Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Back to the 80's...

Oh... My... God... I am bidding on a Frankie Say Relax T Shirt on ebay!

I can't quite believe that I am doing this... if I win the auction, will I actually wear it?

What is so shocking about it, I hear you ask? Let me tell you. This will not be the first 'Relax' T shirt that I have ever owned. Oh no, my friend, I owned one first time around. I am old enough for that. Oh yes, I used to trip on down to my disco dancing lessons at the dancing school on Victoria Street in an electric blue catsuit, with my Frankie T shirt loosely slung over the top (casually hanging off one shoulder, as was 'de rigeur' back then), accessorized beautifully with luminous legwarmers and fingerless gloves - one yellow, one pink. Oh -ho-ho! The height of style!

Yes, I am a child of the 80's. I was a teenager in the 90's, and now I am a mother in the noughties (don't you just hate that term - I guess now I am old and cynical enough to hate those zeitgeist-y words, whereas before, when I was younger and more innocent, I used to think I was one of the innovaters of them)

The question is; If/When I ever wear this Tee, will it be as an 'ironic' statement? Will it be as a modern fashion statement? Will it be as a loving tribute to an iconic 80's Hamnet Rip-Off, that encapsulated the ethos of punk so perfectly in a post-punk recesssion bitten landscape? Shit, where did that explosion of verbal diarrhea come from?

Am I wanting a return to childhood, with this T shirt? Is that why I love it so much when I look at it? Yes, the 80's fashions are back again, it is true - indeed it is slightly more acceptable now to wear these things. But is it acceptable for a grown woman to? Isn't it more a 'Peaches Geldof' type 'clubby teenager' type item. How appropriate is this going to look in the checkout queue at Morrisons?

Hmmmm..... do I care if its acceptable or not? Isn't that the point of 'Relax'? Don't care attitude, 'when you wanna come, do it?' Since when have other people's opinions on the clothes I wear been an issue for me? Let's face it - my best friend wouldn't be seen with me in my Star Wars T Shirt, but it never stopped me wearing it. My daughter regularly borrows my clothes - she is 11, its not right that she should want to borrow them, I know that. It is fair to say that I am in denial about my age...

AND THERE WE HAVE THE CRUX OF THE MATTER.... it is my birthday in 3 days time. I will be 35. John Hughes recently died. As did Michael Jackson.

Give me my little piece of childhood. Let me wear it. With pride, if I want.

And please don't laugh at me too hard...

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Ok, so this post is a bit of a cheat , really. I found these Star Trek inspirational posters whilst surfing the web and wanted to share them - I wish wish WISH they made them into a range of greetings cards because they would be SOOOOO perfect in Rose and Dylan. Oh well... I'll have to wait until some card publisher reads this and sees that there is absolutely IS a need for Star Trek greetings cards - of course there is... I mean, somebody out there must make them, its probably just that I haven't come across them yet, is all...

P.S Dad, if you are reading this - know that you have brought me up well.... :) (my Dad is an old school Trekkie)

Friday, 14 August 2009

Friday, 14 August 2009
dis·tract (d-strkt)
tr.v. dis·tract·ed, dis·tract·ing, dis·tracts
1. To cause to turn away from the original focus of attention or interest; divert.
2. To pull in conflicting emotional directions; unsettle

[Middle English distracten, from Latin distrahere, distract-, to pull away : dis-, apart; seedis- + trahere, to draw.]

Give you an idea of how I'm feeling at the moment?

This week was supposed to be my big week for getting loads of work done. The kids have gone to stay with the grandparents, I was to be going in to the shop every day and pulling in some nice long days too, so I could get all my loose ends tied up, ready for me to start on the web shop listings with a nice clear conscience that my time would not be put to better use elsewhere. Sound like a plan?


This was not taking into account my EXTREMELY SHORT ATTENTION SPAN

What was I talking about? Oh yes... I am so easily distracted. it is a wonder I achieve anything! When I looked at the online dictionary definition for distractibility it was surrounded by links to ADHD websites - a condition my son was diagnosed with about four years ago. Apple, tree, what was that?

I know, I know, in my defense though... I can defend my (our) behaviour, as being symptomatic of our society in this day and age. MS windows,mobile phones, twitter, MTV, ipods - these are some of the biggest commercial successes in our life time - and all created with the easily distracted person in mind, designed to fit to their/our mindset. We deal in short and sharp these days - noone is in for the long haul any more, in fact, we can't see that far ahead any more. Public figures employ spin doctors to dish out sound bites designed to impart their intentions to us - of course no one bothers with anything more long term than the next year or so - in our society that is as long as we can cope with. Just this morning, I have been hearing on the radio news about Obama's praise for the UK's NHS, and the reaction to that has been one of 'But why would he want to set up something like that in the USA, in peace time? When it's not at a crisis point?' That is a political commitment to a long term plan - something that does not concern the short term, quick fix, PR led Generation X that we are.

We are generation x - finding it impossible to live up to the high standards set for us by our parents, who were young in the 60's - a time when anything seemed possible, had their children in the 70's and were our age through the 80's boom. So who are our children? Indigo children, with hyperactivity and autistic disorders increasingly being diagnosed? Labels that make it easier for the rest of society to understand them? So that the previous generation can have a handbook on how to deal with them. Maybe I've got it wrong, but I thought it was a sort of genetically programmed thing that a generation isn't supposed to understand the next one fully - surely if that were the case noone would ever leave home and make their own life, if their parents 'understood' them? Oh... yeah... next issue....a generation of kids that live with their parents well into adulthood. Hmmm... where have I heard that one before?

OMG (an abbreviation, for those who haven't the time or attention span to write the full words down) - I just re read that last passage - the rantings of someone who has gone off on a complete tangent - I was supposed to be talking about how easily distracted I am!

Er... wait a minute... I got distracted.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

'Pure London' - a more glamorous trade (af)fair

Wednesday, 5 August 2009
So, as you know, I run a gift shop in Letchworth, Hertfordshire (http://www.roseanddylan.co.uk/ - web site still not quite up and running but should be really soon) - hence the blog title. Part of my job is sourcing new products for said gift shop - something that sounds like a lot of fun, and generally is - except for the fact that there is SOOOOO much out there, and sometimes I get totally overwhelmed with choice and just don't know what to do - I want to stock everything but have only a certain amount of shop floor space and buying budget! Tricky, eh?

One of the most fun and time efficient (not to mention exhausting) ways to do a bit of sourcing is to attend some of the many trade fairs there are on offer. This is a sure fire way to see lots of suppliers in one place. have a good look at their new products, place some orders for the upcoming season and generally do a bit of industry networking. (NETWORKING - yes, I said it! Aaaaargggh!)

Networking is a word that fills me with fear - as a naturally shy person (yes, it is true - I can only write this stuff down because I am faceless on here, you know!), the thought of mixing with a group of strangers, bigging myself up, offering my services in a competitive, disguised as friendly, forum is an absolutely abhorrent thought. However, I am not naive (about everything, anyway) and I know and understand that it is a necessary evil in business. In fact, who am I kidding? It's probably not an evil at all - many people find it very useful and it helps them enormously in business - I'm just not one of them YET. But I'm not ruling it out forever...

Anyway, I digress (so what's new?).

Out of all the trade fairs that I try to attend every year, Pure London - the trade fair for the fashion industry - is the one I find the most intimidating. A trade fair devoted to fashion - full of fashion people - beautiful, trendy, self aware, glamorous, dare I say, verging on superficial *wincing as I type that word, I hate it so much* at times, confident people. A mouse like me quivers at the thought of it!

Of course, I am only a mouse on the inside, not the outside. So, bearing this in mind, I got my hair done, applied the slap, tried to dress in a way that is creative enough for people to believe I belong in this industry yet not so wacky as for them to look at me as if i am sent straight from the outer reaches of a galaxy far, far away, and jumped in my car, heading for Olympia, taking my lovely Lo with me for moral support and another perspective on things! Oh what fun!

Actually, it was!

It might have been the best trade show I have been to since the demise of David's Gifts and the rebirth of Rose and Dylan!

Yes, it was all those things I have mentioned already, but do you know what - that was a complete non issue. That is something that only exists in the paranoid mouse's head, not the confident owner of a successful gift shop's mind!

The fashion on offer was gorgeous and inspiring - exhibitors knew of our shop before we came to them (OMG - can you believe it???) - our confidence in our customers and what we knew they wanted and thus, what we wanted from the fair, was soaring - we took chances on edgier, funkier stock, placed larger orders than we ever done before - found the chutzpah to ask for better deals, more support with displays, marketing materials etc - and generally got an awful lot out of it! It made me feel far less guilty than usual about taking more time off this week to look after the kids, knowing that this day was spent so productively!

Maybe its true what they say - it helps having a pretty girl on your arm! Don't get the wrong idea, but Lo really does look the part - she is incredibly stylish, beautiful - dare I say 'graceful' (without sounding like a bad rerun of a Seinfeld sketch), and her advice was invaluable. I am very grateful to her for accompanying me and helping me so much (all the time actually, not just at trade fairs!)

So look forward to seeing these new additions to our range, in Rose and Dylan over the next few months;

Miyabi - beautiful silver jewellery handcrafted in Thailand

Vendula - cute quirky handbags, purses and wallets

Quintessential - striking scarves and handbags

No Tail / Big Baby - funky jewellery cast in perspex and crystal in bold bright colours

Red Or Dead - handbags to die for - literally...

Ixli - silk slippers fit for a queen

Yakpak - canvas bags and purses in cool, funky prints

Disaster Designs - Design focused handbags with a giftier feel

Irregular Choice - handbags that share the same irrevant humour as the shoe brand that already has a cult following

Oh, and did I forget to mention - we've got NEW Cath Kidston accessories on their way to us VERY VERY soon!

I'm so excited I could just pee...

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

A gift shop is for life, not just for christmas! © 2008. Design by Pocket