coffee

  • Coffee with a Creative: Cynthia of Oui Madam Bridal Atelier

    Today on Coffee with a creative we meet Cynthia, Creative Director of Oui Madam Bridal Atelier who talks to us about her complete lifestyle change, running a shop and of course her favourite choice of hot drink.

    What is your coffee (tea, infusions, hot chocolate) of choice?

    My Senseo coffee maker.

    What is it that you do? Describe your role/company.

    I am a designer/maker and I have taken my craft to another level by launching an atelier bridal boutique that specializes in creating bespoke bridal gowns that uniquely represent the bride’s personality and style.

    What inspired you to set up your Company?

    After 20 years of working alongside and with leading UK designers to produce bespoke pieces for their clientele.

    Can you describe a typical workday (from wake up to lights out)?

    Wake up…Panic!!! There is always so much to do.  To get a head start on the day, on alternative days I either read/meditate or head to the gym for an hour.  Paperwork, check emails, telephone messages, text messages, Facebook messages, DM messages etc…..then head to the workroom (located at the bottom of garden) to begin to follow up on what needs to be done for that day.  Often with several dresses in-the-making at any given point, priority is given to the dress deadline and fitting appointments for that week. I often work until 9pm… coming in only for coffee, munchies and dinner. Throughout the day, I post to Instagram and Facebook anything that is current, relevant and engaging.  

    Describe your signature style

    Elegant. timeless and understated luxury…with occasionally bouts of ‘drama’ but not overly so.

    What’s next for the Company?

    To burst onto the scene and be a leading industry voice.

    What is the best thing about the creative scene in your city?

    The freedom to express yourself in whatever way you like…

    Who is the creative to watch?

    Elie Saab

    How and why did you become a *said* designer/creative?

    I loved designing as a child and my personality to stand out and be different fuelled my desire to create clothes to make that statement.

    What are your top 3 *creative* tips?

    Experiment with materials and techniques.  

    Make a note of things that catch your eye and use them to inspire your work.  

    Explore and innovate with fear of mistakes.

    What *creative* design trends do you wish would go away?

    The mermaid look.

    Describe your life in 5 words

    Frustrating, hectic, bursting, satisfying, hungry.

    What are you thankful for?

    I love the opportunity of being invited to share in a bride’s dream and making it a reality.

    What is your perfect weekend in the City?

    Visit to the V&A or any of the London museums, followed by a lovely relaxing massage and facial.  A must do item has to be a little boutique shopping as a treat! The finale of the weekend would certainly be dinner at the Ritz.

    What is your prefect weekend in the Countryside?

    A hack across the fields/woods, lunch and a round of golf followed by a refreshingly cold glass of white wine or something sparkly.

    Where in the World is your most favourite place to visit and why?

    I love going to LA. I love the vast uncrowded open spaces of Orange County, the beaches at Huntington and Laguna.  The choice of a late breakfast and the quality of the food served especially the seafood!

    How insightful to hear about Cynthia’s work. We enjoy late breakfasts and dinner at the Ritz too! Have a look at Cynthia’s amazing dresses to see how talented she is! You can check her out on Facebook and Instagram too – Make sure you follow her to get some inspiration!

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  • Coffee with a Creative: Bhavini Lakhani of B81 Designs

    Today on Coffee with a Creative we meet Bhavini Lakhani, of B81 Designs, she talks to us about her work, daily routines, inspiration and of course her hot drink of choice.

    What is your coffee (tea, infusions, hot chocolate) of choice?

    A nice flat white.

    What inspired you to set up your Company?

    I was made redundant as my maternity leave ended in 2011 – rather than be upset about it, I decided to be positive about it and started freelancing. It was a very accidental step into the world of freelancing, but I wouldn’t change any of it! 

    Can you describe a typical workday (from wake up to lights out)?

    I’m usually up by 5am so that I can fit in a workout – I find this helps me to clear my mind and usually releases any stress from the day before. It gives me some me time, and also gets me feeling really energised. I also listen to podcasts while I’m working out and I find that it’s a great way to fit that in! I then get myself ready for the day before waking my 2 girls up at 7. I do the school run at 8.25am and once I’m back home I make myself a flat white and sit down to work until it’s time to go and pick the girls up from school at 3pm. Once we’re home, the afternoon is family time. I make dinner and play with the girls, read etc. They have dinner at about 5, and at 6.45/7ish it’s time for them to have a bath and go to bed. If I have a lot of on, I sometimes work in the evenings once the girls are asleep.

    Describe your signature style

    In all honesty, I don’t think I have a set signature style. I’m quite good at adapting to different project briefs and client needs.

    Describe the best project you could get if budget was a non-contender

    I’ve had a few amazing projects throughout my career so far – I’ve done a cinema ad which was just fantastic. I’ve also created a gorgeous brochure for British Gas to use at an employee recognition event, and I’ve recently worked with an international coffee machine manufacturer to create a brochure for one of their new lines. The one thing I’ve always wanted to do is a billboard!!!!

    What’s next for the Company?

    I want to be able to work with some medium/large companies, rather than just start ups and small businesses.

    What is the best thing about the creative scene in your city?

    The creative scene in MK is amazing. There’s a really nice supportive feel within the creative community, rather than it being highly competitive. 

    Who is the creative to watch?

    Roxanne at RoxPix Photography. She’s so good at what she does, and she’s always pushing herself to achieve her goals and dreams!

    How and why did you become a *said* designer/creative?

    I loved art GCSE and A Level and the next step was an Art Foundation course so that I could try different things and see what direction I wanted to go in. During that year, I found that graphic design was something I naturally gravitated towards. The typical Asian careers of law, medicine etc didn’t hold any attractions for me at all and from an early age I know I wanted to do something more creative.

    What are your top 3 *creative* tips?

    – Push yourself outside of your comfort zone – even if it’s only a little…that’s where the magic happens.
    – Look for inspiration outside of the box – just because I’m a graphic designer, doesn’t mean only graphic design inspires me.
    – Sometimes, the ideas that you think are bad…are actually great!

    What *creative* design trends do you wish would go away?

    Bevel and Emboss effects on text for logos…

    Describe your life in 5 words

    Busy, happy, blessed, organised chaos!

    What are you thankful for?

    My wonderful family and friends.

    What is your perfect weekend in the City?

    Afternoon tea and cocktails with my husband or my best girlies, followed by a relaxing spa day!

    What is your prefect weekend in the Countryside?

    Taking the kids to somewhere like Hampshire and enjoying the wonderful forests and nature we have around us!

    Where in the World is your most favourite place to visit and why?

    New York – I LOVE how much there is going on, it’s so inspiring and the coffee is just heavenly! The people are really friendly, and I love discovering new parts of the city. Havana comes a really close second though…I love the relaxed Cuban culture, the historic places and the artwork.

    Afternoon tea and cocktails sounds right up our street… where are we going? If you want conviction that this lady knows her stuff then look at our very own branding for Honestly Wonderful – Yes, created by the lovely lady herself – thanks Bhavini, we love it too!! Follow Bhavini on socials to keep up with her fantastic work, love of coffee and inspiration. You can follow B81 Designs on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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  • Coffee with a Creative: Karolina Barnes of Estila Magazine

    Today on Coffee with a Creative we meet Karolina Barnes, of Estila Magazine, she talks us through her work, daily routines, inspiration and of course her hot drink of choice.

    What is your coffee (tea, infusions, hot chocolate) of choice?

    Earl Grey.

    What inspired you to set up your Company?

    Frustration and passion for emerging design.

    Can you describe a typical workday (from wake up to lights out)?

    I get up at 6am and go on emails or do some work before the morning school run. After the school run I walk our dog around the island we live on and once back it’s either off to London for meetings, interviews or press days. If I don’t have to travel to London, I curate and create content for our magazine issues, website and our business community. This might involve doing small photo-shoots, sourcing props and press loans or writing articles and resource books. My afternoons are pretty much the same as mornings apart from the days when I need to be the taxi driver for my daughters and take them to different clubs after school. I start making dinner around 5.30pm so it’s ready for 7pm. We keep the family tradition of eating together at the table each evening and weekends too. No TV, just us as a family. After both girls go to sleep, I go back to work and finish anything that needs to be done before the following day. My cut-off time is 2am but most days I try to go to bed around midnight.

    Describe your signature style

    Elegant, eclectic, colourful

    Describe the best project you could get if budget was a non-contender

    My kitchen

    What’s next for the Company?

    My aim is to grow our company into a multi-platform media and retail business. It will takes years to do it but I’m up for the challenge.

    What is the best thing about the creative scene in your city?

    I think there is so much talent everywhere I go. I don’t have specific locations as such. Every time I venture somewhere new, I find so much creativity around me. I think it’s great that these days we all can express our creative sides with freedom. We have the privilege of being able to be who we are!!

    Who is the creative to watch?

    I think most women I feature and interview for Estila Magazine are the next big thing. I totally believe in them, even though they are at a stage when they don’t..yet. But that comes with experience and confidence building. I love, for example, Alexandra Gallagher’s work, which I put on the cover of Estila’s Volume 2. She has a great future ahead of her.

    How and why did you become a *said* designer/creative?

    I think I’ve always been creative but my creativity was suppressed for decades. Not until my late 30s, I realised that I am a multi-talented creative, meaning I love graphic design, interior design, art and I’ve also designed an evening dress collection. I did them all in the past and I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t fitting in in one specific category. Estila Magazine is really a reflection of me and how I see design and art across these categories, which I’m passionate about.

    What are your top 3 *creative* tips?

    – Go with your gut and listen to your intuition
    – Stop caring what others think about your work, as long as you’re happy with your work, put it out there.
    – Keep learning and being curious

    What *creative* design trends do you wish would go away?

    I don’t follow trends at all so it’s hard for me to pick anything. For me, it’s more about expressing myself through different medium – being an interior design project, graphic design or painting a piece of art, and doing my own thing. Having said that, I think ripped jeans, and ripped t-shirts, in fact everything ripped, which is everywhere right now, should be banned.

    Describe your life in 5 words

    Constantly living on the edge

    What are you thankful for?

    My health and family

    What is your perfect weekend in the City?

    Visiting galleries followed by an afternoon tea

    What is your prefect weekend in the Countryside?

    Going for walk and having picnics

    Where in the World is your most favourite place to visit and why?

    Anywhere in Switzerland. Love the mountains and the lakes. The vibe is so calming and the environment is so inspiring.

    Karolina, we love afternoon tea too! Take a look at the fantastic Estila Magazine website, there are some great features, fantastic imagery and a list of services that are very very useful. You can follow Estila Magazine and Karolina on Instagram, and twitter …

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  • Coffee with a Creative: Sonika Kudhail of The Little Casting Studio

    Today on Coffee with a Creative we are meeting a Sonika Kudhail, of The Little Me Casting Studio, she is one of the many creatives I have had the joy to interview, talking about her, her business and her favourite hot drink of choice!

    What is your coffee (tea, infusions, hot chocolate) of choice?

    Caramel Latte

    What inspired you to set up your Company?

    I was feeling ‘meh’ about my career as a teacher and wanted a change! I’ve always been quite creative, making weird and wonderful things for home, family and friends! So…my husband actually inspired me to jump off my career ladder as a teacher and do something I enjoy! So as my husband is in the dental field, he came up with the creative idea of taking impressions of babies’ hands and feet as a keepsake! I never let him finish his train of thought and went full steam ahead, with researching, training and The Little Me Casting Studio was born! I’m just an ordinary woman who decided to go for it!

    Can you describe a typical workday (from wake up to lights out)?

    My previous work day involved: internal screaming, fantasising about my dramatic exit speech and thinking ‘please give me inner strength, get me through this day’. Well I’m glad to say that is all behind me and there is a hope!!! I wake up excited to start my new life, every morning. I check my emails, social media and get back to any enquiries. Then it’s breakfast and coffee!!

    Then I time block to structure my day and productivity: so check my diary for any upcoming appointments and prepare for them by packing all my materials in a travel suitcase (I’m a mobile caster). I attend any appointments I have that day (no more than 2-3 a day). Take gorgeous impressions of a baby’s hand or foot or both (crazy but fun) and go back and cast them and reveal the lovely results and leave them to dry for 3-4 weeks! Then, just as a Blue Peter presenter says ‘here’s one we made earlier’ (from 3 weeks ago) we tidy and finish the cast, with a special paint and wax and present them beautifully in our bespoke frames. Everyday can be different and meeting lovely customers and their babies is a joy – no more internal screaming!

    Describe your signature style

    It’s got to be our deluxe, contemporary black frame with silver casts, baby picture and name plaque

    Describe the best project you could get if budget was a non-contender

    Taking an impression of a celebrities’ baby…that would be exciting! Then maybe turning that into pure GOLD!!

    What’s next for the Company?

    The Little Me Casting Studio is only 6 months old…so at the moment, it’s building on my products and getting more recognised! I do have some crazy plans for the future….but baby steps for now

    What is the best thing about the creative scene in your city?
     
    The creative scene in Wolverhampton is more vibrant than ever, with so many artists playing their part! From the Arena theatre to the Grand to Wolverhampton as a city, promoting and supporting creativity and small businesses! Wolverhampton is changing and the best thing is opportunity! #wolvesart

    Who is the creative to watch?
     
    All in all, anyone that has the passion and drive in the creative scene is the one to watch!
     
    The Pop Art movement!!! Students ! University of Wolverhampton is home to one of the greatest Pop Art collections outside of London. 

    How and why did you become a *said* designer/creative?

    As mentioned before it was the lack of happiness in my teacher life that changed me for the worse and it was a wake up call from the husband that changed me for the better! I love being myself and being able to express myself in my work!

    What are your top 3 *creative* tips?

    – Trust yourself and your skill, it will show in your work 
    – Simplicity – sometimes less is more. Your creative ideas can come in random bursts, but combining them can turn into something quite messy! Strip away anything unnecessary and your are left with a gem!
    – Feedback – an outsider’s perspective can sometimes ignite the extra touch of creativity you are looking for – communicate with your customers!

    What *creative* design trends do you wish would go away?

    People trying to cut corners! It’s annoying, especially when you know they are NOT being ignorant!

    Describe your life in 5 words

    Your dreams CAN be reality

    What are you thankful for?

    I’m thankful for inspiration, support and love

    What is your perfect weekend in the City?

    Food, food and food!! I love doing escape rooms at the moment!

    What is your prefect weekend in the Countryside?

    Spa, walks and more food (nice gastropub)

    Where in the World is your most favourite place to visit and why?

    Dubai! It’s such a diverse place with a lot of culture! It’s also very glamorous and has amazing restaurants!

    Sonika can be found on social media on Instagram and Facebook. Have a look at her work and think about whether you want a hand or a foot casting in solid gold – it would make Sonika’s dream project a reality!

    AartiPopat Blog Signature bluewgold x

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