The How to Style Your Brand Book Launch
Last night was the official launch party for How to Style Your Brand in London and we had an absolute ball. Some of my nearest and dearest friends were joined by clients new and old and just generally lovely people who had come from far and wide to celebrate. It really felt like a party, rather than a business networking event which was what I'd really hoped for. So good to see so many people mingling, chatting and sharing stories.
People travelled the length and breadth of the country to be there (as well as Naomi from Amsterdam and Carlotta from Italy) and I was so touched by all the support and good wishes as well as lovely, lovely comments.
Katie Spicer has done a wonderful job capturing these images which I think really sum up the spirit of the event. Thank you Katie, I know all those lights made your job very difficult, these images are stunning!
The wonderful Maddie Hatton produced an incredible spread, inspired by a summer's garden. We had crudités, (homemade!!!) breadsticks and seeded thin crackers with the most delicious guacamole and herbed dips. Maddie also whipped up some amazing tartines (that's bruschetta to you and me) with all manner of lovely toppings. I was mostly too excited to eat those but they went down a storm.
I love working with Maddie, she always has a real eye for detail and her food tastes as good as it looks, if not better! She's great with flavour and everything always tastes so wholesome and good for you.
I was very lucky that my school friend David Parsons, who designed our house and now runs hip architecture firm Selencky Parsons, agreed to DJ for the evening. Together with his business partner Sam they brought boxes full of records and kept the mood light and fun all night. I can remember looking around a packed room at 9pm, with great music blaring, thinking "the party's meant to end now but we are having too much fun". I think the last guests left at around 10pm.
Brixton East is such a great venue. I love the high ceilings, characterful decor and light, airy feel of the space. Andy, the venue manager, is always a pleasure to work with and I can't imagine running events anywhere else now. The gorgeous festoon lights are always at the venue and Andy has some great furniture too but we were really lucky to be able to work with Kate from Vintage Style Hire for the party. Wow!
In through the double doors came sofas, dressing tables and even my signing table and they made such a difference. They looked absolutely beautiful and meant that people could lounge around and chat in comfort. Thank you Kate (and Jonathan) for all your hard work.
Every time we run workshops, one of my favourite elements is always choosing the flowers. I love putting colours together and choosing shapes and together with our fabulous intern, Stephanie Eastwood, we always have fun putting things together. So handing over the responsibility for the flowers to someone else was no easy decision but I'm so glad I did!
I fell in love with Vanessa Birley's natural, wild style and she really did an incredible job with the flowers. We had so many lovely, lovely comments about the room and that's in no small part down to Vanessa's flair and skill. She even came and picked some flowers from my garden to use in the arrangements so the whole thing felt really personal.
We had some really lovely celebratory cocktails served by my mum and Steph, who both worked tirelessly all night - helped along I'm assured by plenty of 'tasters'. Every party has got to have bubbles and as it's May I thought something with elderflower would be nice, so we made an Apple and Elderflower Fizz with lime which was delicious. We also had a Campari Crush with vodka, grapefruit and, of course, campari and also a delicious Gin and Tonic made with Silent Pool Gin which is a delicious blend from my local distillery. The bottles made quite an impact and there's a lovely story behind the brand which I will blog about one of these days...
None of this would have been possible without the lovely people at Hiscox, business insurance for the small and the brave, who have really got behind the book and made this happen. Thank you!
I sort of knew that I wouldn't get through my thank you speech without tears, although I didn't expect quite so many ;-) I'm so touched by the response I've had to the book and the efforts that people went to to be there last night.
It really was a magical evening, one that I will remember for a very long time. I loved meeting so many new faces and also catching up with those that I hadn't seen for a long time, it was so special.
And the whole thing was topped off by having my family there who have been so supportive and encouraging throughout. My son, Jasper, has been so proud of his mum, every day asking me how many books I've sold and where I am on the bestseller list (still number one!!! thank you!!!). I didn't realise he was behind me until I think it all got a bit too much as he leaned on the microphone by mistake and we had an unplanned break!
My lovely friend Clare Yarwood-White was fab! She did a wonderful job selling books and we barely had any to box up at the end which was a lovely and unexpected surprise.
The wonderful Matt Pereira, aka photographer for the book, and I.
What a really special night. I'm now tying up loose ends before half term where I will be taking a lovely, long break in the sunshine! Thank you again for all your support with the book, it's so appreciated.