Saturday, 20 October 2012

This has been an eventful week - both business and personal-wise, which is why I haven't had the time before now to post.

I received a phone call whilst sitting outside the boys' school at 3.15; it was the nice lady from Annabel's, a luxury gift shop in Chislehurst which bases itself on Fortum and Mason. I'd had a meeting with Carmel the previous week, with a view to them buying my products for stock. It was all going well, we'd made a connection and I was feeling at home in the snug shop with my pink cup and saucer when Carmel asked the 'M' question: money. Had I prepared a spreadsheet on wholesale prices for Annabel's? No. Had I even worked out a percentage wholesale price? Negative. The words of Michelle Mone rumbled through my ears: "fail to plan, plan to fail." I had played out this moment in my mind so many times  - hundreds - in the past two years and yet here I was, stuffing it up. My darting eyes rested upon a calculator next to the shop's cash register, which I grabbed, plucking a random sum from my head and writing some calculations for Carmel on the back of an old envelope (really!) She told me she would speak to her colleague and get back to me, then asked for a business card. I didn't have any of those either.

Felt deflated for the rest of the week, but Carmel was true to her word, bless her, and when the call came, she told me they would like to buy 6 of each product. I was ecstatic, floating into the playground to collect my offspring with a silly grin on my face. Oscar has tutor on Monday's so I took the other two for a celebratory cake in the expensive bakery and they chinked their Tango's on my latte.

The blanket PR campaign has continued, every spare moment spent scouring magazines, newspapers and the web for beauty editors' names. A few weeks ago my mum gave me a copy of Stella - a Sunday Telegraph supplement - from which I promptly extracted the beauty writer's name and e-mailed over my press release. The lady came back quite quickly - which is something I'm learning about the world of journalism; if someone is interested in me, they will come straight back, otherwise I hear nada. Anyway, she asked for some samples which I promptly sent and on Tuesday evening she told me she will be featuring the Circulation Boost Skin Oil in a piece she will be writing. Was so excited, I forgot to ask when it'll be in.

My best friend from school rang me up, asking if I wanted to be in the Come Dine With Me Christmas special. She knows how I sadly watch repeats of this and have already planned several menu's, so obsessed am I with the programme. Ewan, my eldest also likes to watch with me whilst putting together one of his 1500 piece puzzles. In fact all my children really enjoy it and Oscar has already been bragging to his classmates that mum's going to be on Come Dine. My friend's friend is a producer for the programme and they have been casting in my area. By the end of Thursday I had chosen my menu and submitted an application form which promises a christmasy dinner party complete with pass the balloon and 'name that tune' - will find out next week whether I will be on.

Had a semi-review from a beauty editor  - she has received the products I sent and so far so good - fingers, knees and thumbs all crossed.

Went to a book signing at the 'Come Dine' friend's place of work  -  a wonderful bookshop in Crystal Palace called 'The Bookseller Crow.' As usual where she is concerned, it was an interesting evening with an eclectic mix of people involved. The author himself was dressed up in lady's attire, complete with PVC trousers and velvet handbag. I also learned that Crystal Palace is home to a British cheese shop where you can take your own wine (or port ) along to taster evenings. Shall definitely be going to one of those.

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