More viral marketing

Grrr! Had all sorts of things I was going to post up this weekend in order to make my blog look pretty and welcoming for tomorrow, but have been laid low by a mystery virus or maybe food poisoning which has involved a ferocious stomach ache, copious vomiting (and not just at the Big Brother snogfest) and a high temperature. Not sure what’s been going on recently, but my body is obviously telling me I need to take a bit more care of myself.

The hardest thing has been avoiding touching the Minx too much for fear of passing on the virus. At nineteen months she can’t understand at all why I am refusing to cuddle her or take her on my knee to read books together. The looks of confusion in her eyes when I ignore her cries of ‘mum-mee, mum-mee, mum-mee’ make me feel like the world’s worst mother, and the moment when she came up to me, signed ‘more’ and threw her arms up for a hug – which I had to decline – fair broke my heart.


Blink and you’ll miss it

There’s an interesting debate taking place at the moment on Make It (a fab blog full of lots of resources for craft and other entrepreneurs).

I read the book Blink a few weeks back (what happened to all those regular book reviews you promised? – Ed). I don’t think it quite lives up to all the hype – it’s basically one idea padded out with lots of examples – but an interesting read nevertheless.

Its basic premise is all about gut instinct – the fact that we make a lot of decisions sub-consciously and very quickly. And that while these decisions are sometimes governed by prejudices or fears that we might not even know we have, often these decisions are more valid than decisions over which we have deliberated for a long time.

The particular example being debated over on Make It is one about a woman selling gourmet jams at craft fairs. Sometimes she puts only six different jams on the stall and sometimes twenty-four jams. Conventional wisdom would suggest that the more choice people had the more they would buy, as they were more likely to find a jam they particularly liked. Instead the opposite was true and she sold much more with only six jams, as people found it much easier to make a snap decision when they weren’t overwhelmed by choice.

All of which provides interesting food for thought when buying for mirrormirror. In recent months I have been adding more choices to some of the product lines, such as more colourways or patterns. In some cases this seems to work out and lead to extra sales – additional colourways for interiors products and jewellery for example can work as people have different colouring or decor. We also offer small and large boxes of bathmelts – both of which seem to sell equally well as they come in at different price points. But quite often adding an extra choice seems to have no discernible impact on sales whatsoever. In fact I’m starting to think each product has to be very different from the all others and really earn its place in the collection – otherwise the customer just gets confused.

What do you think? Is is ‘easier’ to shop from somewhere which has a small strictly edited collection which appeals to your taste or from somewhere such as Amazon which offers an overwhelming choice?



My brother bought me a fabulous book the other day.

Do you ladies remember Jackie magazine? I got it every week when I was growing up and had a huge stash in my wardrobe that I would re-read constantly. Everything I know about boys (practice kissing on the back of your hand), makeup and fashion has been gleaned from its pages.

The Best of Jackie is a compendium of highlights from the magazine – fashion, advice, quizzes, Cathy and Claire’s Problem Page (were we really that innocent?) and lots of pictures of Donny Osmond. It’s a really great piece of nostalgia and the fashion illustrations (no photography used) are surprisingly groovy.


Commenter of the Week – Funky Finds

Yet another international superstar who comments on the mirrormirror blog. Jessica lives in Texas and has a lovely blog where she details her fabulous finds from the online crafting community.

Very appropriately Jessica looks not unlike Pamela Ewing from Dallas, so I like to imagine her breakfasting by the pool at Southfork before going off for a little light horseriding – with, of course, dewy eyes, trembling lips and lots of soft focus.

She also appears to be very handy with a needle, so no doubt she’ll be wearing one of her own creations to receive her award, which should also stand her in good stead for the next Oil Barons Ball.



Or the Minx attends her first music festival.

Saturday saw a glorious summer’s day in London, so we hooked up with a bunch of friends and headed for Fruitstock in Regent’s Park.

Fruitstock is a free festival organised every year by the genius people who make Innocent smoothies. It was incredibly well-organised and friendly, and particularly welcoming of children, with lots of activies including a play area for toddlers and buggy park. So nice to do something which wasn’t specifically kiddie-oriented but where children were positively encouraged rather than tolerated.

So we drank Pimms, and danced and listened to Norman Jay and Arrested Development and the Minx got grubbier than one would have thought possible and stayed up well past her bedtime as the sun set over Regent’s Park.

If you want to read an inspiring business story, read this about how Innocent started up. Their marketing is incredible – everything from their logo, their packaging, and their vans (dressed up as cows) to their website copy and their TV advertising is different, compelling and fits perfectly with their healthy, funky, trendy hippyish brand.

I have no idea how much it cost them to invite the whole of London to a free party, but from what I saw yesterday an awful lot of brand goodwill was being generated.



Kate’s on the cover of Vogue again AND doing a really sexy editorial spread inside AND doing ads for (at a quick glance) Dior, Louis Vuitton, Versace, Burberry, Stella McCartney, Longchamp, Belstaff and Rimmel. AND she’s Vanity Fair’s Best Dressed Woman of the Year.

She sashayed past me once many moons ago at the Prince Bonaparte in Notting Hill. She was coming out of the toilets with a friend and giggling and I remember thinking, ‘Wow, what a beautiful girl’ and only realising a few moments later who she was. I’ve never seen it in anybody else, but she did have a glow about her which lit up the room and made her seem a hundred times more gorgeous than anybody else.

So yes, I do realise that she is quite mesmerically beautiful. However, am I the only mother out there who wishes she’d had the teensiest bit of a comeuppance after all the drug revelations earlier this year? How on earth can anyone explain to their children that drugs are bad when all they’ve done for la Moss is send her career into overdrive?

Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but she does seem a bit ‘tired’ in some of the ad campaigns and there does seem to be more black and white/soft focus being used than before.



Because I style and photograph all the products for the site, I am always looking for inspirational product photos and these are some of the most stunning I’ve seen in a long time (from Amy Butler’s site via Decor8). I love the way that there is just enough sharpness in each photo for them not to just seem out of focus.

Memo to self, MUST go on photography course or something.


This little piggy

So, what do you think? Is there a market for grown-up piggy banks? As Christmas presents? I think they’re absolutely adorable and am seriously thinking about buying some of these for the site but have no idea how they might sell. And they’re going to cost a fortune to import. Tell me!


Here Be Dragons

It’s back! One of the best shows on TV, the ever-wonderful Dragon’s Den.

Since setting up my own business I’m finding the recent slew of business-oriented reality programmes even more compelling and inspirational – it’s fun trying to second guess which investors will be successful and what aspects of the business plan the investors will pick holes in.

And there is something rather encouraging about seeing some of the delusional people they manage to unearth and realising that you’re not quite the worst business person on the planet.

Though I do always wonder what the Dragons would make of mirrormirror.