Monday, 12 March 2018

Snowflake Surge : Business As Usual

It's safe to say the majority of the country was hit 2 weeks back, with the most snow we've seen in a long time. Safe to say it's the most snow I've seen in my lifetime! The North is not a stranger to cold weather but this was next level. 

The snow started and kept coming, it was magical to watch it come don albeit a bit strange at the end of February/beginning of March! The big fat snowflakes came thick and fast, on and off and some days didn't stop at all. Some areas in Northumberland and higher locations were seeing considerably more than us. However, the blizzard weather combined with thunder and lightening 

As a small business, these things can unexpectedly halt supplies, mailing and much more. I wanted to make sure everyone would get their parcels on time as usual so I was walking to the post office almost daily to ensure these parcels got out to you all... 

I value each and every order that makes it to me and of course, strive to maintain the same level of customer service regardless of things out of my control. Trecking to the post office kept the business running ad usual and glad to say no parcels were delayed. Luckily, non of mine were caught in the lorries stuck on the motorway when it was closed on the Thursday and really pushed to get everything out on time! You lot kept me busy with Mother's Day orders while the snowflakes were piling up outside.  Business as usual despite these crazy conditions! I did feel a little nostalgic and it all shook our regular routine up a little which I didn't mind. 

At the end of a manic but fun week, I managed to make the most of the snow and enjoy a glass or two of bubbles as a reward...

Monday, 12 February 2018

Female Force: Ladies Wine & Design Event

The life of a independent designer can be a lonely journey at times, so cultivating your own tribe and creative community can be important. Last Wednesday, I went along to my first Ladies Wine & Design Event.

I had heard about this event from other creatives, but was yet to get along for myself. Just after New Year, a friend/fellow creative - Ashley Willerton reminded me about this concept again! Initially I thought it was a new piece of info to my brain but then I'd remembered I'd seen illustrator, Laura Sheldon post about previous events. 

So when I seen the Facebook event posted online, I signed up for tickets as it is a small group so tickets are limited. Ladies Wine & Design is now a worldwide concept which was set up by graphic designer, Jessica Walsh. She had recognised there was a gap in the creative industry for female creatives. These creative meet ups help offer mentor ship and widen our networks. The initiative has spread to 130 countries and still growing.

This specific event was named "Making the switch to digital' with guest speaker Dani Stone from JUMP Agency. She shared hr jorney and that her original path as a graphic designer was a distant twinkle from where she is now in the digital world.

Her creative journey started as a graphic designer with a very tactile start using ink pens. Then when studying at university, the course was a lot more focused on digital design which she wasn't sure how that would sit with her style & techniques.

Her next step was as a junior designer in an agency and how that was combined with web design. She noticed there was a gap in the market and in her role for user experience. When building websites, this is an integral part of the design process. How we use websites depends on the reason we're using them, the journey we take and outcome we're trying to achieve. Dani explained that because of this, each project really is it's own path and not one website design is the same for this reason. So interesting!

We got the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the topic which was a lovely way for us to chat and network without pressure as we already had a topic.

Did I mention there was wine? Oh, and cheese? What could be better than wine, cheese and a small group of like minded ladies to chat with for an evening?! These meet ups are such a lovely way to get to know creatives in your area and just meet new people in general. Working and/or running a creative business as a female is a small minority so rising up through the male dominated work world, this really can help us to find our own voices. I've always loved networking, collaborating, getting in the mix so this was totally for me.

You can follow Ladies Wine & Design Newcastle over on Facebook & Instagram for more info on upcoming events...

 On my way home, I passed Castle Fine Art and had to take a minute to take in this neon Bowie beauty! They've always got quirky art on display and used to see the display change a lost as I would pass on my daily commute. I still remember seeing the Simon Claridge pieces just after mine arrived!

Monday, 5 February 2018

Breaking the Boundaries: Discovery Collection Launch

This post has been a long time coming, but I am proud to announce I have finally launched the Discovery Collection! Just last weekend, a select group of guests were invited to come and have the first official viewing of the new range.

Guests were invited to the launch with the traditional paper invitations accompanied by a little snippet that reflected the collection.

Image: Kayleigh Falcus

The location was in is the gorgeous London Bar & Kitchen on Queen Street, Newcastle. Prosecco on entrance and then left to leisurely view the collection. Being amongst gorgeous home ware from LBK really was the perfect setting to show off the new pieces.

The Discovery Collection has a varied selection of pieces as I really tried to cater for everyone and many of the pieces are unisex so I can keep you guys stylish too! The collection combines white, silver and grey with a slither of orange running through. The pieces are made from perspex, wood and semi precious stones and some combine all three elements.

"I wanted to combine the materials to create a much more exciting and aesthetic medium rather than flat perspex. Layering adds a new element and the semi precious stones really add a natural but glossy flair. I like to break the boundaries of what is capable and expected with materials - take the normal flat surface and work to innovate in my own way."

I wanted guests to be able to have fun with the pieces so the addition of the 'Selfie Station' was necessary. Wearing jewellery is something almost all of us do, so interacting with them is an important part of selection. The selfie station made this process fun and guests could test earring styles from minimal to statement - whilst snapping away on their favourite ones on their phone.

Inspiration from the collection comes from the urge to seek the progression of medical science to allow humans to grow and feel complete. With what humans are truly capable of, in search for more, in both physical and mental form. 

This launch was a lovely chance to share my creativity with an intimate group and share the inspiration. This is just the very beginning of something exciting for me and there will be lots more products on the horizon. 

The collection will be online very soon available to purchase.

All image credit to: Rhiannon Banks

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Back To My Roots: The Importance of Building a Strong Brand

Yesterday, I headed back to my old stomping ground to chat with the BA Textiles students of Cleveland College of Art & Design about building a strong brand and how to use social media to spread the word.
 I used to commute everyday from Newcastle to Hartlepool and it really is a journey I miss. So, this trip really indulged my nostalgia and the time on the train that used to seem so long, flew by. 

Arriving back somewhere you have spent some wonder years of your life is a special feeling and in the whirlwind of seeing old faces I almost forgot about the new ones I was going to see. A cup of tea, and a few lovely hugs later I was in full swing of my talk to the students. 

I spoke about my branding, starting with my minimal logo that has carried my brand through its journey up until now. I shared how my vision was more than just the logo and that branding should always be a continuous thread through any company to solidify the brand past just graphics. 

I moved onto the importance of branding and the consistency that it bares. My branding is like ivy and grows on everything Kayleigh Falcus related! My packaging, notebooks, ribbon, bags, boxes and such. 

I went on to share some amazing people I've had the chance of worked with, from couture designer, Helen Woollams (founder of Hellavagirl) to global dj, DJ Colin Francis. As designers, getting our work out there is important and having people wear your jewellery who also love it is equally as important! 

I also shared my experiences of being featured in print versus being featured online. It's easy to shout about ourselves but being approached by magazines is always a compliment to your brand. Engage Magazine were the first magazine to feature the brand and have most recently been covered in NE Love Magazine so took those to show and chat through the process of dealing with magazines. 

I then talked them through how I used social media to spread the word of the KF brand from very early on using social media. From Facebook to insta, we covered it! Stats, reach, going live, reaching out to peopl, building a community and so on. I took questions and a surprising amount of students stayed behind to pick my brains. It was nice sharing my experiences with people who are walking the exact journey I did. Well, maybe not the exact... we all need our own path. And besides all the regular stuff I'm supposed to say, I shared a message I think everyone starting off should hear: Be fearless, if something stands in your way figure out how to jump over it. This is your vision.

And just like that, I was saying my goodbyes and heading back for home turf. I'll be back soon thought to get creative but until then, you'll find me planning for something coming up!

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Pre Launch Event: Gin Cocktails & Sneak Peeks

Over the Summer, we hosted a little pre-launch research event of the jewellery collection. Hosted at the gorgeous YOLO Townhouse in the heart of Newcastle, tucked away on High Bridge Street.

Guests flowed in, sipped gin cocktails among other gorgeous drinks and got seated in the warm air on the sun terrace.

Guests were then talked through the brand and the inspiration behind this collection and materials which take front and centre in these designs. We showed the mood boards & colour boards which pulled the vision together. 

Our lovely guests got the first insider look at the collection before it launches this month. They then filled out a feedback forms and gave us their honest opinions on the pieces. Honesty, that's all we asked. And that's what we got. Some insightful opinions and some very kind comments in there too! 

Everyone left with a KF bag full of goodies for their time. Thank you to everyone who came along and contributed! We'd love to host more of these events in the future, since this one was a great success.