I’ve not had a conventional career path. Previous roles in my 20s included dabbling in editorial on women’s magazines, Secretary to Richard Branson (yes, really), Music Events PR, Publicist at Channel 4 Television and Film 4 and a brief stint as a Life Coach…well I always advocated a Portfolio work life long before it was a phrase coined by the media!
I’m now married with two little boys so it’s been a busy few years.
During my time as an employee I’d gradually worked out that I’m really best suited to running a business of my own, mainly so I don’t have to work achieving someone else’s goals (and can work in my slippers listening to Nina Simone)!
During the long hours pounding the streets with the boys in the Phil & Teds, I constantly asked myself “What is that business idea? Come on, think!”
I’d always had little projects going on on the side but, once I’d finished looking after the boys full time, I knew it was a good time to start the business I’d been thinking about for years.
My new business would have to encompass the following;
- Be something I could sell – a product, skill or service
- Enable me to work from my home office / studio
- Be flexible so I could fit hours around school time and other parts of my life
- Have potential for expansion, development and a long term income
- Allow me to be sociable with people face to face and online
- Be creative and something I was passionate about
- Be socially responsible and have an ethos I would be proud of
I finally hit upon the final idea last summer and it seemed as natural and obvious as these things should be (with the benefit of hindsight of course)..
Next Post: Why French Art Deco Advertising Art?
So, I started this blog when I started my vintage advertising art business, The Deco Press. I’ve posted (fairly) regularly for a few months now. Had you noticed my posts have been pretty random in theme?
Well this is fine, but I’ve felt that I hadn’t quite found the purpose of my blog.
I knew I wanted to highlight the gorgeousness that is Art Deco and the beauty of vintage advertising but how to make this a long-running, interesting story I hadn’t quite worked out!
By just getting on and writing I felt that purpose would eventually come to me…and now it has..
I’m around 7 months in from launching The Deco Press and it’s been an exciting and challenging time. I started out with nothing more than the grain of an idea and have grown from there.
Partly for my benefit (as I’m not good at documenting milestones and achievements) and, I hope, for yours, I’m going to go back to the very start and show exactly what I’ve done and the steps I’ve taken to get this far…hopefully I won’t catch up with myself!
Next post: Why did I want to start up a business in the first place?
I’ve just bought a whole batch of new stock and have unwittingly been attracted to 1920s images featuring women with sleek flapper crops. I have tried this style on my own hair before but it’s really hard to keep it slicked down. Perhaps I have an advert somewhere for the hair product they used to use…
The advert below is by G Bourdier for the Malaceine Brand;
Another really strong image of cropped hair profiles is this one for L’Oreal;
Will you ask to be “bobbed”, “shingled” or “Eton cropped” at your next hair appointment?!
Last night, I went to see Northern Ballet’s production of The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic 1920s American novel. The simple yet seductive sets and staging, graceful energy of the dancing and beautiful, original score were enhanced further by the AMAZING 20′s style costumes!
I’m now on the lookout for a local dressmaker who can re-create some 20′s inspired drop-waist dresses, cute shirts and headbands for me…if you know of anyone, get in touch!
Channelling the look…One of my French 1920s Fashion magazine covers.
As I was flicking through the papers this weekend I noticed that a classic film featuring one of ‘my’ cover stars has been re-released by the British Film Institute.
The film is “Madam De…” and it stars Danielle Darrieux, one of France’s leading actresses, whose career has spanned 8 decades and seen her act in over 100 films.
Originally released in 1953 and set in fin-de-siècle Paris, her role as Louise, a morally empty Society beauty, is billed as one of her best performances and is one I will be hoping to see.
Here she is looking gorgeous..
We’ve been busy booking in 2013 dates for various Vintage Fairs around the North of England and here are the dates and venues confirmed so far:
Saturday February 23rd- Harrogate does Vintage. 10.30am-4.30pm, St George Hotel, Ripon Road, Harrogate.
Go to www.harrogatedoesvintage.co.uk for full details
Saturday & Sunday 2nd/3rd March - St Gemma’s Hospice Vintage Fair. 10am-4pm, Harrogate Road, Leeds.
Go to www.st-gemma.co.uk/events/vintagefairs.html
Sunday 17th March - Vintage Home Show. 11am-4pm, Victoria Baths, Hathersage Road, Manchester
Go to www.vintagehomeshow.co.uk/Events.html
Saturday 18th May - Harrogate does Vintage. 10.30am-4.30pm, St George Hotel, Ripon Road, Harrogate.
Go to www.harrogatedoesvintage.co.uk for full details
It would be great to see you there!
Happy New Year or Heureuse Nouvelle Année for those of you who, like me, are always trying to improve their French!
I love film and spent many hours watching obscure art house flicks in a past life working for Film 4. You can imagine how happy I was when I stumbled across a stash of gorgeous 1940s French film magazines. The glamour of the film stars, interest in remembering films I’d previously seen and researching the titles of those I hadn’t heard of, and the kitsch yet surprisingly modern look of the magazine covers with their slash of bright red and I knew they were for me!
It’s taken me a while to want to put them up for sale but there are only so many pictures a girl can have…
A striking Ava Gardner complete with pearls in “Singapore”.
Quietly kitsch and great lettering for “Je suis un Fugitive” and “Jody et la Faon”
To see more and to buy visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Deco-Press/409266439107506
I’ve just got back from the magical streets of Paris after a weekend of shopping (for The Deco Press, and for myself of course!). There were two shopping highlights for me. One was a trip to the gorgeous shop Merci. It reminded me a little of Liberty in London in terms of stock but the setting and building has a raw-luxe-loft vibe full of twinkling fairy lights, rough wood and utilitarian chic! Their stock is beautiful and the restaurant, which serves amazing salads and juices along with hearty cakes and strong expresso, was great for change from traditional French food. Needless to say, I managed to while away at least 4 hours when I could/should have been sightseeing!
My other highlight was a trip to Le marché aux Puces de Vanves. This Parisian flea market was the perfect place to visit on a crisp and sunny Sunday morning and I found a few lovely images which I am in the process of mounting. I thought the one below was particularly Christmassy!
Beautiful colours and a graphic you can’t help but love!
For anyone wondering exactly what art-deco to mid-century vintage advertising art (phew) is…I thought I’d do a quick explanation!
Vintage advertising art comes directly from the original newspapers, magazines and publications of a specific period. Advertising prior to the end of the 1st World War was fairly basic design-wise with emphasis on text and explaining exactly how a product would work.
As soon as we reach what is now commonly known as the Art Deco era of the 1920s there is a marked difference and advertising comes into its own as a form of social and artistic expression. The city of Paris led the way. Many advertisers took out full A3 size pages and commissioned famous French illustrators and artists of the time to showcase their products.
Leon Benigni, born in 1892 was one such artist. A highly respected draughtsman, illustrator and lithographer, his most famous poster, Brides les Bains, recently sold at Christies for £1875.
He was also commissioned by French fashion house Hermes to design this gorgeous advert for luggage from 1927.
This is the only original example we have come across at The Deco Press and it is definitely one of my top 10 favourites. The elongated lines, understated glamour and hint of adventures to be had….What do you think of it?
This image is available to buy at The Deco Press Facebook Page;