Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Fringe or no fringe?

On my recent trip to Lincoln to visit a friend, she greeted me at the door looking all 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'.

I was like 'wooooweeee, I love it!!' so she showed me how to do it.  A few days before I had bought some new make-up from Eyeko (a liquid eyeliner and lip crayon), it's amazing. So in just a few days I'd had a dramatic* make-over without even realising.  But it's lead me to wonder... fringe or no fringe?

Audrey Hepburn meets Amy Winehouse meets [insert comical ginger celebrity here]

Hilda Ogden meets 'Memoirs of a Geisha'

With fringe:

... what do you think? Fringe or no fringe? Tell me, because I just can't decide...


*perhaps an over-exaggeration, but it added some meat to the bones of the story

Monday, 28 March 2011

Shop Inspiration

So, whilst I have been absent from blogging I have been making various shop preparations.

Something that's really exciting me is making the place look ace! On recent shopping trips in the cool shops, I snapped away at the things I liked! Check em:

Shop name in old photo frame at the till point (Blue Rinse, Leeds)

A chair with the seat replaced with a basket. For God's sake don't sit on that thing! (Blue Rinse, Leeds)

A blanket box filled with treasure.Not digging the loose bits of cardboard inside (Kitsch, Nottingham)

A retro coffee tabled stuffed with treats, with drawers pulled at jaunty lengths (Kitsch, Nottingham)

Vintage suitacases overflowing with handbags, making best use of under-shelf floor space (Kitsch, Nottingham)

Wowow an old school desk with the top part lifted! (Kitsch, Nottingham)

Some sort of basket with cards inside (Kitsch, Nottingham)

I like both the hanging and the one letter per sheet aspect of this sign (TopShop, Nottingham)

What an excellent reason to window shop! Have you seen any quirky shop displays? I'd love to hear :)


Sunday, 27 March 2011

Living the dream: I am opening a SHOP!

I handed over the papers on Friday and received my business registration certificate the same day!

I am opening a wee, wee, little* shop in April, called Indie Cindy. I'll be based on the first floor in the up-and-coming Birds Yard in Leeds city centre. I am so excited to be part of this.

So at the minute, I am sourcing stock, thinking about displays, and fun events to hold in-store. Ideas always welcome!

I'll still be here, updating you on what's happening behind the scenes at Indie Cindy and what's new with KitschenSink...

And, there's nothing there yet, but why not subscribe now to http://meetindiecindy.blogspot.com/, or become a fan at http://www.facebook.com/meetindiecindy  to receive updates on what Cindy is up to?



*Start small, dream BIG!

Friday, 25 March 2011

Meet the Stockist: Picture This

♥ What’s your name and where do you come from??
Martin & Julie Steele, Picture This, Queensbury, Bradford. West Yorkshire

♥ How long have you been in the boutique business and what made you get started?
21 years self employed - previously employed by an independant gallery for 10 years, suddenly dawned on me that I couldn't climb any further up the ladder so decided to start up my own business.

♥ What’s your shop like and what do you sell?
Our shop has two retail/gallery areas, in house framing workshop and we provide a bespoke framing service for anything and everything!  We also sell framed artwork prints and originals, original photography, greetings cards (handmade and fine art cards), limited ranges of pottery, dried flowers, sculpture, candles and handmade jewellery. Although we have a website and customers can view examples of framed items and also items for sale, we do not have an online shop we prefer to provide a personal service and meet our customers face to face so only bricks and mortar!

♥ What’s your typical day like - the best bits and the worst bits?
Our week is divided up into sections to enable us to complete our list of jobs for that week.  The early part of the week, usually the quietest in terms of people coming into the gallery as many of the businesses in Queensbury close on a Monday, consists of the boring bits such as admin, book keeping etc and also this is the part of the week where we cut the mounts, moving onto cutting the glass and backings to fit, then the latter part of the week is spent actually cutting out the frames and assembling them ready for finishing for the best bit, customers to collect on Friday/Saturday, it is very rewarding when customers are pleasantly surprised at how their item has been enhanced by our framing. Attending to customers is the least  predictable part of our job as no two days of the week are ever the same, the number of people through the door each day varies considerably from week to week.

♥ What do you look for in handmade goods to sell?
It's very difficult to assess what we think customers will buy, but generally speaking if something is eye catchingly different, of good quality, nicely packaged and presented then we would be more inclined to say that we would stock it.

♥ Do you actively seek new designers, or wait for them to come to you?
We are generally approached on a regular basis by artists wanting us to give our opinion on their work and whether we think it's saleable.  On the odd occasion if we see something we think will suit our gallery and appeal to our customers we will approach an artist, but this doesn't happen very often.

♥ What’s your best seller?
The bespoke framing side of our business is what we call our 'bread and butter' but generally speaking people call in to browse our framed and unframed art work looking to see if there is anything to suit their tastes.  Our motto is 'right person, right time' - sometimes if a picture has been in the gallery for a period of time you begin to wonder if it will ever find a home, with that a person will call in, fall in love with it and buy it!

 Comic Book Prints from Picture This

♥ How do you prefer a designer to approach you about selling their work? Any tips? 
The preferred method of approach for us would be a polite telephone call or an email to discuss the possibility of us becoming stockists - we will then arrange for them to call in with some examples of their work if we think it is suitable to our gallery.  Quite often people do 'cold call' and whilst we would still give them our honest opinion we do sometimes find this method inconvenient.

♥ What sort of basis do you prefer to work with your designers - consignment or wholesale?
For the most part we deal with artists on a 'sale or return' basis, this way we can minimise our outlay and upon sale of the item both parties are remunerated. Publishers of prints however, require us to purchase the art work at wholesale prices, we then frame them and display them in the gallery. Smaller items such as pottery, jewellery, candles etc we tend to buy wholesale. On occasion we frame art work at our cost if we think it will appeal to our customers more if framed.

♥ Link us up!
Picture This website
Picture This on Facebook

"Meet the Stockist" is a collection of interviews with stockists of independent designers' work, posted on the last Friday of each month.  If you are a stockist and would like to be featured, or you are a maker and know of a great stockist to interview, email me!

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