Creative Genius at the Startup Showcase

Last Saturday I battled the snow and cold and headed of in the early morning ( or early for a Saturday) to the Start Up Showcase. It promised to be a wonderland for curious minds wanting to find out about up and coming entrepreneurs from the world of food, art, homewares and fashion. It didn’t disappoint! I felt like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory (before it started going wrong) and didn’t know where to start with the treats on offer! There were what felt like 100 amazing companies but with difficulty I’ve selected my faves here.

I normally don’t put that much thought into greeting cards- not sure I should admit this to friends and family reading – but two amazing card brands reversed my lack of enthusiasm. Colourblind cards are one of the few greeting cards depicting multiracial families and founder Jessica Huie is an award winning business woman. Simply beautiful!

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The founder of Strange Fruit educated me about the the behind the song Strange Fruit and also her own personal story that inspired her to start these quirky greetings cards. I can’t express how much I loved the vintage glamour in the designs!

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I’m always happy to see food and am an avid snacker so often try to find ‘healthy snacks’- later finding out that they aren’t healthy at all. So was thrilled to stumble across Emilio’s vegetable muffins which are low sugar and gluten free (not that I’m gluten free but they were good). I struggled to choose between courgette and blueberries, butternut squash and orange but finally went for beetroot and chocolate. Anything that makes chocolate healthy is good for me!

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I was also drawn to Eddie’s chilli jams – which are simple tasty jams with a twist. Eddie’s jams are influenced by various corners of the world, the Caribbean- with the scotch bonnet jam (as good as it sounds), Mediterranean sun dried tomato jam (my personal fave), and Asian sweet chilli jam. Whilst I was talking to the very warm and inspiring Eddie her stand was swamped with people tasting the delectable condiments- loved watching the expressions on peoples faces as they enjoyed a little burst of flavour.

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I had a break from eating and spotted  very classy cocktail making sets by Tipplesworth in  stylish vintage inspired carriers. I sampled a lush hibiscus concoction that I’d love to recreate- but these aren’t i the shops yet- but like many of the brands at Startup Showcase- I’m sure they will be soon!

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The showcase was an orgy of creativity and there were visual delights everywhere you turned. These hats by Rachel Drewer  are like sculpture worthy of an art gallery!

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These funky lampshades by Inky Shades have motivated me to finally put my own mark on my flat- where I’ve been putting off a simple paint job for over 2 years! I bought the coolest shade ever- will  share on my Facebook page once its up, and the plan is I will have to make the rest of my place just as fabulous to match.

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Love the imaginative combination of wood with fabric and gorgeous laser cut jewelry by Lili & Ida.

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The hugely talented Juliet Sutton Gee’s creations, Gilded Lab, made me contemplate investing in a serious piece of bling just for the sake of it. If I don’t buy myself gold and diamonds- who else will. In the end was too sensible to get something so precious on a whim so I’ll just drool for now.

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Minussun by Japenese designer, Yuka Maeda, is such a fun collection of jewelry with a mixture of crochet and pieces made from resin. Loved the book she created from fabric!

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I could hardly contain my excitement when visiting Frilly by Lily’s stand has I have been a fan of the jewelry making genius for a while. Lovely Lily upcycles to create one of a kind pieces for very reasonable prices. I have amassed a large jewelry collection over the years and sadly things often go missing due to me misplacing bits in random places- at work, coat pockets, various bags, kitchen surface! However, I have kept my fave piece from Frilly by Lily for a few years despite it having been on a few adventures. I had to buy another piece – the gold keyhole (forgot to ask where she sourced it and would love to know). I’m sure I will treasure it for life!

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I started my day on a cold bus wondering why on earth I’d dragged myself out the house and ended the day full of energy and thinking of ways to nurture my own creativity. I even spotted designer Matthew Williamson so established names were also seeking inspiration. Watch this space for my next creative venture!

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