Friday, 14 December 2012

Clothes Show Live 2012 - The Shopping, The Haul, The Minimum Mouse Experience!

Hat shoppers at our stand, Models Own buys, JLS in the Fashion Theatre and a pretty early start!
We've spent all year looking forward to it and now it's over, we've caught up on sleep and tv, so now I'm going to give you a little round up of Minimum Mouse's experience at Clothes Show Live 2012. We set up home at the NEC once again, this time in the Offbeat Boutique area. It was a busy, bustling, loud and exciting atmosphere and we loved every minute. Our bestsellers by far were our bowler hats, we sold out of the black ones by day three! Other popular picks were vintage Christmas jumpers (of course!) cosy navajo wraps and scarves and our jewellery collection was a big hit. Scrabble rings were still a must have item and our new collection of hamsa and evil eye designs went down a storm. Thanks so much to every single one of you lovely folks who came to see our stand, stopped for a chat, maybe picked up some bits and pieces, you're what keeps us going and we're pleased to say we will be back next year. Roll on 2012!

Our stand, some of our range, a busy day.

But now on to the other side of the story- the shopping! Yes, just because I am there for work it does not mean that I don't get involved in all the fun. Being at Clothes Show for the duration of the event means it is very difficult not to end up spending every penny that you have! Not only were there so many great independent businesses exhibiting, who sell gorgeous things you won't get anywhere else (more on that later), there are big brands doing big offers! This is especially true in the beauty area, where I spent most of my money. You take your life in your hands when you walk through the beauty area, you get accosted at every turn with people wanting to do your eyebrows, demonstrate hair extensions or give you a hand massage, but if you can cope with the madness you can pick up some amazing stuff. Here are a few of my shopping highlights-
Make up from the magazine goody bags

1. Magazine goody bags. These are a great bargain buy! There were goody bags from Cosmopolitan & Company, Elle and Zest, each cost £3 (though Elle was £2 when I bought one later in the week) and in each you get two magazines (in the case of Zest and Elle, you get the current issue and the previous one) plus lots of other bits and bobs. In terms of bang for your buck, Cosmo & Company was the best, I got a drink, some crisps, sweets, shine sheets, a Rimmel eyeshadow palette, a Missguided lipgloss and an OPI shatter nail polish, and some other things I can't remember. Amazing when you consider what the magazines cost alone! The Zest bag was a similar standard but since it is a health and fitness magazine, the goodies are more along that theme (though you also got a Missguided lipgloss). With Elle you got a Jemma Kidd eyeliner, which is lovely, and a St Tropez gradual tan, so you didn't get as much but the quality of the items was high and it was still excellent value. So even if you come to Clothes Show with little money to spend, you can still get some super stuff.

2. Barry M £10 goody bag. Now this was impressive! I like Barry M anyway, I think their collection is fun and good value for money, and their choice of colours is incredible. So I was keen to pick up one of their famous £10 bags. The only issue with these bags is that you don't know what you are going to get, but that's all part of the fun and I certainly wasn't disappointed. I did get a couple of things I wouldn't use (green eyeliner pencil, turquoise mascara) but I also got lots I would and it's a fun way to try out some new colours! I got three nail polishes, three dazzle dusts, several pencils, lipgloss, shimmer powder and some other things, all in a Barry M make up bag. What is also fun is that if a few friends get one you can swap stuff, I swapped a green eyeshadow for a pink one, happy days!

3. Jelly Pong Pong goody bags. This was probably the least impressive buy in my opinion, I picked up two goody bags on the last day for £5, just for a bit of fun. For this I got four products, so still pretty good! I was a bit confused when I opened the bags and the products were all So Susan brand rather than Jelly Pong Pong, but I did a bit of research when I got home and apparently the brand is changing its name to So Susan. Fair enough. I got a Lip Cushion, which is apparently something of a cult product. It's quite nice, something like a cross between a lip balm and a gloss, and it smells lovely. I also got a Fairy Lashes mascara, an illuminating palette and a bronzing powder (which is way too dark for me, but I loved the powder puff!) It just goes to show how amazing some of the offers are that I wasn't so impressed by this one, as it really is great value. I'm looking forward to giving the products a proper try.

4. Probably the king of the goody bags - Models Own. Everyone was raving about this goody bag and it is easy to see why when you take a look at the offer. You got to choose three nail polishes, from a huge selection, and then you got a whole load of freebies, including nail scissors, a black eyeliner, red lip pencil, black nail art pen, two eyeshadows, lip gloss, lip balm and more. Again, you might get a couple of duds, I got a bright yellow eyeshadow which I can't imagine anyone wearing, but when you consider that the nail polishes are usually £5 each anyway, it really is a great deal. I also got 'Show Stopper' as part of the deal, which was the Clothes Show Live special edition nail polish which had sold out by day three. It's a glitter with silver, lilac and blue colours that is very pretty. On the last day they had run out of the goody bags but were offering five polishes for £10, so I got some more!

Finally, I picked up a cute neon pink Casio watch from Mad Elizabeth Vintage, one of our neighbours in the Offbeat Boutique area. I love it! When you press the light button you get flashing, multicoloured disco lights! Amazing! I also picked up some amazing brooches from one of my favourite jewellery companies, Tatty Divine. They were selling off some past season designs at bargain prices, I got three sparkly reindeer and a Lolita style sunglasses brooch for just £5.

Mad Elizabeth was just one of the great companies that were exhibiting, over the years we have got to know so many great, creative people who run small businesses, and it was exciting that so many of them were at Clothes Show with us this year. If you weren't there, you must check out these guys-
  • Syd and Mallory - great collection handmade in Sheffield.
  • Second Hand Rose - a vintage treasure trove, shop online or in their beautiful shop in Worcester
  • Mad Elizabeth -  great vintage and rework selection, on ASOS Marketplace and they have a great shop in Leeds.
  • Good Morning Mr Magpie - beautifully designed sweatshirts, tops and dresses.
  • The Gingham Deer - simply great vintage.
  • Trunk Junkies Vintage - handpicked vintage - lots of sequins, bold prints and luxurious coats, find them at Mr Bird's Emporium in Birmingham
  • Roxy Valetta -  great vintage range, also in Mr Bird's Emporium
  • Bits and Bows - cute and girly jewellery, clothing and accessories, handmade and available at Mr Bird's Emporium.
Finally, the show. We saw JLS, and the catwalk show was incredible, a great mix of dancing, fashion and fun. A real highlight of the week. Can't wait for next year!

Friday, 7 December 2012

We're Supporting Christmas Jumper Day -14th December 2012

Here at Minimum Mouse we love Christmas jumpers. For a number of years we have specialised in finding the coolest, quirkiest, silliest and downright ridiculous festive knits to sell at this time of year. We sell a whole host of amazing vintage jumpers, most of which come from the US (where they do tacky Christmas silliness like no one else!) as well as our range of brand new, retro style Christmas jumpers. So whatever you're looking for, as long as you are ready to be festive to the max, we can find you that jazzy jumper or tacky tank top. Here are some examples-

Which meant that we were very excited when we heard about Save the Children's Christmas Jumper Day. On December 14th, they are aiming to 'make the world better with a sweater'. Save the Children UK do amazing work, helping children around the world beat deadly illnesses and get the basic healthcare that they need. A donation of £100 to Save the Children could provide 50 warm blankets to babies suffering from pneumonia.

So, we wanted to do something to help. From 7th to 14th December we will donate 10% of the sale price of any Christmas jumper that we sell on, on our eBay shop or through our ASOS Marketplace to Save the Children UK.

So if you are still in need of a Christmas knit, take a look at our selection.

Terms and Conditions of this offer-

1. Definition of 'Christmas Jumper' - we define any jumper, cardigan, sweater, tank top or sweatshirt which includes at least one of the following motifs as part of its design- Santa Claus, snowman, sleigh, reindeer, snowflakes, Christmas tree, presents, wreath, holly, stockings, nutcrackers. If you are unsure whether or not the item you are planning to buy qualifies, please email with a link to the item and I will be happy to assist.
2. The donation will be 10% of the sale price of the item, before any postage charges.
3. The donations will be given to Save the Children UK after the 14th December.
4. We cannot guarantee that any Christmas jumpers purchased from the 7th-14th of December will arrive in time for Christmas Jumper Day, our usual postage timescales will apply.
5. Only jumpers purchased through our website, our eBay shop and our ASOS Marketplace account will qualify for the 10% donation, offline purchases will not be included.

If you have any questions at all please email and I will be happy to answer them.

We really hope you'll get involved!
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