A Sunday Afternoon at Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair Cardiff

I recently visited Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair in Cardiff with a friend. Having never been to a vintage fair before to say I was excited would be a bit of an understatement.

Despite it being a rainy and miserable day, the Town Hall in Cardiff was the ideal setting to make me forget about my soaking wet clothes and dishevelled ‘hair-do’. I had high expectations as soon as I arrived and it seemed I was not alone as a long and laborious queue of vintage lovers waited eagerly to enter the room accommodating the fair. Paying just £2 for entry we were also told of the next event to be held there the following month. A stamp on our hand and we were on our way past the desk ready for a good rummage.

From reading the website Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair usually visits Cardiff four times a year however with two being held in the space of two month demand must have been high. When we got into the room (after a short wait due to some very efficient Lou Lou workers) the high demand was certainly apparent. I was quite staggered by the busyness, the crowds and the amount of vintage attire and items in what felt to be a small space. My initial thoughts were that a bigger room may have been a bit more comfortable and easier to shop, there were some dancers with not much space to dance and quite often myself and my friend found ourselves lost in the crowds or straining our necks to get a good view at stalls. Despite this in a sense it did add to the atmosphere and the buzz of the day and it wasn’t too far from a usual Saturday shopping day in the City Centre.

Untitleddress11

That room had everything you can imagine. It was literally a treasure trove of all things vintage. I wish I had taken more photos but quite honestly and despite my good intentions for the purpose of this blog I was too wrapped up in gazing at the reasonably prices goods that the various stalls at Lou Lou’s Vintage fair had to offer. I was particularly attracted to the Welsh wools and with a trip coming up to Berlin thought it a ‘sensible’ purchase. Being a ‘sensible’ purchase of course made it a perfect excuse to whip out the credit card however I couldn’t find any left in my size much to my actually sensible minds relief. Tip to any future visitors of Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair, get there early!

Though I describe the room as ‘small’ this was certainly not the case on reflection. We managed to spend a good 2 and a half hour rooting around often finding that stalls had replenished sold items with new vintage gems. This was the case when I found the leather, vintage bag which is now in its rightful place, where it should have been for a long time prior….on my arm.

Bag purchased from Little Old Me, a vintage boutique based in Birmingham. (http://littleoldmevintage.com/)

Bag purchased from Little Old Me, a vintage boutique based in Birmingham. (littleoldmevintage.com)

If there was one thing missing from my day it was the chance to sit with a cup of tea and some delicious cupcakes. I perhaps put myself under the impression that there would be a chance to do so there and don’t get me wrong there was a stall selling very tempting looking cupcakes but I imagine walking around the Fair on that day with a hot cuppa in hand would be a serious health and safety hazard. A spot to sit and reflect with tea in one hand and cake in another would have topped the day off perfectly.

Overall we had a lovely day at Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair in Cardiff. The perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon in my opinion and we will definitely be returning in the near future to get our vintage on again!

The Daily Deal Phenomenon – How These Websites Can Work For You and Your Company

It’s happened. I have become a daily deal addict.
Groupon, Living Social and Wowcher tempt me to part with my money on a daily basis for things that I may not necessarily need but at such hugely discounted prices, who can say no?!
It’s only January and I’ve already purchased my Mother’s Day present as well as treating myself and one other lucky individual to a massage and facial deal with a price that was just too good to be true.
To be honest I am amazed that many companies make money from the daily deals they offer through promotion websites. A full Swedish massage, Indian head massage and facial for two cost me £38. A saving of 76% on the usual price though surprisingly companies really do benefit. Between 55% and 61% of businesses running daily deals do make money on their promotions despite the huge discount (Rice University study 25/06/2012).
At my time of purchase 98 other coupons had been purchased from Groupon for this particular deal which had only been online for 48 hours (you do the math). I also know that particularly with beauty parlors and hairdressers you are very likely to return or even become a regular client if you are happy with the service. Even if next time round you have to fork out the extra 76%.
This has also happened to me. A great daily deal appeared in my inbox for a cut and blow dry (which I was desperately in need of I told myself) and saving me 60%. After my visit to the hairdressers I was impressed and have since returned to pay the full price. Of course companies could not always offer such hugely discounted rates, they rely on good service and word of mouth the promote them after their daily deal has expired. So, if you are running a good, honest service then it’s win win.
It really is a great promotional tool particularly for smaller companies to get their name out there and to get people in the door.
One particular start up company I have spoken to and done promotion work for listed themselves on Groupon towards the end of last year. As a gift wrapping company it was a great way for them to pull in business when they were going through a quiet spell before Christmas. It allowed them to raise their profile as well as bring in some all important revenue.
23 million Groupon subscribers worldwide purchased at least one deal in 2011. A customer getting those daily emails and paying for those hugely discounted deals really turns into a once you start you just can’t stop. Everyone loves a bargain, particularly a very high quality one and I say this from first hand experience.

Rollasole: The Shoe No Girl Should Be Without

Ladies, we have all been there. Dressing our best for a night on the town but looking less than attractive on the way home due to our fabulous shoes not seeming a comfortable as they did before the night began. So, what can we do? Offset your outfit with a unusually large evening bag to store a back up set of shoes to save your feet? Or going home early to save your partied out feet?

Luckily one knight in shining armour has come to the rescue and developed a solution that even some of our favourite Hollywood celebs are loving.

Rollasole is an innovative roll up ballet pump, that will fit into most clutch bags so can be broken out in any high heel emergency. Not only this, the comfy flat is not just practical but also fashion conscious to match your outfit. Get the go with everything Back to Black, or even Paint the Town Red or how about some leopard print or some Parisian chic? What I found more impressive about these trusty little shoes was the price. The classic and contemporary styles are all under 10, while the newer delux Rollasoles with bows, flowers and tie-dye prints are just under 15.

For the price I don’t image them to be too long lasting, though the delux range have been designed for regular use and everyday wear. They are perfect for their purpose and I imagine will be a literal life saver for a lot of girls who spend most of their weekends on the town and on the dancefloor.

Matt Horan, from Bristol, is Rollasoles Creator, who got the idea when a girlfriends killer high heels took their toll on her feet;

“She loved her towering stilettos but by the end of a night out she would be suffering so much I decided to come up with a solution and that’s how Rollasole was born. Girls also tend to go straight out from work more, being in your heels all day and then dancing all night can be a killer, so hopefully Rollasole will be there to solve the problem.”

 

Rollasole even hit Tinsel Town for the Golden Globes being sold through vending machines to the biggest celebs. Heidi Klum and Hayden Panettiere were spotted ditching their heels and going for comfort in the Gold Digger Rollasole style. The company only recently launched in the US and have already sited vending machines in some of the biggest hotels and casino’s in Las Vegas.

Rollasole are currently available on the UK high street at selected New Look and Miss Selfridge stores, though the company are in talks with other retailers so watch this space and are also available at www.rollasole.com.

I love these little shoes and really think that they are a handbag essential. I just cant wait for the day my favourite clubs stock the vending machines and I can fill my handbag with some other random night out essentials, but for now Rollasole’s are a handbag staple.