The Day I Almost Met Theo Paphitis Liberty Open Call 2010

This post originally appeared on Charlie Moo’s

On Saturday 6th February 2010 myself and Daddy Moo put away our wellies, dusted of our posh voices (we live in the heart of the Dorset countryside you see) and set of to the Big Smoke.  What were we doing I hear you cry! Why we were off to The Open Call at Liberty London.

liberty london

We arrived at 10:30am and the queue, well it was already quite long! Ekkkkk! We spent much of the time trying to stay warm and chatting to two lovely ladies. A South African from Scotland who made handbags and an American who lived in London and designed stationery.  An eclectic mix I’d say!  Our many forms of entertainment included making up random stories to strangers about why we were all queuing around Liberty’s.  My favourite being that we were there for the 75% off February Sale!

Liberty Open Call 2010 : 

handmade fabric party bags

I had a collection of handmade fabric party bags and a few pre-fills plus a portfolio of pictures, news clippings and awards. I must admit I was rather pleased with it all! My aim; to show these to the gift section at Liberty’s and fingers crossed get some feedback, if I was REALLY lucky got through to the buyers stage.

There was also a film crew there from Maverick making a documentary for the BBC and also Theo Paphitis.  Now this was the highlight of my day. I wore a bright red coat to ensure that I was caught visibly on camera.  Now to demonstrate the length of the queue it was decided that Theo would walk from one end to the other but for some reason he had to walk past me two or three times.  On the third time he smiled and said “aren’t you glad its not colder” and I replied by standing there with the hugest grin plastered over my face. My chance to ask for a photo or autograph and no I couldn’t speak but the little voice in my head was saying “SAY SOMETHING YOU IDIOT” by which time he had gone.  Argh … possibly my big chance… or possibly my first encounter with a great but not the last! (*Edit I actually did meet and have my photo taken with Theo in 2012*)  A little part of me wished I’d had more balls and just shoved a Charlie Moo’s business card in his hand. I’d love to have seen his face as he’d glanced down and saw my cheeky cow smiling back at him!

liberty london fabric

2pm : A total of 3.5 hours after we started queuing we had finally made it to the back door.  Whoop whoop we cried!! We were handed a clipboard and a form to fill in about being filmed. So exciting, until I noticed we were at the bottom of a very, very, very long staircase. EEKKKK.  Luckily this stage didn’t take very long and by 2:45pm we had had our photos taken registered, had a complimentary glass of orange juice and had lined up in the gifts queue!! At this point Daddy Moo decide to tell me he wouldn’t be coming with me he would stand and earwig but the pitch was up to me.  I have to admit at this point I felt totally and utterly sick in the pit of my stomach.

When my name was finally called I really thought I was going to faint, however literally the best person to pitch about my small business is me! I sat down handed over my samples, talked through my portfolio, told them about how Charlie Moo’s started, how I funded it, about the Awards I had won and what I saw for the future.  They both sat listening intently and asked a few questions and I in turn asked them a few.  The loved the product they loved my portfolio they thought I showed great entrepreneurial flair, but that my bags were aimed at too young an audience.  They gave me few leads and suggestions of who to pitch too next.

liberty london

Although they said no I had an amazing day, amazing feedback, and got to spend all day with Daddy Moo and no mini moo’s! What a rarity!  So the day after how am I feeling? Filled with such positive and exciting ideas for the future.

Photo Credit : Charlie Moo’s, Made By Me Craft Parties

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