Is social media really social…

So here we are on a sunday evening when all you should have in front of you is a full tummy from your roast dinner, a full glass of wonderful wine and the joy of knowing that Downton is on tonight! Doesn’t that sound perfect, and I bet loads of households are doing just that but when you run your own business then a sunday evening is very different! I firstly want to say that running my own company is possibly the best thing I have ever done and in fact is probably the best job I have ever had and the hardest I have ever worked but it really does show you how different life can be, how better life can be!
Apart from doing almost everything ourselves, my husband and I also manage our own social media and I am blown away at how many people you can ‘talk’ to simply by putting an interesting post on facebook or a funny comment on twitter and then sit back and read the responses! I am not sure how businesses traded before the internet but without social media, no company will ever survive and those that chose to ignore this fact are either naïve or have a death wish! My point however is that in a desire to be ‘socially’ active, a person could in fact become unsociable in their own home! Our children are just about old enough now to understand and know that Youtube, Google and Facebook exist and I know that it won’t be long before they are bugging us for the various gadgets and accounts so they can speak to their friends that they spoke to at school only a few hours beforehand but this is their world now! My observation though is that unchecked, we are capable of using a machine to chat to other people rather than simply talking to each other face to face and with our mouths! I love social media, I find it mind blowing that I can be one person away from any celebrity/politician/writer/newsreader…..and the list goes on, who may actually see my comment and may even reply! It is good that the world has become a smaller place and people have become more accessible but a small part of me is sad when I see my niece, nephews and even brother-in-law with a phone or ipad in their hands during a recent visit to Wales, commenting on what other people were saying rather than asking us what we had to say!
There have been many articles, blogs etc on this subject and there will be many more but from someone who loves taking, I am really going to make a concerted effort to talk to people around me rather than via facebook or twitter….unless its for business ofcourse!

Until next time, Nikki x

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Real Entrepreneur?

Multi billionaire Henry Kravis describes a real entrepreneur as ‘somebody who has no safety net beneath them’! The word entrepreneur makes you think of a brave, bold individual who has risked everything they have for their belief or passion and their mantra is and always will be ‘fortune favours the brave’!
So my question is simple…..does any of this describe Victoria Beckham ? Of course it doesn’t so why on earth was she given the enviable title of ‘UK’s Entrepreneur of the Year’ ? She has possibly the biggest safety net of any millionaire and has had many ‘passions’ from being a singer to a professional WAG to a designer so which one should she have been given this title for? There is no doubt that she has been instrumental in building one of the biggest celebrity brands in the world and for this she should be applauded but how on earth anyone can call her an entrepreneur when she has nothing to risk?
My gripe certainly is not with Victoria herself or in fact her work as a designer as I quite like what she or should I say her team are doing but it is with the fact that I just don’t think she deserves it! She has proven that she can reinvent herself again and again and again and if her fashion label failed then she wouldn’t lose her house(s), her money or even her credibility although she tested this when she released her first solo single!
She has enough money to throw at anything so whatever she decides to do next then she can simply employ a team of people to make her succeed. She wouldn’t have to raise any finance, sell her house , beg, borrow or steal to realise her dream like true entrepreneurs have to do on a daily basis.

I am in a fortunate position to meet real entrepreneurs everyday, who have risked so much to achieve their dreams and I applaud these brave people who have faith, determination and drive to face every challenge and take it on again and again! These are the people who should be recognised for what they do, and not someone who frankly could open a chain of stores and sell cardboard because it has her name on it! Anyone remember her first perfume that she endorsed….I do and I still find it hard to believe that she had actually smelt it before she agreed to do it, it was not pleasant!

Ok, I know this appears to be a bit of a bashing but I feel very strongly that start up businesses are not supported in the UK, they are only on a political agenda when there is an election looming and this type of PR stunt really doesn’t help the cause!

So come on Victoria, do the decent thing and give the award back or alternatively give it to the huge team of people you have supporting you as they do deserve an award for creating you…..whether you are a singer, designer or ex-WAG….they have done a very good job!

Nikki x

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Is it me or are the Kardashians really interesting to watch?

Celebrities are strange creatures…..wanting to be a celebrity should automatically prevent you from becoming one in my opinion! However some of them are almost too interesting to miss!

Believe me, I am not normally a fan of celebrity watching……most ‘celebrities’ who are in the press all of the time shouldn’t be and the ones who you would be interested in finding out more about have more dignity than appearing at every opening of an envelope!

However there are a few programmes that have captured my interest recently which I will admit to…even though it is through gritted teeth! The first and this one I don’t mind people knowing about actually is ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get me out of here’! The connected humour of Ant & Dec who make TV work look effortless and never formulaic is simply brilliant and should not be dismissed as primetime rubbish! They really deserve their position in TV history so well done to them! Ofcourse, the other reason I love it is that I find people gagging hilarious…..truly hilarious! Not sure why but seeing a ‘d-lister’ choke on a crocodiles testicle really tickles me !

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http://www.itv.com/imacelebrity

The next programme which I have recently started to watch and have secretly become obsessed with is ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’! Now I know what you’re thinking but please hear me out!

I started to watch the programme initially to see what all the fuss was about but then became mildly obsessed with Kris Jenner’s story and how she has directed her large brood into the position of national treasure without them actually doing anything to deserve it other than being amazingly beautiful and driving amazing cars!

The fact that this family have had a film crew following them for 7 years is one thing but to have their family arguments, discussions etc shown to the masses leaves me speechless! Could you do it, I’m not sure I could!?

Even though they have certainly made their millions doing it, I am not sure I could have a camera in my face when I discuss my mum’s affair or show the intimate details of my therapy sessions! Now I know that some of it is staged for the programme and that some of the footage is definitely  ‘acted’ out for the benefit of the cameras but even so, after only watching it for a couple of weeks, I now feel as if I own and personally know all of the Kardashians/Jenners and that I want to be part of their lives, but maybe that is the purpose and why it is so successful?

So all I can say is congrats to Kris Jenner and Ryan Seacrest for pulling off possibly the best reality format ever and keeping it new and interesting! I will probably be disowned by all of my friends and family for saying it but I am really motivated by being shown that anything is possible and anyone can live the lifestyle if they just put their minds to it!

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Nikki x

PS – if any of the Kardashians would like to discuss this further then I am available to fly over to LA at any time!

 

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LFW…..really?

Having worked in the ‘fashion business’ for most of my adult life I understand why the seasonal shows are hosted but I wonder how long they will be relevant and why they are still considered so important and how long this will remain the case?
My cynical self would argue that without the fashion weeks then the ‘fashion pack’ simply would have nothing to do and nowhere to drink the free fizz and the various celebrities who seem to come out of the woodwork at the mere mention of a PR opportunity, would also need to fill these weeks with maybe ‘work’ but that’s just me being cruel!
I have been and no doubt will be again, shouted at for my harsh opinion of these events but I come from the old school of ‘sales are vanity, profit is sanity’ way of retail and I am now struggling to understand why some of the designers spend the vast amounts of money showing their collections at these types of events when it could be spent a lot more shrewdly, without the ‘hoopla’ created at the fashion weeks!

However, my view has just been softened slightly by seeing the Anya Hindmarch show….sheer brilliance! I know handbags are my thing but her show was simply stunning, a real joy to watch! She has an amazing way of bringing a creative and brilliant theme to life in front of our eyes, I just wish other designers would take a very large leaf from her book! Well done Anya, love your bags, love your work and thanks for putting a smile on my face during the week where no woman ever smiles!

http://www.vogue.co.uk/fashion/spring-summer-2015/ready-to-wear/anya-hindmarch

Nikki x

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Another day….another challenge!

So the kids are back at school, the realisation has just hit that your next holiday is a long long long way away and the annoying messages regarding how many days to go before Christmas have started to appear on facebook……we truly have gone into Autumn!

So I decided to ‘welcome’ the new season by getting more organised and upto date with my technology and I ordered my new ipad air! Now that doesn’t sound amazing in itself but to put this into context, my current ipad is over 3 years old and is probably one of the first ever to be invented! The nice guy from Vodafone almost choked on the phone when he realised that I had never upgraded or changed asking me …..’why?’ again and again and again!

Well the lovely shiny, new ipad turned up with reassurance from the same lovely guy at Vodafone that it is really easy to get working and all I had to do was to follow the instructions on their website and that was all!!!!

All I have to say is …..’ ha ha ha ha ha ha ….’ who was he kidding? Now I am certainly not a feminist but there really are tasks that are more suited to Men than Women and technology is one of them! I am not sure the ‘instructions’ were even in English but after attempting this massive task myself, my poor husband was called in as I was about to throw my shiny, new ipad out of the window and stick with my lovely old ‘work horse’ and blow being cool!

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So after feeling a failure with my new ipad, my position as ‘best mum in the world’ was seriously challenged when we received our first school letter advising a trip for my son’s class to a local stately home! Its an annual trip and the first one that signifies he has moved up a class and is getting older and therefore more important within the school dynamics! Well this morning, I readily prepared my son in his mufti clothes with a full lunchbox, raincoat and a change of clothes (there are fountains involved apparently)!!! With my son being very excited 5 mins before we left home, I thought I would just check the details again to make sure that I hadn’t forgotten anything only to realise my huge huge massive mistake,…….it was not today but next week!!!!!!! I had got the wrong week……! Imagine my 7 year old, raring to go on his adventure into his older world and I just pulled the rug from under him! I tried to explain that he should look at the bright side in that I noticed it before he got to school in the wrong clothes but he couldn’t hear me under his tears and sobbing! Now you may say that this was a slightly extreme reaction from my darling son but it was added to by the fact he was now going to be late to school because he had to change into his uniform so ‘double disaster’!

I am still optimistic that my day will get better and my son will forgive me and I will start to learn to embrace new technology however I have just had the delivery of my new ipad case and it doesn’t fit so I am simply not saying another word other than……..
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Nikki x

PS – we have decided to ‘lay to rest’ – ‘she who loves to shop’ simply because I don’t but that’s another story that I will go into next time!

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Hooray…..the autumn is on its way!!!!

I am sure you are all now raising your eyebrows and questioning my enthusiasm for colder weather, darker nights etc but I can assure you that I am still and will remain a sun worshipper! No, my joy is driven by the fact that we are now in a new fashion cycle called Autumn/Winter! The designer Fashion Weeks have started and we are now starting to see all of the lovely new colours, shapes, ‘must-haves’ for the season ahead and I love love love it!!! Why…I hear you ask? Well there are a few reasons….and guess what, here they are…..
1. It halts the endless ‘sales’ we seem to have been conditioned to expect!
2. It breathes life into the colour palettes that we are now ‘so over’!
3. It shows which designers really are good and which ones are having an off day by how many high street retailers are ‘taking their influence’ from their ranges and which ones they aren’t!
4. And finally……my favourite season is the autumn as the colours are rich and luxurious and the fabrics are full of texture and depth so how can you not love it….until the spring comes ofcourse!!!!
5. But my biggest joy is that we here at Fred&Eve are about to embark on our new journey with the launch of our 3 NEW LABELS – Fred&Eve, Saint B and TrulyRocks! Three new ranges including patent shoppers, luxury leather totes and fabulous dye cut shoulder bags! There really is a handbag for every woman in these ranges! I know this is blatant plugging but I don’t care as I just know you are going to love them! The first delivery is due very soon so please keep watching as you really aren’t going to want to miss this!!!

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Lots of love…Nikki, she who loves to shop!

 

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A sad week…

This week has been quite a challenging week for various reasons! Firstly the very sad news of the death of Robin Williams, a truly great man who was obviously blighted by very troubled thoughts and has left this world a colder place! Then the screen icon Lauren Bacall died the next day, although she had lived a very full life, it is still sad to see someone of her talent leave this planet! And then the claim about Cliff Richard….which I am not going into but which has made people question their childhood and the memories they have!!!

So what has this all taught us…not sure really but I am positive that there are loads of ‘experts’ out there that have and will give their opinion on all of it but my thoughts are very simple…..

Please please please live now….just breath and know deep within your heart that the world is a spectacular place and you will always have your place in it! Happiness is a choice ….so choose wisely!

So my wonderful friends…..from a real hero of mine…..’live long and prosper’ as this is the only one you have!

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