Thursday, 9 June 2016

My first brand rep search.

Having a brand rep seems to be very common in other countries & something that we have only just recently, & openly, started to use here in the UK. The idea a very simple one; chosen recipients are sent free items for the exchange of (hopefully) gorgeous photos of their products in stylish homes, on beautiful littluns &/or in inspiring flatlays etc. 
Both parties use the images & are then able to promote each other to a wider circle of followers & therefore potential customers. With zero budget for advertising etc, I really liked the idea, but I didn't know any other makers, at the time that I could speak to for advice. So if you are debating whether to use brand reps or not I thought I would share my experience so far to help.

I love capturing images of my products and especially my daughter using the pieces but longed for gorgeous images similar to those in styled shoots that I could never afford having just started. So I decided to start an ABOEdesigns brand rep search & honestly the results have so far been amazing!!

Today I want to introduce you to my first brand rep Kristal Price Photography. (
Kristal is a photographer in Utah, America, happy wife & mother to three gorgeous girls. She captures families, products & birthdays in such a beautiful way - I mean seriously her images of pretty little ladies dressed in tutu dresses sitting with unicorns, (yes that's right unicorns!!) has me wanting to jump on a plane with my own littles for some magical shoot fun constantly!!

discovered Kristal via Instagram & instantly fell in love with her photographs & the way she captured her daughters. (These images in particular of her daughter's birthday just amazed me!!) From the very beginning she has been a joy to communicate with. I think anyone who is going to look for reps needs to bear in mind communication is the key! We both have ideas about how the products could be represented. Kristal took on board things that I mentioned and I truly appreciated that! But I also made it clear I wanted her to have free reign creatively. Trust is so important because after all you have to love the style your brand rep has in the first place!!

Looking at Kristal's photographs I think it's obvious why I fell in love with them! The magical & dreamy feel to them & also let's be honest isn't little Khloe just so gorgeous!!

The thought of having Kristal capture my pieces in images like this honestly was & continues to be, a dream come true!!

My brief was some might think, quite basic - light, bright whimsical images, girlie colours with a slightly vintage feel. If you follow me on Instagram chances are you will have probably noticed how emotional I get - yes it's no secret, since having children I have become an emotional mush! So it's maybe no surprise when I say that I teared up immediately when Kristal sent through my first batch of images!!

Kristal & I have made the effort to get to know each other & Im proud to call her my friend. We have further shoots & ideas planned, & I hope this is a collaboration that lasts for the foreseeable future. I'm so thankful for her talent & truly blessed that she wants to help me with the presentation of my pieces & brand.

The possibilities for future shoots are so exciting & I cannot wait to show you more!! My verdict on brand reps is very much a yes do it!!! It's been such a positive experience for me so far! (& I still have more brand reps to show you!!) 

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

A Renewed Love

In February my youngest baby started preschool. This meant that for the first time in a decade I had some time to myself, & I also had to think about getting back to work! I didn't know what to do with myself!! Always awkward & uncomfortable without my littles now. 
It was so scary at first, I had a head full of fear & doubt, & just general confusion as to what my personal future would be. To be honest I still don't know entirely what my future holds, but over the past few months I have worked hard to be able to aim towards exciting times.

I have always loved being creative. I'm so happy when decorating our home, making the children gifts & encouraging crafts. This combination led to the creation of ABOE designs, & especially the colour-in range. I'm proud of this little range & it has fitted in perfectly with my family; they have loved & inspired so much of it. I will continue to expand & work on the products & increase stockists etc, but as a designer I would love to have more to sink my teeth in to, so to speak. 

Before my children, I studied lingerie design (contour fashion) & surface pattern & decoration design. I thought my career would be in designing delicate lingerie fabrics; but to approach this type of design again filled me with doubt & insecurity!

Thanks to the way we live today & social media playing a part in most of our lives I'm fortunate to be able to say that Instagram has brought about so much happiness to my little life. It has allowed me to start & grow in product photography, it has brought so many lovely 'friends in my phone' in to my life & it just recently helped me to rediscover one of my true loves! I don't mean anything sordid here, sorry no ex's have turned my eye, I'm very happily married ;) But I have definitely fallen in love with drawing all over again!! 

I'd convinced myself that I wouldn't be able to get an artistic job. I secretly cried quite a lot at the thought of not being able to work in a creative environment, having not worked for a decade how could I compete with graduates etc. I looked at freelance jobs, but always convinced myself that I couldn't do it, I wasn't good enough anymore. So I don't know what came over me when I saw on Instagram a job vancancy with one of my favourite wedding stationers, and just messaged instantly! I wasn't full of fear but instead excitement!! Well ok the fear set in as soon as the message was sent, but I'd already put myself out there by that point so the hardest part was done right?! To my surprise the lovely designer in question suggested working together on a project, which we did & I hope to show you in the future! The process of working on this design meant I was once again sat drawing florals & was genuinely so happy to be back doing something that I loved. By the end of the first week I was happy with my drawings and by the second really excited by them!

have decided to draw as many florals as possible and work towards a new design portfolio to be proud of! I have loved talking to new couples about designs for their wedding stationery & who knows maybe it could be something that I could develop further myself? The thought of constantly drawing, working on strengthening a talent that I'm so blessed to have is exciting! That combined with my little business, could be the perfect balance. I have never asked to be rich, to just make sure we can support our little ones & their future is all we aspire to do. To be with them & doing what I love seems like the perfect life to me! & maybe when they are much older & not wanting me so much I can then really go for it? The things is we just don't know what the future has in store for us, but it certainly is more comforting to work towards an idea & have a plan of action. 

Here are some of my drawings so far. I'd love to have your feedback & of course if you have any suggestions for how I can turn my renewed love into a career then please do shout out - all ideas welcome ;)

Thank you for reading as always, bestest wishes