Friday, 23 April 2010

Hidden Talents

When I first had the idea that I wanted to start my own company using only British designers I thought that it would be so easy to stick to the original remit. However, having visited countless trade shows I went through a stage of disillusionment because I knew if I had just gone down the import route I would have been set up much quicker and the products I could sell would be much cheaper. However, I knew had I done this I would have felt a bit like selling out.

The rewards have been so great because I have met some lovely people who produce exquisite work, none more so than Helen Drewett who specialises in intricate embroidered pictures. The skills that people like Helen have must be preserved and I am heartened by the return to the textile design courses on offer and it would seem there is a trend to return to the original crafts. My only criticism is that many students are not taught the basics i.e putting in a zip. Without these skills I fail to see how the construction of complicated designs can be achieved.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Do 'The British' do Networking

When it was suggested to me by my dear friend Penny Lindop I might like to join her at a WIRE meeting I thought 'oh no' I don't like the thoughts of mixing with a group of competitive women who wouldn't be interested in the likes of me. How wrong my perceptions were, I found the whole experience very positive and the women I had feared were incredibly supportive and complimentary about my product.

'Speed Networking' now we are moving onto another level. British people (or just me)? don't big up themselves. I went to a session on Speed Networking and prior to my arrival I have to say I was more than a little nervous. I had to deliver my message to a room full of strangers, one to one!!!! I had rehearsed my pitch to my husband and daughter who both felt it was good but I knew were thinking 'she can't pull this off'. Well my first pitch was to a friend Jane O'Riordan who just happens to be one of my suppliers and it went well, I then found I really got into the whole thing and was anxious that all these people hear my story, it was a worry that I wouldn't be able to get around the whole room. What was I worried about? I have a story and after 2 minutes felt the world should know about it. This was such a great experience for me as normally I am self conscious and it completely showed me that when you beleive in what you do have the confidence to shout about it!