quincylampshades

Posts Tagged ‘lampshade

Pah! So June is supposed to be flaming? Flaming dismal more like. I wanted to lift the spirits of my lovely Likers on Facebook by giving everyone a chance to win a June Song Tea Lampshade… if you support me here on my blog, Like my Facebook page too for the chance to win. Good luck and keep smiling! (PS – Giveaway closes midnight 30 June 2012.)

Errors. I make them. My mistakes make my heart clang, my face burn red and my knees go wobbly. Thus my state when I discovered that shipping a shade to Canada was going to leave me quite a bit out of pocket. In the early days I haphazardly guessed International Shipping Rates on Bouf thinking I would never be shipping abroad. Wrong. Shipping to Canada/USA, Rest of World and Australia/New Zealand is not cheap, especially when boxes have to be generous to allow all that protective packaging. Of course, I honoured the postage and Pink Lace Butterfly is currently making its long journey to Edmonton, Canada. With Bouf’s commission and my mistake I am effectively giving this shade away for free… Hey ho. Lesson learned. Onwards!

Whilst I adore going over to Bath to teach lampshade-making at The Makery and here at my home, I really wanted to bring the course here to my home town of Bristol. Et voila! I will be teaching at the Bristol Folk House on Sat 30th June, 10-1. Be quick – there are 10 places only and it’s extremely good value at just £28.25.

How can you successfully make a lampshade with a 4-year-old boy kicking around?

  1. Postpone interruptions with promises of ‘in a minute’ until child reaches non-stop whining point.
  2. Accept the disturbance and just do/give whatever child wants.
  3. Limit subsequent interruptions by giving them an ‘adult job’.
  4. Take pleasure in child’s imagination and skill.

Voila! One beautiful lampshade and one happy lampshade-maker in the, well, making.

 

The last one of these sold today. I made it at my kitchen table this morning and it was at the post office by this afternoon, ready to begin its overnight journey to a lovely customer in London.

This was a really popular lampshade, especially with parents buying for their children’s rooms. So why did I allow it to sell out? Because, quite simply, I didn’t buy enough of the fabric and it has now gone out of print. In my search for more I found that crafting cottons such as these have ‘seasons’ – they are printed for one season only and are usually in the shops for just one or two years until they sell out. It’s very rare that they are reprinted. Sigh. So, next time I see something I love I’m just going to buy a load of it, then keep my fingers crossed that you guys love it too! Another lesson learned. Wave goodbye to our friend the Owl…

 

Yesterday I visited two trade shows, both at Earls Court London – Top Drawer Spring and Home. Top Drawer showcases design-led gifts, lifestyle and fashion accessories for 2012, whilst Home was all about new homewares and interiors accessories. Both of these huge bright spaces were packed with really exciting stuff – like the bestest, most loveliest shop you have ever, ever seen. Trouble being that, as an individual, you cannot buy! These shows are for retail buyers – people who decide what’s going to be sold in the shops. As an exhibitor you’re there to show off your product and pick up as many orders as you can.

If I hadn’t had a list of people to meet, products to see and a car parking limit, I could have spent a long, long time wandering the aisles. Some booths were small and peppered with a select range of the exhibitor’s products. Other spaces were huge and set out like shops, full to bursting. Each space was brilliantly lit and tendered by the designer-maker themselves or by the brand’s representatives. It was the designer-makers who caught my attention – I recognised the fascination on their faces as they watched the visitors eyeing up their wares. I recognised the nerves, the hard work, the attention they gave to each and every enquiry made  – after all, this person could be placing the big order they went there to get!

I learnt some lessons –

  1. Must get business cards printed and carry them at all times (I introduced myself to some gorgeous fabric designers, including Thornback & Peel and Abigail Borg, but had nothing to give them).
  2. Must be more confident with business/trade/retail terminology (I must know what I am talking about).
  3. Do not attempt a trade show for another few years (I must have absolute confidence in my product, brand, business direction and ability to fulfil orders to stand tall in this very polished environment).
  4. Continue to use social media to follow through with contacts (a Facebook mention, a Like and Twitter follow reminds them of me and keeps me up-to-date with their work).
  5. It’s all in the detail. I will start using 12mm tape for the ring set rolling.

So, best of luck to Caroline from Warbeck and Cox, who I finally had the pleasure of meeting, and who found herself in the ‘Spotted’ section of the show – hurrah! (See our collaboration below.) And Lush Designs, whose work is truly luscious and who was just too busy taking a massive order for me to say hi! Take a look at their stand here.

Drum roll please! The winner of the Manky Lampshade Photo Contest is Hannah, with this sad and sorry picture of a non-lampshade. Hannah worked really hard at getting loads of votes, including changing her Facebook profile pic to her winning photo, plus pledging £10 to Children In Need AND walking down the street with the lampshade on her head if she should win!!! (I expect to see photographic proof soon.) Hannah says ‘Who would have thought you could get so passionate about lampshades!’ Who indeed! Well done Hannah. I know you are going to love your new June Song Tea Standard Lampshade.

Thanks to all those who took part. You have done a grand job in spreading the Quincy Lampshade love by sharing the contest with your family and friends on your networks. It’s all about getting the word out! So thank you!


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