Monday, July 27, 2009

Spoil Yourself

Let's face it, the weather in North Hertfordshire is pretty grim at the moment. Rain, rain, rain - and when the sun does shine, you can't trust it to stay for longer than a few minutes. So take a few hours to cheer yourself up and spoil yourself for a while. The first Little Luxuries Pamper Night is this Thursday, 30th July in the gorgeous function room at the Three Horseshoes in Norton, Letchworth.

We have manicures, pedicures, aromatherapy massages, spray tanning, waxing and more. Plus there will be stalls selling all manner of goodies, from shoes and handbags to stunning jewelry. We are having some fascinating talks and demonstrations, including the spectacle of me having my haircut on stage! Entry is free, so come and browse. You can book your treatments on the night.

This is a monthly event, and we will be launching in other venues soon. Do join us and experience the Little Luxuries that you deserve.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Natural Born Style Confidence

My 3 year old daughter is inspiring. I don't know if I was ever like her, but she is now my official style icon.

Let's deal with the clothing first. She puts together outfits with decisiveness and conviction, never caring that other people may find her choices somewhat unusual. My favourite was the sparkly party dress, with a Tshirt over the top ("Mummy, I knew you would tell me that I would be too cold") and a swimsuit over all of that. Yes, you read it right - a swimsuit. And she just knew she looked fabulous.

Today I was at a meeting with my partner in Little Luxuries, when my phone rang. It was my husband, and he sounded nervous.

"Um, while I was in the garden the 3 year old brought me a toy saucepan full of hair. Her hair."

I confess that I giggled. "How much hair?" I asked.

"Um..I don't think it is too bad, but you'll need to take a look," he hedged.

On returning home and viewing the results, I found that my daughter's once shoulder-blade tickling locks were now mostly jaw length. Mostly is an important word in that sentence. There were several sections that were still long. I gently enquired about whether she required my services to tidy up her new style.

"No Mummy. I cut the bits I didn't want anymore, and the long bits that are left are the bits I do want."

Perfect! And you know, she rocks that hacked-by-a-3-year-old look! I'm not going to force her to let me neaten it all up, because she planned her look and she loves it. Unconventional it may be, but if we all had her style confidence, wouldn't we be happier in our skins instead of worrying about what other people were thinking?

I frequently meet women who tell me that they love the pink shoes (or purple or green - you get the idea) but that they "just aren't me". Rubbish! Next time you are inhibited by style convention, think of my daughter, with her uneven hair cut and her swimsuit over her dress. I truly hope she never loses that creativity and confidence - and neither should you!

Sunday, July 19, 2009


How do you motivate yourself or others? Is it with direct rewards - bonuses, prizes, gifts? Did your parents pay you for every grade A you got at O Level or GCSE? Did you get a new bike for passing your 11 plus?

Motivation needs to come from within. A job well done, being the best you can be, not having that uncomfortable guilt when you have cheated or got by through luck alone - those are the true motivators that will carry you through adversity and self-employment.

The child who studies hard to earn a £50 payment for an A grade will not understand that. They are not interested in doing the best they can, they are interested in the cash at the end. When they are put in a situation where there is no external carrot urging them on, what will they do? They may well gain the grade A, but in the long term the skills of self-motivation are worth far more.

If you rely on external rewards - either material or through recognition - you will struggle to motivate yourself through the challenges of self employment. The days when every phone call leads to a knock back...the days when you absolutely have to catch up on your book keeping...the days when everyone else is at a barbecue but you have a client proposal to finish...

Nobody else is going to give you a prize or a bonus for going the extra mile. The prize is your flourishing business, your returning clients and your pride in a job done well.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

It happens, get on with life

Today I was at 4 Networking Stevenage, helping to run the group as usual. I felt great, there were great people there and I was wearing a gorgeous dress with my cherry red heels. All was well with the world...

Until the zip at the side of the dress - the one that runs from armpit to hip - broke. You know, when the two sides of the zip part company with each other and you can't make them meet up again...

Luckily I was wearing a camisole underneath, so it wasn't completely revealing, but hardly the image I wanted!

In situations like that, what else can you do? Nothing really was on show that shouldn't have been, I was decent and the only problem was my sense of dignity. The options were to leave abruptly, to borrow a jacket from someone else or to just carry on.

I chose to patch it up as best as I could with the single tiny safety pin available and carry on with as much grace as I could. I believe that was right decision and allowed me to continue networking and to demonstrate a confidence that (perhaps) I wasn't feeling! I certainly wasn't going to allow it to interfere with my day.

Still, I expect they'll all remember who I am! And compared to Lily Allen, I was demure!

Actually, I think my gorgeous Shoes Galore shoes draw the attention from the gaping dress anyway. Hee hee.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Wow! I want some of those!

I just got a sneaky peek of one of next season's styles, and I am lusting after them already. Our new Managing Director, Vivienne, has a real eye for a stunning piece of footwear - I can't wait to see the rest of the new range!

I should have my Autumn/Winter range in stock by mid September, so book your party now, because then you'll get the biggest range of sizes and colours to choose from. Only 36 of each colour are comissioned, so when they are gone, they are gone! When you own a pair of Shoes Galore shoes, you have a limited edition, high quality piece of design, at a price that the high street could never match.

That's why I love being The Shoe Lady!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

3 days to go...

On Wednesday lunchtime I'll be running my shoe fashion show at the Sopwell House Hotel in St Albans. As well as showcasing some of the beautiful shoes I offer, I'll be explaining why some styles just don't work for some people, giving an insider secret to help where you have differently sized feet, and giving everyone a 10% discount on sales on the day.

Follow that with one of the hotel's gorgeous lunches, and for £18.50, you are definitely getting value for money! You can book here. If you can't make it, but you'd still like some pretty shoes, leave me a message, and I'll be happy to help you!