An Interview With The Miniature Perfume Shoppe

20140130-133720.jpgLove is in the air… it’ll soon be Valentine’s Day and what lady doesn’t like to be wooed by perfume? For this week’s interview I’m chatting to Leslie Ann and Allen Aaron White of the Texan based Miniature Perfume Shoppe – a perfume bottle shop and museum rolled into one. Leslie Ann White is the Founder and Owner of Miniature Perfume Shoppe. Her professional career of more than twenty five years in the cosmetics industry includes time spent as the Cosmetics Buyer for Foley’s (now Macy’s) Department Stores, and an Account Executive for Clinique Labs responsible for 24 accounts and $10M in annual sales. When not out on the hunt for the next great mini through either her travelling or surfing the web, most of Leslie Ann’s time is spent researching, processing, and professionally cleaning/restoring minis for Miniature Perfume Shoppe. As co-owner, Allen Aaron White (Leslie Ann’s husband), created the MPS website that launched online in 2009. With a varied and successful professional career that has included work as a retail manager, human resources executive, and ordained minister, Allen joined Miniature Perfume Shoppe full-time in 2011 where he currently serves as curator, photographer, and resident perfume historian.

A big welcome to you both, I adore your idea of a miniature perfume shop – it is the first & largest online store of its kind in the world devoted exclusively to the collector of miniature perfume bottles – where did you get your inspiration from?image
Leslie Ann : The inspiration for Miniature Perfume Shoppe began with a small sample bottle of Chanel No. 5. My mom had  just finished using a mini of her “signature” fragrance and asked me (I was thirteen and living in Scotland at the time) if I would like the empty bottle. Little did either one of us realize then that this would not only be the beginning of my personal miniature perfume bottle collection, but also my professional career in the cosmetic industry. Soon, I had two, then ten, then dozens of tiny perfume bottles. My collection continued to grow through the years (I still have that original bottle) with some of those minis ultimately becoming the first inventory for Miniature Perfume Shoppe. My personal collection today is less than a hundred bottles – mainly vintage Chanel minis – but being surrounded by literally thousands of minis every day, I feel a special connection with each and every one. It’s hard to let them go!
20140130-133731.jpgYou stock over 5,000 minis including limited editions,famous brand names, antique, vintage and new too.  What’s the oldest bottle you have, the rarest, the most extravagant, the priciest and the newest?
Allen: First launching with about a hundred bottles, Miniature Perfume Shoppe has since surpassed the 5,000 bottle mark (we currently have our eyes set on that 10,000 mini milestone.) Truth is, since we’re constantly searching for and buying minis from all over the world – individual bottles and entire collections – our inventory is constantly changing. With collectors in more than 35 countries our minis are often here today and gone tomorrow, and with hundreds of “new” minis arriving each week, every day is like Christmas around here. Through the years, some of the oldest (and rarest) minis we have had include miniatures from the mid-1800s, with quite a few regularly arriving from the 1920s such as a Grossmith Phul-Nana, Jaspy Myrodata, and a scarce La Mysteree by Lothaire. As for the most extravagant mini, well that is in the eye of the beholder, but it is hard to beat an Adrian Designs miniature or early Irice Czech glass bottle. Although most minis sell at our shoppe (on average) in the $10 – $25 price range, we also offer “Paris minis” as low as $2.95. Of course, scarcer, hard to find, discontinued miniatures in very good-to-mint condition sell for much, much more. The Priciest? A sealed Guerlain Shalimar “Umbrella” bottle from the 1950s, and a signed, numbered, Serge Lepage Botticelliana mini by Schiaparelli c1970s come to mind – each valued at around $200. We work hard to maintain as diverse a selection as possible with a mini for every taste and every pocketbook. As for the newest, well that depends on what arrives on any given day. Last week it was Wonderstruck by Taylor Swift and Flora from the Gucci Garden Collection.
20140130-133756.jpgTo date, what has been your most popular bottle requested?
Allen: There are some minis that are considered timeless and classic, usually because of either the bottle design or the fact that the fragrance has been discontinued or reformulated. Minis that we find very difficult to keep in stock (and usually sell within days of arriving) include: the original Shalimar, Lauren, Must de Cartier, Poison, and Anne Klein II.
What’s your most favourite perfume bottle?
Miniatures
Leslie Ann: Chanel No 5 from the 1920s-1930s
Allen: Champagne (with wire) by Yves Saint Laurent
 
Commercial
Both: Hedonist by Parfums Viktoria Minya, Paris
You also buy in bottles – have you any that you are particularly hoping to come across?
We are always on the lookout for very early Guerlain minis (especially Jickey and Shalimar) and early ornamental Czech glass minis – the older the better.
You’re a big supporter of the Institute of Art and Olfaction – every mini that is bought you make a donation to the Institute – plus you’ve made a donation of books for their perfume library.  How did you get involved with the Institute?
Allen: Since we first opened for business, we knew that at some point we wanted to partner with and financially support a worthy non-profit organization. That happened last year when we discovered the Institute for Art & Olfaction, based in Los Angeles. For us, it was love at first sight (or sniff) because in the IAO we found the best of all worlds: fragrance, art, and perfume education. When we learned they were trying to build a perfume library we jumped at the chance to help, so since their opening in January of 2013 we’ve supported the IAO monthly. We also donate 10% of any sale made with an IAO discount code. The Institute is involved in some of the most innovative, cutting-edge work being done in the perfume world today and we’re proud to play a mini part in their success.
20140130-133709.jpgThe Vintage Bottles are intended for display purposes and not for use as an everyday personal fragrance.  So, tell me, what is your perfume of choice for everyday wear?
Leslie Ann: Because our miniatures come from diverse people and places from all over the world, we seldom know for sure how a bottle has been cared for over the years. Ideally, minis are kept in a closed display case protected from light and extreme heat or cold, but we cannot always say that with absolute certainty. For that reason, we don’t guarantee that “the juice” in a bottle is still good or wearable. That said, often the perfume in a bottle may be perfectly fine – even after decades of sitting on a shelf, although more often than not some of the top notes have “gone off.”.  As for my personal perfume of choice? That’s easy. My “signature scent” at this time in my life is Hedonist by Viktoria Minya. I think it is the most beautiful, intoxicating perfume on the market today. In fact, I love it so much (and my husband loves it on me so much) that we now carry the line at Miniature Perfume Shoppe. But I also have a fragrance wardrobe that I can choose from based on the season or special occasion. Of course, I also have the luxury of being surrounded by thousands of minis and fragrances every day. Depending on my mood, I can wear just about any fragrance I want anytime I want.
You also sell very cute perfume pins/brooches – I love the Montana silver tone – what’s the most popular? What’s your personal favourite?
Leslie Ann: All of our perfume pins and brooches are adorable – that’s why they are so collectible (especially in Europe), but you’ll almost never find my favorite in stock. That’s because they sell as quickly as they come in – vintage sterling silver perfume pins by Judith Jack.
20140130-133805.jpgYou have a library/resource area too – a great idea – what sort of historical enquiries do you get?
Allen: There is no shortage of great books, websites, and blogs on perfume. Through the years we’ve tried to include links to some of the very best on our website. But we’re excited to have just launched a perfume project we’ve been working on for sometime – The Mini Museum. (www.TheMiniMuseum.com) Although our ultimate goal is to one day have a brick-and-mortar building for our collection (we’re looking at sites in Houston and Paris, Texas), our virtual museum and timeline provide a photograph, fragrance facts, and perfume history for “every” miniature perfume bottle in our collection. It’s still a work in progress, but we’re hoping over time it will become a great perfume resource not only for mini collectors, but lovers of fragrance as well.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
Leslie Ann: Less now, than when I was in the corporate world, I have always enjoyed wearing timeless, classic, tailored clothing and accessories. Generally, some of my favorites include: Clothing: Christian Dior & Talbot’s, Cosmetics: Clinique, Handbags: Gucci and Coach, Shoes: Clarke’s (casual) and Vaneli (dress), Watch: Gucci, Coach, Mondaine
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites ?
Leslie Ann: With my many years in retail, I do very little shopping at department stores anymore, preferring to do almost all of my shopping online. Besides, the internet is open 24-7-365 and delivers right to my front door! However, Allen and I both love vintage so we really enjoy “going antiquing” (and mini hunting!)
 Boots or Shoes?
Leslie Ann: Always shoes, maybe an ankle  boot. I prefer comfort and simple elegance. For me, I find boots too constricting – like I can’t breathe, lol. Besides, more often than not here in Texas the boot of choice is the cowgirl variety. Definitely not me.
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers can find out more about the Miniature Perfume Shoppe
Miniature Perfume Shoppe
Spring, Texas 77388 USA (Near Houston)
 
 
(New) Instagram/Miniature_Perfume_Shoppe
Thank you both very much for chatting to me…I love perfume and have found your shop and museum really fascinating. Hedonist is the featured fragrance of the Miniature Perfume Shoppe this Valentines Day – so don’t forget to sniff out a bottle soon…
 
Linda  x
 
Photo credits:  Photos have been published with kind permission from Allen Aaron White and for the Hedonist photo, with kind permission from Parfums Viktoria Minya, Paris.
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An Interview With Be Free Style

New Year, New You, New Wardrobe…. if that’s your New Year’s resolution then you’ll love tonight’s blog guest.  I’ve been chatting to image consultant and life coach, Belinda, who has led the life of an ex pat wife in America and Thailand, where the non stop social whirl of lunches, dinners, fundraising events, corporate entertaining etc  made getting your wardrobe details right very important indeed.  So, a warm welcome to you, Belinda…20140124-204900.jpg

Hi, I’m Belinda Freestone, a Style Coach based in Nottingham, covering all of the East Midlands. A style coach is a combination of an image consultant and a life coach. I help people to look good on the outside and feel good about themselves on the inside.

Where did you get inspiration from to become an image consultant & life coach?

I’ve always been interested in fashion and looking good, so when I found myself in Thailand as an expat wife with lots of free time on my hands, I began to research distance courses I could study in my own time, with a view to setting up my own portable business. The Style Coach Institute offered a comprehensive course I could study anywhere and in my own time.  When I graduated with honours in 2010, my thoughts turned to starting my own business and so Be Free…Style coaching was born.

20140124-204909.jpgHaving been an expat wife living in both America and Thailand, and now back in the UK, have you noticed any style differences between the three countries?

There are a lot of style differences between the 3 countries I have lived in. Here in the UK we look to Paris & Milan for style inspiration as well as the stars in Hollywood, whereas on the east coast of America, they view the whole of Europe as the essence of style. Americans tend to be more conservative in their dress, especially on the East Coast and aged 35+.   Locals in Thailand also aspire to follow western trends.  Thai people place a lot of emphasis on hierarchy and their place in society, so they dress according to, or above their standing. The women especially love glamour, accessories and shoes.

What are the ups and downs of being an expat wife?

An expat life in Thailand can be one long round of social engagements, either through work or as part of one of the many expat groups i.e. British Women’s group, etc. Most expat families have drivers and live in maids, therefore the everyday tasks for a wife and mother are taken care of. Leaving the expat wife time to exercise, shop, and socialise. This sounds great, but I struggled with losing my identity, I could no longer do the job I had done for nearly 20 years, I was a long way from family and friends and had left my older children in the UK. You have to take up every invitation going and mix with a variety of people you may not usually associate with just to avoid being bored and lonely. As a westerner you got privileged treatment wherever you went and had access to all the elitist places as well as experiencing the real Thailand at street level. Traffic was always horrendous and simple journeys took ages, but overall the experience was amazing.

20140124-204838.jpgYour services as an image consultant & life coach include finding out your body shape; colour, season & style profile; full wardrobe de-clutter; personal shopper; networking style package; wedding services + shop; holiday wardrobe. So which service seems to be most popular so far? Did you do similar services when you wereabroad and if so, what were the most popular services there?

Wardrobe de-clutters and personal shopping are my most popular services here. I had only just started my business in Thailand when we had to move back to the UK, but I did do a couple of wardrobe de-clutters and  shopping would have been popular because finding clothes in larger sizes was difficult.

What service is your absolute favourite?

Personal shopping is my favourite. I love really getting to know a client and seeing their face light up when they find the perfect outfit. I love seeing people’s confidence grow as I show them the correct things to look for.

20140124-204850.jpgHave you any funny stories or unusual events you can tell us about whilst personal shopping etc?

Confidentiality is important in my job so I don’t tell tales but I do get funny looks when doing my research for a client as I go from shop to shop taking photos and making notes on the items they stock. It is funny when I note an item is in a certain place on the day of my research, only to find when I go in the next day with my client, the store have moved it somewhere else.

We all make some wardrobe mistakes at some time in our lives – what common mistakes or style misconceptions have you come across? What are your pet hates?

The most common mistake people make is wearing clothes the size they used to be, that works both ways either too big or too small. My pet hates are trousers that are too short and ill-fitting underwear.

20140124-204825.jpgAre there any new services you hope to introduce in 2014?

In 2014 I hope to introduce a loyalty scheme and a once a season shopping trip.

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

At home I usually wear leggings or skinny jeans with a tunic top or jumper and ankle boots. For work I prefer shift dressers or smart trousers and a fitted top. I love high heel boots or shoes but if shopping with a client I have to go for stylish but comfortable.

Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?

My favourite shops are Zara, Phase8, M & S and Next. But I love to hunt for bargains in TKMaxx and designer outlets.

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

Smart/casual pair of trousers that aren’t jeans or leggings.

Boots or Shoes?

Boots every time! They keep my feet warm, I can wear socks or tights with them and they make me feel sexy!

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

To find out more about BeFree or to make an appointment visit www.befreestylecoach.co.uk you can also follow me on Facebook at Be Free Style Coach or on Twitter @Befreestyle47

 

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An Interview With Movement For Modern Life

New Year – time to make resolutions to help make your life easier, healthier and happier – what resolutions have you made or will be making? One of the most popular resolutions is to keep fit or take more exercise – if you can’t face the prospect of joining a gym or if you have two left feet that the Strict Come Dancing craze just isn’t for you or you’re looking for something that is different, in which case, I have found the perfect solution – check out online yoga classes!  Whether you’re a complete beginner or already addicted, Movement For Modern Life will transform your outlook on yoga at any rate. Don’t just take my word for it though – my guest today on the blog is the lovely Kat of Movement For Modern Life – hi Kat and welcome:

Hello I’m Kat – very pleased to be on this blog!20131227-211222.jpg
Being previously a city solicitor, what inspired you to take the plunge and start Movement For Modern Life? 
I have always loved yoga, and trained as a yoga teacher whilst I was training to be a solicitor! I even taught yoga to my colleagues in the office in the city. Quite a few things – most importantly, things happened in my life (a bad car crash and then a divorce) which made me realise that life moves fast! Whilst I could sit at my desk as a lawyer for the rest of my life, I would also wonder about the ‘what if’s’. I knew that I wasn’t a typical lawyer, I was always very energetic and creative and had a passion for yoga. I always wanted to start a business and I knew that I wanted to tell the world, in one way or another, how amazing yoga is. I pondered opening a yoga studio. But it was when I was living in the countryside and felt so frustrated that I couldn’t get to my favourite teachers that I started to think about the possibility of starting an online yoga community…
You’re the only British online yoga company to be showcasing the best of UK teachers and teachers who visit the UK and you describe the wide range of yoga classes available as an “all you can eat” buffet of yoga. What are the main benefits of your subscription based service? 
I think it’s the sheer diversity of the yoga on offer, as well as working with the very best teachers, people can get a chance to say to themselves ‘Hey, I wonder what Indaba (a studio in London) looks like?’ and then they can check it out. Or if they’re feeling anxious, they can do stress-relieving practices, or if they have just cycled, they can do yoga for that. Or perhaps they’ve always wondered what Ashtanga is – they know that if they check out our Ashtanga class they’ll be getting a great teacher and this is a great way of finding out about the best of that practice. I’ve learnt so much from working with so many inspiring teachers from such a variety of yoga backgrounds, it’s been a beautiful process for me.
You are passionate about how yoga has improved your life – what were the main reasons that got you hooked? 
At first, I just loved the physicality of it. I did really hard, physical practices, so I got very flexible and strong in quite a short time. I was the stiff kid at school who was terrible at all sports and games. But I started to practice and I found an improvement in how I felt so quickly. I loved the fact I could try all these cool new poses and challenge myself  by doing something that scared me. And then, about 10 years later, I was in a car crash and lost movement altogether for a while. So my yoga practice deepened and I found out the real meaning of yoga, which for me is a deepening relationship with yourself. Finding out about how to learn to really love life.  Now I see my yoga as a tool in the toolkit of dealing with the stuff that comes up in life. 
20131227-211241.jpgFrom absolute beginners to yoga addicts, you have classes to suit everybody. So, which type of class is proving most popular at the moment?
Right now, the Forrest yoga classes are super-popular. We were so lucky to interview Ana Forrest, the creator of the Forrest yoga movement. She was the most beautiful, awe-inspiring person I’ve ever met. Forrest yoga is an amazing tool for dealing with the difficulties and particular stresses poses in modern living.
Have you got a particular favourite yoga class or movement?
This is really hard. I choose different teachers or classes depending on my mood, or what I need on that particular day or moment.
What clothes do you feel are appropriate when about to engage in a yoga session?
Absolutely anything that won’t rip during the practice!!! At home I often do yoga in my pyjamas! In class I like to wear something colourful which moves with my body, so I feel more confident and capable. I think the joy of doing yoga at home online is that you get to call the shots. No need to worry about that kind of stuff.
How do alignment mats help when practising yoga? Would you recommend them?
Absolutely! I use and love liforme mats. They can be handy for practicing yoga classes at home when you don’t have a teacher present to tell you about your asymmetries. They can help give home students confidence. Definitely a good idea.
Looking ahead to 2014 what plans have you got in the pipeline to extend your services?
Oh my word! SO many!!! I often get frustrated that I can’t do it all RIGHT NOW!! But that’s also the practice of yoga, so I am practicing patience… We are working to make collaborations across the health and wellness industries, but also I want to make the site more community-oriented, so that people can interact better with one another and their teachers. That’s really important to me. I am working to make the site easier for people to search for the best classes for them too…
The music that accompanies your videos – how easy is it to pick the right music for the yoga classes? How important is it that the music reflects the right relaxing mood?
I don’t use music on my site. I think if people are at home they can have the fun of picking their own background music. Best not to second-guess music tastes and I don’t want the omnipresent new-agey whale-song in the background…
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
Ha ha! I actually live in my yoga clothes most of the time. So I can have a sneaky stretch and make sure I feel good all the time…
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?
I like Lululemon for their yoga clothes.
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?
Some warm boots which aren’t uggly… also no sheepskin as I’ve heard how inhumane the making of sheepskin is.
Boots or Shoes?
Boots! So I can walk my dog in the countryside. Or barefoot.
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook etc so that readers can find out more about Movement For Modern Life
https://www.facebook.com/movementformodernlife
https://twitter.com/M_F_M_L
Thanks for joining me today on the blog, Kat, and for being so inspiring!  I wish everybody a Happy and Healthy New Year!
 
Linda x
 
Photo Credits: Photos have been published with kind permission by Movement For Modern Life.
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An Interview With Barbara Lea Pottery

This week I’m interviewing a lovely lady whose business is a real family affair and she makes the most exquisite figurines… If you’re looking for gift ideas that would be cherished, then take a peek at what this lady can do! Hi Barbara, welcome to the blog:20131206-131920.jpg

Hi I’m Barbara from Barbara Lea Pottery, based on the Fylde Coast. I make handcrafted figurines and gifts and am helped by my lovely family, husband Allan,  son Adam and daughter Clare.  

You started trading in 1989 and your beautiful unique and bespoke figurines are certainly very collectable. What made you start up your business? Have you always done that line of work?

That’s a good question!  My first career I trained for was a cook/baker, then I was a singer, but I have always loved art, painting,  photography etc… but it was only after I had my first child that I decided I needed an outlet and signed up at a local pottery evening course and loved it ! Although everyone there were making pots the tutor didn’t mind that I did my own thing and made figures.  I had a good reaction from family and friends so decided to jump in the deep end and invest in a kiln and trade fair! I never looked back. 

20131206-132011.jpgThe figurines are bespoke handmade pieces, so each is totally unique. What inspires each sculpture?

I have always been inspired by people’s attitudes and stances, there’s just something special about capturing a moment, whether it be in clay, paint or photography.  In my work I endeavour to capture the spirit of children and family.  Just observing my family and friends is all the motivation and inspiration I need, in fact each child range is named after a member of the family!

Your elegant collection of figurines include depictions of mother & child, brides/bridesmaids, father & son etc. What type of figurine seems to be the most popular?

As we can incorporate wedding colours and add names, dates etc..our wedding  range is the most popular, bridegrooms, bridesmaids and pageboys gifts, even the cutesy Bride and Groom customers sometimes buy for cake toppers! But a close second is the `Mother & Baby’.

20131206-131932.jpgI personally adore the Winter Ladies Collection – they are so cute! What’s your favourite figurine style?

This is a difficult one! Erm,  well I always love the latest design I’m working on at the time, probably because its fresh and I’m excited to see how the piece will be received, but I suppose the design I enjoy the most is the `Three Sisters’.

Each item is crafted in white earthenware, then painted in a cream glaze with touches of colour  – they look very intricate – how long does it take to produce a figurine?

Well each piece is different, I tend to start a few pieces at the same time,but from starting all pieces to completion is approx 10 days. After I have made them, it usually takes approx, 4 /5 days to dry out, then into the kiln to bake, when cool, glazed, then back into the kiln.  

20131206-132001.jpgHave you any plans to extend your range? 

Yes, I have a few new ranges that will be going on the website in the New Year. One is a little boy range called Lewis. Also a range called `Cherish You Angels’, I have had numerous commissions for angels over the past few years so have designed the new range, it has took me a while to get them just right, but I’m now happy with the range now.

Have you ever been asked to produce any unusual figurines?

Well I haven’t had that many unusual requests but I did have a commission from a rock band, who wanted themselves depicted in clay, that was fun!

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

Well if you popped around for a brew, you would find me in Jeans and Jumper! I know, not very exciting, but when you are working with clay, you have to be practical and warm!!

20131206-131942.jpgDo you have any favourite shops or online sites?

Oh dear, well I have to admit I am a lazy shopper, I do a lot of online shopping, the sites I tend to use are `Very’ and `Next’.                                                                                                                                                                                                

What’s next on your clothes/shoe wishlist?

Well at the moment I have my eye on some blue DM’s , been hinting for a Christmas pressy, but if not,present to self!

Boots or Shoes?

Definitely boots! Love them and have many pairs. Plus love the fact I can wear high boots but never feel I’m teetering!!  

Links you would like to share eg website/Facebook/Twitter etc so that readers can find out more about Barbara Lea Pottery:    

                                                                                                                                                                                 www.barbaraleapottery.com .  

twitter barbaraleapottery . 

www.facebook.com/barbaraleapottery

www.etsy.com/shop/barbaraleapottery  

Thank you very much indeed for chatting to us Barbara, and I wish you continuing success in the future – you are one inspiring lady!

Linda x

Photo credits: The photos have been published with kind permission from Clare Peace.

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An Interview With Jaylen Grace

Tonight I’m really pleased to welcome onto the blog the totally lovely Jaylen Grace, an International life coach, relationship counsellor and author of children’s and inspirational books. She’s also a bit of a foodie, a cat lover and a shoe addict!

20131129-193852.jpgHi Jaylen! Congratulations on being nominated for the Greenhouse Funny Writer Prize in 2012 for your children’s book, Omzak and Porridge, the Two Faced Parrot. Where did you get inspiration from to write your children’s adventure stories?

Thank you for congratulating me on being shortlist winner of Greenhouse Funny Writer Prize 2012.  It came as a lovely surprise because I have only been writing books for children for a relatively short time (Compared to my personal development/spiritual books).

You are deeply committed to helping children’s development and your debut book, Omzak The Space Cat Warrior, was written originally as a script for children to act out the characters. I still read to my younger boys and they love to read along as the characters, in fact, all my children loved reading and stories. Did you read stories to your daughter? What books did you share? Is she an avid reader now?

20131129-194208.jpgI am indeed deeply committed to helping children’s development and have coached many  children in my lifetime.   I believe that all kids have unique talents that can be overlooked, and I strive to bring these out – whilst giving them confidence and self belief – because at the end of the day, it’s confidence and self belief that makes the difference between ordinary and ‘extra’ordinary isn’t it?  I feel like you do, that reading to our kids and getting them to read is really important.  My daughter wasn’t fond of reading books, however, when she was young.  I did read all the most loved children’s books to her and by regularly telling her which books I was reading and what made them amazing, inspiring, touching, she slowly developed a love of books.  I gave her Perfume to read when she was about 14. This was what started her off.  Now, she can rattle off titles like the Kite Runner and Shadow of the Wind etc and rarely has a book out of her hands.

At the tender age of 23 you became PA to the Rolling Stones! That must have been some experience! I would’ve been totally awestruck – so, was it fun? Were the Rolling Stones your idolsat the time? 

Yes, what an amazing period of my life that was when I worked for the Rolling Stones. Everything was SO different then and to be honest, landing that job was a stroke of luck  (right time, right place).  I wasn’t that much into the Stones at the time – preferring soul and artists like Aretha Franklyn, Cat Stevens,  Stevie Wonder, The Doobie Brothers  (hopefully some of your readers will be old enough to remember them haha!).  The amazing thing was that after the Stones came under the WEA umbrella  (Warner, Atlantic,Electra) and set up Rolling Stones Records, all the big artists of the day, used to stop by the WEA offices  (They were in New Oxford Street).  I have to say the Stones were a great band to work for.  They had their demands like all divas/divos but were very generous to me.  A funny story your readers might find of interest is that the lyrics on the back of the Sticky Fingers album were written by me because Keith couldn’t recollect where he’d put the original lyric sheets.  I’m sure some of the words I wrote down don’t exist – but hey – I also don’t think anyone would notice!

20131129-190931.jpgWhat made you realise that you were yearning to explore life coaching? What impact did travelling to India make to your new career path? 

India made a great impact on my life.  After the Stones I was head-hunted to help run Warner International Music but told my new boss I could only work for him for one year because I wanted to follow a spiritual path and have a business in this field.  The yoga/personal development/life coach centre I opened in Athens in 1990 saw this dream come true.  As far as my entrepreneurial streak, I think I’ve always had that.  In my teens, I took over a food kiosk for a (little known) football team.  I got my younger brother involved and was going to give their football fans the best home-made burgers and snacks that had ever passed their lips.  This I managed but the team had so few people turning up for the matches, I had to give it up because I was losing money – however, few have ever trodden new ground without losing money and I have accepted that as part and parcel of life – along with the fact we can build successful businesses and lose them – as happened with my centre in Athens, when a storm destroyed the building!

20131129-193914.jpgNow back in London, you still teach but you spend most of your time doing your first love, writing. I find your blogposts very inspiring and uplifting. What life coaching subjects seem to be most popular amongst your followers?

Thank you for kind compliments regarding my blog posts. They are all based on rising to life’s challenges which could be what makes them popular. We all need encouragement to keep going don’t we?

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

I’m a ‘here, there and everywhere’ reader.  I’m currently reading No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy, The Dodger by Terry Pratchett and Various Flavours of Coffee by Anthony Capella. All three are excellent by the way.

20131129-191003.jpgAre there any new children’s books planned? Are you sticking to the same format or going to be trying something different?

I am currently working on Porridge book two.  This is called Porridge Goes to Summer Camp and will be published in November 2014.

You are such a busy bee, but your love of writing shines through! I hear you are a bit of an adrenaline fan – jumping out of planes, kayaking, etc and that you like to try and learn something new each year. So, what have you learnt in 2013 and what’s the plan of action for 2014?

I have given up jumping out of aeroplanes and bungee jumping for the moment. In 2013, I learned the Argentine Tango because it’s so delicious and I wanted to bring out my inner tiger.  In 2014 I am considering running a marathon – which will be another first.

20131129-194157.jpgJaylen Grace is a pseudonym – your real name is bit of a Greek tongue twister! will you reveal it to us, pretty please?!

My name is interesting on many counts.  Firstly, I write under two names.  Jaylen Grace for spiritual and children’s books and Stella Ralfini for the more adult content, ie  my next book Three Faces of Sex, which will be published in January 2014, is in short a lovemaking manual.  I studied Tantric lovemaking in the nineties and wanted to show lovers the benefits of integrating this ‘from the heart and soul’ lovemaking method easy , contemporary ways.  And before I carry on with the question about my names, I just want to say that whilst I’m an open minded person, I feel that porn is doing a lot of harm to our children and it’s time for a major overhaul on the way we view sex.  Look out for my next blog ‘Lets teach our children about real sex.’  …. So, I was born with the name Stiliani, Evripidis, Sotiris Raouna.  My father was from a simple Greek Cypriot village and since my mother was fairly old when she had me (in her forties) – and did go on to have my brother, which wasn’t expected -my father wanted to ensure, I at least would carry forth my grandfather’s name and his name, so two of my names are actually boys names – Evripidis, Sotiris.

20131129-190951.jpgPersonal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?

 And here we are onto one of my favourite subjects. Fashion and shoes.  For a woman in her sixties, I dress in an avante garde manner.  I still wear high heels (but now take a pair of  flats because my feet kill me after a few hours!) and my style is fairly unusual. Regarding online sites, I think yours is brilliant and offers something for every taste.  My favourite shop is one you won’t know because it’s in Greece.  It’s called Rococo. Similar to Armani, heaps cheaper and they’re styles are the bees knees every season.

Boots or Shoes? 

I adore shoes. I look in shoe shop windows and salivate with the desire to own most.  I used to have 200 pairs of shoes but half were only worn a couple of times.  These days I alternate between about 20 pairs and find that more than enough.  I like boots as much as I like shoes – my favourite pair look like horse riding boots.   I’ve had them for 5 years and will definitely keep wearing them until they fall apart.20131129-194146.jpg

Links you would like to share eg website/Facebook/twitter etc so that readers of the blog can learn more about you!

Thank you for suggesting I share links with your readers.  They can find out more about my work at www.jaylengrace.com and soon my new website www.stellaralfini.com will be up and running.  I personally don’t have a Facebook page but Omzak The Space Cat Warrior does…he’s reached nearly 10,000 fans which is wonderful  www.facebook.com/omzaks Anyone who would like to follow me on Twitter can find me here  @jaylengrace   @omzakcatwarrior and ( soon)  @stellaralfini

Thank you for chatting with us Jaylen – it has been a real pleasure!

Linda x

Photo Credits: All photos published with kind permission of Jaylen Grace. The illustrator of both Omzak and Porridge is Almuth Scheller.

 

 

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An Interview With Petra Jewellery

Tonight I’m really pleased to welcome onto the blog the delightful Mitch from Petra Jewellery. Hi Mitch, please introduce yourself and Petra Jewellery:Mitch

Hello, I’m Mitch! I am a local Hampshire girl, happily married with one gorgeous daughter. Look out for her as she sometimes models for us! I took over from my Mum, Petra who started the business, about 8 years ago.  I’m a mechanical engineer grad, ex Royal Engineer officer, investment banker and construction project manager – actually all proven to be perfect training to become one of the best jewellers in Hampshire!

What’s the background to your business?

My Mum started the business when she met my dad (on a ski slope in the Alps – he was an Army Officer, she spoke no English) and he’d left the Army. They arrived in Basingstoke needing her to make some money.  She did not speak any English, so had to do something with her hands! The only thing she could do was make jewellery (trained with a Master Goldsmith in Germany).  My Mum has always insisted we keep her high German standards in terms of product offering and also customer services – we take huge pride in both of these!

Capture_00018The company description is the “Not So Traditional Traditional Jewellers”…the Champagne Design Experience for engagement couples and the Engagement Offer in association with Tylney Hall .. are just two examples of the little extra you offer. What’s the inspiration behind these ideas to highlight the engagement of couples?

Our official description is the “Not So Traditional Traditional Jewellers” And we’re sticking with that! We take such time in getting to know our customers and understanding exactly what they want and need.

The recently launched, Champagne Design Experience for engagement couples at our workshop that really helps make the moment even more special! And the Engagement offer in association with the local, beautiful Tylney Hall are just two examples the little extra special bits you get with Petra!

We always Mystery Shop at other jewellers – including some big names in London and were shocked at how little enthusiasm and compassion the retail assistants demonstrated as we posed as customers looking for engagement rings.  So we’ve decided to blow our customers away with the most amazing engagement experience ever, that they will remember for ever with tons of expert design advice thrown in as well. So you come away with a unique experience rather than just hearing the tills ringing as you leave!

As well as offering a comprehensive range of jewellery services and you have your own exquisite jewellery range too – where do you get your inspiration from?

Anything and everything: I’m constantly taking photos of things that inspire me, I’m a magazine junkie, I always ask to look at people’s jewellery even if I’m not in the shop, trade fairs… but the underlying emphasis is creating beautiful jewellery that lasts a lifetime.  Not many designers seems to care that much about how their designs are actually going to suit the lifestyle of the wearer.Unbenannt-1

What’s the most unusual item of jewellery you’ve designed or have you had any strange design requests?

Loads of unusual and wonderful requests: a vial for someone’s dog’s ashes, a child’s tooth made into a pendant, copies of crazy costume jewellery designs, a major’s badge, wedding rings for a pilot mum who met in the cock pit of a plane (yes, up in the sky), banana cufflinks, snooker cue brooch and diamond set ball triangle pendant for a snooker World Champion…BUT – for me, these creations are amazing in their own way, they are truly individual and the recipients have been beyond excited at the end result.

To date, what has been your most popular item ordered from your website/ shop?

Hard to say as we don’t do any one design en masse – our new Angel Whisperer Collection is really, really popular. I think because it is so beautiful and different and again, it can be personalised and changed immediately, depending on where your mood takes you!

What’s your most favourite item in your collection?

That’s an easy one! My 30th birthday present from my Mum: an 18ct gold bangle immaculately set with 30 diamonds.  It is stunning and is so me! So many customers have seen it and asked us to re-create it for them – that’s an honour.

You do a “your gold” service – using old gold provided by the customer melted down to make a new piece of jewellery – what a lovely idea!  What’s the most popular recycled jewellery piece?

It’s all about memories again and making something special and unique. Our solid gold handmade bangles that will last forever – we normally use the customer’s old gold and they talk to us about how they would like it ‘recycled’. Every single customer who has used this service, has been over the moon with the final result – that’s a pretty satisfying thing at the end of the working day.

DSR11.jpg (white)When it comes to wedding rings, you can make rings out of platinum; 9ct, 14ct, & 18ct white, rose, & yellow gold; palladium and titanium.  My own engagement & wedding ring are platinum (I’m a lucky girl :)) …what metal is the most popular with your customers?

You are a lucky lady – platinum is still the best!  I’m also big fan of palladium – it is a good alternative to platinum although our goldsmith moans like crazy about making anything bespoke from it as it’s not easy to work with!  Our best-selling metal however is our 18ct white gold – it’s ‘palladium rich’ so naturally much whiter than normal 18ct white gold so we can guarantee it will never will look yellow like most High Street white gold will – this is a huge selling point and our customers trust that we are right (we always are!)  Lots of people are disappointed with their white gold as once the rhodium plating wears off their rings take on a ‘straw white colour’, not a nice experience!

You do offer branded jewellery from other designers that you’ve picked for their creativity and flair – what brand seems to be of interest this season amongst your customers? Any favourites yourself?

Both from Germany: unrivalled quality and finishes:

My iMenso – interchangeable pendants –

Angels Whisperer

Festina and Candino watches (new brand to UK – swiss mech and sapphire crystal face but only £200- £300)

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

Calvin Klein style but sometimes from charity shops, Primark – anything plain which works well as it shows off the jewellery I’m wearing.

Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?

Oh dear, I discovered LK Bennet dresses: perfect for Saturdays in the shop – makes me feel like a lady!  Off duty I’m on ‘Wiggle’ buying cycling kit!  Always on the look out for sexy sports clothing!

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

Our brand colours ,sports kit that I can brand as Petra Jewellery and advertise as I run and cycle round the Hampshire countryside!  And then a new time trial bike in Petra colours and I might even add some diamantes!

Boots or Shoes?

Now – boots ‘n’ skinny jeans – so I don’t get wet feet!

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

 

https://www.facebook.com/PetraJewellery

www.petrajewellery.com

Linda x

Photos published with kind permission from Petra Jewellery

 

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An Interview With Lesley Rose

With hair as bright as the fireworks we’ll experience this coming week, it seems appropriate to welcome onto the blog this week, the glamourous yet, down to earth Yorkshire lass,young alternative model Lesley Rose… whose face and body have graced many magazines plus an occasional appearance on telly …  it’s great to welcome you onto the blog, Lesley!
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Hi! I’m Lesley Rose, 22 year old Alternative Model from Leeds.
Have you always wanted to be a model?
No actually! Not at all! I actually wanted to an Advertising Art Director when I was little, oh how things change!
Just  a slightly different career path for you then!  You’re not just a pretty face though – you’ve just enrolled into university to study BSc (Hons)Psychology (Child Development).  How are you managing balancing your educational needs with your model aspirations?
It is difficult, I won’t lie, but I’m a good planner and I have a little diary that I carry around with me everywhere I go. I’m at uni 3 days a week and only in the mornings, so I have the afternoons for reading and then the other 4 days are for shoots, appearances etc. I never really have a day off! 
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You are billed as an alternative model, so have you been on any unusual or strange modelling locations? Or have you had any strange/unusual modelling experiences?

I actually did a shoot last year for a concept called ‘Asylum’ which was basically me with messed up hair, makeup, and wearing a straight jacket! I’m quite a collected person, but those things do send you a little bit loopy after a while! Other than that I think it’s been pretty tame for me! OH! Goodness I almost forgot, I shot a music video for an artist called Pirupa and in that I had to be topless with an animal mask on, that was fairly strange!
To date, what has been your most favourite photoshoot?

My favourite photoshoot. Goodness, that’s a tough question! Each photoshoot is different and each photographer brings an element of fun to the shoots.  My three top photoshoots have been with Grimbo, John Gardner and Rowan Murray. I couldn’t pick just one that would be unfair!
Is there any style of photoshoot /modelling / famous photographer that you would like to try that you haven’t yet experienced? 
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Well, I have lined up shoots with photographers that I haven’t dared contact just recently, Magic Owen, James Dekker and I’ve been speaking to Melanie Titus and Scott Cole, to work with all of them would be an absolute dream for me. I’ve always wanted to do something more raw as well, it’s hard to explain, but if I see a picture of it then I totally go ‘OH THAT’S WHAT I LIKE!’ haha!
Have you any favourite models whose style/attitude you admire? 

I have tons! I love Lusy Logan and Jade Allison as a pair because whenever we’re together we bounce off each other and we’re silly and it’s all smiles and laughs. Misa Rose is my little pint sized beauty and if I could put her in my pocket, I would! Lauren Brock is my drinking buddy and I love that we can just meet up, have a laugh and have a drink and have fun! I love all the girls at my agency because they are all so down to earth and that’s something that I would say is the most attractive character in a model.
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Your beautiful colourful hair can be called your “Trademark” … is it hard to maintain? 

Oh god yes! It costs me around £250 every two months just to get it done, never mind the products and treatment, styling time,etc. I love it though, and I’m going to hate  having to change it when I become a Child Psychologist!
You have some gorgeous tattoos – have you got a favourite?  Any stories behind them?
My favourite is my finger rash. You can’t see it in any of my pictures but it means a lot to me because me and my best friend from Leeds have the same one and I adore her. Her name is Tara and she has a little boy called Darwin, who I absolutely love and we’ve been friends for years. 
You recently held a coffee event with your friend in aid of the Macmillan charity – our local school also hosted a coffee morning event for the charity too.  It’s a cause close to your heart and I hope you raised a lot of much needed funds.  Was it a success and did you bake any cakes or goodies yourself?

Yes I did! With my friend Vanessa. We raised over £1100 and it’s a cause close to both of our hearts given her father passed away due to cancer as did my grandfather, so we wanted to do something to give back, and also to break the stereotype of what  people think models are like. I baked some amazing Gold topped brownies! But nobody bought them because everything else was better. I’m slightly bitter, but all my friends enjoyed eating them…for free…
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Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing when not modelling?
I live in jeans and hoodies. Literally, that is it. A pair of jeans, a top and a hoodie. On the rare day I wear shorts, but I’m not flashy about how I dress, because my hair is so flashy!

 

Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?

Abandon Ship Apparel do some amazing unisex clothes, Cartel Ink have some awesome tees and vests on the theme of being tattooed, Devine Delinquents do some awesome accessories that I adore too.

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

Well, I’ve just got a Barbour Jacket and some Leather Ugg Boots which I really wanted for winter so really I am SET!

Boots or Shoes?

Boots – purely because you can get away with the heel being higher without risk of breaking your neck! I have over 40 pairs of shoes back at my mum’s house in Leeds, so I’m a huge shoe lover!

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

Yes! Twitter = @misslesleyrose;  

Facebook = www.facebook.com/lesleyrosemodel 

Website = lesleyrose.bigcartel.com

Thanks for having me!
You’re very welcome Lesley, it was a pleasure!  We wish you the best of luck in your future career whether as the stunning model or the flamboyant child psychologist! I’m sure you’ll succeed whichever path you take.
Linda x
Images in the Jack Daniels Tee are by John Gardner – 
All others are by Emma Shamaya who owns her own studio, Shamaya Studios 

 

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An Interview With Masato Jones

This week I’m really excited to welcome onto the blog Masato Jones… I discovered Masato (and Mike, his partner) on Twitter this summer and fell in love with the Masato London designs.  I bought a fabulous shirt dress, and although in my photo I’m modelling it with buttons done up, it is so adaptable to many different looks and the colours are just fab!  If you want a real bargain, and are a size 10, check out their sample sales at the end of each season – you won’t be disappointed! So, without further ado, hello and welcome:The_fashion_designer_Masato_Jones_in_2013-e1380092156872

Hi! I’m Masato Jones originally from Tokyo, Japan, I came here to learn English in 2003 and never went back home except to visit. I originally was a hair stylist in Yokohama and Tokyo and developed a taste for fashion whilst in Brighton and applied for Central St Martins. They liked my designs and in 2005, I started my degree and graduated in 2009 after a year out with Giles Deacon.  I developed my partner’s surname to mix the Masato (my real name) with Jones and the label Masato London is both of us (myself and Mike) with my designs at the label’s heart. I’m work focussed, I rarely party – I’m more content talking to someone over dinner than a fashion party. 

imagesHave you always wanted to be a designer?

Yes, I loved the variety of the designers especially in my first home in the UK –  Brighton -the mix of what people wear in this city, it is so cosmopolitan and such fun ! I now live in London (since 2005). 

What do you like best about being a fashion designer? I know that a lot of your designs have been influenced by your Japanese heritage,so what else has given you inspiration?photo copy

The chance to create something a woman can wear, whether she is 17 or 70 and recently I’m developing menswear, although without investment, it’s costly to cross over completely.  Japanese heritage does creep into my designs from the shape of the kimono to the western style. 

Do you enjoy the buzz of the fashion shows? Do you get nervous beforehand? How far in advance to you prepare for the fashion shoots?

I love the fashion shows, especially the public ones we have developed through public investment of our social media audience assisting us, so it is important for me to show to the public rather than a closed show to media and the fashion buyers, although they are very important too. I do get nervous beforehand – the day before and backstage, as each collection is different, you are only as good as your last collection, so it is nerve racking as you don’t know what the reaction is going to be. We have to prepare 4 to 6 months ahead, this is due to gaining the right venue, fashion show, etc. I still work as a creative pattern cutter for Giles certain times of the year so this has to be scheduled in also. 

images-6Have you a favourite fashion show location?  Is there any location where you’d love to see your designs strutting the runway but haven’t physically done so yet?.

Yes, for me New York would be an amazing fashion show location as would St Paul’s Cathedral or Kew Gardens. I also like the idea of an empty factory – this gives you a blank canvas to work with and present art from other artists. It’s such a struggle to be in the right place at the right time and the right place at the right time should be happening at the right times more often. 

Have you got a favourite out of all you’ve designed? images-5

There are so many- there is an early design from 2009, Kimono jacket & Dementor dress from 2012 collection, the gold cape coat,  Mint fishtail and Poppy dresses from Spring 2013. 

Who would you like to see parading around in your designs that haven’t done so as yet? (as far as you know!!)

Kate Winslet, Helen Mirren, Judi Dench, Amy Adams, Carey Mulligan. 

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

I’m a typical designer –  I wear clothes from charity shops mainly, also clothes that have been sent to me, but I’m very casual. I have a Michael Kors pair of cords that I love, I always wear Puma and mix designer with high street. 

photoDo you have any favourite shops or online sites?

Uniqlo, Zara, Charity shops such as Shelter, Cancer Research, Oxfam. Online shop.masato.co.uk of course lol

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

I will go where my feet take me, I rarely get time to myself except Easter and Christmas usually, so it’s probably going to be Pretty Green, Zara, Uniqlo, Bershka, John Lewis, John Rocha. 

Boots or Shoes?

Definitely shoes, not so much boots, more trainers Converse or Puma, you are either an Adidas fan or Puma – I’m a Puma fan. I had a trip around their factory in Nuremberg, Germany last February – that was cool. 

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

www.masato.co.uk 

blog : http://masatostudio.blogspot.co.uk/

Twitter : masatostudio 

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/masato.jones 

Pinterest : http://pinterest.com/masatolondon/ 

Thank you for a fabulous interview Masato ..and we wish you continuing success!

Linda x

Photo Credits: Photos published with kind permission from Masato Jones; Adam Hobden Photography; Linda Hobden

 

 

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An Interview With Hotel Pelirocco

Rock & Roll seems to be definitely alive and kicking in the county of Sussex. Travelling to Hastings this Summer, I encountered 50s style diners/music venues en route, and Brighton attracts a nightlife that makes it the destination of choice for music fans of every genre, appealing to all ages and orientations! Add to that the vintage shops, trendy hair salons etc … the place is really buzzing! It seems appropriate therefore to welcome onto the blog this week, Mick Habeshaw Robinson, co founder/owner of the unique and exciting Hotel Pelirocco, England’s most Rock ‘n’Roll hotel situated in the pulsating heart of Brighton. Welcome Mick!mickpick

Hi! I’m Mick Habeshaw Robinson, co founder/owner of Hotel Pelirocco and a fan of Rock’n’Roll. As a hotel, we are truly independent and proud. In a more and more bland and corporate world we like to stand out and be unique. Customer service, I think is also important – we genuinely love this place and our guests! 

Hotel Pelirocco has been dubbed England’s most Rock ‘n’ Roll hotel,  so where did the inspiration come from?

The idea came about 14 years ago now, back then there was no other hotels, that I was aware of, that catered for a younger contemporary crowd, who wanted to stay up late, listen to music, in a relaxed hotel environment and get up late for breakfast possibly in their pyjamas and no one would mind!

Have you always been in the hotel business?

No, it was in at the deep end! I think when you go into a new business with no pre-conceived ideas, you have a fresh outlook which brings new ideas.

Do you enjoy running a hotel, especially one as flamboyant as Hotel Pelirocco?

Absolutely,it’s fun! It’s changed my life , and I’ve met most of my record collection!!

PlayRoom2All the rooms are decorated & furnished in different themes – I love the look of the “Play Room”, definitely the ultimate “dirty weekend room” !!! What room tends to be the most requested?

Hands down the Playroom then Betty’s Boudoir, people want to have fun!

A lot of thought has gone into decorating & furnishing the rooms just so!   Was it difficult getting hold of the knick knacks?

Initially the drive of getting the place off the ground kinda sourced everything, it was fun finding relevant stuff.

If you had another room to create into a “Hotel Pelirocco” what theme would you turn that into?

There are tons bubbling under – all secret…..

Sounds intriguing…

You have a range of Hotel Pelirocco merchandise.  What item sells the most?

T Shirts and Coasters.

Your hotel offers a variety of “Extras” for your guests to enjoy -boudoir photoshoots PoleDancein the rooms, cocktail classes, a karaoke room,naughty erotic hampers, massages & reflexology, classic afternoon cream teas, private DJs, burlesque performances…. so, what “extras”are most requested?

A razor ha ha!!

Obviously your hotel & the rooms are a great backdrop for photoshoots  – what’s the most popular room used for photoshoots?

BettysBoudoirThe Playroom and Betty’s Boudoir.

Name drop time!! Have you had any celebrities stay at your hotel?

Lots, only like to mention bands rather than individuals, Beastie Boys, Primal Scream, Scissor Sisters, Rizzle Kicks….

Which famous person would you love to stay in your hotel – who would leave you totally starstruck!!?

Bowie, Weller , Lydon,  Ice T…

Your legendary bar hosts gigs, book readings as well as being renowned for its cocktails – I just love a pina colada (not very adventurous, am I?!) – what cocktail is THE most requested? What’s your favourite?Bar

Named after the Sex Pistols – The Dirty Fuckin Rotter!

As well as running this fabulous hotel, “Pelirocco Platters” broadcasts twice a week on Brighton’s community RadioReverb.  What’s your musical taste and what sort of music do you get to broadcast?

I love everything, well apart from X Factor rubbish, Old Punk, Soul, Acid House but new music still excites me.

How did you get involved in broadcasting/DJing?

I was asked onto a show as a guest and thought I could do that.. I have also dj’d at parties for years

 SoulSupremeOn a musical note, my first album bought with my first ever wage packet after leaving school was Human League’s “Dare” … so what was yours?

I started young whilst at junior school, my brother got me into Bowie so I bought the Ziggy album.. all thanks to him.. Thank you Geoff ( R.I.P)

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

Into clothes big time.. sometimes im a bit modernist, sometimes a bit of a rocker, I tend to like bits and pieces of all different styles.. on a non smart day – converse, straight jeans with turn ups, hoops; smart day- Westwood shirt, white jeans, bass weejuns..

 

Do you have any favourite shops or online sites? 

Present in London or vintage/ Ebay

What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?Cardi1

Always Westwood, if I can afford it, they do some great loafers at the mo…

Boots or Shoes?

ONLY  Converse boots! I LOVE SHOES!

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

www.hotelpelirocco.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pelirocco-Platters
Blog: http://hotelpelirocco.tumblr.com/
Podcast: http://www.mixcloud.com/PeliroccoPlatters/

Thanks Mick – brill place, brill music taste too! Next time, readers, if you’re heading for a weekend away in Brighton pay Mick and the Hotel Pelirocco a visit – you’re sure to have a WOW of a time!

Linda x

Photos published with kind permission from Mick Habeshaw Robinson

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An Interview With Sarah G Cosmetics

drama queen lipstickThis week I’m talking make up with the gorgeous Sarah, founder of cosmetic company Sarah G Cosmetics and make up artist extraordinaire! With many years experience in the cosmetic industry, Sarah has a strong knowledge of what women want when it comes to makeup which led her to create Sarah G Cosmetics an innovative,high quality brand. The brand’s theory tells us that makeup is ageless; it is one size fits all and should be attainable to all walks of women, bringing colour to skin of all colours. Sarah likes to keep the packaging understated and let the products do the talking. The products are manufactured in the USA using extremely sophisticated scientific and pharmaceutical technology. They are not tested on animals. The range consists of everything from primer to pencils and all other essentials combined with trend led seasonal products and innovative breakthrough products, keeping up with the ever competitive cosmetics market. Above all Sarah’s main ambition is simple, to make women feel beautiful.sarah g cosmetics shoot pallette

So, let us talk to the lady herself…welcome Sarah! What was the inspiration behind setting up Sarah G Cosmetics?

I decided to take a break from the cosmetics industry and go down the fashion route. I opened a ladies boutique, however a year in I realised how much I missed what I had now discovered was my true passion – makeup. I looked into stocking makeup within the boutique and the idea snowballed from there to create my own line. As much as I enjoyed my fashion jaunt I realised my heart was in makeup more than anything else and so I gave up my store, launched a website and began the journey with SGC.

Have you always wanted to be in the make up beauty industry?

Ever since I was in my teens I wanted to be a MUA. I got my first job with MAC and my determination to have a place in the cosmetic industry grew.

What make up products seem to be most popular currently?

blush palette openThe most popular products right now seem to be palettes, whether it be eyes, cheeks or face. The customer is getting more looks for their money and it enables them to experiment and create multiple looks from one product. By far my best seller is my Face Kit which contains 4 versatile shadows/highlight a contour/bronzer powder and a suit all blush, its gorgeous! Of course glitter is always popular for party season SGC has some pretty amazing ones!

I love your lip glosses! All the colours! What’s your favourite make up item from your range?

I have to say my favourite item from the range is my concealer palette, a must for gorgeous flawless skin, hand in hand with this a gorgeous blush can do wonders for your complexion, so I have to say my Baked Mineral Apricot Glow is a must for luminous skin.apricot moulin rouge

What do you think will be the dominating makeup colours this winter? 

The dominating shades for this season are browns, burgundys and plums for lips; for eyes, dramatic, graphic liner and full lashes are bang on trend.

What plans,if any, have you got to extend your range of products?  Any new products in the pipeline?

I am always looking to expand the line! For next season expect bold colours and skin perfecting products.

Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?

Little MermaidSince most of my work involves a computer, my shopping is mainly done on line. I love Asos! The quality of their items are so good, I dont think I have bought anything from there and been dissappointed. I love a rifle through Primark also for seasonal trends.

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

Next on my wishlist for winter is a pair of dressy knee high boots, I havent seen any so far but I am thinking an old school vibe style in black patent…

Boots or Shoes?

Clue in the previous question… I am a boot girl! I just love boots, ankle, knee high, thigh high, I love them all! I feel like a good pair of boots will go with any outfit, dressy or casual.

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers can find out more about Sarah G Cosmetics

www.sarahgcosmetics.com 

https://twitter.com/SarahGCosmetics 

https://www.facebookcom/pages/Sarah-G-Cosmetics/162057843849505

Thanks for a fabulous natter Sarah…I love the fact that you are a fellow boot lover like myself!  I must say that your new eye palettes for this season, Sarah, are to die for … check them out peeps … bright jewel colours just ready for partying as well as the other delights Sarah has on her website!
Linda x
Photo Credits:  Photos have been published with kind permission from Sarah G Cosmetics.

 

 

 

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