Sunday, 21 August 2011

Sweet Liberty

Yesterday I attended Liberty's "Best of British" open call. I joined the snaking queue outside the store just before 9, with cup of tea and mini pain au chocolat in one hand and my mini suitcase of treasures in the other. Although it was a long day of queuing (I met the judges at about quarter to three) it did go by a lot quicker than I expected. This was because of all the super brilliant people all out to show their many varied wares that I got to chat to.

oooh nervous don't look down!

last bit-nearly there

I didn't know that Susie Lau (Stylebubble) was going to be on the panel for accessories. Her blogpost on my work last year really meant a lot to me, as she has a fantastic talent for hunting out and introducing new designers. I was thrilled to finally meet the girl behind the bubble, in real life she is just as enthusiastic and full of great helpful ideas.

Olivia Richardson, head of fashion and accessories at Liberty was the other panel member. I can't believe what a fantastic opportunity it was to actually meet and be given advice by a buyer for such a prestigious store. Her thoughts were that she would like to see some Hewn rings in a more streamlined shape, to be suitable for those not used to such chunk-a-delic rocks as mine. This is something I'm interested in working on as I've developed a few different shapes in the range especially as each one is shaped by hand as a one-off. I'm always ready to listen to what people would want in a piece, but it's usually an individual's desires rather than that of a whole store. A department store such as Liberty will require more consistency and pieces that are easy to wear, and I think it will be a useful endeavour to experiment in this area to make some slightly different pieces whilst retaining their unique style.

I definitely recommend the Open Call as it's a unique opportunity to get advice from industry experts who really know their stuff. I really enjoyed the day, and even though I did feel a bit dazed when leaving the shop from being on tenterhooks all day in quite a small space, I had to remember that there were other people STILL QUEUING and all the judges were STILL THERE! I don't know what time they all finished, but a big hello and best of luck to all the cool designers I met, and a massive thanks to the judges for patiently seeing us all one by one and to Liberty for putting on the whole doo.


Lisette said...

Sounds like it was a nerve-wracking but worthwhile experience. I'm curious, was it an open call to sell your jewelry at Liberty? I really love your rings and love it that they are made of resin but resemble stones so well!

Jade Mellor said...

There were limited spaces that you could sign up for a few months ago, places went really quickly! It meant that it was open to anybody so gave everyone a fair chance of showing their work and receiving advice. They hadn't anticipated the huge amount of jewellery designers that came though so that's why I was there for longer, I'm guessing next time they will make more arrangements for this,but it was worth the queue!

Anna Lai Chan said...

Wow what a great opportunity! Hope something comes from it x