Entries by Kate

One down, eleven to go

2012: Blink and you’ll miss it

It’s just turned frrreeezzzzing in London, and it’s about to turn into February too – one month gone already. Yikes!

January has been filled with a mix of exciting opportunities, trivial business stresses and worries, as well as big changes – and major challenges – for our families.

Life really does ebb and flow through good times and bad, but my dad always reminds me that, “In the end, everything will turn out for the best”.  

This one's for my dad

On that note – hope everyone has a Fabulous February!

x

Anthropologie: I do

Anthropologie: I do

Having recently accepted a marriage proposal (yes, Matt and I are engaged – yippie!) I am in the early stages of developing a worrying obsession with trawling through bridal photos, wedding idea websites and general yay-party-fun-time event themes. Wedding planning has to be one of the most efficient methods of time murder.

Time and time again, my aimless clicking and gawking through strangers wedding photos leads me back to BHLDN, the American wedding-arm of Anthropologie (and also, Urban Outfitters).  BHLDN – pronounced ‘beholden’ – is the shop a bride dreams of… gorgeous, inspiring and generally lovely.

I digress from the point of this story. The point being this: St Saviours have just delivered a very short run of gorgeous pastel grey, 100% wool felt hats with a mint green trim and lining to Anthropologie. The hats are all made in the UK and as usual, each one is hand-finished by us at St Saviours HQ in London.

100% wool felt hat - it's so 2012

 

Here's the inside scoop

 It’s the perfect, easy-to-wear transitional hat to take you into Spring, and is only available in Anthropologie stores in the UK.

Check out the bling… I mean: THE HAT!
 
 
 

Shhhhhh… The Secret Garden Party Secret Emporium

The Secret Emporium Pop-Up Christmas Market

It’s got to be the world’s worst kept secret – but why keep something so fabulous a secret?! WHY?

Roll up, Roll up - it's THE Christmas market for 2011

We’ve been blathering on about this One-Day-Spectacular for a while now, but as it’s almost upon us, we’ll contiue the spiel… The clever clogs who curate and create the award-winning Secret Garden Party festival are behind what is surely going to be a wondrous Christmas Market. It’s for one day only – Sunday 18th December – and is not just for shopping, but also eating, enjoying, participating and being festively mulled (with wine).

St Saviours will be there – and we know lots of the other designers and makers also taking part (….having spent lots of hat-income on their wonderful wares over the last year or so). They are all fab, and we KNOW it’s going to be the perfect place to pick up a unique but ultra cool range of Christmas presents (for yourself, or others if you’re feeling generous).

So, if you’re in London, and looking for something lovely to do on the last Sunday before Christmas – pop over to this pop up market in East London’s Holywell Lane. It will be open from 11am till 10pm, so swing by any time… there is a good map and pictorial guide to finding the venue on the Secret Emporium website.

We hope to see you there! xx

For a skinted, not minted, Christmas

For a skint(ed), not minted, Christmas

Life has become p-r-e-t-t-y hectic at St Saviours towers. One of the effects of the uneven hat/life balance is that  I’m reading the weekend papers weeks after purchasing them (and sorry to the EuroZone crisis-mongers… I have to forgo the actual news and head straight to the “research” part. AKA the glossy, fashion trash mags).  

Anyway, I’ve been flicking through some of the November magazines and am pleased to see lots of hats suggested as Christmas presents. Even better, every single one is more expensive, and in my biased opinion – much less lovely – than the St Saviours range.

For example, this hat from St Saviours is NOT £220… like the one under it.

This St Saviours hat is under £100

 

Not a St Saviours hat

 
Although I totally love, LOVE these hats, as seen here on Gucci catwalk models, not many of us – and this is not just according to the media – can afford them. As an alternative, the St Saviours fedoras are just as gorgeous. Hand blocked in the UK using soft wool felt, then trimmed and individually lined by us – they cost a fraction of the price of the big-name versions…
 

Gorgeous Gucci

 

St Saviours hot pink fedora with Italian weave trim

 

St Saviours mulberry fedora with sky blue trim

 

St Saviours maroon fedora with violet trim

 
And wrapping? NO PROBLEM!!! We’ve now got hat boxes. Lovely.
 

The simple way to wrap a hat

 
 
Off topic, I very much liked this ‘Snapshot’ of a random man clearing up horse poo, under the watchful eye of a passing… horse. Neigh. 
 

'Yeah, take that, human'

 

Island to Island, then to a Circus

Sailing from the Isle of Wight to Regent Street and popping up at Oxford Circus
It feels like a million things have happened since I last wrote.

Our new-look lounge/ warehouse

The biggest thing has to be launching the St Saviours pop-up concession in Topshop, Oxford Circus London – which is SO exciting! We are approaching the end of our second week now, and so far, the response has been great. We are bringing new hats in on an almost daily basis, so the 30,000 shoppers per day should see something new every time they come in… this busy production means we can’t get into the shop as much as we like – and as our little stall gets really messy really quickly – we decided to employ some lovely girls to keep it looking ship-shape during the week. (This is also partly because I have taken to scowling at customers who don’t put the hats back on the stall exactly as I like them, and Matt thinks this may put them off.)

Our little stand in Topshop Oxford Circus

And these are the hot chicks (or are they mannequins?) we spotted wearing our hats in store.

Strike a pose

Just before we started in Topshop, we sent a small run of very limited edition hats to Anthropologie, Regent Street. Anthropologie is an American brand, owned by Urban Outfitters (it’s like the older, more sophisticated sister). They sell such gorgeous stuff, and we were so chuffed to be invited to supply them with some St Saviours hats. We are planning to work more with Anthropologie over Christmas and summer next year on some exclusive designs, which we can’t wait to get working on.

Limited edition hat available in Anthropologie now!

So other than these two mega-events, we also traded over four-days in the Secret Emporium tent at Bestival. Err, that’s windy, cold, LOUD (and very young) Bestival on the Isle of Wight. We were in a bit of a daze when we arrived, as we’d just got off the plane after a week in New York. We went to NYC for a family wedding, which was just amazing – we had such a great time, and used the trip to pick up loads of lovely trimmings for our hats.

We are back at Sunday Upmarket on Brick Lane this weekend, and we hear Spitalfields Markets are opening on Saturdays in November, so we’re going to give this a whirl too. If you’re in town, come by and say hi. Or, of course, drop us an email if there’s anything you want made specially for you.

The kids are(n’t) alright

The kids are(n’t) alright

This week – the disaffected youth of UK have stepped over the line of acceptability (we thought the low hanging trousers were bad) and started going… well, mental.

Hanging tough?

It’s pretty embarrassing for the majority of England’s population who are disgusted that this is actually happening (how? why?)… good on everyone who’s helped clean up, said “thank you” to a police officer and contributed to making things right.

On the upside, I’ve found I’ve started doing more public service-type things because of the overwhelming anti-social happenings around town. For instance, this morning I noted down the number of a tube carriage which had a broken door and reported it to the station staff. Why is this?

Meanwhile, life goes on. Here’s the latest news from St Saviours:

1)      An ultra cool new shop that opened at the end of July in Tokyo is stocking our hats – amazing! JOHN is a fab little café, fashion and ‘miscellaneous goods’ shop that also doubles as a pop-up space. If you can read Japanese, check out the JOHN blog to find out more (hopefully it says something nice about St Saviours!). Or, if you’re popping over to Tokyo, be sure to drop in and meet Dan.

I AM JOHN

2)      The cool couple who run the gorgeous Lily boutique in Belgium are opening their second store, Mr + Mrs Tweed, in September. There will be a few St Saviours hats in store – which is exciting! If you’re visiting Mechelen, visit the two shops for life’s little luxuries, and everyday classics.

It's about everyday classics!

3)      To help meet growing demand for our hats, we met with the lovely Gill at a UK family-run hat manufacturer who we hope to work with on our upcoming  collections. These will be gorgeous, totally UK made, wool felt hats in amazing colours – blocked to our specification. Delicious.

4)      We are looking forward to welcoming a bona fide FAMOUS person into our “showroom” (see next point) and make him a hat for an upcoming TV  appearance. Clearly this is making us giddy with childish excitement.

Pack up!

5)      Our second bedroom has been redeployed to act as a studio / workshop / office / showroom. At the moment it’s just chaos. But at least I can close the door on it.

Disorganised Chaos

Well, that’s it for now. This afternoon we’re off to sell our wares at the Wilderness Festival, which I’ve just discovered has a spa on site. A spa at a festival? Perhaps they’re being ironic, and it’s actually a ‘mud spa’ (yes, it’s summer so rain is forecast).

The end of July. WHAT?

The end of July. WHAT?

I can’t believe the end of the month is nigh! Just five months left of 2011. Only one full year till the 2012 Olympics commences. My oldest friend just had her third baby. And…I’m still lame at writing regular blogs.

Meanwhile, St Saviours is now nine months old… the incubating period is over, and it is now a proper little business. Well, sort of.

At the end of August, I will no longer be a paid, full-time employee of the company that I’ve worked for over the last three years. I will now be dependant on St Saviours to help get through the mortgage and bill payments every month = SCARY. Matt and I need to make St Saviours bigger and better, and grow from the Market Stall into the High Street (*exciting* but more on this at a later date). 

Before we hit the High Street, we’ve been trialling the hats at some UK Festivals. Lovebox took place this month, and made us feel… well, old. Particularly the week afterwards, when we felt exhausted after working the three (measly) days of the Festival – till 11pm each day mind you!  We also felt old amongst all the cool young things. However, if you check out our photos, you’ll see that there were plenty of ‘colourful’ (and not so young) characters at the event too.

Our festival top hats were a hit, and people also loved our tried and tested ‘market’ styles. Interestingly, the lower cost straw hats weren’t so popular – though this could have been down to, a) the torrential and persistent rain, or, b) the fact that Gaymers Cider were giving out FREE STRAW HATS. Nice one, Gaymers.

Summer Daze

Another gorgeous summer day in London

Next month we will be at Wilderness Festival, which is much smaller, and then in September, we’ve planned to head to Bestival on the Isle of Wight. This is a much more logistically challenging event, so we need to do some serious planning and preparation in advance.

Before I get on to that planning/ preparation and stop procrastinating, here’s a quote from a book I’ve just been lent. Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. I’ll keep this in mind and hopefully St Saviours will be 1% as successful as Ford motor cars.

Over-the-counter medicines are very effective.

Over-the-counter medicines are very effective.

Matt and I love designing and making our hats, and then selling them direct to our wonderful customers each weekend. Yes, I admit, sometimes we have to remind ourselves about this ‘love’ when we’re up late on a Saturday night stitching and preparing for Sunday Up Market after a week working the Day Job. But, when it comes down to it, it really is such a pleasure to see someone else enjoy the fruits of your labour.

Pleasure and happiness is something I’ve been reading up on lately. I seem to be at the age of asking… “Is this it?” and “Am I happy?”

I was reminded of a passage from great book, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, the other day when I eventually took some paracetamol for a headache. I thought I would pop it up here (mainly for my own sake!).

THE SECRETS OF ADULTHOOD.

  • People don’t notice your mistakes as much as you think.
  • It’s ok to ask for help.
  • Most decisions don’t require extensive research.
  • Do good, feel good.
  • It’s important to be nice to everyone.
  • Bring a sweater.
  • By doing a little bit each day, you can get a lot accomplished.
  • Soap and water remove most stains.
  • Turning the computer on and off a few times often fixes a glitch.
  • If you can’t find something, clean up.
  • You can choose what you do; you can’t choose what you like to do.
  • Happiness doesn’t always make you feel happy.
  • What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.
  • You don’t have to be good at everything.
  • If you’re not failing, you’re not trying hard enough.
  • Over-the-counter medicines are very effective.
  • Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
  • What’s fun for other people may not be fun for you – and vice versa.
  • People actually prefer that you buy wedding gifts off their registry.
  • You can’t profoundly change your children’s natures by nagging them or signing them up for classes.

Paracetamol is very effective.

Blog envy

Blog envy

Our aspirations of writing regular blogs on interesting, insightful and witty topics are failing. Dismally. I read other blogs and think “yes, I agree”, “how astute”, and, “I did not know that” – yet when it comes to thinking up something mildly relevant to write about here… I struggle. And, may I ask, where do these people find the time?

(Well, good news for me: there’s one paragraph written already).

By way of a bullet-point based update, here are some things that have been happening at St Saviours towers of late.

  • We are planning on taking St Saviours to three festivals this year. Bestival on the Isle of Wight, Lovebox down the road in Victoria Park and Wilderness which is somewhere in Oxfordshire. This is tres exciting for us both.

Bestival, on the Isle of Wight

  • We’ve had some great commissions of late including; a hat for a very trendy groom, one to be shipped off to Michigan (yes, Michigan, AMERICA!), bespoke sunhats for Wimbledon and York Races, plus a specially created top hat in the style of ‘Steam Punk’ sent to France…
  • We may have found storage near our Sunday market, which will negate the vile weekly car-loading experience each Sunday morning/ evening.

On our way to Sunday Up Market

  • Someone completing a degree in advertising has asked to use St Saviours as a case study for a project.

Interesting stuff…for us. But for you, dear reader? Perhaps not so much.  

(Parents, will of course, find this blog incredibly riveting!!).

Anyway, back to my trouble with blogging. Here’s a quote that probably sums up the problem: If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting it off.

Till next time.

Hats off to the Royals

Hats off the to Royals

So it was Catherine and William’s (err, I mean Kate and Wills) Big Day yesterday. It was very exciting to be in London, and so great to see lots of happy people both along the wedding route and across the UK. It was good news too for hats, as there was a lot of interesting headgear to look at, particularly amongst the wedding guests. Some of it not so great… Princesses, it was NOT a fancy dress party…

Eugenie and Beatrice

Eugenie and Beatrice wearing some dubious hats - and Eugenie... that dress?!

I quite liked VB’s ‘look’ though this could have been more to do with her arm candy, Mr Beckham. It was a little sombre for a wedding, and I think a smile would have lightened things up a bit, but I still thought she looked elegant (bit less makeup next time though Posh).

Posh Spice and Golden Balls

Posh and Becks looking posh at the Royal Wedding

Nick Clegg’s wife, Miriam González Durántez, put in a better show than Sam Cam who did NOT wear a hat (shock horror!) but wore something (what to call it?) that may have been picked up at Accessorize.

The Coalition

Lib Dems beat the Tories in the hat-stakes

Our friend Valerie Corona at Walter Wright made Princess Anne’s hat, which looked lovely, suiting her perfectly.

Princess Anne sporting a Valerie Corona design

Meanwhile, at 6am, we knocked up some almost Beatrice-esq boater hats (in terms of style… or lack there of). Modelled here, by our lovely friend Jane.

St Saviours boater whipped up for the Royal Wedding

So, the question is – when will Harry get hitched? We want to see what sort of hats Beatrice and Eugenie can possibly wear next…