Monday, 28 January 2013

The Liberty Best of British Open Call 2013

Since I was very young I have loved visiting Liberty in London. It isn't only the most beautiful shop, with gorgeous architectural details and a wonderfully serene atmosphere but it also has a bedazzling array  of luxury designer merchandise in its many different departments. It is food for my creative soul just to visit and to wander.

Even when I have been almost broke its been such a treat to buy a little something scrummy and take it home in its distinctive, gold lettered, purple bag.

So after many years of admiring the work of the other designers I thought I'd register to show mine! Being BRAVE remember!

I registered in the summer last year and before Christmas I got a letter inviting  me to join the other 2,000 designers and artists to show my work to one of the panels of experts from Liberty. 

January 12th arrived! The day  for The Liberty Best of British Open Call 2013!

It was a freezing cold winter's day. The doors opened at 10am but people were queueing from about 6am. By the time we got there at 10, the queue reached around 2 sides of the store.  We would waiting for hours in the chilly British weather so we wrapped up well. We were asked to bring only what we could easily carry and to have protection from the rain.

I took my DH with me for company. He is such a great support but he hates queueing! However, it was lucky that he promised  not to complain as we eventually had to wait  for 5  1/2 hours!! (2 hours outside, the rest going up 4 flights of stairs and in the waiting area) We did get to go away and have lunch at a lovely little patisserie for a treat though. 

The great thing that made the time go faster was that there were so many interesting people to watch! All kinds of artists, all ages, all kinds of products. It was fascinating to see some of them practising their pitches, revising their prices and talking about their inspiration.

We did get a peek at some of their designs: Gold jewellery, screen printed scarves, and lots of different designer cushions.

I took 3 different kinds of things and was registered to see the buyers of the Home department. When I got into the room where I would be doing my 3 minute pitch I was so thrilled to be told that I would be seeing Julie Hassan the Senior Buying Manager for Home, and Harriet Patterson the Style Director of Living Etc Magazine.

The lovely thing about the Liberty Open Call is that although they only take about 10 out of the 2,000 designers they see on the day, everyone is treated so nicely. It isn't scary like Dragon's Den at all!  The staff are so friendly and helpful throughout the whole process.

This is a real chance to have your designs seen by some of the top professionals in the industry and get an honest and constructive appraisal of your work. They were so interesting to talk to and gave me some great feedback. I was there for longer than 3 minutes because they asked me lots of questions but it went like a flash! What a great experience and well worth waiting for.

The youtube video link below will show you Liberty's own clips of the day.


Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Happy Brave New Year!

A couple of months ago I was having lunch with two of my lovely friends and we were discussing New Year resolutions. They are SO hard to keep and in the last few years I have only made 2 in the hope that I could keep myself firmly stuck to them!

One of my friends said she was going to make just one! Be Brave!

It was such an amazing moment because we could see, in that second,  that for all of us this meant really different things but to each of us this would be such an important resolution. We all decided right there that this was the one for us!

As we talked about it we realised that that we all feel scared about some things and that everyone needs a little bravery in their lives. Not only to cope with some of life's challenges with things like health or family worries  but also because we all choose the easy option sometimes, rather than challenging ourselves to take risks. Without stepping out of our comfort zones a little bit every day (or even from time to time) we don't know what wonderful things could be waiting for us, what talents we could find, and which new friends we could meet.

I have mentioned this to quite a few other friends since then and each time it made such an impression that I think many people will join us in being Brave!

We have decided to have a Bird as our Badge of Bravery! because they are beautiful, brave and have wings to fly! The bird in the picture above is a doodle I have started in my journal. It isn't finished yet but I may leave it to show how the doodles are formed for the journalling classes which will be coming up later in the year.

So I wish you a very Happy New Year and if you wish to join us in Being Brave that you will find that surprising and wonderful things will happen for you this year. And that you will find your own wings!