3 PR tips you could pick-up from your UPS driver

Thankfully things have moved on since my first days in fashion PR as an intern aka glorified parcel deliverer, but whether you are looking to get into PR or making steps to PR your own brand, there are things you could learn from your UPS driver.

  Map your route to cover more ground with fewer stops

PR is the strategy for your story.  Map out the process and plan your interactions.  Your moves make the story you want people to tell about you and your brand.

Driving in reverse is discouraged

There will be times you find editorial or an opportunity where you or your brand didn’t make the edit or wasn’t even in the running.  Don’t email bomb or call with ideas fitting for a feature that has already been published. Acknowledge it, but don’t dwell on it because that editor or influencer has moved onto their next piece and so should you.

 They deliver some odd things

But you shouldn’t.  When pitching to press –  make it easy, make it engaging, try to put yourself in their position.  Is your product, launch, collaboration relevant for their style and content?  Or is there a unique angle that might work for them if it doesn’t immediately align with what they regularly do?  Avoid odd, but don’t shy away from surprising.

©Photograph Reclaimed Woman

Tossed but not Sunk

Moments of the first half of 2017 brought to mind the Paris motto, Fluctuat nec mergitur, a Latin phrase meaning “Tossed but not sunk.”

At the beginning of the year our boiler broke, whilst having reclaimed wood shelves installed – which turned into a much bigger job as the horrid MDF storage units being replaced turned out to be rather attached. Cutting into the walls, the MDF cupboards finally relented with plenty of plaster to remember us by.  On the positive side, at least we had the entire contents of the living room crammed into our bedroom to avoid the dust and keep us cosy…Who needs central heating. It is however good to be reminded of the things we take for granted. *she types whilst swishing her freshly washed hair, thankful for hot water for evermore*

But all that fades to comparison with the fact my grandad also passed this year.  There is a fine line between how personal one gets online, particularly as I started blogging to share my flat renovation not my family, but one of my grandad John’s sayings seems pertinent.  “It needs a coat of looking at,” he would say.  Therefore, a fair mention for problems relating to life and wall.

I will leave you with my love of the year so far, MyBuilder.com.  You can post a job and find trusted builders and tradesmen in minutes. Plasterer, gas engineer, I almost had them all in one week.

Me in my happy place, Paris  /  Brooklyn Flea Market

©Photographs Reclaimed Woman

Conscious Consumer

I couldn’t resist Randy’s Reproductive System Sweater from Rachel Antonoff for World Population Day with a portion of the proceeds being donated to Planned Parenthood (even if it is harder to get your hands on in the UK)

Barocco handcraft pieces like these Wishbone earrings using ancient casting techniques and work with Fair Trade and recycled metals. Shop at Gather & See

ZAO organic eyeshadow in Pearly Old Pink Beautifully Organic

Vegan note pad with 100% recycled nylon lining Matt & Nat

Fair & true orange skirt from Fashion-Conscience.com

Stella McCartney faux-leather loafers MatchesFashion.com

Are you ready for your bathroom reno?

Think you are ready for your renovation project, then prepare to neglect your usual e-com candy for sites like Broken Bog.

My daily scroll of choice was Style.com when I started planning my flat renovation, which has since been discontinued as Condé Nast partner with Farfetch for a firmer future in content plus commerce.  At least anyone with a bathroom to restore can rest easy with Broken Bog – the destination for discontinued, vintage or retro British-made bathroom ware.

My renovation started when I was woken one night to the sound of my great grandmother’s Deco vase smashing on my bathroom floor.  A few tears, shards of blue glass and the discovery that the vase had also broken my toilet cistern lid spurred me into action.  I sourced a replacement from Broken Bog, but chose pink instead of a direct copy of my old white lid.

The team is really helpful, so call or visit their warehouse in Surrey Hills if you have any questions about your bathroom.

I first got the idea of a mix ‘n’ match bathroom in the ladies at the Ace Hotel in East London (as you do), where  I also discovered Bemis toilet seats.  One of these will be my next purchase from Broken Bog.  What do you think, should we go Coral Pink, Sky Blue, Indian Ivory or Black?

Salvo is another great resource with preloved and period pieces from salvage and antique dealers.  You can also register free and send a Want notification to  their database if you’re after something specific.  Here’s some bathroom renovation inspiration with stock on Salvo.

Hot and Cold taps (and an Edwardian roll top bath) from a private seller

Rare Edwardian cast iron sign Warehouse 701

Radiac Edwardian oak framed shop display cabinet Art Furniture

Art Deco Modernist side table The Rub Antique

Royal Venton Ware corner cut loo Abergavenny Reclamation

Pink Art Deco basin  The Architectural Forum

Bathtub sofa upholstered with cushions made from vintage Welsh quilts Russell Wood Antiques

All listed on Salvo

©Photographs Reclaimed Woman and courtesy of Broken Bog and Salvo

 

Colour analysis for a confident conscious wardrobe

Wardrobe dilemma – It’s summer and all I want to do is break out playful printed dresses when our British climate plays ball, but switching between boots and sandals, bohemian dresses and woolies doesn’t make my winter white skin feel ready.

Wardrobe solution – The unpredictable climate doesn’t mean you can’t have confidence when swapping between seasons, if you know the colours that suit you.  I just had my colours analysed and it turns out I am Spring.  I know what you’re thinking, sounds dated.  Like a service suited to a generation that hasn’t grown-up with wardrobe apps and WhatsApp to share fitting room try-ons with fashion friends.  But I cannot recommend Adonica Simmons, who analysed my colours highly enough. 

I am undergoing a wardrobe detox, but as a woman that has worked in the fashion industry for years, I thought the only lessons yet to learn were about making more ethical-conscious choices.  

It’s a stereotype, but it’s true that most style-conscious women, particularly in fashion PR come clad in black, navy and grey (excluding the obligatory colourful bag and/or fun phone case).   So I particularly recommend colour analysis for fashion women, that yes, know the style rules, but perhaps not the confidence building colours that personally apply for them.  

Adonica Simmons is founder of Global Style Services, which helps women and men save time and money, by refreshing their existing wardrobe in a myriad of ways.  It’s said that 3 out of 5 items of clothing purchased end up in landfill or incineration within the same 12 months, so I can’t think of a better service if it helps us find more fulfilment from the fashion we buy.

I met Adonica as a fellow styling volunteer for Smart Works Charity and like me, she left her corporate job to start her own business.

“Many years as a professional woman in the IT world taught me that the daily task of getting dressed should not be underestimated as it has a direct impact on how you feel and perform, as well as how others engage and respond to you.” – Adonica of GSS

Colour analysis is the difference between compliments like, wow I love that outfit, to wow, you look well.  After applying what I learnt from Adonica, 2 people in the space of 2 weeks complimented me on my teeth.  They’re not that great, I am after all still British, but with better knowledge about which shade of red suits my skin.

Check out my conscious shopping edit below for Spring women like me and see Global Style Services for your own colour analysis, personal styling and more.

Dress Beautiful Soul London

Kosas lipstick in shade Thrillest from  Revolve

LA based organic cotton underwear brand Pansy  – high on my list to shop when I can try before I buy.  See here for global stockists

Peggy-Sue bamboo socks Thought

Vegan Hologram Daphne espadrilles Beyond Skin

12 discoveries from Salvo Fair for a sustainable luxury life

Dip into Deco bathrooms 

Resurfaced roll top baths, Deco bathroom suites, Belfast and Butler sinks.  With so much salvaged sanitary ware out there, it is not necessary to buy new.  Look to salvage dealers like Mongers that supply reconditioned taps too.

Mongers Architectural Salvage

 Period old things from playful young things 

  

Standing tall, Matt Dixon of Tallboy Interiors and Buster below, part of the Vagabond Antiques family.  Both businesses won a free Salvo stand in the Antiques Young Guns competition – a support network for people under 39 working in the antiques industry.

These dealers are changing the stuffy image of antiques and getting playful with period pieces. What could be more sustainable than buying furniture built to last, and reused over-and-over again?

Tallboy Interiors  /  Vagabond Antiques

 Ethical eating and drinking at Silo with Old Tree Brewery 

Zero waste restaurant, Silo chef Douglas McMaster’s mission is always the first thing critics note. The taste however, is just as mind-blowing.  V for veggie, I ordered the contemporary calzone filled with curried plant-based goodness in the Silo at Salvo pop up.  Washed down with Kombucha from Old Tree Brewery, a social enterprise that combines brewing and gardening to make nourishing, delicious drinks.

They supply ethical restaurants like Silo in Brighton, where Old Tree also run their Brewhouse Café.  And if you’re nowhere near Brighton, you can buy their drinks online.

I sampled their Sencha green tea Kombucha, which is both earthy and energising and packed with probiotics.

Silo  /  Old Tree Brewery

 Time for change with Clock Props

I haven’t worn a watch since I was a teenager. Perhaps because I grew up with a phone to tell me the time, but I fell for this Salvo Fair stand of clocks.

With a collection of over 500 clocks, a visit to Clock Props’ showroom back in London is high on my to-see list.   Buy or hire. They probably have the largest selection of clocks in the UK, and they are a go-to for interior and set designers.

Clock Props

  Mahala and Roomi Apparel 

I’ve been banging on about ethical homeware and accessories brand Mahala for a while and I finally got my hands on one of the signature bags made of old military canvas and British saddlery leather.  I must however leave room to mention Roomi Apparel.  Designed by the talented husband of Emily Griffin, the woman behind Mahala, Roomi Apparel is a new unisex brand made in East London.  Colourful coats on the left hand rail below suited both the tall men and petite women that tried them.   One sustainable size fits all.

Stocked at Mahala, follow Roomi Apparel on Instagram  here

  The real deal in retro arm candy 

I’m a shoe woman, but exhibitors in my Fair Fashion pop up converted me into a bag lady.  I rarely buy bags, but Salvo Fair had me spending on salvaged and vintage arm candy including this ’50s Corde bag with rare lucite handles.

Bag from Mary Jones Vintage worn with my ’70s jumpsuit from Snooper’s Attic, Snooper’s Paradise, 7-8 Kensington Gardens, Brighton. 

 Conscious shopping with Chris Holmes Antiques 

Also a bag of sorts… this French antique hod from Avignon was worn on grape pickers’ backs in the ’20s.  Hand painted with Chateau Neuf Du-Pape – until the 14th Century the Pope resided in Avignon and this is the crest representing his vineyard.

We thought it would make a special statement piece in our patio that could double as an ice bucket for parties!  I’ll be revealing more of my flat and the reclaimed renovation project soon.

Chris Holmes Antiques

 Grand Clearance Auctions

Fresh from the fair field, exhibitor Insitu is organising a clearance auction in Manchester on Saturday 8th – Sunday 9th July 2017.  Clearing stock ready for the final stage of renovations to their Italianate style Grade II listed Victorian building.  Auctions are a great place to pick up rare pieces at good prices.

Insitu  /  find future auctions on Salvo

 Vintage furniture house Metroretro  

Saxon of Metroretro dressed London’s Sky Garden with his bespoke collection of reclaimed furniture and this weekend he dressed the Silo at Salvo pop up restaurant.  Also a regular at Modern Shows, look out for Metroretro with mid-mod and industrial pieces at Midcentury East on Sunday 15th October 2017.

Metroretro  /  Midcentury East

 

  The all-electric pollution free supercar 

EVision Supercars is the first UK chauffeur-driven car hire service that chauffeur in London with a nationwide fleet that exclusively comprises of all-electric, Tesla.

A conscious alternative for a luxurious airport transfer or a special event (the white gullwing Model X is popular for weddings).

They also offer self-drive hire so you can experience electric as the new car era ushers in.

EVision

©photographs Reclaimed Woman

 

Divorce lawyer to dealer in rare Dior

Julia Jones put the Jones in Mary Jones Vintage, a divorce lawyer that sources and sells vintage fashion.  Based in Liverpool, stocked in Liberty of London and preparing for her first Salvo Fair in my Fair Fashion pop up, which opens in Henley tomorrow (23rd until the 25th June 2017).

I caught up with Julia before she exhibits her vintage finds for women and men, including a rare collection of Christian Dior hats.  Kind of a genius business plan… who doesn’t want Dior after a divorce???

How did you get your start in vintage fashion?

I am a divorce lawyer by trade but have always loved fashion and bought and sold designer clothing on EBAY and the like. Some years ago a friend, Mary, approached me as she had been left an estate of vintage clothes which was too much for her to manage. I fell in love with vintage and Mary Jones Vintage was born. Mary retired a few years ago and I, as the Jones, carried on.

What should we look for from Mary Jones Vintage at SALVO 2017?

Passion for vintage! I hand pick all of the items I sell and pride myself on doing them justice in my display. I want to give these items a new life.

This is a sneak peak of my favourite piece on Julia’s Salvo stand so far.  A 1970s Gina Fratini maxi dress. 

Is there a trend in the pieces you are currently sourcing?  

In Liverpool at the moment vintage Kaftans and Kimonos are big. Vintage fur is always sought after, but generally people are looking for that unique piece that no one else has.

Do you find it hard to part with things once sold?  Does a single piece stand out as the one that got away?

I am terrible for trying not to sell things. Because these items often have a history it is hard to part with them. I bought an Edwardian French crystal hair slide from a car boot sale a few years ago. It was exquisite. At that time I was doing some dressage to music on my horse and I sewed it into her tail as our music was Diamonds are a girls best friend.  We won the competition but I forgot to take the slide out of her tail and she merrily galloped off into the muddy field with it on! Panic ensued but, after hours of searching, we did find it again. I subsequently sold it  and  have regretted it ever since.

What are the dos and don’ts people should be aware of when shopping for vintage fashion?

Do buy what you like. Don’t let anyone tell you, you look like your Granny in it.

What do you think of the eco-friendly side of buying reloved pieces? 

I think this is particularly pertinent to vintage fur. I only sell vintage fur and believe very strongly that the quality of the fur and the standard of the craftsmanship was far higher. There is so much vintage fur available that there is no need to buy new.

If you buy carefully, vintage pieces can last a lifetime and cost a fraction of the price of lesser quality designer items.

How does wearing vintage fashion personally make you feel?

I am  what is commonly known as a “fuller filly” so I struggle to get into most of the dresses. However I do indulge myself with hats, bags and jewellery!

See salvofair.com for more details and join me for a dose of Fair Fashion, the antidote to fast fashion festival style. 

Follow Mary Jones Vintage on Instagram

©photographs Reclaimed Woman & courtesy of Mary Jones Vintage