I was utterly delighted when photographer Lyndsey James wanted to pop over to do a feature at the Haberdashery Closet. Her photography workshops caught my eye earlier on in the year as they are designed for anyone who creates or sells small products who want to showcase their work with eye-catching photography.
I couldn’t wait to meet her and pick her brains. I do a lot of my own styling and photography and we had a morning playing around with ribbons, trimmings, raffia, gift wrap and all sorts of decorations. I got to work in the studio whilst we chatted away, and the time flew by.
I spoke about how I started in business with the ups and downs I’ve experienced. So many times I nearly gave up my dream but persisted with the hard work and long hours. It was great comparing notes with a fellow business woman and we chatted away about marketing, running workshops and creative photography which are huge parts of our businesses.
I am always trying to dream up new ways to use ribbon. So many people who buy from us transform mundane items in to brilliant creations. I had a go at recreating the ribbon lampshades that Bay Designs do (although my effort is no where near as perfect as theirs) and plan to make a chandelier from wooden bobbins for a future shoot.
In the Haberdashery Closet you are never short of ribbon and we had piles of pretty trims everywhere. Currently we have over 10,000 rolls of ribbon in stock and I’m always dreaming up new designs and keeping an eye on forthcoming trends, and new crafty projects.
I have a real love for depth and textures and soon pulled out the velvet collection for Lyndsey to photograph. I love velvet as it seems to have that quintessentially British luxury and royal feel about it.
The stockroom is a huge part of Ribbon HQ, we spend a lot of time in there busy packing up our online and wholesale orders on a daily basis. I’m often rummaging through the stock when I am heading off to do a show or course somewhere.
Wrapping gifts has always been a huge part of my life and I always left the nicely wrapped gifts last to open as a child.
I’ve always said you can add a few small touches to a gift to give it a huge transformation. Here I’ve made a Fabric Rose just by using half a metre of wired ribbon and you can see the video tutorial on how to make your own.
I found this great cake stand from TK Maxx and threaded some of our ribbon through it for a dramatic effect.
On the day Lyndsey and I managed to find some biscuits and cakes to go on it. I couldn’t resist a purchase when I popped in to Fortnum and Mason a few days earlier for a meeting!
After lunch I did a few step by step wrapping projects and you will be able to see these on the Lyndsey James blog over the next few months
Vibrant wired ribbons were being added around luxurious gift boxes, with recycled Christmas decorations being tied in as a feature. I found these glass heart baubles in a florist in Paris and couldn’t resist them!
To add extra luxury I decided to layer several ribbons around gifts. The recipient needs to be very special for this kind of treatment!
Wallpaper remnants, jars of buttons and more decorations were found…I got completely carried away with Lyndsey and her SLR camera clicking away. She was such a joy to work with that the day was over before I knew it.
One of my favourite decorations are rustic orange slices. They have that rich citrus smell and look great tied on to rustic and vintage style gifts. I also love to use old music sheets in my gift wrapping projects.
The Haberdashery Closet is always full of quirky products, with some of them that you can try out. Papers straws in an old milk bottle go down a storm when customers pop in and enjoy a glass of cloudy lemonade.
One of my favourite products are wooden spools. I’m a huge collector of anything vintage and I have been lucky enough to source some old bobbins from old silk mills in the UK. They are a great way to display your ribbons even if you only have a few remnants in your bottom drawer.
If you have a small craft business, great photography is an absolute must and can be done on a tight budget. I always remember a PR agency in London telling me that advice years ago and it has always stuck. I always spot poor or dark photography and when you sell online or create your own adverts or marketing material it is so important to have clear photos in daylight.
All in all it was a fantastic day and I will be hiring Lyndsey in the future to help with our product photography, and hope to enrol on one of her courses soon. If you have a small craft business, great photography is an absolute must and can be done on a tight budget, with the help of free photography software and apps like Instagram.