A Birthday To Remember…
I have three (lovely) younger brothers and when I was growing up, birthdays were so incredibly special. My parents did an amazing job at making them very, very exciting. But, as I’ve got older, birthdays have got less special and less memorable. Regardless of how lovely my husband and children are about birthdays (and they are very lovely), that care-free excitement will never be the same again. Until…randomly…my 35th birthday, which, unexpectedly, was a birthday I’ll always remember!
About a week prior to my birthday I found a tweet about me, to a journalist. It was from a lovely ‘twitter friend’ of mine – Ali Clay, who has her own beautiful website – www.gorgeousgifts.co.uk . She was suggesting Name Art to the journalist as someone about whom they might be able to do a story on mumpreneurs – entrepreneurial mummies. I immediately replied to the journalist, Liz Jarvis, saying that I’d certainly be interested.
It turned out that Liz works for Tescos magazine. She asked me a bit about my business on email and then said that the editor would get in touch if it was something they wanted to persue. When the editor, Nichola, rang me- she was lovely and she told me that Name Art was going to be featured. She also said that she needed to work out when they could get ‘a team’ together for the photoshoot.
Until this point, I had thought very little about it. I thought it would be a matter of a few questions on email, perhaps a chat on the phone and a request for a few high resolution photos that they might be able to use. My jaw dropped when she said ‘photoshoot’. My first panic was that I’d have to go to London and that the logistics would all be a nightmare but no…they wanted to see me in my studio, my natural surroundings.
Nichola rang back a couple of days later and told me that the hair and make-up stylist and the photographer were both available on Friday (13th May – my birthday!!!)…and would that be OK. She also asked that I have lots of colourful products to hand and space in my studio. It was at this point that I had to admit that my ‘studio’ is really only the 4th bedroom in my house…she didn’t seem too disappointed…just said she was sure that ‘the team’ would work with what they found. And that was that. Little old me was having a photoshoot with a make-up artist and a photographer that’s worked with celebrities!!
I tried to take it all in my stride…but I was very excited and quite nervous. On the Thursday I had a really, really good clear out of my office and I gathered piles of all of my stock together. I even got some of my canvases made up that I have now (finally!) got on my ‘studio’ wall. I then started panicking about ‘girlie things’ like…should I have done my nails? what about my hair – did it need a cut? and so on. So as not to feel like an idiot on the phone, I texted Nichola with these questions and she was so sweet and answered them all very patiently!
Friday morning arrived and my lovely boys gave me my presents, I took them to school, my husband went to work and I did not know what to expect!
The hair and make-up artist arrived – having caught a train from London…JUST for ME!! She’d been told by Nichola that it was my birthday, so that was really sweet. She immediately put me at ease and chatted away very calmly. I told her that I’ve always been intrigued about having my make-up properly done…to see what colours and products they would use. I think that secretly she was delighted that I was interested…and talked me through everything she did – including writing me a list of all the products used…so that I could ‘recreate’ the look myself (yeah right!). She also asked to look in my make-up bag so that she could see whether there was anything she would recommend continuing to use…I went and grabbed it from upstairs, chucked out a few things I was embarrassed to own and she had a good old rifle through and reassured me that I was on the right track with colours!
The photographer arrived whilst I was having my make-up done – she was Chloe Chapman – look at her beautiful work – www.chloechapman.com . She skipped upstairs and started moving things around and looking at my products, she came down and suggested that really she wasn’t sure if the shoot was going to work in my studio. I thought she was joking when she said…’I think we might do it on the bed’. I quickly realised she wasn’t joking!! They wanted to focus on the homely feel of my business. Now………. you know what it’s like when you’ve got people coming round…you need somewhere to ‘dump’ stuff? When I’d cleared out my studio, I’d dumped all my stuff in my bedroom. When I’d faffed around about what clothes to wear, I’d left a pile in my bedroom. I also had to really hope that my husband had put his pants away (he had!!!) because I was ‘stuck’ in the kitchen being made up…whilst Chloe re-arranged our bedroom!!! All the cheap and nasty make-up I hadn’t wanted to admit to being in my make-up bag was tipped out on the bed! I was hoping she’d move the cash on the bedside table (thought it might look a bit dodgy!!)…which was there from when I’d opened my cards that morning.
When my hair and make-up were finished, I went upstairs to find our bedroom set up like a studio with lights and everything…what must my neighbours have thought?! The next few hours were really good fun – once I relaxed into it! I just chatted away and felt very natural whilst Chloe took pictures. The make-up artist stayed and that made it really easy to talk and relax. During the shoot, she’d add a bit more lip gloss or blusher…I felt like a celebrity!!!
One of my friends had made some rather delicious cupcakes as a birthday treat for me and we all had one of those…they were both incredibly skinny – but I made them eat a cupcake – it felt like a victory In fact, some of the cupcakes got in the pictures!
It was an amazing time – I took the make-up artist to the train station on my way to the afternoon school trip and I left the photographer putting the house straight again (although I was very happy to sort it myself!)…and I turned up at school feeling quite self-concious but rather glamerous!
Then my lovely husband came home from work, cooked us a family meal AND had made a birthday cake. We were going to go out…but after a couple of glasses of wine we decided to stay in and watch television, it’s seriously exhausting being glamerous!!
A really lovely day! The magazine comes out in early July – can’t wait to see it I have no idea which photos will be used – Chloe kindly sent me them all…but I’m only allowed to use these two until it’s published!
Let me know if/when you see them!