September 28 2013
The Shape of things to come…
Hopefully if you’re reading this then you’ve liked it enough to stick around too. I’m really proud of it and think it does a great job of reflecting what Silver Sixpence is all about – helping brides to finish their wedding day look with accessories that are beautiful, feminine and entirely personal to them. Big tick in the box there.
The website was designed and built by the lovely Andy at MadeByShape. Andy, along with his colleagues, made the whole process of getting this website up and running both lots of fun and remarkably simple (for me, maybe not for them), considering what a technophobe I am. Visits to the Shape offices always involved a lot more laughter than you would expect building a website to entail, due in no small part to the boys’ bizarre obsession with eating tinned mackerel (don’t ask, no idea).
Despite collectively looking and dressing like a bunch of eager students, Andy and his colleagues completely know their stuff and got what we were about and what we wanted to achieve right from the off. The site showcases all the lovely product imagery, from the fantastic photographers Katy Lunsford and Lucy G, to its absolute best advantage. And now you can shop directly from the site too, making the whole process super quick and easy for everyone – what more could I ask!
My friend and PR lady Rosie and I made several visits to see Andy in an attempt to learn how to update the site ourselves. We thought we’d cottoned on fairly quickly for a pair of total Luddites but Andy later informed us that it had taken longer to teach us how to use the Content Management System than anyone else he’d worked with. Ever. And even then we hadn’t really got it. So you might have to excuse the odd Gremlin in the site as we get to grips with how to do things but, thankfully, the product design and creation doesn’t include anything even slightly technical so all will be fine!
Massive thanks to Andy for all his expertise, help and patience. – I really can’t recommend the team at MadeByShape highly enough. Though don’t work with them if you get thirsty quickly - we’re still waiting for that cup of tea we were promised the last time we came round…
September 28 2013
How It All Began…
My husband Ed and I met when we were at University at Nottingham Trent when I was just 19. It then took us 11 years to get round to getting engaged but, after his gorgeous proposal on Waterloo Bridge, we took just seven months to actually tie the knot, proving you can have the wedding of your dreams without years of planning!
As is the case with most women, one of the first things I started thinking about was what I was going to wear on the big day. As all of my friends would attest, I’m not exactly a traditional huge dress kind of a girl and I must admit the whole process worried me a little. I imagined I’d probably go for something vintage (or, at least, vintage inspired) but knew that finding something I loved of that kind could be a nightmare.
In the end, I have my Mum to thank for my gorgeous dress, which she spotted while we were out shopping one day. Rather than a traditional bridal dress, this was an elegant, ivory silk evening gown. Once I’d tried it on, I knew my search was over – it was perfect and, as it turned out, this dress inadvertently lead me to begin a whole new business venture…!
As my dress wasn’t typically bridal, I had to think outside the box a little for my accessories, as the more traditional headpieces on the market just wouldn’t have looked right. I scoured both the high street and the designers to no avail and it struck me that there was a big gap in the middle of the market.
Armed with five inches of cut-off material from my too-long wedding dress (I’m only 5’ 2”!), I began sewing soft blowsy flowers which in turn became my bridal head dress. Having a fashion degree meant that I could sew and pattern cut and I was surprised by how naturally the ideas came to me to make something that was both beautiful and unique to me.
Thrilled with my success in making my headpiece (which I subsequently named the ‘Nicola’ and is available to buy as part of the Modern Vintage collection!), I also made myself a garter. I loved knowing that my accessories were hand made with real care and attention to detail rather than being mass-produced and the sense of achievement I got from them was huge.
So, from this rather humble beginning, Silver Sixpence in her Shoe was born. I wanted to help fill that gap in the market that I’d identified by creating beautiful, hand-crafted accessories, made to order for brides like me who wanted something that wasn’t run-of-the-mill for their special day. I launched my business a few months later (though had to have a slight pause for a while due to the arrival of our son, Douglas) and now we are in our third year of trading and I couldn’t be happier. My designs have been sold all round the world via my online stores on Etsy and Not on the High Street, plus my first overseas stockist, the lovely Primrose & Finch bridal boutique in Auckland, New Zealand.
I’m so delighted to have launched my new website, not least as it allows me to fully show off the gorgeous imagery of my products, taken by the super talented photographers Katy Lunsford and Lucy G. Thanks in no small part to them, my designs have appeared in regional, national and international media and, with the launch of this brand new website, hopefully Silver Sixpence will continue to go from strength to strength.
September 25 2013
When Nicky married Ed…
Ed and I got married in October 2009 and our day was everything we hoped for and more. Months later, our wedding would lead to me setting up Silver Sixpence in her Shoe but, at the time, all we thought about was making our day as happy and as personal as we could and I think we succeeded.
We only gave ourselves seven months to plan our wedding, which shows that it’s perfectly possible to have the celebration you want in not very much time. Our day was all about our love of our adopted hometown of London, where we’d lived since graduating from university in 2000, but with a few Scottish touches thrown in, to reflect my Scottish heritage.
We’d desperately wanted to marry at Stoke Newington Town Hall but sadly it was closed for renovation so we had to travel a bit further from home, to the Council Chamber at Islington Town Hall. This was no hardship as the room we married in was beautiful, full of old oak panels and a circular layout, meaning we were married with our friends and family all around us.
You can read all about how I chose my dress and handmade my own headpiece and garter here. I finished my look with ‘something borrowed’ gloves of my grandmother’s and a cute ivory brolly (as it was October in England, there was always a chance I’d need it!). My bouquet and wedding flowers were provided by the fantastic Flowers N16 in Stoke Newington and included cream roses, eucalyptus, African Sunset and thistles, as a nod to Scotland! They were absolutely beautiful and I can’t recommend our florist highly enough.
I had just one bridesmaid, my best friend Helen, who looked beautiful in a wine coloured dress from Coast. I also had two of our young cousins as page boys and my lovely mum gave me away – somehow she did so without crying, which is more than can be said for me!
Ed looked gorgeous in his Ben Sherman suit. Having been together for eleven years, we knew pretty much all there is to know about each other but still nothing prepares you for how you feel as you walk up to meet your husband-to-be on your wedding day.
We had two readings on the day, one by Ed’s mum and one by my friend Ellen. We let them choose the readings themselves so we had no idea what to expect until the day, which made a nice surprise.
Following the ceremony we had a drinks reception at the Town Hall, which was great as it allowed us to say hello to all of our guests straight away. Everyone then climbed aboard our Wedding Special Routemaster bus to go on to our reception venue, the fantastic Empress of India pub in Victoria Park.
Our venue was perfect for the casual day we had in mind and the staff at the Empress were absolutely brilliant. The food was fantastic and everyone loved the informal set up in the room. We named our tables after London landmarks and beat all our guests to it by preparing a sweepstake game for everyone to play regarding how long the speeches would last!
We had our first dance to an Ian Brown song called El Mundo Pequeno , not perhaps a traditional first dance choice but it reminds us of our time travelling South America together and was the closest we would ever get to an ‘our song’.
And after that, the rest of the evening turned into a blur of drunk people and dancing! One of my standout memories of the day was my Aunt, who is in her sixties, dancing to Loaded by Primal Scream – these are the sort of things that only ever happen at weddings, one of the many reasons they are such amazing and joyful events.
Ed and fell into a cab back to our flat at about 3am before we set off on our honeymoon to Iceland the next day. Our day was perfect for us and I’m happy to say that I wouldn’t have changed a single thing.
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