Kerry O'Brine Womens Wear

Behind the seams


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Networking – Ladies, do you do it?

Networking events – If you aren’t at them then you are missing out.

Sure, I’ve been to a few duds. But more often than not, I have met some very interesting people and formed some good connections. They are opportunities to help one another forward our lives, business and career. This could be in the form of joint ventures, creating opportunities for talking at events or recommending a mentor for you.

  • Don’t think of it in direct correlation of networking = sales if you are in business.
  • Do offer something you can do for the other person when you make a connection. We all have something to offer – it is a two way connection.

A Selection of Women’s Networking Groups:

The Athena Network

Every Woman

Prowess

National Womens Network

We Are The City

Leading Women UK

WIBN SSW

Lady Val

Women in the City

City Women

The Room Upstairs

GWN

Girl Geek Dinners

City Mothers

This list is by no means exhaustive. There are a lot of groups out there who do different meetups, networking and workshops. Hopefully this list will get you started.

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Networking in Galleries – a great conversation starter

The other evening I tried a new networking group. I chose to go to this meeting as it was in the Whitechapel Gallery, to see a preview evening of the new exhibition on show Hannah Hoch. (click on the link for a great little video talk about the artist)

Felt a bit guilty as I like to try all galleries out – especially in the location I live, and I’d never been to the Whitechapel Gallery before!

I also had never heard of Hannah Hoch before. Hannah Hoch worked in collage and spliced together fashion magazines and journals.  Considering the fact she used fashion magazines/images in such a creative way, it is strange that I had not been introduced to her work in College or University.

Hoch’s work spanned 60 years from 1910 to the 1970s. It was an impressive body of work they showed and it is the first major exhibition of her work in the UK.

Such an interesting woman whose work has a humor and also a commentary on the world around her. She challenges stereotypes  in her works but also asks questions about society during times of huge change in the world.

photo 1 (2) photo 3 (2) photo 4 photo 5 (2)

Living in Berlin during its many periods of change from being part of the Dada movement and challenging the worlds perceptions through her art works to surviving as an artist through the Second World War.

I would definitely recommend this as an exhibition to go see. It’s on until the 23rd March – still lots of time! (They do late evening openings on Thursdays)

Article from Brian Dillon on the Guardian website

A small bio on Hoch


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A lovely fragrant education and networking evening!

What a busy week this has been! July seems to be THE TIME for networking in London! On Wednesday I went to a networking evening in Diptyque which I really enjoyed. I met some lovely ladies and had a very interesting evening. Now to be honest, I am a complete novice when it comes to the Diptyque brand and also the candle and fragrance industry. So I was happy to learn and be educated!

The company was first started by three friends and was inspired by their travels. They produced textile prints that they sold to Libertys and various other things. All three were creative but with different skill bases (interior designer, set designer and painter).

The labels for the first candles were all originally done by hand by one of the founders. Their first store was at 34 Boulevard Saint-Germain and you can see some pictures and more information on the website. It is still there and I think when I next head to Paris I would like to make a little visit.

The store I was in was very close to South Molton Street, London and was a lovely little boutique. They showed us how the best way to smell the candles they have on display is to tap out the candle on their special table and smell the bottom of the glass! This is because you won’t get as much of the fragrance from just smelling the top of the candle until you burn it.

There were some amazing scents. They have one that smells like daffodils. Now it truely does smell like daffodils, but very concentrated. Which I’m sure when burnt will dissipate and fill the room with a lovely floral scent. It hadn’t occured to me until the store manager pointed it out, that the majority of their candles are a single scent. This means you can almost create your own personal scent by burning a couple of candles at a time. For example, if you love the smell of roses but on it’s own it’s too sweet, perhaps burn a candle with a fresher smell at the same time.

They do also have a range of other fragrances where they are combined.

I also found it interesting that you just burn the candle for a very short time and then blow it out. The scent fills up the room and you don’t burn too much candle. The candles last about 60 hours I believe, so value for money really!!

I have the lovely limited edition candle Joie. To me it is a gorgeous smell; combining roses and lychees (surprising choice?) creates a lovely floral but fresh scent.

This is what Diptque says about the little collection “Diptyque partnered with Minä Perhonen, the famous Japanese designer, to create a limited edition collection of three fragrances: Ciel, Joie, and Infini. Each fragrance is inspired by a poem and is influenced by a mutual love of craftsmanship, motifs, and fabrics”.

Diptyque Candle

Joie: Diptyque limited edition candle

JOY

The poem evokes a summer’s day with flowers that seem to speak to one another, perfectly reflected by the candle’s intermingling floral notes.

fleurs bavardes
Bavardage des fleurs
Sous les rayons du soleil, quel bonheur !
Bavardage des fleurs jusqu’à la tombée de la nuit

ENDLESS

With its use of incense and spices this candle reflects the mysterious nature of memory: the unchartered territory of the mind.

Soulagement
Les souvenirs s’accumulent, aux côtés des senteurs,
Ils trouvent enfin leur place et sommeillent paisiblement,
attendant que l’esprit les libère

SKY
This candle’s nostalgic combination of rice vapor and sweet dew instantly calls forth the poem’s wistful tone. At one with the elements, Minagawa’s words bring the far-away close to home.

Le ciel sait
Je demande au vent de me conter l’histoire de ceux qui vivent au loin,
Et le vent me transmet leurs joies,
Je les sens ainsi plus près de moi.

If you want to find out more check out their facebook page, they make suggestions regarding combinations you can burn together and new products coming out. They also have little travel sets which seem lovely; great gifts, hint hint.


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Today I am booking in Networking Events galore! If you’ve never done one, you should deffinately give it a go. But you need to have a clear idea in your head as to why you are going. There are a few reasons not to go i.e. the most annoying one is people that are all sell sell sell at the events. It is such a put off. So that cannot be your reason for attending an event.

I was just thinking about other tips to give and that reminded me about getting some more business cards printed. At first I would hold back and try to judge who to give them too. But at the end of the day you don’t know who people know and have contacts with, so it’s worth passing one on to the people you chat with. I still disagree with people passing them around like candy, smells of desperation?

Let me know if you know of any Networking Events in London coming up. I’m always interested in new groups to try.


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Every Woman Conference inspires and informs

The Everywoman Conference was a great motivator on Tuesday 1st November. I felt inspired by all the really clever and successful ladies I met and heard speak.

I know women work in a diverse range of industries but at Every Woman I got a really strong feeling of the variety and it was great to meet and chat to such a diverse group of ladies. The panel session itself was a selection of women from a wide range of industries: Emma Elston, Director of Uk Container Maintenance Ltd, Trish Halpin, Editor-in-Chief of Marie Claire magazine, Anota Lowe, Chief Executive of Venue Event Management and Vanita Parti, Founder of Blink Brow Bar.

It is great to hear the success’ of other women but what I find the most inspiring is hearing how the women have overcome adversity to get where they are now. The speakers Maria Kempinska and Annie Ashdown had some amazing stories about their lives and how their business developed.

The two seminars I went to were very informative. Amanda Phillips the Managing Partner at An Abundance gave a great psychological insight into understanding decision making, information processing and what grabs and holds our attention.

I learnt more about social media from Katy Howell, Managing Director of Immediate Future. What a great speaker, very clear and generous with her assistance to the women in the room.

I swapped my lovely new business cards and chatted to some very interesting ladies during the networking sessions at lunch and coffee breaks.

My day was polished off nicely when I won a great goody bag! All in all, I had a lovely day out of my studio.