Back to work with Aura Print

After over a year of some people working from home, for many people thoughts are now turned to getting back to the workplace. For some people this means a new suit or a smart new work bag. But equally as important when setting that first example is your business card, which through design and quality can say an awful lot about you and your business. Some of the brightest, best and most luxurious business cards around are those produced by online company Aura Print. Their designs incorporate a range of over 40 handpicked papers and also give you the choice to finish your cards off with unique additions such as painted edges, rounded corners or double thickness– really giving your business cards that extra-special look and feel.

Once upon a time business cards seemed to belong to the Yuppie businessman. Who can forget Patrick Bateman in American Pyscho, planning the death of a colleague who had the perfect, minimalist card. But these days, many people find that a stylish card is the best way to keep all your relevant details in one place. It is a great way of sharing your details, and many events I attend have business card draws and use cards rather than signing into events.

As a blogger and writer I find I attend a lot of events where it is useful to have a business card, and I started with a very simple one which I purchased in 2010. But as the blog grew, and I joined new social networks like Instagram, the details on my card needed to be expanded on and updated (a new mobile phone led to a new number, so that made old cards obsolete). So I was very excited when Auraprint offered me the chance to update my business cards with a new, bespoke design.

Aura Print really offer you the choice of having EXACTLY what you want for your card. You can upload your own design, images and photographs if you wish, but they also have a wealth of perfect designs to fit any business, from fashion and beauty, to technology, cars…basically anything you require. They can even create your design from scratch, working from the brief that you give them, so the card you envisage can become a reality, a true bespoke design. You can match your outlay to your budget by choosing whether your card is printed on one or both sides, you can choose your size and orientation, and you can make your choice of gloss, matt or soft-touch laminate.

I gave Aura Print the brief for my fashion-mommy card. I wanted something glamorous and sophisticated with a clear link to fashion. I opted for a double-sided design with all my relevant details on the back. This included my email and mobile number, as well as Twitter and Instagram details. One of the brilliant things about Aura Print is that it very cleverly lets you check a proof of the design so you can add and adapt details whilst showing you how this would look on the card, this allows you to keep the card from being uncluttered – you can see if you’ve added to much detail, or made a spelling mistake and amend it accordingly. My cards also have a beautiful gold metallic foil finish for the most important detail – my blog name, this is a luxurious touch which I believe helps that first impression.

The ordering process is very simple, and also allows you to add extra that may be useful for your business promotion, from promotional material, to stationary and invitations. You cards can be with you within two days of agreeing your design, so it is a fast and pain free process.

I was really pleased with my finished cards, which look professional and elegant. The quality of the cards is second to none and they are just perfect, totally what I was looking for.

 

If I won the Lottery just what would I buy?

I love shopping! There, I’ve said it. I love the feel of getting something new, of finding a bargain, of treating myself, or a loved one, to something that has been admired, but may have been too expensive, and has maybe had to be saved for. But monthly bills and expenses, and also the ever growing expense of having a child who seems to grow out of things at an alarming rate means that my shopping habits have to be frugal and careful. How I wish that money was no object!

I’ve become one of the best bargain hunters around. I love to shop vintage, adore charity shops, and enjoy the sales so much. I love eBAY, and preloved sites where you can sometimes pick up coveted designer items for a fraction of the original price (my most recent purchase was a Furla bag that is just the softest, most gorgeous item.) And I love TK Maxx, where you can find both High Street and designer items at real bargain prices. But all this bargain hunting doesn’t mean I don’t dream of what I would do if one day I won the lottery. A lottery win is the stuff of dreams, but somebody has to win it and for the cost of the ticket it has to be worth a try. Many lotteries offer far more in prize money than the UK National Lottery. What damage I could do in Selfridges with that sort of money. I often daydream, after winning the lottery, what would I buy?

 

As money is now no object, I would also add a little piece of Victoria Beckham to my dress collection. Victoria’s close are known for being understated and elegant, but this abstract print metallic midi dress is probably as disco as Victoria is ever going to get, and I absolutely love the style and the print, although I’m guessing I would have to let if out a bit…I’m not exactly a VB sample size.

A holiday would be nice too. The place at the top of my wish list is New York. I would love to see a show on Broadway, and, as a massive Sex in the City fan, I would have to follow in Carrie’s footsteps by checking out all the sights from the hit TV show. Where to stay? It would have to be the The St. Regis, a bargain at around £500 per night. Show me the way to the penthouse suite please.

Shoes and Bags

Just like Carrie Bradshaw, I have a real passion for shoes and bags. Winning a fortune would leave me with a shoe collection that would rival Carries, and of course I would have to add some Manolo’s and Jimmy Choo’s to that collection.

New shoes need a new bag, and this season’s lust have BOTTEGA VENETA pouch leather clutch is just so gorgeous it would have to come home with me. The price? Well, put it this way, there’s no change from £1000. Definitely one for the lust list.

What else? A supermarket sweep around Tiffany’s would be nice, as would being let loose in the Foyles book shop on Tottenham Court Road. I also wouldn’t mind buying my favourite football club West Bromwich Albion if money really was no object.

We can all dream, can’t we.

Collaborative Post

Designer Fashion: Facing Difficult Times

For years the elite fashion stores in our major cities, like London and Paris, have welcomed tourists with open-arms as big spenders, but with the outbreak of Covid 19 leaving the big cities like ghost towns, the big designer names are struggling, with no fashion weeks, lack of celebrities on the red carpets to share their designs, and stores and ateliers all closed. It seems that fashion is yet another victim of Covid 19.

We are all aware of how the High Street has struggled, with big names like Cath Kidston, Warehouse and Oasis, the Arcadia group, Debenhams and English classic brand Jaeger all falling victim to the virus, which, combined with the decline of High Street shopping, the rise of online only brands like ASOS, has seen shops shutting at an alarming rate. No one seems to be able to avoid the slump, with even the High Street colossus Primark has seen staggering losses due to having its stores shut and no online presence. The elegant designer stores of Bond Street have also had to close their doors, abandon the traditional fashion week, and look again and their designs. In the luxury sector, brands are predicted to experience a £8.78 billion decline in sales this year according to a new report in Elle magazine.

But fashion, and the industry is fighting back. Jivad Marandi, a prominent British fashion business investor who is investing substantially in the UK Fashion Industry, has said that there needs to be an emphasis on supporting British businesses in the realms of fashion, rather than the asset stripping that has been a notorious by product of the decline of the High Street. Marandi, who is an investor behind successful British design names like Anya Hindmarch and Emilia Wickstead believes that investors should have a long term view, rather than just short term rescue bids.

Fashion houses are also looking at the power of online in order to stage fashion catwalks, trunk shows and films that can showcase their brand beautifully, and of course from a social distance. Fashion Weeks can still work as a shop window, even if they have to be done completely digitally in order to go ahead, and in many ways these shows can meet an even wider audience, so may actually work better in the long run.

Fashion is sometimes seen as frothy and frivolous, especially in the middle of a global pandemic, but the truth is that it is a massive part of Britain’s trade, with British design and style one of our true strengths. It will need a lot of support to emerge from the pandemic in a good way, but with the determination and foresight of designers and entrepreneurs, this should be something that can be achieved.

Victoria Beckham New York Fashion Week 2016

Victoria Beckham New York Fashion Week