Wednesday 8 August 2007

An insiders view of Dawn Bibbys world {Part One}

So many of you, I am guessing here, have seen or heard of the QVC Craft expert: Dawn Bibby. You may know her also because appears regularly in many cardmaking magazines. Because of her regular appearances on TV she is probably the most know face in the UK craft industry, I mean everybody knows of her and many people have an mental image of how is she. Well, I was no different and I had in my mind an idea.
When I met Dawn for the first time we were in Holland. As exotic as this may sound, it was not exotic at all, more like craft business and fun. Kars, one of the wholesale companies I work for, every year host a demonstrating and buying event at their warehouse in Holland. Kars demonstrators including myself were invited to this event last year, September 2006. There I met Dawn and Leonie, her lovely yet spirited assistant. A few months later Dawn needed another assistant at QVC for a few weeks and she remembered me and offer me the job. Let me tell you that maybe on the screen the whole thing looks really glamorous and fancy, in real life, it is a bit more down to earth. Long, long hours, and when I get there Dawn ussually is already there. She works really hard, so much so that when everyone else is exhausted and cranky, she still has stregh to go in front of the camera and sell you craft stuff.
Going up to Lancashire to demonstrate for the weekend was a first in my crafting life. The demo was Saturday and Sunday, so I drove up on Friday, and thanks to the advice I left fairly early, at least by my standards. My trusted Sat Nav took me via M1: BIG mistake. All in all it took me about six hours when it should had taken me around four and half. But I do enjoy driving and I had plenty of time so it wasn't a major set back.
Got to the Mill (Topaz is within a restored mill converted in to a shopping area), I set up my demo area and helped merchandising a little bit.
As I was staying with Dawn and JJ at their beautiful and comfortable house (it sounds kind of clishe but it is true, honestly) Dawn and I spent the evening making samples, pricing things up and so on until really late (even for my standards). I went to sleep before Dawn did and she kept working for awhile. Oh, boy, I really don't know where she gets the strength to go on.
This two photos, top and bottom, were taken on Saturday night, which means that already an exhausting day of demos all day long had passed by and yet, here we were making cards almost all night. Yes, there is love of the craft, but it is also work!

This photo taken by JJ shows his height, not a short man! also the photo shows how tired we were after 15 hours of work.
I think what it shows is that yes, Dawn Bibby is successful but she works really hard for it.

On the Sunday I did loads of ATC's, a recent love of mine to be honest, but that I really enjoy. It is instant and very fun to swap. This ones were mostly Christmas themed. Yes I know, it is only early August, but for cardmakers this is when everything Christmassy starts.

On the Saturday I concentrated mostly on scrapbooking doing and chatting people on how to start, a few basics and so on. One of the layouts I did at Topaz Crafts using Phoebe collection from Basic Grey, Maya Road tinted clear plasma and American Crafts Chipboard alphabet. This is not the first layout I have done with this photo, but because I like it so much I tend to reuse it. Also it helps the fact that I have quite a few copies, thanks to the perfectionist husband of mine who doesn't stop till he gets the perfect print.

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Momiji said...

thanks for sharing the photos Paula. you had a very busy but productive weekend then!interesting to see behind the scenes where all the hard work happens.
love the layout and that photo is so expressive...I love black and white as I think it captures the mood so much better.
love the atcs, what a lot!let me know if any are up for swaps!

Jenny said...

What a great insight Paula - thanks for sharing! I really like your colour block layout, simple and effective.

Patsy Jackson said...

Fantastic post Paula - really interesting :) Loving your latest LOs for Topaz :)


Anna said...

Paula, thanks for sharing what happens behind the scenes.

Are you going to be demonstrating at the Ally Pally in September?

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