It all started with an article in the Basingstoke Gazette about being a finalist at The Start-Up Hub UK competition at the Conservative Party Conference. I was on the FRONT PAGE!!! as well as page 3 (don't know if I should be mildly offended by that or not but hay ho!) and was famous in my village from that day forth. The postman even commented to my Dad, and I quote, "I saw your daughter in the gazette............in fact I saw quite a lot of your daughter"............enter awkward laugh from my Dad. Here is a photo of said article.
|I hadn't shown the pics of me in the Tempest Set to my Dad to save his blushes..............until they were in the widely distributed press, sorry Dad!!|
This article led to a phone call from Solent news who asked me a few questions and prepared a press release to be sent out to the national press. At this point I probably should have self edited, but I apparently don't have that function built in, because journalists take every word you say very literally. Anyway I don't care as publicity is publicity right! A couple of days later I got heaps of very excited emails and txts from friends saying OMG I'VE JUST SEEN YOU ON THE DAILY MAIL WEBSITE. The article can be read here.
I'm pretty sure that the journalist lady I spoke to practically coached me to say I think Sam Cam should get one of my Nell Robes. But I do happen to think she would look good in it, she has a wonderful figure.
The next day I got even more excited txts and emails saying OMG YOU'RE IN THE BLOODY METRO.
For the benefit of my foreign readers, The Metro is a daily paper that is distributed to all the train stations in the UK. Typically commuters read it on their way to work, but anyone taking a train can pick one up. In short the circulation is HUGE and this is a massive milestone for Betty Blue's Loungerie!!! I think I gave the people in the Start-Up Hub office a mild heart attack with this article, as scantily clad models and politics don't usually mix very positively in the press. But technically it wasn't my fault ;-). None the less it was an hugely exciting moment in my life as it was one of my mini goals for my business to be featured in such a newspaper :) GO ME!!!!!
The exciting few days culminated in the actual event of The Start-Up Hub competition the following day. To say I was excited was an understatement. Rarely is one given such an excellent opportunity in life to shmooze with the elite. Political party preference aside, this was a really great opportunity to promote my business and meet the kind of people who may be able to further my business or just generally give me advice or help. I was very aware in the weeks up to the competition, the amazing opportunity I had been given and wanted to make the very most of it.
I'm afraid this came out in a way that only I could do, I was like an over excited puppy. I think a few people were perplexed by why a young lady in the fashion industry was so excited to be at a political party conference. Generally these things are considered to be a little stuffy and boring, especially to someone of my age who is not in the political world. I, however, had the best time ever!
|Me on my stand mid sentence - thanks to @ToryBusiness for the piccy|
Funding Options - Looking for business finance? Well they help you find it!
Blendology - They do gadgety things that are very clever with 'tap' technology and were close competitors to me!!
Icotope - An amazing server cooling product that saves energy
|Picture of the ball tubes, I stuck a picture of the Tempest Set on |
mine :) - again thanks to @ToryBusiness for the picture
As well as the passers by, I did manage to meet a few of the "Big Wigs" in UK politics. I met the Home Secretary, Theresa May as well as Andew Lansley. I did also meet a Lord, but I can't for the life of me remember which Lord it was, but one I do remember was Lord Feldman who had been "in the business" (fashion/rag trade) so he was pretty interesting to talk to. Another big wig that I met was Damian Collins, the MP behind the Start-Up Hub competition. I get the impression he now thinks I am a complete crazy because I kept saying to him, "Thank you SO much for inviting me, this is SOOO exciting, I don't get out much as I work from home so I've had an amazing time". Pretty sure I said this more than once haha, I was just so excited! Especially as I actually won on my day!!! MEGA EXCITING!!
The official pictures of the winning ceremony haven't been posted online yet so I can't show you my super happy face but this is the certificate I was presented.
I'm putting it on my office wall so I can see it eeeeeevry day! Something else I am putting on my office wall (and something I totally nicked) is this awesome rosette.
Technically this had already been promised to one of the other days winners, but I had asked Damian Collins MP if I could keep it and he said yes, and we all know politicians don't lie, so meh (sorry James I hope this doesn't get you fired, I tried so hard to behave myself but it's the former student in me; big signs must be stolen).
As well as the certificate and giant rosette, I also won some prizes from the sponsors of the Hub. I got this awesome tablet computer from the lovely people at Fujitsu.
Anyone who is anyone in the business world owns a tablet computer, especially of the Apple variety. You only have to watch "Be Your Own Boss" (programme with the Innocence Smoothie guy about helping start up businesses by investing in them) to see this. EVERYONE has them. Now as a start up company myself, and a young one, I am slightly confused by this as they can cost anything up to £1000 and that to me is A LOT of money that I could invest more sensibly in stock. But ho hum, everyone spends their money differently, and something I have learnt is that not all start up businesses are new to the business world like I am. Many have worked in the industry for other big corporate companies, before setting out on their own. I think this puts my win on the Start-Up Hub into perspective; I have no previous business experience but I still won over other companies :-D yayyyyy. Anyhoo I can now pretend to be very business like and consult my tablet computer when people ask me questions. Awesome!! I also got 3 months free on the Fujitsu cloud, as did all the other finalists from Fujitsu which is pretty awesome too. The other sponsor, Immersat, has given me business mentoring as part of my prize. This is something I was actually looking into before the competition, so again pretty awesome prize all round!
To finish off my day of awesomeness the final sponsor BVCA, invited myself and some of the other Hub finalists to the business dinner, where the Chancellor of the Exchequer made a speech. The dinner was AMAZING! The type where the plates are decorated prettily and the food is in small stacks to look all "cheffy". It was extremely yummy. I then went out for drinks with two of the other finalists, Bency from Think Drink and Peter from Iceotope. I don't however have any pictures because my phone battery died :(.
All in all I had the most fantastic day. It was so lovely to be surrounded by people who actually took the time to listen to what I had to say, and people were genuinely interested in my business. Usually when I do events people don't really want to stop and talk or take your leaflet, so it was a refreshing experience. I did have one silly lady come to the stand. Unfortunately I was eating my lunch at the time so my Mum (who I took along with me) was the one who spoke to her, I wouldn't have entertained her ideas. This "lady" did not want to be glamorous whilst she was lounging and didn't understand why anyone would. She liked wearing tracksuits and T-Shirts and just did not want to look nice and pretty whilst lounging. This is ok, not everyone is going to like my business and I accept that. But my Mum was quite taken aback at how rude this woman was about my business to her face. I wouldn't have talked to her. The way to deal with those kind of people is just to get rid of them because she is NEVER going to a customer, so don't waste your energy! But bless my Mum, she wasn't to know that. Luckily that was the only negative person. Everyone else was lovely! A HUUUUUUGE thank you has to go out to Damian Collins for inventing the Start-Up Hub and all the lovely sponsors I met, as well as the delegates who voted for me :).
In my next blog post you will be able to hear about what I did the following week and why I've been so busy and unable to blog. In the meantime though, if you haven't already, sign up to my newsletter for all the latest news :), you can do so on my website.
Lots of Love