#makelikeaboss: The Village Haberdashery and A L’aise event – My Take-A-Ways

Today, I visited The Village Haberdashery in North West London, to a) not buy any fabric (didn’t work!) and b) listen to a talk by a remarkable business owner, Suzie Dicker.

For the 2nd of the Make like a boss series, Suzie Dicker of A L’aise (which happens to be French for ‘at ease’ or ‘comfort’), explained to a keen audience how she started her amazing business with practically nothing. Yet within 18 months, her stationery and small leather goods company can easily sit amongst such brand names as Smythson, Orla Kiely and Cath Kidston.

My 3 take-a-ways from the talk were:

  1. Don’t try and do everything yourself – if you’re not good with numbers, get an accountant. Outsourcing isn’t a dirty word, or something to be ashamed of, rather it should be embraced, as it will allow you to focus on the areas of the business you excel at.
  2. Good product photography is key.  Suzie attended 2 trade shows in her first year of business, which created a buzz for her products. She made the point however, if those potential customers then refer back to a website which doesn’t match the high quality of the products, it doesn’t create the best impression.
  3. You can start a business with no money.  This is a huge one for me, as I’m in the process of building my own business on a limited budget. Have a business plan – if you need help writing a business plan, ask an accountant or business advisor. Make sure you have the paperwork to back up your dreams before you head towards your bank manager. Start off with a professional business plan and make it impossible for the bank manager to say no.

Actually, there was another personal take-a-way  I finally managed to source the fabric for my top to match my Henley Skirt. It has only taken me the best part of a year, and yes I did promise not to buy any more fabric. But then again, if recent events have taught us anything, seizing the day seems rather apt.

The next in the make like a boss series features Tilly Walnes from Tilly and the Buttons. Visit the Village Haberdashery website for more details, check out the facebook page here.

Thanks to Suzie for an inspiring talk and  all at Village Haberdashery for hosting such a fantastic event.

#PrayForPeace

It’s the day after the day before, and I’m still thinking about the awful events in Manchester. Sewing yesterday was the last thing on my mind, and today I had to force myself to sew a simple belt for my jumpsuit.  If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that I’m on a bit of a daisy and gingham vibe.  Well I was until 2 days ago. Daisies are one of my favourite flowers, and happens to symbolise innocence and youth. I, like many school children, had a gingham dress which my mum made for me. I adored that dress – not a lot of people can say they liked their school uniform, but I did, because Mummy made it. It was a lovely shade of yellow and reminded me of sunshine.

So surrounded by gingham fabric and masses of daisy trim upon hearing the absolute horror about Manchester – well it didn’t seem right somehow to sew something so symbolic.

 

The Great Champagne Twist Destash: Q&As, T&Cs and Sale Schedule

 

destash-2

Hello,

I thought it might be a good idea to post about the up coming destash I’m hosting on Instagram this Saturday 27th May, 2017.  I hope you will join me and grab a few bargains.

Questions and Answers

Where is the sale?

On Instagram – please follow Champagne_Twist_Destash

What time does the destash sale start?

12 noon GMT

Why host a sale?

I have accumulated so much stuff over the years, I have simply run out of room to work effectively. The choice is to either move to a new house the size of Buckingham Palace (I did ask, but the Queen said no) or to sell these things to a someone who can make use of them.

This will mean that I will have more time and space to make more videos and post more on my blog.

What type of things are you selling?

Items for Sale

You’re selling baby clothes? How come?

In regards to the baby clothes, they are all brand new and unused. They were purchased for research purposes (I was thinking about designing and selling baby clothes) and rather than throw them away, I thought it best to sell them on. There is a bit of a pink theme, but heck at that age babies don’t know, or care.

Buttons?

All buttons (and any relevant small items) sold will be sorted and presented in a brand new organza bag – who wants an envelope of loose buttons?

What’s for sale? How much?

Prices start from as little as 50p (excluding postage). All the items range from bargain basement finds to high end, including products from local London markets, Laura Ashley, Cath Kidston, John Lewis and Liberty.

I hope you will find this sale fun and you bag a few bargains for yourself and loved ones. Tell your friends, sit down with a cuppa and lets do this 🙂

Terms and Conditions

I know T&Cs are not the most interesting of things, but please do read before you purchase – and let me know if you have any questions.

The sale on Instagram starts at 12 noon GMT Saturday 27th May 2017.

Please visit Champagne_Twist_Destash to purchase items for sale.

  1. I can only accept Paypal payments, as I think this is the easiest, quickest and safest way to do this.
  2. All measurements stated are approximate.
  3. Any defects, marks or imperfections will be highlighted as clearly as possible.
  4. The Sale Schedule (please see below) is for guidance purposes only, and may be subject to change.
  5. To purchase an item, just reply back with your First name. The first person or people to reply with their First name, wins.
  6. I will then reply with the message, “Sold to [your First Name and Instagram handle]”. After that, please DM me with your Paypal address and the country you live, so I can work out the correct postage for you. This will take a couple of days for me to sort out, so please bear with me, I will keep you informed and email you when I have dispatched the item. Please note dispatch can only occur after I have successfully received correct payment.
  7. All sales once confirmed are final. If you win an item and change your mind, please reply again as soon as possible so the item can be sold to someone else.
  8. Packaging is free of charge – as I believe in recycling as much as possible, please be aware that the packaging will not be brand new – EXCEPT FOR BABY CLOTHING and BUTTON PURCHASES, where the inside packaging will be new.  Any recycled packaging will be of good quality and will be more than adequate to ensure the safe arrival of your purchases.  Postage will be charged at the lowest possible rate.
  9. I will obtain a proof of postage certificate. Please allow up to 5 working days for domestic delivery after confirmed despatch and 15 working days for overseas delivery after confirmed dispatch.

If you would like to post me pictures of what you have done with the items, that would be great. No obligation, I’m just nosy and would love to see how the items will be used.

 

Sale Schedule (subject to change)

Time Zone –  GMT

12 noon – Fabric – part 1

1pm – Knitting items, buttons and sewing collectables

2pm – Fabric – part 2 and buttons

3pm – BREAK TIME (approx 1 hour)

4pm – Baby clothes

5pm – Paper craft items/ Stationery

6pm – Books and paper sewing patterns

7pm – Misc

8pm – Sale ends (If there are a lot of unsold items left, I may host another sale the following Saturday).

I hope this post is clear and easy to understand, but if I have missed something out, you have any questions, or seek clarification, please contact me either here or on Instagram Champagne_Twist_Destash.

Hope to see you on Instagram on Saturday! Enjoy and thanks for reading.

 

Lulu Guinness Benefit Cosmetics Event

Today, I was lucky enough to attend the Culture Cloud, Benefit Cosmetics brow make up demo, hosted by Lulu Guinness at their Covent Garden in central London. It was fun and informative session, where the audience learned how to properly apply brow makeup, and were introduced to the Benefits make-up range.

We are also given the opportunity to browse the new Lulu Guinness Spring/Summer Collection, here’s a highlight video –

For the event I wore my “Round Things” skirt, together with a striped top and a “Marcie” bag from Lulu Guinness.  Unfortunately, the predicted 20 degree weather turned out to be a mini monsoon in reality. So as I write this, I’m loading up with hot cups of tea and any fruit which contains high levels of vitamin C.  To think it’s June in a couple of weeks!

Lulu Guinness Marcie bag in mist with round things skirt

Thanks for reading.

Clothkits Big Birdie Skirt – Completed

 

Hello,

A quick note about how I completed the Clothkits Big Birdie skirt –

CKits cover

Planned adjustments:

  1. I added a lining to the skirt, the fabric came from a stall in Walthamstow market.  It is 100% viscose, polka dot, for £2.50 per meter.
  2. To add a little length, I finished the hem with bias binding.
  3. I will add hanger tapes, made from the measuring tape ribbon provided.

Adjustments made:

I finished all the cut edges with an overlock stitch. This not completely necessary, but there is plenty of sewing thread provided should you wish to do the same.

Below is a short video featuring the skirt, enjoy!

Thanks for reading and watching.