Monday, 24 September 2012

Sheffield's MADE Festival 2012 - You shall go to the ball!


We also made it into the local paper The Sheffield Star today, 4th October, with our story ... read all about it ...

To find out more about our latest features in the press, TV and radio, click on what we're up to.

For those of you who missed it first time, here's the rest of the story as it first appeared in my original blog post ...

Hello all

It was a crazy last week - so much so, that this is the first chance I've had to catch up with all that's been going on.  With Mike Cherry of the Federation of Small Businesses recently announcing that small firms are struggling due to their lack of access to finance, it seemed timely that Sheffield should have hosted the MADE Entrepreneur Festival last week.  The Festival is in its third year now, and has grown unrecognisably into the country’s biggest and most inspiring festival of entrepreneurship -boasting high profile speakers such as Peter Jones and Claire Young.

It was standing room only in the City Hall as inspirational discussions and speakers talked of how small businesses can be successful in the current climate. But the festival wasn't just about high-profile speakers such as Wayne Hemingway from Red or Dead (who was simply brilliant!) as lots of  successful local businesses also got involved and shared their experiences through a series of fringe events around the city too.

I was really flattered to be not only invited to be amongst such amazing company, but also to be chosen by Creative Sheffield, the council's economic development arm, to represent start-up businesses locally.  It was a bit spooky when I found myself face-to-face with a HUGE banner in the exhibition hall!  What I really loved though, was that the image and type really goes against the stereotypical idea that floral design businesses aren’t dynamic - something I have a bee in my bonnet about!

To be honest, we all know that it’s a tough time to start up a business – especially given the economic climate and lack of funding, but I truly believe that we Brits respond pretty well to adversity and are a nation of creative thinkers. Maybe the time is right to do things differently. I’m a huge believer in offering the absolutely highest level of customer service possible - I think that in an austere social environment, people want to feel looked after, cosseted and spoilt.

The story doesn't stop there as, in a strange quirk of fate, and through a totally different contact, I was asked to design the table arrangements for the MADE Festival Dinner for over 280 high-flying business guests.

The client wanted whites, creams and greens so I suggested the design focus around a white rose for Yorkshire and for us to use really lovely stylish silver containers.  They also wanted a little height in the designs but it was really important that they didn't interfere with the delegate's ability to see the after dinner speakers.  So I came up with the idea of caging the design in grass to create a lovely soft 'lantern' effect which gave the impression height but we could all see through.

I used 'Dolmitti' roses, white tanacetum, cream dahlia, green double lisianthus, white scabious and two kinds of lovely eucalyptus to create the designs

My very talented nephew, Harry, took some shots for me - I think he might have quite a bright future ahead of him!

I had an amazing evening and was really thrilled to spend time with fellow entrepreneurs and small business owners and talk about their experiences and I'm most grateful to my host, Creative Sheffield for a such a great dinner.

Here are some of the shots courtesy of the fabulous Seven Hills who promoted the event, the photography is by Leo Johnson Photography.

Next up on the blog this weekend's Designer Vintage Bridal show ... amazing!


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