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Putting a Face to the Tweets!…

9 Jun

While the sun is out I thought I would sit outside of a cafe in Exmouth Market before I head to the Mudpie seminar to tell you about my latest vintage find!

exmouth market

I first found out about Harry Smiles when the owners contacted me via Twitter, over a certain ‘Tweet’ regarding sandblasted jeans.

After exchanging a number of messages I thought, while I’m in London I’ll check out this new vintage store.

Harry Smiles is a vintage store with a difference…

Both originally from Australia, owners Kelly and Emma came to a turning point in their careers at the same time. Coincidentally they found that they had similar ambitions, prompting them to go into business together!

harry smiles vintage

Through painstakingly extensive research into the market place the girls found a gap in the market that they felt confident they could occupy.

“We felt vintage could at times be confusing, daunting and feel a little exclusive.”

They feel flea markets and jumble sales can be difficult to purchase from as it’s impossible to know if something will fit and it’s rare you are able to try things on.

Kelly and Emma also state that many vintage shops can make people feel uncomfortable if they don’t already look the part. Products are displayed by category e.g. dresses, shirts & shoes, so It’s hard to see what goes together unless you have an eye for it. 

This isn’t the case at Harry Smiles, where things are categorised into different trends or looks such as ‘Festival Frolick’ and ‘Cowboy Chic’.

harry smiles vintage
harry smiles vintage

Harry Smiles has collaborated with Ruth from Superstyling style consultancy, who is on-hand to offer styling advice for people unsure of vintage. This reminds me of my concept for ‘Covet’, my dissertation business plan, and re-affirms that I have a viable business idea!

 “We want to make vintage more accessible by offering high quality products and services at an affordable price. We want to give people the confidence to embrace vintage. To provide a stylist to help them understand what suits their body shape and style. Offer group sessions to put the fun into exploring vintage with friends and give advice and tips on how to use vintage.
Our aim is to turn a little bit of vintage fun into everyday style and for vintage to be at the forefront of the mind in future purchase consideration.”

harry smiles vintage

What else makes Harry Smiles special is the concept of the store. Harry Smiles is involved with Meanwhile Space, a community interest company working to activate vacant property and sites with uses that benefit the community, while something else is waiting to happen.

The idea is the girls will stay in their current unit (an ex-Subway!!) for a month, then move to a new unit, creating a pop-up shop frenzy!
This seems like a great way to develop  a loyal customer base who will follow them wherever they go!

harry smiles vintage

I was already VERY intrigued at this point, then Kelly starts telling me some of the tales behind the garments they have in store…

The cute dress is from the 1940s and has unusual side hook and eye fastenings!

This jacket is fully reversible. It belonged to a German lady who escaped the australia during the war. this was the first item of clothing she had made after leaving all of her belongings behind!

harry smiles vintage

This beautiful handmade 1950s dress and matching jacket was the graduation piece of a fashion designer. The inside label reads 'Miss Mitzou'.

Kelly and Emma really see to know what they are doing when it comes to community spirit too! Tonight they are hosting a craft workshop which I am very tempted to come back for before I catch my train back to Birmingham!

Anyway, off to the seminar for some new fashion!…

Tweet Back at Ya!

2 Jun

Last night I had a good response from London vintage retailer Harry Smiles on my Tweet about the Killer Jeans campaign!

Here’s what happened…

It’s great that people are noticing the campaign and are concerned by the cause!

However, my opinon is that vintage clothing is already the purist form of ethical clothing. it has already been made and it is being reused.

Plus, old fashioned methods of making clothing were alot more ethical, with alot of garments being made by hand in the the country where they were sold.

My opinion on fur and other skins is true for the same reasons. It’s already been used, and by buying vintage fure, leather, or other skins you are prolonging the life of that garment as opposed to buying a new, mass produced coat/bag/pair of shoes/hat etc that ultimately won’t last as long!

On another note, feel free to follow me on Twitter, that is if you haven’t had enough of my ramblings here!! @Tweet_Dolly

Killer Tweets!

1 Jun

Facebook is already awash with pics and posts about Killer Jeans and Diesel have already responded to all the comments, saying that they’re putting a ban into effect as of now (they had originally told us they would keep sandblasting until summer 2012).

Today the campaign is taking on Twitter!

Day 3 Action:

Today’s action is to create a storm on twitter by messaging @dolcegabbana @ARMANIdotcom to ask the Killer Question.

Here’s me in action:

“Fact of the Day: Jeans with the faded or worn out look achieved by sandblasting often retail for as much as 180% of the price of an untreated pair of jeans.

I wonder what Labour Behind the Label will have in store for me tomorrow!!

Asking the Killer Question

31 May

It is day two of the campaign against sandblasting jeans lead by Labour Behind the Label.

Today my mission is again, using Facebook to raise the issue of Killer Jeans with three top luxury fashion brands who are yet to ban or illiminate sandblasting from their supply chains!

Looks like I’m not the only one!

“Fact of the Day: Over 50 fatalities from Silicosis in turkey have been directly link to denim sandblasting.

Taking Action!!

30 May

Campaigners around the country are taking action this week to tell the fashion industry that sandblasting kills, and it MUST BE BANNED.

I am actively supporting the campaign and will receive an email from Labour Behind the Label everyday instructing me on how to act on getting the message across about this brutal and unnecessary method.

Day 1

Tell friends on facebook that you think killer jeans are wrong by making this picture your profile image:


They also encourage you reinforce the picture with a status update!
Here is a screenshot of my Facebook profile taking action today:

If you want to find out about sandblasting and the fatal effects of distressed denim on workers, click this link www.killerjeans.org.

Fact of the Day: Sandblasting is one of more than 5 techniques that can be used to distress denim, but it is often over 5 times cheaper than its alternatives.”

Entrepreneurial Spirit…

25 May

I’ve just got home from a fantastic new event held at Urban Coffee Company on Church Street in Birmingham.

The Birmingham Entrepreneur Meetup group is held on a monthly basis and allows you to network with local entrepreneurs, and other people who want to start their own business, over a friendly cup of coffee.

As I am currently looking into starting my own business I thought this was the perfect opportunity to get some advice, talk to people who have been in my situation and pick up some useful contacts! It’s also a chance for me to hand out some of my brand new business cards!!

The group was small and a broad mix of people to say the least.

I spoke to a number of people there, which helped me realise that I wasn’t the only one who wasn’t currently running a business, which put me at ease!I quickly got chatting to Rickie, who incidentally is the organiser of the group. I realised I was definitely chatting with the right person as Rickie told me about an exciting new vintage fair she is organising in Birmingham!

‘Birmingham Vintage’ is a vintage fair with a difference, as the nostalgic mood will be elevated with a 1970s theme throughout with live music, refreshments and a great mixture of stalls including homeware, clothing, art, crafts and hair and makeup sessions.

The fair is being held on Saturday 25th June at Stan’s Cafe in the creative hub which is the Jewellery Quarter.

It was lovely to meet Rickie and talk about vintage in a more business sense. I am definitely going to hold a stall at the fair and start spreading the word about my business and myself (so come down and see me).

Better get some stock!!

All in all the meetup was a great night and a fab idea, I’ll be back for the next one! Plus, the artists at Urban Coffee made my cappuccino look like a bear!

Professional Me!

23 May

My business cards came in the post today!

I designed them myself and added a spot of colour to make them noticeable and attractive!

Front

Back

Matching nail polish!

I can use them at Graduate Fashion Week and the BIAD show, and I’ll be keeping some in my purse incase I ever run into Vivienne Westwood (as I so often do!)

I am actually going to an ‘entrepreneur meetup’ in a couple of days; where local business owners and people wanting to start up their own business can meet up to talk shop. So I am hoping these will be very useful!

Knit-Wit!

18 May

I have recently taken up knitting. My good friend Sarah and I have already been to a couple of knitting groups, Stitches & Hos at Hare & Hounds pub in Kings Heath, as well as Urban Coffee Company.




Going to the knitting groups is also a great way to meet new people. There’s nothing to worry about as you already have a common interest and everyone is also there to socialise!

When I feel like doing some extra work on my knitting practise I also look to the internet as there are thousands of tutorials, such as this one, available on You Tube…

And what’s even better are the proven health benefits of knitting!

Did you know, that the repetitive actions used when knitting can bring the mind and body to a state called a “relaxation response” that is quite similar to what people experience during prayer, yoga, meditation, Tai Chi, and other relaxation disciplines.

Also, research at Harvard Medical School Mind/Body Institute found that when someone is knitting her heart rate can drop 11 beats a minute and her blood pressure drops as well. These results can have significant health benefits for people who knit.

It is also a great way to stimulate the mind and escape from the hustle and bustle of my usual everyday life, by focussing on knitting.

Finally, being a creative person, it encourages me to make something, as I feel the more I knit, I am getting closer to creating a garment.

Here are some great pictures of knitting that I can but aspire to at the moment…



Blogging Etiquette…

9 May

This morning’s lecture at uni’ was hosted by Chris Unitt who, among other things, set up Created in Birmingham, a promotional platform for Birmingham’s creative community.

This began life as a blog in 2006 with two aims:

  1. To find out what’s going on around Birmingham and promote it
  2. To show that blogging is a simple and effective way of engaging with audiences online

And this was also the aim of Chris’ informative lecture.

He explained the many reasons people use social media including, not just blogs, but Facebook, You Tube, Twitter, Tumblr… the list is now endless as this has become a very effective and popular way of self-promotion.

Chris also brought to our attention the fact that prospective employers or customers will “Google” people’s names to find as much information about them as possible!

It definately taught me the many ways I can expand on my use of social media both in the near and distant future.

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