Friday, 25 January 2013

Every woman needs a ‘well-oiled‘ wardrobe

I am one of those people who has a wardrobe full of clothes but never has anything to wear, so I when I met Samantha Clark at an Inspirational You event I was hooked on what she had to say about finding the right clothes for me.  I know there are more than a few ladies sharing my 'I have nothing to wear' cry so I asked Samantha a few questions .... 

So Samantha, what’s the secret to success?

I believe that success begins in your wardrobe. This is where the magic either happens or it doesn't in terms of you picking the right clothes to make you feel super confident.  Zukuri UnLtd is all about helping female entrepreneurs, just like you, to 'walk the walk' and build up their power of presence for success. It’s all about getting ‘visible’ to stand up and be counted.

Every woman needs to master a ‘well-oiled‘ wardrobe that sets you up for success. As women we can play a multitude of roles and whilst multi-tasking is a skill we’ve all mastered, sometimes our wardrobes can lag behind. We then fall into the trap of throwing a few things together hoping it will work through sheer tiredness and frustration.

Here are two tips taken from my new DIY Wardrobe Success guide to sell yourself with pride and have a happier relationship with your wardrobe.

divide and conquer ......

Divide up and organise your wardrobe to conquer the ‘I have nothing to wear’ syndrome. Separate your wardrobe into zones. 

1.     Pleasure - Weekday
2.     Pleasure  - Weekend
3.     Business Casual - working from home, casual meetings
4.     Business Dressy - networking, client presentations, workshops
5.     Dates/Nights out/Special events’

These are my zones, you can rename yours to suit. Then I create what is my USP zone (unique selling point items) - these are items that reflect your personality and unique style to give the WOW factor across the combinations.

grab and go......

So I have 5 core outfit zones and a USP area. Now for each section I create what I call ‘grab and go‘ outfits - these are outfits that literally allow you to just grab, put on and go. No flapping about required.

I am a dress queen; so majority of the time I’m just dressing one solid dress from a particular zone and just playing around with shoes or jewellery from my USPs. But you may like your separates so experiment with your own clothing combinations.

By creating key ‘grab and go’ looks you will always give off that air of togetherness and be a magnet for success. Look at your life and organise key outfits to minimise the stress and maximise your confidence.

So I taking Samantha advice I am building my zones, taking inspiration from other women; I have a thing for Tracee Ellis Ross, we're similar in lots of ways, apart for the famous Mum and celebrity life style and am working on my clothing USP - wish me luck, I have only cleared out enough clothes to fill one charity shop bound bag!

image courtesy of

Samantha Clarke is the Chief Creative Architect at Zukuri UnLtd helping female entrepreneurs get ‘visible’ in their business. Stop shying away behind your clothes; get out there and show clients what you are made of! By helping clients know their style, cut the clutter from their wardrobes and shop smarter; she gives ladies the power to make their personal brand and style shine.

With the DIY Wardrobe Success guide you will learn how to create your unique style, a well oiled wardrobe that is streamlined and how to create all the ‘grab and go’ outfits you need to get ready with ease. And quite possibly save yourself some money too!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Being in the Telegraph sent my inbox crazy!

Last week was a busy week, my inbox went crazy after an article including me(!) was published in the Telegraph magazine!

Moonlighting: the spare-time entrepreneurs
More and more people are starting their own business, and many are doing it without giving up the day job. Jessica Salter talks to four entrepreneurs who are burning the candle at both ends to make their dreams a reality.

Thanks to the article I have had interesting offers to share my story with other people wanting to build their business whilst working the day job, and I have received heart warming emails from people saying well done and keep up the good work.  One email was from a 70 year old lady who makes cards to sell at her local craft market.   

I am humbled and excited, what a start to 2013!

Telegraph Magazine, Saturday 12 January 2013

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Do I really know what my customers want and need?

We know how important it is to really know our customers. To really know them so you can be sure your business can deliver what they want and need.  

I am gathering information on greeting card buying habits to help me set my business goals for the coming business year.  It would be great if you could spare 5 minutes to complete the online survey, it will only take 5 minutes. 

As a thank you, please send your name and address to me via an email marked ' greeting card survey' to for a chance to win a set of Strange Fruit cards when the survey closes on Thusday 31 January 2013.

My thanks in advance,


Thursday, 10 January 2013

42 US stockists and counting

This week I got a sales report from my US sales agent, when I counted up the list of stores I nearly fell over, I have 42 stockists.  I actually did have to sit down when I read the list in full and saw that my cards are stocked in the Schomburg Center in Harlem, part of the New York Public Library!  

I love the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, my husband took me here in the early days of our courting and I was blown away by the art collections, the miles and miles of photographs documenting black life and the pure creativity busting out of every corner.  

Maybe this is where it all started for me, I now collect the vintage photos that feature in Strange Fruit cards.

My celebrations did not stop there, checking out the list of outlets I was I delighted to see that like in the UK many of the stockists were independent, stylish stores, bookshops, vintage stores and museums, and to spoil me the  stores are so pretty.  I am really feeling a trip to the States to see the cards in the shops for myself.

The Hillwood Estate Museum in Washington looks fantastic, the gardens are amazing.  If our trip to Washington happens this year, this is one of our first stops!

Paper Patisserie in the historic neighborhood of Cathedral Hill, St Paul, Minnesota looks like a great place to hang out and buy stationery, they sell hand made truffles too!

Quail Ridge Books is a serious independent, err bookshop, in Raleigh, North Carolina, that appears to run some great events with so many great authors. This is most defiantly a place where Carrie Bradshaw would have done a reading on her book tour!

I am truly delighted with the number of stores Strange Fruit cards are in across the USA, I am hoping that if people see the cards they will send me a sneaky picture.  

The hard work must of course continue, after all the rest of the world is yet to welcome Strange Fruit to their shores.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Pinning it in 2013 - for me

I have decided that this year, 2013, I am going to do more for me!  

That could sound quite selfish, but those who know me know that I do loads for others and leave myself no time for fun or down time, so this year I am going to do more for me and the get me started I have created a Pinterest board to keep me motivated and inspired to make time to do the things I enjoy, just for me.

On my board is a red white and blue party, perfect for my birthday on 4th July!

A mustard skirt, I am determined not to wear so much black!


A gorgeous Kate Spade watch - I have wanted a new watch for ages but haven't made the time to go and actually choose and buy one!

And proper shoe storage!  Seriously, when we move, which I hope will be very soon, fingers are crossed that everything goes through smoothly, I need good shoe storage.  

So here is to me, in 2013, making time for me as well as everyone and everything else.