With blossom on the trees and Spring fast approaching, we’ve put together a list of must have items that are perfect for injecting on-trend colour into your wardrobe this season. So clean out that clutter and update your everyday essentials to bold neons and eye-catching pastels for a cool, summer ready look. -GLx
Sophie Hulme Mini Zip Top Bowling Bag in Chartreuse:
Tom Binns Multi Coloured Asymmetric Crystal Necklace:
Matthew Williamson Kahlo Tribal Mini Shoulder Bag in Neon Fuchsia:
Italia Independent Aviator Sunglasses in Neon Green:
We sat down with the young and inspirational designers Lauren Skerritt and Poppy Sexton-Wainwright from new lingerie kid on the block Beautiful Bottoms to catch up on young women in business going it alone. -GLx
Tell us a little about yourselves and your company Beautiful Bottoms? How did it come into being?
We were studying at Newcastle University, and we decided to create Beautiful Bottoms as a result of a module involving an entrepreneurial business plan. By the time we left Newcastle we were just excited to be able to focus full time on BB.
What did you both take at University that lead you into your field, and eventually to become entrepreneurs? Or are you self taught?
We both studied Marketing and Management, and as I explain above some of our skills learnt at Newcastle helped us… the marketing and accounting side of our course has certainly come into use. But the majority of the way through we have self taught ourselves, a lot of trial and error, and a lot of advice from people along the way.
Has it been difficult launching a start-up company at such a young age? What are the best and worst parts about running your own business?
It has certainly been challenging, but it has also been incredibly rewarding – it is nice to know that all the hard work is actually going on something you feel very passionate about and believe in.
Having had very little experience of working within a fashion company I would say was, and still is to an extent our biggest challenge. However, it also has its benefits as we have created our own practices that suit us and work well.
What is it like running a business with a close friend?
It is extremely lucky I would say, to be able to work in an environment day in day out with someone that you understand and click with. To also be on the same wave length with someone who you work with in such close proximity and travel with a lot is very handy – especially when sharing hotel rooms and being at trade shows for hours on end.
What advice would you give to other people launching their own companies?
I would advise perhaps to gain some industry experience before embarking on your own launch – I think that this would have made our lives considerably easier. However we have got there in the end… or at least we are well on our way!
What are the inspirations behind your latest collections?
The SS14 collection is the most exciting collection to date with the beachwear launch. Each piece in the collection pays tribute to the seasons key prints and colours drawn from the Moroccan Mirage; bold botanics, abstract aztec, intricate plumes in a mixture of pop pinks, acid lemons and vivid tangerines. Poppy and I are huge fans of Morocco and wanted to create a collection which reflected the magnificent colour palette!
Tell us about your favourite pieces? What is it you love about them?
My favourite would have to be the Neon Aztec Bandeau Bikini Set. It’s super striking and such a flattering fit. The neon playsuit is also going in the Summer Holiday wardrobe – it is the perfect pool side coverup in a soft slouchy fit.
Where do you source your materials from? Where are your clothes manufactured?
Poppy and I design all our prints in our London Studio. A huge amount of thought and time goes into the design process to ensure there is a print for everyone! We work with china for the silk printing and manufacturing. Their silks are beautiful! We sand wash all our silks to make them as soft as possible!
What is the most exciting thing that has happened to Beautiful Bottoms so far?
When we launched the brand in Selfridges this was a very happy moment! Seeing the brand in British Vogue last December was great too and also when a celebrity buys the brand this is very exciting!
What are both of your dreams and aspirations for the company?
We would love for Beautiful Bottoms to be sold in the top luxury retailers worldwide and become a destination for the best in printed silk lingerie, lounge and beachwear. We would love every girl to have a Beautiful Bottoms piece in their summer holiday wardrobe!
Describe your perfect customer? What type of girls wear your clothes?
Relaxed, happy, fashion-forward!
Celebrity favourite jewellery designer Sydney Evan has just landed at Gift Library! From glittering diamond stacking rings to statement ‘taken’ necklaces, her delicate jewellery is dainty yet eye-catching, and can easily be mixed and matched with other similar designs for a cool, laid back look that will take you from day to night seamlessly. -GLx
This week we sat down with one of our favourite jewellery designers Bex Rox to discuss the challenges of launching your own company, the inspirations behind her coveted collections and her hardworking and eventful road to success. -GLx
Tell us a little about yourself and your company Bex Rox London? How did it come into being?
I was born and raised in Menorca. I started my career as a fashion assistant in New York working for publications such as French Vogue and W Magazine.
I taught myself to make jewellery following a desire to be able to fulfil the requests from the stylists I worked for to source pieces of jewellery that they were unable to find or felt did not currently exist in the market. It was here the idea of a jewellery label was born.
What are your inspirations behind your collections? (In particular the Frida Collection)
My collections are mainly inspired by my travels, I travelled for 3 years across South East Asia, South America and Australasia living and working with tribes where I picked up various traditional hand crafted techniques. The Frida Collection came about from my Spanish roots and a recent trip to Mexico – the concept was the Spanish bull versus the Mexican with a tongue in cheek aspect. I used the rattle of the ball chain and the strong vibrant colours of the cord to create a strong, statement look.
Tell us about a favourite piece you have created?
The seahorse necklace is one of my original designs that was created when I first started Bex Rox. I took my mother on a production trip to Thailand, I unfortunately got quite ill and went to see a naturaph that crushed and dried a mini seahorse into powder, mixed it with water and made me drink it. I was better within 2 days, kept a seahorse and cast it. It is the symbol of Strength, Power and Protection.
Where is your jewellery manufactured? Where do you source your materials from?
Bex Rox is manufactured in Spain, Italy and Asia depending on the product. Each piece is hand crafted by fine jewellers’ hands and the materials are all developed from scratch.
What has been the most exciting moment for Bex Rox so far?
The most exciting moment at present for Bex Rox is our new collaboration with Crea Africa, supporting local communities in Kenya to create a luxury ethical collection which was launched on the 14th February just in time for London Fashion Week.
What’s the best part about running your own business?
The best part of running a business is seeing your creations unfold and seeing clients cherishing your designs.
What are your dreams and aspirations for the company?
To create a sustainable lifestyle brand that is a statement of the era. Working with Women’s communities around the globe to create luxury pieces and keep traditional techniques alive.
What fashion trends are you following right now? Where or who do you go to for inspiration?
I wouldn’t say we are following fashion trends but we are about to launch our Africa Collection – SS14 is all about the Modern Tribal aesthetic which is the key trend of the season.
Describe the Bex Rox girl?
Strong, confident, dynamic, playful and not scared to be herself.
Who wears your jewellery?
Cara Delevigne, Suki Waterhouse, Alexa Chung and Madonna are some of my favourite celebrities who wear Bex Rox regularly.
What advice would you give others who are launching their own company?
Stay positive, keep going and stick to your vision.
We had such a great time exploring Somerset House for London Fashion Week this week, and can’t resist sharing a snap or two. From a fabulous lunch with Rafaela Van der Heyden, to visits with our favourite PJ designer Olivia Von Halle and shameless oogling at London’s latest fashion victims – it’s certainly been a busy week! And how chic does Mr. Mark Vandelli look?! -GLx
Dreamed up by two busy working mothers Abi Reiss and Gemma Steinberg, Violet Pearl is a collection of luxurious candles, comprising 6 heavenly scents that are named after their love for iconic new wave films of the 1990’s. Launched in London in December 2013, each candle has been made in England by esteemed candle makers, with 100% natural ingredients. Both headstrong business women with strong creative backgrounds and an obsession for all things beautiful, Abi is a fashion designer turned florist, and Gemma owns her own home and gifting company Rose and Grace.
We sat down with them to discuss the launch of their exciting new company, and what they hope the future holds for Violet Pearl London. –GLx
Check out their beautiful candles here.
Tell us a little bit about yourselves.
Gemma: We have been friends for a long time – we first met at Manchester University back in the 90’s where we bonded over our love for film. After graduation we went separate ways, both got married and had children, Abi became a florist, and I have an online business called Rose & Grace where I sell gifts. We recently got chatting over a bottle of wine, and decided we’d love to start a project together. We knew that with our existing businesses we didn’t want to join forces so we decided to launch a whole new company together, and Violet pearl was born.
Abi: We thought starting with candles was a great way to begin and test the market, though it is not necessarily our goal – we eventually want to start a lifestyle brand similar to Jo Malone. We’re still so new right now, we only launched four weeks ago (December 2013), and I had a baby just over a month ago so everything’s been extremely hectic but also very exciting. We managed to secure corporate Christmas gifting for the Everyman Group within a couple of weeks of our launch so we’re very proud of that.
You’ve obviously got quite a unique selling point when it comes to candles – what gave you the inspiration to combine them with film?
Abi: We’re well aware the candle business is quite a saturated market, and we decided that we wanted to have a point of difference. A candle is a candle, we’re not trying to reinvent the wheel, so we wanted something that would allow us to stand out from the crowd. This is where our love for cinema came in – we used to go to the movies all the time together, which gave us the idea to call them after our favourite films. We met in the 90’s, and this decade’s style is becoming a major fashion inspiration worldwide. We brainstormed our favourite films from the 90’s and decided to base our first collection on them.
How would you compare yourself with other similar brands?
Gemma: We wanted to come in with a price of £28 for a candle, which is very competitive compared to other brands – it’s affordable luxury. This is very important to us, they still come with their own black and violet tipped matches, they’re packaged beautifully and wrapped in our signature tissue paper.
Did you choose the candle scents in accordance to the films?
Gemma: We did – Boogie Nights needed to have a masculine scent, and for our best seller, True Romance, we wanted to go with something more sensual, floral and strong, something that evokes passion. We love our film collection but there are endless possibilities for our next collections – we also have ideas to do paintings, songs and musicians.
Abi: We might also make little cult capsule collections for Halloween horror films, or James Bond films, as well as holiday collections such as Mother’s Day, which is coming up. We want to treat the brand like a fashion collection, so that each candle can have its own identity and print.
Do you have plans to do anything Oscar related?
Gemma: Moving forward our dream would be to get our candles in the goodie bags! But as we’re such a new company it’s baby steps right now – we’ve got lots of ideas in the pipeline.
Where do you source all of your materials from?
Abi: Everything is all 100% natural, eco friendly and sourced and made in the UK, which is very important to us.
What’s your favourite part of having your own business and launching this together?
Abi: Personally going from working alone as a florist and doing everything solo, to then having the opportunity to work with a friend has been great – we work very well together, and have such a laugh.
Gemma: I’ve also gained so much satisfaction from creating something from scratch, and we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished so far by building our own brand from the ground up.
What advice would you give to others who are launching a company with a friend?
Abi: Lay your cards out on the table straight away, and always be open and honest with one another. Although you’re friends you’re also business partners, so you can’t be afraid to tell each other if you do or don’t like something – it’s so important to speak up straight away and address any issues as early as possible.
What are your dreams and aspirations for the company?
Gemma: We want to grow into a successful worldwide brand!
Abi: We want to expand our company to also include diffusers, hand lotions and body creams, but we’ll stay with our arts theme as want to keep that creative side of the business going – so watch this space!
The lovely Lily Fortescue, owner of the dreamy Cheek Frills underwear line came into Gift Library HQ for a meeting this morning – so naturally an impromptu photo shoot ensued. Who doesn’t work for Caroline Stanbury these days?! -GLx
It’s a hectic day for photoshoots at Gift Library today, but the star of the show is undoubtedly Caroline’s dog Buster the Frenchie! We can’t get enough of him! -GLx
From everybody on the Gift Library team, we wish you all a very happy 2014! Don’t forget to check out our exciting sale, with up to 50% off everything from jewellery to cashmere and toys to gadgets – you won’t want to miss it! -GLx
Make your Christmas spread extra special with our Bespoke Gift Library Crackers! Available in silver or gold, this luxurious set of 6 crackers are filled with an array of exciting presents that will put even Father Christmas to shame! -GLx