Latest News – March 2021

Latest News

Here is our latest round-up of thoughts for the future after lockdown, recent publications and some new and innovative products.

Fresh Start

Finally we are beginning to take steps along the path to regaining some of our freedoms. Many of us have been home schooling and working from home, and without doubt the past twelve months have bought enormous challenges; but now in the time before the different stages in the roadmap are reached, there are moments when we can pause, recognise what we have achieved and perhaps consider what we would like to do differently.

Try and think in the broadest context of all aspects of your life, not just your current, or previous job roles. Recognise that there will be changes, both in working patterns and opportunities for self-employment and flexible working. 

Everyone will be adapting to these changing circumstances, talk to other people, friends, family, local businesses, try and help, be responsive to opportunities that present themselves. 

Importantly take your time, don’t make rash decisions, if you are feeling overwhelmed, seek help and support, these are unprecedented times, but help is available. 

Also remember what you enjoyed about your previous role and if the opportunity is still there and you are happy to continue in a similar vein don’t feel pressured to change just for change sake. Many people are longing to return to the colleagues and friends and the working environment that they enjoyed previously.

Going forward, employment for many will be different, but one of the results of the pandemic may be the desire to work for yourself. So many new creative businesses have already been started, and it is never too late to start. 

Over the years we have worked with many new start-up businesses, and one of the areas that we have been developing during the last twelve months is building up our collection of resources that we can share through our Creative Brand Studio website.

It is also the place where many of our ideas are first created and the anchor point for all of our businesses.We want Creative Brand Studio to be a place where anyone with an interest in exploring their creative side can come for inspiration, ideas and opportunities for collaboration.

Being naturally creative can be a lonely occupation, we seek to support the dreamers, the storytellers, those who want to collaborate with someone who says, “Yes, you can do it!’ We see every conversation as an opportunity to listen, explore and make creative suggestions.

So whether you are a creative person working for yourself, in a partnership, or in a business, we hope you will find things to interest and encourage you to explore your creativity.

One of our recent features is:

Employment 2021- What Next? 

Any change needs to be carefully considered and phased in such a way that you protect any current revenue, but if you are thinking about a fresh start, there are many ways that you can take tentative steps forward, for example, ask yourself the following questions:

What can I do? Right here, right now?

How can I extend this? Explore creatively the options.

What have I done in the past that I could teach, share, improve and develop?

What new skills have I developed, or could I develop – short term, medium, long term?

Talk to friends and family, what talents and abilities do they recognise in you, that you may not necessarily be aware of ?

 Look overall at your list and objectively categorise depending on need:

I could do this because it fulfills a short-term need.

I could retrain and do this.

I could do this, but for a short period of time.

I really don’t want to do this.

For each one there may be a trade off e.g. I could do this for 12 months but then I want to do this instead.

Every action will need a level of research, and careful review, it’s important to have a realistic understanding of your talents, you may have developed new skills during lockdown, you may have loved the freedom of not undertaking your regular commute. 

We explore this in more detail in the full feature:

But if you are excited about the future and want to make a fresh start: 

Where to start?

As a small business starting out, your first creative steps can be so exciting, even with very limited budgets the ownership you feel as you see your logo, the ‘look and feel’ of your website, your products, or your premises, and your first images in social media which announce to the world, ‘This is my business, how can I help you?’ can bring real joy and delight.

We also recognise that when you are first starting out with very limited budgets, there are so many things to consider, but how you source your materials, the packaging you choose for your products, your marketing, the ‘look and feel’ of your website, your use of social media, the way people can contact you, and many more choices all have an impact on your business but getting it right in the beginning will really help to grow your following.

In the current climate, it is also important to be cautious; it is very easy in the first flush of enthusiasm to overspend on premises, advertising, marketing, and other external support before you have really tested out your products, or services in the marketplace.

Always start with baby steps, so much can be achieved with very limited budgets, some of our best-loved companies were created from small beginnings. It’s also possible to start creating something new alongside other roles, so many people have risen to the challenge of juggling many aspects of their lives during lockdown.

If you are starting a new business you will find more help and advice in our feature Creating Your Brand – Ten Ways to be More Memorable

Recently Published

How to Make a Dress – Adventures in the art of style – Jenny Packham

‘From inspiration to sketch, pattern to fabric, the making of a dress has been the structure that has held me, and my passion to dress others is the momentum of my life.’


Jenny Packham is one of Britain’s leading designers and most in-demand couturiers, known for her exquisite dresses made for brides, celebrities and even royalty. In How to Make a Dress, she explores her creative journey in a brilliant meditation on life and style.

Beginning with the search for creative inspiration and taking us into her studio then onto the red carpet and beyond, she asks the questions that have preoccupied us for centuries: What makes the perfect dress? What do our clothes mean to us? And why do we dress the way we do? 

Whether she is on the trail of Marilyn Monroe in LA, designing a bespoke piece for the red carpet or sketching for a new collection, Jenny documents her pursuit of the eternal truths of style. Decades in the making, How to Make a Dress is an unforgettable book for anyone who has ever loved a piece of clothing.

Our review 

How to Make a Dress is a very personal account by Jenny Packhamas she shares her thoughts and observations on life and style.  We are given insights into her inspiration, her sketches, the selection of fabric, the embellishments and how her exquisite dresses are created; but it is her personal narrative that shares so much more. Honest and at times poignant, this fascinating book and her personal collection of photographs, make this a very special insight into her creative journey.  

Latest products

Here are some innovative and useful products.

The Easel Book and Tablet Stand 

Stylish all-wood design holds any sized tablet or your favourite book. Adjust to your preferred viewing angle. Collapses flat for easy storage.

The Zen Tea Infuser 

Modern glass bottle with infuser and secure bamboo lid, make your tea and drink it too.

The 3-in-1 Copper Pen Tool 

This handsome pen is exactly what you need to get things done. Comes with built-in spirit level, and screwdriver. Writes with black ink.