Diary of an event – 1. The idea and rebranding

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The idea

Sometimes it’s really good to take a break away from what you do every day, to spend quality time with your family and reflect. I’m very lucky to have family living in a very vibrant part of the world, and I’ve just returned from an exciting and restorative trip to South Africa. It’s made me come back lusting for bigger and better things for Eclectic Mix Cambridge.

The Team

First things first, I gathered together my trusty team, all bringing their own skills and ideas for Eclectic Mix (and they really are an eclectic mix!). Eva Eland is our talented Creative Web Editor (and children’s book author and illustrator in her spare time). Mandy Knapp, lover of things to do with networking and engaging, both in person and on social media, plus she’s an avid printmaker. Lorraine Hitt, wonderful jeweller (really edgy designs) with the best visualisation skills in graphic design and interiors.
I know, how lucky am I!

Rebranding

So we got together and threw around some ideas for our branding, what style we wanted to evoke, colours, what font best represented us. I’m no time, Lorraine produced a series of logos, and we quickly fell upon the one we all loved. We hope you love it too!

Choosing the logo

Planning a bigger event

The next thing on the agenda was to plan a pop-up event, which was going to coincide with the Town and Country Fair, 10th June. We were so lucky to find St Andrews Street Baptist Church had availability, and Eileen Hori has bent over backwards to accommodate all our needs there. It’s a beautiful venue close to Parkers Piece, in a cool, calm and beautiful church.
You may have noticed that we’ve been very busy on social media, promoting the wonderful designers and artists who will be selling their wares at our show, plus some pretty flyers and posters dotted around Cambridge.

Working together

I think the success of any event is all down to how well the team work together,  their rapport, communication and the contribution each member makes, including their approach and attitude to tasks delegated. which matters most rather than the task itself. By acknowledging their input and value, a  positive outcome is much more likely and  I can certainly say that our Eclectic Mix team have worked very well together, putting in a lot of time and effort into the planning of this event  – so it’s a big thumbs up from me to our team.
It’s been so exciting to observe the idea for both the branding and event:  from the incubation of the idea to where it is right now in full flight, watching the momentum building. All the prep (including the late nights!) and all the other things one has to do which couldn’t have been done without a great team – so I thank  everyone who’s been involved: from  the Eclectic Mix team of creatives including our two lovely art student volunteers Cecelia and Lauren,  to others more on the periphery,  such as our lovely print man Dario at Minuteman Press on Victoria Road (who has been so patient), the manager Eileen Hori at the venue and my friend Leigh Chambers who has helped with our press releases and radio interviews.
And at the end of the day, it is all about our cohort of great sellers, both those we know and newbies, who have helped to promote the event. So thanks to everyone one of you, without your input we couldn’t put on the show.

 

 

 

Spring is in the air…

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Spring is officially here as of this week (although you would hardly know with the weather being so decidedly chilly of late) I love spring with its promise of lighter days, warmer weather and the new green shoots sprouting up from the earth with the promise of better things to come.

New in

Talking of new things, we are thrilled to have Honor and Ronan of Avalon Jewellery selling through our website now. A lovely creative Cambridge couple working together from home to produce beautiful, quirky, ‘springlike’ creations.  Ronan is the brains behind the earrings you see below, which is part of their ‘honeycomb bee’ range inspired by their love of bees. Honor, his wife, makes glass hand spun beads from her home garden studio. She has produced some lovely ‘Art glass’ bead earrings in 10 different colours now on our website and includes those shown below in vibrant spring hues.  We think their designs are utterly delightful and beautifully crafted.

Have a look at Honor’s and Ronan’s products in the webshop and a wonderful little video of Honor making her glass beads on our Instagram feed.

 

Favourite season

I have a quick question for you: my favourite season is Spring. What is yours? Whatever it is, why not fill your home with its colours, flowers, artwork, or related ‘stuff’  in the style of your choice, be it ‘contemporary and clean lines’, minimalist or ‘quirky’ and shabby chic, whatever it is you like.  You can follow the latest trends and designs but if it doesn’t feel right to you what is the point. My motto is to only have around you the things you love. All that matters is it makes you smile and brings enjoyment.

See you next week when we will be talking about what makes you smile and Easter. What does it mean to you?

Working at the co-working hub CambridgeSpace

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Co-working at Cambridge Space

Co-working at CambridgeSpace

We decided to take some desk space at the newly formed co-working hub CambridgeSpace based at 100 Houses, 51 Scotland Road. They also set up in the autumn. After I met them at the Pitch n Mix network meeting decided to join one of their seminars and from then was hooked. They are a great bunch of people including founders Dominic Bowles, Alison Booth and John Monks. The concept of working co-op is great for businesses like ourswhich is very small and can get quickly isolated. The Cambridge Space team have engaged with – and supported us along the way. We are at the hub every Tuesday and come away energised and buzzing with ideas.

It's lovely notes like these that give CambridgeSpace it's extra charm
It’s lovely notes like these that give CambridgeSpace it’s extra charm

Seminars and workshops

CambridgeSpace offer a great range of seminars and workshops which you can attend for free as a member of the space. We joined a few among which a series of workshops on improvisation and creativity and how to apply this at work by Antony Quinn.  Another seminar was on networking, by Jon Torrens. Both were really helpful and fun.  They also have open morning sessions, if you want to have a trial run. The next one is on the 28th of March. If anyone wants to take a look just email Dominic (dominic.bowles@candidate.impacthub.net) to join a seminar, open morning or a tour of their space.

Quality, local and collaborative

Co-working at CambridgeSpace

So as they say ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’, This is Eclectic Mix has the vision to be a quality, local and collaborative brand. Iis essential to recognise that this needs to be a team approach. The success for Eclectic Mix will be in how we reach out to our local community and engage with our partners to get us on the local map. So onward and upward to be the best we can be is a good starting point.

Look out for us at more local events and don’t forget to check out our online shop. 

The team behind This is Eclectic Mix

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Alice and Cindy

© Photo by Onur Pinar. Alice behind the counter of the Christmas pop-up shop on 11th of December, 2016.

As with any business it takes a lot of effort to get launched, a bit like a larger jumbo jet taking off. In 2016 we focused on start up to get Eclectic Mix off the ground and climbing. Our journey didn’t really got going until the autumn when I met Eva Eland, who is now a familiar part of the Eclectic Mix team, responsible for organising and managing content on our website . She is a post graduate student at Cambridge School of Art, doing a masters in Children’s Book Illustration. We met at the Pitch and Mix network group at CB2 Café at Norfolk St and a marriage of sorts began. 

Eva has been instrumental in moving our website from a slightly folksy themed look branded mainly in purple to our new clean and contemporary look. What a great job she has done.

Alongside side Eva, Alice Bampton was hired on temporary basis to upload products which was a massive help to me. Not being a ‘young’ thing I know my strengths do not lie in the ‘techie’ department. As a business owner it is crucial to know your strengths and know you can’t do everything: delegation is the name of the game here. It is sometimes worth paying out to get the results needed rather than wasting your valuable time in areas that those ‘in the know’ can do in their sleep! Another area where we need extra input is marketing and particularly social media engagement so Eclectic Mix now has Mandy Knapp (local artist and digital marketing consultant ) on board to help make some noise on various social media sites like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Some of you may know her as she is well known in creative circles and is involved with various art network groups and is the social media consultant for the up and coming E-Luminate Festival in February at which Eclectic Mix will be present as well, with a range of products from our artists and makers. The theme of this year is Play and that’s how a lot of the arts and design is born, with dedicated play. We are buzzing with ideas already to add a little extra fun and magic to this event. Are you coming?

In the next post we will tell you more about the artists and makers that we will represent  at the E-Luminate Festival at our stall on the 10th of February.

Eclectic Mix – Journey so far….

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Eclectic Mix – Journey so far….

This is my first blog post since starting on my journey with Eclectic Mix over a year ago and here we are about to open our doors to you the public. It seems exciting, scary (there are those ‘what I am doing’  ‘why did I start this’ moments)  and bit overwhelming almost surreal. To get to this point has been a long bumpy ride with many moments of me thinking ‘what the hell I am doing this for’ but always at the back of my mind has been my Mum who was the inspiration for this my new journey, road, path whatever you want to call it.

She was an amateur artist all her life (she died last sept) and used to tell me how she always lost herself in her art. I always wanted to be an artist like her but my interest was in design, fashion but for a range of reasons didn’t get to realise my passion instead training to be an Occupational Therapist. However always at the back of mind was my art interest and my love of craft fairs, markets, charity and coffee shops that whole scene of creatives.

So as like many things in life I packed my art away to get on with ‘normal’ life of paying the bills, raising a family etc. On my Mother dying last sept I had a light bulb moment when I just thought I am 50, life is short (and being bit of a risk taker) thought why not, just do it.

So here we are 18 months after my Mum died a fully working website, creative sellers on board and a great EM team including the v. creative Eva who has been great inspiration with lots of creative ideas and initiative and Alice who I persuaded to come on board to help with product management.  I couldn’t have got this far without them

So welcome, the doors are open please step inside and hopefully you will be inspired by what we have on offer  and please tell your friend and give us lots of feedback – the good, the bad and the ugly

See you again very soon ……