Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Last Minute Beauty Gift Guide

Happy Christmas Eve Eve! I *think* I've just about finished all my shopping this year, but for those of you that are still struggling for the last few bits, I spoke to my favourite make-up artist, the lovely Sali from Ms Moo Make-up, to see what beauty treats she'd recommend!

"There’s SO much choice out there on the beauty counters at Christmas, I’m like a kid in the biggest sweetshop ever; I want it all and I want it now! That’s what Queen said, right? ;)

Here’s what would be on my Christmas wishlist, and what any lady in your life would be all too happy to receive!

I love No7. I’ve got oodles of their products in my kit and always hope to get some of their skincare stuff at Christmas. It’s all found fab for all skintypes (but they do specialist ones too!) and quality is fantastic. Also, Boots always seem to give away those £5.00 vouchers off No7 stuff, and it feels like you’re getting it for free every time you get a voucher. It’s vicious spending circle, and I love it!

I couldn’t possibly pick between the two of these, they are fab. You’ve pretty much got every brush you could possibly need in these kits, and the handy little storage pouches are a great touch. Keeps your brushes organised and separate from the no doubt deluage of products in your make-up bag. Just remember to keep the brushes clean after each use!

Oh me, oh my. This trio set is to die for. A gorgeous vintage brown shadow, renowned eyebrow gel to shape and fill your browns with a natural look and the absolute best gel liner ever. I mean it. The best gel liner ever. Practice sure makes perfect but you slick a line of that on at the start of the day, and I guarantee it’ll still be there at the end of your day; I use it on all my clients and swear by it.

Coming in a range of shades, slick a little of this notorious wonder product under your eyeshadow and it’ll stay put. Guaranteed. Each shade will have a slightly different effect on your eyeshadow but the original and sin ones are my faves. And the travel versions are dinky if you’ve not much space in your make-up bag :)

This palette is a little treat, and available from your local Superdrug and online. From daytime to nighttime in one palette, with great matte and pearl shades. Lots of people often discount neutral colours but they are becoming more and more popular at the moment. Which is great for me, because I love working with them!"

I absolutely love all of Sali's choices! You can find her on her website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. What would be your ultimate Christmas cosmetics wishlist?

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

New Winter Wonderland Collection!


I've been super busy this past month working hard on a small festive line for Little Miss Delicious. Like Halloween, I was determined to make completely new designs this year and I'm so happy with the results!

The new Winter Wonderland Mini Collection is inspired by all things fun and festive, with a cute Little Miss Delicious touch. Each piece of jewellery is delicately hand sculpted from polymer clay, then hand painted and glazed for a shiny finish! No moulds or stencils are used in the creation of any LMD designs, so each piece is truly unique, making them the perfect gift this Christmas.
I've only made 3 pieces per design so the Collection is extremely limited, helping make each item that little bit more special. Shop the Collection now

And if that didn't spoil you guys enough, I've also added 6 new Greeting Cards to the website too! Five fun festive designs to help get you into the Christmas spirit and one new permanent one which might just be my new personal favourite since it's something I often have to say! Now the only question is, which card will you be sending this Christmas? Shop Greeting Cards now

Friday, 5 December 2014

Feature Friday: Bad Sheep Boutique

In the run up to Christmas I'll be doing weekly Feature Friday posts to highlight some of my favourite small businesses and independent designers to help you find some indie gems this festive season!

Bad Sheep Boutique is a quirky online store founded by Rachael, a young fashion and music enthusiast, with a keen interest in art, design, comics and people. It's designed to reach out to those who have a love for all things alternative, creative and stylish with a twist.

They stock an impressive list of brands that is always growing, including Sourpuss Clothing, Mr Lacy, Akumu Ink Clothing, Collectif London, Studio Ochee, Voodoobeat, Bubblegum Vegas, Kustom Kreeps, Retrosexual Clothing Company, Joystick Junkies and many more!

I recently spoke to Rachael to find out more about Bad Sheep Boutique.

What inspired you to start Bad Sheep Boutique?

I've always loved alternative clothing and accessories, as well as comics and music, so I wanted to create a store that had all of that brought together in one place. The site right now is only a fraction of what I plan for it to be.

It's such a fun name - how did you come up with it?

Thank you. It's a cross between being the black sheep of the flock, you know, being different, which is basically myself, mixed in with a bit of attitude. That's why the sheep looks like a greaser with his shades and quiff. I love the whole rockabilly scene and I think that comes across in a lot of the things we do. As our motto says: "don't follow the flock, be a bad sheep!"

What has been your favourite moment since starting Bad Sheep Boutique?

There have been a few really. One being the first time we ran a stall at an event. It was great to have people enjoying being able to look at our range and ask lots of questions.

Of course every time an order comes through it feels great. I never take things for granted and every time someone buys from the site, they are giving us support.

Launching the new website was also a key moment for me because I really felt that the whole project was moving forward.

How do you select which brands to stock, and do you have any advice for independent designers/small businesses looking to start wholesaling to brilliant websites such as your own?

I spend time at trade shows, especially alternative ones like London Edge. You get to meet a lot of people and discover interesting brands. Sometimes I see someone wearing something and will check the label and get on the case to contact them.

Being involved in roller derby, I decided that it was time to get started with stocking up some roller derby related products, so with the recent launch of our new site, we also launched our derby hardware. I'm very excited to see the range grow.

My advice for people looking to set up a brand and wholesale to stores....well firstly I'd suggest to be different. There are so many similar brands out there. The market is full of lines that are lacking uniqueness. Also minimum order value can really affect if a shop can buy from you or not. Being an independent company, purely funded by myself, it was hard to meet minimum orders in the very early days. That affected my launch stock big time.

Also, something a lot of people don't do is start off your business legitimately! You don't want all your hard work wasted by having to pay hefty fines for not registering your self employment etc. that's the boring bit but an important thing to remember.

What's your favourite product on the website at the moment?

Ooh that's a tricky one! I have a very big soft spot for the satchels. In fact the ones with zebra print pockets have been super popular since we got them in!

I also have to say our own brand T-shirts. They are the first of a line of Bad Sheep Boutique branded products so I have a love for them. We are hoping to see more people wearing them over the next few months!

What do you have planned for the future?

Ooh! So much! Firstly the range will be extended next year. More awesome clothing. More roller derby hardware!

I want to get people involved in some exciting projects, so I'm working on a crowd funding project that will allow people to get hold of some super limited edition products.

Also, keep your eyes open for an exciting creative competition nearer the summer!! I can't give too much away at this point.

You can keep in the know by liking our Facebook page and following us on Twitter. Also, we have an email newsletter and it's worth signing up as 2015 will see some special discounts and offers going out only to subscribers!

You can find Bad Sheep Boutique here:
Website: www.badsheepboutique.com

Feature Friday is about celebrating all things creative and inspiring. Want to see your favourite brand featured on the Little Miss Delicious blog? Please email details to info[at]littlemissdelicious.com!

Friday, 28 November 2014

Black Friday Picks

With so many Black Friday deals around, I thought I'd do a little round up of my favourite independent/small business online deals today, so you can enjoy a spot of Black Friday shopping without having to leave the house as well as supporting hard working brands all at the same time!

  • Obviously I couldn't help but start by mentioning the Little Miss Delicious Black Friday Sale ;) For today only, get a whopping 50% OFF over 200 products at www.littlemissdelicious.com! No discount code needed. Offer ends 11.59pm tonight, so be quick.


    Now the only question is... what will you be treating yourself to this Black Friday?


    Wednesday, 26 November 2014

    The Difference Between Handmade and Handcrafted

    When I first started Little Miss Delicious, back before I had my own website, I used Etsy. Without it, I would have never had a platform for my designs online and I doubt LMD would be where it was today without that. I stopped using it when my website started to grow as it was too time consuming to promote both, and ultimately my own site became priority. I've been considering signing up to Etsy again lately just for a little extra promotion, but after having a look through the website I couldn't believe how much it's changed.

    My favourite thing about Etsy was always its strict handmade policy, meaning sellers that were buying charms in bulk from China then attaching them to a chain usually weren't around for long, but now that's all that seems to be on there! And all those listings are still under the tag handmade. But surely putting two pieces together can't be considered the same as making something from scratch through a time consuming process - which is what I'd usually consider handmade? 

    I decided to look up the definitions of handmade and handcrafted according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, and was surprised to find the definitions are very similar -
    • Handmade; made by hand or by a hand process. 
    • Handcrafted; to fashion by handicraft. 
    • Handicraft; 1 a: manual skill b: an occupation requiring skill with the hands 2: the articles fashioned by those engaged in handicraft.

    I can't be the only one that feels there should be a better distinction made between handmade and handcrafted? Maybe hand assembled would be a better phrase? If you buy a jigsaw and put the pieces together, surely that should be considered something different compared to making each jigsaw piece yourself and then assembling it. This is the same approach I think we should take when it comes to jewellery.

    I find it hard enough competing with prices of hobbyists who don't have to think about price points or make a living from their designs, but competing with people marking handcrafted items as handmade is now another struggle facing truly handmade businesses. It's easy to sell items for £1 when you're buying mass produced cast items in bulk and don't have a time consuming process, but some of us are spending hours even just creating one piece.

    But it's a difficult line to draw - at what point does a product become truly handmade? I don't make the clay I use from scratch, but I do sculpt and paint each piece by hand, with many stages in between, so can I still count my products as handmade? What if the person using mass produced imported charms cuts the chain to length themselves? It's very difficult and I think it's a very personal distinction to make, or even whether you make a distinction at all.

    Clicking the handmade hashtag on Twitter or Instagram, I'm always overwhelmed by the results. It's amazing to see so many people and companies making beautiful and unique products by hand via lots of different means. I'm just not sure if putting mass produced charms on chains should count as handmade, but if not handcrafted, I'm not sure what the most fitting alternative would be.

    What do you think?

    Friday, 21 November 2014

    Feature Friday: Miss Fortune

    In the run up to Christmas I'll be doing weekly Feature Friday posts to highlight some of my favourite small businesses and independent designers to help you find some indie gems this festive season!

     When it comes to clothing, the amazing Miss Fortune is always my favourite this time of year. Miss Fortune has been making rockabilly and vintage 1950's style clothing since 2005, and are still going as strong as ever! I've been a fan of Miss Fortune for many years now, and the quality of their pieces and thought that goes into each new range never fails to amaze me.

    Fiesta Skirt

    Laura, the talented lady behind Miss Fortune says 'I came up with the concept of Miss Fortune in 2005. At first I was just hand making a small selection of rockabilly clothing, selling though my website and online auction sites and working from my garage. 
    I got out of education in 2006 and began to set up the business on a bigger scale, in 2007 I got my first premises and began taking wholesale orders from shops in the UK and Europe in early 2008.
    These days the clothing is made at a manufactures in the UK and sold as far afield as New Zealand and the USA.'

    Emma Dress

    Laura's inspiration comes from all over the place, whether it be an interesting fabric or trim or people she knows. 'I think designing with real people in mind makes my clothing more appealing and practical. I also look at pictures from the forties and fifties for inspiration and sometimes I put certain music on to help me design a certain style of garment, for example I might listen to the Stray Cats while I am designing rockabilly clothing and maybe The Meteors when I am trying to come up with something a bit harder edged and psychobilly!'

    Cropped Shirt - Hearse

    Miss Fortune designs are made to suit a range of figures and are focused on flattering the figure and making the most of a girls curves! They use the best quality fabric and work hard to provide good quality garments, manufactured in the UK, resulting in beautiful high quality creations that hug all the right places.

    Cupid's Girl - Off The Shoulder Top

    Make sure you check out Miss Fortune's website - it's full of beautiful vintage inspired treasures perfect for the upcoming party season, as well as stocking plenty of accessories from brands such as Lux De Ville to add that extra touch of glam to your outfit!

    You can find Miss Fortune here:
    Website: www.missfortune.co.uk

    Feature Friday is about celebrating all things creative and inspiring. Want to see your favourite brand featured on the Little Miss Delicious blog? Please email details to info[at]littlemissdelicious.com!



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