Events

Elisha Francis, romani boutique, brixton village

Bomani Boutique | Brixton Village Pop-up Shop Mon 10 – Sun 16th Sept

I am so excited to announce that I will be opening my first Bomani Boutique pop-up shop in 10 days time in Brixton Village London

romani boutique, elisha francis

On sale will be my full jewellery range, macramé body jewellery, new handbags, vintage fashion, macramé wall hangings and I have also been working on a limited edition SUNSET collection that I will be launching in store, here is a sneak peek of some of the pieces from a recent photo shoot:

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Photographer: Harmonious Brown

The Launch Party will be held on Tuesday 11th of September at 6:30 – 9:30pm where you can come along and try on the the pieces and enjoy some live music by Sosa Yande and Harmonious Brown whilst enjoying a few cocktails.

Bomani Boutique, elisha francis, brixton village, LAUNCH PARTY

I will also host a poetry night on Thursday 13th of September 6:30 – 9:30pm with performances by talented UK artist Raphael Blake and Danielle Allen, if you would like to attend please RSVP: info@elishafrancis.com

elisha francis, Raphael Blake, Brixton Village

So the countdown has begun and I still have lots to do during the next 10 days until I open, check out my Instagram profile to stay up the date @elishafrancis

Look forward to seeing you there!

Elisha x


BOMANI BOUTIQUE

89 Brixton Village, Coldharbour Lane London SW9 8PS

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Craft Fair Checklist

How to Prepare for a Craft Fair

Getting ready for The London Artisan Summer Event

Earlier this year I became a member of Designers/Makers which is an agency for contemporary design, they offer their members business advice, selling events, PR and opportunities to develop their brand. Each year they collaborate with The London Artisan which is a curated marketplace held quarterly at The Old Truman Brewery in East London. Their summer edition takes place on Sat 21st – Sun 22nd of July and I am very excited to be taking part.

The london artisan

Getting ready for these type of events requires a lot of organisation and preparation before-hand to ensure that everything runs smoothly, so in this post I am going to share with you how I get ready for my craft fairs to help you plan for your next event. First I start with a 10-point checklist:

Craft Fair Checklist

  1. Stock
  2. Promotional material (business cards & postcards)
  3. Visual display (photographs, jewellery plinths, table cloth etc.)
  4. Payment options
  5. Packaging
  6. Signage
  7. Mailing list/comments book
  8. Promoting the event
  9. Invite a friend
  10. Have fun and dress to impress

How Much Stock Should I Bring?

This question is always a tricky one especially if you are new to selling at craft fairs, the questions I try to consider to work this out are:

1. How much stock do I have already?
2. How much time do I have to make new stock?
3. How much space do I have to layout my products?
4. What are my most popular pieces?
5. Have any of my customers requested any particular jewellery to try/buy at the event?
6. When I layout all my jewellery does the space look cohesive and enticing or disconnected and sparse?
7. What was the footfall like at previous event that I visited?

After answering all the questions above I make a list of all the stock I intend to bring or make and set aside time to hit my stock target, taking into consideration that items will sell online in the interim.  I always try to visit a prior event hosted by the same event company before I book to trade at their craft fair to get an idea of the footfall, are people browsing or shopping, do the stall holders look happy or bored (this is usually a good indication to how well the day is going for them lol!) Ultimately it is all a guessing game as you will never know who will turn up on the day and what they are looking to buy, so I always take enough stock to fill my space and have a few spare pieces to top it up throughout the day.  It is better to sell out and take orders from customers then to make way too much stock and have to take most of it back home.

Promotional Material

Promotional material is very important as it a small piece of your brand that a customer can take away with them for free, it should represent your brand visually and contain your contact details and social media handles so that the person can easily get in touch with you and/or follow you on Instagram or Facebook etc.  I like to have business cards and postcards as they serve slightly different functions in my opinion, a business card is usually kept in a wallet and is pulled out when needed, it is small enough to slide in your pocket and doesn’t feel awkward to carry around.  A postcard on the other hand can act as a small piece of art and get stuck on a fridge or pin-board and has a higher chance of being seen more frequently at a later date, so consider the image carefully, does it stand out, can people clearly see it represents  your brand? The downside of postcards sometimes can be that people can find them too big to carry around  if they don’t have a bag, but this is rare, so I like to bring both so I’m covered 🙂

My most recent batch of postcards and business cards I ordered online from printed.com and they were printed on recycled 350gsm paper which I think came out really smart and has the added bonus of being eco-friendly.  When ordering business cards and postcards I have discovered that its best the order small runs, say 50 – 200 of each style, this way you can choose two or three different styles and if you change your contact details or create a new collection that you want to show off your not stuck with 1000+ out of date postcards.

Other great promotional materials include stickers, badges and pens these are low cost items that you can use to promote your brand and if you have a bigger budget why not consider t-shirts or tote bags you can check out a company called Awesome Merchandise for lots more ideas.

Elisha Francis Business cards

Visual Display

This is by far my favourite part of an event, creating my own little pop-up shop for the weekend, is such a fun way to introduce my jewellery to a new audience.  However there are a few basics that you must cover to ensure your space stands out from the crowd.  When visiting The London Artisan event in March I must say that the displays were collectively very impressive, you could see that all the designers had put a lot of effort into their visual display. So to ensure that my space has everything I need for my display I have created a list of essentials to include in my set-up:

  1. Table cloth(s)
  2. Jewellery stands
  3. Pricing labels
  4. Mirror
  5. Large photographic images
  6. Signage
  7. Props to style the space
  8. Lighting & extension lead
  9. Trolley/step-ladder

When setting up a space I like to try to create the same feel as my online shop so people can experience the essence of the brands lifestyle, so as well as my jewellery I will be bringing along some plants and props to enhance the modern tribal vibe to the space. Another important thing to remember is a trolley to transport your things to and from the venue from your car if you have large or heavy items.  Another important thing especially for jewellery is additional lighting as it will help potential customers see your items better if your pieces are lit well especially in the evening.  If you do bring lighting always check with the event company that this is allowed and always bring an extension lead as you will not know where the nearest  sockets will be until you are allocated your space.  I always set-up my space at home to see how it works and make any necessary tweaks before the event.  I take a few photos on my phone of the set-up so on the day I am calm and know exactly where everything goes, it is a bit OCD but event days are very hectic, there will be lots of people setting up and you will be racing against the clock to put everything in its place before the doors open to the public.

Payment Options

Most people do not carry around a lot of cash anymore and if they do it is usually under £50, so it is very important that I have a way for customers to pay by card.  I have an i-zettle account which I am going to use for card payments at the event, I can upload all my products onto the app before the event and it will keep track of all my stock and sales, allow customers to pay by card or cash and email them a receipt after the transaction.  I really like how easy the software is to use I simply plug in the card reader to my iPhone or iPad and the transactions fees are really low which is great. I will also bring along a sign that lets customers know that I accept card payments.

Packaging

Packaging is a very important part  of the sales process, if something is packaged beautifully it adds to the overall customer experience.  I plan to bring jewellery boxes, tissue paper, paper bags and canvas bags to wrap items and will add a business card inside the bag for every customer.  Two of my favourite packaging companies are Morplan and APL Packaging I have used them a lot throughout the years and always experience great customer service and quality products from them both. This year I have introduced eco-friendly packaging to some of my products and I found a great company online called eco-craft where I was able to purchase bio-degradable clear bags to package my notebooks.  I love the fact that I can protect my items for my customers with the knowledge that after it has done its job it is not going to end up floating in the sea somewhere.

Signage

Clear signage is a very important part of your stand at an event, sometimes events like to keep these uniform and will make these for you however most events I have been to you usually need to bring your own.  In the past I have used vinyl banners which are pretty effective, a large poster in a frame would also work well and I have even seen some signs painted on wood and laser cut from acrylic.  It really depends on your brands style so choose a sign that compliments your brands aesthetic, if possible bring two, a large one to go at the back of your stand and a smaller one to sit on your table.

Mailing List and Comments Book

I like to bring along a book for customers to leave their details and for this event I am also going to bring a box for people to drop their business cards as well as it can be a great way to keep in touch with press and other businesses that visit the event.   Your mailing list is one of your most valuable parts of your business so do not miss out on the opportunity to grow yours.

Promoting the Event

As an independent designer/maker is is vital that you do not skip this stage, especially if you are an online company like me, customers love to see your products in real life and love to meet the maker. Never solely depend on the event company to promote the event, of course they should and will promote it to their contacts but you must always do your own promotions to enhance the success of your experience at the event.  Prior to an event I will promote in the following ways:

  1. Send invites to mailing list (I filter my contact list to the country location of event to make it as relevant as possible).
  2. Promote on all your social media channels running up to the event – its FREE
  3. Create an event page on Facebook – you can join mine here 🙂
  4. Include in your monthly newsletter if you have one
  5. Include in your Snapchat or Instagram stories on the day of your event – this is great way to show real-time footage to your audience especially if your tag your location
  6. Document your event – film your visual display, take photos of you interacting with your customers, this is all great content to use as promo for your next event or blog post

Invite a Friend

Working on a stand all weekend is hard work and you will need to eat and use the bathroom so invite a friend or family member along to either spend the whole day with you or a few friends to pop in and see you  throughout the day this way you will be able to pop away without leaving your stand unattended and eat away from your stand.  It is not a good look to be sitting behind you table with a burger in your mouth when a potential customer comes over to enquire about a product.  If none of your friends or family are available then always introduce yourself to your neighbors as soon as you arrive at the event, you will be stand buddies for the day and can watch each others stand if necessary.

Have Fun and Dress to Impress

You have done all the hard work so now its time to have some fun, what are you are going to wear, more often than not your fashion style will be echoed in your brand but remember that you are an extension of your display so dress to impress.  What we wear and how we look says a lot to passers-by, if you sell vintage clothes but are dressed in Topshop this will give a conflicting message to potential customers if you are not wearing your products why should they?  Select your outfit before the event, go for comfortable shoes as you will most likely be standing all day, wear layers so that you can adjust for cold/warm weather and choose clothes that match your brands colour palette so that you look right at home amongst your space.  The most important part of your outfit is your smile, it makes you more approachable and people will instantly feel more comfortable to come over and check out all your lovely creations.

 

If you are in London next month please save the date of The London Artisan in your diary (Sat/Sun 21-22 July Time: 11-6pm) and you can follow my jewellery journey via my Instagram  page (@elishafrancis)

I hope you have found some of this useful, if you have any questions or tips about preparing for your next event please leave a comment below

Until next week

Elisha x

elisha francis, septum rings, afropunk

Septum Rings for Afropunk London

This Saturday the 24th of September AFROPUNK makes it debut in London town at Alexandra Palace, the line up for the festival include SZA, Akala, the Noisettes, Laura Mvula as well as the legendary Grace Jones. Yesterday we were honoured and excited to be mentioned in a TimeOut article by Matilda Egere-Cooper ‘How to slay at Afropunk this weekend‘.

elisha francis, afropunk, london events

The Afropunk movement was inspired by a documentary written and directed by James Spooner in 2003 which highlighted Black Punks in America, two years later in 2005 the first Afropunk festival was held in Brooklyn and has become an annual event.  This year the festival has already hit Europe via Paris and London is next to experience the live music, good vibes and eclectic fashion styles.

The style is afrocentric meets modern punk and everything weird and wonderful in-between, one of my favourite signature looks is the tribal face paint rocked by many fashionista’s at these events think FKA Twigs and you’ll be on the right track.

FKA twigs, elisha francis, afropunk

I also love the look of all the glorious natural fro’s, dreadlocks and braids that are celebrated in the most beautifully and elaborate styles, check out one of my new favourite style icons Ladene Clark who’s deadlocks and fashion sense eclipse the essence of the festival.

ladene clark

And of course you cannot complete the look without a septum ring, real or fake we want to hook you up with a special 25% online discount off our range using promo code ‘AFROPUNK‘ so you too can SLAY this weekend!

elisha francis, septum rings, silver septum, afropunk

Kalifa (real version) £29 | Malika (fake version) £15 ~ Shop now

elisha francis, septum rings, afropunk

Sadiki (real version) £29 ~ Shop Now

elisha francis, septum rings, afropunk

Bibi (real version) £49 | Ashanti (fake version) £15 ~ Shop Now

And if you are in London town you can also shop our range of septum rings via Parla who are located at Unit 21, Boxpark, Shoreditch, London, E1 6GY

So if you’re lucky enough to attend this weekend I hope that you look absolutely fierce and have the time of your life!

 

Shop our full range of septum rings: www.elishafrancis.com 

Read the full article by Matilda Egere-Cooper for TimeOut magazine

Visit Afropunk website for full details on the event

 

Launch Party Highlights

Last Thursday was the launch of my King & Queen collection hosted by Fresh Laces at Boxpark Shoreditch. It was a great night amongst great people and positive vibes.

THANK YOU to every King & Queen that came down to make it a night to remember and celebrate the launch of the new collection. I would especially like to thank Emma the founder of DirtyMouth cupcakes for sponsoring the night with her beautiful bespoke signature treats.

The collection is available to buy online and is also exclusively stocked at Fresh Laces Unit 17 Boxpark Shoreditch E1 6GY.

Catch some of the highlights here:

Shop the collection:

elisha francis, elisha francis jewellery, elisha francis london, king, queen, new collection

QUEEN SWEATSHIRT | £35 | Available via Fresh Laces Boxpark Shoreditch
QUEEN MONEY CLIP | £30 | Shop online | Available via Fresh Laces Boxpark Shoreditch
QUEEN | SNAPBACK | £30 | Shop online | Available via Fresh Laces Boxpark Shoreditch
ASHANTI SEPTUM | £15 | Shop online | Available via Fresh Laces Boxpark Shoreditch

elisha francis, elisha, elisha francis london, elisha francis jewellery, fresh laces, Boxpark

KING NECKLACE | £65 | SOLD OUT ~ Available from 14.12.15
KING MONEY CLIP | £30 | Shop online | Available via Fresh Laces Boxpark Shoreditch
KING | SNAPBACK | £30 | Shop online | Available via Fresh Laces Boxpark Shoreditch
KING BRACELET | £45 | Shop online |  Available via Fresh Laces Boxpark Shoreditch

 

KING & QUEEN Collection Launch

elisha francis, elisha, elisha francis london, elisha francis jewellery, fresh laces, Boxpark

Elisha Francis invites you to the launch of: The KING & QUEEN collection

“Every woman is a Queen and every man is a King, we all have greatness within us,
no exceptions. ” ~ Elisha Francis 

The King and Queen collection has been designed to empower both men and women with everyday pieces including,  jewellery, accessories and fashion garments that are classic, casual and cool. Elisha loves making bold statements through her designs and this one is no exception.

Elisha Francis invites you to the launch of: The KING & QUEEN collection, queen

KING & QUEEN Collection Launch
Date:
Thursday 3rd December 2015
Location: 
Fresh Laces Unit 17, 2 – 10 Bethnal Green Rd London E1 6GY
Time 5:30 – 9PM

Welcome drinks and signature cupcakes courtesy of DirtyMouth Cupcakes

We hope you can join us!

 RSVP: info@elishafrancis.com

Elisha Francis invites you to the launch of: The KING & QUEEN collection, DirtyMouth Cupcakes LDN

#IITSPIRATION

The last few weeks I have had the privilege of being one of the artists in residence at the #IITSPITATION HQ.

“#IITSPIRATION is powered by the exchange of creative ideas. The concept is simple: we offer like-minded creatives access to space and resources; in return they pledge time and expertise to respond to creative briefs and inspire others through the sharing of skills.”

The experience so far has been a fast paced creative melting pot with my fellow artist in residence, Ashton JohnJessica McDermott, Blingwear UK, Justin Marosa, Sara Shamsavari, Christopher Tulloch and Bwoy Wonder to name just a few.  This forth-coming week is the last chance to get down and get involved in the space. Have a look at the line up and book tickets here.

IITSPIRATION, ELISHA FRANCIS, JEWELLERY DESIGNER, BLOGGER

MORNING ESSENTIALS: BLACK COFFEE, BEATS BY DRE, GOLD CHAIN…

POPUP PROJECTOR, IITSPIRATION, SIMON WEATLEY

POPUP PROJECTOR WITH GUEST SPEAKER SIMON WEATLEY HOSTED BY ASHTON JOHN

BLINGWEAR UK, IITSPIRATION, ARTIST TALK

Q&A SESSIONS WITH GRAFFITI ARTIST BLINGWEAR & IITSPIRATION MD FUSION

BLINGWEAR UK, GRAFFITI WORKSHOP, IITSPIRATION

MY FIRST EVER ATTEMPT AT SOME GRAFFITI ART WITH BLINGWEAR UK

This week line up includes:

Artist talk with Photographer Jessica McDermott on Tuesday evening, followed by PopUp Projector Open Screen on Wednesday evening, sharing short films courtesy of our film makers in residence. On Thursday you can sing until you hearts content at the Vocal Workshop with the House Gospel Choir or if Grime is more your type of music then you are invited to join True Skool x Skinny Malone EP Release party. On Friday there will be real time music and visual experimentation with Digijam x Pixel People and the last event of the week is the #IITSPIRATION wrap party where you can meet the artist in residence and expect a kaleidoscope of lyricism, music, conversation, performances, film and interactive art.

For more info please visit: www.industryinthestreets.co.uk 

#IITSPIRATION
Fox Court, 14 Gray’s Inn Road
Holborn, WC1X 8HN
(nearest tube: Chancery Lane)

Or check out the hashtag #IITSPIRATION on twitter and instagram to see what’s happening.