Tuesday, 3 August 2010

A Busy Weekend - Sheffield Vintage Fair and Lady Luck Rules OK Trade Secrets Talk

My goodness, we have been busy! Whenever we are not grafting away at Mouse HQ we are off out hunting for vintage goodies, and whenever we aren't doing that we seem to be off all over the place for weddings, reunions - you name it, we are at it this summer! I'm also toiling away on a new webstore that will hopefully be open in time for our new autumn/winter collection - exciting stuff, but ever so slightly knackering too!

Last weekend, we were off to a city I really like, Sheffield. It was time for the Sheffield Summer Vintage Fair, and we were extra excited as it was at a new venue, The Circle. The venue is a vast improvement, it was light, airy and right in the middle of town. We held our summer sale which meant that all of our clothing was priced at the amazingly cheap price of £5 each, or 3 for £12! Naturally, we weren't the only people who were excited by this and there were lots of people leaving the fair with Minimum Mouse bags in hand!

Our neighbours on the day were SpankT Vintage and Gracie Airs, who were selling amazing greetings cards which featured vintage pulp fiction covers. A great day was had by all, and we can't wait until our next trip to Sheffield!

Another day, another dollar, and I was off to the Custard Factory on Sunday afternoon for Lady Luck Rules OK's Trade Secrets talk, hosted by the founder of the brand, Leona Baker. The event was held at the COW Shop, a place that I had heard of before but never had the pleasure of visiting. COW, which stands for Creative Open Workshops, is a very exciting project which runs arts and crafts events and workshops. They have a regualar handmade market which is soon to move to The Bullring, which is very exciting. Having a look through their programme of upcoming workshops I wanted to do them all - maxi dress making, fabric necklace making, soy candle making...and all with tea and cake! Check them out to feed that crafty craving!

I had been so excited about this since it was announced, as I have been an LLROK fan since around 2005 - I remember going on to James about this cool and quirky website that I'd found selling amazing kitsch jewellery that was totally up my street. Come Christmas, I was the proud new owner of a Blondie themed kilt pin from that very site (James has a good memory!). At that time I wasn't even vaguely thinking about starting a business, but I really admired what she was doing and loved the idea of making a living from being creative. A couple of years on, and I found myself starting up an eBay business with James, and realising that here was my opportunity to start getting creative and making some money from it. So, out came the jewellery pliers and jump rings, and I've never looked back.

Leona Baker's event was fabulously informative, yet fun too. The audience ranged from people who already ran creative businesses through to people who were only just starting to think about setting up a company, but it was pitched in a way that all levels could get a lot from it. She covered topics such as sourcing materials, getting help from organisations like The Prince's Trust, protecting intellectual property, trade shows, PR and marketing, production and employing staff, and charted the history of LLROK from the early days on a market stall in Portobello up to the very last collection and why she has decided to move on.

An extra treat was getting to make our own personalised russian doll necklace - the icing on the cake of such a great afternoon. I came away buzzing with new ideas - so watch this space!

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