The ongoing evolution of our 'shopfront'

It's been NEARLY (but not quite) a year of Frilly Industries - and we've been super busy of late, looking to ramp things up even moreso as we count down to the inevitable xmas frenzy.  This weekend we've been at our first Nottingham market - organised by Bird in Borrowed Feathers, and it was FAB!  Amazingly friendly lovely diverse range of sellers, fab organisation with very clear instructions and requirements, awesome central city location (yes, I popped into Primark to nab a cheap cardi when I started to get a bit chilly!) and a great two days spent hanging out in Nottingham.  We created new merchandising displays for this particular market which we're slightly obsessed with, and so it seemed timely to have a quick look over the various iterations of REAL LIFE FRILLY.

1. Our first outing - December 2014, at the Made By.. market in a disused hangar in Aldridge

Photo courtesy of Wayne Fox Photography 

Photo courtesy of Wayne Fox Photography 

Photo courtesy of Wayne Fox Photography

Photo courtesy of Wayne Fox Photography

It was cold.  So cold.  And we'd only JUST got to grips with Bertha, who was still playing up and being stubborn.  We'd had a run of insanely late nights in the studio prepping everything, with no clue how we were going to display things, and having only really just started thinking about pricing.  Consequently, everything was pretty much on one level, and our prices were WAY TOO LOW! (steep learning curve here we come..)  Our entire layout consisted of brightly coloured Duck tape to 'zone' areas of the display, some quickly layered pegboard, and a lovely light up sign.  The light up sign is pretty much the only thing we thought was a brilliant idea.

2. The Bust Craftacular look - which has lasted up until last weekend..

Photo courtesy of Lee Allen Photography

Photo courtesy of Lee Allen Photography

Photo courtesy of Lee Allen Photography

We quickly realised our Walsall pricing error, and worked hard to figure out everything from our overheads to profit margins and beyond.  By the time Bust Craftacular came around in May 2015 we'd ironed those niggly bits out, and spent time figuring out how we wanted to present ourselves.  We kept the light up sign, but made it bigger and better and more colourful.  Even though most of our work is wood - we do this because we love bright colourful clothing and hair, and wooden jewellery matches everything!  So we opted to go BRIGHT and bold with our display items, and added extra height levels using different risers and trays.  We still weren't completely happy with this arrangement though..

3. Nottingham and beyond!

Photos courtesy of our iPhones!

Photos courtesy of our iPhones!

Photos courtesy of our iPhones!

Photos courtesy of our iPhones!

We've upgraded the Frilly light up sign (with plans to add to this over time) making it more portable - either hanging or 'floating' (good old Velcro!), kept our coloured boxes and trays and added some fun heads as displays!  We feel like maybe sometimes people don't know who an item is for - and we feel like all our stuff could be for ANYONE - from Iris Apfel (Kirsty's personal style guru) through to a bearded hipster dude to a small child.  By having these heads, we can show how our pieces might work on a range of imaginary (and fun!) people.  We think there's still probably some work to do on levels, but this is definitely my favourite Frilly stall so far!  Fun and colourful, but with a bombardment of characters and ideas and words and THINGS!

Now: to revamp all our online presences to match! 

#nofrillsfriday 05 - short and sweet

This week has been a bit of a short and odd one.  Kirsty hasn't been in Wednesday - Friday as she's been catching up with old friends (as mentioned last week) who are only in town until Monday.  The beginning of the week we were a hive of activity and productivity - but working on a SECRET PROJECT that we still can't quite reveal just yet!  We'll be photographing things like crazy as soon as we can though!  It DOES mean that this week is image-light, alas.  So here's Louis in a sailor outfit that he looks very unsure of.. (how very Jean Paul Gaultier?)

As solo team Frilly, I've been pootling along through emails and admin stuff - getting in new thicknesses of wood to test out some new design ideas we've had which will be exciting albeit tricky to figure out. (My brain is great at visualising things, but not so great at precision.  I prefer to do things by eye and find it normally works out (due to my 'super-vision'* - thanks eye doctors!) however our latest ideas will require a fine degree of precision.  May need to bust out a ruler and EVERYTHING!

We've also decided to finally start investing in some magazine subscriptions - partly because we buy them regularly, and partly because we plan on doing little magazine reviews on Mondays.  Obvious magazine choices include 'Making' and 'Mollie Makes'.. but we also want to include independent magazines and small print runs - so next week we'll be covering this little beauty which arrived yesterday! (SPOILER ALERT: it's like someone designed a magazine just for us!)

Today my friend Tim came to visit, which was good for two reasons: 1) we got to chat at length about a project We are Frilly are working on involving gaming and archives, and 2) I got to help Tim do his first ever laser cutting.  Whilst I still take childlike glee in the way Bertha works, nothing quite compares to the first thing you cut out - watching the teeny tiny red dot and beam magically zap away material leaving your work behind.  It was especially intriguing as Tim had designed his pieces in LibreCAD which is a program I've never used - we do our work almost entirely in Illustrator and Inkscape.  It took a bit of tweaking, but we managed to do a ninja star-esque model tool, a cube and a mini structure that resembled a boat.  

In other news, Frilly Photographer Extraordinaire Lee Allen was excited to be featured on Rock n Roll Bride this week - a very crazy wedding at Aynhoe Park, involving a LOT of taxidermy, dwarves and circus strong men.  

Lastly: weather has been hit and miss, but when it's been a hit it's been GREAT! Days like this one make me feel very glad we have our studio, and now I'm just eager to get out into the garden area and get it tidied up - and hopefully even install a bat box!