Saturday, 17 May 2014

Going Live!!!!

For the past few months we have been busily gathering stock, securing premises, renovating caravans, planning our shop opening and very importantly sorting out our branding and web site.
The ‘branding’ - yes, this is what the showcasing of our business is called (we didn’t know that either!) - well that was something that would be quite easy to do wouldn't it???  We thought “how hard can it be??”.  Surely, it is just a case of putting together a few words and a few photos, decide what the sign above the shop and on the web site should look like and there you have it!! Half a days’ work  at most….
How very wrong we were!!…
Our Lady in Red - She helped shape our thinking
Firstly, we needed to decide on the look and feel that we want for Lily & Violet Vintage. This was really the easy part for us because we knew that we wanted something glamorous and opulent looking, but also something a little bit quirky - as you know, this is no ordinary vintage venture!
So next up was researching lots of other web sites and shops just to try and figure out what we do and don’t like. This resulted in quite a lot of ‘days out’ scouting the local high streets for inspiration....

Honestly, that is what we were doing!!...   Although we were occasionally distracted and ended up ‘shopping’, we were (for the most part) very focused.  
No, really - we really were!! We only bought a couple of pairs of shoes and the odd scarf or two between us!!!
Next up - agreeing the content for the website…We are having all the usual - About Us, Contact Us, Clothes, Caravans (if you call that usual) etc.. That bit wasn’t too bad but filling it up with words and pictures was a whole different matter….
The words…
We have spent hours pondering over the wording, is it too twee? does it sound too ‘friendly’ ? Are we just talking rubbish?  And the answer to all of these was (at times) yes!!  
You would think that words would come quite easily to us - those that know us personally would never expect either of us to be stumped for a word or two!! But actually, sometimes we were!!  And, other times we just wrote gibberish (mmmm?!?!)
Lovely Models
 - Rubbish Photographer!!
The pictures…
Oh come on!! We can all take brilliant photos, can’t we?? With today’s new-fangled digital technology, of course we can all take a few great photos of a few great outfits! 
No, no no - it is so much harder than the professionals make it look!  Firstly, we shot into the light (wrong!!) Then the outfits were for Winter (wrong!!)  Then the day was overcast (wrong!!) Then the indoor light was too harsh (wrong!!)  - you get the picture - ha... ha...That said we are improving with age (in every respect but particularly in the photographer stakes)!
We have had a number of photo shoots and have now got a great ‘look’ - but this has been a long road and we are improving all the time! 
The branding aspect of setting up Lily & Violet Vintage has proved to the one thing that has really shaped our thinking and helped us to understand what it is we are all about. It has made us consistent in what we are doing and has meant that we have not gone ‘off track’.
Luckily for us, we have the most fantastic designer you could wish to meet.  Kirsty McGibbon of Sharper Marketing has been our guiding light!  And this is no overstatement - she has completely understood what we are trying to achieve and translated this into a fantastic web site, created our logo, designed our business cards, created our facebook page…the list goes on….
We really need you all to go and have a look at our web site and tell us what you think of it.  It has links to our facebook page, our Oodles of Poodles blog (you are reading it!!) and to Pinterest. This is particularly cool because it means that we can take snaps or our new stock and upload them to our Pinterest boards and you can all see them right away. And we have mood boards for the caravans so you get a glimpse of what is inspiring us!!!
If you, or anyone you know of is looking for this sort of thing, we cannot recommend Kirsty highly enough. Don’t try and go it alone - speak to Kirsty.  She is based in Stroud and can be contacted through her website  or you can let us know and we will be very pleased to put you in touch..
We are totally thrilled with our website and everything that goes with it.  Thank You Kirsty!!  We would really love to know what you think too so please put a note on here or on our Facebook page and let us know what you think of it…

Mary & Lisa x 

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