So... what was our project? If we said an upside down flower display that would 'float' above people's heads, you might have thought we'd had one too many Proseccos! Yet our brief from the L'Occitane team was to provide an immersive floral experience.
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?
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.
Everyone’s different but here’s how we use Instagram
And we just can’t hide it!
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.
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.
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
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 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 :-
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!
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 … 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!
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.
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
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.
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"
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!