Happy Monday everyone, hope you had a good weekend, yesterday we had our first festive ladies day with My Serenity Boutique, it certainly kick started the festivities and we meet some lovely new customers.

This morning I’m heading through to Glasgow for my monthly meeting at our Business growth programme, October went a bit off track and I didn’t do what I had planned for the month, this new website is going to be the death of me I kid you not!  It’s been 1 step forward 2 back and it’s easy to fall down that rabbit hole if your not careful.  Hence the reason to write this post.

This time of year can be a bit bleh so I thought I would share my tips on how I stay motivated.

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Top New Look Skirt My Serenity Boutique Bag & Boots Kurt Geiger (last season but I’ve linked similar)

The Fear of Regret

I don’t want to look back with much regret knowing I could have done better.  I do my best to remind myself of this. Starting my business is the best thing I’ve ever done for myself especially my confidence and It’s just the start, I’ve got so many plans and goals set I want to know I tried my best.  I would rather look back and laugh at my crazy mistakes and believe me that list is growing by the year.  Life is to short, I remind myself of that (again). I’m nearly half way through mine!  I’m going to live glamorously into my nineties at least, I’m sure of that!! I’ve already done the norm, bought the house, car, happily married, 2 precious fur babies. It’s time for the fun stuff, time to enjoy what you work hard for. Take chances.  One of my favourite quotes is the 3 c’s.  Choice, Chance, Change.  “You must make the Choice to take the Chance or your life will never Change. True story! Write you goals, bucket list and start working towards them. You’ll be amazed at what you achieve. It doesn’t have to be huge, for starters just make a list of what you want done in a week. Keep it with you & I bet you get it done. Trust me it works!!

Your circle.

Surround yourself with people who inspire you.  Be fussy with who you spend your time with “you are the average of the 5 people you spend your time with” they shape who you  are, so if your circle is negative, change it, join a group, a club, take up night school.   My business coach Kirsty  is a ray of sunshine, she’s the most positive person I know.  I always leave our group sessions with fire in my belly also an outlook that I can achieve whatever I set out to do. We need more Kirsty’s in the world! If your Ayrshire / Glasgow based I highly recommend the Glasglow Girls Club.  I’ve been to some fab events and met lots of women that I now call friends.  They have  good networking events, events where if your feeling a bit stuck, need advice, a group of us get together and help where possible.  Days out, joining the club also gives you fantastic discounts on food, entertainment and other Scottish businesses to.  There is a waiting list and I’m sure their is only 2 openings a year to join but it’s definitely worth joining.

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Remind yourself how far you’ve came.

I wasn’t always confident, it’s still something I’m working on but when I think I can’t do something I remind myself on small achievements.  For example, I was terrified of driving, I wouldn’t drive anywhere that I new had a hill start, the detours I took, I’ll tell you!  I would probably be an extra £20 on fuel a week haha. And believe me this went on for years. I also wouldn’t go anywhere I hadn’t been before, I’m still a bit iffy on that but with Google maps nowadays what could possibly go wrong…….  How did I fix it, I’d had enough, I went out early on a Sunday morning and practiced hill starts till I was blue in the face.  I still pat myself on the back when I’m on a hill and use clutch control and no handbrake, such a bad ass lol.  But seriously push yourself, you can achieve anything and I mean anything you set your mind to. x

As always, thanks for reading and I hope this gives you a bit on inspiration for this Monday morning.

Chat soon

Marlene x

The past few years have been the coated jeans which I still love.  I have my black ones and my burgundy ones which come out year after year.  There also available from my shop.

This year the trend falls on faux leather leggings and trousers again and I couldn’t be happier.  With styles to suit everyone no matter of you’re age or shape I think this is a great piece of clothing to purchase and I’m sure it will be around for years to come.  Mention leather trousers and the scene from friends with Ross and the talcum powder or a cool 80″s poster of David Hasslehoff  in his leather pants leaning against Kit in Knightrider would spring to mind but fear not;  they’ve been revamped even recycled, I’m sure we’re now calling them Vegan leather instead of faux leather? Please correct me if I’m wrong.

So far I’ve purchased these super green ones from Zara, full length and fab colour too and these chocolate brown 3/4 ones from la redoute which I am loving.  I’m pairing them with my Ugly trainers which at the beginning when they first came out I thought, yes they live up to their name but now dare I mention the Love word again, I’m saying it a lot but I freckin love ugly trainers too.

Here’s my finds on the leather leggings / trousers on the high street.

1 River Island

2 Dorothy Perkins 

3 Pretty Little Thing

4 Marks and Spencers

As always I hope you enjoyed this post and it helps you find that perfect pair of trousers.  let me know in the comments below or on my Facebook or Instagram.

Chat soon.

Marlene x

As I was packing my suitcase I was thinking to myself; seriously – your going to London Fashion Week, actual LFW not the weekend aftermath this time it’s the real mccoy.

Arriving at Euston the heat hit and oh my I wasn’t dressed or prepared for the weather.  Will I ever learn, a few years back I went LFW weekend leaving Scotland that chilly morning in my faux fur coat and tights only again to arrive in an indian summer.  In the excitement of it all I never checked the weather.  It was all a bit last minute – I read and reread the email.  “We are delighted to have you confirmed as a Backstage Dresser for HUISHAN ZHANG at LFW tomorrow”  It was a case of hotel and train booked, the dress code was all black, flat dark shoes, no heavy make up, short nails and no jewellery incase the delicate fabrics were snagged.

I packed light, all black outfit for Monday, the basics – PJ’s and underwear.  I travelled in jeans, blazer, light knit (!!!) and my trainers.  It was 26 degrees when I got to London.  My feet were like balloons by the time I got to my hotel, I ended up with the blisters from hell and later on that night I was on the phone to my mum when I jumped out of bed after discovering a rash all over my legs. Helloo prickly heat!

No rash, blisters or seriously puffy tired face was going to dampen my day, I’d never been to the Holburn area so I set out early for the tube..  My heart went out to the commuters having to endure that cattle market every day.  Crammed in like sardines in the hundreds, the smell of cigarettes, perfume, aftershave, sweat I’d never been so close to a bunch of strangers!! The silence is deafening: so many people so little noise.  Only the sound of footsteps; waiting on the lift to get back up to fresh air there must have been at least 50 of us huddled waiting for the door to open when a lovely lady from Trinidad shouted from the back in her cheeriest accent “Good morning everyone” no response, only 1 young girl looked up from her phone, she made eye contact with me which is a no-no and cracked a smile.  Finally we cracked the code & broke the sound of the underground!

Rosewood London, what a place. Built in 1914, hidden from the hussle and bussle of the busy streets through an archway you enter into a grand courtyard.  I didn’t have a clue what door to go through, I was looking for the Grand Ballroom. One of the chauffeurs saw the confusion / panic in my face, took pity and started chatting.  Turns out he was from Scotland too; Dundee with only a few years until he retired I found out he chauffeured all his days. He managed to pin down one of the concierge who directed me to the ballroom, I thanked Tom / Tam if your from Scotland and made my way in.

Greeted by a softly spoken lady, dressed in a gorgeous black full length lace dress, I was passed through security and given my Access All Area’s band I was directed down the beautiful winding staircase to the ballroom.  The sound check and lighting was being rehearsed and the soundtrack for the show was Dorris Day – Perfect!

Girls were in makeup when I arrived, we were briefed and put to an outfit, my outfit was a beautiful pink shimmer high neck mini dress with cap sleeves, nude bodysuit, feather bag with strap to be wrapped round the left wrist and hung in a certain way, this was important so the all the bags were carried the same. People who had dressed before were put to the trickier outfits.

I met Millie a beautiful girl with a warm smile, we chatted for a bit, she’d done a few shows already so new the set up. I felt lucky some dressers just stood around whilst there models were on their phones. Then it was time.

I put Millie’s shoes on carefully as the leather was  fine & delicate and we had been warned about this beforehand and we were ready for the walk through. We got to see this on the screen just outside the dressing area so we had an idea of what was going on.

Back to hair the girls went, I did go down and watch as a trained hair dresser I was fascinated.

One by one the girls came back and were dressed, I patiently waited on Millie she had beautiful hair and a lot of it. Eventually she came bouncing through the door full of life and adrenaline.

She got dressed, there was a panicked silence in the room, lots of rushing and helping others. Millie’s was ready quickly so I helped other dressers with shoes and making sure the feathered drawstring bags were positioned correctly even helping one model with one of my blister plasters!

It was onto photos, every girl had their photo taken individually back stage then made there way to the the line up where hair & make up we’re doing there final touch ups.

The music started and the stylists quickly made one last check on the girls then it was time. One by one the disappeared through the curtain to the eagerly awaiting audience.   We huddled round the small screen watching the girls do their thing!  Eyes focused on the end of the runway as they made their way one by one, the collection was stunning, Camera’s flashing, phones filming every detail and just like that it was the finale with cheers from crowd, it was another successful collection from Huishan Zhang.  As the girls came back to the dressing room full of cheers and applause , it was  a quick change for them back into comfy clothing, make up off and racing on to the next show.

As the guests made there way out into the courtyard full of excitement, chatting of fabrics, who was there, who sat where. They finally parted ways air kissing their goodbyes as they made there way to the Bentleys and Mercedes waiting to take them to the next show.  I stood for a few minutes just to take it all in, my eye caught the chauffeur I was chatting to on the way in. “Well, he asked, how did you get on?”.  My face said it all.  “Maybe the next time we meet, I will be on the other side sitting front row being chauffeured around”.  We both laughed said our goodbyes as I stepped out of the archway back in to the real world I looked back, smiled, my heart still racing…………..did that just happen ?

 

Marlene x

The weather is heating up and with Summer just round the corner I’m seeing at lot of the latest trend on Instagram & in magazine’s, yes I still read them! The trend I want to chat about is the Short Suit.  Short suits have came back on trend every decade dating as far back as my favorite, the 80’s. I wa an eighties child and loved it. The power ballads, the films – Top Gun, Dirty Dancing, Flashdance, the fashion – shoulder pads, stiletto heels.  It was the best.

Best get back to the post …….. Tailored shorts paired with a blazer is right up my street.  I love a classic look, chic and stylish.  Keeping it chic with a crisp white shirt for the office or a beautiful silk cami for nights out.

There’s some great choices on the online at the moment, I’m heading in to Glasgow this week so I will also be checking out the high street too.

 

Here are some of my favourites

 

 

 

 

And a few high end – a girl can dream right………

Will you be investing in the short suit this season? Let me know in the comments below.

Chat soon

Marlene x

Well technically 7 months since I opened the doors but I’ve been planning this post in my head from over a month!

Opening the door that morning to the freshly painted walls, fully stocked boutique with items all hand picked my myself was surreal – it truly has been my proudest accomplishment to date!  The months have flown past, I’ve learnt a lot and I still have lots to learn but I thought I’d share my tuppence worth!.

Structure

I’m in my office job 2.5 days a week & I book-keep for another small business weekly so routine is key for me to achieve what I have set out to do.  This is something I’m still trying to master.  I want to build a new website & would like to have a blog post going out every week.  My advice is find what works for you & stick to that routine.  Night time is out for me, once I’m home and we’ve had dinner my brain doesn’t seem to function the way I want it too.  So my evenings are mostly spent with Alex and the dogs or catching up on the house chores & social media.  I’m most productive first thing in the morning.  I can wake up at 5am and be on my laptop with a huge mug of tea by 5.15am tapping away on the keys or straight into the accounts.  I’ve also started to exercise in the morning too.  I find it helps me sleep better.

Network

If like me you’re a one man band, it can get very lonely.  I would like to expand and employ someone maybe next year but for now it’s just me.  Getting out and meeting  other people either in your industry or trying to build their own brand can be so motivating.  It gives me the energy and encouragement to keep going.  I joined the Ayrshire Business Woman and Glasglow Girls Club & I try to get to as many events as possible.

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Say Yes to as much as you can.

I see a lot of influencers I follow advising to take down time and say no to more things, put away your phone at nights etc.  I advise the opposite, that’s fine once you’ve built the brand but when your starting out say yes to it all, getting a brand “out there” is a lot harder than what it was a few years back.  People are less likely to follow on social media these days.  So if you get the offer to showcase your brand in any way, go for it!  I done an interview and photoshoot with a local magazine recently.  I was dreading it, totally out of my comfort zone, I’m usually a behind the camera kinda gal but it is publicity for My Serenity Boutique and also for my blog.  The girls were amazing and Im arranging to do some work with the photographer for the blog.  So win win.

Nobody is you and that’s your power

I see this quote a lot and it’s true.  I follow other boutiques on social media, I have done long before I had the shop.  I admire the hard work they’ve done, hit the like button and scroll past. Don’t follow or copy what others are doing.  It’s hard not too but what works for them probably won’t work for you.  Get to know your own customers or audience and I can rest assure you will succeed in your own way.

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I’ve wanted a boutique and to work for myself for so long, I thought it would always be a dream, I’ve been the happiest girl in Ayrshire these past 7 months and I’m so grateful.  Thank you to all those who have followed my journey so far, this is just the start………..

Thanks to Foster Photography for the photographs x

Yours

Marlene x