From the Team: Lovely & British in Bermondsey

By Leanna Wigginton – Head of Sales at Natasha Jade


I have just visited Bermondsey for the first time in a decade to drop off some Natasha Jade greeting cards at our brand new stockist, and I am in awe at how much the area has to offer. I have rapidly reverted back to a goggle eyed tourist, delighted by the buzzing street and all it has to offer.

If you, like me, haven’t visited this part of town for a while, then you simply must go!

Here’s a roundup of my day in Bermondsey:


I walk past delicious bakeries, funky restaurants, artisan coffee houses and the enticing Fashion and Textile museum, calculating in my head when I can come back and spend some time here. 

I reach my destination. Lorna and John are our fabulous new stockists at The Lovely and British shop and the name represents exactly what you find inside.
 
As you walk through the door your senses are awakened with candles upcycled in wine bottles perfectly placed as I’m greeted by a smiling Lorna, who sits on her throne surrounded by a Pandora’s box of everything to make the perfect gift!

The shop is a catwalk of British delights including  stunning butterfly artwork, key rings with coins from every era and beautiful bespoke mirrors to name just a few. The card selection is fantastic and we are excited to sit amongst the designs they already have in stock, adding a splash of colour.

To add to my excitement Lorna tells me that this Saturday 16th September they have a free festival with music, food and a fancy dress dog show! I know what I’m doing this weekend! What about you?

Have fun!
Leanna x
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Introducing… our new stockists!

We have been really busy here at the Natasha Jade Studio with lots of interesting new projects following a knock out show at Top Drawer SS17. We have some exciting new stockists that we would like to introduce you to. Of course we are thrilled that they now stock Natasha Jade products, but they also house so many other great products making them great destinations to visit! 

 

 

 

Mi Vida

Natasha met Catherine who runs Mi Vida at Top Drawer 2017 and they got on very well! Mi Vida (who are based in Liverpool and also have an online shop), have always been passionate about the latest trends, homewares and fashion. Over the years they have become expert shoppers for special gifts they’ve discovered from their world travels. We are thrilled to have our cards, prints and mugs for sale within this great mix of products from around the world. 

 

Amanda Hanley

If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city like we all do from time to time then why not head over to the Cotswolds where our brilliant social media savvy lady Jess grew up. You can pop by and see the friendly and knowledgeable Amanda Hanley – an interior designer with a classical style. You can visit the welcoming studio space stocked with beautiful home furnishings fabrics, wallpaper, and pillowcases in Burford, Oxfordshire. Perfect for new décor ideas.

 

Moyses Stevens

If you don’t have time to run off to the country and bathe in a pool of flowers, then go for the next best thing and treat yourself to a gorgeous bouquet from Moyses Stevens. They use British flowers in their world famous flower arrangements wherever they can from the stunning countryside of Dartmoor. Their bouquets are bursting with colour and dreamy scents. Go and ponder the day away in their store in Hampstead Garden Suburb and then head over for a walk in Hampstead heath for a wholesome day out in London. 

Rebel Rebel

Rebel Rebel in Hackney, East London is another floral gem which we are thrilled to have as our stockist! The independent and experimental florist is a feast for the eyes with their beautiful display which features a floral arch. Located on Brooksby’s Walk, drop in, pick up some beautiful flowers and enjoy a great day out at  Chatsworth Road market!

 

 

 

Palm 2 and Organic and Natural

As our local deli, Palm 2/Organic and Natural is close to our hearts – they source the best fair trade and organic products. Situated in Clapton Pond it’s the perfect place to stop by and grab delicious fresh produce made daily by chefs. You can sit in or take a yummy box of goodness away to eat al fresco while enjoying the sunshine in Hackney Downs.

 

Smoke on the Water 

If you’re feeling creative then why not head to Kent and visit Smoke on the Water in Deal where you can partake in a workshop and learn how to transform old furniture using chalk paints – for a shabby chic new look. They also supply French-inspired hand painted vintage furniture and a unique range of decorative items household accessories, soft furnishings, gifts and greeting cards.

 

 

 

 


Violet Hill 

Violet Hill Studios is very close to our hearts. This beautiful centre for natural healing is a little piece of joy in the heart of London.  With an extensive selection of natural healing disciplines, ranging from yoga to family consultations, you can also find a selection of Natasha Jade cards. Natasha has a special personal connection to the beautiful studio so it’s with great pleasure that our cards are now stocked there. 

We hope you enjoyed reading about our fabulous new stockists! To find your nearest Natasha Jade stockist, visit our stockists page. 

Natasha Jade + Team  x

 

8 Instagram Tips for Creatives

Written by Jess Molteno Murray – Social Media Manager for Natasha Jade

Within the past 2 years, our Instagram has grown from 0 followers to over 10K!  We’ve made some mistakes along the way but we’ve also developed some strategies that seem to be effective : ). Here are some tips that you may be able to incorporate into your brand’s strategy…  or you could use them to take your personal Instagram up a level ⬆️

1. Mix it up. Initially, we posted groups of similar images which we quickly realised can be a little bit boring and monotonous. So now, we strive to vary our posts, alternating between product shots, lifestyle, inspiration and ‘studio life’ images. This keeps the feed fresh and varied.

2. Engage and comment back. If someone has made the effort to comment on your post, it’s nice to comment back with thanks or an answer to their question. This encourages more people to comment and also shows appreciation and gratitude. 

3. Think in threes. As you know, Instagram is organised in rows of three posts, so it’s good to be aware of how each row of three appears on your feed. Perhaps you may choose similar colours or shapes (if using frames) to create a uniform and branded feel. For example, Harrods seem to move through different colour phases and Zachary Pulman Design Studio posts three similar photos for each row. The downside to this is –  once you start you might find it hard to break free from the ‘rule of three’. So, you may want to be more randomised, after all – rules are made to be broken!

4. Edit your pics in flight mode. If you like to use frames or scheduling software such as Hootsuite, then it’s useful to pre-edit your photos. If you put your phone in flight mode, then you can use Instagram’s editing features (crop, filter, brighten etc) without actually posting the photo to your feed. In flight mode, edit your pic and post it – the picture will fail to post but a copy will appear in your photos. Your filtered/edited pic is now ready to be framed and/or scheduled!

5. Master your product shots. It’s worth spending a bit more time on your product shots. After all, this is your chance to present your work/products/artwork at it’s best. Be aware that white can sometimes appear grey, especially when there are shadows within your pics. We noticed a big difference when we started using photoshop to make white backgrounds whiter.

Before and after editing: 

6. Use emojis. Because they just make your posts more fun and help to break up big chunks of text. 💕

7. Use hashtags to your advantage. A good exercise – is to think about which hashtags your target market/potential fans use. You can then use those hashtags to find and interact with new potential fans. You can also use some of those hashtags within your posts to help people find you… 

8. Shoutout other brands. Each trade show we exhibit at, we create a diary (read our latest diary here) showcasing new brands that we discover during each show. We then post about them on our blog and social media. This has led to new collaborations with brands and features in newsletters. It also gives our followers an insight into fresh new brands that they may not have discovered otherwise. So tell the world about brands you admire!

Visit our Instagram here

#BeBoldForChange – Our Message on International Women’s Day

Written by Leanna Wigginton – Sales Manager for Natasha Jade 

Today, women from all around the world are striking. As I am sure you are aware, many people took to the streets after President Donald Trump’s inauguration in a historical march. Inspired by this turn of events, women from over 30 countries from around the world are striking on International Women’s Day (8th March 2017). The strike is called “A Day Without a Woman.” 

A gender strike is nothing new, in 1975, 90% of Icelandic women went on a nationwide strike to fight for equal rights. As three female artists working together at the Natasha Jade studio we feel very strongly about the importance of making this a gender equal world that’s more inclusive. That is why I would like to turn my attention to the Guerilla Girls and shine a light on the importance of their message – supporting female artists and making sure we live in a fairer world. The  Guerilla Girls fight discrimination and support human rights for all people and all genders. They recently had a commission at the Whitechapel Gallery revisiting their 1986 poster stating “It’s Even Worse in Europe”. Which was hung above Aldgate East station. It explores diversity in European art organisations. They produce posters, banners, stickers, billboards, projections and other public projects that expose sexism, racism and corruption in art, film, politics and culture at large. Click here to read more.

Here at the Natasha Jade studio, our team is made up of three female artists striving to express ourselves through art. We all have many strings to our bows and are creating our own work in different ways.

Leanna Wigginton is the Head of Sales and Marketing for Natasha Jade. Leanna is also an improviser and actor.

She says; ‘I am an actor and started improvising a few years ago. The hardest thing about being an actor is sitting around waiting for someone to give you a script that’s perfect for you. You can’t really practice your craft either, not like a musician or an artist can. It doesn’t quite work sitting in your room reciting characters on your own, we need an audience to feed off. That is why I started improvising. I have the freedom to become anyone I want and the audience accept my choices. If I want to play a male astronaut I can. The most exciting thing is that the audience are part of the action. They give you a word or suggestion that you use to improvise, in the same way that a client might be part of the process and discuss ideas when commissioning a painting from Natasha. When I first started improvising comedy I took classes at Hoopla and out of a class of 16 –  I was one of two girls. This scared me, but I persevered, now I regularly perform improv. I still hear people say women aren’t funny/don’t make good comedians. There has been a 62% rise on women performing comedy at the Edinburgh fringe, but with women accounting for 17% of comics at the 2016 festival, equality has some way to go at Fringe. Find out more about Leanna’s upcoming shows here.

Jess Molteno is a Singer, Songwriter and Producer as well as being our Social Media Manager. She creates and performs dreamy, indie/folk-infused tracks and through working with Universal Publishing has had her music used in adverts and productions including a Starbucks advert!

She says; ‘As a female musician in a very male-dominated industry, (less than 5% of recognised music producers are women and only 14% of PRS members are women) it’s often assumed by others that I can’t play guitar well or produce my own music. I‘m often earmarked as just a Singer/Songwriter but I don’t see why being a woman makes me any less able to produce or co-produce my own music as well as singing and writing songs – as men often do! When I was 15, a venue owner who had booked the band I was in at the time to perform, suggested that I stop playing guitar and just focus on my voice – I’m so glad now that I didn’t pay attention to ‘advice’ like this! I persevered with guitar as well as working on my own material –  writing songs and improving my production skills – this enables me to better communicate my vision for each song in the studio when working with other musicians, producers and engineers. It’s important for us girls to stand up to and correct these assumptions, and to give young girls the message that they can be whoever they want to be within the industry.’ Listen to Jess Molteno’s music here

 

Natasha Jade is (as you know by now!) is an artist from North London who creates artwork and art products from her East London studio. 

She says: ‘As an artist and at the same time a woman in business, I find people often expect me to work in a certain way, and come with a few pre-conceived ideas about the way that I might choose to conduct my business. I know that as a woman, I can be rather emotionally invested and in certain situations that can be taken advantage of. Like many other women I know, I have a strong connection to my work and can be heavily invested both mentally and emotionally. I do feel that being a woman in business gives me a different outlook compared to perhaps a man in the same position as me. This can actually be extremely beneficial as it allows me to see things from a different angle.

To finish on a positive note, we have all come up against obstacles in our careers where we feel our voice is small and unheard but rather than retreating and not feeling strong in numbers – we have stood up to prejudice.  And in pursuing those dreams, our message gets ever clearer and we continue to be listened to, inspiring younger artists to do the same. 

For International Women’s Day 2017, we’re all being asked to #BeBoldForChange. Call on the masses or call on yourself to help forge a more inclusive, gender equal world!

PANTONE Colour of the Year vs. Natasha Jade

Written by Leanna Wigginton – Sales Manager for Natasha Jade 

We’ve got a spring in our step this Friday. The days are getting lighter and Spring doesn’t feel too far away.

Here at Natasha Jade, we revel in the joys of the changing seasons. As an artist, Natasha takes her inspiration from nature and her natural environment. So we were excited to learn that the Pantone colour of the year is GREEN. After all, I think we deserve something fresh and verdurous to shake off the past year. And what better way than refreshing and revitalising green, the symbol of new beginnings, evoking the first days of Spring!

What is the PANTONE Color of the Year?

A symbolic colour selection; decided by the Colour Institute to represent the year. A snapshot of what they see taking place in our global culture that serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude.

Nature’s greens and Illustrative flourishing foliage is represented in all its glory in one of Natasha’s most popular paintings of Tuscany. 

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This painting is available as a greeting card and featured on our 100% recycled gift wrap and bone china mug.

If we could choose one colour to represent Natasha’s brand it would be green – symbolic in name and logo. After all, both Natasha and Leanna have Jade as their middle name – taken from the precious stone which is believed to have healing properties encouraging purity, bravery, and honesty.

So enjoy the outdoors this weekend and enjoy the fortifying attributes that Spring brings in all it’s luscious green beauty… 

Written by Leanna Wigginton