Wednesday was such fun! Dieneke runs an organisation called Hidden Art, turning passion into products by providing advice and support to designers, plus an online shop to sell their lovely products. We met a couple of years ago in the oxygen chamber and have attended exhibitions together in trendy galleries across London. She invited me to be the prize in a competition for 800 designers nationwide!! Three ‘lucky winners’ got to spend an hour one-to-one learning how to boost their business using social media. Their prize also included an hour with Mark, my accountant who mentors in business strategy and realistic growth for small businesses, especially fashion and creative people.
We met some fantastic designers! Barley describes herself as a textile designer maker, upcycler, craftivist and textile teacher. She’s the founder of Fabrications, a gallery, shop and design studio based in Hackney. Mark Finzel is a surface designer, creating fantastic wall coverings, flooring and furnishings which reminded me a bit of William Morris on acid. Fiona’s company has the engaging name Emerald Faerie –she creates contemporary lighting: beautiful chandeliers and, to attract a wider customer base, jewellery. The feedback was excellent, which was just as well as it wouldn’t have been a good prize if they hadn’t benefitted.
So from one prize to the next… Leaving Hidden Art in a fine mist of rain, Mark (accountant, not designer) and I travelled on a filthy overground train, then tube, in a floor-sweeping, black and silver sparkly evening gown (me, not him). At our most iconic landmark, the Tower of London, we celebrated Mark and his colleague Joe’s successes in the British Accountancy Awards. I do sometimes joke about accountants being boring but these ones are not and we had fun, champagne and a very delicious dinner. Entertainment was provided by Miles Jupp, a hysterical comedian and actor that I’d never encountered before but will look out for in future.
In case you’re wondering, I was invited along because I’d successfully completed the award applications on their behalf, a feat that requires plain English, linguistic and marketing skills; it wasn’t because of my proficiency with a calculator – although I was in the top set for maths at school, where Gill and I spent many happy hours playing hangman instead of listening to the teacher, who she fancied.
I missed a lot of school. Working in the market on Thursdays meant I never did the double maths lesson or the dreaded PE; and having a stomach ache every Tuesday for five years got me out of double French, biology and whatever else I didn’t like in those days. My next door neighbour Angie also had a stomach ache every Tuesday so we made ourselves feel better by dancing around our homes to 70’s pop or sneaking off for day trips to Carnaby Street. She moved to Ireland years ago (with real emerald fairies), but popped over yesterday for a fun afternoon with pink wine and onion rings. She’s on the plane flying home as I write this – see you again soon!!
So with the winning streak in mind… ‘Never could believe the things you do to me, never could believe the way you are. Every day I bless the day that you got through to me, ’cause baby, I believe that you’re a star.’ Very nicely said, Mr Brown. If you fancy winning a business award, find out more about my copywriting award winning service – ask me here: @WeekendWitch.