Monday, August 31, 2015

Insider Interview: Jana Svalbe of Mode Bridal

In our next Insider Interview, we chat to Jana Svalbe of Mode Bridal about all things the business of fashion and running a bridal boutique.

What’s your usual working day like?

I love starting my day early and the first feel good factor is my morning workout. Burning those calories gives me great sense of achievement and a real energy boost for the day! Then a beauty routine and a morning coffee with my boyfriend, before I am ready to rock and roll!

E-mails, social media, blog and a catch up with my fabulous PR lady are the first tasks of the day. 10am and it is time to check out my bridal boutique to make sure it is absolute perfection before my first bridal appointment at 10:30. The comes my favourite part- meeting the bride and her closest friend and family to immerse into the world of beautiful handmade designer wedding dresses, styling advice, amazing stories of proposals and wedding planning and seeing the bride’s eyes light up when she find her perfect dress!

4 appointments, several phone calls and couple of cheeky social media posts later it is 7pm and time to place some orders for gorgeous one of a kind wedding dresses whilst looking forwards to a well-deserved glass of red wine.

What was your dream job when you were younger?

I imagined myself in high heels and a sleek dress being a lady in charge of a beautiful shop. I can say that my dream has come through as I run my own designer
 bridal boutique in Brighton- MODE Bridal and it is even better than I imagined as kid!
What's the best piece of career advice you've been given?

Don’t let other people “clip your wings” by telling you what you can’t do! If you want it, you got to find a way of getting it!

What's your number one style tip?

Don’t let trends to determine who you are. Understand what looks good on you and pick out those parts of trend that will make you go from looking good to looking amazing!

If you weren't doing the career you are now, what do you think you would be doing?

Before I started my bridal business, which was all about fulfilling a dream, I had a successful career in corporate finance. So if I was not helping brides to find their dream wedding dress I would be helping businesses to achieve their aspirations by providing them with finance.

If someone was looking for a career change into your industry, how would you propose the best way is to start?

Do thorough research into the industry and establish what will make you different to any other bridal shop. You need to understand why customers will come to you and not your competition that has been established for many years and has a strong brand presence. Once you understand that, it is about having a robust financial plan as it takes a long time to get the cash flowing through the business. With starting any business, it always takes longer to get the volume of sales you are hoping for and your costs are always higher, so have a contingency plan!

What's the best thing about your job?

Working with happy people every day and being my own boss. It is very satisfying to make a decision, work really hard and then see it all paying off- it gives me a great sense of achievement!

What's the toughest part of your job?

Dealing with adversity! It is a tough world out there and just because you are a nice person or are doing a great job does not mean that people around you will support you. I have come across great deal of bickering and people trying to undermine what I do because they are jealous of my success. That can be emotionally heard to deal with, so you have to be tough to be in business.

Most proud career moment to date?

There are a few, but the best one is being named a finalist in The Bridal Buyers Awards 2015; Best Retailer Website category in our first year of trading! The Award Ceremony is coming up soon, and I am keeping my fingers crossed!

Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

Taking over the bridal world and being a go to bridal boutique in the UK, which means more beautiful shops, more gorgeous wedding dresses and more happy brides!

Read more insider interviews here and look out for our next Insider Interview. 


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Building your confidence

Some people say confidence is one of those, "fake it 'till you make it" kind of things, as soon as you start believing in yourself, you exude an air of confidence. Here are a few steps to start to believe in yourself and build your confidence.

Don't doubt.

Don't doubt yourself, your ability or your decisions. Whatever you do, do it with pride and passion and you will soon start to build your confidence. If you start to doubt your ability or decision, evaluate if this is for you and what your goals are. Keeping your end goals in mind will clarify your thoughts and give you back that self-belief that will keep any of your doubting thoughts at bay!

Have courage of your convictions.

Courage of your convictions comes from self belief. Stick with your decisions and fulfill every opportunity to your complete potential. Have a look at our tips to become a decision making pro, that will help you out a little on this too!

Think and then speak.

Don't be hurried into a blubbering, verbal-vomit if you get a little nervous. Think carefully, streamline your thoughts and then speak clearly and slowly, you'll appear considered, in control and confident, even if you are a nervous-wreck on the inside.

Walk tall.

Don't slouch, don't hide away in the corner. Put yourself in the thick of it, whether it's a new social situation, work event or meeting, keep your head up and shoulders back and use our tips to think and then speak with purpose.

Look the part.

There is a well know saying that goes along the lines of, "dress for the job you want to have, not the job you have". Dressing the part can enhance your confidence, help you feel like you belong and increase your presence in a meeting, presentation or new job.


Monday, August 24, 2015

LOOK BEAUTY: Stay-Put Powder

In and among my latest 'Look Beauty' buys, I picked up this 'Stay-Put Powder'. I tend to have a quite shiny complexion by the end of the day, so adding this onto my daily routine does help my make-up 'stay-out' and sorts out my shine. The powder is very light, so it doesn't give that 'I have powdered my face to within an inch of its life and if I smile it will crack' look -which is always a bonus! Simple I turn the pot upside down, open the seal and use a very large powder brush then sweep over my cheeks, t-zone and chin just before I run out of the door. Perfect!


Just say yes!

Fairly recently, I read a blog post about learning to say, 'no', so here's my thoughts on the 'yes', 'no' debate. 'No' can help you get things done without distractions, but, why would you want to be the 'no' person all of the time? What a way to make you seem unapproachable and not a team player.

Saying 'yes' keeps you learning, it places you as a source of knowledge, a confident for others and a reliable colleague. Why would you say no to opportunities to share knowledge around your team, learn more and act as a voice of authority? Richard Branson is a great advocate of the 'yes' phrase and it hasn't seemed to do him any harm?!

So next time someone asks you for help, wants your advice, comes to you with an issue, don't immediately say 'no' because you want to check your own tasks off your list- say 'yes!'

It is fair to say that, and majorly important to remember, there's a difference between saying 'yes' and doing everyone else's work for then. Don't let yourself be walked over and don't forget how to say 'no'. The times you say it, will make the statement even more powerful.

Sunday, August 23, 2015



Olivia Palermo is hailed a as new Style Icon, from her chic blazers to accessorizing with Mr. Butler the dog here are my tips to steal her style!

1. Don't be afraid to wear something over again. Olivia wears her green REISS blazer again and again but changed up her styling adding broaches and neon trousers and then with a muted colour palette and statement VALENTINO pumps.

2. Wear Mulberry in the winter. Yes, OP wears the brand but I'm also talking about the colour. Mulberry is a great alternative to black for the winter and is a very autumnal colour tone. Team with an oversized black knit and shades a-la OP.

3. Add a statement accessory to your outfit to finish it off. Olivia adds a statement bag, an oversized jeweled necklace, broaches or some shades. Think bold accessories but add quality not quantity to steal her style.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Friday Favourites

It's Friday - yay!

Here are some of the makeup favourites I have been completely loving this week...

4. Clinique, Touch Tint for Eyes - now discontinued here is something similar

My favourites this week have inadvertently been all about the eyes. I think that's because if you have a flawless base, nothing else brightens the face like good mascara, a golden eye shade and lashings of liner, framed with a clean, strong brow, for which I love the Collection clear mascara. For summer golden eye shadow shades are a subtle lid hue and I tend to mix between a cream base like to Bobbi Brown long-wear shadows for the day then layering the Clinique tint with a more intense pigment and shine for the evenings. If I'm looking for more of a matte blended look to blend out of the crease of my eye socket and a winged eye liner, lately I've been reaching for the powder shadow in shade Becca from Louise Rednap's new beauty brand Wild About Beauty for a bronzed blended hue.

What are your Friday favourites for this week?



Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Here's how to make your commute a little more palatable

As I stand, nearly wedged, on a packed commuter train on my way to a central London location, an article I read yesterday has got me thinking...

Yesterday, a new proposal for incentives for commuters was covered in a whole-host of newspapers and online sites, it focused on tax-cuts for car sharing and part-time travelcards for part-time workers. I don't want to sound a little cynical but if you are commuting part-time you've got a mighty good deal my friend and if you're commuting in your car in your own personal space potentially with air-con, even a traffic jam, as infuriating as it might be, can't be as bad as being stuck standing for hours on a tube? If you're a seasoned train commuter don't you feel a little left out by these new 'commuting is such a chore let's make it more palatable' proposals?!

In light of this, I've got my own tips make your train or tube commute a little more palatable, we can all relate- right?

1. Never stand under an over arm hand rail. Admittedly this isn't always possible, but squeezing into a little corner is better than being faced with an armpit!!

2. If there's a seat, take it. Don't be one of those annoying people who will leave am empty seat whilst others stand....unless there is a more mature (pensioner) around or lady with child - let's not forget life etiquette people!

3. Don't push. We Brits love to queue, but as soon as there's a packed tube all those airs and graces go out the window! I'd like everyone to take a leaf out of the single file system at Canary Wharf, that'd make a commute a little more civilised.

4. Make life easy for yourself and don't get involved in train related altercations. His rucksack might keep hitting your back but it won't go anywhere regardless of your rant and you might be on the train with these people for the next three hours, should a signal failure occur, so play nice. Everyone is grumpy, don't be that angry person that gets all vocal.

As always, good luck with your journeys fellow commuters!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Collection Lengthening Mascara

Any mascara worn correctly can do wonders to open the eye and brighten the face. But there are a few that are miracle workers, take the Benefit Roller Lash for example, not a purse friendly option at nearly £20, but a wonder mascara nonetheless. Then take the Collection Lengthening Mascara, the same plastic bristle brush as the Roller Lash (all be it without the curve but they still get every lash and apply product evenly!) a long-lasting product that opens the eye, doesn't smudge on the lid, and a VERY purse friendly option at around a fiver, less if you get it on offer or in one of the 3 for 2 offers that have been testing my will power lately! 

Simply put, there are mascaras, a makeup bag essential, if there is one product I would never be without, a mascara would be in the mix. Then there are mascaras like the Benefit Roller Lash and this Collection beauty that are golden children of the mascara generation. Go invest in this now is all I shall say and let your eyes speak for themselves!


Monday, August 10, 2015

Lessons learned from Carrie Bradshaw....

There a good few things to learn from the single girls in the city, here's just a few...

1. End everything with a question. Since when did this become a thing?

2. Money is best placed hanging in your closet. Or wardrobe for those of us on the East side of the pond.

3. Shopping is an appropriate form of cardio. Why pay for the gym when you can pay for pretty things?!

4. Paris can change everything - a theme now adopted by nearly every American show.

5. A Cosmo can also change everything. Or four, or five... or more...

6. Second or third chancers might just end up leaving you at the alter.

7. Shoe purchases should never be judged. Ever. They are essentials.

8. Friendship is an investment, just like your savings. 

9. Being single is okay. I quote,  
"being single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means you're pretty sexy and you're taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with." 


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Ten lessons to learn from Gossip Girl

1. High school will be the best days and you'll look back with fond memories.

2. Scheming can sometimes work out well.... sometimes mind....

3. Nice guys don't finish last. Nice guys that ruin weddings finish last.

4. It's okay to refer to yourself in the third person - right Chuck Bass?

5. Some relationships have a habit of always resurfacing. How many times have Dan & Serena been over? Dan & Vanessa.... Nate & Vanessa.... Chuck & Blair.... Blair & Dan? The examples could go on....

6. Following your heart is better than a tiara. Don't learn like Blair.

7. Rufus Humphrey is a beautiful man.

8. There's always a Georgina Sparks lurking. BEWARE!

9. Girl code does apparently not exist on the Upper East Side. (when it comes to boys)

10. A sign off is everything!

Gossip Girl 

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