Category Archives: Interview

Doing The Blog Hop

imageThis week I’m talking “blog hopping”!  Blog Hopping? I hear you ask!  Let me tell you, it was a question on my lips when the lovely Eve from the Feel Better Every Day Consultancy nominated me to take part.  I’ve never done this kind of thing before, but I was willing to have go!   The idea is pretty simple : I have to answer 4 questions on my blog, then pass the “baton” to two other writers.  So, here goes… bear with as I step up to the mastermind chair….

1. What Am I Working On?

Currently I’m preparing interviews to appear on my blog in the next couple of months …I won’t say the “C” word but it is looming!  I have a great line up already in place this Autumn – I’ve interviewed models, authors, bag designers, shoe designers, start ups, jewellers, beauty product companies, fashion houses, TV psychics….

2. How Does My Work Differ From Others In This Genre?

Probably the interview style blogposts I would say, as I don’t do an awful lot of photographing myself in various outfits! I try to concentrate more on interviewing interesting and inspirational people and companies from all corners of the globe, some connected with the fashion industry , others not – but all linked with personal fashion and footwear tastes at the end of the interview.  Another factor is that I’m a lot older than the average fashion blogger.

3. Why Do I Write What I Do?

I enjoy it.  I enjoy chatting to different people and I have a wide variety of interests and I have a passion for writing and reading that matches my passion for fashion and boots!  As I’m a bit older (just a tad!) than your average fashion and shoe blogger I hope, through my blog, to pass on the message that as you get older you can continue to dress fashionably without looking like “mutton dressed as lamb” or resorting to looking like a frump! As mum to a trendy and glam 21 year old daughter, I am pretty much kept in check if something I wear is OTT or frumpy!

4. How Does My Writing Process Work?

My blogposts differ each week and I enjoy chatting and getting to know the people I’m about to interview. Most interviewees I either know personally or have got to know and followed via social media for a long time. Others have been introduced to me at events, via PR agents, others approach me direct and some I email direct asking to interview them.Some interviews are done in person but most are online. I do a lot of research before I do an interview so as I can really understand and get interested in the person or company. I tend to work in advance, so “interviews” are often held about 6 weeks prior to the publishing date.

Thank you Eve for nominating me, it was fun!  I’m passing the baton onto two completely different but equally as fab writers…. author Carol E Wyer who has just published her 7th humorous book, Three Little Birds ( read Carol’s interview with me HERE) imageand to fellow blogger, Hosiery For Men, whose knowledge about hosiery has no limits and regardless of gender, his hosiery reviews and opinions are most highly regarded….image I look forward to reading their blog hops…..

Linda x

Photo Credits: All photos published with kind permission of Carol E Wyer; Hosiery For Men; Linda Hobden

STOP PRESS …. the lovely people at Wear Eponymous have awarded me their blogger award and I now proudly display the award badge on my blog!  I interviewed Wear Eponymous last year and I’m pleased to say that their stylish outfits are continuing to wow!  To read my interview with Wear Eponymous, press HERE.

Share This!
Pin It

An Interview With Sally Morgan

Embarking on her Autumn UK tour,  I managed to catch up with Sally Morgan, better known as TV’s Psychic Sally… you may have seen the lovely, bubbly Sally  in her TV series “Star Psychic, in Psychic Sally Big Fat Operation, in Sky Living’s Psychic Sally On The Road, as well as appearances on Channel 4’s Come Dine With Me Halloween Special and Big Brother’s Bit On the Side with Rylan Clark.  Sally has a big passion for fa shion too, so a big warm welcome to the blog….image

Hi, I am Sally Morgan aka Psychic Sally. I am often referred to as an ordinary woman with an extraordinary gift…I believe that I can connect with people on the other side. I am currently touring theatres in the UK with my interactive show Psychic Sally On The Road, I am also the star of several TV shows and an author. When I am not working my most favourite hobby is shopping! Shoes and bags are my biggest obsession!

Congratulations on being recognised as one of the top 5 psychics in the world after being tested by Professor Gary Schwartz, a Harvard University Ph D graduate. What sort of tests did you go through as part of his experiment?

There were lots of different tests often referred to as ‘blind on blind’ wheimagere I give information about a person that I have not met. It was a fascinating project to be involved in and I think I left a lot of people speechless with the information I gave. The validation given would have been difficult for even the biggest skeptic to pull apart.

You had your first psychic experience with an appearance of a ghost at around the age of 4. Were you not frightened at such a tender age? When did you first realise you had this psychic ability?

My ability has always been something that is just within me, I have never known any different. When I was 4 I had no idea what it was. I just remember one day being told off at nursery when I asked if my grandad could stay. The teachers said no and I pointed at another older gentleman in the room and shouted that it wasn’t fair that another little girl could have her Grandad there. What I didn’t realise is that this man did not exist in real life. Only I could see him!

In your 20s you used your psychic abilities as a sort of party piece but soon your excellent reputation attracted an extensive client list including celebrities and royalty – reading for Princess Diana for 4 years. Did you realise that your psychic abilities would shape your career or as a child did you yearn to follow a different career path?

imageIf I am honest I had no idea that I would end up working as a medium full time. (I use the word medium as someone who is in touch with spirit but a more generic term is psychic.) When I was about 15 my mother took me to a spiritualist church where a very famous psychic of that time told me that I would go on to do great things with my ability. I honestly had no idea at that time that I would use it as any more then a party piece. I got a job as a dental nurse in my 20’s which I loved but outside of work I was starting to build up a client base. I had people from all different walks of life wanting to see me, and soon people started coming to my house for readings. It grew very organically, at one point I was known as ‘London’s best-kept secret’. In my early 30’s I realised that I had enough demand to work as a medium full time and so that is what I did. I set up my own practice at my home and took bookings all day long. I haven’t looked back since! If I hadn’t of developed naturally into working as a full time medium my dream job would have been to be a fashion or interior designer. I have a real eye and passion for fabrics, textures and colours.

imageLaunching in the TV spotlight in 2007 with your TV series Star Psychic, you went on to star in other TV programmes & documentaries such as Psychic Sally Big Fat Operation, a fly on the wall documentary showing your life changing weight loss operation. What were the main differences you noticed, other than weight loss obviously, after the operation compared to Sally before the op? Did people’s attitudes change or have you more stamina to get through your gruelling tour schedule?

The biggest change for me was that at the end of a 2-hour show I could still stand! Seriously, before the operation my feet and ankles use to swell and I would be in agony at the end of an evening. This may sound silly but it was something really simple that really made me stop and recognise the change. I was walking down my stairs at home and when I got to the bottom step I sprung off it, like I was as light as a feather. I hadn’t done that for years! I know wear clothes that I never thought I would, jeans, dresses etc. People are often staggered at my weight loss, when you compare pictures of my before and after, it is like looking at someone different. Like anything in life you have to take the bad with the good. Most people are very supportive but there are always those they feel you have changed as a person because you are thinner and perhaps put more value on how you look. But the truth is I am still the same old Sally. Even when I was bigger I still loved fashion – I always dressed in bright colours and wanted the latest trends. It really was a health decisions. After suffering a mild heart attack I was told by the doctors that I had to lose weight – it was literally a life or death decision.

imageYour successful Sky Living series Psychic Sally on the Road provided an unique insight on your hectic tour schedule and home life. You have toured the UK for over 7 years performing over 120 shows a year – and are just about to tour the UK again ( I will be putting your tour dates in the article) You have also taken your interactive show to Australia, with a hope to tour there again in 2015. What do you most enjoy about touring? Any secrets on how you keep your stamina going that you can share?

There are two main things I love about touring 1. Is meeting so many amazing people all with an interest in the afterlife and 2. Learning more about spirit and how they interact. Since being on tour I have taken my understanding of  the spirit world to the next level, really developing my knowledge of what happens when we pass, the signs spirit give us and how they interact with one another. You will often hear me say that ‘spirit orchestrates the evening’, this is completely true. I never know what is going to happen on any night, I put all my trust in spirit and that the messages will get to the right people. I have always been a bubbly and energetic person and I am lucky to have a great support network around me, which makes life on the road much easier. I always stock up on bananas for energy and make sure I drink plenty of fluids…and of course the odd cup of tea!

You are an author too of 4 books – My Psychic Life, Healing Spirits, Life After Death, My Heavenly Truth, and you are currently writing your 5th book, Call Me Psychic, due out early 2015. Do you find writing therapeutic? What sort of book genre do you like reading? Favourite books or authors?

I love reading  motivational books and one of my favourite authors has to be Deepak Chopra. I have always enjoyed writing and it was always a dream of mine to write a book. I can’t believe I am now writing my 5th! It is very therapeutic and for me, taking the time to reflect on my life and work is very rewarding to me.

imageYou won Channel 4’s Come Dine With Me Halloween Special, beating various celebs including Robert Englund (aka Freddie Kreuger). Did you enjoy the experience?

We had so much fun making the show. I am a bit of an entertainer so I put a lot of effort into the evening – hiring a local dance school to perform their version of Michael Jackson’s Thriller. I also had a couple of friends dressed as Zombies, which certainly gave the neighbours a fright! I really tried to push the boundaries and created completely new recipes for the night…this could have been a disaster but luckily the food turned out brilliantly. I was gobsmacked when they announced me as the winner but it was great being able to give the winnings to my chose charity.

You also appeared on Big Brother’s Bit On The Side With Rylan Clark, sharing your views on the Big Brother 2014 housemates. Did you enjoy that experience? Did you get any psychic experiences relating to the housemates?

I love Rylan, he is such a down-to-earth person with lots of endearing qualities. We have become quite good friends since, as he has always been a big fan of mine. The 2014 Big Brother housemates were certainly unique…I picked up on their true characteristics straight away…I think I will leave that there!! Ha ha

Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?

On stage I always wear heels, normally from Russell & Bromley as they are so comfy! I wear black trousers and then either a bright or sparkly jacket, which I get specially made. I love a bit of glitz and glamour!  In the day I will often be seen in M&S jeans, flats and a t-shirt or jumper…very casual.

Do you have any favourite shops or online sites ?

I love high street brands Zara, Whistles and Weekend Max Mara.
I also love asos.com for online shopping. So much selection and quick delivery – very convenient!

What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?

I have my eye on a pair of brogues from Russell and Bromley. I would also really love a Burberry Mac!! Ha ha

Boots or Shoes?

Shoes – I find it hard to get boots that fit me as I have big calves so I definitely have more shoes then boots.

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers of the blog can learn more about you!

Facebook: www.facebook.com/sallymorgantv
Twitter: @SallyMorganTV
Website: www.sallymorgan.tv

Thank you very much Sally for taking time out of your busy schedule for a chat – I hope your tour continues to be a success.  So, dear readers, for the list of tour dates for the rest of October and November, press HERE. So if Sally’s in your town , why not pop along and say hello… she may have a message for you! How fab would that be?

Linda x

Photo Credits: All photos have been published with kind permission from Sally Morgan

Share This!
Pin It

An Interview With La Esmeralda

Mainland Europe is the destination of the blog this week to chat in the hauntingly beautiful area of North Germany to the equally hauntingly beautiful alternative gothic model, La Esmeralda.  This gorgeous dark haired beauty – who loves fairytales, gothic, burlesque, cosplay and animals according to her website profile – not only has a stunning face and figure, but she is a talented photographer and dressmaker too.  A big warm welcome Esmeralda:image

Hello! My name is Esmeralda and I am a 25 year old alternative model from Kiel, Germany.

You started modelling in 2009 and as well as posing you often do your own make up, design and create your own fairytale dresses and take self-portraits, too. Also you have a full time job as a media designer and product photographer. What a busy bee! So, when you were a child, did you hope to be a model or photographer or fashion designer or make up artist …?

No, I never planned to do that. I had always been a very creative person, was interested in crafting and drawing and many other things but actually planned to become a latin teacher. I started taking photos with my friends just for fun and soon I also started modeling in a bit more professional way. Still, I had never expected anything like this to happen because I just did what I liked.

imageWhat inspired you to try your hand at modelling? Why did you choose the fab brand name of La Esmeralda to launch your modelling career?

I can’t really say what inspired me to start. I wanted to take some photos with my horse (I was riding until I was 18), dressed up as a gothic princess and went to the forest to take some photos with a friend. I loved it so much and really soon I started to do more and more shoots. Esmeralda was just the name that I always used for my video game characters and similar stuff. When I wanted to create an account at deviantArt Esmeralda was already chosen by someone else so I put the “La” in front of it… and then I kept this name as I had no better idea. Today I think that it was a pretty good choice as many people always compared me to this character anyway.

You are a beautiful alternative gothic model that has achieved (I think!) the perfect balance between the dark broody gothic/rock chick look with the romantic fairytale princess feminine edge and with a spluttering of respectable yet sultry sexiness . Knowing that you don’t do any nude or fetish photoshoots, have you been on any unusual or strange modelling locations? Have you had any strange/unusual/bizarre modelling experiences?

Hmm no, I don’t think so.

imageTo date, what has been your most favourite photoshoot?

At the end of 2013 I had a wonderful shoot at Wildtierhilfe Fiel, not far from my town. They take care of wild animals that have got hurt and they were all so lovely and fluffy, I could cuddle them all day. It was just amazing. I will just share our behind the scenes video with you:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CccfWzSwiuY
By the way, they are always happy about donations, in fact they need that to survive. I am the godmother of Lotta the otter baby from the video, so to speak, and donate some money for her each month 🙂

Is there any style of photoshoot /modelling / famous photographer that you would like to try that you haven’t yet experienced?

I am sure there are some but at the moment can’t think of anything I really want to do that I haven’t done or planned yet. When I started modeling I was a huge fan of Annie Bertram, Silent View and Viona Art – I was so happy when I had had the chance to work with these talented photograhers. In fact I worked with Annie for several times already and always love meeting her.

imageYou have a passion for make up that started when you were a young girl – what make up items are your favourite essentials? Have you a favourite brand or two?

I am afraid I don’t have any favourites. I just take care to only buy products that are cruelty free and I also buy drugstore products. At the moment I use a lot of make-up from KIKO because I like the quality, the price and that they do not test on animals.

You’re well known for wearing lots of gorgeous corsets and having a gorgeous hourglass figure and a naturally tiny waist, you must be a godsend to corset makers! Do you do any special exercises/workouts to maintain your waistline? What do you feel are the advantages/disadvantages/differences between made-to-measure corsets and cheaper ready made corsets?

No, actually I don’t. I am very lucky that I have this figure and must admit that I am a bit lazy when it comes to doing workouts but eat a lot of chocolate instead. I love dancing and do some different things every now and then. Some years ago I also did bellydancing but at the moment I don’t have the time for that, even though I would like to start again.
The differences between a made-to-measure corset and a cheaper ready made one are GIANT. Made-to-measure corsets are way more comfortable, you can wear them all day long without any pain and you can reduce your waist a lot better. I also started with buying some cheap ones and still have some but these days I would always prefer to spend more money on a made-to-measure and unique corset than buying a cheap one and damage my body.

imageAnother favourite past time of yours is sewing – you have made many of your beautiful dresses that you model in? What was the first item of clothing you’ve ever made? Have you had any sewing failures? What’s your favourite item that you’ve made?

Oh I had so many failures already, I bet everyone has! The first dress I made was one of them: it was from panne velvet and I never wore it because the fabric was so horrible. But it was cheap so I guess that is okay 😀 My second dress however was a medieval dress that I still like a lot. About favourites – I think I have two favourite dresses. A red / black velvet dress that I created for last years WGT and a green/black one that I made for Father Sebastiaan’s vampire ball in Berlin.

imageYou have a personal interest in photography – as reflected in both your job as a media designer and product photographer as well as some of your modelling self portraits. Apart from those fields, what photographs do you enjoy taking for pleasure?

Sadly there is not much time left for taking any other photos as I work most of the time.

Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing when not modelling?

Comfortable things that are preferably black, band shirts or geeky stuff, as well as some very elegant goth things with a touch of fantasy. And while I never would wear jeans for photo shoots I do wear them in real life.

Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?

Ebay 😉

What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?

That is quite a long list. At the moment I am planning to sew three or four new dresses for different upcoming events, I hope I get them done in time.

Boots or Shoes?

Fun fact: I hate shoes, except for sparkling high heels. If I go to a shop because I need new “normal” shoes I get super frustrated and leave after 5 minutes because I don’t like anything.

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers can follow you and your career.

https://www.facebook.com/Alternative.Model.La.Esmeralda
http://modellaesmeralda.blogspot.de/
http://la-esmeralda.deviantart.com/
http://model-la-esmeralda.tumblr.com/
http://instagram.com/modellaesmeralda

Thank you very much Esmeralda for chatting to me this evening –  it’s been a real pleasure and a delight to view those wonderful dresses!  

Linda x

CREDITS:

PHOTOGRAPHERS: Hanny Honeymoon; Ashtray Arts Photography; La Esmeralda; Alex Blyg; Annie Bertram

CO-MODEL: Lobo/Wildtierhilfe Fiel

HEADDRESS: Jumeira Creations; Elegant Curiosities

DRESSES: La Esmeralda; Royal Black; Johanna Macht

NECKLACES: Von-Uebel Design; Gothic Elegance

CORSET: Royal Black

Share This!
Pin It

An Interview With Carol E Wyer

Bucket lists – have you ever made one?  A list of things you hope to see or do before you reach a certain age or before you die, perhaps?  I haven’t personally but my younger sons had preprinted bucket lists from the National Trust, I think it was, detailing a list of activities to achieve by the age of 11….including rolling down a hill, climb a tree, play pooh sticks, skim stones, etc My sons were chuffed that they had crossed off most of the things on the list.  Perhaps you’ve seen the articles on subjects such as 100 places to see before you die … a wishlist that would be nice to fill out… ; some bucket lists are a lot more challenging, thought provoking, and life changing.  I’ve been chatting to the lovely author Carol E Wyer  this week, whose 7th humorous book, Three Little Birds, was published by Safkhet Publishing on 15th August about this very subject…. a big warm welcome Carol:image

Hello! I’m Carol E. Wyer (no I won’t tell you what the E stands for) AKA Facing 50 although I am facing it from the wrong direction now. I write humorous books aimed at helping people to grow old disgracefully and hopefully make them laugh. Recently I took a crash course in stand up and now tour the UK and France with my comedy talk Smile While You Still Have Teeth – phew! Are you still reading or have I bored you yet?

Your 7th humorous novel, Three Little Birds, published by Safkhet Publishing was launched on the 15th August. Your book is based on two female best friends, one who has struggled after her daughter’s death and her divorce; the other coping with life after a riding accident left her paralysed. On New Year’s Eve, after consuming much wine, they write bucket lists that test their friendship and strengths. For the launch of this book you decided to undertake four of the featured in the book life-affirming challenges plus a bonus challenge – zipwire, belly dancing, bushtucker trial, indoor skydive and zorbing. Where did you get inspiration from to write this novel?

imageInspiration always comes from many sources and indeed takes considerable time to be structured into a novel. There were a few reasons I wrote the book. Firstly, I am one of those irritatingly cheerful people who thinks that no matter how old you are or what life has thrown at you, you can change certain elements by being brave and having a go at different things – whether that be changing your job, taking up a hobby or, as in the case of this book, writing a ‘carpe diem’ list. When I was in my late teens and early twenties I suffered from spinal problems that meant I spent far too much time in hospital and later after an invasive procedure, had a period of time when I was paralysed myself. Fortunately it was a temporary paralysis but it made me appreciate my life more thereafter. I wrote a list out in my forties and tried to complete all the physically challenging things on it as I have osteoarthritis, and at some point I’ll be struggling again, so best to get these things in while you can. Inspiration for some of the characters came from real people, including a lady called Priscilla who writes a blog called The Wheelchair Mommy who impressed me hugely with her vivacity and positive attitude in spite of her disability. Like Mercedes in the book she is a paraplegic. Charlie Blunkett, a hospital radio presenter for Coastway Radio became the inspiration for Charlie the radio presenter although she is only the inspiration and nothing like Charlie in the book and even Bert the mischievous parrot is an online friend! It is also intended to motivate others into having a go at challenges, after all, you have no idea where they make take you. There’s a list of 100 possibilities at the end of the book.

I hear you are a bit of a daredevil, having already learnt to fly a helicopter; driven a quad bike up a mountainside; swum with dolphins; took kickboxing classes; experienced working abroad; took a crash course in comedy…. so, with the extra “launch” challenges… which challenges have you enjoyed the most?

Haha! Not really a daredevil. These are quite tame compared to some of the possibilities available. I enjoyed them all although I kept getting the quad bike stuck on raised mounds. The biggest thrill was flying. There is not really much to compare to the adrenaline rush you get when you take off for the first time flying solo in a Robinson 22.

Your career started in teaching English in an American language school in Casablanca, Morocco before moving back to the UK to teach English as a foreign language in a private school. I guess both experiences have given you a lot of inspiration when writing. What are your fondest memories of teaching?image

I loved teaching. I taught all ages from small children to grown adults. The best memory though was at the American Language School where I taught three classes of children aged 8-14. At the end of the year all the teachers and classes had to sing a popular song. I am the world’s worst at singing but hey ho! It was my job so I chose something fun. My classes sang the Frog Chorus – We All Stand Together by Paul McCartney. They spent the afternoon making frog masks and sang it perfectly. At the end they all cheered like mad and applauded me until I felt like some sort of superstar. The ambience was terrific. All the proud parents kept thanking me and the students kept hugging me. It was very special.

You have written a series of educational yet amusing books for children, and since 2010 you turned your attention to the adult market. What made you realise that you wanted to write books? What impact did teaching make to your new career path?

I have been writing short stories since those days when I was stuck on hospital wards. I started writing then about the funny side of being on a ward. I sent all the stories to my friends and family who thought they were hilarious. Eventually, I got better, finished my degree and moved abroad. Morocco was the perfect place for inspiration. I would drive home on my velosolex motorbike, avoiding donkeys and come up with stories for children, then write them when I got home. They had titles like Humphrey the Camel and the Dustbin Cats. Teaching languages clearly influenced my writing because I then moved into stories, still with amusing animal themes, that taught French to young children aged 3 upwards and even had a series of songs produced to accompany them. They got used in schools with much success. It was when I was facing 50 myself that I decided there wasn’t enough humorous material for women my age. Chick Lit was for younger women, historical romances weren’t my cup of tea and I wanted to read books that had heroines and real characters in them that had lived life. My books aren’t so much ‘they all live happy ever after’ as ‘they started off happy ever after…now what?’ I decided that I would take my brand of observational humour and weave it into books and novels aimed at women (and men) over 40.

imageLast year you did a crash course in stand-up comedy and performed your comedy talk Smile While You Still Have Teeth to audiences in Lichfield and in October you will be on main stage at the Isle of Wight Literary festival along with celebrities Alan Titchmarsh, Katie Price, Sheila Hancock and novelist Katie Fford. Did you take to performing on stage like a duck to water or do you experience nerves before stepping into the spotlight?

I am such a media whore it is untrue! I can’t get enough of standing up in front of people and making them laugh. It’s a drug. I think teaching helped though. After all, once you’ve faced a class of six foot recalcitrant teenagers and attempted to teach them grammar, anything is easy. It helps too that I can’t see very well and my hearing is failing. I have no idea who is in the front row or if they have nodded off, or indeed, if they are heckling me.

You are currently writing a series of novels and articles aimed at the ‘older’ man and woman. Can you tell us a bit more about the topics you’ll be covering?

I often write about relationships, friendships, ageing process, dealing with retirement, coping with teenagers, grandchildren, enjoying life while you can and generally laughing at the banality of it all. Does it matter if we are getting on? No! What matters is that we make the most of what we have.

What sort of book genre do you like reading? Favourite books or authors?

I read anything and everything but I mostly enjoy thrillers, especially dark psychological thrillers with twists or something amusing like Terry Pratchett or Ben Elton. I am not keen on lengthy novels about Victorian women or war stories. I did English and French Literature at university so now and then I get an urge to go and read Camus or Proust or Chaucer. I really must get that under control.

As much as you like to attempt different challenges, is there any “challenge” or “experience” that would really freak you out or would be a definite no no?

I’d have to draw the line under those challenges that would be too demanding in a physical sense. I would not, for instance, leap out of a plane and parachute down in case I landed incorrectly. I wouldn’t want to spend another five years in hospital getting my spine stuck together again. Wingwalking would be on my list of ‘no ways’ along with anything to do with spiders.

Hospital Radio features in Three Little Birds as well as featuring in a chunk of your life when you were younger and spent 11 weeks flat on your back after undergoing spinal surgery. What songs did you request or enjoy listening to or was it the friendly banter that gave you some respite from being in pain as well as being bored? How important was it to you that in your novel you included the work of the hospital radio?

I remembering requesting Magic Fly by Space, Ma Baker by Boney M and 2-4-6-8 Motorway by Tom Robinson’s Band among others. My msic taste is as eclectic as my reading tastes. The music was important as it is with all teenagers but in truth, it was the presenters who made it all the more interesting and I listened to them all day every day. wanted people to be aware of the importance of hospital radio stations to those stuck in bed and I hope the book succeeds in doing that. I have been lucky to have been on many radio shows and lots of the BBC presenters started life in hospital radio and remember it with a deep fondness. It has given many an apprenticeship in radio and more importantly the radio stations connect those who are unwell and in hospital with life outside and keep them entertained.

Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?

Always something bright. I don’t do subtle. You’ll invariably find me in red, orange or bright blue trousers or with a bright scarf and very bright earrings. My shoes must match my outfit so today I have orange trousers and orange and red strap sandals. I wear a lot of trousers and jackets or jumpers. My favourite makes are Marc Cain and Paul Smith and I have a few pieces by both.

Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?

I don’t do online shopping for clothes but I go to my favourite shop in Solihull called Katherine Draisey that specialises in individual outfits. A couple of Times a year I head off to Germany to Hamburg or Munich and buy Brax trousers and fashionable blouses or jumpers. They always have styles, colours and sizes that fit me.

What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?

I desperately want a pair of Christian Louboutin boots. Ever since I saw Celia Sawyer on the show Four Rooms, I have wanted a pair. They are so me!

Boots or Shoes? 

Boots. Every time. I have twice as many boots as shoes. I can’t explain why but I feel much more comfortable in boots during autumn and winter than in sandals in summer. It’s probably because I have such big feet and I feel they look smaller in boots.

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers of the blog can learn more about you and your novels.

BLOG http://facing50withhumour.com/
WEBSITE http://www.carolewyer.co.uk/
SAFKEHT PUBLISHING http://www.safkhetpublishing.com/authors/Carol_E_Wyer.htm
FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carol-E-Wyer/221149241263847
TWITTER https://twitter.com/carolewyer
GOOGLE PLUS https://plus.google.com/u/0/117914391843880994511/about
PINTEREST http://www.pinterest.com/carolewyer/
LINKEDIN https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=116225863&trk
GOODREADS https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5061207.Carol_E_Wyer

Thank you Carol, I’ve really enjoyed chatting to you and I wish your novel every success!  Umm, I wonder, what would be on your Bucket List? …

Linda x

Photo credits: All photos have been published with kind permission from Carol E Wyer. 

Share This!
Pin It

An Interview With Richard Barnard

One of my passionate pastimes is reading – I enjoy most genres but I do like thrillers, murder mysteries and such like as well as the English literature classics, like The Great Gatsby.   I came across “Danny’s Boys, An East End Tale”, a gangland thriller based on an East London criminal gang of kids from Walthamstow in the 1980s, by author Richard Barnard – not only did it tick boxes for me genre-wise, but having been a teenager myself in that era and area I was looking forward to reading about the places I knew.  So, this week I’m pleased to welcome onto the blog the author, Richard Barnard, to chat about “Danny’s Boys”, his Walthamstow memories and past lifestyle, his life now as a published author … and about his fashion tastes too! Hi Richard….image

Hello my name is Richard Barnard, author of Danny’s Boys, An East End Tale and expert analysis in high level criminality.

Congratulations on publishing your debut gangland thriller, “Danny’s Boys, An East End Tale”, the first book in your proposed “The East End Series”. How does it feel to be a published author?

imageTo me it feels strange my clairvoyant aunt predicted my writing career when I was just a small boy and at that time I had no interest in literature or school for that matter.

Your book is based on an East London criminal gang of kids from Walthamstow and their rise to the top during the boom of the 1980s cocaine era – obviously coming from and being brought up in Waltham Forest in the same era myself there are lots of memories I can relate to in the book – but non East Enders would still enjoy the thriller too!How much of your book (and the series) relates to your own life experience?

The trilogy is a fictional story based on how I grew up. It’s no secret I was a career criminal, stealing at infant stages, then progressed on to being the principle organiser of a major cocaine importation at the turn of the Millennium. Oh,and anyone can relate to the story, I get a lot of people from outside London, places like Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and even abroad praising the originality and realism of the skullduggery. It’s also nice to get an email from the ladies who appreciate a good love or sex scene. I’ve been told they’d had a few late night pillow scrunching moments, that’s keeping it mild!

imageHave you always enjoyed the written word, books and story writing as a child?

Going back to your second question, when my aunt told me I’d one day become a successful writer it saddened me because I thought, how boring. She said if my brother followed his true path he would become a movie star. I’m now grown enough to know without writers there would be no actors, movies or singers of music for that matter.

What made you realise that you wanted to write a book? What impact did meeting Jeffrey Archer whilst you were both serving time in prison make to your new career path? Did he offer any helpful hints and tips?

imageJeffery Archer, now there’s a character. I have no doubt, our brief encounter during the year 2001 was fate. The funny thing was at the time he was more intrigued about my life and mind than I was his. I couldn’t help questioning him in detail about the world’s corrupt governments, the Bush administration, Maggie Thatcher, cover ups and David Icke style conspiracy theories. Lord Archer said to me, if I were a writer my work would make for interesting reading. I do feel his statement got my mind’s literary cogs turning and ready to move through the gears. After a four month long court battle my fate was sealed, I received a 20 year sentence and needed something to occupy my time. My defending QC Stephen Solly, one of the most respected, said I was a man of remarkable intelligence. Coming from him I took that as a huge compliment. He was the junior barrister defending the high profile eighties Marijuana and hashish smuggler, Howard Marks (Mr Nice). He actually said myself and Mr Marks had similar traits, that particular observation put a smile on my face during some bleak, testing and troublesome times I have to say. After a while you get bored of other prisoners’ stories – them telling you how many they’ve killed, how much precious stones they’d heisted abroad or how many tons of cocaine they’ve shipped in from Columbia. If truth be known you get sick of hearing it! My daughter inspired me to give up smoking and I became a fitness fanatic, running half marathons around the exercise field. I began reading familiar best-selling crime novels and without being too big headed, I felt I had something to offer. I’d criticise a book, how they’d got the ending wrong, inconsistencies and regularly work out the plot. I grew up in the East End and some of the fictional character leading gangsters in stories would have got laughed off the manor. I can remember one morning waking up in my cell seriously thinking my writing career has begun. As the months went on I began making notes, then giving out chapters of Danny’s Boys to other inmates. There was no better place to have your crime novel criticised, Whitemoor Prison is Europe’s highest security prison housing the world’s top level sophisticated and most dangerous individuals. I continuously used the education department’s printer giving out a few chapters to major cocaine traffickers, armed robbers, hit men and IRA terrorists. The thing was no one had any negative pointers, I would often say, forget us being friends, I need the truth but they had nothing but praise saying they love that genre and it’s the most real they’d read. I’d often try to trick them, saying the text was written by a top author. They didn’t doubt it and most could tell it was written by a man who experienced it first hand. That was it, their words set the wheels in motion, I knew my destiny.

imageIn one of your interviews you quoted that “there is no fairytale ending in a gangster lifestyle. It just brings misery, prison and people getting killed”. Never a truer word spoken, Richard – so is that really the moral of “Danny’s Boys”?  How hard was it to turn your life around?

Linda, I’ve said it a million times, there is no fairy tale ending in that life, it ends in jail misery or death. Even the ones that stop after accumulating mass wealth, they’re never out of the woods, they still worry about someone plotting their demise. They know when you’re on top of your game, the authorities are the least of your problems. I was more worried about the desperado’s flying in from abroad, they’d done their homework and knew who was flush or making large amounts of cash at the time. If they simply took your wealth and went on their way that wouldn’t be so bad but these guys play by different rules such as torturing family members including children until they’re satisfied you’ve given and signed over all you have.

imageNow that your debut book has been published and receiving rave reviews – I’ve downloaded the book and am enjoying it myself (not finished yet) – you are busy with the second installment. When is the second book due out?

The second installment realistically will be with us by the Spring of 2015. I’ve been touched by the public’s response to Danny’s Boys but in my opinion if they think that was good the sequel will be a phenomenon. The buzz I’m getting from the characters fills me with a tremendous energy, a feeling it has already been made into a hit movie. I actually believe the epic story is happening, the vibe of the novel is that strong.

Is it harder to write a follow up book or now that the juices are flowing, are your ideas/thoughts tumbling out?

Now the East End series has begun I can’t hold myself back Linda. Having lived the life makes it effortless, I have so much original knowledge. One old gangster I left at HMP Whitemoor, never to be released once pointed out “Son, who better to write an East End gangland thriller than a boy who lived and breathed it? Go on son, get out and make it happen for yourself, just send me a copy” he laughed. He was once a well loved fence but got put into a situation and being incarcerated indefinitely was the outcome.

Apart from the East End series, are you hoping to write more books in the future? If so, would you stick to the same format or would you try a different genre?

Whilst in prison I wrote an amazing first draft story, the basis being reincarnation. God forbid, but when your body dies your spirit will enter the fetus of a female just conceived and life goes on and on and on, a continuous cycle. In another life, Linda, you could have been my father or lover and our souls continuously meet in new lives we live, that type of thing. The thing is,  I have a secret amazing addition to add to this life cycle concept I truly believe in. It’s in first draft stages at the moment but when I get it right, the right film producers will have a block-buster on their hands. I get an amazing buzz and often smile and even laugh when scenes pop into my mind and I file them. What intrigues me most is where do all the inspirational, creative thoughts and ideas come from. It often makes me feel I never chose to become a writer, I feel more like I’ve been chosen, if you can make sense of that.

On your cover of “Danny’s Boys” you have the picture of the old Walthamstow Dog Stadium, which has now sadly been pulled down although the sign remains. I have had many enjoyable nights there, both as a child and an adult! What places in E17 hold sweet memories for you?

Most sweetest memories in Walthamstow – I’d have to say the Market as a kid hustling, stealing, robbing, making money. I grew up poor and treats were few and far between in our neighbourhood. I speak for many around the world when I say “There is no better feeling than earning readies”.  I love the memories of our local Stoneydown Park, off Blackhorse, kicking football and meeting up with friends to go out on the “thief”- sorry but for me those were the sweetest times for me in our E 17. I felt cursed as a child but now realise being deprived was a blessing, it gave me the backbone and made me the man I am today. I look in the mirror each morning and feel proud.

Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?

I like smart and casual clothing, Italian and French design Armani, Replay, Chevignon, that type of stuff. I often send a pair of boots I like the style of to Thailand to have them copied in a crocodile or snakeskin, other than that a nice trendy pair of Nike or Adidas trainers will do.

Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?

Yes, I shop online for Oakley sunglasses, my favourite.

Links you would like to share so that readers of the blog can learn more about “Danny’s Boys”:

www.facebook.com/dannysboys

www.richard-barnard.com

@RichardBarnard4

Thank you Richard…so, dear readers, if you are looking for a thrilling read whilst reclining on your sunlounger this Summer, get your copy now…

Happy Reading!

Linda x

Photo Credits:  All photos have been published with kind permission of Richard Barnard.

Share This!
Pin It

An Interview With La Redoute

imageI had my first “catalogue” shopping experience in the mid 1980s when a friend of mine was an agent for  Freemans or Grattans – I enjoyed looking at the book and I remember buying a skirt.  However, my mum wasn’t (and still isn’t) a fan of catalogues and I carried on accompanying my mum to Walthamstow market to buy my attire for the weekend disco nights!  In the mid 1990s,  a catalogue advert appeared in a magazine and I sent off for it.  It seemed exciting, different … and I was a mum of 2 … and the little girls clothes were divine and so so chic .. that catalogue was the first winter edition of  La Redoute.  From that day onwards I have been a loyal customer, buying clothes for my children (the 2 eventually became 5) and for myself. Every season fills me with desire as I would love to buy most of the items in the book…. and don’t get me started on their shoes! So I’m really thrilled to interview La Redoute on my blog this week….so welcome…

imageMy favourites from your collection this season include the Soft Grey set of 5 beaded bracelets;the Shopping Prix Softly draping printed vest top with cowl neckline; and the La Redoute Creation high-heeled ankle strap sandals. What outfits are proving popular in the UK amongst your customers so far this season?

Our top 3 best selling products in the Spring Summer 2014 season were Flowing Asymmetric Vest Top with Polka Dots and Back Bow, Printed Softly Draping Short-Sleeved Belted Dress and Fitted Long-Sleeved Printed Cotton Voile Shirt.

imageGuest designers have appeared in La Redoute collections since 1969 and include names such as Terence Conran(1993); Karl Lagerfeld (1994); Azzedine Alaia (1995); Yves Saint Laurent (1996); Jean-Paul Gautier (2005); Christian La Croix (2008); Antik Batik (2012)… to name but a few. What designer(s) collection for La Redoute have been a runaway success with customers in the UK?

The most popular designer collection in Spring-Summer 2014 has been Paul & Joe Sister. From smart suits to cat print T-shirts this collection has proven a success with La Redoute customers. This was closely followed by our summer designer collaboration Brigitte Bardot which embraces the must have bohemian trend.

imageI only discovered fairly recently that the word “Denim” came from the French town of Nimes, where the famous fabric originates. So, it was no surprise that the French wardrobe style staples include jeans, often paired with a crisp white shirt. Personally, I’m favouring my skinnies at the moment which I wear with high leg lace up boots. What jean style is proving the trend this season?

La Redoute UK customers have really embraced the slim fit jean this season. Since these can be teamed with almost anything it’s no surprise this style is the most popular with our customers.

Simplicity is the key to effortless French chic style – from the Little Black Dress to the cobalt blue maxi dress … with pastels, florals, metallics, and a splash of brightness inbetween. What colour(s) are you personally leaning towards this season?

imageOur colour picks for the Autumn-Winter season are Aurora Reds, Royal Blue and Moss Green.

Looking ahead to Autumn/Winter 2014 – what styles/ colours / era do you hope to see being worn?

Our new Autumn-Winter collection includes some of the hottest trends seen on the catwalk. These include prints, collarless coats, 50’s glam, leopard print and of course embellishments which are a must have in the Autumn-Winter season.

Ballerina Shoes are a French wardrobe staple that are so practical and yet oozes the smartness that the French insist upon… I still have in my wardrobe a pair of Mellow Yellow ballerinas in grey/yellow that I bought from La Redoute in the late 1990s. They still look good! What shoe colours are proving popular this year?
image
The top 3 most popular shoe colours in Spring-Summer were Black, Beige and Silver.

I am a fan of bright colours and I love the way La Redoute’s own mini prix and Soft Grey collections offer such an array of basics in such a variety of colours for you to mix & match. I also like the sandals in the same tempting array of colours to co ordinate with the rest of the outfits. I discovered the lure of wearing dusky pink with olive/khaki; turquoise with navy; coral with gold… What has been the colour palettes that have created a storm with customers in the UK?

imageWith our relaxed French style the two most popular colour palettes in SS14 have been the classic Black and White. La Redoute customers have also fully embraced prints this season.

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook etc so that readers can find out more about La Redoute

http://www.laredoute.co.uk/

 

 

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/LaRedouteUK

https://twitter.com/LaRedouteUK

https://twitter.com/LaRedouteUK

http://fashionfamily.laredoute.co.uk/

imageMy tip for Autumn/winter…. I’ve spotted some fabulous burgundy brogue ankle boots… and some fab black biker ankle boots too! Decisions, decisions!

LInda x

Photo Credits: Linda Hobden.

Share This!
Pin It

An Interview With Essex’ee Legs

Way back in November 2012 I interviewed Anne Tyler from Essex’ee Legs (to read the original interview, click HERE) – my favourite hosiery shop – and since then Anne’s business has continued to grow and this year the website has had a revamp, her daughter Victoria has joined the business, but I’m much more excited to announce that Essex’ee Legs have now launched their own brand range of hosiery.  I caught up with Anne and Victoria to find out more …. image

Welcome ladies…what made you want to introduce your own hosiery brand?

Our own brand is something we wanted to introduce from day 1. We wanted to see the Essexee Legs name on our own hosiery that we were proud to sell, and is of an excellent quality, and to see it finally happen is great. To see our Essexee Legs branded bags, in pink of course, is amazing.

Was it difficult to decide what hosiery styles to include in the brand family?

No not at all. This is something we will build on. Hosiery essentials was a good start, with a few fashion items, and fuller figure, as there is limited choice out there for larger ladies.

imageWere your choices dictated by your personal tastes, popular customer requests, hosiery trends, or bits of all three?

A bit of all 3. What the customer wants, was priority.

What is your favourite pair?

We love them all. If I had to pick from present styles I would say from regular range: Essexee Legs Footless Tights with Lace Cuff, and from Large-Plus range definitely the Essexee Legs Open Toe Tights

If it was possible, who would you like to see being the “legs” of Essex’ee Legs?

Abbey Clancy and Rebel Wilson if they want to give us a call 😉

imageYour own brand has only just been launched, but has there been one style that has begun to create a stir already?

The Essexee Legs Open Toe Tights for large-XXL are selling fast. Due to a gap in the market, and the high quality. Ladies are coming back for more.

Are there plans to add to your own brand any new styles in the future?

Yes, we want to grow the brand and will be adding lots of new styles in the future.

imageLooking ahead to the Autumn/Winter season – what hosiery styles do you think will be hitting the headlines?

Bold statement tights with very striking patterns are on the horizon, plus lot’s more choices for fuller figure ladies. Lots to look forward too.

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook etc

http://www.essexeelegs.co.uk

imagehttps://www.facebook.com/tightsandstockings
http://essexeelegs.blogspot.co.uk/
https://twitter.com/EssexeeLegs

http://www.pinterest.com/essexeelegs/essex-ee-legs-tights-and-stockings/
http://essexeelegs.tumblr.com/

https://plus.google.com/111792881149222095036/posts

imageThank you ladies for telling us about your exciting new range – I am already a big fan but any readers who haven’t yet checked out this online hosiery site you should do so as they also stock major brands and swimwear too, fabulous customer service and speedy delivery…. the real service with a smile  🙂

Linda x

All photographs have been published with the kind permission of Essex’ee Legs

Share This!
Pin It

An Interview With Taschka Shoes

This week I’m talking shoes with the gorgeous Natascha of shoe company Taschka who has created stylish luxury leather flats that capture the spirit of wanderlust … a wonderful fusion of her background in both the fashion and luxury travel sector. A big warm welcome Natascha….image

Hello, I am Natascha, Creative Director of Taschka, based ‘Up North’, lover of all things tea related and obsessive wearer of oversized sunglasses.

As a small girl, did you always want to design footwear?

I had a strong passion for design from a very early age and I come from a family where the two generations before me were firmly established within the clothing industry, so I was surrounded by literature and imagery that inspired and encouraged my interests. Accessories have always had my heart. I just love, however much of a cliche it is, the joy of putting on a brand, spanking pair of new shoes!

What do you like best about being a shoe designer?

I love the versatility that having my own label brings, the freedom to create my vision and the perk of an ever expanding shoe-drobe! 

imageYou have a background in both fashion & luxury travel, hence your shoe collection has been inspired by some of the world’s most iconic destinations.  Which is your favourite destination? Which destination inspired your shoe collection the most?

Italy is one of my favourite places and the Taschka label was actually developed whilst I was living in beautiful Florence, fuelled by copious amounts of Italian coffee and gelato.  Each shoe is named using the airport code of a particular destination, for example, ORY is inspired by the romance of Paris and JAI, after the majestic city of Jaipur. I love the nostalgia of travel from a bygone era and wanted to incorporate this into the brand, the dreamy notion of journeys with vintage luggage and the thrill of arriving to your chosen retreat.

imageWhere in the world would you love to visit next and what inspiration for your shoes would you hope to find there?

I have recently returned from an epic Californian road trip, which started with Coachella festival, followed by a drive along the scenic Route from San Diego to San Francisco – so you can expect some coastal/beach influences for Spring/Summer 15.

imagePersonally, I LOVE all your shoes but I have a soft spot for the ORY in nude/coral/cheetah! Have you got a favourite out of all the shoes you’ve designed?

Thank you! At the moment, you will mostly find me wearing FLO in Navy as I currently have a love of all things blue . But I am also a huge ORY fan, as I love the fun and playful aspect that they add to any outfit.

What shoe style seems to be the most popular this season with your clients?

ORY in nude and JAI in cream and gold are currently proving very popular, due to the sunshine we have been enjoying recently. FLO is our biggest seller, loafers are just so effortless and versatile.

imageYour luxury leather flats are handcrafted by artisans in your Portuguese workshop, and I adore your attention to detail, eg the cushioned leather lining and hand-etched Taschka signature sole. They are extremely stylish, comfortable and practical – were you ever tempted or are you tempted, to introduce heels/wedges to your collection in future?

I am keen to focus on flats for the time being. I am adding velvet slippers, brogues and ankle boots to the collection over the course of the coming year. Fit is of great importance to me when designing, I think a flat shoe should be instantly comfortable. The hand-etched soles feature the Taschka signature, henna inspired pattern, a detail which acknowledges my Indian heritage.

imagePersonal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?

I am a flats kind of a lady for the majority of the time, of course. You will very rarely find me without a statement scarf, big earrings and a bright lipstick – I have a huge collection of all and feel incomplete without! I love to keep my clothing simple and classic, a pair of cigarette trousers or jeans teamed with a splash of colourful accessories.

Do you have any favourite shops or online sites ? (apart from your own!)

I am a big fan of SilkFred.com, as I love the new designers they feature and the unique treasures to be found.

What’s next on your shopping wish list?

I will be in New York for a few days very soon, so I have been saving up all of my shopping desires in anticipation. I am hoping to find some treasures in the downtown independent boutiques, which will no doubt include more sunglasses!

Boots or Shoes?

Shoes. Being petite, I tend to avoid boots and go for the shoe option. I like to wear heels too, but always have a pair of Taschka flats in my bag, just in case!

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook etc so that my readers can learn more about Taschka Shoes 

www.taschka.co.uk – online boutique
www.facebook.com/taschka
www.twitter.com/taschkashoes

Thank you for chatting to us Nataschka – they certainly are beautiful shoes and just proves that flat shoes are just as scrummy as heels too! So which shoe destination will you go for, dear reader?

Linda x

Photo Credits: All photographs are published with kind permission of Taschka Shoes

Share This!
Pin It

An Interview With Joanna Maxham

This week I’m so excited to welcome onto the blog, Joanna Maxham, the bag designer whose brand has been listed in Vogue UK’s Top 100 Best Bags – fab accolade indeed! Since the brand has been launched, in 2011, the bags have been sold online internationally as well as in shops all over the USA and in Colombia, Japan, Poland and Switzerland. A big warm welcome to you Joanna….image

Hello – my name is Joanna, I am a hard working mom, who runs her own business and who has a huge handbag problem!

Launching Joanna Maxham, the brand, in 2011,what inspired you to change career direction from being a fast paced international corporate person to becoming a fabulous handbag designer?

Growing up I was creative, but chose a business career a bit out of curiosity and a bit out of economic reasons. When my girls were born, I took some time off and decided to explore other options. During that time we lived in Europe, and I met some wonderful artists, designers and fashion professionals and immediately felt comfortable in their world. After I met Marco – my original Italian manufacturer – I knew that handbags were my destiny.

imageThe brand infuses luxury into everyday functionality, so when choosing designs/styles/colors for your bags, do you go by popular styles, customer requests, fashion trends, your own tastes/needs or bits of all those?

My goal is to design bags that look fresh, but at the same time can be considered investment pieces and are very usable. In my work I like to “quote” trends but always think of the woman who will carry the bag and her everyday life. I love to hear feedback from my customers, and am usually pretty good at implementing it.

imageYour bags are made from leather sourced from the Italian region of Santa Croce and you work with a small atelier with over 35 years experience in your native Poland. How important was it to you that you worked alongside European artisans to hone your design and construction skills as well as finding the right atelier to help develop your collection?

I learned everything about handbags “on the job” – from design, through construction all the way to selection of materials. It was very important for me to learn from the best artisans, with years of experience (and generations to back it up). I was lucky to meet such people.

Congratulations on appearing in Vogue UK’s Top 100 Best Bags list! Your bags are sold through your online site as well as several shops in the USA and in Colombia, Japan, Poland & Switzerland. To date, what has been your most popular bag ordered from your online site?

Thank you! We have just recently re-launched the website with e-commerce capability so we do not have a lot of history. But I have been working for over 2 years with a few online retail partners. The top selling bag is definitely the Nite Cap in Raffia, followed by the Castaway and the Bootcamp.

imageWhat bags seem to be more popular in the stores? Have you noticed any differences between tastes in handbags or colors in USA compared with your customers in the UK, Colombia, Japan, Poland and Switzerland?

I think than on average, the stores select similar merchandise to what sells online. I did not notice many geographic differences quite yet, although Americans may be a bit more willing to experiment with color than Europeans and my Japan retailer is the first to adopt original shapes and color combinations.

imageMy favourite bag from your latest collection is the “Nite Cap” khaki raffia clutch bag – I love textures and khaki is one of my favourite colours. Out of all the items on your website,what is or has been your favourite?

It is very hard for me to tell which product is my favorite – they are all my babies ;-). But this season I carry the Beachcomber Tote in Raffia a lot. I also own a Castaway in each color version it ever existed. Simply love that bag.

If you had the chance to design a handbag for any famous lady in the world (living or dead) who would you like to see flaunting your handbag?

If I had to chose just one – it would have to be Cate Blanchet. She is beautiful, elegant, strong and smart. But there are many other inspiring women who embody the Joanna Maxham style and whom I would love to count among customers.

imageHave you got any plans to expand your shop outlets to other countries in the future?

I am always looking for new stores to carry my line and I hope that we are just at the beginning of the adventure.

You’ve already cited Manhattan as a source of inspiration, are there any other locations that have also given you inspiration? Are there any cities/locations/countries you wouldn’t mind visiting for inspiration for future ranges?

I lived in Paris for over 5 years of my life, and would go back in a heartbeat. For me the French style is exactly what my brand is all about – the everyday chic. Parisians are always dressed appropriate to the situation, and sometimes it means simple blue jeans, t-shirt…and maybe a scarf.

imagePersonal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?

I usually wear oversized t-shirts or tunics, skinny jeans or black leggings and a statement necklace or cuff. Of course – I never leave the house without a Joanna Maxham handbag.

Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?

I am a huge fan of modern European brands – such as Acne Studios and the super affordable COS (www.costores.com) and love the fact that they recently finally came to the US. I also like to follow the selection on Avenue32, Farfetch and Bird.

What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?

I think it is high time I get a good pair of leather leggings for Fall14. I have been dreaming about them for a couple of years now, and never could justify the cost. It is clear now, that this trend is not going away anytime soon. I am also dreaming about Altuzarra’s deep navy wrap around jacket from Fall14 collection.

Boots or Shoes?

Boots! I live in boots from September…until it is time to switch to sandals. They go much better with my lifestyle and everyday uniform than anything else.

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook etc so that readers can find out more about Joanna Maxham

www.joannamaxham.com 
www.facebook.com/JMHandbags 
www.pintrest.com/joannamaxham
Twitter and Instagram: @joannamaxham

Yay – you’re another boot girl – I love my boots too! Thank you for chatting to us about your gorgeous bags! So readers, which bag has captured your heart?

Linda x

Photo Credits: All photographs have been published with kind permission from Joanna Maxham.

Share This!
Pin It

An Interview With Tom Cairns

My guest this week is the talented Scottish photographer, Tom Cairns. I have been a fan of Tom’s photography for a couple of years and he can certainly do “people” photography – from models to brides to streetlife – Tom manages to capture the essence of a person in a single photograph. Recently sporting a beard himself, Tom has embarked on a project that has seen him travel around UK and Europe, photographing men with beards… the pictures are stunning… so, welcome Tom..

image Hi, I’m Tommy Cairns. Been running a successful photography business for over 3 years. Prior to that I worked in Enterprise Software Sales and Management Consultancy for 25 years. Live in Kilmarnock, Scotland.

What made you want to pursue a career as a photographer?

Have always had a creative interest in photography for as long as I can remember. I felt that I was coming to the end of my previous career, losing the spark and the interest….slowly but surely the penny dropped and I put my “corporate business experience together with my interest in photography and went from there. imageimage

Your current “beard” project has aroused a lot of interest – I admired your original photos of young bearded model Chris Millington and have noticed that you yourself have now become a bearded one – so what was the motive behind this project?

There was no particular motive behind the project. My US client for the project saw the images I had taken of Chris, got in touch and bought some for his corporate literature. Couple of months later he happened to be in the UK with his business partner, we met and discussed his business plans and stemming from that was a deal for me to cover 6 European countries photographing guys with beards for his companies library. image

What has been the most unusual photoshoot request you’ve had?

I have done a fair amount of lingerie/boudoir work so get many requests….Read this persons email about what they would like, lingerie, lace, stockings etc…..was a bit surprised when I read that it was signed by Alan!

imageWhat has been your favourite photoshoot to date?

Way too many to choose from, however, I am working on a personal project at the moment that is given me huge satisfaction….

If you were given the chance, who would you love to photograph?

Honestly don’t think I have one person in mind. I love to work with anyone and everyone, always looking for that moment they give me that look which gives me the image I want.

What style of photography would you like to try that you haven’t tried as yet?

I enjoy travel/landscape photography but not really from a business point of view. I want to get better at that I think.

I’ve seen & admired your boudoir shots, model shots, bearded shots and wedding shots, so, what style of photography is your absolute favourite?image

Portrait work shot with natural light is my favourite way to work.

Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?

Casual, All Saints is my fav’ brand…at the moment I’m wearing converse boots.

What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?

I’m hopeful that a client is making me a bespoke suit and a tweed jacket….need some brogues to go with those.

imageBoots or Shoes?

Mainly boots, just like them more.

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook etc

http://www.tomcairnsphotography.com/

facebook –

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tom-Cairns- Photography/170971836287396

instagram – @tomcairns

twitter – @tomcairnsphoto

Thanks for wowing us with your photography Tom! If any readers are in Scotland or visiting Scotland and fancy a super duper photoshoot (beards optional) give the lovely Tom a call – you won’t be disappointed!

Linda x

Photo Credits: All photographs have been published with the kind permission of Tom Cairns.

Share This!
Pin It