Archive for December, 2010

What people were looking for last week when they found the Superwoman blog

December 13, 2010

Probably explains why the Western Mail have two annual sexy lists and the Power 100 their powerful list!  Someone was looking for sexyest women whales…..

Search Views
superwoman blog 6
superwomen 4
fashion models diagnosed with cancer 2
list of wales top 50 sexiest women 2010 2
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wales’ 50 sexiest men and women 2
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The story of a business start up

December 10, 2010

Emma and I started in business in May 2002, which seems such a long time ago now! We had two children each, Emma’s were 1 and 4 years old, and mine were 2 and 3 years old. We had met through our local National Childbirth Trust branch. We were both in a similar position, having given up busy full time jobs to stay at home for a few years. Emma and I were always busy organising coffee mornings and all sorts of fundraising events, one of the mums even said to us one day ” you two should run your own business”!

Shortly after that I happened to mention to Emma that I was going wedding dress shopping with my sister. We started discussing the fact that there was a need for a Designer Bridal shop in Cowbridge, the small market town we lived in. A year later we had opened our first shop! There was a lot of work and research involved, all of it with babies hanging off legs, and toddlers running around manically, but it was the start of a great adventure.

For the first few years we built High Society from scratch into a really beautiful designer bridal boutique. We’ve been through a huge learning curve, and all I can say is, if these walls could talk….we’ve seen it all!

In 2005 the building next door came up for rent, and we took the opportunity to take it over as a ladies clothes shop. We wanted to sell affordable fashion, as many of the other boutiques in the town did very high end designer clothes. We called the shop Havana, and over the five years the boutique has taken us on another equally demanding but very different learning curve. We’ve built up some great labels such as Fenn Wright Manson, Inwear, Farhi, Avoca Anthology, Hoss Intropia and Noa Noa.

Emma and I have always been very interested in fashion in general, in the concept of style over fashion, and in the idea of dressing to suit your own figure. Coming from a background of working with brides for the last 8 years, we have learnt that there is no such thing as a perfect figure, and that how you look is definitely more to do with how you feel about yourself, and how you present yourself to the world than anything else.

I am a great believer that as you get older, you need to invest in better fitting clothes. Particularly after you’ve had children, you find that you just can’t get away with wearing badly fitting clothes. I love to follow fashion, but I understand that I need to think more carefully about what I wear, how to make the most of my figure as I get older, and how to adapt the current trends to suit me.

Back to how the business has developed, in 2007 we had the opportunity to buy the gorgeous three storey building where High Society and Havana are housed, and to buy a more established ladies clothes shop in Cowbridge, at the same time. This made for a very interesting period, there was a lot of running around with children in tow at that stage!

In 2008, we decided to get involved in the Online world. We realised that this was the future, and because so many people love the service that we offer in our shops, we saw this as an opportunity to offer the same level of personal service quite literally all over the world. We started with highsocietybride.co.uk, a fabulous website where we sell lots of gorgeous bridal accessories.

This year we have launched yoursecretboutique.co.uk, an online version of Havana, as we realise that there are lots of women out there who love to shop in Independent Fashion Boutiques like ours, but can’t always get to one. The idea is the pleasure of your favourite independent fashion boutique but online from the comfort and convenience of your own home.

We love gorgeous labels whose clothes you fall in love with, for example Avoca Anthology, always a favourite with our customers. Clothes should be exciting and have a personality that suits yours. When we’re buying collections, we ALWAYS think about whether an item is wearable at any age. We consider length for example, and there are endless conversations about whether you can wear this if you have boobs (that’s Emma), fat legs(that’s my obsession!), etc. But at least we are real women buying for real women.-

Hope this helps you to understand who we are, and here’s to the future, it’s going to be interesting!  Awen x

Western Mail’s 50 sexiest men 2010

December 7, 2010

It was the boys’ turn this weekend.    So how do you define sexy for men? The sexiest woman in Wales, Alex Jones said when she won last week that “sexiness was about attitude” and according to the Western Mail “our male winner has bags of that”.  The sexiest man in Wales (comedian Rhod Gilbert apparently if you don’t know already) then had a go at defining sexy himself and  said “Laughing makes you feel good about yourself, which is sexy, and I’ve always gravitated towards people who have that affect on me. I could never go out with someone who didn’t have the ability to have me in hysterics.  ”  Jamie Roberts (number 1 last year, number 2 this) said on winning the title last year that sexy “was someone who challenges me intellectually.”   This actually did not help with defining sexy for men since both were defining what they view as sexy in the opposite sex not their own.

Two of the men in the sexy list also feature in the Insider Power 100.  Carwyn Jones (“our guilty crush”) is number 3 in the Insider list but only sneaks in at number 48 in the sexy list.  Huw Eurig Davies is number 43 in the Insider List and 38 in the sexy list.  Do you get more or less sexy the more powerful you get? If you’re a woman it would appear you get less sexy as there is no cross over between the Insider Power 100 list and the sexiest women list.

Has there ever been a gay person on either list?

Truth is that most of the men on the list are actors/presenters/singers/models plus a good sprinkling of sportsmen.   They’re generally fairly easy on the eye but it would look shallow to say that out loud so the definition of sexy gets twisted into something more dignified when actually the reason most of the men are on the list is precisely because they are easy on the eye and on telly a lot.  And perhaps a little because the Western Mail already has a photo of them in the archives.

The same comments apply to the men’s list as apply to the women’s.    People who take Wales to the world and bring the world to Wales deserve better than being herded on a list of “Men we think are shaggable.”  The Western Mail might as well do that gesture involving putting one arm in the crook of the other, gurning and saying “Phwoar.”