Thursday, December 22, 2011

Rigu - Friday Finger Point

So, it's week 2 of the Friday Finger Point and I think I've got something that a lot of you might like..You know the way most things you can get for your camera are kind of dull and black/grey? Well, get ready for all of that to change thanks to the colourful camera accessories from Rigu..

This new company is based in Northern England in the Lake District, which, I'm reliably informed, is one of the most photographed places in England and hence it's possible for Andy, the company owner, to know when his mission has been accomplished..
"When most of the tourists and hikers are walking around with colourful camera straps I'll know that we've achieved our mission." I like the mission..and the products...

One product that really caught my attention was the iPhone4/4s tripod stand..Now, I don't have an iPhone but I know if there were a stand for my Samsung Galaxy S2 I'd be all over it in a heartbeat..Here's why..These smart phones have pretty decent cameras on them and most can now shoot in HD and the likes..The one failing though is that if the phone is being held any slight movement of the hand could result in a big movement in shot so a tripod would sort this problem out in jig time..Really, as far as cool/useful products go this one is well up there with the best I've seen lately (wow, how easily pleased am I?)..

Another item from the Rigu range that made be go "oooh, look at that, that's a bit nifty" are these camera bags..How can one get excited about camera bags you say? Well, because, they can be used for more than just cameras and they've got a nice wedge of padding for protection..With all the digital gadgets we have in our pockets these days giving them some protection is never a bad idea..Perhaps I'm showing my age here and starting to get cautious...At this rate if I'm not careful I'll be wearing knee pads when roller blading next ;)

So, a snapshot of some of the products there but the underlying ethos of this new company was summed up best by the owner Andy,
"Rigu was born from the idea that camera accessories don't need to be boring and black. Sometimes black is cool, but it feels as if in the camera world almost everything is black, people need more colourful options and that is what Rigu is here to do for you."
Given that what we do with LadyUmbrella is all about colour who knows, there may be a potential for a collab at with Rigu at some point in time in the future - for now we can dream..

Anyway, let me know what you think about Rigu..Am I right in thinking that the iPhone tripod stand is possibly one of the best things since sliced bread or perhaps some Hello Kitty Camera Straps tickle your fancy? And, what colourful Rigu products caught your eye?

Rigu - You've been Friday Finger Pointed!

The Friday Finger Point is a weekly post where I point the finger (in a nice way) at an online brand owner, designer or creative type..LadyUmbrella has been lucky to get lots of blog posts about us so it's our turn to give something back..Check out the brands and people pointed out each week, spread them on and let me know which ones you like!
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Never Thought We'd Get A Christmas Card Like This..

When this LadyUmbrella venture started a few years ago I never for one second imagined that we'd receive Christmas cards from model agents, let alone Christmas cards from model agents featuring a model wearing one of our t-shirts but that is what transpired..

A few weeks ago Irish stylist Lisa Byrne got in touch and asked us if she could use our black LadyUmbrella Meets Peter Pan top for an Irish themed photoshoot she was doing.. Now, regular readers of this blog will know I'm not prone to saying no so without hesitation I said yes..

And, then, a few weeks later, we get a Christmas card from Absolute the Agency with our t-shirt being showcased amongst a whole ton of other Irish designers..Really, was, well, kinda cool you know? I didn't expect to get a Christmas card and I certainly didn't expect that our top would be selected for the shoot...Perhaps it's time to raise expectations? In any event, it was a nice little surprise just before Christmas, one I shall remember for a while...Ole..

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Monday, December 19, 2011

The Blind Tiger Collective Pop Up Shop and Us!

By now I hope you've heard some of the mutterings from the grapevine about the Blind Tiger Collective - a pop up shop with 11 independent Irish designers - which is launching on Tuesday 20th December in The Little Green Gallery..The pop up shop will be open until the 24th - you're invited! This project has been brewing for a while now so, beloved readers, get comfy, read, watch and enjoy..Here's the downlow...

In mid November Dualta from Project A Apparel got in touch with me via the tweet machine and asked if we'd like our ladies clothes to be part of a pop up shop, The Blind Tiger Collective..Me, not being one to say no, quickly said yes and then we started to hatch plans.. Over coffees we schemed and tried to hammer out the details..Dualta had done a ton of work and had sourced all the brands for the pop up and got some great names like Turtlehead, S & D, Outcry Apparel and Dog Eat Dog Clothing..With the line up nailed down we moved on to "Phase 2 - Getting the Damn Word Out" (we didn't have a name for it, but, if we did...).

This is where the Bulgarian brilliance of Mr. Double A, Andrey Andonov, and his camera skills came into play. The first target to Blind Tiger-ised and caught on film was the Grand Social pub in Dublin.. We had grand plans of a grand Ali to be wheat pasted onto the side wall of the Grand Social (shown in picture) alas the roof was deemed, um, structural unsound, and the plans had to be put on the back burner..We did get to do some nifty wheat pasting inside though and Andrey was able to mix up this 20 second teaser clip for Blind Tiger, full of "what the deuce is that?!"..

The next step in the marketing efforts took us to Abbey Street where we we finally unleashed our Blind Tiger-ised Ali.. It took a couple of hours to get the installation up and whilst Dualta wheat pasted manfully I "worked the crowd" and gave out flyers and info to interested and curious passers by..The reaction we got was pretty cool and all we spoke to were supportive of the efforts and endeavor..And, there was the usual banter, some old guy asking if we were doing it for the Late Late Show before dancing in front of the camera, another asked if we'd put up an Ali like it on his house and another questioned "where are you going to put up Tyson?" Of course, it was all recorded by Andrey and the Naturehood Media Crew - here is the time lapse trailer..

We all know trailers are just preludes, teasers, to the full theatrical piece and so here it is..After Ali was put up we retreated to the nearest pub to record some interviews for Andrey to edit into the footage..Anyway, enough jibba jabba, enjoy...

As if all that wasn't enough to get some buzz going we had a photoshoot a cold Sunday a week ago and got a whole ton of quality pictures..You can check out the full lookbook on facebook.. We also got this nifty footage from Conor Coughlan - oh so many videos...This one was shot on a GoPro Hero2 camera and really looks sweet..

And, that is pretty much the story of the Blind Tiger Collective..It's all kicking off tomorrow and hectic last minute preparations are being put in place for the launch night..We've got DJs, free drinks and clothes - what more could you want on a Tuesday night..Here is your invitation and if you're in Dublin do try call in between now and the 24th - ideal chance for you to get your last minute Christmas shopping done..Hope to see you in there..

If you've read this far, fair play ;) Stay tuned for the post event update..
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Friday, December 16, 2011

OMUNKY - The Friday Finger Point

So, with bounding enthusiasm I write the first, of hopefully many, Friday Finger Points and I'm delighted to have OMUNKY as the first brand I get to feature..OMUNKY is a t-shirt brand with an eco twist, all t-shirts are eco friendly and 5% of all sales are donated to WildAid - a company that practices what they preach, nice to see..

Rick, the owner and designer behind OMUNKY, started OMUNKY in July 2009 with the goal of bringing humor to the eco-friendly/animal activist clothing market.
"I didn't want to sell shirts that just said things like "save the whales" or "plant a tree"."
he said and after scouring his nicely laid out shop I can confirm that there are no such cliches..Instead this eco brand has a fine array of quirky, colourful and charming characters ranging from giraffes to gorillas and moose to monkeys (there had to be some monkeys didn't there?).. The stand out design for me is this purple OMUNKY logo t-shirt, I really dig the colour and fun simplicity of the design..Which one floats your boat?

Whilst there are no rules to an OMUNKY t-shirt, there is a method to the OMUNKY design madness as Rick explains,
"There is really no rules when I design a shirt, I just prefer not to use humans or domestic animals. The current season also plays a factor in my releases. I try and stick the animal I design in what I feel is their appropriate month (Polar Bear = December, Giraffes = June, you get the idea)."
Indeed we do :)

Like lots of online brands the OMUNKY empire expands beyond just the website and onto facebook and twitter.. Rick, like myself, is
"a huge fan of Facebook and Twitter, and how they allow me to interact with my customers. I think OMUNKY would have been a very different brand if it did not utilize the power of social networking."
I can only concur with Rick on this point so follow OMUNKY on Twitter and like on facebook and let him know who pointed you in his direction ;)

The picture above also shows that OMUNKY is an online brand that isn't afraid to go offline and take his wares to his customers..This is an important part for growing a brand I think and something we've also tried to do (I wrote about this recently for HYA) and one that I hope has been beneficial for OMUNKY..

With us swimming in similiar shirty circles I've been familiar with OMUNKY for a while now and am happy to be able to showcase the brand as our first Friday Finger Point.. I can say with certainty that selling t-shirts online is not the easiest thing to do but I've been able to see OMUNKY grow over the last few years and genuinely wish Rick all the best for the future..Who knows, maybe an OMUNKY meets LadyUmbrella collab may happen sometime in the future..

OMUNKY, you've been Friday Finger Pointed!

The Friday Finger Point is a weekly post where I point the finger (in a nice way) at an online brand owner, designer or creative type..LadyUmbrella has been lucky to get lots of blog posts about us so it's our turn to give something back..Check out the brands and people pointed out each week, spread them on and let me know which ones you like!
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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas 3 for 2 Special Offer!

Now, there are only 10 days left until Christmas and if you're still trying to get some presents for someone perhaps we could be of some use?

We've got a special offer going for all of our t-shirts, a 3 for 2 deal..What this means is that you can get 3 t-shirts for as little as 40 euro and shipping is still free worldwide - that's just 13.33 euro (£11.20/$17.37) a t-shirt (crazy I know, but it's Christmas)..

If you order now we're pretty sure your t-shirts will arrive before Christmas but the cut off point for orders to outside of Europe is quickly approaching, ideally ordering today or tomorrow will ensure it gets to you on time..

So, why not give some LadyUmbrella this Christmas? Your support has been great throughout the year and we'd love if Christmas was no different... Stay happy all...

P.S. Sharing is caring! Our IT boffins have have got a new Facebook "like" button and Twitter ReTweet button on the top of all our blog posts..Give them a click and make us smile!
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Are YOU an Online Brand Owner, a Designer, a Pretty Fashion Maker?

Are you a brand owner? A funky designer of anything odd, quirky or awesome? Perhaps you're a pretty dress maker? Dare I say it, a t-shirt company? Whatever you do and whoever you are I'd like to hear from you now...Here's why..

Each week I want to have a weekly blog post about some other brand that is doing something cool in design, fashion, jewellery or whatever and give them whatever attention I can give them..The reason for this is because we've been fortunate enough to receive lots of lovely blog posts about us I think it's time to give something back, karma and all that.. That's where YOU come in!

If you'd like to be mentioned in our weekly feature please leave a comment below or e-mail me at ladyumbrellaltd[A.T]gmail(~dot~)com (good luck spam bots ;)) with a link to your brand/items you'd like me to mention and a bit of info on what you do.. Then, I'll don my journalist cap and get to work on writing the posts..All posts will be shared on our facebook page and will be tweeted about.. It's Wednesday now so I think I'll aim to have the first one on Friday and perhaps call it the Friday Finger, ye, that could work..

So, you know what to do, get in touch asap and this ball will get rolling...Ole!

P.S. Sharing is caring! Our IT boffins have have got a new Facebook "like" button and Twitter ReTweet button on the top of all our blog posts..Give them a click and make us smile!
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Thursday, December 8, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway with The Tee Gazette

It's that time of year again and to get you into the Christmas spirit The Tee Gazette have put together an incredible giveaway...Today there are 4 t-shirts to be won, one of which is one of our own ladies tops of the winners choosing.. You can enter the competition here and then it's time for you to cross your fingers :) Also, as part of the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway I was interviewed and you can check that out right here..Let me know what you think and good luck!
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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Project 51 Pictures & Update!

So, you might have heard (or, at least I hope you have) that Project 51, the shop on South William Street, have accepted our ladies t-shirts for their month long pop up shop..We dropped the stock into them on Tuesday and popped in on Friday to see how things were going...To the right we have an amateur picture taken by yours truly of our designer, Elena Montes Casado, outside Project 51 with their rather large and festive Christmas tree in the window in the background (you know it's a bad picture when it has to be described, never fear, good pictures to follow)...

The area that is set up for the 15 designers in the Project 51 pop up shop is really something else, a visual feast of colours, shapes, materials and design talent..The scent of fine leather fills the room and the carpet underfoot is plush and creates a soothing sense of calm..An ideal environment to investigate the intricacies of the fine crafts(wo)manship on display before deciding which item to make your own..A trip Dublin to visit to this pop up shop is highly recommended and when you get there you'll know why..

And, in one corner of the Project 51 pop up shop our t-shirts, La Tercera Coleccion, some with their effervescent salmon-esque hue, beam out - buy me (or so we hope :)). The (expertly taken) picture shows them just hanging out beside the fine leather of Garvan de Bruir..And, that's where a story comes in if you'd be so kind as to indulge me..

Garvan and I both happen to be from Kildare Town and both happened to go to the same secondary school - heck, we even got the same bus to school.. Granted, he was a few years ahead of me so it might just seem like a little coincidence but, try this on for size...Last year we were part of another pop up shop called Rough Diamond (option C) which had a few Irish brands for sale..Yep, you've guessed it, out if the numerous Irish brands and designers ourselves and Garvan were both selected for that pop up...And, then, there is the fact that a few years back, whilst in my IT mode (I studied IT in college), Garvan asked me if I could build a site for him - unfortunately I wasn't able to but I was asked which is another interesting overlap..And, if we really go down the rabbit hole, Garvans folks and my folks are good friends - lets hope they visit the pop up shop together hehe :)Anyway, that's the end of story, thanks for listening and now onto the update...

There is an important date coming up in Project 51 - on the 8th of December they are going to have 20% OFF everything in the entire shop so if you're looking for an iDEAL day to go then that might be it... Also, if you'd like to meet Elena, the creative Spaniard behind the whole LadyUmbrella brand, she will be in Project 51 on the 7th of December as part of the "Meet the Designer" aspect of the pop up..Ask her for her autograph or something and see her get redder than red with embarrassment in nano seconds ;)

So far our t-shirts have been on sale in the pop up for 4 days and we've received really great reports and sales updates back from our friend, and designer extraordinaire, Sinead Doyle who works there...We were very apprehensive that our humble t-shirts might not have worked in the pop up, given that they are surrounded by so many great designs and items, but it seems like our fears have been unfounded as they are selling really well in there - we're close to having to go and restock some sizes already which is insanely great and long may it continue!

If you're in Dublin why not pop in to the pop up and make a restock a necessity for us? And, if you've been into Project 51 what are your thoughts on it? Ole :)

P.S. Sharing is caring! Our IT boffins have have got a new Facebook "like" button and Twitter ReTweet button on the top of all our blog posts..Give them a click and make us smile!
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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Ray D'Arcy on Today FM!! - Our First Radio Mention!

If you heard LadyUmbrella being mentioned on Today FM by Ray D'Arcy then this is old news to you..If you haven't heard though then now you have ;)

I was one of those who didn't actually hear the LadyUmbrella shout out last Monday on Today FM live but was informed via the tweet machine and the tasty people at Burritos and Blues that we had got a mention on Today FM..

The reason I'm writing this blog post now about our Today FM shout out is because since Burritos & Blues mentioned it a few of my friends have also said that they had also heard it..And, that is where the plot thickens..

The reason we were mentioned on Today FM was because they were discussing Irish websites online and places to shop in the run up to Christmas..The researcher had a few websites that he recommended and then they opened the phones to listeners..And that is how we got a shout out - someone out there, called Sheila, sent in a text recommending our ladies t-shirts for Christmas..So, thank you Sheila :)

The mention in full goes as follow - "LadyUmbrella is another Irish site with a Spanish girl and an Irish guy" - sure it ain't a huge shoutout but it's our first radio mention so happy days - bring on the next one :) Ole..

P.S. Sharing is caring! Our IT boffins have have got a new Facebook "like" button and Twitter ReTweet button on the top of all our blog posts..Give them a click and make us smile!
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Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Day of the Double Delivery

Well, you know what, yesterday was quite a day - long but good and dare I say historic for us and LadyUmbrella. Lots of hours in a car, lots of road travelled and lots of t-shirts delivered..

A while back I mentioned that we had been accepted into the Project 51 December Pop Up Shop and so yesterday was when we dropped in the stock.. As Project 51 is in Dublin there wasn't that much driving involved but a whole lot of satisfaction..Project 51 is a really swanky shop and we're thrilled to be in there for the month..There will be lots of interesting events happening there so stay tuned for that..

Once that delivery was made we set a course for Ennis, Co. Clare to make our next delivery. Neither myself, nor Elena had ever been to Ennis before but it seems like a nice little town..We would have liked a chance to explore the side streets a bit more alas our time was spent briskly bounding of blossoming puddles as rain blitzed us from above - yes, we forgot our umbrellas but not our t-shirts..

After a bit of meandering we found Babylon and met up with the owner Fiona (pictured above with Elena) who was busy getting the place kitted out for its re launch which is happening this Saturday..Fiona has big plans for it as "Only in BABYLON this Saturday ... A complimentary in store stylist who has previously worked with ELLE magazine. She will personally help you select the best clothes to suit your shape and style." So, if you're in Ennis or Clare make sure to pop into Babylon this Saturday..We're sure it'll be a success as even though the shop wasn't fully made up when we were there the space looks great and there were lots of very nice clothes (we even spotted some of our old Loft friends dresses, Tokiki and Chupi hanging on the rail) already in place..

When we got home the inner numerical nerd in me made me capture this image from the car dash. We clocked up 513km in one day and were on the road driving for in and around 8 hours..It was undoubtedly a long day but this is what it is all about..We'd love to be able to make deliveries every week so if you know of any shops in your area that might like to stock LadyUmbrella please let us know, slowly but surely we'll build this baby up..Ole!
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