September 02, 2014
It's been over three days now and I thought it was worth a quick update on our visit to Liberty. To recap slightly, the Open Call is an an amazing opportunity for designers and makers to pitch to Liberty in the hope of getting their products stocked in the next season and beyond. The day is also recorded for an upcoming TV series on Channel 4 which tracks the hopefuls through the interview and pitch process through to manufacture and finally seeing the products months later on the shelves at one of London's finest establishments.
The day began with the alarm going off at 5.50am and unexpected rain hammering on the Velux. It felt weird getting up before our little boy who rises any time between 6am and 7am. Following train and tube journeys we arrived at Great Marlborough Street at 8am to a huge queue of stylish twenty somethings around the block. It was tempting to walk away immediately because it was fairly intimidating and everyone was tired and eyeing each other up. Skipping forward five and a half hours later, we made it around the building, in through the back door and up the stairs to the fourth floor. On the way up we bumped into Nat's cousin who runs Willow & Warson, he had just presented his handmade wooden bow ties and was on his way home. We registered and were added to a list headed ED BURSTELL. Oh my. We're going to meet the Managing Director! We are ushered through to a room full of buyers and we were guided to Ed who has just finished filming and the crew melted away to film somewhere else. Ed and his colleague Kate were charming and immediately opened boxes, sniffed soap and tried our balms and body oils. They were really complimentary of our packaging and products but said that Liberty is currently saturated with soap and candles. One thing caught their eye which we almost didn't bother to bring with us, a jar of himalayan pink salts soaked in organic lavender oil which we had just added to the range. They seemed very interested and asked us to leave the sample, which in the rush to clear up and leave we (Andy!) accidentally packed away and took back home! We only discovered it on Monday and quickly posted it back to Liberty so hopefully it still has a chance, so watch this space... After the pitch we realised we were exhausted and popped across the road to Pret for lunch. After lunch we headed back to Liberty for a good look around the store and dreamt of being able to shop here one day - it would be have been easy to spend the whole day there. We also popped into lovely Anthropologie around the corner and then headed back home to see the boy. It was a great day out and we'll see what happens next :) Even if they decide to not stock our bath salts it was completely worth going to meet Ed and Kate for all the helpful advice they gave us since Nathalie Bond Organics is still only 8 months old.
I couldn't help but post a pic (below) of this artwork on the wall in Anthropologie's basement. They're wise words but a strange thing to have in a shop?
One last thing, if you are a designer maker you should definitely sign up for next year's Open Call - nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Andy and Nat xxx
Ps. Thank you Nana, Kitty and Mally for looking after Alfie. He had a great day and loves his new shoes.
September 03, 2014
Well done this sound awesome – you guys are doing so well!
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