In May I wrote a piece about some of the exciting festivals going on in Oxfordshire this summer. There are some great events going on across the county and I have been lucky enough to be selected to do a number of them this year. I am super excited about setting up Kinship of Oxford at events including Cornbury, Truck and Wilderness. It should be a great opportunity to promote the business and reach new customers. However it is not as simple as just rocking up the day before with a selection of goods and a gazebo. I put a lot of thought and consideration into each Pop Up Shop, and festival pitches are no different. There are a lot more considerations such as a bigger stall size, stock holding and not to mention, the weather!
So where to start? Well here are my top tips to help you enjoy and succeed at festival trading:
- Stocking Up
When you get booked onto a festival, the first thing is to check your stock levels and put a plan together of what you would like to take and how many of each line you will need. To do this, I normally work out how much I need to take to cover the pitch plus any extra expenses such as food, equipment and of course to make a profit. Once you have come to a figure, think about the type of festival you are going to and the type of people that might attend it. I find that putting together a Pinterest board or Spotify playlist helps with this. For example at Wood Festival in May, I put together a big display of my Beefayre range as I knew that many of the festival goers would be passionate about the environment and Beefayre use recycled packaging, natural ingredients and give 3% of their profits to Bee Conservation.
It’s good to do this well in advance so that you can reorder any lines that you think will sell well or gives you time to make new designs or products. Use your top line figure to work out how many of each item you need to take to achieve your turnover goal. Remember that as you’re outside its good to leave behind any products that might get ruined by the elements! I tend not to bring any paper products or higher priced jewellery and accessories.
- Dress To Impress
As with all events it is important to plan you display. The Kinship stall for festivals is generally twice as big as events such as craft fairs so I plan how the tables will be arranged and what products go where, in advance of the festival. I also take a ‘Mary Poppins bag’ of useful things like bluetac, tape, scissors, pegs, ribbon, pens, safety pins and drawing pins so I can tie tablecloths and display pieces down. I also find a bag of pebbles (or other heavy items!) prove invaluable if the wind picks up!
Also, even though you’ve probably already spent a night in a tent, it’s important to look the part when you’re trading. Plan your outfits in advance so that you don’t let your stall down by looking a bit unkept.
- Check, Check, Check It Out
Remember to check that all the equipment you need is fully functional before the day of the festival, turning up with a broken gazebo is not what you need. Make a check list of everything from your tent and gazebo to wet wipes and dry shampoo.
While you want your stall to be a success, you also want to enjoy your time and have some fun! I learnt this the hard way at Truck Festival last year. It was absolutely boiling on the Friday and I didn’t drink enough water or have a break which meant I had heat stroke by the evening, not fun! So make sure you plan what food you are going to take or buy there, and take lots of water with you so you have some to hand. I now make sure I drink about 1litre an hour if it’s really hot, even if it does mean using the festival toilets more! Also make sure there are at least two of you on your stall so that you can at least have a lunch break.
- Safe & Sound
Security is key at festivals. Make sure that your cash box is in a secure location and preferably padlocked to something immoveable, or keep your money belt on you at all times. I also pack all my stock away at night and don’t take anything expensive (including personal items); items priced between £5-£20 tend to sell the best anyway.
I hope these are some useful points if you’re thinking of taking your business or craft on the road this summer or next!
Last but not least this is my list of must have festival items:
• Battery charger (especially if you take card payments via your phone)
• Wet wipes
• Dry Shampoo
• Camping chairs
• Cool box (for water and maybe a couple ciders!)
• Inflatable mattress & pump
• Hand sanitizer
• Sun cream
• Ear plugs
• Stove & pan
The Body Shop has always been a big presence in my life. When I was little, I remember my Mum always carefully rinsing out our shampoo bottles so she could take them in to be refilled (although sadly not by Anita Roddick herself as in the photo below!) and the green shelves of the local branch featured very largely in childhood shopping trips.
When I was a student, I became a Consultant with The Body Shop at Home to supplement my student loan. In the early noughties, I could be found demonstrating and selling their gorgeous products at parties all around Devon (and anywhere else I could persuade somebody to host one). This was a brilliant grounding in merchandising. I attribute my ability to put together a killer display in under ten minutes to it; I’d have to make my products look good in whoever’s living room I found myself, in whatever time I had available.
After I moved to Oxford, I got a job working in-store at the local branch of The Body Shop and I spent several months there working the tills, stocking the shelves, and giving makeovers and hand massages. It’s a company that I’m very proud to have worked with and still feel the need to discuss this at great length with any sales assistants when visiting The Body Shop (apologies to anybody reading this who has been subjected to said spiel).
Given the above it only feels right to dedicate one of my Fe-line posts to the lady behind The Body Shop, Anita Roddick.
Anita Roddick started The Body Shop in 1976 with the very simple aim of supporting her young family while her husband, Gordon, was away. “I had no training or experience and my only business acumen was Gordon’s advice to take sales of £300 a week.” I remember during my time with The Body Shop At Home hearing of how she would take a basket of products out after closing up and go door to door with them if she didn’t hit that target – a lesson for us in perseverance.
The idea of franchising came about fairly early on and it wasn’t long before there were branches of The Body Shop popping up internationally. As you won’t need me to tell you, she didn’t lose any of her principles with her newfound success. “One key area where my business and personal interests naturally combine is through The Body Shop community trade initiatives. It all started in 1989 when I attended the gathering at Altamira of Amazonian Indian tribes protesting against a hydro-electric project which would have flooded thousands of acres of rainforest, submerging native lands. There had to be something practical I could do to help these people preserve their environment and culture. Nuts? Specifically brazil nuts, which the Indians gathered sustainably from the forest and which when crushed produce a brilliant oil for moisturising and conditioning.”
The Body Shop brand is synonymous with being eco-friendly, from the refills my Mum used to take advantage of, to the campaigns run in conjunction with organisations such as Greenpeace. But The Body Shop also encouraged positive change closer to home debuting a self-esteem campaign in 1998 featuring the voluptuous Ruby – aka “The Anti-Barbie” – and a slogan I’ve never forgotten: “There are 3 billion women who don’t look like supermodels and only 8 who do.”
Alarmingly, this campaign met with opposition, The Body Shop received a “cease-and-desist” order from an American toy company asking them to remove the images from their American stores as it was making their best-seller, Barbie, look bad. Anita said that “the idea of one inanimate piece of moulded plastic hurting another’s feelings was absolutely mind-blowing.” And in Hong Kong, posters were banned from the Mass Transit Railway, despite them frequently sporting images of “silicone-enhanced blondes” on their trains.
To me, the cosmetics industry at large has the message of “you don’t look good enough, our products will help correct that”, whereas The Body Shop says “you’re beautiful, our products will help you shine even brighter”. This ethos of inclusiveness was brought about by Anita Roddick’s dislike of beauty industry attitudes, not only because she saw it as being “built on creating needs that don’t exist”, but “because it seems to have decided that it needs to make women unhappy about their appearances” – a very Fe-line viewpoint, no?
Sadly, in 2007, Anita Roddick revealed that she has Hepatitis C which she had contracted during a blood transfusion in the ‘70s. She became the patron of the Hepatitis C Trust and launched a campaign to raise awareness; but tragically passed away on 10th September 2007 at the age of just 64. There are a few tributes on The Body Shop’s website selected from the many thousands that poured in, but the below is my personal favourite from the Kuapa Kokoo in Ghana who supply The Body Shop with Community Trade cocoa butter:
“We are grateful to God that he gave us such an inspirational figure; a mother whose love for the development of the vulnerable and the under-privileged will continue to linger on in our minds till eternity. Anita would be well remembered by the Kuapa Kokoo family and the chiefs and people, for a school block she, together with The Body Shop, funded in the Bayerebon community. The seed she sowed is generating fruits of success and enlightenment.”
Fe-liners, I do not have enough space in this post to list all the amazing projects, campaigns, and charitable works that Anita Roddick undertook during her lifetime but I will just say this: she had been happily donating chunks of her sizable fortune to charity leading up to her death and it’s reported that she’d given away virtually all of it by the time she passed away. What an amazing lady.
Pampering and principles to you all,
“Photo by Rex Features (1350527r) Anita Roddick of the Body Shop” and “The Body Shop”
As soon as we enter a popular high street shop we are automatically bombarded with various trends and colours that make us feel incredibly nauseous. I absolutely adore when the seasons change and the shops completely revamp their rails, but I know that there are many women out there who have a totally opposite reaction to it. If that is one of you ladies, don’t panic just yet because after this post there’ll be only one trend on your mind: florals.
This summer is all about the brightly coloured, festival loving pattern that is known as Floral. Thankfully this trend suits any shape, size, skin colour, hair colour, and even gender (trust me, I’ve seen plenty guys wearing floral t-shirts these days!) One thing that’s brilliant about this trend is that it suits a large majority of women, no matter what. Usually when it comes to bold patterns like polka dots, stripes or even tribal print, many women find it hard to find an item of clothing in this pattern to suit them, yet with floral 90% of the clothing that’s covered in roses and daises suit all women. Another thing about this trend is that it is printed on a huuuuge array of clothing, whether it’s embellished onto party dresses, dyed onto t-shirts, or even embroidered onto denim shorts. If it can be worn, it can be floral, and thanks to famous bloggers like Chiara Ferragni and Kristina Bazan, every woman wants to (and should be) seen in floral.
In this post I’m going to break down the most popular ways that this gorgeous print can be worn, and hopefully after reading it, you’ll want to buy one of them almost immediately
- Just Leg it
Whether you’re a lover of cigarette pants, a skinny jean addict, an owner of a gazillion pair of tights or even if you’ve braved the new trend of palazzo pants, I can guarantee that you’ve found at least one type of these leg warming pieces in a floral pattern. I know sometimes that when you see jeans covered in pastel flowers or your work pants in a pretty petal pattern , that you tend to feel a bit daunted by the idea of your legs looking like you ran through Wonderland. However, I think that if you have a pair of statement floral printed pants, paired with a high collared shirt, or a plain lace top, along with subtle nude heels, you would certainly make any women envious of your bold, high fashion outfit.
- Dress it up
When embracing flower power you really can’t go past a gorgeous summer dress covered in daisies, peonies or hibiscus flowers. When the sun is beating down on our backs, there’s nothing cuter than seeing a girl dressed in a floral tea dress or flower covered maxi dress because it always seems to be the epitome of pretty. I myself absolutely love floral dresses, whether they’re short and summery, floor skimming and cool, or even calf length and flowy, I just adore how they make me feel incredibly girly, pretty and happy all in one. If you had the chance to feel like that, by just wearing a simple dress in a bold, bright, blossom pattern, how could you resist?
- To top it all off
T-shirts, shirts and blazers are the simplest, yet most effective way to wear this glorious print. Whether you’re roaming the supermarket aisles doing your grocery shopping, or walking through the park in search of a picnic spot, or even if you’re heading out on a date, floral printed tops can always make a simple outfit look a million pounds. It can be done in so many ways from the pairing of a simple short sleeve patterned tee along with denim shorts and gladiator sandals, or coordinating a plain fitted pencil skirt, with matching heels, and adding a floral chiffon shirt for a pop of colour. However my favourite way of wearing floral on top is a way that every single woman can pull off in a flash. All you need is a simple plain white tee, navy denim jeans (whichever shape suits you best) and any coloured ballet pumps, then for the injection of floral you just throw on a fitted, blooming beautiful, blazer. It’s the kind of outfit that can be used both day and night, no matter what the occasion.
- Fairy Fever
What girl could ever resist the chance to relive her childhood dream of becoming a fairy? I know that you’re probably laughing as you read this, but I can guarantee that you wouldn’t be able to resist if the opportunity arose. From festivals and beaches to races and weddings, flower headbands have become a huge craze and I think that they look absolutely adorable. When I first saw them on girls I was a bit on edge because I thought they’d make me look like a kid that’s trying to be a fairy, but the more I saw them on famous faces like Anne Hathaway, Poppy Delevingne or the stunning Keira Knightley, I fell hopelessly in love with the trend. I myself can’t seem to pull them off, but I know many women who make these headbands look like they’re Glastonbury royalty.
Overall there are endless possibilities when it comes to wearing floral this sunshine filled season, I’ve embraced it in various ways so why don’t you?
When it comes to floral print, I hope that all you beautiful women out there will take the chance and fall for this trend as hard as I did because I can guarantee when wearing either a floral printed tee or a flower embellished dress, you’ll have a huge smile on your face and you won’t be able to hide it.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it. I can’t wait to hear all of your comments and opinions.
www.kayture.com (taken by her partner James Chardon)
My own style collage from http://redthreadsstyle.blogspot.ie/
This season, magazines and fashion sites alike will tell you; floral is in, orange is the new black and you can stun this summer in cobalt. And hoards of men and women will make space in their overcrowded wardrobes for the new must have items of the season all in quest of being seen as stylish.
Sometimes in the midst of the wardrobe shuffle from season to season; personal style, preferences and personality can get lost. So how do we maintain sense of self in this trending world? I’m glad you asked.
Stick to the basics:
When it comes to building and maintaining your wardrobe remember to keep your “basics” up to date in size and style. Not that there is anything wrong with having pieces that glitter and bling but not everything in your closet needs to look like you took a Bedazzler to it! Especially if you are in a point in your life that want people to take you seriously. Your basics should be just that, basic, and they need to fit the body you have right now.
Have a few statement pieces:
Statement pieces are where you can have a little fun and let your personality show. So maybe a shag-fur vest in emerald speaks to you, or a Wonder Woman t-shirt that speaks to your playful nature or you feel a tendresse for animal prints. What ever it is and how ever you choose to incorporate it (ACCESSORIES!!) be sure to invest in what speaks to you as an individual.
Pieces of the Trends:
There is nothing wrong with following or staying in tune with what is trending in fashion but the important point here is that no matter what the trends are find pieces that still allow you to be uniquely you. So play with different cuts in florals (over-sized, skater, peplum, body con, crop etc.) to see what works with you shape. Just because cobalt and orange are all the rage doesn’t mean that every shade will work best with your skin tone so play around here to see what works.
A Piece or two, if you Dare:
Wither you stick mainly to on-line shopping or you like to hit the stores with your savviest gal pals in tow you invariably come across that one item that will make you pause to wonder if you could really pull it off. Maybe it is a sexy pair of skyscraper heels that you probably couldn’t walk very far in or a dress that so breezy and soft you fear it will be torn to shreds by your spiked combat boots. Before you place it reverently pack on the shelf and mourn its loss, remember style (even your personal style) is ever evolving and you will never know what you will love until you try so take a chance on something that you wouldn’t normally go for. If anything it could always be there for a surprise event or a day you just feel like switching things up a bit, you are a lady and you reserve the right to change your mind.
Remember that clothes are tools that we use to project the person we are and the body that we want others to see. So chuck out the rules that limit your range of expression and let your quirky lovable you shine through!
Hello Feliners. How’s the summer going for you? I’ve been making the most of the weather by sitting outside and photographing my (little) universe.
Photography is incredibly important for blog posts. It can be a powerful way to illustrate your point, or a tool to make your post – and your blog – more appealing on the eye. As more blogs use strong visual aids and good photography, the pressure to live up to the expectations can also be a
I love photography and all my posts revolve around an image (or two) I took. I love opening my blog and seeing how those unassuming images gain some kudos (in my own kudos book!) just by being on the blog. The same goes for my posts for Fe-line, I always send in my photos, either in perfect line with the text or just as something pretty to look at as you read about something totally unrelated; blue skies and the ocean seem to be my favourite text-not-matching-the-image photos.
Today I wanted to talk about my process to photograph for the blog. I have been meaning to write this post for a while now, not because I am a professional photographer but precisely because I am not. I’m hoping this will inspire you to take more photos and use them in your blog posts.
I have a big camera and a couple of lenses, but currently about 40% of my blog photos are taken with my iPhone. The more I photograph for my blog, the more I realise the appeal for the readers is in how I see the world. Yes, I’d love to upgrade my camera and buy my dream lens, and that would help with sharpness and light, but it wouldn’t tell the story any more than my current gear does. People want to connect with you and see a snippet of the world through your eyes, either because they’re very different to you or the absolute same.
1. What do you see?
What makes you stop and smile, no matter what? What makes you do a double take and wish you could freeze time? What do you enjoy doing every single day? What inspires you? What helps you to be calm or sane or happy or grounded?
Can you photograph any of it? Then do.
For me, blue skies and sunshine always make me smile. Colour and detail makes me do a double take, as do smiles. I enjoy having coffee, reading with my feet up, and watching time go by with a good chat. Light inspires me. Chamomile tea soothes me, walking keeps me sane, good weather makes me happy, and my home keeps me grounded. So much to photograph, I better get going.
2. How do you see it?
When do you notice all those things and moments that make you tick? When you think about that thing or moment, what’s your viewpoint?
For example, I tend to notice how much I enjoy coffee when I’m at my desk with a (pretty) cup next to me. So most of my coffee photos are from above. Much like my food photos. Or my feet! Flowers, on the other hand, I mostly photograph at eye level, when I notice them and from where I notice them.
3. The angle you never see it from
Taking photos from different viewpoints adds variety and interest to the subject, but also makes things more interesting and creative for you. Thinking about how you can show the exact same thing in a few different ways, is bound to get your imagination going. Sometimes, I photograph my cup of coffee by resting my camera/iPhone on the table. I never ever see my cup of coffee from this angle (unless I were tying my shoes at my desk, maybe?), so sometimes it’s fun to see what comes out if I were to lay my head on the table and admire my coffee! I also take a few shots without really looking at the viewfinder/screen – sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s fun to see what is captured anyway.
4. Light versus light
I love light so I prefer naturally sunlit photos. In an ideal world, we’d always have access to magical light and glorious sunshine. Reality, however, has a different agenda. Sometimes it rains, other times the best things happen at night, other times the window is facing the wrong way. Not much you can do about that, but there’s plenty you can do about your odds.
Firstly, photograph as much as you can when the light is right for you.
Secondly, make the most of what you have. Play with shadows. Convert to B&W. Move the object, if that’s an option. Turn all the lights in the room on (and bring lamps from other rooms if needs must, your house your rules!).
5. From photo to blog post
I consider photos for my blog posts in three ways:
- Write text. Use (or take) random photos.
I think this is my most common approach. I write a post about something less visual, like goal setting, and then find a pretty photo in my recent archives to go with it. It can be anything, from cake or coffee to blue skies or flowers; it’s just an image that makes me happy and goes with the text, rather than illustrating a point. If nothing satisfies me, I sometimes photograph something from my chair with my phone and put it up, usually the current cuppa or my garden or the light through my window.
- Plan text and photos as a unit.
I know what I want to write about and what photos I need. A good example of this are recipe posts or posts about a place or trip (bit pointless to write about your trip to Lisbon and use photos from London).
- Have photos. Write text.
Sometimes, I go out to take pictures of something that takes my fancy. Or I walk to work and photograph my route. I’ll then have a set of photos that go together and I’ll write a post about the experience.
That’s it from me this month, Feliners. Hope you’ve enjoyed the read and are out (or in) photographing already!