My ‘Big Burlesque Day Out’ fun!

Elle Du Jour at Big Burlesque Day Out 2014

Elle Du Jour with her beautiful purple fans

After Lea Rice’s lovely guest blog post about London Burlesque Festival‘s Big Burlesque Day Out last year, I was very excited when one of my Foxy Burlesque students shared a Facebook message about booking a stall at this year’s event.

Me and my Foxy Burlesque stall

Me and my Foxy Burlesque stall!

To be honest I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but booked a stall and decided I needed to make sure what I had on offer was different from everyone else. I wanted to promote Foxy Burlesque courses and workshops etc, but decided to sell a couple of things too, so opted for my Foxy Burlesque DVD ‘Take It Off’ and some gorgeous burlesque cupcake toppers care of my wonderful friend Kirsty Low from CakeyBake Ltd.

Chaz Royal & Betty D'Light

Chaz Royal & Betty D’Light

The day was held at Conway Hall in the Holborn area of London, so really central and I have to say, it was a truly lovely way to experience London Burlesque Festival. You get a hall full of gorgeous burlesque stalls with items to browse through and purchase, plus a great line up of festival performers strutting their stuff on stage.

 

Chaz Royal is the man behind London Burlesque Festival and his beautiful Mrs, performer Betty D’Light, is the lady behind The Big Burlesque day Out. It’s her ‘baby’ and she did a fantastic job organising and hosting.

Artwork by Madams Pinups

Artwork by Madams Pinups

My fellow stall holders had some wonderful things to share and sell, from stunning burlesque art by Madams Pinups, Rian Hughes, Saffron Reichenbacker, to accessories and beautiful sparkly pasties by Yurei, Scandalicious, Noir Collective.

Plus vintage clothing and lingerie by Pimp My Pants, through to bespoke costume designers including NIXON Point, Chameleon Couture and Miss Odelia Opium and even the fabulous Burlesque Baking book by Restoration Cake.

And while supping prosecco and spending a very rare day out with my hubby we met some lovely people and sold a good number of DVD’s and toppers and got to enjoy the fab performances too.

Burlesque Baking book by Restoration Cake

Burlesque Baking book by Restoration Cake

There were 10 different burlesque performers putting on the show of which my favourites were:

1) Elle Du Jour, all the way from Dallas, Texas who came on stage in a beautiful blue satin cape which doubled as isis wings.  She then danced beautifully with huge purple ostrich feather fans, before finishing her act doing the splits!

2) Violet Blaze, who is taking the burlesque world by storm at the moment, literally had us all eating out of the palm of her hands.  She was AWESOME!

Colette of Colette & Willy

Colette of Colette & Willy

3) Colette & Willy, a rare duo, were just captivating.  Willy playing the accordion and telling a story of the beautiful Colette as she tantalised us all with her beautiful fan dancing.

4) And last, but very much not least was the wonderful Bruise Violet. We have seen her perform a few times now and she is always a real treat to see.  A proper cheeky minx! So cheeky in fact that at the end of her dance she held up her fans to cover herself and pulled off her pasties and cstring and threw them off!

Pasties by Yurei

Pasties by Yurei

What a great day!

Thanks so much Betty D’Light!  It was a great success!

So if late night London performances are tricky for you to get to and back from, last train panic etc, I highly recommend you look out for next year’s Big Burlesque Day Out. You really can’t go wrong. xx

Isabella Bliss – Our Modern Day Starlet!

Isabella Bliss burlesque performerI’m sure I was not the only audience member at Cue Tease‘s Summer Striptease who fell a little bit in love with Miss Isabella Bliss.  You may well have read my blog post ‘My 5 Summer Striptease Favourites’ about it, at the time.  For me it was the her classic elegance and glamour that captivated me.  So, intrigue got the better of me and I decided to get in contact with her to find out more and share it with you all!  You lucky things!! 

Tell us a little about your background?

I live and grew up in sunny Essex and I am one of four kids, I have two little brothers and a little sister. They love what I do but also think I’m mad!

Isabella Bliss belly dancing

I had a love of dance at a very young age and attended ballet, tap and modern dance. I also became carnival Queen at the age of eight and kept titles for many years from junior queen to senior Queen, which involved attending events and competing in competitions demonstrating elegance by way of curtseys and speeches in front of a judges panel.  This helped me with my posture and poise and I won a fair few trophies.  I was a majorette as well, so I guess you could say I enjoyed entertaining from a young age.

As I got older I took up belly dancing lessons which I loved and I performed in a troupe and solo. I very much enjoy the history and the culture of this beautiful form of dance. It comes in very handy when I travel to various countries where it’s a tradition. I always get up with the belly dancer entertainer and have fun. I believe dancing is a universal language; an expression of women’s empowerment.  Its such a beautiful thing.

Isabella Bliss Face of LondonI have also been a beauty Queen winning various titles including Miss Universe Essex, Face of Essex and I’m the current reigning Face of London.

Being a beauty Queen is not all pretty dresses and titles you get the opportunity to help people, something I am very passionate about. I dedicated a lot of my time to work very closely with various charities including Strongbones Children’s Charitable Trust, Rainbow Child Foundation, and Headway Brain Injury Association. I do fundraising days and hospital visits or volunteer for the day centres.  It brings smiles to people’s faces just spending that bit of time showing you care.

Isabella Bliss charitable work

‘Me with the Handsome Jack’

To date I have raised £7,000 for the various charities also including Cancer Research and True Heroes. I have also competed twice internationally in world pageants where I was placed in the top 10 in the world both times.

How did you get into burlesque?

I got into burlesque through striptease. I learnt to pole dance from my friend Lisa as a bit of a laugh. She had taken it up as a fitness class and we had some funny girly night’s practicing new moves. I wondered what it was like to pole dance in a real club and be a striptease artiste. So, in one brave move, I went to a club and asked for an audition. Although I had good fun and enjoyed pole dancing, I never really fitted the stereotype, I was always trying new looks trying to find myself and be different.

I worked in the striptease industry for a while and it was fun, but I often wondered how we got there. How did this pole dancing and strip tease all start?  It had to come from somewhere.

Isabella Bliss burlesque performer

So I started researching through the decades and found this marvelous thing called Burlesque. That was it ,I felt like I found myself. I spent hours late at night watching and researching the legends online.  I wanted to learn as much as I could about this amazing art form .

I found out that burlesque was having a massive revival and there were now many burlesque clubs in London, so I started going to some shows. I would watch and learn as much as I could and before long I started work on my own style and character, to build Isabella Bliss.

I found it difficult at first, as, at that time, burlesque in the UK was very comical, alternative or edgy and I knew I was non of those things. I liked the old classical style of performing the glamour and the elegance, recreated by people like Catherine D’Lish. I had to be true to myself and what I liked so I created Isabella Bliss around all the things I loved. Taking inspiration from the classic legends like Sally Rand and Lili St Cyr. I also was deeply interested in the Moulin Rouge and Persian show girls. I loved the glamour and spectacle of it all. I remember being a little girl and hearing about the Moulin Rouge and being in awe of it all. I was lucky enough a few years ago to go to Paris and experience the Moulin Rouge and it was simply amazing. Everything I thought it would be and more.

Isabella Bliss MIsabella Bliss My Fair LadyI also grew up watching a lot of all singing all dancing Hollywood movies like ‘Singing in the Rain’, ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blonds’ and ‘My Fair Lady’. (‘My Fair Lady’ photo by Chris Ashkettle Make Up by Maddie Robins)

I love the elagance and class of the era.  Everyone looked smart and women really knew how to dress.

I adore Marilyn Monroe for her understanding of feminity and sexuality. She would spend many hours studying body language in her early days. She didn’t just turn up and was a star, she worked hard at it for many years perfecting herself. She showed people of that era that it was ok to be a woman and be sexy and that being a woman is something to be celebrated.

Now, when I’m creating my costumes, I always put on a good classic film to relax to. They inspire me, help me find my inner Hollywood movie star. Something I try my best to channel when I perform. My inner ‘Marilyn’, as it were.

How long have you been performing?

I have been performing Burlesque for 14 months.

Isabella Bliss Feathered KissesAfter working on my costumes and acts I got my first opportunity to perform through a friend. They run an agency called Actz Entertainment I had asked to go on the books but they said they don’t get any call for burlesque, but I persisted.

I was out for my birthday family meal when my birthday cake came out. I blew out the candles and I wished with every part of me to get my first performance opportunity. Living proof that birthday wishes come true, within the hour our friends at Actz called me and I had my first show. After that there was no stopping me.

That first show was at The Egg in Camden for a charity burlesque show.  I loved it.  I was nervous, as would any one be, but also super excited, to be finally doing something so beautiful that I love.

I’m not nervous about going onto the stage, I get more nervous as I want to get it perfect, and wow the crowd. I’m a terrible perfectionist and I’m always striving to achieve more. I spend many hours and days before shows rehearsing to make sure I’m hitting the beat and giving the best I can.

London Burlesque Festival 2014What’s you biggest ‘burlesque’ achievement to date?

Performing and appearing in the Hit E4 TV Show The Drifters and being selected for London Burlesque Festival 2014.

Favourite performance to date?

Performing for Cue Tease.

Which of your acts do you enjoy performing the most?

Oh god, that’s a hard choice.  I love all of them as they are so different. They are all equally fun to do, but create different reactions. My ‘Feathered Kisses’ fan dance  is lovely as people find it really moving to watch. I think it’s magical when you create something that moves people in a way they do not expect. (Red fans ‘Feathered Kisses’ picture above by the talented Czarina Josef Images. Also on Facebook)

Isabella Bliss All That Glitters

But I also enjoy doing ‘My Fair Lady’ too, she’s a great act. I love the costume and its a honour playing homage to Audrey Hepburn who was sensational on the screen.

I design all my own costumes and love putting crystals on everything. I like to challenge my self to how extravagant I can make each costume.  They are just getting bigger and more opulent. The costume I’m currently working on is based on the Moulin Rouge and Folies Bergere.

Who most inspires you?

Catherine D’Lish has sex appeal by the ton and makes it look effortless I love that about her. Dita of course, plus she’s a great inspirational business woman. She has achieved so much for herself and for the world of burlesque.

Isabella Bliss as Marilyn MonroeI also adore LouLou D’vil. I did a workshop with her and she is such great woman. Her stage presence is sensational and her performances empowering.

I am however inspired by many people not just those within the burlesque scene. Movie stars like Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly and of course the Moulin Rouge and Folies Bergere show girls.  (Isabella as Marilyn – photo by the talented Czarina Josef Images. Also on Facebook)

Cue Tease Burlesque Soiree De JeuWhere can we see you performing in the near future?

In the coming months you can see me at the Latest Cue Tease event ‘Soiree De Jeu‘ and I’ll be performing at The London Burlesque Festival on  Tuesday 20th May at The Hollywood Revue Show. Later in the year I’ll be in a very special show in my home county at the world famous Circus Tavern.

Tell us 3 things about you which very few people know: 

I used to do Jelly Wrestling.

I secretly love Disney Movies and Disney Land.

I enjoy travelling.

Most embarrassing moment

I was doing a charity collection at a boxing show in full beauty queen gear, dress, crown sash, the lot and I was invited into the ring to speak about the charity. I misjudged the distance between the stage edge and the edge of the ring where there was a little gap and I fell into it! Very funny. I got a round of applause and I think it helped raise more to be honest, as I made them laugh. I am a bit of a klutz sometimes. x

Now ladies and gents, if that hasn’t got desperate to get your behind to Isabella Bliss’s next performance, then I despair!  You clearly missed out on the ‘Burlesque Glitter & Glamour’ gene!

Whether you can be there or not, I think you will all agree with me when I say ‘what a lovely lady’.  It really has been a pleasure dealing with her and I certainly wish her every success in her future career.

If this has inspired you to give it a try yourself, we have new Foxy Burlesque beginners burlesque courses starting first week of April. Click here to find out more and book your place.  Don’t forget if you can’t get to one of our venues, we can always run an intensive course for you in your area, if you have a group of ladies interested, or we also do private lessons and hen parties.

You can keep up to date with Isabella Bliss on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and through her website.  Enjoy!!  Lxxx…

Foxy Burlesque at Madame Jojo’s for ‘Up Yer Bum’!

Up Yer Bum logoMadame Jojo's SOHO LondonFoxy Burlesque have performed at a number of charity events over the years, but never before have we been invited to perform at Madame Jojo’s in SOHO London! YES, I did just say Madame Jojo’s!  The one and only!!

So, as I’m sure you can imagine, I jumped at the chance.  The fab event we are going to be part of is ‘Up Yer Bum’ a very aptly named event raising money for the very worthy charity Beating Bowel Cancer.

So, what is ‘Up Yer Bum’ in the words of the organisers:

‘We hold the “Up Yer Bum” Charity Cabaret as a fun way to raise awareness of bowel cancer and to provide entertainment in the process. The Acts are amazing quality, the compere great fun and the event offers many “oooh’s and aaah’s”. We have stupendous singers, dazzling dancers, cracking comedians and brilliant burlesque. All Acts are kindly donated by some smashing people who are willing to give their time and talent to a good cause.

Originally planned as a “one off”, we were delighted with the success of 2011 and on the night many people wanted to know the date of the next event… Which made us realise, we should do it all again and again!’

So, how did ‘Up Yer Bum’ come about?

Beating Bowel Cancer logoDeborah Puxty-Ward does a lot of volunteering for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity and has done so for over 5 years now, following a diagnosis herself at only 29yrs of age.

Please take the time to click and see Deborah on You Tube explaining how Beating Bowel Cancer helped her.

When you’ve done that, I know, like me, you will feel passionately about supporting this wonderful event and charity.

Foxy Burlesque nipple tasselsMy gorgeous Foxy Burlesque girls are rehearsing hard, so the seven of us would love to see you there!

PS: Yes we will be twirling our tassels for you!😉

The event details?

Up Yer Bum event flyer‘Up Yer Bum’

Madame Jojo’s, 8-10 Brewer St, Soho, London, W1F OSE

Sunday 16th February 2014

4.30pm Doors Open, 5.30pm Show

TICKETS

Check out ‘Up Yer Bum’ on Twitter and drop by the ‘Up Yer Bum’ Facebook Page and Event, if you get a moment.  All likes, shares and mentions, greatly appreciated!🙂

See you there! xxx…

Foxy Burlesque student’s open letter

Alison Jeffries photographed by Terry Mendoza of Retro Photostudio

My gorgeous Foxy Burlesque student (and now friend), Alison Jeffries recently wrote the most lovely letter about me and her experiences as a Foxy Burlesque student and she asked me to share her comments with you.  So, here goes:

Alison Jeffries doing Foxy Burlesque Seven Veils dance‘Yesterday I changed my Facebook profile photo for a snap taken by Laura at the finale of the Seven Veils dance, a new course at Foxy Burlesque.

I love the photo.  I look so relaxed and totally enjoying myself, in the moment.

Laura commented on the photo I posted saying “Beautiful Lady” which was such an amazing compliment, but what I have been thinking about since was this…

Laura is the most wonderful teacher and lady.  She absolutely sees the real beauty in all the ladies that she teaches, despite all the lumps, bumps, wrinkles and scars we carry.

She sees the true beauty and specialness in every single one of us.  She is an inspiration and an amazing teacher.

Laura Lawton of Foxy Burlesque by Terry Mendoza Retro PhotostudioHer enthusiasm and passion to bring the very best to a class and to make us all feel special, is simply wonderful.
I had not been to a class for quite some time, having been busy with other things for around 18 months and I had completely forgotten quite how absolutely inspiring uplifting and amazing dancing is and how being taught by Laura has brought me confidence and empowerment that I will cherish for ever.

Laura you are an inspiration to us all and for anyone wondering if they would not be able to dance because of nerves or confidence, I urge you to give it a go, you will not be dissapointed by how amazing it makes you feel.

Much love A xxx’

Well, I have to say I was rather speechless, when I read this (a rare thing!) and a little emotional.  I was so touched by the fact that she had taken the time to say something so lovely, but also that she felt I helped make a real difference to the way she was feeling about herself.

I guess the thing is we all have our hang ups and the bits we don’t like about ourselves and sometimes it takes someone else to remind us just how beautiful and special we are.  I am so pleased I got to be the person to remind Ali, as she really is a true lady. Beautiful inside and out.

Much love back Ali.

Lxxx…

(First and third photographs by Terry Mendoza of Retro Photostudio)

Blitz Party!

Annie and Carlo at The Blitz PartyWhen my very beautiful and lovely Maidstone Foxy Burlesque student Annie Prosser, told me about her night out at The Blitz Party recently, I knew there would be lots of people interested in hearing about it, so I was delighted when she agreed to do this guest post for me. Thank you Annie! x

Blitz Party buntingOnce a month on a Saturday night in the brick arched streets of Shoreditch you’d be forgiven for thinking an era of old had returned as tea dress clad gals and uniformed chaps wait patiently, beside the sand bags, for the start of the Blitz Party. And last month to celebrate my birthday I joined theses eager enthusiasts for a night back in time.

Blitz Party swing bandA well-established London theme night this may be, however, like many others it is not. Once inside, the Blitz Party offers an authentic and atmospheric night that any vintage devotee would be proud to attend. With Spitfire as the ale of choice and bright bunting to set the mood all that is left is to get the guests dancing. Music on the night is a mixture of well-known classics and super live entertainment from an exquisitely turned out swing band. It was hard not to move my excited feet to each jazz filled beat!

Blitz Party LondonIt didn’t take long to loose all memory of the oyster card I’d travelled with, the iPhone map that had directed me to the venue or the website I had bought my ticket from – Blighty were fighting and I was cheering them on. As the air raid sirens sounded and the cocktails were sampled it turned into a night like no other. Conversations with new friends started over uniforms, I had found an immaculate wartime QARANC uniform at the War and Peace show months before for the occasion, and finished with talk of relatives and history – all of which fitted beautifully with the mood of the night.

When the time came for the night to end the rush of emotions I felt confirmed that it wouldn’t be too long before my victory rolls and stockings made their way back to the Blitz Party again.

Tea lights at The Blitz Party

Make sure you check out The Blitz Party website.  It’s looks amazing!  The next event is their NYE party.  Not a night to be missed, I imagine! Grab your tickets now, while you can!  Oh and if you do make a plan to get to one of their fab evenings make sure you get yourself to a Foxy Burlesque Vintage Make-up Workshop and Vintage Hair Workshop first, so you can truly look the part! x

(Black and white photos taken by Paul Hyland.  Colour photos taken by Annie)

My experience with Brazilian Blow Dry to relax very curly hair

Foxy Burlesque's Laura Lawton after Brazilian Blow DryI have naturally VERY curly hair!  So curly, in fact, that if it’s just left to be it’s natural curl, my hair would never grow past my shoulders as the curl just seems to get tighter and tighter.
Foxy Burlesque's Laura Lawton pre Brazilian Blow DryMy solution for a long time was to have it relaxed by having perming solution combed through it, which was fantastic the first time, but as the process was repeated to relax new hair coming through, the already relaxed hair would end up treated again.  Over time this resulted in hair that would just snap if I scrunched my hair in my hand.
I remember vividly the horror of being told my hair was in such bad condition I would need to have it short and grow out all the treated hair.
It took a very long time growing it again as it grows in such tight spirals, but I eventually got there, I think about 2.5yrs down the line, if I remember correctly, and it was at this point that I was told there was a new relaxing product I could try which would be much kinder to my hair.
…And so the cycle started all over again.  The good news was, it was much kinder to my hair, but it was still being re-treated all the time which meant I ended up with nicely relaxed hair at the roots and straight hair at the ends, which I would then spend my time trying to scrunch into some kind of curl to match the top.  It was a mess…
I then had my two babies and through pregnancy and post pregnancy I had huge amounts of hair loss, so my hair was actually a whole lot more manageable and it gave me plenty of time to grow out the treated hair once again.  Thankfully without the need of a drastic cut.
The last thing my then regular colourist in London said to me after my last relaxing treatment was, make this the last one, grow it out as long as you can bare it for and then no more relaxing.  I think you should try having a Brazilian Blow Dry on it instead…
So after my babies, I decided I needed to find a more local hair dresser who could do this ‘Brazilian Blow Dry’ or ‘Brazilian Blowout’ for me and I was recommended Yasmin Brockbank at RUSH in Tunbridge Wells and I have not looked back since.
I have now had this treatment done a few times and learnt a lot along the way, so I thought I’d share the findings in a hope that it would help anyone out there with really curly unmanageable hair, who wants to stay curly, but with manageable curls.

The Brazilian Blow Dry theory:

Foxy Burlesque Laura Lawton's hair before Brazilian Blow DryWhen hair is dry, frizzy and/or damaged the hair cuticals are raised like fish scales. The keratin used for a Brazilian Blow Dry goes into the gaps and works like a polyfiller which smooths out the scales and dramatically improves the condition of the hair so it is much easier to manage.  Many people don’t even need to use conditioners afterwards due to the huge improvement made.

The Brazilian Blow Dry process:

1) Foxy Burlesque's Laura Lawton Brazilian Blow Dry process just washedYour hair is washed with clarifying shampoo to remove all oils and product so it is properly clean
2) Your washed hair is brushed/combed through (I’d recommend brushing it through before washing it, as well, as this makes the brushing through after the wash a little easier)
Foxy Burlesque's Laura Lawton Brazilian Blow Dry after rough dry3) Hair is rough dried with a hair dryer
4) Next taking small sections of hair, the lotion is applied and combed through root to tip. The lotion is pure manmade keratin.

Brazilian Blow Dry manmade keratinThe one used on my hair is ‘Nanokeratin System Hair Therapy Treatment‘.

5) The lotion is then kept on the hair for 45mins to absorb into the hair cuticles

Brazilian Blow Dry keratin soaking into hair

6) Taking small sections at a time the hair is then blow dried straight using a medium round brush. This dries the lotion in to the hair. The steam at this point, which I think some people mistake for smoke, is just residue from the product. This steam from the product used on my hair doesn’t really smell of anything, though apparently some people don’t like it. Maybe different makes smell different. There are many different ones.
Brazilian Blow Dry blow drying keratin into hair7) Sections of the hair are then straightened.  Each section being straightened for up to 7 times to make sure it is as smooth as possible. This seals the product into the hair. Special straighteners have to be used at this point. They have titanium plates, not ceramic, so the heat stays in the plates.  They are also extra hot, getting up to 230 degrees and are used on the hottest setting.
Brazilian Blow Dry straightened hair8) At this point your hair salon experience is finished and you leave with silky dead straight hair, but the hair now has to stay straight, using no hair clips or bands and you must avoid any humidity and damp environments for the required period of time (3 days if you are wanting a straight hair result. 1 day if you are wanting a relaxed result, so hair is still curly but not as tight a curl as previously)
9) After the required time (see above) wash the hair and style as normal.

The result:

Brazilian Blow Dry resultSo, I washed my hair after a day and a half and I am so pleased with the result.  My hair is shiny and silky.  It feels and moves like hair should, whereas naturally my hair is so curly and dense, is just doesn’t move like hair.  It is now a much more manageable and more attractive curl.  Plus, when I want to create a vintage style for a Foxy Burlesque performance or shoot, it is much better to work with.
The reason why this works so well for relaxing curly hair, is it lasts for three months (depending on how often you wash your hair), so when you have the treatment redone, the entire length of your hair needs the treatment again, rather than just the roots.  So, no repeatedly treating the longer sections of your hair.
The other great news is, it doesn’t affect you having your hair coloured you just can’t have it coloured in the first week following the treatment.

A little bit about Yasmin Brockbank and RUSH:

RUSH Hairdressers Tunbridge Wells Yasmin BrockbankYasmin started out in an apprenticeship and has now been hair dressing for 7yrs and for the last 4yrs, she has been at RUSH. Yasmin trained with RUSH to do the Brazilian Blow Dry. They give 1 day salon training and then have refresh training and updates 3-4mthly. For RUSH this treatment is very popular and growing in popularity all the time. I was surprised to hear it even works for people with fine hair to help it feel thicker.
I think the thing that says it all is Yasmin has Brazilian Blow Drys herself! It always fill me with confidence when someone practices what they preach. For Yasmin it works really well reducing frizz, and it reduces her hair styling time from 1.5hrs to 45mins! That’s a selling point for any Mummy, surely! Basically, it’s brilliant!!
So if you are frustrated with crazy curls and/or frizzy hair I couldn’t recommend having a Brazilian Blow Dry more.  If you are also fortunate enough to be in the Tunbridge Wells area, you should definitely get yourself to RUSH to see Yasmin.
(RUSH pricing is £150-£200 depending on the length of your hair.)

The Cashmere Sale!

The Cashmere Sale Ponchos

Well it certainly seems like winter is well and truly here. Time to snuggle up in lovely warm clothes. But, let’s be honest, how glamourous and sexy does your winter wardrobe make you feel? Well worry not, I have the solution: The Cashmere Sale!

I was very lucky to recently be asked to model for this fabulous new business, so I have seen and worn these beautiful clothes and accessories and they are VERY special.

I knew I needed to spread the word, so I asked Emma Sharp, the founder, to answer a few questions for me.

The Cashmere Sale PonchoHow did ‘The Cashmere Sale’ come about?

Its all thanks to my brother really. He is a wonderfully gifted designer who sells under his own label ‘William Sharp‘ to Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Fortnum & Mason in the UK as well as various other stores around the world. I have watched his business grow over the years and then one day I suddenly had an idea for my own business. I approached my brother and asked him whether I could buy any remaining stock at the end of the season so that I could sell it at private events at a discounted price. Thankfully he thought it was a great idea and so The Cashmere Sale was launched!

Emma Sharp founder of The Cashmere SaleWhat is your background?

I have always worked for national newspapers or magazines. For the last 10 years I have worked for the biggest publisher in the UK, working across magazines such as Marie Claire, Woman & Home and most recently Horse & Hound. I have always taken great pride in my career but once my husband and I moved out of London and started a family, I found it more and more difficult to give both my job and my family 100%. I could never get the balance right and a demanding job in London with a long commute meant that I barely got to see my son during the week. I had my 2nd child nearly a year ago and that’s when I decided to say a fond farewell to my career in London and officially launch The Cashmere Sale

The Cashmere Sale TopsWhat are your aims for the business?

I really want to get the right balance between work and home life, although I often wonder whether that’s possible! My business is fairly seasonal, so most events are arranged between September and February. I love getting to know my clients and really enjoy the intimacy of doing sales at people’s houses. Many woman arrive, a little stressed, clearly thinking about all the things going on at home, but as soon as they are handed a glass of wine and then glance over at the abundance of cashmere filling the room, they relax and really start to have fun. It’s all about shopping in a relaxed and comfortable environment and treating themselves to a little bit of luxury that makes them feel and look great.

The Cashmere Sale Top and Hat Laura LawtonWho are your customers?

My brother is so clever. He designs clothes and accessories for women from 18 to 80. In my opinion that’s why the William Sharp brand is so successful. The range of appeal is reflected in my customers who are wonderfully varied, but they all share one thing – an appreciation and passion for good quality, timeless cashmere! I really enjoy watching someone pull on a poncho or wrap a scarf around their neck. They suddenly start smiling and almost wriggle into the comfort of the cashmere. That’s when I know that they’ve found something they love.

How can people get to see your products?

I do corporate events and private events, but I will be exhibiting for the first time at the Wealden Times Mid Winter Fair at Bedgebury Pinetum from 21st – 23rd November which I’m really excited about as the setting looks amazing.

The Cashmere Sale Pink ScarfSo what are your personal favourites?

I absolutely love the cashmere ponchos. Wear them with skinny jeans and knee length boots for a super cool, super sexy look or with a pair of flats to be casual and stylish. The great thing is that you always look good! When I was heavily pregnant I wore my poncho every day when I commuted up to London. Despite feeling fat and very unattractive a lot of the time, I always walked with my shoulders back and my head held high because my fabulous grey poncho always made me feel better

I love the bright scarves with the subtle crystal design on them. They make a fantastic Christmas present for anyone as they are so ageless. However, I do think that we focus so much on everyone else at Christmas, that sometimes it’s important to treat ourselves too!

Well, Emma, I couldn’t agree more!

Ladies, you all deserve at least one item! GO SHOP!🙂

http://www.thecashmeresale.co.uk