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As promised here are some photos of the wallpaper we have printed for the shop - above is a shot of the printing process and below are rolls of the first colour and the finished article hanging to dry. Sam met Simon through the record label Horseglue - Sam designed their logo and Simon printed up the gig posters with his 1960's printing machine he brought from Ebay. We asked him very nicely if he would print us some LLROK logo wallpaper. He happily agreed and gave us a fair price. We also had to buy the plain wallpaper to print on and Sam had to assist him which he was quite excited about. So they set off at 2pm on Saturday afternoon and didn't finish until 2am Sunday morning. It's quite a physical process too that machine looks surley. But, wow! I love it!
Sam's Dad is coming to the shop today to help hang the wallpaper along the side of my studio, over the arch and into the shop. If we have any left over we'll also paper the section of wall by the front door. I'm not gonna post pictures just yet of the finished walls - you'll have to come to our opening party!
Yesterday I sent 5 fun packs to Motel to be stocked in 5 of their DNA shops around the UK. I have also sent new stock to Get Cutie in Brighton and No Angel in Manchester. I have 3 new stockists: 2 are in Australia - Hunter Gatherer and Irving baby and 1 is a temporary boutique space in Covent Garden called On The 7th Day run by Pimp London which opens on Friday. Phew, it's all go!
This is what the shop looked like when we signed the lease. This particular view is my studio area on the left and the section of shop in front of my studio.
The very next day a lick of white emulsion was painted on all the walls, except where the pegboard was going. Here you can see the frame being attached to the wall. This was thirsty work...
The whole wall along the side of my studio and in the left portion of the shop is fitted with pegboard and painted a pale 1950s pink. The window frame is painted glossy black and the rail fittings are attached.
The most nerve wracking decision so far is to paint the arch and middle column a bright cherry red. WOW! I love it! Then the first coat of black floor paint goes down.
The electricians have been and now we have spot lighting for the shop and 2 pendant lights for our studio areas which we need to find super shades for. A section of wall is painted pale blue for Gemma's boy's tees. You can also see through to our little patio area behind the shop and the kitchenette has been painted cherry red to echo the arch.
Things are really moving on when my custom made work bench, shelving unit and wall shelves are in place and the wall above the stairs is painted a raspberry pudding pink and the stairs a glossy black.
Yesterday we took over some of the furniture and Gem started painting her mural on the back wall. Today Sam is printing up lipstick-lightning-bolt logo wallpaper and we'll be hanging it tomorrow. There is still so so so much to do and the opening is only 13 days away. I'll post details of the opening party next week, and let you know the name of our shop too!!!!
We arrived home from Berlin on Saturday evening and what a jam packed three days were had! Gemma and I took the super early 6.30am flight out of Luton on Thursday and went straight to the Gallery to drop off all our goodies - see photos of shop front above. Antonia who owns the gallery took us to our minimalist apartment which had a huge balcony overlooking the city lights although at minus 1 we didn't really make the most of it. First stop was dropping off lots of Rock'n'Roll Charm School goodies to my stockist Soma in Mitte. My friend Jeanne arrived on a later flight and we all had dinner with Antonia and her sister in a punk rock Italian restaurant followed by Cocktails in Prenzlauerberg.
The next day it snowed, brrr, it was freezing! We spent all day setting up the exhibition and I hung lots of one-of-a-kind pieces on a denim display and in crisp white podiums. The opening started at 8pm, but in true Berlin style it didn't really kick off until 10pm. We chatted to lots of nice people about our work and then it was off to a private party by the Brandenburg Gate. I was a bit worse for wear at this point (over tired and giddy on free champagne) all I remember is dancing to Michael Jackson like my life depended on it and calling everyone Nico - being surrounded by 6 foot blonde German model types I think I thought I was in Andy Warhol's factory.
Saturday was our last day and with only 4 hours sleep we were up to go to the flea markets. BIG mistake sister! Arcona Platz has stopped opening on a Saturday, Boxhagener Platz was just food and Mauer Park had ONE stall! AAARRRGGHHH! With little spirit left we turned the corner onto Oderberger Str. to find this little treasure trove (see photo above). We purchased lots of display items for our new shop and some super cute vintage boots, bags, muffs, gloves, fabric. Sweet retro heaven.
Yesterday I was back in my little work room with over 50 website orders to make and 3 wholesale orders to begin. I also added i-pod cases to the online shop which had arrived while I was away. Back in September I comissioned the lovely Miss Laura (a fellow Warriors fan - thanks for the charm bracelet Laura!) from Charcoal to make some limited edition LLROK mini i-pod cases for us. I'm apple crazy and i-pod addicted so these seemed a perfect stocking filler to add to the site. We don't have that many though and I have already sold 3...
One final thing, what a long blog entry (sorry!) a new set of e-cards have been added to the site designed by Jenny Harada. I first discovered Jenny's crazy fuzzy handmade creatures at the Renegade Craft Fair in New York when I purchased a Wee Peppermint Beast - who has candy canes for ears! I have since ordered and received Sprinkles (an ice-cream shaped little dude) and Mr Rainbow from her website as WPB was feelin' lonely. Ahhhh. Now I have orders to make for Bow Wow Wow in Leeds and Be You K in Paris. Sam is over at the shop finishing off buildng my studio - can't wait to show you all the photos!
Yesterday I sent some goodies to my regular stockist Forty Four in Lincoln and Angela sent me some photos of her boutique - see above. There will be a Christmas Market between the 1st and 4th of December and if you break out of the hustle and bustle and flee down Steep Hill behind the Roman Gate you'll the discover the crisp aqua and white Forty Four which is stuffed full of cute trinkets!
I have also recently stocked up So and So in Newcastle. I met Charlotte originally at Portobello Market and I thought I'd catch up with her to see how things are goin'...
*Lady Luck* Tell us a little about you and why you decided to open So and So...
*Charlotte T* Well firstly there was nowhere in Newcastle to buy handmade clothes and accessories, it was all high street and only a couple independent shops selling big named brands - which I wasn't interested in and I knew there were lots of other girls in Newcastle who felt the same. There are 2 huge universities in Newcastle and some very well known fashion courses but none of the graduates seem to stick around and set up businesses, so I thought why not just do it myself! I've always been good at researching and was aware of so many‚ talented businesses across the world that had never been given the opportunity to sell their items to the public in a real bricks and mortar shop. I've always been interested in fashion and visited the fashion markets of London a few times a year (where i first saw lady luck!) and have designed and made my own clothes for years, I even have my own label in SoandSo that I run with my mum and sister!
*Lady Luck* Aww, you make clothes with your Ma and sis - I love it! Tell us more about your label and also about the other labels you stock...have you unearthed some design talent from the local universities?
*Charlotte T* Ha ha! Our label is called Frock and we mainly do knitted stuff; bags, cuffs, shrugs, boleros, neckwarmers etc. It's actually been my best seller in the shop since opening and I've since expanded it to 2 shops in Edinburgh, the Newcastle arts Centre, Leeds, Manchester and will also soon be on Cut and Paste! My mum and sister both work full time but spend their nights knitting! My mum is very inspirational, when she was younger she knitted for boutiques in Leeds and use to do her own stalls. I am also the founder of Newcastle's knitting club; Miss Spiritual Tramps Knitting Club, we've been running over a year and a half and still meet every week in The Fourth Pub in Newcastle!
I have indeed unearthed some talent from the local colleges and Universites...one particular label Bassface Music has always been a bestseller at SoandSo. Her 'I stole Barbie's Buttons' plectrum earrings were my number one seller for a long time until the designer Hannah couldn't face the time consuming design anymore! Her most recent project has been clocks and in particular a leather screen printed cuckoo clock which sold straight away and also scouted by Topshop oxford cirus!
Sorry forgot to mention other labels I stock! The more well known ones are Red Mutha, Lazy Oaf, Rebecca Jay, I saved Laurence, Jolaby and Bow Wow Wow (where lady luck is also sold!)
*Lady Luck* Ooh fantastic! I'll keep an eye out for your goodies on Cut and Paste and maybe take a peek into Topshop next time I'm up west to see Hannah's stuff. So when you're not knitting or running your cute shop what else fills your time?
*Charlotte T* I don't think anything has actually materialised with hannah's clocks at Topshop yet but I'll let you know if/when it does!
Well as you know running your own business is hard work! I have to work 6 days a week and it doesn't leave time for much else but i do enjoy going to the local arthouse cinema, going to the new carling academy or the Sage; newcastle is great for live music. Of course my day off is spent car booting as there are some fantastic car boots here in the north east which run almost all year round; last weekend i picked up 15 original 1950s mushroom money boxes in their original boxes and a 1950s leopard print sewing table!
*Lady Luck* Oh wow...my inner green eyed thrifty monster is looping the loop. I'm glad all these vintage finds are going to a good home.
What are you future hopes and dreams for So and So?
*Charlotte T* My future hopes and dreams for soandso? Well I hope the crafty girls of Newcastle keep supporting me and I hope to continue in my quest in making Newcastle more creative, with a fashion market I've dreamt up which starts on the 20th of this month!
*Lady Luck* Go Charlotte! How can all the Newscastle crafty tykes apply for a stall and where will it be....?
*Charlotte T* They can send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and it's going to be on the terrace of a bar called Stereo on Newcastle quayside on a sunday afternoon!
*Lady Luck* If you can't make it to the fashion market why don't you pop by the shop and say hi to Charlotte and peruse the ace merchandise. Go to - So and So, 69 High Bridge, Newcastle, NE1 6BX.
Yesterday I added a set of Gift Vouchers to the site in the values of 10, 25 and 50 - perfect for christmas! I think a few of you will be requesting LLROK goodies as stocking fillers so how can you make sure you receive the right items? You can either set up a "wishlist" which can be e-mailed to your loved one, but y'know I have over 100 products on the site and new goodies are added weekly so maybe a Gift Voucher is better! This way you can buy an up-to-date trinket...
Today is all about starting work on the pieces for my first ever exhibition to be held at Gal Institute in Berlin which will run from 18.11.05 to 18.02.06. It's a joint exhibition with my new shop partner and pal Gemma and we fly over to berlin for the opening on the 18th of this month. We met Antonia (Head Gal) at the Bread and Butter trade show in July and she was with her best pal who is a huge Ramones fan. They got all excited when they saw my jewellery on the giant cardboard cut out of the Ramones so I'll be making more of these for their window display. I'll also be making scaled up versions of my jewellery as wall decorations - if all goes well I'll post some piccies on the blog next week.
Just a quick note to tell y'all about the LLROK interview on the cute US based website MY MY. Click the "FUN" square, then the "Q & A" button to read about my upcoming shop and new collection. Taryn (the cool lady running the show at MY MY) is also selling my I Buy DIY tees and Roller Derby necklaces. Next to the goods you can spy a slightly blurred piccie of me at a trade show with my Japanese agent.
I added a few new products to the site last night as stuff is selling out fast around here these days. I'm sad to say goodbye forever to the Mother's Little Helpers, I Love You necklace and 2 of the chain brooches. The Mini G and Hully Gully Guitar are also close to the end too! On a brighter note I will be restocking the Go Go Gloves and designing a whole bunch of new Crafty Cuffs next week. This week I have started to rework more of my huge find of original 1980s gumball charms, I hope you'll love the Cherry Drops, Fancy Fawn (in new colourway) and Teddy Boy.
The jazzy tights section has worked a real treat so I have added 7 new styles. With winter closing in we'll all still want to wear skirts so why not go wild with your leg decoration - who wants to wear boring black tights!? We have leopard print, skulls, bows, lace up detail, polka dots and new block colour leg warmers and spotty footless tights!
Today I'm busy making FIVE of my fun packs for the label Motel who will be stocking them in their shops in Bristol, Leicester, Cheltenham, Nottingham and Oxford. Each store will have about 80 pieces of LLROK jewellery including one of kind items designed just for Motel! I'll let you know when the goodies are instore...