Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello readers, thanks for stopping by. I am now back home in the UK, and have spent the day unpacking and putting stuff away. It's bad enough unpacking clothes when you come back off a holiday - this time, I had jewellery too, left over from the exhibition, and of course more beads and stuff I had picked up in the wholesale markets in Bangalore - not for the faint hearted, those markets, I can tell you!
That meant, of course that the website had to be updated, and the Facebook page - you must think jeez, this woman is never satisfied - I am, I am - you can tell by the smile on my face when I rattle the almost empty boxes of stock!
To those of you who supported my endeavour, even if it was just by rooting for Caprilicious, thank you very much, it was much appreciated. The exhibition, in my opinion was a success - the jewellery was well appreciated and most people who wandered in to take a look went away clutching a few goodies.
Mike, my other half, stood by the board, soaking up the sun and doing a 'roll up, roll up' - when he saw people walk by - persuading them to go into the shop to see his wife's 'beautiful, hand-made jewellery' - and that strategy worked - loads of them couldn't resist this gentle persuasion ( they just aren't used to Englishmen doing that any more, having forgotten their colonial past - or perhaps just too young to remember the silver tongued English that got them tied in knots, years ago), and they came in, liked what they saw and walked out holding a bag full of Caprilicious - thanks Mike!
A whole bunch of friends swung into action on my behalf in Bangalore - lending me display items, sending out my invitations to people on their mailing lists, publicising the event to their friends. My friend Sheela came to help me set out my stall, and stayed to help out at the event, so Caprilicious was ably supported by a fabulous team of volunteers. The air conditioned venue is almost a little mall, with exhibitions popping up twice a week on average, so customers tend to drop in on the off chance that they might find something interesting to buy. The beautiful old bungalow, with well tended grounds, and a little cafe serving light bites to peckish customers provides a cool haven for shoppers who are looking for that little special 'something' that sets them apart from the hoi polloi at the next party or social event - and man, do those Bangaloreans socialise!
We set up by 10 am on the first day, and for the first hour and a half, it seemed like no one was going to bother to turn up - and then, all of a sudden, there were what seemed like torrents of people flooding the little room where my stall was laid out. A lot of them were friends and relatives, who had in turn brought their friends, but there were quite a few people who had no knowledge of what Caprilicious was all about.
I was unable to carry any display aids from home, so relied heavily on stuff donated by friends. I wandered around my mother's house pouncing on unwary ornamental boxes, emptying them of their contents, so I could take them with me. One of my friends gave me some fleece like material she used in a shop she once owned - I did wonder if it would look a bit like adorning a sleeping polar bear with jewellery - but hey, beggars can't be choosers, and I accepted anything thrown my way gratefully. In the end, although the display wasn't necessarily what I envisaged, it was much better than expected.
One of my cousins arranged for her publicist to put little write ups in all the local papers, and that worked really well - quite a few people turned up saying that they had read about the exhibition that morning. Another cousin brought two car loads of her lunch group, and they all obligingly spent their money with gay abandon. As all this happened on the first day, I worried that the second day was going to be quiet - but as it turned out, just as many people came, and it was extremely satisfying to watch people I did not know make some extremely complimentary remarks about Caprilicious.
We were so tired, we went to bed by 9pm - all that smiling and chatting to strangers certainly takes a toll on the energy levels. But, at pack up time, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had significantly less than a third of my stock remaining. My sister in law did some last minute shopping, and then my sister decided to buy up a whole bunch of pieces from the left over stock!
Eventually, my suitcases came back virtually empty, and I had a huge smile on my face - yippee! Then the painful part - I had to take all the jewellery that was sold off my website, and update my Facebook page - ah! the pain that goes with being successful!
Now back, safe and sound, all unpacked and a wash on the go, website and Facebook page updated, all that remains is a long soak in the bath to wash the travel dust and weariness out of me. I have to move my mindset from being a jewellery designer to a gynaecologist within the next 24 hours, as they are expecting me at work, all bright eyed and bushy tailed tomorrow morning, well rested after a three week holiday and raring to go. I have performed this juggling act every day for the last couple of years, so it shouldn't be too much of a problem.
Catch you next Friday as usual, same time, same place