So...we are really lifting off!

Our most recent update took place after the VM & Display Show in London in April. A bubbly, busy time for everyone involved.

Hot on the heels of our second appearance at this prestigious show, we attended the Star Women in Business Awards in sunny Scarborough.

This inaugural event gathered ‘the great and the good’ from our corner of Yorkshire and as the name suggests, celebrated females in business in a number of sectors.

There was a galaxy of business owners seated in the iconic Ocean Room at The Spa, parts of which were designed by Joseph Paxton, who also helped devise the Crystal Palace during the reign of another famous female, Queen Victoria.

The Star Women awards was a bustling event with delicious hot food, some glasses of bubbly and of course a compare, Carolyn Hodgson, former TV presenter. 

It is a nerve-wracking experience, waiting to see who has ‘won’ … our very own Lisa Borrie, creator of our So… Visualise tribe was awarded the prestigious Star of Digital award. 

A proud moment for us al! Well done, Lisa!

Star Women in Business.jpg


The resulting coverage was fantastic and we noticed that we had a plethora of potential projects soon after.

These included supplying some bespoke pieces for an award-winning show on Channel 4, discussions with the National Trust and Ted Baker London … #honoured!

Another cool client that we’re delighted to be ‘so… visualising’ with is London’s Natural History Museum, one of the UK’s leading cultural attractions that is historical yet innovative!

If you’re heading there this summer, you can see the Moon by Luke Jerram (a nice nod to the Apollo 11 lunar landing which took place 50 years ago this July); take part in a Silent Disco (ssshh!) and even enjoy a Dino Snores experience (one for the grown-ups).

We are keeping this latest project ‘under wraps’ for the moment … suffice to say, we’ll be blogging about this in the future. 

These incredible projects take place in our nation’s capital and other key locations … yet for us, home is where the heart is as we’ve had some amazing local and regional media coverage in our weekly newspaper and Freeview news channel. 

We’re hoping to have even more coverage soon so… that’s another blog post sorted! 

Until next time….

So...our bubble brained idea!

We see bubbles … lots of bubbles … in the Big Smoke!

For the second year running, we attended the VM&Display Show at the Business Design Centre, The Angel Islington, London. And this year’s theme came from a moment of inspiration we had after last year’s event!

On the way home in 2018, we spotted a traditional laundrette … black and white tiled floors … the marvellous ‘old school’ washing machines … bright lights … think 50s America and maybe the famous Levi 501 TV advert, if you’re of a certain age (scarily, this was first aired in 1985!!!) And pop! This year’s theme was sorted.

You could say we were squeaky clean in 2019 as the laundrette theme really inspired us. In the run-up to the event, we involved young people from our local community to help us prepare our stand. The Futureworks NY team re-cycled about a zillion plastic drinks bottles into bubbles. Yes, bubbles … and lots of them!

SoVisualise.VM&Displayshow2019.recycled plastic bubbles.jpeg

We then asked talented graphic artist Savannah Storm to create the washing machines in a fabulous shade of pale turquoise, complete with stripy washing inside! 

SoVisualise.VM&Displayshow2019.bespokeprops1.jpeg

The bubbles and other water-effects cascaded down the side of our stand and we even had our own range of So… Visualise washing aids ... other cleaning products available! 

We drove down to the VM&Display Show ready for set up on the Tuesday and as this was our second visit, we knew what to expect and also saw old friends from last year. So… that was ‘a load’ off our minds!

We were then ready for the show (Wednesday 3rd and Thursday 4th April) and our branded bottles of bubble mixture were an immediate hit … after all, could you resist blowing bubble through that special wand?

The show was busy, busy, busy and we made some excellent contacts. And while making contacts and reconnecting with potential clients is one of the main reasons for attending, this year’s USP was also the involvement of the Futureworks NY team.

This amazing organisation helps young adults find their potential when other ways maybe haven’t always worked out. Collaborating with them was hugely rewarding and we’ve since worked on another project for L’Occitane with this amazing team!

Our stand has also been featured on the Retail Focus website, which is fantastic. 

https://retail-focus.co.uk/vm-display-show-2019-in-pictures/

We are hoping to attend next year … ‘wash’ this space! 

So...Rewarding

Here at So… Visualise, we’ve been working on one of our most successful projects so far.

It had nothing to do with travelling to an exotic location, a bustling metropolis like London or meeting up with company executives.

We’ve been much closer to home … in fact, we’ve been working right here in sunny Scarborough with old plastic bottles. Honestly! Allow us to explain.

Next month, we’re heading off to the Visual Merchandising and Display Show in London for the second year running.  And we’re so … excited about this! Yet we needed to prepare our stand so it would ‘stand’ out from the hundreds that ‘set out their stall’ for the event on April 3rd and April 4th at Angel Islington in the capital.

As a business that firmly believes in giving back to the community, we approached Futureworks NY of Scarborough to see if they would be interested in helping us get ready for the London trip.

If you’ve not heard of Futureworks NY, they’re an amazing organisation that helps young adults ‘find their way’ in a world that can be confusing and very challenging as they make their way into adulthood.

We tasked the students, aged 14 and above, with a creative challenge … re-purposing plastic drinks bottles into fun bubble shapes which would be on display to the great and the good of the visual merchandising world. We reached out via social media for bottle ‘donations’ and we were soon well stocked for our project. The time we spent with the students was so  … rewarding!

Futureworks bubbles.jpg

We had two sessions a week in which we could join forces at their workshop.

The challenge gave our students the chance to follow a design brief from start to finish, to see that creativity is something that is truly valuable and also see there is a chance to succeed here in their home town. We worked alongside the Director of Futureworks NY, Sarah Thornton, who was delighted with the result. 

Sarah said: “Our learners enjoyed being part of this creative project and recycling plastic bottles which they would normally just see as rubbish. Meeting Lisa, who is from our local area, has inspired our young people and made them see a bigger picture of what goes on beyond Scarborough! They are also looking forward to seeing the end result of the project.”

We’re so … chuffed at the result.

We can only say how wonderful it’s been and maybe other businesses could benefit in a similar way … getting young people involved and giving them hope, and an insight into a world that is waiting for them and their talents. 
Sometimes talents are hidden or need a little bit of encouragement to emerge. We sincerely hope we’ve been able to inspire and allow these fabulous young folks to ‘visualise’ a positive future for themselves.



So…close your eyes and think of the flower fields of France

So…close your eyes and think of the flower fields of France

As the cloak of winter wrapped itself around us, here at So … Visualise, we’ve had a glimpse of spring by way of  fresh colours, varied textures, and floral inspiration thanks to the world-famous beauty and skincare company. L’Occitane’s stylish retail outlets can be found worldwide and their products are beautiful to see, touch and smell, showing the very best Provence has to offer.

So… how did we help this iconic French brand?

So...London Fashion Week Darlings!

If you’re a follower of fashion, then you’ll know London Fashion Week took place from 14th to 18th September, darlings!

So Visualise had an artistic presence at a prestigious prelude event to London Fashion Week earlier this month.This high profile VIP curated event was held from 13th-16th September at the Old Central St Martins college in Holborn shining a spotlight on the world's fashion calendars main event London Fashion week, showcasing designers from around the globe.

Our artisan makers of the weird and wonderful had the great honour of creating numerous design pieces for this iconic show, used in strategic areas as the world’s greatest designers mingled and had a few ‘tete a tetes’.

So… when we received the design brief, it was eclectic and from the moment we got the list, we knew this would give our creators and ‘au courant’ designers a challenge. The brief included 18 hand crafted geo puzzles in a spectrum of four hues presented in elegant bell jars. Forget the brightly-coloured Rubik’s Cube, these babies were carefully constructed cubes that had an Escher-like never-ending quality, together with a luggage tag featuring the phrase ‘Lift to discover Tom Ford’ in handwriting that would delight any calligrapher.

We were then asked to create half a dozen silver skulls with Pantone®-matched blue sprayed bunches of grapes along with a personalised newspaper article. Together these looked amazing, chic and memorable.

If you love a three piece suit and a traditional accoutrements, then So… Visualise were asked to create two bespoke printed pocket squares, hand-printed on shiny satin material which then nestled perfectly in the pocket of a navy blue jacket resting on a dress-makers mannequin.

Next, we all know that if you’re superstitious, then avoid breaking a mirror for fear of seven years’ bad luck … however, for London Fashion Week this was not a consideration as we were briefed to create half a dozen cracked mirror effect books that were hollow inside. Each tome housed a magnifying glass and personalised text that rested in the small, comfy space within.

Finally our commission asked us for some giclee printed portraits with painted artist details overlaid with bespoke vinyl print. For those of us unsure as to what a giclee printing involves, let us enlighten you … this process uses fade-resistant, archival inks and is used by artists for reproduction purposes (for example to make a reproduction of a single, one-off piece while preserving the original).

There is a theme to these seemingly disseminated works … there was a strong grey, blue and black colour palette; there was a theme of the printed word in transient times; and together they all looked incredible.

This commission was one we won’t forget and the outcome was testament to our teamwork and our strong position in the bespoke creation industry.

So… We’re So Excited

And we just can’t hide it!

VM&Display Logo with Dates2018.jpg

London, here we come on April 18th and 19th 2018, when we’ll be wending our way to the prestigious VM and Display Show.

As London is one of the world’s best-known design capitals (think: The Gherkin; the Olympic Stadium; Biba) it’s hard to think of better city in which to have such an eclectic event.

The show takes place in the Business Design Centre, one of the big smoke’s most iconic venues.

It’s as awesome as it is elegant, with original 19th century ironwork and a barrel-vaulted ceiling presented in a modern design.

The venue is also situated in one of London’s most vibrant areas, Angel Islington, and is within walking distance of King’s Cross and St Pancras, two of the world’s most famous railway stations.

So… just what is the show all about?

Well, it’s where the top retailers such as Harvey Nichols, Debenhams, Selfridges and many more look for all things ‘Visual Merchandising and Display’ for their fabulous stores.

It’s an ‘everybody-under-the-same-roof’ type of event, making it easier for these talented folks to plan their VM year.

And your very own Scarborough-based company has been invited to attend on a complimentary basis.

We don’t mind saying that this is a HUGE boost to the So … Visualise team. In other words, we’re really chuffed!

 

So… what are we up to?

 We’ll have an exhibition stand so those attending can so visualise with So … Visualise, as we’ll be promoting our talents to the giants of the retail world.

www.vmanddisplayshow.com/exhibitors

We’d love to be able to shine with our quirky ‘house style’, which includes Flo the Flamingo and sometimes has a tropical twist with the appearance of a pretty parrot or two!

Regular readers of our blog will know that Flo the Flamingo can make very special guest appearances in our VM work – after all, she’s got great colouring, long legs and can bring her gracefulness to just about any occasion!

There is a saying: “a heart without dreams is like a bird without feathers”, so while the attendees will be flocking to the VM and Design Show, we’ll be there in force, making our unique mark in the VM world.

Attending the show is a treat in itself. The spectacular venue has heaps of natural light, a fabulous mezzanine and an atrium in which a mini-VM and design universe appears, with lots of different, talented ‘stars’. All manner of VM and design businesses attend within that one unique space: mannequins, props, design, lighting, fabrics and everything in-between.

Inspiration abounds!

With show endorsements from some VIPs of the VM world including Vivienne Westwood, House of Fraser and Top Shop, we’re downright delighted to be part of this world-renowned event

 

So … without further ado, we’ll be spreading our wings with our VM and Design portfolio next month.

 

Watch this space, everyone, oh and you can get front row seat if you want, as this show is free to attend! www.vmanddisplayshow.com/registration

So… we’re in the Sunday Times!

Here at So… Visualise, we are a small, perfectly formed family business with great ideas and big hearts!

So you can imagine our delight at being featured in a page lead article in one of the national Sunday newspapers.

The Sunday Times feature article.jpg

The piece, ‘Freebies for celebrities: let them pay for cake’ by Laura Onita on page 7 of the Business Section of The Sunday Times gives us a large slice of the narrative.

The theme of the article, published 20th August, focuses on how giving out free publicity materials may benefit companies in their bid to acquire new clients.

As well as mentioning our lovely hometown of Scarborough, the lovely Frida, our inflatable drinks holder in the shape of an elegant flamingo, also gets a nod as a key part of our marketing strategy.

In the words of Laura, Frida helps ‘… spread the word about So… Visualises range of wacky wares.’

Following a few late evening email exchanges and a phone interview, Laura put ‘pen to paper’ and allowed us to have our say: ‘We offer existing props free in exchange for publicity, but it depends on the situation.’

So… we waited with baited breath to see if we would get a mention and an early morning visit to the newsagents meant we bought a copy of the Sunday Times with its print ink still wet! And of course, we weren’t disappointed.

The beating heart of our business is our customers and being able to deliver the best possible service to our clients … and making it to a national newspaper with a high readership definitely helps ‘get the word out’ … we might have a piece of cake to celebrate!

If you fancy reading it online :- 

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/business/freebies-for-celebrities-let-them-pay-for-cake-j80td95bc

So...much support up North!

So... it’s a BIG thank you to the Business Up North’s website, which brings the latest business SME news straight from … you’ve guessed it, The North!

Scarborough sea front beach

Entitled ‘When Retail Met Magic’, http://www.businessupnorth.co.uk/when-retail-met-magic/ the online article tells our story so far. And while we work at various locations in the south, we’re very proud to be based in the north.

As a business located close to the beautiful Yorkshire Coast (a constant source of inspiration), we’ve got the best of both worlds ... a visual merchandising company in breath-taking countryside and an enviable work-life balance.

And we’re part of a nationwide network of incredibly supportive businesses based both in the north and the south.

We’ve got a heck of a lot going for us as a northern-based enterprise … great locations; a encouraging business network; a shared set of values; incredible history; innovative entrepreneurs.

Here at So… Visualise we can work with anyone, just about anywhere, but we never forget our northern roots. As well as great customer service, our family life is also important.

So… we aim to stay strong and be true to our northern influences, and bring our creative energies to enhance your business, wherever you might be!

So...Birds of a feather

So … you may have noticed our colourful, magical feathered friends on the homepage of our website!

A pink flamingo and a brightly coloured parrot have flown in from their exotic locations to bring lustre and fun to our So … Visualise world.


As well as having some of the plushest plumage in the bird world, we selected these two exotic creatures for their symbolic significance, as well as their aesthetic beauty.

We’ve done some research, and it seems the iridescent male peacocks represent a number of different emotions and thoughts across the globe.

Originally from India, in Hindu culture, the peacock is sometimes associated with the sun, patience, kindness and luck. In Persian history, they were often seen as a guardian to royalty, sometimes respectfully engraved on royal thrones.

In ancient Greece, Athenians paid to see the glorious male birds with their magnificent, fan-like feather display.

In early Christianity, the peacock is seen has representing resurrection and renewal.

And if you’ve heard of the phoenix, then the peacock is sometimes regarded as the earthly manifestation of this mythological bird; a long-lived creature that rises from its own ashes and is reborn, time after time.

Perhaps the most beautiful and hypnotic aspect of a peacock’s plumage is the beautiful ‘eye’ of the male tail-feathers. The tail-feathers are sometimes believed have the capability of absorbing negative energies!

And while we work close to the sea, that’s not the only reason we selected the remarkable parrot to ‘nest’ on our website!

Parrots are usually very friendly and good natured – just like the So … Visualise team! Great companions, very intelligent, and often long living, these strikingly hued birds make great pets.

Yet the parrot has other meanings, apart from being associated with pirates, of course.

If your nocturnal dreams feature a parrot, then it could be time to revisit your life goals and see a fresh, new perspective of your future (maybe the So … Visualise team could help too!)

Parrots have often appeared in ancient culture: the Mayans are believed to have worshipped parrots as their colourful feathers featured in their ritual attire. These beautiful birds were associated with fertility with different colours having different meanings: red meant unfulfilled desires, for example.

So … if you’ve seen these lovely birds of a feather when you’ve visited our website, not only are they distinctive creatures, they also represent so much that’s relevant to our So … Visualise world!

 

 

 

 

So … Pleased!

You can imagine our delight at being featured as the Virgin Start-Up Of The Week - yes, that Virgin - you know, the brainchild of entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, no less!

To be on such a respected website is truly amazing.

Virgin StartUp of the week So Visualise

So … what is Virgin Start-Up?

Five years ago, when we had 'Super Saturday 'and experienced the visually stunning London Olympics, the Government launched its Start Up Loans scheme. Virgin became an official Delivery Partner to help finance and promote entrepreneurs here in the UK.

The scheme also helps ease the stress of obtaining finance during the early stages of a new business set-up.

So … Virgin selected So … Visualise to be Start-Up of The Week … a real honour when you consider the scheme has supported around 38,000 companies!

As well as explaining our business in 30 seconds, Virgin asked us where we were based. We were proud as Punch to say ‘Scarborough’, a place that provides endless inspiration for us as we design for regional and national clients.

Virgin then asked how I came up with the idea for So … Visualise. As there’s a niche market for prop design and visual merchandising for independent retail, the So … Visualise work family was born: creative, always pushing boundaries and exceeding expectations … and I am glad we’ve been able to shout about this from Virgin’s Start-Up website!
As our business develops, there’s an opportunity for us to work closely with a business consultant to further support the goals of So … Visualise.

I can’t thank Virgin Start-Up enough for featuring us; also big thanks to our creative design team and to Yorkshire in Business, who helped with the application process.

You can read the full article by clicking here https://www.virginstartup.org/start-week-0/sovisualise

 

And if you’ve been inspired to see if Virgin can help your fledgling business, click here https://www.virginstartup.org/how-to

Eekk we made it in a mag!

You and Your wedding mag article feature

Oooh what a lovely week this has been!

So...the build up. We were recommended by a lovely florist called Sarah who we had enjoyed working with previously to join her in creating this relaxed barn wedding for Adam & Fergus. Of course a great success on the cool spring April day and all went beautifully.

Months later we receive an out of the blue email from the lovely clients themselves informing us that their wedding was going to be featured in the nationwide You&Your Wedding magazine and we were listed in the 'Dream Team'! So...exciting, 

So lookey here it is 3 whole pages none the less and we couldn't be happier!

Great way to start the year. 

Charles the peacock visits London

simpsons.jpg

The luxury showroom of Simpsons Mirrors, Chelsea Harbour, London requested a visit from Charles our regal peacock over the Christmas season and into the new year. 

Here are a few lovely words from them:

"He has been an utter delight to have and has filled our showroom with joy and sparkle throughout the festive month of December. so thank you for arranging for us to have him over this time."

"I have attached some images of him having much fun. One in the window ( quite the showstopper ) and making friends ( such a socialite!) , and one by the fire looking very regal. He also became the star of our Christmas cards"

London baby!

Creative Director, Lisa Borrie, heads to London with an invitation to the Queen Bees Christmas networking dinner. 

After previously meeting with Phoebe Gormley of Gormley & Gamble female tailors of Saville Row, I was very kindly invited to their Queen Bees Christmas dinner at her residence.

Not your usual networking event where you have a name sticker and you are all stood around hoping it was worth coming. Queen Bees is a fantastic small group of fab ladies who are owning it at the minute! Talking about the highs and lows of running your own business. We were sat chatting like friends by the end of the evening and offering advice to each other over a glass of wine. So ...ready for the next one!

London at night