Costa D’en Blanes

We’re all wonderwomen!

rsz_internationalwomensday-portrait

What are you doing on Tuesday March 8th? It’s a big day all around the world, a national holiday in some places, it’s ‘International Women’s Day’ a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It’s marked with events and parties, rallies, demonstrations, conferences and all sorts of gatherings in countries as diverse as Argentina, Belgium and China. The event started over a hundred years ago and was in support of the Suffragettes who campaigned for equal rights for women.  But this year the day will also mark a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

We’re pretty lucky in Europe. I can’t imagine what it would be like to not have equal rights, and indeed can’t imagine what sort of person I would be if I had to mind my Ps and Qs and not do exactly what I wanted to when I wanted to. I am an equal to other people in the world and my daughter is equal, and I have some very feisty women to thank for securing those rights for me. But there are still millions of women around the world who don’t have this luxury; there are women who don’t have the chance for the same sort of free education as I benefitted from.

Over the past five years or so I have been involved in the organisation of fun IWD events at Mood Beach. This year I am organising an event on Tuesday March 8th at Mood Beach in Costa D’en Blanes. Doors open at 11.00. There will be chances to meet new people, to get involved with charities, and to meet up with women’s groups from around the island. And there will be a market stall area for small businesses to sell their wares. At lunch time there will be speeches and a presentation to a person who has made a great contribution to the community…. who will it be? You will have to be there to find out! The whole day is 25€ per person (Welcome drink, 2 course lunch, glass of wine, table water and bread & butter, and it is per person, not per woman, as men are invited too of course!).  You should reserve (it’s important for us to know how many people are coming for lunch) now by emailing info@moodbeach.com or calling 971 676 456.

Milk at a depot in Mallorca   We are collecting food for the Mediterranea foodbank, so please bring with you something to add to the pile. Mood will match the donation so make sure you remember! They welcome donations of pasta, rice, milk, oil, bottled and canned goods, nappies, baby milk and basic toiletries, so bring whatever you can.  If you are business owner or if you run a charity or organisation then please get in touch as there are spaces for stalls, you can email me on vicki@moodbeach.com.  

Medditerranea

Come and join me, and other women, bring your mum, bring your daughter, bring your friends. It’s time. mallorcamatters.com

 

A Winter Wonderland at Mood Beach

A winter wonderland

A “Winter Wonderland” is a rare occurrence in Majorca, we might see snow once or twice a year, and normally only on the mountain tops, but in a restaurant in Costa d’en Blanes? Never! Well, maybe not quite never… This Christmas season a talented artist is being brought over to transform the interior of Mood Beach Bar and Restaurant into a snowy winter scene. Over a cup of tea and a slightly dodgy Skype connection I had a chat with artist and visual merchandiser Sian Wedgwood-Walker, tasked with turning a Mediterranean seaside establishment into Santa’s grotto.

Vicki McLeod: So, where shall we start? Where did you study?

Sian Wedgwood-Walker: I went to Birmingham University where I studied Fine Art. When I left I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do. I thought about becoming a curator, but I’m a bit of an art snob, I don’t really like “old” art and I knew I would have needed a wider perspective than that. Within the art world you’ve got two ways you can go: you can either be one of the chosen few of amazing artists which make it, or you can be part of the rest and basically have to find something else to do!

I’d been doing a lot of performance and installation art during my degree, I liked to explore my interaction with the world through clothes, so I thought perhaps fashion was something I could try to get into. I started to work with a friend of mine who was an illustrator and we did some shows and projects together, but it didn’t work out so I looked to change direction a little. I’d always been interested in creating environments, and I was fascinated by window dressings, I really liked to go to the shops just to look at the windows, so I decided that maybe this was the way to go. I knew that I needed to use my creativity and I really like building and making things, so that’s why I decided to join House of Fraser and work my way up. I started to work as a Sales Assistant on the Phase A “mat” (that’s retail speak for the area you get when you are a franchise in a department store). I was forever redressing the mannequins and moving things around to see how they would work and they soon realised that I was really interested.

VM: Did they notice an increase in sales as well?

SWW: Oh yes, every time I increased the sales between 5 and 20%.  I started to look into how I could develop my career. The clothes I was working with were very nice, but not my kind of style. Then a job came up internally at House of Fraser where I had the freedom to create my own windows from scratch. It was a fun dream job, I had total and utter freedom! I could take things from anywhere in the store and put them together. That’s when I made a ball gown out of Lee jeans and dressed a mannequin in it, I called her “Miss Light Up Lee”. But then the credit crunch came and that really stifled my ability to be creative, we had to focus on blatant discounted offers and really work on selling, and everything just lost its fun. Then I moved to work for H & M in a very different, much smaller store. It was a promotion for me as well as I was also in management. The company look at visual merchandising in a very different way, and it does really make a difference to sales. Then I moved up from a 2.3m store to a 9m store, and I am running a team of six. H & M are an amazing company to work for, but still retail is very structured and set, there are specific things you have to do depending on the brands that you are working with.

VM: So now you are developing what you do outside of H & M as well.

SWW: Yes, I’m moving into creating environments for parties and weddings. I did my own wedding last year when I married my husband Flixx. My creativity really got to flow, we had a Peter Pan theme because it was his favourite book when he was child. Everything was drawn from the idea of being in Neverland. The whole theme was magical. The only problem was that my ideas were much bigger than my budget, so we had to keep it realistic! Now I am currently working on a project for a Burlesque show which is great, and I am still also working for H & M. We have Katy Perry jumping out of shopping bags throughout the stores at the moment for the Christmas campaign, it looks great!

VMC: What kinds of window and visual displays do you like to see?

SWW: I love Selfridges, their windows are always amazing, and Karen Millen as well. They are always very creative and inspiring.

VMC: From a cynical point of view the windows have to make you stop and want to go inside the shop don’t they?

SWW: Yes, of course. That’s the aim. We use “Hotspots” inside the stores as well to promote clothing. We might have something which has been in the store for months and we move it to these particular places and it will sell out or a customer will say “Ooh, this is new!” even if it’s been in the store in a different position for a while. There’s certain things which most people know about the psychology of visual merchandising now: like keeping the items that you want to sell on eye level. And customers always turn right when they enter a store. We have what we call an “A” area it’s the main selling point where you would put your main trend or campaign.

VMC: And what’s your personal style, which designers do you like?

SWW: I love Vivienne Westwood, she’s a crazy mentalist, completely bonkers! And I love Alexander McQueen as well. But I pull things from everywhere really, I like Victoria, 1920s, street style. And I love to make things as well.

VMC: Were you a big fan of Blue Peter when you were little?!

SWW: Yes, I loved it, but I never had the sticky backed plastic. My mum taught me to sew and I would make clothes for my troll dolls. I love to see how things are put together, I’m a bit of a geek about that.

VMC: So what are you going to be doing at Mood?

SWW: Margaret, the owner, wants to have the theme A Winter Wonderland so I’m going to use the colours white, silver and tinge of minty blue. There’s going to be as much fake snow as I can fit in as well! I have some ideas about how we can make it seem as if you are walking on snow as you go into the restaurant area.  I’m going to be using a lot of icicles, baubles and snowflakes, and white twigs. I want to hang a lot of things from the ceiling and make the whole place very glittery and twinkly. I don’t want to say too much as I want it to be a surprise.

VMC: It’s a big place though, this sounds like a lot of work!

SWW: Yep, it will be, we’ve scheduled that it will take us two days to install, we want it to be ready for Sunday December 20th. We’ve doing everything including the table settings. I’m also really keen to recycle and reuse objects so I’ve asked Naim at Mood to save wine bottles and we will be spraying them and using them in the installation as well. I’m so excited! It’s going to really fantastic!

                                                                                                                                                                                               

You will be able to see the Winter Wonderland at Mood Beach from Sunday December 20th to January 3rd. For more information email info@moodbeach.com

 

Coffee time!

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It happens every year: August is a burn out, in more ways than one, and then BOOM! The weather changes and we’re straight back on the Mallorca merry go round of charity events and get togethers. I’ve got to admit, I do love our island for that. This Friday I am helping to organise “Mallorca’s Biggest Coffee Morning” which will be at Mood Beach in Costa D’en Blanes and in aid of the cancer organisations on the island. It’s only 5€ per person which gives you a cup of coffee, a slice of cake, and a nice warm glow. You can bring friends, or make some when you get there as it’s normally quite busy. Doors open at 11am and then at 1pm there will be a menu special offer (call Mood for info as you have to book by Thursday afternoon, 971 676 456). Izzy Newman will be singing and being her lovely self, there will be cake competitions (thankfully for my waistline I am not a judge) which you can enter if you would like to. The categories will be Best: chocolate, sponge, fruit, cupcake or decorated, and you need to bring your creation to the venue between 10 and 10.30am on the day.

We’ve also got an fine offering of prizes for the best cakes, and some excellent raffle prizes as well. I have all of these in my hot little hands, I’m trying to figure out which ones I am going to “lose” and keep for myself, heh heh heh! So, if you are at the event on Friday you might win:  a painting by Vivian Borsani , a voucher for a pair of TopAs shoes, a 25€ voucher for Gaia Bathtime in Palma, a voucher from Salon Bling for a Shellac manicure, a voucher for a photography session with Aimee K Photography, a voucher for a facial from Bodhana Wellness in Portals, a voucher for a massage from Bodhana Wellness in Portals, four sessions with the Mallorca Tutoring Academy, a session of yoga with Saskia Griffiths, a makeup session with Laura Gisbert, a crystal ball from Angela Pryce, a book voucher from Kay Halley at Universal Bookshop, a voucher from Clare Jury at Nice Price, a voucher for a Jessica Geleration – gel polish treatment  from Lauren Watson at Studio 1, a voucher for a nutritional consultation from Suzanne Garaty, a voucher for a microdermabrasion facial from the HSJ Clinic and Doctor Huw Jones, and handmade jewellery from Confetti and Julia Ball. Not a bad list eh? And there’s more! So please make sure you come along on Friday and support the event.