to love!
I am spending most of March down south in Croydon as I need to finish a book I've been writing and I need downtime to do my final proof reads. Even so, never miss an opportunity so if anyone is interested in shooting with me take the opportunity whilst it's there!
It's 2017! January 2017
Yes 2017 is here. Where did the rest of 2016 go. Where did Christmas go? Hopefully you all enjoyed the festivities. I know I did. And I'm back ready and raring to go to make 2017 a really great year. I'm full of positive energy right now and there are many great events and experiences coming up which I will be sharing with you. Check out my 'Meet and Greet' page to find out where I am and what I'm doing. There is another southern tour coming up in March and two trips to Italy for which I may be available if anyone is super keen. Also, don't forget our fashion show in Manchester in April! It's going to be big and beautiful! That's all for now. It's early days and I have my first shoot to plan for!
Belated October Round up. November 2016
It may seem as if October has been quiet, but if you follow me anywhere else you will know this has not been the case. Shoots, promotional videos, trips to London and runway fashion shows have all been crammed into October and early November. I am fast running out of 2016! And 2017 is already shaping up nicely!
Make sure you follow me on my blog for end of month round ups and other interesting titbits. I’m not posting up quite as often at the moment, just because I don’t have the time. But rest assured it’s not because of a lack of action! Here's a little taster of what I've been up to.
How Time Flies September 2016
August has been a whirlwind. Where has the summer gone? We are now in early September. After a quiet July workwise, August has signalled a new trend in the quality and scale of my work. At the end of July I collaborated with Gary Clutterbuck Photography to whom I am now a regular visitor in the studio and helped create a shoot for 80s pop icon Toyah Willcox. Toyah continues to have a busy career in music and theatre and it's been great hearing how well things are going. For us as her team for the day it was a wonderful opportunity to work with someone from a different professional lifestyle and show that we can be just as great whether we are creating studio images for publication or for someone so well recognised in industry. There will be more images from this set at some point so watch this space for details.
Although I scaled back on shoots in August to concentrate on a couple of personal projects (namely moving house and one of my bucketlist things to do, working on an archeological dig) I have been negotiating contracts for two runway fashion shows in Manchester this November and next April .It's early days yet so no information as such but I will keep you posted through the usual channels. It's not often I get the chance to be involved in shows like this, largely because costs are too prohibitive but every so often something of the right quality and a manageable price comes up. As things improve I'll be able to scale upwards but for now these are the valuable resources of a small designer.
At the end of August I was booked to shoot a new brand campaign for Boots with 'Makeup Obsession'. The Linney Group is a well established company designing and managing campaigns and PR for over 200 brands from juice drinks to interior design and we had an incredibly productive day in their professional studio creating looks for two agency models to complete the makeup images that will be featured in Boots stores across the UK from around mid September. Seeing those advertisements is going to be a triumphant moment. And of course you'll find all the updates here.
The Ethical Dilemma July 2016
Ethical and sustainable fashion practices are a subject that just won't go away. It's in the news constantly in a world dominated by cheap fast fashion. And rightly so. But it doesn't seem to stop companies making huge profits from bad practice. It's something I write about regularly in my blog. Ethical and sustainable practices are a big part of what I do, and when other companies don't that in turn affects me.
By writing about it I hope to help re-educate people into understanding what they are buying into when they buy fast fashion, what the differences are with buying slow fashion and why it costs more to have something by a slow fashion brand. It's a long uphill battle that I am sure will never be won but if I can help just a few people understand what is going on behind the brand label I'll be happy.
Whether you're already a convert to the ethical ethos or a high street addict who wants to know what's really going on, you can find out all sorts of things via my social media and my blog. I link to many other companies and articles highlighting news stories, companies good and bad and raising questions about what is going on in the world. Join me and together we'll do something nice for the world.
As part of this I have now uploaded my 'supply chain'. The supply chain is every link in the production process between fabric and garment on a rail. Big companies may have over 100 processes in theirs spanning whole continents. Mine is short and sweet. It means my supply chain is trackable, honest and in turn you know you can trust me as a designer and maker. You can link to my new page 'What is My Supply Chain?' here and see what's involved.
If you have any questions, or you want me to include something I've missed, please drop me a line. I'd love to hear from you.
Summer time! July 2016
Okay, so who was the wise guy who hid June? Seriously, where did that go? It's strange because it's been quite a slow month. It must be something to do with the impending summer holidays. April and May are fast paced and then June drops right off the radar. Not that things aren't still happening. I've been busy designing so my shop is really filling up. Plus I have been in talks for several fashion shows which is really exciting and I can't wait to share those details with you as things are confirmed. Shoot wise, everything is really slick and I'm really pleased with how professional everything looks. You may have noticed the new banner on my 'About' page, the product of one of June's collaborations. You haven't? Well here it is.
There's a lot been happening in the news recently especially with 'Brexit' which might account for the speed of the last 30 days. I've not said much about it but I'm interested to see how things play out. Short term I don't suppose much will change but long term these could be interesting times for UK grounded businesses trying to keep a hold in their industry. I'll be blogging about that so make sure you're keeping up to date with everything via my social media streams.
Summer of course is here, though you'd be forgiven for thinking it was still Spring here in Manchester! Thankfully life goes on and fashion doesn't change much according to the weather. Everyone is stubbornly refusing to give up their summer togs. Amen to that!
Subscribe to my mailing list! May 2016
So I've been reading about mailing lists. I think they are a great alternative to trawling through timelines for hours and hours. I'm setting one up through MailChimp and although the process seems simple I'm struggling with technology glitches. You should have seen a pop up when you landed on my Welcome page but I'm not convinced it's working as it should. So I've set up a form here. I hope it works for you. Let me know if you have any problems with it.
Flipboard May 2016
If you like to read about the good and the bad of the fashion industry you might want to head on over to my Flipboard page Creative Process. This is where I bank all the interesting stuff that gets lost on my Twitter feeds and timelines.
News and Events April 2016
April has been busy with events. It makes a nice change to get out of the studio and meet other people in the same industry as me. It helps to ground me and remind me that we are all in it together and going through the same experiences. It's something that's easily lost when you're hidden away and most of what you see is on social media.
I went to an afternoon of films and a discussion panel for Fashion Revolution week and I attended a catwalk show by Fresh Off The Runway to see how others are tackling the face to face customer experience. Getting involved in small runway shows is one of my big projects this year. I'm chatting to a couple of organisers and businesses about potential shows in the future and it's an exciting opportunity which I'm hoping will become a feature of my work in 2016. Costs are always an issue. Larger shows are out of reach to me at the moment and starting small means being seen without the hefty price tag that rarely comes with a guarantee of sales.
If you're interested in being involved in a project like this, or you are organising one and you think I can be involved, drop me a line. I'm always keen to discuss options with new people!
Updating The Shop! April 2016
Much of March and April has been spent updating my shop and getting a backlog of designs photographed for this purpose. It's been fun seeing these clothes come to life and it's great finally being able to populate some of the shop sections which have been sadly lacking.
My main motivation this year is sales. I'm looking into catwalk shows and pop up shops, but equally photoshoots for other teams has picked up again. The new tax year always starts well and then summer comes along and slows things down so my challenge is to keep things ticking over or stock pile in case this happens again.
My shop is looking quite healthy again. Don't forget everything is conceived, designed and made by me in my studio here in Manchester so it's a transparent supply chain! Head on over for a look at what's available!
New Year! New Challenges! March 2016
I'm currently enjoying a whole raft of new shoot styles! Head on over to my Twitter, blog or Facebook page for full sets of what I've been up to in March. It's been a busy month and also a lucky one for me! Things are picking up and the joys of spring have left me full of inspiration for a busy year ahead!
New Year! New Challenges!
2016 has started with so many opportunities. To see how the first four weeks went, check my latest blog update here. There is so much going on I am splitting my updates into monthly instead of quarterly blogs. It's been a busy month for all sorts of reasons. And a lot of it involves getting beautiful photographs of my creations with amazing teams. Here's a sample of what I've been up to so far. This is the second shoot for my plus size garments. I'm really happy with how they came out and I'll be working on a third set this year.
Social Media Updates
Do you check out my blog? Over on WordPress I have a thriving blog which covers every aspect of my business from shoot updates, to industry concerns, to the trials of balancing a business with a second job. It's my take on what goes on and from a small business point of view is very much an honest account. Check out my links page for a link and stay updated! You are welcome to comment and share!
If you're a Flipboard fan, I have started my own magazine. Flipboard is so easy to use and a great way to bookmark articles for later. Join me here and see what you think!
Pinterest is my new communication tool for 2016. I've started a range of moodboards for 2016 to offer ideas and themes for collaborators. Check it out and if you're inspired, drop me a line!
Hello 2016! January 2016
Well hello new year! I am aiming higher than ever over the next 12 months - many of them perfectly illustrated on my latest Pinterest boards. January alone already includes 4 photoshoots which is a great start.
This time last year I was packing my bags and moving to Manchester. How time flies. And this year is going to be better than the last!
Keep an eye on my usual social media to stay up to date. If you'd like to collaborate, you know where to find me!
One More Shoot December 2015
My last shoot of the year was a collaboration with Billionaire Bottles Ltd, a soon to be launched company which specialising in glitzing up champagne bottles. It may sound like an odd concept but if you're celebrating a special occasion, a personalised keepsake bottle of Moet encrusted with thousands of diamonds could be just what you need. If you're an events organiser who wants to wow a client this is probably the ultimate teaser.
For me it was the opportunity to show off the oppulance of my latest exclusive collection with a luxury brand in the making. Collaborations like this make sense. No brand goes it alone. Teaming similar quality products along side each other mutually, but not in competition, makes for a fabulous team.
If you head on over to my social media you'll see more from this set. But for now, here's a few of my favourites.
The End Of The Year December 2015
2015 is nearly over. That's more than a little scary. In just a couple of weeks it will be 2016 and I don't feel like I have achieved enough at all in the last 12 months. Do you have any New Year Resolutions? I don't usually make any. This year I have lots. The most important thing is to get my brand off the ground. It's been 5 months since I opened my online shop and I need to tackle sales and marketing head on. But I don't really know what I'm doing. I'm a designer. Not a PR expert! I've been given some advice and I hope some of you lovely fashion bloggers and social media butterflies have been watching my work over the last few months and are sharing my collections.
The aim for next year is sell sell sell! Selling means money and money means expansion, bigger and better collaborations and even more designs! Also, I want lots more lovely shoots and even more publications. We did really well this year (check for my end of year round up coming soon). The quality and scale of work has been fabulous and I've achieved more shoots and editorials this year than in any other since I started my business. Let's double that in 2016!
If you are a photographer, model, blogger, accessory designer or would like to collaborate in some other way please drop me a line. It would be great to get on a catwalk or two next year with my gorgeous evening dresses and network like it's going out of fashion! So send everything my way!
Online Shop November 2015
My shop is now live. Whilst Etsy has been a useful tool it doesn't give me the security or control over my sales. If you're familiar with Etsy you'll know what I mean. I have also written about my concerns using shop hosting via my blog. For now all my current listings on Etsy will remain but I have uploaded all those garments to my new shop and in future I will only be adding new garments to my shop via my website here.
New Mini Collections! November 2015
I've been very busy in the design studio over the last couple of months. I've been concentrating on turning some of my multi-fit garments into recognisable 'plus size' wearables. 'Plus size' is an untapped market for me, but not something I am alien to and I've wanted to improve on my range for some time. Thankfully I've been able to find an amazing model to show off what I am producing. Already the first garments are live and there are more to follow. I am already designing the next range. I have added a few images from my first shoot below and I'm incredibly happy with the results. I hope this is going to be the start of a more successful phase in my life as an online seller.