I *really* wanted to do a post about Plus London 3, what it meant to me as the person as an ex plus size blogger, about what it meant to Black Heart Creatives as a brand.
We were asked by the very lovely and long term internet friend Lauren from Pocket Rocket and new customer Claire from a monkey fashionista if we wanted to be one of the brands at the Plus Size, Fat Fashion event Plus London 3 (3 as it is in its third successful year). We jumped at the chance, as a lot of you know we have definitely tailored and catered our jewellery for the Plus Size market by offering longer chains as a standard, and not forgetting our signature necklace 'fat bitch'.
As a brand we have not had a BHC stall before, so there was a lot of prep to do, and not just hours and hours in the shed cutting stock. Those of you on twitter and instagram would have seen 'Nikki' the headless armless grey mannequin donated to us by Chantelle, well Nikki had a massive makeover, was painted in acrylic so it looked as though she was wearing a basque, and then I glued some ribbon around her and an old bow that I kept from a box of chocolates(!). Because Nikki looked so excellent I really wanted the Fat Bitch necklaces to have pride of place on her
You can also see there we managed to bodge an old ikea frame (will need to get box frames next time) sprayed black with some old blackboard paint, adorned with studs to frame our more elaborate pieces. The biggest challenge was to make a board to showcase all our necklaces and custom options. I had an old pinboard that took to blackboard paint very well, and again with some studs stuck around the edge. Then I used some off cut acrylic to support the back.
We stuck the necklaces on with some sticky pads so they could be removed with ease (although that didn't work out too well!) and laser cut prices. I also used my vinyl wedding cake stand as an earring rack, by heating up a braddle and making small holes around the circumference and hanging them round.
We met SO many amazing people, in fact I spoke to so many people about fatshion, BHC, plus size struggles and the business that I lost my voice the next day. It can be really intimidating meeting people you speak to every day on twitter, or bloggers who you read avidly, but for me it was scary meeting my customers. This might sound silly, but to meet people who have handed over their money for things I have made, and for them to WEAR them to events was really daunting. I said for the past week online and in real life just how nice every one was. It was strange and so liberating to be in a space where everyone was genuinely lovely, and interested to speak to you. I was on such a high for the days after the event.
The day itself went so quickly. Our stall was next to the awesome Alyssa from Twisted Siren who makes resin jewellery (look out for some news on something special from the two of us soon!) and after the event was opened we were asked to do a 10 minute Q&A with all the attendees. Can't lie, I was scared, but Alyssa was so confident and interesting, she gave me the confidence to wax lyrical about BHC without feeling stupid. The audience asked some really interesting and thought provoking questions, like how our styles have changed since doing our own businesses, would we expand our businesses, sell out to bigger brands, what working from home was like and its challenges, questions I had just never thought about before! There were several talks throughout the day from the big brands like Simply Be, Betty from Betty Pamper, as far as I could tell DID NOT SIT DOWN THE ENTIRE DAY making people look beautiful at the pamper box, PL3 organiser Michelles Red Bows Boutique there was bra fitting by curvy kate, flawless Burger Queen babe winner The Diablo Daniels doing a 21st Feminism rap and burlesque, which actually made the hairs of my neck stand up, and so much more that I didn't really get to take part in because we literally did not have a quiet moment.
I was very lucky that I had my very best internet bro's and in fact BHC two biggest muses Bethany from Arched Eyebrow and Sian from Picked Found Passionate with me all day, helping with the stall, wearing jewellery around and just being incredibly supportive. We decided to have a picture together, with Lauren as part of the twitter crew, by Blast, who the PL3 organisers had booked. Now the edited photos that were released the other night, that took over my timeline for two hours are amazing. I am not sure how they usually get people warmed up for the camera but they did ask us to do some Charlies Angels poses and jumping, nope, all we really wanted to do was be pervy with lollypops.
From L-R Bethany, Me, Sian, Lauren
Me with a chalky lolly
We did attend the after dark party but only for an hour because I was possibly the most tired I had ever been, and we decided to go back to Bristol. This is why we don't have any Blast prop photos, but there are some AMAZING people wearing our necklaces in theirs. There has been a lot of controversy about day 2 and attendance which I would have loved to gone to myself without the pressure of having the stall up and running, and a chance to be Charlotte the plus size babe and not Mrs Black Heart. But I just couldn't. I myself think it is very important for the plus size community to be just that, a community, we are marginalised as (any one identifying as a) women, and as fat women and I don't think without having a large blogging community and shouting about how we want fatshion and not just floral smocks from evans, we would have the variety of plus size clothes we have today, even from lets say 5 years ago? I think it is important for us to keep shouting that we are here, we are prideful and need to be accepted, and that we want MORE plus size ranges.
So I want to thank everyone I met and talked to at PL3, to thank the organisers Claire, Lauren, Isha and Michelle, all our customers, Bethany, Sian and Andrew for being wicked on the day. Also thanks to Betty, Mrs Bebe, Rikke and Blast for letting me borrow your photos for this post because I had ZERO time to do any myself. I will leave you with some of my favourite blast photos of our customers wearing their necklaces. We will DEFINITELY come next year Plus London, if you will have us?
Rachel from Catsuit City in a Hot Pink blog/twitter name necklace
Chatter Monkey Claire (PL3 organiser) wearing the bespoke fox brooch we made
Melly Meep wearing twitter name necklace in neon yellow