&WHAT | IKEA BOOTCAMP.

Welcome to Älmhult. A little place in Sweden put on the map by your favourite flatpack furniture – IKEA.

What brought me to this place you ask? The IKEA Bootcamp.

If you know me, you know I love start-ups. I am fascinated about the ideas and the founders that invest the greater part of their lives to build a company and drive growth for products or systems that have the ability to change the world.

The IKEA Bootcamp is doing exactly that. Over 1,500 start-ups from around the world applied to join the three-month programme.

Ten start-ups were selected with at varying stages of product development and company maturity. They picked up their teams and lives, moving to Älmhult, Sweden, where they live in a residence near IKEA headquarters for three months. It is here they are given access to a team of experts with the mission to grow their companies and build out their proposition ahead of DEMO DAY.

DEMO DAY is on 5th December 17 where all of these companies will pitch their propositions to the IKEA Senior Leadership teams and external VCs. This will give them the opportunity to be part of the IKEA offering and in stores worldwide.

I travelled to IKEA of Sweden to give the ten start-ups a workshop on how to build their Social Strategy – particularly where to focus their time and money with limited resources.

It was such an incredibly inspiring day learning about each of the start-ups’ journeys and pushing ourselves on how we can capture the essence of their brand on Social Media to achieve their objectives. Whether that be Brand Awareness or Sales, each requires a unique approach.

Post the workshop and before I had to catch the train back to Copenhagen I popped into the IKEA Museum (YES, there is such thing) for a whirlwind trip through the exhibits.

It took you through a history of the brand and the founder,  Ingvar Kamprad who started the company in 1943. Still remaining incredibly humble for being a billionaire and the 11th richest person in the world.

Some of my favourite quotes around the office were…

  • The fear of making mistakes is the root of bureaucracy and the enemy of development.
  • No method is more effective than a good example.
  • What is good for our customers is in the long-run good for us.
  • A prototype is worth a thousand meetings.
  • Ten minutes are not just one-sixth of your hourly pay; ten minutes is a piece of yourself. Divide yourself into ten units and sacrifice as few of them as possible in meaningless activities. Most things still remain to be done.

 

The presence of the solid foundation of beliefs and principles that Kamprad has defined and built the IKEA brand on are very apparent through out the IKEA of Sweden offices. There are subtle reminders everywhere ensuring that all of the employees are aligned with and working towards the same values. It is this unity that has allowed the company to be so incredibly successful.

Definitely a culture that all companies in whatever sector should attempt to emulate. Only a few more weeks until Demo Day, best of luck to the teams!

-&what x

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&WHAT | BASQUIAT: #BoomForReal.

Basquiat. Pronounced ‘Basquia’ with a silent ‘t’. Had to ask the Barbican gallery operator for confirmation on that one.

I always tend to keep an eye out for the latest gallery openings and exhibits in London. Couldn’t wait for this one – got tickets for the second day it was open. Keen.

Needless to say, the excitement was worth it. Spent nearly three hours in the gallery reading pretty much every excerpt. Well done Barbican, it’s incredibly well curated.

Don’t want to give too much away, but here are a few of the things that I found absolutely fascinating about Basquiat and his career, which like most of the greats, ended too soon.

  • Getting noticed: Basquiat first achieved fame in the art world by working with his friend Al Diaz and spray painting graffiti on buildings in Lower Manhattan, working under the pseudonym SAMO© in 1976. He would tag things and put his art up in obscure places until people started recognising the ‘SAMO©’ name and trying to find out who was behind all of this. He kept his anonymity and played with the papers writing letters back and forth asSAMO©. As someone who works in marketing and is always looking for creative ways to get your brand/ message out there – this is certainly a successful way to bring about curiosity and intrigue.
  • The Scene: The whole gallery truly captured the scene of NYC at the time. There were polaroids and videos of The Mudd Club where Basquiat used to go, hanging with Madonna and the likes before they were discovered. Genuinely wish I could be transported back to that time. Imagine the creativity and inspiration of all of those people in one place. DREAM.
  • Andy Warhol: Basquiat’s friendship with Andy Warhol was a key part of the exhibit and of course part of Basquiat’s career. I had no idea the two artists were so collaborative and connected, living together and working from the same studio. Unlikely but incredible influence on each other.
  • Dedication, Talent and Risk: There was a final interview with Basquiat at the Beverly Hills Hotel. This piece really struck me. The risk he took at such a young age to follow his dream and passion is something not many people have the balls to do. It’s those people – the movers and the shakers – that push beyond the ordinary and mundane and create a world of their own. The ones that have the perfect mix of talent and dedication and passion which makes them adverse to risk. This is something that exists within all of us but it’s about allowing yourself to find that and nurture it when you do. If you don’t have a chance to go to the exhibit you can watch it here

Another lovely read on Basquiat, where his friends and lovers share memories of their times with him. Good Saturday afternoon read.

It’s on until 28th January 2018 at the Barbican. GO GO GO.

-&what x.

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&WHAT | KATHARINA GROSSE & THE NED.

Sunday 15th October 2017.

Nearly two weeks after miss Caitlin’s birthday. The past two weeks have been manic with weddings and celebrations so it was today that I planned a fancy day out for us.

It started in South London in Peckham, an area I had never explored – surprising after nearly seven years here. It is true, if you live North you rarely ever make it down South. With the sun beaming down we decided to give ourselves our own walking tour of the area. Nearly an hour later with blistered feet – somewhow still seemed like a good idea.

Our first stop on the birthday trip was The South London Gallery. An exhibit by Katharina Grosse was on at the gallery which is SICK. It ends on 3rd December so there is plenty of time to go.

Katharina Grosse is a German artist. She had an exhibit on in NYC at Fort Tildens that I really wanted to go to but never had the time to make it out there. Pics of it here – incredible. So happy her work finally made it to London.

The colours and scale of the piece were stunning and of course, not to mention, excellent for the gram.

Our day of activities didn’t stop there. We made our way back to the stomping ground and went to Millie’s at The Ned. They have a Sunday Feast where you have an hour and a half to eat all of the Oysters, Lobster, Roast (with all the trimmings), desserts and sweets your heart desires. We certainly did exactly that. Ok, rolling myself home now.

-&what x

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&WHAT | BEACHIN IT.

Spent the last week in Portugal chasing the last bit of summer and watching one of our best university friends tie the knot (a FULL wedding post – saris and all will be up soon).

Sunday was our last day in the 30C heat so naturally, we headed straight for the beach. The beach is my happy place, soaking up all that Vitamin D, basking in the sun and enjoying the art of doing nothing – something I never normally do.

Cascais, Portugal is a gorgeous town by the Sea. We stayed in an Air BnB close to Gunchino Beach. It was a massive three bedroom apartment with views right onto the ocean. A massive change from our Lisbon Air BnB with ceilings so low we had to pull a quasimodo and hunch our (my) backs to walk around.

Saturday afternoon ahead of the wedding festivities we went to the beach to get our tan on and let me tell you – tanning was not in the cards. It was FREEZING. Perfect for watching surfers though. The beach was in a little enclave by rocks, with some massive waves. The Billabong World Champion surf competition had just ended the day before – if only we had made it ONE day earlier.

Sunday, post-wedding hangover we decided to go to Praia do Tamariz, less waves more sunshine. Picked up a paddle and balls from the local shop – ready for match day and working off those custard tarts.

It’s weekends like this that I live for.

Six years ago we were pulling all nighters in the Cardiff Unviersity, Bute Library. Who would have thought six years later we would be sitting on a beach sipping Sagres in Cascais after one of our friends got married. 💖  More days like this please.

-&what x

  

&WHAT | OLD TRUMAN BREWERY.

Sunday funday with my girl Z. It’s days like this that remind you there is so much to be discovered in this city.

We went for breakfast at TRADE in East. The pancakes are A+. Then spent the rest of the afternoon walking along Brick Lane, looking at old sunglasses and what not.

Stumbled on this graduate art fair in The Old Truman Brewery which is clearly a dream for the gram. Just the coolest.

-&what x

&WHAT | P A L M A.

2017 has been the year of Spain.

According to the Chinese calendar I believe it should be the year of the Snake, but not for me. I have been surrounded by the lovely people of Spain. In work, at home, in love, travel and life. Nothing to complain about really – Spanish people are the best.

In light of this revelation, when one of your new found close Spanish friends tells you to go to Palma – you book your tickets STAT. Right then and there.

Earlier this month, that is exactly what Nicole and I did. Off to Palma we went as our ‘Goodbye to Nicole’s London life’ trip. She had been studying here for a year and is now moving to NYC like an absolute boss lady, smashing it in her industry. We did have a glass or twelve of Prosecco all in the name of celebrations.

STAY:

  • We stayed at the Melia Palma Bay hotel, which was absolutely gorgeous and very well priced. They have an amazing roof top pool which overlooks the whole city centre. Perfect if you don’t fancy venturing out to the beach.

EAT: 

  • La Rosa: In the city centre, this is definitely a place loved by the locals. Pablo, a new Spanish friend in London told us about this place. We had such a warm welcome and lovely treatment from the owner who ended up having some Vermouth with us. Pretty much their whole bar is filled with that drink, a Palma favourite. The grilled octopus is drool worthy.
  • OMBU Tapas Bar: Get a seat outside and eat your heart out. The Croquettes were divine, as was pretty much everything else. Bit expensive but worth it for a fancy dinner.
  • Cassai Beach House: Cute place, even cuter waiters. If you want to fall in love with Spanish men, eat here. We got a MASSIVE paella to share, probably for a family of four but we smashed it. Made for a difficult drive home and the seatbelt had to be quite a bit looser but all in all this place had delicious food and atmosphere. Make sure you book, we had to squeeze at the bar because the restaurant was pack for the whole night.

DO: 

  • Cathedral: The cathedral in Palma Old Town is stunning, as is pretty much every street corner you turn around. We spent hours walking through the little streets, stopping at random Spanish bars through the day.
  • Run along the Boardwalk: Not for everyone, but after a full 48 hours of eating nothing but Parma Ham, Paella and sipping on Sangria this was essential. Palma itself as a city is very fit, with people running outside no matter what the temperate. Forced Nicole to come on a 9AM morning run with the tender temperature of 31C. We survived but unfortunately my iPhone didn’t. Luckily it was the only thing that overheated.
  • Rent a car: Based on a lot of recommendations we decided to rent a car. Having not driven for eight plus months, let alone in the Spanish countryside, this was an adventure in itself. Nicole promised me highways the whole way. We did have highways with a side of off roading when we got lost. Again, all in the name of adventures.

BEACH:

  • Es Carbo: The best beach we found was Sant Jordi de ses Salines. A mission to get there but so worth it. It was super quiet with shallow, warm, turquoise coloured water. What more could you want? It was very hot (talking 35C plus) so Nicole bought a beach umbrella, I on the other hand went for the Carrot Oil.

 

PALMA, we’ll vuelva pronto. <3

-&what x

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&WHAT | LEVIS.

It’s NYFW and this is officially the second season that I haven’t made it since leaving my previous role. Certainly do miss it but life throws you opportunities that you have to take sometimes. Ones that will challenge you and test you and push you until right before breaking point making you realise just how incredibly far your limits can be.

These pictures were snapped by Candice Lake, Vogue photographer, at FW14. Ages ago but I’m still rocking those Levis.

That was one of my favourite seasons. We stayed at the ViceRoy up town and were working with Something Navy early on in her career. The Coveteur were creating our content with us so we would stay up super late each night to finish our social media posts and send them to the UK to be designed and shared to all of our markets around the world.

When you summarise it like that, social media and our job can seem a bit crazy. But SO creative and inspiring. The social media space and particularly the fashion space is so vibrant and fast-paced, never a dull moment that is for sure.

-&what x

tresemme_fashion_week_candice_lake-9773

TRESEMME NYFW STREET STYLE

&WHAT | FRANCAIS BITCHES.

Je ne parle pas Francais.

I tried taking a French class last year at the Institue de Francais and well, nothing much came of it. I can tell you how to conjugate verbs but ask me what I want to have off the wine menu and I’m at a loss for words.

Bit of a shame because I do love a French wine, French man, French meal and especially French hats. Typically not a hat person but was feeling the beret vibes and borrowed it from a friend.

Sometimes (all times) you just have to wear and do what you want. This week, I’m doing exactly that.

-&what x

Je ne parle francais.

CKD & AMK

Hampstead

&WHAT | HOME.

Home is where the heart is and mine is right here in London.

The city has always felt like home. More homely a times than others but that feeling you get when you arrive in a city and you know everything has laddered up to bring you here and it’s all just right – that for me is home.

And, even luckier for me, this freshly IKEA decorated space is where I get to call home in this beautiful city. Pinterest worthy space, clearly inspired by just a few Scandi-Interior design boards. It also helps that we live with a designer.

However you see those big leaves there – all me. I carried the massive Monstera plants all the way from Columbia Road market last Sunday.

For someone that can barely take care of herself, I’m quite surprised that nearly a week and a half later they are still standing strong. That’s really where people should be getting their resilience inspiration from – Monstera leaves. So far, they are quite the survivors.

– &what x

no place like home.

&WHAT | RE-IMAGINE – KANYE WEST MBDTF.

     YEEZY TAUGHT YOU WELL.

Last Wednesday we went to XOYO for an incredible mid-weeker. The gig was put on by Re-imagine. A 16-piece orchestra playing the WHOLE Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album. Unreal Vibes. Heaven, seriously nothing short of that.

Have been listening to the album non-stop since then. Kanye is such a creative genius. Everyone should be a little more Kanye.

Following the success of their first show (it sold out in minutes), Re-Imagine London have put on three more shows and a Destiny’s Child rendition as well. GO GO GO.

-&what x

KANYE WEST RE-IMAGINE | LONDON @ashleymadeline

KANYE WEST RE-IMAGINE | LONDON @ashleymadeline

KANYE WEST RE-IMAGINE | LONDON @ashleymadeline