Top marks for creativity on the title eh?
Anyway, tangent aside, back to today’s post.
I wanted to dedicate a whole blog to Stylist Live, what the hell it is, whether it’s worth the trip down south and what I personally thought of it. In short, Stylist Live is an event hosted by Stylist Magazine in London, this time at the Olympia, which brings together brands, speakers and a whole lot of inspiration.
You might know Stylist Magazine from your commute (it comes with the Metro newspaper if you live in Manchester and the Evening Standard if you live in London) as it is a free publication full of travel, lifestyle, beauty and fashion articles. I’ve been reading Stylist for a few years now, one and off, and have a subscription to their daily sister newsletter, Emerald Street. For a free magazine, I think it’s brilliant, and the content in it is completely relevant for the average working woman.
When my Mum suggested a few weeks ago that we should go to Stylist Live, I thought, why the hell not – I love London and I love the magazine so it sounded like a pretty win-win situation. We bought the Silver tickets which meant that we got access to one of the shows on the ‘Thrive’ stage and entry into the rest of the festival.
We arrived in London mid-morning and headed over to the Olympia on the tube (stopping at Westfield in Shepherd’s Bush for a quick Christmas shop) before heading on the overground to the venue. I love the Olympia as a venue as it is so grand, and I thought it was the perfect place for this as its only getting bigger every year.
After getting a shot next to the shimmery gold wall, we headed inside to our first talk, ‘Meet the women shaping the wellness industry’ with Annie Clarke (Mind Body Bowl), Pandora Symes and Claire Missingham. They spoke about the importance of taking time out of your body schedule for yourself, which is something I really want to take on board for 2018, and the secret to intuitive eating, which I am totally on board with after reading up on what it is.
When the talk had finished, we had a wander around the stalls which were a mixture of brand activations, fashion and beauty and an amazing Kikki K stand, where I reaffirmed my love for slogan stationery. I loved that there was a mixture of brands that I’d heard of with some new discoveries and the overall flow of the exhibitions was really well curated.
The second talk we went to was ‘How to break into an industry you know nothing about’. The speakers were Pippa Murray (founder of Pip and Nut), Steph Douglas (from ‘Don’t buy her flowers’) and funeral director, Poppy Mardell. I thought this talk was absolutely brilliant: All of the women came from completely different background to what they ended up doing but found a gap in the market to enter.
Pippa used to work in theatre production when she realised there was a lack of variety in the supermarket for another kind of nut butter and came up with Pip and Nut. Steph had just had a baby and was inundated with flowers from friends and family to only be overwhelmed with keeping more things alive, and thought there must be better presents for new mums so she created a place for people to buy more thoughtful, rather than traditional, gifts for a whole host of different occasions.
The one that stood out to me the most though was Poppy Mardell: Her story really struck a chord with me, and I thought she was so engaging and such a natural speaker to a quite large audience. She started her career at Sotheby’s Auction House, working her way up to senior auctioneer, when both her parents became ill. After seeing a conveyer-belt-similarity in the male-dominated, funeral business, she decided to give it a go on her own. She developed a product that was more affordable, personal and simple, yet gave the family a beautiful service for their loved one.
This talk was incredibly heartfelt, and I thought the women chosen all had really interesting stories of how they became their own boss even though they were on a different career path. It just goes to show that anything can happen when you least expect it and that you might find something that you are so passionate about, that you are able to turn it into a career.
The next talk we had was with The Step Up Club about how to get the most out of your career, learning your worth and be the ultimate Girl Boss. The session was taken by Alice and Phanella, who run the program ‘turn your life around in a year’, and had some really good tips for knowing your rights in the workplace as a woman.
After this talk, we caught a little bit of ‘Reclaim the week’ which I really wanted to see as Emma Gannon and Anna Whitehouse (Mother Pukka) were on the panel, who I’m a huge fan of. They both had really interesting takes on the importance of work-life balance and how having a side hustle is incredibly valuable when your career path isn’t as creative as you might like.
One of the things I was really looking forward to during the day was the fashion show. I was following the Stylist account on Instagram throughout the day and caught some of the updates of the show, which is where we went next. We managed to get seats on the second row (can I coin the term s-row?) which gave us such a brilliant view of the catwalk. All of the outfits came from high street stores, which was refreshing as it was actually things we could afford.
The last time I was in London at the Olympia in September, my friend went for a drink at the Kensington Roof Gardens, which is just down the road, so I suggested we have a wander there before coming back to the exhibition a bit later on. We got there just as the sun was setting, which gave such a beautiful sky to admire from up high, and they have real life flamingos, which was just really surreal.
When we got back, the last talk we went to was ‘The influencers we can really trust’ with Hannah Witton, Alice Liveing and Jayne Crabbe, where I fangirled about seeing Hannah Witton in real life. They all came across really down-to-earth, and it was interesting listening to the talk as a blogger myself, and how they come across in the online world.
We had to leave shortly after this talk to get our train home back to Manchester, but by this point, my head was so buzzing from the great talks and industry experts we had listened to, and I felt so motivated after being in the presence of such inspirational women.
Overall I would highly recommend Stylist Live, whether you’re a blogger, working in the online work, or just want to feel in touch with your career, mind, body and attitude towards life.
Have you been to Stylist Live before? Would you recommend it?