Thursday, 23 June 2016

NTU Elefairy Reflection

Over the past two weeks Emily, Mavis and Catherine (aka the NTU Elefairies) have been working hard on multiple design projects in connection with the #Grads4Nottm scheme. The programme is aimed to show graduates the many career opportunities in the city and encourage them to remain in Nottingham. So what are their thoughts after interning at Elefair?

Before #Grads4Nottm I had never even thought about the possibility of staying in Nottingham, let alone beyond my first year at uni! The general conception is that London is the go-to place for graduate jobs, particularly within the fashion industry. However, after completing my internship at Elefair, my eyes have been opened to many more exciting prospects within Nottingham.
The work at Elefair has been varied and fun, keeping us on our toes! I felt that this gave me a real insight into the professional world of work which is fast-paced and pushes you to meet quick deadlines to a high standard.
The most enjoyable part of my time at Elefair was designing and installing the visual concept for Sherwood Art Week. I was given complete creative freedom to promote the company to a new audience and it has definitely been rewarding to see people visiting the store because of my display.
I have learnt so many new skills as well as putting into practise my existing design knowledge and I now feel that staying in Nottingham after graduation could be an option for me!

The Sherwood Art Week display at The Robin Hood 

When I first decided to sign up for #Grads4Nottm I didn’t really know what to expect but once we got to Elefair we really hit the ground running as we were assigned various tasks. As a law graduate I’m open to any sort of legal work experience. This indeed counts as one of the most unique work experiences I’ve had. Not only was I given the chance to draft an actual contract and give legal advice to a client, but I also had a lot of fun coming up with various design ideas. The most exciting task for me was designing the stall for Glastonbury because for once I had a chance to flex my creative muscles which I never knew I had!
This experience has really confirmed why Nottingham would be a great place to ‘work play and stay!’ it has made me more aware of my strengths and weaknesses. As a result of this challenge I have an even greater passion for law, as well as opening up my mind to considering more creative entrepreneurship ideas.  

The stall design for Glastonbury

Elefair has been a massively creative process over the last 2 weeks and after recently graduating with a first class honours in BA photography, it was very important for me to get stuck into internships and placements to gain experience for future employment.
 As a team, Emily, Mavis and I have been given many varying tasks to complete with lots of free reign to experiment and create our own designs and concepts. My main job has been to photograph lots of different products in store to be used for the website and social media. I was asked to do straight forward product shots and also creative / groups photographs of the products. A trip to the Arboretum allowed for a location shot for a teddy bears picnic and kite flying product shoot. From this I have been using my images to start a new Elefair Instagram (@Elefair_Giftware). It has also been good to get involved with other tasks during my time at Elefair, creating a visual concept for the Glastonbury stall and Gloworm Festival was a fun and creative task to get stuck into.
From my time being an Elefairy I have gained brilliant experience to help with my progression after graduation.
In action shooting the teddy bear picnic

We would all like to say thank you to Ele for this fantastic opportunity to become a member of your team for this short but sweet internship. We have enjoyed ourselves and have gained knowledge and skills we can all take forward with us in the future.

The NTU Elefairies x 

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Elefair for Sherwood Art Week

The NTU Elefairies have been busy over the past week designing and installing a fabulous window display for Sherwood Art Week 2016. This event allows local creatives and businesses to showcase their work, creating a pop-up art gallery effect along the high street in Sherwood.

The concept that we developed for this year’s display was ‘Postcard from Nepal’, celebrating the Nepalese heritage of the products Elefair markets. We were kindly given three windows to display our work in at The Robin Hood Pub, each one featuring a different idea designed by Emily and Leda.

The first contained many of the hanging items from Elefair such as the felt mobiles and fairies as well as the beautiful parasols acting as a colourful centre piece. The aim here was to create a bright impact, recreating the power of colour used as decoration instore.

The view of our first display from inside...

...and outside!
The second window focused more on individual products such as the wide variety of wooden carvings, felt finger puppets and traditional musical instruments, introducing our audience to the scale of product choice at Elefair. 

Our second window featuring a selection of musical instruments and wooden carvings
The third and final window was inspired by the beautiful hand-painted cards of Nepalese scenery that can be found instore. Influenced by existing visual merchandising concepts, we decided to be ambitious and build a 3D mountain scene complete with wooden bridge and atmospheric clouds, definitely testing our creative skills to the max! The finishing touch was completed with the Faces of Nepal cards surrounding the scenery, celebrating the native people of Nepal who design and create many of the unique products sold by Elefair.

The final display inspired by the Nepalese heritage of Elefair

We were also responsible for the graphic design and copy writing of two large posters, explaining the heritage of the brand and its products, how to find and follow Elefair and how to order any products that can be seen across the three displays. 

We hope that our display has introduced a new audience to Elefair and the story of the Nepalese people, without whom the company would not exist. Sherwood Art Week runs until Sunday 26th of June so make sure to pop down and check out our display at The Robin Hood Pub on Mansfield Road!

Emily – NTU Elefairy x 

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

NTU Elefairy Update

Hi, my name is Mavis and I’m another member of the NTU Elefairy team in partnership with the #Grads4Nottm scheme! During my time at Elefair I’ve had the exciting opportunity to get involved with work not only in relation to my field of interest, law but also a creative field.

I was able to apply my existing knowledge of employment law I acquired at university to the task I was given. I then went on to speak to a solicitor at Premier Legal Solicitors who gave me some further guidance on the matter. This gave me a real insight into how advising a client as a qualified legal practitioner would be like. It has also opened my eyes to the possibility of pursuing employment law as my area of specialisation in the future.

During my first week I tapped into my creative side and developed design ideas and visual concepts for the Elefair Glastonbury stall alongside my team mate Catherine. Although this line of work is not related to my primary interest in law, I found it to be an enjoyable task which left me open to alternative and more creative business ideas. The brief we were set was to create an eye-catching piece to attract people to the Elefair stall. We opted for a tunnel idea, creating a statement focal point for festival goers to walk through and discover the treasures of Elefair inside. The vibrant colours and scale of the final piece we designed and built will definitely make the stall stand out from the crowd.

Catherine adding the finishing touches to our Glastonbury visual concept

The finished design - the perfect entrance to our Elefair stall at Glastonbury

Through team work we came up with something we can truly call our own and hopefully the first of many more to come during our short but sweet time at Elefair!

Mavis - NTU Elefairy x 

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

NTU Elefairies

As part of an exciting creative collaboration between Elefair and the #Grads4Nottm scheme, three students from Nottingham Trent University are taking part in a two week internship. We will be working together to tackle the multiple design challenges set by Elefair to improve the company’s online presence and visual outlook in-store and at festivals throughout the summer. 

The new members of the team ready for the hard work to start!

I’m Emily, a first year fashion communication and promotion student with a passion for blogging, styling and visual merchandising. To bag yourself the dream career within any creative industry there is one key tip; experience experience experience! This is why the #Grads4Nottm scheme is such a valuable opportunity for us eager creatives, it offers a platform to work alongside local SMEs solving real challenges that will not only benefit the business but provide professional work for our portfolios. Everyone is a winner!

For weeks we have been shrouded in mystery surrounding the identity of our employer but finally our first day meant it was time for the big reveal. Starting an internship can feel daunting, you don’t know what to expect but it was a big relief to meet Ele and Kiera who are incredibly down to earth and friendly – the main requirement set was to have fun!

When we were introduced to the shop my first impression was what an amazing pop of colour! Every inch of the store is cheerful, a real Aladdin’s cave. The traditional products from Nepal and Bali are colourful by nature and this immediately jumped out at me as an opportunity to further push this fun and bright outlook throughout the work we produce.

The first brief I have been set to tackle is designing a visual merchandising concept to promote Elefair during Sherwood Arts Week. The big idea is titled ‘Postcard from Nepal’, celebrating the Nepalese heritage of the brand with traditional scenery and craft products, complete with a 3D model of the mountains. To go alongside this I shall also be developing information posters, order forms and leaflets which will put my graphic design skills into practise.

Meanwhile Catherine and Maevis are working on designing a visual concept for the stall that will be pitched at Glastonbury. It is important to continue to promote the brand ethos outside of the store whilst also developing innovative ways of catching the festival-goers’ attention. This will be achieved with a statement arch draped with fabric in the existing Elefair colours to draw people in.

The Elefairies hard at work
I’m looking forward to what the next two weeks have in store for me, I have already learnt that there is a quick turnaround within retail and briefs need to be met sufficiently and on time – an exciting challenge. I can already see that by the end of my time here I will have snapped up some lovely Elefair products myself – the struggles of being a magpie fashion student working in a beautiful store!

Stay tuned for more updates from us new Elefairies…


Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Glastonbury 2015 Photos!

14th July 2015

As many of you are probably aware from our previous posts, we have recently got back from another year of having a stall at Glastonbury! We had a brilliant time as usual and raised a total of £726.96 for our Nepal Earthquake fund - as we donated 10% of all proceeds to the fund and 50% of all proceeds from the henna tattoos we were doing at the stall!

Here are some photos from the week...

Felt items, Balinese bracelets and more inside the stall 
A front view of the stall
Our 'hook a lotus' game at the front of the stall! A prize was guaranteed every time! 
Our dream catcher display added a little decoration to the stall this year 
More dream catchers!
Amazing Nepalese art work for sale inside the stall
Inside the stall! Here you can see some of our Mathila paintings and jewellery which both went down a treat this year 
Colourful, summery jewellery with some of our wooden carvings and cushion covers in the background
Cool shot of the stall through the hook a lotus game! 
£3 necklaces!
Practicing henna
Practicing henna 
Intricate henna tattoo on a customer
Sally and Tanya doing henna on customers 
Lovely hand henna tattoo
Gorgeous henna on a customers leg 
Henna tattoo done by Tanya on Lydia
Sally and Tanya busy at work!
Another henna tattoo
Robby's henna tattoo!
Sally packing away
Sally packing away
Packing away the stall, feeling sad to be leaving
As you can see from our pictures we had another great year and we can't wait to return to Glastonbury again! Thanks for reading another installment from Elefair!

Friday, 3 July 2015

Another year another Glastonbury

We recently got back from yet another year at Glastonbury and what a success it was! We travelled down early on the Monday before the festival officially started on Wednesday to set up and decorate our stall in time!

Our Elefair stall!
Our stall was a bit different this year as we focused on donating some of our proceeds to our Nepal Earthquake Fund - 10% of all proceeds in general and 50% of all proceeds made from the henna tattoos, which were a huge hit as usual!

Tanya doing a henna on a customer
A beautiful and intricate henna tattoo done by Tanya John
As well as working at the stall, we got the chance to enjoy the sunshine and lovely weather that surprised us all! We also got the chance to see some brilliant performances from artists such as: Lionel Richie, Pharrell Williams and Kanye West, just to name a few!

We were sad to leave Glastonbury on Monday but now we are back we are working hard on expanding and improving our shop every day. We really enjoyed Glastonbury this year and all of our Elefairies worked extra hard to make the stall our best yet! We are already feeling those 'Glastonbury Blues' but we can't wait to return next year already! :D

Monday, 8 June 2015

Glastonbury 2015 Preperations!

8th June 2015

Festival season is upon us and we are so excited to be having a stall at Glastonbury again this year! Prior to this we have lots of things to prepare beforehand to make our stall look amazing and we have already started brainstorming different ideas to improve our stall.

Our stall last year! 
This year we want to incorporate the Nepal earthquake as a running theme and we will be donating 10% of all profits made from Glastonbury to the Nepal Earthquake Fund. We will also be doing henna tattoos again this year and 50% of the profits made from this will also be sent directly to Nepal.  We are very excited about this and hopefully our fundraising efforts will be successful!

Our henna tattoo section was a big success last year 
We will be sporting our trusty pink tent again this year and we hope to decorate it even more this year, with new signage and fixtures to draw more lovely customers in.

We have also been thinking about which products we can showcase for the festival season, some of which include our new yak wool shawls, musical instruments, dreamcatchers and fans!

A lovely couple in our stall last year
So, exciting times ahead for Elefair as we get ready for another year at Glastonbury. If you are attending Glastonbury yourself this year please feel free to pay us a visit! We are hoping for another year of fun, with some added fundraising bonuses!