The lovely Suzannah, designer of glorious dresses, worn by everyone from the young Royals to stars of stage and screen and, er, me, is always a joy to talk to. I’ve been in her boutique in West London several times this year, both for fittings and to film for Good Morning America over the Diamond Jubilee, and we always have lots to say! One of our conversations was all about how she used Pinterest to help her business, and I found it so fascinating that I asked her to write a guest post for me on the subject.
Over to Suzannah:
I have fallen in love with Pinterest, so much so that I have been acting as a kind of pushy ambassador with my female business friends and my entrepreneur network, telling them (or possibly lecturing them) about Pinterest, and the benefits it can have on driving awareness about your business.
One would think that by this statement that I was a social media whizz or that I had been pinning on my virtual pinboards for months and months. No. I started pinning this year, and became immediately hooked because of its simplicity and its effectiveness on so many levels.
Pinterest is a great, free virtual pinboard personal tool which can be useful whether doing up a house, planning a wedding, kids party, planning outifts or simple just building up visual references for fun and to share with others.
As a designer with a fashion business I use mine for fashion, design and product ideas and as a styling tool.
Sasha and I first started discussing Pinterest when we were fitting the Judy Blue Eyes cocktail dress which I designed and she wore (well!) for the recent Oliviers Awards and to a recent wedding in California.
We were in my boutique and were talking about style and ‘what to wear with what’ and what works and why. We got quite in depth in our conversation:
”Maybe you could carry that clutch as it is clean and graphic and the dimension echoes the size of the pockets.” I would say. Sasha would add, “I’m going to wear Nicholas Kirkwood neutral snake sandals as they add a lightness to the outfit, oh and a bright burst of colour on my nails. How about orange?”…..
We are both fashion people at heart and knew what we wanted to achieve in this conversation: I have a background in styling and design so it comes as second nature, and Sasha has a great fashion eye, a fashion background and a fabulous sense of style. But what if we weren’t like that naturally, or didn’t have daily access to this world? We started discussing this, and I mentioned that it is for this reason that Pinterest has become so useful for me. ..and Sasha asked me to write a post about it…
Everyday I receive emails from clients asking what shoes and what bag I would recommend to wear with the dress they’d bought from me. They would often attach several images of various shoes, jackets and accessories they already have. These are real women: business women, girls planning weddings, fashion editors, housewives, and people very much in the public eye.
I would then try and explain verbally the kind of thing that would work and attach several links to products that I had found through quick searches in my favourite online stores.
Now though, with Pinterest, I can simply and really quickly create a board just for them or send them through a link to a pre-prepared board so they can instantly get the gist of what would work and why. It also helps that the images on the board all link through to the original source! Perfect.
Of course I am not expecting everyone to fork out for that Miu Miu jacket that I recommend from Selfridges, or a pair of shoes that I have found from an online store in Japan! But it’s invaluable for giving a general idea so people know what would work and why with my designs.
That being said, I still sketch furiously on the backs of envelopes and tear out pictures from magazines etc… for my own inspiration and for my clients, and my iPhone is still crammed with ‘research and ideas’. But having this online tool for those pieces and nuggets of inspiration that I come across online and want to keep, share and enjoy is an amazing addition to my business. It helps people see into my world, and allows me to share theirs. From my studio in West London often as far as clients on the west coast of LA!
Suzannah Boutique, 6 Bristol Gardens, London W9 2JG