Thursday, 25 October 2012


Sometimes, things can happen in life that get you down. But in order to enjoy yourself again, as hard as it may be you just have to pick yourself up and carry on. Try and focus on the positive even though that is extremely difficult when you are in a negetive frame of mind. Remembering that you are priceless even when things may make you feel worthless. A story that continually inspires me when I feel like that is one of a king and his ring. Here it goes:

Once upon a time, there was a king and he was given a gift of a ring.
This was a very special ring.
It had engraved on it "it shall pass".
He was told to look at this ring throughout the good times and bad times of his kingdom.

I feel this is a very good life message to carry with you in order to keep a level head about the experieces you go through. Everyone has there ups and downs but they do not last forever.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Average weight in the Uk

The average weight in the uk is 11 stone but it comes in all shapes and sizes. Take a look:

Serone Bailey, 24, weighing 11 st

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Full Length Mirrors...

Now I know I am not the only one out there that dreads getting a glimpse in a full length mirror. Sometimes I often think that they are design gone wrong, as they do nothing for most women's self-esteem, speaking from personal experiece here.
 They help highlight and show us all the bumps and lumps we would rather forget or pretend didnt exist and that we pretend had the exact same figure as notorious Kate Moss. I don't see anything wrong with wanting to do that, especially if it makes you feel better. Some could argue theres a danger in being completely deluded but if it makes you happy, how is that a danger?
Happiness should be our main focus in life not how awful our wobbly bits make us feel when we see them as we are getting ready in the morning. It is important to a certain extent to try and embrace these negetive feelings and fears and challenge them into something positive.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Fat Vs Thin

Who will win the battle? Fat Versus Thin. Both are not ideal, yet one is aspired to the other is not.

Why do we have such a pressure to look a certain way?
I stick to believing that size shouldn't matter as much as happiness does.
In the above image, I feel that there is only one image that is okay but still a bit too thin in my eyes  ( Second from the left )the rest are unhealthy ideals.
The body is a beautful thing, that should be enjoyed, not something that can bring you down because it is not "perfect".
Learn to love all your imperfections because they are what make you, well... you!
Stretch marks,  scars, burns, double chins galore, they are part of you and what makes you unique, special and beautiful in your own way!
I used to cringe looking at my imperfections, I thought they were disgusting, could not stand the sight of them, but one day I woke up and realised that they are part of what makes me. I accepted them and thought of them as being special and unique to me. I am now the most confident I have ever felt in my body and I am loving it!

Lady Gaga Inspiration...

Recently I read an article regarding our one and only Lady Gaga! Surprise, surprise, she is yet again wanting to challenge preconceptions. That is what I love about her!
Her new fad, so to speak is called body revolution and it is where Miss Gaga is delibrately putting on weight to show her "little monsters" to be body confident. In other words to "to love the skin your in" , yes,  I stole that from the dove advert but I feel it is rather fitting in this context.
Body image is a serious issue in todays society with most women aspiring to have the perfect hour glass figure but in reality most of us do not have that and therefore feel we do not measure up to what is considered beautiful. But the thing is, we are! Just cause we do not fit the steriotype society dictates we must does'nt make us any less beautiful and the most important thing is, you should never let anyone make you feel anything less than the beauty you are.
Being different is what Lady Gaga wants us to embrace and quite rightfully so, we should.

Here is an image of the curvier, and in my honest opinion, healthier and sexier looking Lady Gaga.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

What the customer wants you to know...

I have recently just finished reading a book called " What the customer wants you to know", written by Ram Charan.

It goes on at great length about "Value Creation Selling", from what I gathered its about knowing your customer well and tailoring your services to their needs and showing them how your the most benificial person for the job:

"Your not focused on selling a specific product or service; your focused on how your company can help your customer succeed in all the ways that are important to that customer."

By doing so you need to get to know your customer, build up a relationship and get a reputation for being reliable and trustworthy:

" The more you know about your customer, the better you and your company will be at identifying his concerns and devising products and services that will help address them."

To enable yourself to become this said person the book gives guidelines of things you must follow for you to achieve it:

" 1. The customer's set of opportunites and the anatomy of the competitve dynamics.
  2. The customer's customers and the customer's competitors
  3. How decisions are made in the customers organisation.
  4.The customer's company culture, its dominant psychology and values.
  5.The customer's goals and priorites, both short term and long term, clearly and specifically."

And if you attain this list then this could in turn boost your revenue given that:

" A happy customer tells others about the product and returns to buy more."

What more could you want?

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

A little surprise...

I was reading an article on wikipedia about plus size models, I was trying to find out why plus size got its name as I do not find it to be a particularly great way for describing the curvier woman. Also towards the end of the article it went on to say about the critisms of plus size models and it said this:

"acceptance of a plus size model sets a poor health example regarding weight management."

Well from what I have seen on the television, the web and advertisments regarding plus size, the women modelling do not look like they have any weight issues. They actually look like slim, regular sized, real women.
I disagree with the statement. I think in some respects they are more of a role model that your regular sized models, cause not everyone can be a size 4. Even my skinniest of friends that eat healthy and exercise regularly and nowhere near that. It shows that you should be confident and healthy in your own skin and accept the body shape and size you have when you try and take care of yourself properly without having to go on any crazy diet to attain a skinny almost skeletal look.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Scaring Statitistics...

I am very interested in people and their body image perception, as I myself hate the body shape and size reflecting in the mirror at me everyday. And I know I am not alone.
In a survey done on, it is said that a mere 1% of women are completely happy with their body shape and size.
How awful is that? Very.
It does not matter whether your a size eight or eighteen almost none of us women are happy with our appearance. As a whopping 70% felt depressed about their size and shape and two thirds would consider getting plastic surgery.
Now I ask myself,why do we feel like this?
 Is it the media? Is it celebrities? Is it the fashion industry?
To our own understanding do you have to be 'skinny' to be beautiful?
In my honest opinion no you don't. But what, if anything, can be done to prevent, us women from thinking like this about ourselves?
As cheesy as it sounds can we try to "love the skin we are in".
No, as it is more complicated than that.
And to be perfectly honest, unless society changes the way they think a woman's body has to be, this problem will be hard if not impossible to put right.

Body Image Inspiration...

"Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart." Kahlil Gibran

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Ipod Generation...

I was having a wee casual browsr through some of last years notes and I came across something which I find to be interesting about my generation being referred to as the IPOD generation. Yes, you maybe thinking to yourself its about how us young 'uns are good at adapting a learning new technology, but the letters actually stands for some of the problems facing my generation and sadly these are:


We can but live in hope for a better future, but keep level-headed incase of the worst.


So, ladies and gents and those that aren't too sure, over the summer I have been trying to get my head around the concept of business and marketing. So I thought I'll need to get some research done and where better to start than my nose in many books. One which I have just recently finished reading is called "Positioning" by Al Ries and Jack Trout. I found it to be rather informative to say the least.

In the opening chapter a point that caught my business eye was:

"We have become the worlds first overcommunicated society."

Which in a virtual sense is true with sites such as facebook, twitter, blogging, text messaging, emailing etc.
But I feel that sometimes in todays society sometimes we do alot to avoid human contact, which probably explains when I go to asda and tescos the self checkout lines seem alot longer and I feel that is due to the fact people like that lack of human contact.

Here's a pause for thought:

"Advertising is for the most part, unwanted and unliked."

Which in my opinion is definietely not far from the truth, however if I am trying to sell designs I feel like a hypocrite as you need to advertise to create an awareness of your product. But how can you do it effectively to capture your audience?

Here might hold the answer:

"The best way to communicate in our overcommunicated society is the over simplified message."

Something simple is the easiest way to catch attention and to stick in the minds. For example the cooperatives saying is "good with food" short, sweet and to the point. That is all you need.

Another valid point that to get a good place in the market, you need to be the first at getting into the consumers head. Originality is key.

"History shows that the first brand into the brain on average, gets twice the long term market share of the No2 brand."


"Leaders can do anything they want to."

Most leaders like to stay ahead of the game so as not to lose their "position" by:

"Covering competitive moves by introducing another brand." ("multibrand")

For example:

"Proctor and Gamble brand has its own separate identity: Joy, Crest, Head & Shoulders, Sure, Bounty, Pampers, Comet, Charmin, Duncan Hines."

You might think can you conquer those on top? Yes sometime repositioning strategies can work and here's an example how:

"For a repositioning strategy to work you must say something about your competitor's product that causes the prospect to change his or her mind, not about your product but about the competitors product."

As quite often "people like to see the high and mighty exposed."

From what I have learnt it seems that:

"A successful positioning program requires a major long term commitment by the people in charge- In a constantly changing political enviroment this is difficult to accomplish."

Questions to ask yourself if you want to make a successful brand are:
  1. What position do you own?
  2. What position do you want to own?
  3. Whom must you outgun?
  4. Do you have enough money?
  5. Can you stick it out?
  6. Do you match uour position?
One downside that is said in the book is that:

"Positioning thinking does restrict creativiy."

And being the creative individual that I am, that could cause some friction but nothing that I am sure I can't work around as much as I am creative and I am also determind, which put together is a powerful combination.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Its the little things in life...

I have never been much of a materalistic person, I usually only want just enough to get by. To me, its the little things in life that mean a lot, such as your partner telling you everyday that they love you.

Love alone is one of the best presents you can get and its priceless! Worth infinity times more than any latest apple venture, latest designer dress or a car etc. These things don't matter. They can make life easier in some respects I will agree.

I was chatting with my mum a few nights ago now and we were just discussing how when she was my age around 35 years ago, she wore her work clothes to her nights out, she only had one pair of tights and if it ripped she had to buy a new pair a cut the leg off the new pair to make them last longer. And I was thinking to myself in todays society, people my age would never dream being caught dead on a night out wearing there work stuff!! But the thing we noticed as we were chatting, is yes "back in the day" they had very little in the way of possessions but they were alot happier, they didn't need these things cause everyone was pretty much in the same boat. Whereas today we have alot more of this meaningless stuff, which supposedly makes us happy but the truth is, I don't think it really does. Do you? Some are in constant competition with each other, who has the best clothes? who has the fanciest car? nicest house?

But in reality.... WHO CARES!

Its like all of these reality tv programmes, what is the point in them? Why watch others living there day to day lives, you should be out there living yours! Rather than sat on your arse watching some stranger live there life! I suppose apart of me finds it slightly creepy how obsessed people can become with these programmes. You only live once, so live your life, stop living life through someone else!

Experiences in life are worth living for! Get out there! Do things you have never tried before! Conquer your fears do something that scares the pants off you, but you will feel so proud once you have done it! Go swimming with sharks, go rock climbing, go paragliding and go on roller coasters as life is like one, it has its ups and downs but you have to make the most of it whilst your still here. Do not live to regret.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Made to Stick

I have also finished reading the book "Made to Stick" written by two brothers Chip and Dan Heath. This book takes you through a journey helping you to discover what makes ideas "Sticky".
It covers at great length the  6 principles of stickiness (SUCCES):
  1. Simplicity
  2. Unexpectedness
  3. Concreteness
  4. Credibility
  5. Emotions
  6. Stories
Once you achieve as many of these principles as you can, your idea might become sticky or stickier than it would of been if you did not apply them.
It comes across very clear in the book that simplicity to an idea is important you need to "find the core" as they say, strip the idea down completely.

"A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add but when there is nothing left to take away."

Also every designer has found that in some point or another it is hard to get people to jump on your idea bandwagon:

"If we're trying to persuade a sceptical audience to believe a new message to believe a new message, the reality is we are fighting an uphill battle against a lifetime of personal learning and social relationships."

So how do we change this well...

"A reliable way of making people care is by invoking self interest."

I feel this statement speaks the truth in bucket loads given that most people only care about something if it is going to benefit them in some form or another, else they may think what's the point?

In order to do so, you will have to empower peoples desires (Maslows Pyramid):
    • Transcendence
    • Self Actualization
    • Aesthetic
    • Learning
    • Esteem
    • Belonging
    • Security
    • Physical
As many people will ask themselves in life, What's in it for me? (WIIFY) Basically it helps to fight your case if you are able to tick one or more of these boxes.
You may recognise this list from Maslows Pyramid however, research suggest:

"the hierarchial aspect of Maslow's theory is bogus-people pursue all of these needs simultaneously."

Many people try to bamboozle us with facts and stats to get us onside but does that really get through to us? Are we not going to forget all about that within a short time frame?

"Statistics are rarely meaningful, and of themselves statistics will and should almost always be used to illustrate a relationship. Its more important for people to remember the relationship rather than the number."

An interesting point is that once an idea has become "sticky" you cannot make it "unsticky" apart from trying to come up with another idea that is stickier than the last.
For example McDonald's fought off rumours about them putting earthworms into their burgers.
In 1978 they tried to put an end to the rumour by saying that this idea was "completely unfounded and unsubstantiated." Ask yourself, what idea would still stick in the minds of the public more? Of course it was still about the earthworms.
"By 1992, Ray Kroc, McDonald's most famous CEO, had come up with a better approach. He said, "We couldn't afford to grind worms into meat. Hamburgers cost a dollar and a half a pound and night time crawlers cost six dollars!"
Such a good example of fighting an already "sticky" concept with an even "stickier" one!

There are many insights in this book and examples of what they are talking about working when put into practise. Which makes what they are saying all the more credible advice, worth following.

I feel I have gained a lot out of reading this book a thoroughly and would recommend it to others who wish there concepts would stick.

Who Moved My Cheese?

Just completed reading the enlighting parable "Who Moved My Cheese?" written by DR Spencer Johnson.
Its an uplifting tale containing four protagonists who live in a maze who are always on the lookout for cheese to nourish them and make them feel happy.

"Cheese is a metaphor for what you want to have in life- whether its a good job, a loving relationship, money, a possession, health or spirtitual peace of mind"

The truths that are highlighted throughout this parable is all about how we deal with change in our lives:

  • Change Happens
  • Anticipate Change
  • Monitor Change
  • Adapt to Change Quickly
  • Change
  • Enjoy Change
  • Be Ready to Change Quickly and Enjoy it Again and Again

Most of us, especially in adulthood when alot of people hate the concept of change. But that is where we are going wrong, instead of thinking of change as this big scarey, uncertain thing, we should try and embrace it.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Good to Great...

Recently I have just finished reading a book called "Good to Great" written by Jim Collins. I absorbed alot of useful information and key points.
The opening line of the book grabbed my attention and I feel spoke heavily of the truth:

"Most businesses- like anything in life- fall somewhere between mediocre and good. Few are great"

Which is true. Very few exceed good. Which may be down to the businesses discipline within the company. If everyone in the business is not committed to achieveing only the best how can you possibly expect to be a great business. You need to have everyone on board the best express! A great business that no one will forget once they have crossed paths with you.

To find such passionate people it is said they must have the quality that is described in the book as "productively neurotic". People that everyday get up and strive to do their best and anything less than that is not good enough. That is the kind of person you want in your business. However you cannot simply find out if a person is like this whilst you are interviewing them. As some people in an interview can tick all the right boxes that you are looking for but it is different once you put them in the working enviroment. As quoted from the book it states:

"You can only know for certain about a person by working with that person."

I agree with this tremendously as someone can have an average interview, perhaps due to nerves, but put them into the business and they may excell. It works the other way too, someone may exceeded all your expectations in an interview but put them to work when its sink or swim time and you may find them drowning in the depths.

So once you have found all the "right" people to go into your business with getting the funding is usually difficult. However this book believes that:

"The right people can often attract money, but money itself can never attract the right people."

Some may think that money should be the heart of a business. Turning a profit is numero uno priority, whilst its important to sustain a profit, to me its more important to make sure you are constantly trying to improve the business. Even when things are going well, there will always be new things to improve.

"Consistency distinguishes the truely great."

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Summer Reading List...

Now that university is finished for a summer break, I have looked into some business and marketing books I would like to read through out this time to help with my business proposal. I have ordered 5 of them today, they all get great reviews. I bought:
  1. What the customer wants to know
  2. Made to stick
  3. Who moved my cheese
  4. Good to Great
  5. Positioning
Hopefully I will gain something different from each individual book and it will help me on my way with ideas towards my business proposal which is now like our disertation in 4th year. I can't wait to learn more about the business side of things and marketing as this will help to prepare us for when after we leave our uni days behind. Can't believe it is about a year until we are finished our textiles at university. By golly gosh how time flies!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012


It is that time of year at uni, where deadlines are looming over us. Some times the stress can be a little too much to handle.
A little bit of advice to try and handle the work load is just to make little lists of what needs done and when you need to achieve it by and stick to that list no excuses! Keep going through it bit by bit, but more importantly remember to take breaks!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Countries and Self esteem...

Here is some interesting statistics I found out on a website about countries and what there self esteem is and also what other factors have an impact on self esteem :

Thursday, 19 April 2012


For my self directed project I wanted to see how colours affect mood. In my designs I want people to feel happy and confident when were my deigns so, colour wil have a big role to play as different colours can evoke different moods. However a puzzling thought I have come across is that I know black is a slimming colour as far as fashion is concerned, but the mood that it can create is that people feel depressed when the colour black is involved and that is the total opposite effect I want to have. What do I do? Do I just use black in small quantites? Do I rule out black all together?
Here is a link where is tells you what colours evoke what kinds of moods


It seems to me I need to avoid black and yellow as they do not achieved the desired mood that I am aiming my designs to create.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Creative Business...

Thinking of starting your own creative business?
Starter for 6 is a great training programme that helps young creatives set up their ideas.
Here's a the link for more information:

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Nesta Workshops Blue Print Modelling...

 During the course of my design and the market module, I participated in NESTA workshops which helped us to gain a better business understanding.

Blue Print Modelling as you see here was an exercise that we did which aided in visualising how our potential business concept would work.It introduced us to the engagement stage, which was all about knowing who your audience is and how you engage with them. It spoke of the development stage, which was all about the time it takes to creat your design and create your offer. Finally it explained the delivery stage, which was the time it takes to get your product to the customer.

Verbal Abuse, there's no excuse!

Whilst reseraching for a project today I cam across this image, I found it to be rather disturbing and moving piece of imagery.

It made me think...
There is never a good reason to put someone down with your poisonous words no matter what the situation. Even if it makes you feel better at the time, it will not make you a better person in the long haul.
I am a firm believer in the saying:

"Treat Others How You Would Like To Be Treated"

Unfortunately it seems not everyone agrees with this view. If they did, perhaps the world would be a nicer place...
Wishful thinking I know...

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Slimming Patterns...

I have been trying to look into patterns whihc can make your body appear slimmer, here's an interesting link that I found:

Monday, 9 April 2012

Degree Show...

I am brain storming about my degree show for next year and it is full of endless possiblites of what your outcome and drive could be. However, the more I think about it, I feel I want to do something which I feel passionate about. I do not want my textiles to be all about a pretty pattern, I want it to help people if possible. As I feel it is really important to try and make a difference in peoples lifes, no matter how small. A little can sometimes go a long way...

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

We are the solution!

Talking with fellow textiles deisngers and we were comparing other subjects out with design to our own discipline. It got me thinking...
When we are given a brief, there is no right answer, we have to make the answer. We are the solution!
Where as other subjects they are given a question and mostly can find out the answer given their lectures, textbooks or other resurces.

Money, Money,Money! Must be funny , in a rich mans world!

Should that be the motivation for our business?
Or should our business be something that we do because we are passionate about it and want to make a difference in an area that we are interested in?
In all honesty its a tough question as you need money in order or your business to grow and develop and for you and your workers to make a living, but then again is it worth setting up a business that your hearts not it in and your soley in it cause you wish to make a lot f money.
Nothing is wrong with wanting to make a lot of money but I think it is more important to make sure that you are enjoying what you are doing for a living ( however in todays economic climate that may seem like a luxuary).
 In my book passion should over ride money, but I know from what I have learned this semester, without your customers "you do not have a business, you just have an expensive hobby".
Unfortunatey it is a sad truth. You need to know what your audience wants and needs to make the money grow for your business and hopefully your passion may end up growing and developing along side it.