Summer always seems to wind up a crazily busy time for the Made in the Shade gals. At this point last year, we were up to our hairdos in business plans, cashflow charts, property schedules, NESTA awards and event planning. This year - things are no calmer. Infact - I think these next few months are set to be two or three of the busiest we've had to date! Just looking at the big black diary in our bureau is giving us butterflies in our tummies and shivers of dread in equal measure. Will we manage to get everything done? Will all be well? Will our grand plans come to fruition the way we want? Will y'all like the outcomes? Will you approve? Yikes! The PRESSURE!!!
Here I sit with my nutrious lunch of cigarettes and a (wine) glass of milk. With the all-saved BBC 6music as good company and writing soundtrack, I think it's time we filled you in on all that's shakin' down at Made in the Shade HQ...
1. Made in the Shade at the BUST Craftacular (London)
This weekend, Clare and I take the first of our bi-annual trips to London for the BUST Craftacular event at York Hall, Bethnal Green. We've attended the event as customers and we've taken The Maisonette and set up shop as vendors. This time round we'll be popping along to the Craftacular to rock our little socks off as Made in the Shade dj duo - The A-Maisonettes! (Amazin'-ettes/A-Maisonettes! Get it? Mistress of the pun Clare Nicolson came up with that gem!) We'll be wiring up our laptops like the "dj" cheats we are and treating vendors and visitors to a little 2 hour set crammed full of rock'n'roll raucousness, vintage obscurities and countrified toe-tappers! The A-Maisonettes take to the stage at noon. If you're coming by for some crafty fun, do give us a wave! :) Our very own Beardy (aka YHF Photo) will be official event photographer on the day. If you see him - make sure he takes your snap! Oh - and if you're amongst the first 100 early bird guests at The Craftacular and are lucky enough to bag yourself a bag of swag, then look out! You may well be walking off with one of our brand new Made in the Shade totes! We love them. We hope you will too.
2. www.wearemadeintheshade.com REVAMP!!
By now, you'll know us well enough I'm sure to have figured out that we're a pair of crazy control-freak perfectionists. Yeah? So - it'll come as no surprise to you then that we've never been quite satisfied with the design and functionality of our website! We're resourceful gals and we make do with the materials we have - but the time has come for us to sort out www.wearemadeintheshade.com once and for all. Thanks to a recommendation from our boy Ian of El Rancho Records and Schnapps fame, we've landed ourselves a flippin' fabulous web design team in the shape of Mr Paul Kelly and his fine associate Katri of Kactus Pie. Paul and Katri have been working hard behind the scenes for us - helping improve the function and scope of our site and making it look just the way we'd like. Pretty? You betcha! Not only will we have neatly seperated, usable sections for y'all to explore and enjoy, but we'll have dedicated areas designed with our different site visitors in mind. You'll no longer need to sift through screeds of event info to find our shopping guides or event calendars etc. Pretty neat, huh? :) There'll be an online shopping facility too and lots of sweet little additions to the site to keep you entertained. We hope to launch the website and virtual version of The Maisonette late July/early August. No doubt, we'll throw a party to celebrate and you're all invited!!
3. The Maisonette - REVAMP!!
Yup. We're ALL about the revamp this summer! We don't do spring cleaning - we do summer transformations! :) Those of you who've managed to visit us at The Maisonette since we opened at De Courcy's Arcade in October, will know that we inhabit a tiny little shop space. We always make sure our dinky retail room is jam packed with wonderful work from our favourite indie makers and vintage collectors, but we've been getting itchy feet lately. Our lovely landlord has kindly agreed to allocate The Maisonette a little bit of extra space :) Now, don't get too excited, we won't be gaining an enormous amount of extra square footage, but we'll be gaining enough to turn The Maisonette into a much more functional space and a much more comfortable and enjoyable place to shop and hang out! Along with the aesthetic revamp, we'll also be introducing a whole load of new lines to our stock offering! New designers, new products, new indie companies, new product categories - NEW NEW NEW!! Of course, this means we'll be closing our shutter for a little while during works, but we won't be gone for long and you can bet your boots you'll hear all about it when we open again! We'll be keeping you updated via the blog and via our social networking sites :) We hope you like your new Maisonette when it's unveiled.
4. The Summertime Hop: Glasgow & Edinburgh!
I'm painfully aware that this newsletter really IS a monster so I'll not bang on too much about the Summertime Hops since we'll be writing and updating about those LOTS in the run up to both dates. However - dates for your diaries are as follows:
The Made in the Shade Summertime Hop (Edinburgh) - Saturday 24th July, The Roxy Art House.
The Made in the Shade Summertime Hop (Glasgow) - Saturday 21st August, The Lighthouse.
5. Book Deal!
Made in the Shade gal, Carrie Maclennan, has been commissioned by special interest publishers David & Charles to write a crafty book about sewing. Yes! 'Tis true!! We need to keep the ins and outs of the big plan under our hats for a while yet, but we can reveal that the book will feature how-to projects from some of your very favourite Made in the Shade designer makers and it will track Carrie's journey as she learns to sew! We are SO excited about this. So excited. The book will have a life of it's own eventually with it's own interactive website and what not :) There will be lots and lots of fun ways for you to get involved with this project over the next few months and in the run up to launch (Summer 2011) so keep visiting our site for updates.
Pheweeee! So - between knocking walls down and relaunching websites, writing books and coping with the torture of Megabus, we sure do have our work cut out for us! If you don't hear from us in a few days - best call 'n' check we haven't had some sort of breakdown.
See you on the other side!
If you want to know more about anything we're up to, drop us a line!
You can contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or - you can write to us at The Maisonette! We love to receive friendly mail!
Post your snail mail to: The Maisonette, Upper Floor De Courcy's Arcade, 21 Cresswell Lane, Glasgow, G12 8AA