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99 posts categorized "Business as usual"

09 December 2010

Facebook Page Giveaway – Atelier LZC Mirror




I have FINALLY managed to get my act together and set up a ‘Page’ for ‘mirrormirror’ on Facebook. This is a page for fans of both the blog and the shop and I’ll be using the space to post up news of new product arrivals, our progress in opening the shop in the US and exclusive offers and giveaways just for Facebook fans.  Come and ‘like’ us here.




First up we will be giving away your choice of an Atelier LZC Screen Printed Mirror worth £36 (approx $57) when we get 150 people ‘liking’ us on Facebook. Here’s the link to the mirrormirror Facebook page. Please hit the ‘Like’ button and also share the link with those friends you think may be interested.  When we hit 150 ‘likes’ we’ll do a random giveaway to all Facebook fans.




If you want to buy the mirrors instead they’re available in the UK shop. We’re offering free delivery on all mirrormirror orders – international or otherwise - to Facebook fans too. Simply choose the ‘Free Delivery’ option when it comes to check out and mention ‘Facebook’ in the the ‘How did you hear about us’ section of the order form. We will double check you against the list of Facebook ‘likers’ though, so do make sure you’ve signed up.  Here’s that link again.

I’ve been terribly neglectful of the shop this year, but I’m now back to it with a vengeance. Expect lots of new products in the New Year.

I’ve also finally been cleared to work in the US which means I will also be opening the shop in the US, probably some time in the summer AND I’ve been accepted to do a course in Advanced Intereactive Marketing at the University of Washington over the first six months of the year, so hoping to get a ton of new ideas. Very excited for what 2011 will bring.

Oh and one of the items on my 101 Things list is to ‘set up a Facebook fan page and get over 1000 fans’ so you’ll be helping me out with this as well. There’s still rather a long way to go on that one!


17 September 2010

Calling All Design Bloggers!






















I’m working hard behind the scenes at the moment to take things to a higher level round here, with a big focus on the ‘mirrormirror’ shop which has been sadly neglected over the past year or so.

I’m currently working on updating our PR mailing lists and was wondering if any of you design bloggers out there (particularly those in the UK)  would like to be added to the ‘Bloggers’ mailing list for news and updates on new products, sales etc.

I promise not to email you THAT often (I’m just not that organised) and any time you mention a mirrormirror product (or this blog) on your blog, you’ll be rewarded with my undying gratitude (ha!) and a reciprocal link on here. Please let me know if you give us a mention, so I can do that.

I’m also in the process of updating my blogroll and want to focus much more on smaller, up-and-coming blogs rather than on the biggies. If you’ve got a blog you think I should know about, particularly if it fits in with the stuff we talk about here – interiors, design, indie products, photography, food, knitting, crafts etc. – then please add a link to your blog below and I’ll take a peek.

Apologies for getting all self-promoting on you, but dangerous times call for dangerous measures. Anything you can do to support small independent shops and businesses, not just mine, at the moment is hugely appreciated I’m sure. 

04 February 2010


Site Blocked - Mozilla Firefox 232010 45319 PM

You may be seeing a bit more of me round these parts, and a bit less of me on Facebook. And, you never know, I might even be getting some productive work done on the shop.

I’ve finally faced up to the fact that I have absolutely no self-control WHATSOEVER and have a found a little app which rations my usage of ‘time-leeching’ websites, such as Facebook, The Huffington Post, Ravelry and er, Perez Hilton. LeechBlock is pretty easy to set up though it only works with Firefox and not Internet Explorer.

It allows you to restrict the amount of time you spend on a site or a group of sites and even set up times when access is totally blocked.  You can easily add sites to the list by right-clicking (or doing whatever it is that Mac people have to do).  The whole thing is password-protected and the Husband holds the keys to the kingdom.  It’s amazing how much more time I seem to have, and horrifying how desperate I am to access the sites during the short periods when they’re available to me.  My name is Paola and I’m an Internet addict.

Now they just need to invent something like this for the fridge…

02 February 2010

More Nice Mentions



(And believe me, when you’re as amply chested as I am,  you need it… )

I  haven’t done a More Nice Mentions for a bit, but I do like to share the link love.

My interior styling post was mentioned by Whorange and Shelterrific.

Not Martha is thinking of buying a Nook.

The Times (the real proper London version, not that New York based upstart) Online’s Alpha Mummy blog mentioned the Hello Kitty plane, as did A Modern Mother.

Urban Casita found us through the Homies. (UC is great by the way, do check it out).

Bushra at Fudgeit threatened to bake cupcakes using cupcake wrappers from mirrormirror but we never found out what happened in the end.

Anna Burns at Oh Hello Friend loves the Stacking Egg Cups and Stacking Storage pots.

Liz at Violet Posy thanked us for sponsoring her blog.

The Steel Cut Garland found its way onto House to Home (the website of Ideal Home, Livingetc, Homes and Gardens etc). It also appeared on Rdekko.

And some old links I’ve only recently become aware of. Design Crisis likes peacocks. Urban Nest also likes peacocksOhdeedoh likes Miffy. My Pretty Penny wants a shower cap.

Thanks everyone for the mentions! I really appreciate all the support – especially those of you who link to the shop (links are SO precious for an online shop). If you’ve mentioned either the blog or the shop recently and I haven’t linked back to you, please let me know, so I can include you in the next round up.

{The card above is from Etsy-based Letterpress artist Kirtland House Press.}

21 December 2009

Last Orders

You can’t procrastinate any more! It’s time to get shopping.



Orders placed on mirrormirror today before 2pm will go in the mail today First Class and should therefore get to a UK recipient before Christmas.  Oh and we’re offering FREE shipping on all orders over £25.

The picture above is of the Tarina Tarantino Red Carved Lucite Bracelet, a snip at £25 and also available in aqua blue, pink and black.

16 December 2009

Teux Deux

This looks very, very, VERY useful.


Uber-cool design blogger and web designer swissmiss has had this simple and free little To Do app built.  I’ve been playing with it this morning and my productivity has already increased! (Or maybe that’s because the Minx is back at school).  It looks nice, has been well thought out, has no distracting fancy bells and whistles and will soon be an iPhone app too.

My only slight quibble is with the name. Being a pretentious European with a degree in French I’m finding it very difficult to pronounce it ‘Too Doo’ as I’m meant to, but instead keep calling it Teuh Deuh in my head. This does however give it a nice Ta-da!ish quality.

{via Not Martha}

11 December 2009

New Products, Lovely Mentions and FREE International Shipping


We’ve just had a new delivery from French design studio Atelier LZC and I will be adding several new products to the site over the next few days.

First up are two stunning new sets of teatowels – the Potager set, featuring vegetables and kitchen utensils


atkitchtt2  atkitchtt3

and the Nature set, with birds, butterflies and foliage


atnaturett2 atnaturett3

All four of these teatowels would also look wonderful framed (the Potager ones would look great in a kitchen I think) and I love the idea of using a pretty teatowel to wrap round a bottle of wine for a VERY acceptable hostess gift.


I’ve been having a mini blog PR blitz recently and the store has been mentioned by the following utterly fabulous and extremely discerning blogs Not Martha, Shelterrific,The Bedlam of Beefy and Violet Posy. Thank you all SO much for your help and support.

Stupidly I was so busy offering their readers FREE INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING on all orders that I forgot to offer the same to you, my lovely and very much appreciated readers.  So go to mirrormirror, place your order choosing ‘free shipping with offer code’ when you come to check out and then use the code ‘jingle bells’ in the ‘how did you hear about us box.

(Any overseas orders placed over the weekend will be shipped on Monday and should be with the recipient in time for the big day.  UK readers you still have the rest of the week.)

13 November 2009

New In Store – Chick Stud Earrings


We’re starting to get some new things in store for Christmas.

First up we’ve now got stock of those cute Chick Stud Earrings from DesireLines in 24k gold-plated silver, sterling silver and oxidised sterling silver.  They’re only £27 and make gorgeous gifts, or else get a pair or two for yourself (they’re great fun to mix and match).

Buy some here, enter MIRRORMIRROR BLOG in the ‘how did you hear about us’ box, choose the Free Shipping (With Offer Code) option and you’ll get free shipping on your entire order, anywhere in the world.




03 November 2009

Back with a BANG – on the cover of Ideal Home!

I bet you’re all chewing your nails with anxiety wondering what has happened to mirrormirror recently given that I’ve hardly mentioned it at all over the last few months. (Actually the way sales have been going I reckon you’ve even forgotten it exists).  I’ve hinted at stuff going on behind the scenes but haven’t been able to tell you the full story until now, when I can REVEAL. EVERYTHING. Aren’t you excited?

As you may know I have been running mirrormirror from Seattle with the help of someone back in the UK, who sends out all the orders, deals with customer and journalist queries and generally keeps the show on the road.

At the beginning of the summer my colleague Diane decided that she could no longer fit mirrormirror into a hectic freelancing schedule which increasingly involved lots of week-long business trips to the US (and who can blame her?) so I was casting around to find someone else.

To be perfectly honest I thought the chances of finding a replacement were slim to non-existent.  Most of my friends back in the UK either don’t have the space or have too many work or other commitments to fit mirrormirror in and I was in no position to interview someone I’d never met before for the role.

A vague and sad plan crystallised, involving me running the shop down over the summer, hoping Diane could manage one last Christmas and then transferring everything to the US in the hopes that we’d get our green cards through quick and I could open in the US early in 2010.  And after struggling so hard to keep the shop going through the Minx’s babyhood and our move to Seattle I bet you can imagine how happy this plan made me feel.

Now, I am not a believer in anything very much, but sometimes the world really does move in mysterious ways.  In August this year I hooked up, through the magic of Facebook, with an old college friend and his wife who we’d lost touch with a bit following our move to Seattle.  And it just transpired that said friends had moved to a big house very close to Cambridge where the mirrormirror stock was living, and my friend’s wife was casting around for something to do now that the youngest of her FOUR kids (yes, she is also crazy) is going to pre-school, and said friend’s wife is one of the nicest, most efficient and well-organised people you could ever meet. And bingo! mirrormirror is BACK.

Which is fortunate as today we just got our best bit of press coverage ever.


The Cut Steel Garland by Atelier LZC is featured prominently on the front cover of December’s Ideal Home magazine (see it on the back of the chair in front)

  and also inside


while the Tree of Life is also featured in the same article



04 September 2009


Seattle July '09

Here’s the Minx enjoying her idyllic Pacific Northwest summer 

I’ve been waiting for this moment for nearly five years.

Yesterday the Minx went off to kindergarten (for UK readers that’s the equivalent of ‘infant school’) clutching her new Tinkerbell lunchbag in her sticky little mitt and I got my life back.

I fell pregnant with the Minx two months after deciding to start mirrormirror and was seven months pregnant when the website actually launched.  The Minx was three months old when my then business partner decided it wasn’t for her and eighteen months old when we moved lock, stock and barrel to Seattle while continuing the business in the UK.  So really I’ve never been able to work on the business without fitting it round the needs of a tiny child.

And although I’ve had varying amounts of childcare, since the Minx was born I have never before had the unbelievable luxury of five (albeit short) days a week at my disposal, instead of cramming in odds and ends and bits and pieces of work round the childcare.

So there are going to be some big changes round here.

- First up I really want to start developing this blog. Thanks to my diehard readers for sticking with it even when I’ve hardly been updating. I do love writing it though and now I’ll be able to update it at least daily. So stay tuned.

- Next, there are some changes happening with my poor neglected little shop back in the UK.  I’m not quite sure yet how they’re going to pan out, so no news yet, but stuff IS happening behind the scenes.

- Lastly and, most excitingly,  I hope to launch the US version of mirrormirror early next year, depending on when our green card comes through and I can legitimately work out here. Please keep you fingers crossed that it’s soon.

I’ve got tons of other ideas bubbling up, but we’ll start with this stuff for the moment and see how things pan out.  I’ve also got nearly five years of neglected filing and a disastrous email inbox to take care of.

03 March 2009

mirrormirror on the telly?

We knew it might happen, but it seems from customer feedback that the Hannah Tofalos stacking eggcups appeared on UKTV's Market Kitchen.


I don't suppose any of you saw it, or better still recorded it?  We'd sort of given up on it happening so hadn't been watching and I would love to see mirrormirror's 15 seconds of fame.

10 February 2009

New In Store - Atelier LZC and Abigail Percy

Just a quick run down of some new stuff now available at mirrormirror .

Firstly we did get some Eiffel Tower bits and pieces from Atelier LZC after you were so positive about them before Christmas. And you were right, they've been selling well for us.

First up is this hanging steel Eiffel Tower cut-out in a delicious deep cranberry.

eiffel3 eiffel2

Then two tea towels featuring iconic Parisian images.


And finally double-sided greetings cards also featuring images of Paris.


I know from our previous poll that these items are popular in the US and now that the pound has tanked against the dollar there isn't a better time to buy them.  They're also very light, so shipping will be super cheap. 

Just in time for Valentines Day we're also got two new necklaces by Abigail Percy - a beautiful cut-out Anemone Flower necklace and another necklace featuring an internally gilded 3-D Silver Leaf and a cluster of Rose Quartz beads.  All non-sale jewellery is currently reduced by 10% until Valentines Day, so this is a good time to drop a hint via the mirrormirror  wish list.

anemone3  abileaf2

15 January 2009

Homes and Gardens - Germany

I've just received a copy of some great coverage we got just before Christmas in Homes & Gardens - Germany of all places, including a great full page picture of the Boudoir Embroidered Cushion by Dishya. (From what I remember of A-level German the text is pretty complimentary.)





13 January 2009

mirrormirror SALE now online

I've finally got beyond flu and birthdays (note to parents-to-be, try to organise it so your little one is not born directly after Christmas) and got the 'mirrormirror' sale up and running.

Lots of great bargains to be had - remember we only have one or two left of most sale items, so once they're gone, they're gone. 

We're offering FREE shipping on orders over £50 in the UK and would also like to offer FREE international shipping anywhere in the world on orders over £50 to blog readers.  Just write 'mirrormirror blog' in the 'where did you hear about us' box in the shopping basket. choose 'International Shipping £0.00' and we'll take it from there.


Cake plate £25 (was £29)


Opera lady cushion £75 (was £95)


Karin Eriksson Rose Garland Vase £35 (from £42)


Swarovski Crystal Hoop Earrings £65 (from £85)


Hand-printed Silk Cushion by Jyoti Sigouin £85 (down from £105)


Floral Weekender Toilet Bag £32 (down from £36)

09 December 2008

Gift Ideas Under £25 and Free International Shipping

So here are a few gift ideas from mirrormirror over £10 and under £25.  Remember that we're offering free domestic and international shipping to all blog readers as a special thank you for being so nice. Just mention the code word DECORATIONS when the order form asks 'how did you hear about us' and choose the 'International Shipping £0.00' option whether you live in the UK or overseas.

Just a reminder to everyone in the US that the UK postal service recommends December 10th as the last date to have things sent from the UK to the US in time for Christmas.  In our experience you should have a couple of days grace, but best to be on the safe side. So get your orders in now!

Click here to see finer detailed image This Journal and Colouring Book (£14) includes blank paper for sketches, graph paper for layouts and 12 pages of gorgeous interior scenes for you to colour in.
Click here to see finer detailed image The Felt Sugar Cookies (£14) remain one of the Minx's favourite toys over a year after I first bought some for her.  I've lost count of the number of times I've had to pretend to eat them.
Click here to see finer detailed image Our adorable Miffy Breakfast Set (£17) is suitable for girls, boys and grown ups. And it all comes in really nice Miffy gift box, which is almost the best thing.
Click here to see finer detailed image These beautiful unglazed porcelain votive candle holders (£15) from Karin Eriksson are selling fast, so get yours now.
Click here to see finer detailed image These lucite bracelets (£23) by Tarina Tarantino really dress up a little black frock and are such good value.  Also available in Black Diamond, Antique Rose and Olive Green, there is also a matching lucite and crystal choker
Click here to see finer detailed image This book of 20 gorgeous postcards by Atelier LZC (£16) has been flying out the door.

Click here to see finer detailed image This Rose Trimmed Shower Cap (£19) sells incredibly well for people buying for their mother-in-laws...
Click here to see finer detailed image This Bathtime Selection Box, including soaps, bathmelts and shower scrubs, all made from the purest essential oils, is one of our very best sellers and smells amazing.

05 December 2008

Gifts under £10 and Free Shipping for YOU

We've had a couple of great pieces of blog coverage in the last few days - on Shelterrific and Not Martha where we've offered free shipping to all their blog readers. And then it occurred to me that I really ought to be offering you guys FREE shipping too.

So, from now until Christmas, we're offering free domestic and international shipping to all of you.  Just think of it as a special early Christmas present from me, with huge and heartfelt thanks for being the nicest blog readers in the world.  Just choose International Shipping £0.00 when you're checking out (even if you live in the UK) and enter the code word DECORATIONS when it asks you 'how did you hear about us'.

Because we live in straitened times, here some ideas for presents under £10 just to get you started. I'll post about gifts at other price points over the weekend.  Remember also that we have a wishlist facility on the site (which works like the Amazon wishlist) in case you fancy getting any of these things for yourself.

Click here to see finer detailed image These gorgeous teatowels by Tikoli are only £7.50 each and come in six mix and match patterns, so you can afford to get several for all your friends and keep a few for yourself.
Click here to see finer detailed image These stacking eggcups are £7.50 each and have appeared in so many design magazines I've lost count.  They also come with matching stacking salt and pepper pots at £10 each.
Click here to see finer detailed image The Miffy ceramic coathook is much adored by the Minx and comes packed in a very cute Miffy gift box, all for £7.50.  We also have a matching Miffy eggcup, also in a gift box, for the same price.
Click here to see finer detailed image These double-sided greetings cards (£8) from the fabulous Atelier LZC sold out super fast when we first got them in and we've just got more in stock.
Click here to see finer detailed image If I were you I'd get several packs of these aromatherapy bathmelts at once as everyone loves them and they're so useful for teacher presents, presents for colleagues or just to slip into the corner of a stocking. Made from the highest quality essential and fragrance oils, they're on at £8.50.
Click here to see finer detailed image I have never been able to do justice to these teeny tiny bowls in a photo. Made by a Japanese student in East London, they're moulded in porcelain into a wibbly wobbly shape, and impressed with a floral design (that's the bit that's difficult to capture in an image) and then stamped and handpainted with a delicate butterfly. Absolutely stunning in person and only £7.50 each.
Click here to see finer detailed image More stunning teatowels by Grace & Go, this time at £10 each. 
Click here to see finer detailed image Finally, I love the faintly quizzical expression on these hanging cut steel peacocks (£7.50), again by Atelier LZC, which would make weird but fabulous tree decorations.

Apologies for hideous blog self-promotion, normal blogging service will be resumed very shortly.

01 December 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

Apologies for the lack of posting recently.  As you can imagine this is a crazy time of year for us, with lots of re-ordering, getting new stuff on the site, crafting emails to send to our mailing list and sending out press releases.  This morning I was photographing a 'roomset' shot of the Pearl Lowe lace tablecloths for the Daily Mail (one of the UK's biggest newspapers), so please keep your fingers crossed that they decide to use it.


Getting the exposure right on this one was hard. This was one of the few I took which showed the detail of the tablecloth while still retaining the colour and detail in the curtains.  Fortunately the sun came out at just the right moment to add some texture to the shot.

17 November 2008

Bits 'n' Bobs

A few small announcements.


Holly at Decor8 has excellent taste in blogs.

The next meeting of the Grassroots Business Association is this Thursday at 7pm at Vermillion in Seattle.  Set up by Megan of Not Martha and The Organized Knitter and Kristen Rask from Schmancy among others, it's for everyone currently owning or thinking of starting their own small business.  I hope to see lots of you there.

The fourth annual Urban Craft Uprising is taking place in Seattle on December 6th and 7th at the Seattle Center.  I last went two years ago and it was a typically Seattle mix of the homespun, the bizarre and the fabulous, so I'm much looking forward to going again.

11 November 2008

Stacks of Press Coverage

The press really seem to love our stacking things by young Manchester-based designer Hannah Tofalos.

This month we've had some great coverage of Hannah's Stacking Eggcups in Easy Living magazine

Easy Living Dec08

and her Stacking Jars in Grand Designs magazine.

Grand Designs Dec08

The latter also represents another press showing for the picture I took in natural light on my dining room table.  

Our Bee mirror by Atelier LZC also got a nice mention on the Ideal Home website.


We've still got a couple of Press opportunities which still might materialise this Christmas so keep your fingers crossed that they actually happen.  All a bit on tenterhooks here, still waiting for Christmas to start properly...

22 October 2008



Look, look, look!!!!!

mirrormirror is on the home page of with a very wonderful little write up inside and the Creative Interiors Colouring Book prominently featured.

Just colour me tickled pink.

21 October 2008


Just a quickie for all people who are either running a small business in the Seattle area or thinking of starting something up. 

Megan Not Martha has got together with a bunch of folk to set up the Grassroots Business Association providing practical help and emotional support to small business owners. The first meeting is tomorrow Wednesday at 6pm at Vermillion in Seattle.  All details are here.

This is incredibly timely for me, as I'm starting to think about setting up 'mirrormirror US' and have absolutely no idea where to begin.  I hope to meet some of you tomorrow and a big shout out to Megan and co for getting this ball rolling.

05 October 2008

La Tour Eiffel

Speaking of Atelier LZC, we got their new wholesale catalogue in last week and there's been a bit of debate here at mirrormirror's intergalactic HQ. We're buying in some new stuff for Christmas and I wondered what you all thought of their new stylised Eiffel tower motif. I'm also interested in any differences of opinion. by country. Do let me know what you think in more detail in the comments.

Here is are some of the Eiffel tower stuff they have in the catalogue.

CropperCapture[1] CropperCapture[2]



In other Eiffel tower-related news, it seems that the paperback edition of Petite Anglaise is also going to feature a stylised Eiffel tower. Maybe they saw the poll we did earlier in the year.


24 September 2008

New Atelier LZC

I've finally pulled my finger out and got some new stuff on the site.  First up, some new products from groovy French design trio Atelier LZC, who continue to renew and develop their aesthetic and whose stuff I just love, love, love.

This also marks mirrormirror's first foray into greeting cards and stationery other than notebooks, and they seem to be selling well so far, so if you produce beautiful greetings cards, please let me know.

lzccards1 lzccards2 IMG_7804

Set of 6 general purpose double-sided greetings cards with detail of back and front. 

kidscards1 kidscards2 kidscards3

Set of 6 more kiddie-oriented double-sided greetings cards with detail of back and front. 

lzcpcard1 lzcpcard2 lzcpcard3

Set of 20 postcards in a book.  Actually I love how these complement each other so much I'm wondering if I can somehow just frame them.

japtowel1 japtowel2 japttowel3

Two different Japanese-influenced print tea towels

23 July 2008

The Lab


This month's Lab is tonight at Velocity's South Lake Union showroom as usual. 

It features Lauren and Emira talking about their book and website The Boss of You which markets itself as 'everything a woman needs to know to start, run, and maintain her own business.'

I really hope to be there - I feel like I've lost my 'mirrormirror' mojo in recent months and need to be reinspired -  though at the moment it's not entirely clear to me how I will manage to fit it in between unpacking, laundry, repacking (we're off to our friends' cabin in the mountains this weekend), Rolfing, training and er, actually working on my business.

Another date for your diary is the next Lab on August 20th which is entitled Bring + Brag   - a show and tell night for local creative people to showcase their art, products, or business. 

I know that some people who read this blog fit into this category, so this is a golden opportunity to 'market' yourself and your wares to an audience of Seattle creatives, retailers and bloggers among others.

If you want to take part then email the lovely Ali at Velocity and I look forward to seeing you next month.

11 June 2008

Ideal Home - Iconic Chairs Tea Towel

We got a very lovely piece of coverage in Ideal Home magazine just recently.

 Ideal Home suppl cover July 08

Ideal Home July 08

They had the clever idea to FRAME the Iconic Chairs Tea Towel by Grace & Go, which looks superb in this rather lovely kitchen (might be a bit inconvenient for the washing up though).

Thinking about it, some of the other teatowels we stock, most notably the colourful screen prints from Atelier LZC would also look fabulous framed. Cheap artwork! (I bet that gorgeous frame they've used cost a bit though).

28 April 2008

Cirque du Soleil - Corteo

or a lesson in customer service.

"We live in an often sad and baffling world.  I remember my grandmother used to tell me never to look at the floor, only look up. Corteo is a show that looks up."

Daniele Finzi Pasca, Creator and Director


So yesterday we had tickets to the circus. 

The Minx was extremely excited and all dressed up in her posh red velvet frock, though she had no idea what a circus was. We had been keen to take her to see it because, since the beginning of the year, she has been attending Seattle's famous and fabulous 'circus school' where even at the age of three she has been learning basic acrobatics, trampolining, trapeze work, tightrope walking, juggling and balancing on balls.

We were very excited because we had already seen two Cirque du Soleil productions (Saltimbanco and Alegria) in London and knew that we were in for the most amazing treat.

I printed off our emailed tickets, and we were all ready to jump in the car, when I happened to glance down at said (very expensive) tickets and realised that they were for Saturday's performance, not Sunday's.  I suspect you can imagine how I felt, particularly when I looked down at my terribly excited little girl.

On the off-chance, we phoned up their customer service helpline to see if there was anything they could do. They were able to ascertain, using their extremely high-tech ticketing and barcoding system, that we had indeed not attended the day before and then said, 'I'm afraid we have to remind you that tickets are non-refundable'.  Oh well.  'But we're going to let you have some comp tickets for this evening's performance.'  If they hadn't been on the other end of a phone line we would have kissed them then and there. 

As it is we are even bigger fans than we were before and I feel I owe it to them to blog about it at least.  GO RIGHT THIS MINUTE AND BUY TICKETS FOR CIRQUE DU SOLEIL.


So what do you get for your money? Firstly, as I mentioned, the tickets are expensive, but they also represent the most incredible value for money.  Everything about the experience is perfect, from the ticketing and customer service helpline, to the carparking arrangements and huge Dr Seuss coloured big top.

As we took our seats, clowns were performing in the aisles and huge ghostly chandeliers could be seen through the semi-sheer scrim. The Minx was both mesmerised and overwhelmed by the noise and spectacle.

And then lights went on behind the scrim and we could see a clown on his deathbed with angels flying up above and a crowd forming his 'corteo' or cortege. And then began a celebration of the clown's life.


We saw ladies of the night spinning and swinging from sparkly chandeliers (which delighted the interior design obsessed part of my soul); kids bouncing on beds; clowns riding bikes in the sky; upside down tight rope walkers; and little people flying round the big top carried by helium balloons.  I love how Cirque du Soleil both represents the very best in modern circus technology, but also carries on the old circus traditions with nods to commedia dell'arte, gypsy folklore and  vaudeville.

The music is all original and fabulously sung and performed, including symphonic whistling from the ringmaster and a woman who plays the gypsy violin behind her back.  The costumes and lighting were sensational, the set and props amazing and the attention to detail is extraordinary. Every single member of the large cast is a master of his or her art.

After being initially somewhat nonplussed the Minx got right into the swing of things and kept shouting 'wow' very loudly, and was so inspired that during the intermission she treated a small crowd gathered outside to an exhibition of fantastical dance moves and many views of her undergarments. (I have realised that I am so not a stage mother, as I find such exhibitionism cringingly embarrassing). Very cutely though, she cried when it was over because she didn't want the circus to end.

And so closed an evening that was not only a hugely inspiring feast for all the senses, but also hugely inspiring from a business perspective.  Cirque du Soleil is as close as it gets to a perfect customer experience.


All images scanned in from the programme.  I so wished I could have taken my camera.

10 April 2008

Bee with Fern


Or, how the rich get richer...

Regular readers will remember that earlier on this year, there was much temporary excitement round these parts when This Morning  (which, for American readers, is a major networked morning TV show in the UK) called in the Atelier LZC Bee mirror for a feature.

The excitement quickly abated when the mirror wasn't mentioned at all during the feature and indeed only a tiny corner of it was fleetingly visible during the programme, resulting in absolutely no sales whatsoever.

This is pretty much par for the course, I would say of everything that is called in by journalists etc. only about 25% is actually used in any capacity.  As is also par for the course the mirror was never returned to us. 

Most journalists are really bad at returning stuff.  In theory they're meant to return it, and some are very good about it, but many seem to assume that you've just given them a generous gift, whether or not they actually use the item in their publication. The mythical Vogue accessories closet is not just a myth (and yes, one of their staffers managed to 'acquire' a couple of scented candles a year or so back, though they had at least featured them in the magazine).  And it doesn't seem to matter to them whether the company they're 'acquiring' things from is a huge multinational behemoth, or a teeny tiny online shop.

The reason I'm writing about this scam now is that when we emailed This Morning to enquire as to the whereabouts of the mirror, we were told by the researcher that it had been 'passed on to Fern'.  For the uninitiated Fern Britton is the main anchorwoman of the show, one of the very few women on TV that I actually like, and one of the highest paid women on UK TV. 

While part of me is pleased that Fern liked it enough to 'acquire' it, she has gone down a long way in my estimation. Though to be fair, This Morning did say we could invoice them (but only after we'd emailed them).

The temptation to write "as 'acquired' by Fern Britton" on the mirror product page is almost too strong to resist. At least that way we might get SOME publicity out of all this.

And with this post all chances of 'mirrormirror' ever being on the telly have just disappeared....

06 March 2008

Design*Sponge Biz Ladies Meet Up - Seattle




Picture from Grace's Seattle Flickr set. 

Last  Thursday night I went along to the Design*Sponge Biz Ladies Meet Up in Seattle which was hugely inspiring. Who knew that there were that many creative women in Seattle?  The place was utterly heaving.

There were four guest speakers and we split up into four groups and then rotated between the speakers.  The format worked pretty well, though it would have been great to have more time just for general chat. See some pictures of the event here.

All the speakers were great, though I was particularly inspired Grace's talk about PR - I hadn't realised she used to work for an interiors PR company - which was full of really useful insights; and the Q&A session with John Tusher, founder of Velocity Art and Design

What a lovely man! From starting in a basement wrapping up orders himself, he has done what I dream of doing with mirrormirror and it was fascinating to hear him speak.  Read a great interview with him here on Decorno.

The cute thing was that Grace really loved Seattle! It's funny, I've only been here a year, but I feel very proprietorial of this city and it's so nice when people like it as much as I do.

13 February 2008

Creature Comforts Blogroll

About a hundred years late as per usual - it's already been extensively raved about elsewhere in the blogosphere -  here's what mirrormirror  looks like on Ez's fabulous illustrated blogroll on Creature Comforts - easily the most beautiful blogroll on the web.


I was intrigued to see which images she would choose from all the random pics I've posted up, and whether they would capture the 'brand' that mirrormirror has - in my own head at least.

I LOVE what she's put together, if anything it's nicer than I would have put together myself.  It's very clever how she's pulled together the yellow, aqua and grey colour palette  (what a great and unexpected colour combination) and juxtaposed the silhouetted and cut-out leaf shapes

Interestingly I wouldn't have chosen those actual images,  but the use of colour and pattern, the mix of contemporary and girly and the clean lines are all what I would love mirrormirror to exemplify, so I'm so glad Ez picked up on them.  A career as a 'brand psycho-analyst' clearly beckons for her.

31 January 2008

mirrormirror on the telly?

thismorningA researcher from This Morning has called in the Bee Mirror for a feature which is supposed to be happening tomorrow (Thursday 31st January).

Keep everything crossed that it happens. It will be fascinating to see what sort of impact TV exposure has on sales

09 January 2008

Sale Time!

The mirrormirror sale is now online, with lots of bargains to be had.

There are only one or two examples left of many of the items, so when they're gone that's it - we won't be getting these things in again.

So now's the time to treat yourselves to a gorgeous beaded silk evening bag by hot Australian designer Megan Park. These are utterly stunning, made of the softest silk and gently padded with exquisite jewel-like hand beading. 

Or embroidered and beaded silk cushion covers by Dishya. The workmanship that has gone into these is unbelievable.

Or treat yourself to a delicately beaded sterling silver necklace or earrings.  The designer of these is no longer making jewellery since having a baby, so when these are gone, they're really, REALLY gone.

We also have one beautiful soft nubuck leather photo album left in pale lavender, which would be absolutely perfect for wedding photos.

First the Good News

It was good to start the New Year with a nice bit of coverage of the piggy bank in Grand Designs magazine - that TV show is one of the things I miss most about the UK. 

I just love Poppy Norton's styling here, that perfect purple background really brings out the simple orange, red and white colour scheme and the strong shapes, which are emphasized by the deep shadows the photographer has created.

The bad news is that we're completely out of piggies and designer Pamela Barsky has decided not to produce them any more, which is rather a shame since I never quite managed to nab one for myself.

I was thrilled to discover one of these in my Christmas stocking this year and one of my resolutions for this year is to do a lot more tabletop studio photography.

11 December 2007

Gorgeous Things for Kids

Well, last week was an absolute nightmare.

Our hosting company managed to balls things up yet again.  While trying to correct a small issue with the graphics rendition of the site, they managed to disable the whole back-end interface - which made it very difficult to even see orders, let alone add new things to the site or update the stock. 

You can imagine how thrilled I was.  Fortunately after a lot of stressed emailing back and forth the issue is now resolved.

The other reason why I haven't been blogging much recently is that I've finally got round to adding a Kids section to the site.  







I think it's very important that kids get to experience good design from a young age in spite of all the garish Fisher Price nonsense that they are constantly surrounded with.

Interestingly the Minx loves all of the things I've bought for the site (of which quite a few have ended up in her room) and I'm hoping they're the sort of things that she will treasure even more as she gets older.

So I'm trying to build up a collection of kid-friendly decorative objects, tableware and toys.  At the moment the collection includes cushions and posters from Atelier LZC,  








utterly gorgeous limited edition collages from Lorena Siminovich,

and a selection of contemporary ceramics featuring that ever-hip design icon Miffy, which come packed in covetable gift boxes.


I've got few more items to add over the next couple of weeks, but I'd love to grow the collection much more over the next year.

If you, or someone you know, makes fab products for babies and kids (not clothes for the moment, but everything but) then I'd love to hear from you.  I'm looking for excellent quality and craftsmanship, visual appeal, and a refreshing lack of tweeness. Get in touch!

02 November 2007

Christmas is coming...

Christmas always comes early to 'mirrormirror'-land. 


                               life forms patterns,

                           haphazard and beautiful -

                          catch them as they fly by

I wrote our first press release back in the summer, which is when the long-lead press start preparing their Christmas issues, and since then have sent out a series of press releases, to try and get mentions in the weekly mags and daily papers.

Over the last two months I've been busily searching for new products and making sure that we have sufficient stock of some of our bestselling items, while Diane back in the UK has been ordering in all the packaging.  Unlike last year, when I was so tied up with moving country, being ill and searching for a last-minute replacement to take over the UK operations, I feel like our ducks are a bit more in a row, though there's always so much more you can do.

Today I placed our last Christmas stock order and now we get to sit back and wait, with shredded nerves. The bank account is very unwell, new deliveries of stock are arriving every day and we have no idea whether anyone is going to buy them. 

So much depends on whether we get any press mentions - though I'm not entirely sure we're going to get any at all in this, our first Christmas without a PR company.  The anticipation and nervousness is huge, as Christmas accounts for such a big proportion of our sales, and the amount of money we make at Christmas very much dictates how much we'll be able to grow the business next year. And there's not a little excitement mixed in there too.

Please wish us luck and please support all small retailers and designers by shopping indie this year.

Holly Decor8 posted a fabulous calendar guide today and I've just ordered this gorgeous letterpress calendar from Green Chair Press., which is apparently hand-cranked on a wonderful old 1890s platen press (whatever that is). 

I just love the little haiku poems included on each month's beautiful card. And having said I've just done all my Christmas ordering, I'm now wondering whether to get some of these in the shop.

23 October 2007

Things I've Learned The Hard Way About Product Photography

I've been spending a lot of time over the last few weeks or so on product photography and had an interesting chat with Megan Not Martha about it a few weeks back, so I thought it might be useful for those of you with Etsy or Ebay shops to put together a list of things I've learned through trial and error about photographing and styling.

I don't pretend to be any sort of an expert, but since the initial mirrormirror photoshoot where we did the styling and a photographer friend came and shot the images, I've done the styling and product photography for mirrormirror myself.  

Most of what I'm going to say below is nothing but common sense.  But these are all mistakes I've made not once, but several times.   (Mind you, it's possible you've got more common sense than I have.)

  • Get the best camera, and particularly lens, you can afford.  My photography has dramatically improved since I bought a dedicated 60mm lens for my Canon EOS 350. There is a reason why pros have all that fancy gear.
  • Use a tripod.  It's a pain to adjust it, but you'll thank me I promise. Perfectly sharp shots always look best.
  • Experiment with depth of field (how blurry the background is).  I try to shoot a number of shots at different apertures so I can choose how much or how little of the background I want to blur out.  But always have at least part of the picture perfectly focused and sharp.

Maybe the photographer was drunk.  Early prototype of the shot that was recently featured in Homes & Gardens.

  • Make sure your camera and lens are clean.  It's a pain to have to Photoshop out fluff on the lens from otherwise great shots.
  • Underexposure can be corrected.  Overexposure can't be.

Never knew a shiny printer could be so useful

Cropped and lightened.  How did you get that reflection?
  • I don't use artificial light, preferring to take my chances with daylight.  Mostly because I wouldn't know where to begin with lightmeters and suchlike.  Remember though that bright sunlight will give you dark shadows, without the subtlety that you see through the viewfinder. Soft diffuse light is generally best unless you want your pic to look really 'summery'.

Hard dark shadows work in this case (I think) 
  • White light is best.  I've learned to my cost that light diffused through sheer green curtains will give everything a sickly green cast.
  • Crumbs and dirt will always, always, always show up. It's easier to brush them aside than spend hours photoshopping them out.
  • Creases.  Always show up more in front of the camera for some reason. Copious ironing is essential. Unfortunately.
  • Check what's in the background.  I photograph in odd corners of my house, so unattractive piles of filing always seem to get in the shot.

Hey nice cot!
  • But remember, the crop tool is your friend.

Hey presto, no more telephone point or scraggy bit of torn watercolour paper

  • Collect beautiful linens and fabrics - which are not too patterned and distracting.  They're the easiest backdrop.  Use any fabrics that come to hand - teatowels, bath towels, napkins, pillow cases. 

I hope that changing table is clean


 Very obviously a baby muslin

Shot which has appeared in The Times amongst others


Is it usual to eat brownies off an old pillowcase? 
  • Collect beautiful and interesting objects. Small things which can add a bit of life or beauty to an image.  I've photographed products on books, bars of chocolate and matchboxes amongst other things.  Cakes, biscuits, fruits and flowers are cheap additions for a hint of human interest. 

Fame at last for my old teddy

Books are a great prop
  • Use Picasa for most photo enhancing applications.  It's much easier than Photoshop.
  • Identify the elements you want to highlight and focus on them. Make sure patterns, labels, jewels or other design elements are clearly visible and pin sharp..
  • Jewellery needs a lot of adjusting to make sure it hangs properly. Focus on arranging the necklace not the model.
  • Having said that, get the model to comb her hair and touch up her make-up between shots.

Get a hairbrush!
  • Look out for unwelcome reflections in mirrors and windows.  Photographing mirrors is a nightmare for this reason.

Oh and check out Abigail, Ursula and Corey for very different, but wonderfully effective ways of styling products.

Has anyone got any more tips they'd like to share? Or seen other great online stylists?

16 October 2007


And there I was, just feeling that doing our own PR was one of the best decisions I'd made in a long time (check out another fab mention on Di Overton's awesome Designer's Block) when the mirrormirror website just disappeared from the Internet...

Cue a Sunday of panic as we tried in vain to contact the hosting company to find out what on earth was happening.  They finally deigned to let us know late on Monday morning that they'd had a major outage and that various servers required reconfiguration. 

The site is now back online, but online ordering still isn't working (36 hours later), so if you're thinking of buying something may I suggest that you call us on 0845 257 3079.

And if you're foolish enough to be thinking of setting up a online e-commerce site, may I suggest that you avoid Lynx Internet's hosting like the plague.

15 October 2007

Homes & Garden

I'm so excited about this - an utterly fabulous bit of coverage in November's Homes & Garden magazine.


There we are, right in the middle, and in company with some of the very best online shops in the UK.  And they've even used the photo of the Hannah Tofalos stacking jars, which I took on our dining room table.

09 October 2007

Atelier LZC

And a couple more nice bits of recent coverage.  

The Matryoschka tea towels were mentioned in Ideal Home magazine as well as on the House to Home website .  The coverage has been generating a few orders, though not as many as we usually get from that magazine. It's strange how sometimes a bit of coverage can get stuff flying off the shelves, whereas sometimes it doesn't have much of an effect.

I was amused to see that the Russian doll effect noted by sfgirlbybay is also alive and well in the UK.  Is it wrong of me to really like those boxes by Asda (!) in the bottom right corner?

The Atelier LZC hanging peacocks also had a very nice mention yesterday on the wonderful UK-based design blog Print & Pattern.  If you haven't seen this blog before, go check it out, it really is a daily dose of inspiration.

I've got the new Atelier LZC catalogue in front of me today and am just about to place a new order, including some new products, so watch this space.

Diane and I have been spending a LOT of time this summer putting together our own in-house press list.  It's been a huge amount of work, but we're hoping that we'll still get some press coverage without having to pay a PR company a big retainer. 

So far it seems to be working.  We've had some good Christmas call-outs (doesn't guarantee they'll be used mind you) and hopefully have some other bits of coverage lined up. If you're a journalist or design blogger and would like to be added to our list then please email to get in touch.

03 October 2007

Gorgeous New Gift Ideas

Before we went to London I was manically photographing some new stuff to get on the site, but realise I forgot to show them to you. 

Click to enlarge. More photos on my Flickr

I photograph everything in natural light (I have no idea what to do with lights and lightmeters etc.) so I was pleased to catch the last of the summer sunshine (goodness the weather has been awful here this week).

I decided to ring the changes and get some different things from Karin Eriksson - one of her ceramic mobiles, her set of three little dishes and some porcelain tealight holders. The only problem with photographing these is showing  how utterly gorgeous they are.  Believe me when I say they're a hundred times more beautiful than I've managed to show.

We're also thrilled to have two new designers in the collection. We love the delicate Hummingbird design on these bone china 'breakfast for ones' and mugs from Lillibulle Ceramics and the graphic black and white prints on these tea towels from Grace & Go.

Last but not least we have the most wearable pair of earrings ever from Abigail Percy.  I snuck a pair for myself in when I ordered them and I don't think I've stopped wearing them since I got them.

27 September 2007

Another Secret Update

Some more nice online mentions. 

I am apparently an Alpha Mummy. It's very nice to be up on a national newspaper's website, even though I had to draw their attention to the blog myself.  Likewise a lovely link to the Matryoschka teatowels on the ever fabulous sfgirlbybay.  

It's probably because I'm British but I always feel awkward indulging in shameless self-promotion - but I need to learn to do it more often it seems.

The teatowels have also been mentioned on House to Home.  We sent some out to be photographed by Ideal Home earlier on this year, so I think it's as a result of that. Don't think they're in the magazine though as we would have been getting a flurry of orders for this product if it had been.

Now I really need the Universe to start focusing a bit more on the orders side of things as it's been slacking a bit in that direction this week.

By the way, if anyone sees a mention of 'mirrormirror' in the Press or online could you let me know?  Our PR company used to keep an eye on such things but now that we no longer use them I'm finding it very difficult to keep up.

23 September 2007


I've been looking for a good excuse to get some gorgeous Moo mini-cards for a long time, and it occurs to me that they would make really cute mirrormirror gift tags if I got them made up using product images and tied them with ribbon.

The only problem is that they're rather small (only half the size of a conventional business card) and we hand-write every gift message, so there's going to be a limit to how many words we can fit on each card.

However, if we printed the message, we'd be able to fit a whole lot more on.  But is a printed message too impersonal? What do you prefer when giving and receiving gifts online? Has anyone seen any great gift tag ideas they'd like to share?


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We bought bedlinen for the Minx yesterday. She is THRILLED.  I will post a picture later in the week, together with a definitive guide to the differences between US and UK bedlinen etiquette. I know you can't wait.

20 September 2007


 One of the books I read on the interminable flight to England was The Secret

Fortunately my personal trainer lent it to me as I really didn't fancy actually paying for it, but I was interested to see what all the hype was about.

It's a very easy read and in essence is just all about the power of positive thinking and the law of attraction, which you can find in lots of self-help books.  It goes a bit further than some books I've read though, by suggesting that you just have to ask the Universe (always capitalised, natch) for something and if you fully believe that you will receive it and act as if it's already in the bag then the Universe will deliver.  Apparently the Universe is just one big mail-order company.

Which is of course all a load of old drivel.  Except that life always seems to go better for me when I have a positive attitude.

So, we are going to conduct a little experiment.  In an ideal world,  I would like to ask the Universe for mirrormirror to be acquired over the next month for millions of pounds with me retaining overall executive responsibility and an extremely fat salary.  But I think I would have difficulty mustering the necessary belief for that one. But maybe next month.

Instead I am going to request that mirrormirror achieves some sort of significant leap forward over the next 30 days  - over and above what it would normally achieve (which shouldn't be difficult as September and October are usually very slow in mirrormirror land). I'm going to think and act as if mirrormirror were already phenomenally successful, weed out any negative thinking, and then on the 20th October note any great breakthroughs - such as meaningful spike in the volume of orders or visitors, a fabulous piece of PR or just links from great blogs or websites. Or any other ways in which the Universe chooses to help mirrormirror grow.  I'm really not fussy.

Interestingly, since I read the Secret on the journey out to the UK and tried to think positively at all times, there has been a mini-flurry in orders and I've had two major pieces of luck, involving a handbag left behind in a taxi and an empty house with an unlocked door. Cue spooky Twilight Zone sort of music.   

10 September 2007

Sad News

Dame Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop, has died at the age of 64, from a massive brain haemorrhage.

And the news has made me feel really sad.  She was a truly inspirational woman and probably the most well-known female entrepreneur in the UK.  In fact at the moment I can't think of another one. 

Throughout my business career, she was held up as the female role model - it used to be impossible to read an article about 'women in business' without Anita Roddick being either mentioned or quoted -  though her unconventional way of doing business meant that she was hardly an establishment darling. 

Thanks to her, a whole generation of women has been inspired to start their own businesses, though it is still quite shocking how few high-profile female business leaders there are. I hope my daughter grows up with role models like her to inspire her.

Anita Roddick, goodbye and thank you.

A Strange Thing Has Happened

We're going back to the UK tomorrow - just for a week.  And I don't particularly want to go. Which is something I never thought I'd say. 

Maybe it's the wonderful Indian summer we're having here.  Or maybe just the thought of dealing with a jetlagged Minx again.  Or just the fact that is is mostly going to be work.  But even so Seattle is really starting to feel like home.

View from the 520 floating bridge over Lake Washington this weekend.  This is the view the Husband gets on his commute every day if the 'Mountain' is 'out'.


Here is a photo I took back in March of the shops on Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill's premier shopping street which is full of gorgeous boutiques and cafes.


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We're going back because mirrormirror is on the move again.  Last year the wonderful Helen stepped into the breach when I was desperately looking for someone to take over the UK end of operations prior to our move out to Seattle, and it's been huge amounts of fun working with her over the last year.  I can never thank her and my lucky stars enough for popping into my inbox at just the right time.

Unfortunately over the past few months the silly girl has gone and got herself a fabulously glamorous and interesting-sounding job at the Design Museum, moved to a new house outside of London and become engaged, so mirrormirror doesn't exactly fit into her life any more.  We always knew this was going to happen though I can't believe a year has flown by so quickly. 

Extremely fortunately my lovely friend Diane is going to be taking over.  I'm really looking forward to working with her as she's got a ton of marketing and marcomms experience and has just gone freelance, so we're hoping that mirrormirror will fit in with her nicely.  So next weekend, we'll be moving everything up to Cambridge.  Do wish us luck driving a van full of ceramics up the motorway.

07 September 2007


Image from here

I'm feeling a bit of a fraud about this, as I never seem to blog about the business anymore - just gardening and house renos - but I was extremely flattered to be included on this fabulous list:  The Women Entrepreneurs Toolbox: 100 Networking Resources, Guides and Links.

If you run your own business or are dreaming of doing so one day, do check this list out.  It's full of really interesting and useful resources.

Suffice it to say that much has in fact been going on with mirrormirrorwhich I was planning to blog about later this week. How can you bear the suspense? 

04 September 2007

Summer Teatowels

So Holly Decor8 threw a garden party this weekend and put together the most spectacular table-setting, featuring our Matrioschka teatowels by Atelier LZC.

Holly has always been a great friend to mirrormirror and I'd sent her a couple of teatowels as a thank you gift a few months back. 

It's so nice to see that she's putting them to good use and thought you'd like to see how wonderful they can look in a beautiful real-life setting.

Apparently this is Holly's idea of 'a very simple garden theme'.  I have no idea what might happen if she actually decided to make an effort.

Images by Holly & Thorsten Becker

Image by me

Available from

19 May 2007

Press Release

I realise I've been so caught up in moving house and thinking about doing it up that it's been the longest time since I blogged about the business. 

It's been chugging along quite nicely for the last few months, though not growing as spectacularly as I would have wished, as I just haven't been able to focus on it as much as I would like.

Hello, my name is Paola, and I'm a magazine addict...

But hopefully things will be changing going forward.  The big news is that last month I let go of our PR company.  We've worked with Plum pretty much since mirrormirror was founded and for the first year or so they did a fairly good job for us - getting us coverage in most of the broadsheet newspapers and spots in magazines such as Vogue, Glamour, Marie Claire, Homes & Gardens and InStyle.

But I think they got a bit complacent last autumn and call-ins and coverage started to to dry up.  Unfortunately for them this coincided with me adding a 'how did you hear about us?' button to the site which meant that I could finally monitor exactly how much profit was being generated via press mentions.  And it wasn't enough to justify the high cost of the retainer.

So, from now on, and for pretty much the first time ever, we're going it alone, which feels rather scary.  We're in the process of compiling an in-house press list and are going to be developing a journalists' newsletter and image library. 

The good news is that this has freed up a chunk of change each month to spend on different forms of advertising and marketing and introducing more new products, which will make life much more fun.

If you're a journalist yourself, or edit or write a fashion or design blog and would like to be added to the email list then please contact me. I promise to send you no more than one email a month (and that's only if I get myself super organised!)

20 December 2006

Nearly there

And so the Christmas rush is coming to an end for another year, though we're still getting some last-minute orders thanks in part to some great recent coverage of the cut-steel hanging garland in the Saturday Times  (yet another of my ridiculously amateurish photos makes it into the national press) and Saturday Telegraph,

and of our madly popular bathmelts in the Daily Express.

I don't think Helen wants to wrap another bathmelt as long as she lives.

It's been exhausting - lots of frantic emails flying backwards and forwards across the Atlantic in the wee small hours for me - but we've made it and I think the business has taken another huge step forward.  I would never have imagined we'd be in this position just ten weeks ago.

There is still time to place an order before Helen and I slump in a drunken stupor in front of the telly.

Place your order before 2pm on 22nd December and the Royal Mail promises to deliver it before Christmas.  We're even offering guaranteed pre-Christmas delivery for the price of standard delivery on all orders over £40. 

10 December 2006

From tiny acorns

One of the most astonishing things about Seattle is the quite mind-boggling number of Starbuckses to be found everywhere you go.  They're on practically every corner, and it appears to be the law for every large mall or public space to have at least one outlet.

Even the gingerbread village had to have one.

According to the Starbucks site, our Starbucks density is 96 outlets within a 5 mile radius of our apartment (and we're not even in the centre of downtown) and that doesn't take into account all the other competing chains of coffee shops.  Even though this density can be beaten in central London and in Manhattan, Seattle - with one for every 13,340 people - at least has the highest number of Starbuckses per head of population.

Now I'm half-Italian and enjoy a well-made espresso or cappuccino, but all this 'double skinny mocha mint upside down long tall sally frappuccino special with extra sprinkles' nonsense really doesn't do it for me.  However, it can't be denied that most people here seem to have a monstrous coffee habit and it's the drug of choice for most of the mothers I meet.

Nevertheless, as the owner of a small business, I did feel rather inspired when we walked past the first ever Starbucks location the other day (in Pike Place Market). It opened in April 1971 and they've kept the same unprepossessing storefront ever since.  Here's my photo but I've just realised I didn't manage to get a shot of the logo, so check out some more photos here.

It would perhaps be wise to take a photo of the current 'mirrormirror' homepage, so you can blog about it when we become a multi-billion $ global empire.

05 December 2006

Fill your stockings

The amazing Helen is not only an incredibly efficient packer-upper, but she is also pretty nifty with a needle.

So mirrormirror is now delighted to be able to offer a gorgeous handmade organza and silk brocade Christmas stocking as an alternative way of presenting one of very popular themed gift sets.  And if you manage to persuade someone to buy you The Ultimate gift set we'll even throw a stocking in for free (together with our undying gratitude).