WHY I’VE BEEN M.I.A!!

 

Wow!.. what can I say? Firstly, I would like to sincerely apologise to all you lovely readers for not having posted anything since June. Only days after my big launch I found out we were expecting our first little bundle of joy and as the disbelief and then excitement began to sink in, the onslaught of pregnancy hormones began to make their presence known. I was constantly feeling nauseous, eating had became a chore and was utterly exhausted by the end of each day that in all honesty, all I wanted to do when I got home from work was to crawl into bed. I had used up all my creative energy in my freelance work projects and there was sadly nothing left for Oh My Superfly!

I am now in my 2nd trimester and feeling a lot more like my old self. I’m once again getting excited about my plans for this blog and hope to be back blogging as soon as I can. Right now though, I’m trying to get as much work in before lil bubs arrives and mentally prepare for what lies ahead. Super excited!… Wish us luck!

 

 

Above: The first little thing I’ve bought for our soon to be cheeky lil monkey, made by designer maker Sally Nencini. It’s way too cute!! And the must-have London Underground ‘Baby on Board’ badge for my busy commutes to work.

Once again, I thank you for stopping by and please do check back now and then, there may just be a little something new. Take care. xx

 

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Kitty - This is the most beautiful news I have heard all week, I am so happy for you! One million and one congratulations to you, Fanni. I can’t wait to see Superfly’s superpupae (sorry for the attempted witty pun there!) You’ll be an incredible Mama.

<3

Fanni

Fanni - Oh Kitty! You are too sweet! Thank you kindly :) hope you’ve been well xx

Sophie - Congratulations! :)

Elena @ Randomly Happy - Congratulations! You must he due soon. Hipe things are going well!

x Elena

Fanni

Fanni - Thanks Elena! I am indeed. Really excited. x

HOW TO: COLOUR BLOCK SUCCULENT POTS

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Make a statement with this bright colour block plant pot tutorial and add a mini succulent oasis to any corner of your home or office desk this summer. Best thing is they don’t require a lot of up keep either so if you forget to water them they’ll still keep for a while. Just don’t leave it for too long of course!

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YOU WILL NEED:

Spray paint in a variety of complementary colours.

Terracotta pots (with holes in the bottom) & matching sized saucers.

Masking tape or washi tape.

Medium sized cardboard box.

Spare newspaper.

A variety of baby succulents.

Cactus compost. (perfectly balanced soil for these types of plants)

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METHOD:

Clean your terracotta pots with a damp cloth and make sure they dry completely before you start. Then cover a wide area of space with newspaper and place your empty cardboard box on top. Continue by placing one of your terracotta pots inside the box and pick the colour you wish to start with. Take the can of spray paint and have a practice go on the newspaper somewhere so you get a feel for the right pressure to get an even coverage. Then inside your box, spray your terracotta pot and apply one coat all the way around. (The box is there to limit the fine spray from getting everywhere indirectly). Insert a pencil into the drainage hole and gently lift the pot out of the box and set aside on the newspaper to dry. (continue with the rest). Allow each coat to dry thoroughly (this could be 2/3 hours) before adding another coat. Apply around 2/3 coats in total.

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Warning: Please be aware of the dangers of using and inhaling solvents like spray paint. Be wise and only use in a well ventilated area.

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.METHOD:

Once your colour block pots and saucers are a 100% dry you can begin planting your baby succulents into their sparkling new little homes.

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BONUS:

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous. Why not create your own geometric shape inspired succulent plant pots. For this you will need to use your masking tape/washi tape to draw the line or shape you desire and then seal off the area you do not want to be affected by the spray paint with some paper and seal each side edge with another layer of washi tape on top to hold the paper in place. Apply spray paint to the uncovered part. Please make sure you allow each layer of paint to thoroughly, thoroughly dry before applying another coat and remove your tape very carefully. If necessary use a paint brush for any additional touch-ups afterwards.

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Hope you all enjoyed this tutorial and I am looking forward to having many more up on the blog soon.
I would love to see your creations too, so please leave me a link to your instagram images in the comments. Thanks for stopping by!

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Carole Poirot - Brilliant idea! Love the colours in the first pic. And a fab looking blog! :-)

Fanni - Thank you for your lovely comment Carole, so pleased you like & enjoy trying this if you’re going to make them. Fanni x

laura redburn // cardboardcities - i’ve a few pots that need sprucing up, this might be just the push i need!

Katharine Peachey - Love this – and the blog too. I’ll be back!

MEET THE SUPERFLY CREATIVES : 001

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Oh My Superfly recently caught up with the lovely duo Hayley & Lucas from Alphabet Bags to find out how they’ve turned their creative ideas into a successful brand and business! And working together as a successful husband and wife team. Plus we take an exclusive look behind the scenes to where all the magic happens.

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Tell us about your business.  What is is that you do/make and how did you come up with the idea for it?

Hello there! We are Hayley and Lucas Lepola, a husband and wife team, and we run two online brands, The Calm Gallery and Alphabet Bags. At The Calm Gallery we design and sell mainly typographic prints, tea towels and postcards. We also work with more than a dozen other artists and designers to show and sell their work at The Calm Gallery. Alphabet Bags is our accessories brand, where we design and sell all sorts of accessories, from tote bags and purses to makeup bags and phone cases. Everything we design has an emphasis on the simple, bold and cheerful!

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How long have you been trading and have you always been in this profession?

We launched The Calm Gallery from our student halls whilst at university in early 2007. Alphabet Bags followed in September 2008. Neither of us have worked in any other roles since leaving university, aside from a little freelance work in the early days. We always joke that we have never had a proper job but we often think starting our business right out of university was a really good thing for us. We have developed a great working relationship and haven’t experienced the shock of going from a conventional work place to working full-time together.

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What does our job entail on a daily basis?
No two days are exactly the same, although there are many daily tasks that take up a lot of our time. Typically our day involves catching up with emails and customer enquiries, packing wholesale orders and wrapping and dispatching all orders that come through our websites. We process orders as soon as they come in and make sure that our customer service is the highest priority. Then when we have more time later on in the day we get round to working on new designs and projects. Keeping on top of our stock levels for our various collections and reordering stock is also a really important aspect of our day, especially with the growing number of collections we have, none of which we like to run out of. Then there are all of the other mundane, but all-important jobs that every small business will be more than familiar with, such as book-keeping and accounts, chasing and paying invoices and ordering supplies.

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What is it like working together as a husband and wife team?
Working together is pretty great! We do have the odd business disagreement here and there, but we feel very lucky to be able to work together and see each other every day. We tend to be on the same wavelength and are quite lucky that we have similar opinions about ideas. If this weren’t the case there could be potential for a lot of conflict! Working together does make it hard to switch off sometimes though, as we can end up talking about work wherever we are. We work together on pretty much everything we create and love sharing our ideas and growing our brands together.

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What is your favourite part of running your business?
Our favourite thing about running our business is seeing the little ideas that pop into our heads transform into actual products. Our most exciting days are those when we see samples of new collections in person and know that all of our efforts have been worthwhile. We then can’t wait to share them with everyone. It is also very exciting for us when we are out and about and see people carrying our bags. It’s so nice seeing our products being used and enjoyed, it really does make our day!

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What is the least favourite part of running your business?
Our least favourite part of what we do is those situations when things just don’t work out how we hoped. When developing new products there can often be hiccups along the way and problems that affect entire deliveries in some cases. It’s always a big challenge to overcome such huge problems and it can be disheartening when we’ve put a lot of time and effort into something. We do feel though that everything that happens contributes to us learning how to make improvements in the future. We always try to remind ourselves that if things were really easy they wouldn’t be worth doing!

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Where do you find your inspiration to develop your creative ideas?

Inspiration comes to us in all sorts of places. Often a great idea pops into our heads whilst driving (can’t explain why, I guess there’s just not much else to do when you’re stuck in traffic!). Lovely old objects often give us some source of inspiration and there’s nothing like wandering around an antiques shop or flea market to inspire us. No matter where we are we always find it impossible to come up with an idea when we’re really trying to think of something. This never works and most of the time ideas come along whenever they feel like it, not at a time that suits us! This is why we always carry a notebook of some sort to jot ideas down when they hit us.

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Can you offer any ‘best practice’ advice on working with suppliers and stockists?
Learning to work effectively and build good relationships with suppliers has been one of the biggest tests for us in business, but also one of the most important aspects of what we do. It’s something we’re still very much developing all the time. We have found that it’s important to have realistic expectations of your supplier’s capabilities and to establish whether they are able to deliver the specification that you require. If you are unrealistic with your supplier and piling on the pressure this will only lead to a poor working relationship and your own development is likely to grind to a halt. We have always found that if you can find the right suppliers for the right products this will really allow you to grow with your suppliers.

After products have been developed maintaining the relationship with your supplier is as important as ever. Managing stock levels is another challenge for brands with busy seasonal periods, such as Christmas. It’s essential to have a good dialogue with your supplier, so there is a good understanding about the increase in demand during these busy periods, and whether they can meet this demand for you. Although it’s a working relationship and it can be very challenging at times you’re always dealing with people, it’s so important to be friendly, polite and always understanding.

When working with stockists we have always tried to deliver the best possible service, simply to deliver to our stockists the sort of service we would like to receive from our suppliers. Responding to stockist enquiries and dispatching orders quickly is the best way to begin building great relationships with retailers. It’s important to be clear with suppliers from the opening of their account about your policies and estimated turnaround times. If these are clear and can be stuck to that’s great, but it’s also good to go above and beyond where possible when asked, excellent service doesn’t go unnoticed.

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What are your top 5 must-do/must-have tips for others who want to setup their own creative business?

Start off slowly so you’re not putting a huge amount of pressure on yourself to make money immediately. If you can test your ideas before quitting the day job that’s great.

As you grow do your best to delegate, it’s valuable to know how each aspect of your business works but don’t get snowed under trying to juggle all of your book keeping, accounts, PR and packing if you don’t need to or have time to do all of these things. Focus on what you do best!

If you’re a brand or online retailer we can’t emphasise enough how important excellent customer service is to your business. In our experience we’d say it was the most important thing. Not only is it nice to be nice, having excellent customer service and attention to detail will make the ordering experience delightful for your customers and hopefully make them want to come back again and to tell their friends and family about what a great experience they have had. Word of mouth is probably the best advertising you can get, and it’s free!

Have a fantastic website! Work with an excellent web developer who has a track record of building user-friendly, clean and simple websites and who has a real understanding of your needs. Your website is your storefront and it should represent your brand perfectly, be really easy to navigate and a joy for your customers to use. Great photographs are also hugely important. Having a really great website without beautiful and clear images of the brand’s products/services happens all too often and is a real let down.

We’ve found it has been important to pick and choose the projects which fit with our long term goals, rather than just saying yes to every opportunity that comes our way. Focus on what’s important to you and give it you all!
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If you could bea ‘colour’, what colour would you be and why?
Yellow – because it’s bright and cheery!

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I would like to say a big big thank you to Hayley and Lucas for sharing their valuable advice and amazing creative space in which they work. I hope you’ve enjoyed meeting these superfly creatives!

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Do you run a creative business or have an inspirational space where you create, make or draw and would like to be interviewed for the ‘Superfly Creative’ series and have some great photos taken of your workspace (based in London) then please do get in touch. I would love to hear from you.

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If you liked this post, please check out similar posts below and thanks for stopping by.

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Boz - Such a beautiful studio and products. I love having a peek into how/where other creatives work.

Shree Vella - Wow! You have some really great pics here! Beautiful! :)

Monique - Beads & Basics - Love the canvas bag!
Makes me smile :)

TOP 5 MUST-HAVE CAMERA APPS!

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Like many of you I enjoy capturing the little moments in life and often find it easier to use my iPhone than carrying around my big, heavy DSLR everyday. Plus there is the added bonus of instantly editing and uploading your photos to all your social media networks whilst you’re on the go which adds to all the fun, right? Well, here are my top 5 must-have camera apps so you too can have your very own handy photo editing studio, right in your pocket!. (Sadly, they’re not yet available on Android).

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PIC TAP GO – Developed by the folks from Totally Rad who also make amazing Photoshop actions this app is pretty neat for adding that extra pow! to your photos. From the very basic tweaks to more complex creations, you can layer effects to create a look that’s entirely unique with the added bonus of saving the ‘recipe’ to use on the future photos you take.

Available for: iPhone  Price: £1.49 /$2.24  Web: pictapgo

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VSCO – For me the notion of ‘less is more’ definitely applies when processing photos from shoots and this also applies to photos I take on my iPhone. VSCO make beautiful filters for using in Adobe Lightroom that closely resemble the ‘look and feel’ you get from film photography. Their app is simple to use and offers you 10 lush filters to give your photos that professional look.

Available for: iPhone (new update OS.6 only) Price: £0.69 /$0.99  Web: vscocam

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PHOTOGENE – There are many apps on the market that do great things and Photogene is one of them. What I love most about it is the crop and straighten tool (I MUST have straight horizons!!) Plus you can make colour adjustments and use the healing tool to remove any unwanted spots etc. So, if you have a little more time on your hands then this is the must-have app for you.

Available for: iPhone  Price: £0.69/$0.99  Web: photogene2

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PIC LAB – If you want to add some text to your photos, this fab little app lets you do just that. With a wide range of sexy fonts and stylish frame options your world really is your oyster. You can also unlock in-app upgrades for additional fonts and frames but there is already plenty included to start with and will keep you entertained for a while.

Available for: iPhone  Price: £0.69/$0.99

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A BEAUTIFUL MESS – If you’re after a bit of extra fun, then this wonderful app by the lovely and talented ladies Elise and Emma from the popular blog ‘A Beautiful Mess’  is the one to have. This app lets you edit your photos using custom filters as well as add creative quirky borders, hand-drawn doodles and text to your images giving them that personal touch.

Available for: iPhone  Price: £0.69/$0.99  Web: abeautifulmessapp

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Go on, get downloading! I would love to hear what you think and please do share your images and your favourite apps with me too. You can see my photos from my Life lately series here and on instagram. Have fun!

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Gabriella - Never seen these apps before and I have heaps of camera apps. I will check these out now :-)

Josie - I love this! Always looking for decent photography apps. :)

THE WONDERS OF PINTEREST

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We all tend to fall into a creative rut sometimes and finding inspiration and motivation to start on your new project or to complete a project you’ve been working on for a while can be tough. I find that taking a break, reading a good book or browsing the plethora of gorgeous images on Pinterest often helps re-ignite my creative spark.

If you haven’t joined Pinterest yet and wondering what all the fuss is about, let me shed some light on the whole thing. Pinterest is an online virtual moodboard to which you can ‘pin’ images from around the web to various themed ‘boards’. The images essentially retain their original web link so you can always ‘pin’ the image, return to it later and it will take you directly back to the blog or website where it originally appeared. There is also an option to set up ‘secret’ boards should you wish to collaborate with other creatives without letting slip any spoilers about the project you’re working on. Overall, it is great to browse and get your inspiration flowing again but it must also come with a warning. It’s a serious time suck and you can often loose several hours delving into the inspirational wonders that is Pinterest.

I recently set up some boards to curate a series of images I have pinned that I think are awesome and hope you’ll find them helpful too if you’re looking for anything colour specific. The boards themselves are based on the CMYK printing process (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) plus I have created one for the colour white. You can click on the links below to take you directly to each board.

Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black and White.

The images taken on my iPhone below were also inspired by the creation of these colour boards and are simply a collection of objects I have in my office. (Yes, I have a lot of random stuff lying around, all in organised chaos I must add!)

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Have fun and I hope you get your creative mojo back soon. Thanks for stopping by!

 

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