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9 posts from January 2006

31 January 2006

It's a wrap!

Img_5775_2Anyone who has had the privilege over the last month of receiving a gorgeous gift from mirror mirror (a small, but thankfully growing, elite) may have noticed that our products now come wrapped even more stunningly than before.

We made a decision early on to wrap beautifully everything that we send out - whether it's a gift or not. We wanted people who order from mirror mirror to be really thrilled when they open their box and it's a way that we can differentiate ourselves a little bit from our competition.

I have cursed this decision on many occasions when I've been up to the wee small hours packaging up parcels, but we know from our customer feedback that it's something our customers really appreciate. 

The other slight problem is that I have always been absolutely dreadful at wrapping parcels and however hard I tried the packages often looked like they'd been wrapped by someone with flippers rather than hands.   

All that has now changed thanks to the wonderful Jane Means - the giftwrap guru.  Just after Christmas my friend Emmeline (garden designer extraordinaire) and I treated ourselves to a personal giftwrapping course from Jane.  We had a really fun day and picked up loads of tips and tricks.  Some of them were very obvious to all but me - have sharp scissors, cut your paper properly to size, don't use that slithery silvery paper that doesn't crease, use double-sided sticky tape for a neater finish, tidy up as you go along etc. etc  but others, such as the cellophane technique and the pleating for cylinders technique have been worth their weight in gold, particularly as mirror mirror has so many awkward-shaped objects to wrap.

Anyway, I was so delighted with how my parcels looked over the weekend, that I thought I'd take a photo to show you...

29 January 2006

Backpackers

06476_86Have had to put my usual thrill-a-minute social life on hold (this might be a slight exaggeration - am mother of one-year-old after all) for a weekend of getting organised. 

We're off on a rather crazy week-long trip to Seattle and California on Wednesday and needed to make sure we'd booked hotels, done the washing and bought Boots' entire stock of lavender aromatherapy oils to help the Minx get over her jetlag. 

Apart from yesterday's rather gratifying flurry of orders, the only redeeming feature of the weekend has been using the extremely groovy Backpack project organising software (which you can use free on their website, no need even to download).  It's little more than a glorified To Do list with space for notes, but is more flexible and somehow more gratifying than Outlook.  Anyway, me and my husband have been spent the weekend sitting at our computers merrily amending and re-ordering our immense list and even occasionally ticking things off as done.  How sad. Oh and here's a California Poppy.

28 January 2006

Miss Independent

Independent280106Thrilled to bits today with some fab coverage in The Independent which has meant that we've had one of our best days ever and certainly the best  ever Saturday (which is usually  quite a slow day for us). 

The only downside is that we've already nearly sold out of my lovely eggcups since I only got a few in to see how they would sell and they're proving incredibly popular.  I am officially an idiot.

Bad, bad mummy - part II

In which Lulu goes to nursery and her mummy has a wonderful day pottering gently and photographing new stuff for mirror mirror (including these wonderful new retro-patterned stacking eggcups from young designer Hannah Tofalos which make me feel happy inside).  Eggcups3

Not entirely sure what nursery is doing for Lulu's future sanity, but it sure as hell is doing wonders for mine...

26 January 2006

Bad, bad mummy

Mother_and_childThe Minx started nursery school this month. Two full days a week when I can focus properly on mirror mirror and have a bit of 'me' time.

Well in theory.  I never once dreamed that my self-confident, independently-minded baby would object so strongly to being left in a big room full of fabulous toys, interesting babies and lovely carers. 

Or that she would prefer the company of her frequently distracted and inevitably grumpy mother, who occasionally fits in a bit of absent-minded childcare between urgent emails, urgent phone calls and swearing at the buggy.

But object she does, and each day I've taken her to nursery she tugs at my heart-strings by weeping inconsolably and stretching her arms out for a hug before being carried away by the girls who look after her.

So my glorious, wondrous hours of time to myself come heavily tinged with guilt, even though every time I go to fetch her, I'm told that she's had a wonderful day and has played happily after I've gone.  Today, just to make me feel even worse, she sat in my arms when I collected her, looked around in solemn, somewhat bewildered, and slightly tearful fashion and then, very clearly, said 'mamma'.  For the first time ever. Minx.

25 January 2006

Top Drawer Trends

Stuff I noted at Top Drawer...

SpringColours for Spring/Summer are beautifully clear and bright - coral and candy pinks; turquoises, teals, aquas and clear bluey greens; sunny yellows, lemon yellows; clear apricots and tangerines and touches of lilac

  • White is EVERYWHERE, layered with sugared almond pastels - cream leather bags; pearl and crystal jewellery; crisp white home furnishings
  • Charms in abundance - charm bracelets, charm earrings, charm necklaces, bag charms, mobile phone charms...
  • Metallics STILL around - though now in more muted shades of old gold and bronze.  Silver looks like it's coming in to add even more zing to the fresh colours and tons of white.
  • Ribbons
  • Bold, stylised, but not too abstract, florals
  • Accessories are BIG - literally and figuratively.  Gorgeously bold long necklaces (sadly not at all appropriate for ginormous post-breastfeeding boobs such as my own) and chunky bags.

Loving it all.  Need to shop. 

24 January 2006

Top Drawer

Autumncatalogue_2 Last week I pulled on my extremely filthy and decrepit-looking ugg boots - needed to wear the comfiest footwear possible - and made my way to Top Drawer, the big Spring trade show for high quality fashion accessories, homewares and gifts. 

I was able to leave the Minx with her father on the Monday afternoon so could whizz round about half the show fairly efficiently.  However, the standard was sufficiently high this year that I decided to return again on Tuesday, this time with a grumpy baby girl in tow. Who absolutely hates being in her buggy for any length of time and who had resolutely decided that an afternoon nap was not required.  So I spent a large part of the show carrying a howling and snotty baby on my shoulder, while trying to talk to potential suppliers - the very picture of calm professionalism. Not. Embarrassed apologies once again to all those potential suppliers who had to put up with a shrieking child grabbing at the shiny jewellery on their stands (my daughter is definitely a 'mirror mirror' girl...)

Usually when I go to trade shows I gather all the bumpf together and then don't look at it for several days in order to see which products stick in the mind and which I therefore MUST have.  This past week I seem to have been thinking most about the gorgeous bags and small leather items from Angel Jackson and stunning crystal earrings from Darling It's Perfect (just loving that name), so really hoping to be able to get them on the site soon.

The above pictures are from the Angel Jackson website and in no way represent what I looked like while walking round Top Drawer.  Sadly.

23 January 2006

Sage candles and Loose Women

Sagecandles1Had the best possible start to the week with the Daily Mail  featuring one of our gorgeous pistachio green Sage candles in its LIFEstyle pages. The not so good news was that the hosting company server crashed for part of the afternoon meaning that the website was down. Grrr....

I would so much love to move to another hosting company, but that would mean upgrading to the latest version of our shopping cart software  - which would be a hugely complex (and therefore costly) technical exercise given the amount of customisation we have done. But we will have to bite the bullet and do it sometime this year as outages are immensely frustrating and I do hate to let down customers.  Still, we did end the day with lots of yummy site traffic and some nice orders, and hopefully there'll be a continued positive effect over the next few weeks - Daily Mail coverage tends to be pretty good for us.

One thing that came from the article was an invitation from the iTV daytime programme Loose Women to donate some candles as gifts for its celebrity guests. It's the sort of PR which I'd love to do if there was more cash in the kitty - you never know what might come from something like that, but I'm not sure it makes financial sense this time round.

Sometimes I do think it must be nice to be a celebrity, to be inundated with gorgeous gifts just for doing one's (not terribly onerous) job - maybe I should get some hair extensions and freakish plastic surgery and apply for this year's Big Brother?

22 January 2006

Here goes

SchielenudemirrorI've been thinking of doing this for some time, but have finally bribed the mirror mirror technical team (aka. my husband) sufficiently (don't ask) to get this blog up and running.

It's meant to be a place where I can ramble on about my darling business, my darling baby, the trials and tribulations of trying to run a darling business while looking after a darling baby, my style inspirations, my secret pleasures and just things which generally take my fancy.  Which means it will probably end up being full of in-depth discussions of Strictly Come Dancing. 

Of course it could also be the place where I reveal myself to be terminally uncool and tremendously dull, with a stilted and mannered written 'voice', and a sense of humour that no one understands.   

Which actually, now I come to think of it, makes this whole thing rather daunting.  Anyway, here's a nice mirror-related picture to get things started.