Sunday, 21 August 2011

Liberty - Best of British

Well as some of you may seen from my tweets @zazujewellery myself and Rob headed down to London at the crack of dawn yesterday morning to join the queue for Liberty's Open Call.

So we got up at 5:00am and left for the train station at 6:20am.
We got into London and made our way to the back of the queue which was already all round the building at 8:30am.

We knew that we would be waiting for up to 3 hours but thought it would soon fly by as each person only had 3 minutes to make their pitch.
Doors opened at 9:30am and we were indoors within 15 minutes. Thinking about how quickly we had been moving  I stupidly thought we would be in and out by 11:00 at the latest!

After another 10 minutes we had made it half way up their four storey stair case. I was starting to get a little nervous thinking I was going to get in so quickly!

I had needed the toilet since leaving the train station but thought I could wait as we were flying up these stairs. How wrong I was!

When we had got half way up the stairs a lovely member of staff kept coming down to see if there were any people pitching Home wares and Gifts. These people were being moved to the front on the queue to be seen.
This kept happening, and as the hours went by we were getting more and more fed up standing on a single step as people behind were racing their way up the queue.

When it seemed as if there were no more people from Home wares and Gifts we did start moving again. All out our neighbours were jewellery people. It was weird how we were not being moved into the final room.

We spent another good hour on the last step waiting to go through where I registered my name to see a jewellery buyer.
We got in and the staff members that were registering artists mentioned that they were just going to rush people through. It did make me feel that they just wanted the day over and done with and we were the dregs of the queue that they just wanted to get rid of!
My name got called and I went to sit with 2 buyers (not convinced they were jewellery buyers). They liked my jewellery, made positive remarks and some suggestions but did say that they would of liked to have seen the whole collection. I had bought 3 pendants from the range in 3 different finishes as they did say on the invite  only to bring a maximum of 4 things.

So I left the building feeling great that they hadn't slated me but a little down that we were rushed through at the last minute after waiting for hours.

All in all I do think that Liberty's Best of British open call is a brilliant idea but I did feel it was disorganised, although the two girls running up and down the stairs were lovely.

Maybe as they only select such a small amount of people to go through to the next round it would be better to do a bit amount of vetting on application from the designers. If they don't think your work is right on the photo's then you don't get invited. They know exactly what kind of look they want and I feel that they would end up with fewer amounts of people to see but the work is something that has taken their interest.
I think this way they will see more potential designers that are better suited to the store and then potentially more people going through to the second round.
The last thing I heard yesterday was that 12 people had been selected to go through to the second round, not a lot for the number of people that turned up.

These are what I took, sorry about the rubbish pic it was done on my mobile.

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