Jabels… JABELS… get your JABELS!!

A few weeks ago, despite the freezing wet weather we faced the Kingston Market on a Thursday afternoon.

One major problem we were faced with.. who is going to go to Kingston Market on a Thursday between 3-5pm??

Surprisingly, we had a few customers and we sold about 4 packs of Jabels. We are proud to say that we only have limited stock left. We have one more trade fair at Kingston University, Kingston Hill Campus at the Business School on the 9th of May.

Towards the end of the fair it started to rain so we had to take shelter in the hall in the middle of the market.

We didn’t win any of the awards on the day but we had fun and are proud of our fellow MACE students who managed to win all the awards that day

Here are a few photos from the day

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Blue Glimpse: Kingston Market Trade Fair

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Blue Glimpse: Karin

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42: Tabli

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42: Tabli – Ivo and Anca

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MACE students and Undergraduate students stalls at Kingston Market

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Kingston University Trade Fair

 

At the trade fair we managed to sell a number of Jabels and got constructive criticsm from judges and customers. As a team we will take the criticism into account and try and improve in areas of display, pitching, target audience for the next trade fair on the 21st of March (Next Thursday!)

Unfortunately, Blue Glimpse did not win any of the cash prizes but we are proud of our four MACE teams in winning the four prizes.  In total there were 19 teams in total, 9 MACE teams and 10 undergraduate teams.

Best Product – Aiis

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Best Sales Team – Ferox

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Best Trade Stand – Hiccups

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Best Company – Easthetic

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Blue Glimpse and our fellow MACE team Easthetics features in Kingston University student bulletin. “Kingston students shine brighter   than the rest at entrepreneurial comp”

https://mykingston.kingston.ac.uk/myuni/getinvolved/studentbulletin/Pages/Kingston-students-shine-brighter-than-the-rest-at-entrepreneurial-comp.aspx

This is great publicity for all of us including the other MACE teams and other Kingston University participants.

Overall, it was great experience and we are now looking forward to next weeks trade fair where will we be putting our competitive sale faces on and pushing for a lot more sales.

 

Trade fair Photos:

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If you are interested in Blue Glimpse and Jabels please visit our facebook, website, and follow us on twitter. We will update you on our progress and development and answer any of your questions.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BlueGlimpse

Twitter: @blueglimpsejabels

Website: blueglimpsejabels.wix.com/jabels

For sales and information contact us: blueglimpsejabels@gmail.com

Tomorrow the Blue Glimpse team is spending the day in London on a mission. All will be revealed in the next blog post.

Any Publicity is Good Publicity

Karin, Celia, Sean and I are proud to be included in the 32 students to have won and shared the 19 cash prizes, 21 prizes in total, for the West Focus Bright Ideas Competition. It was a great experience and certainly a confidence boost for our company and product.

Kingston even celebrated the win by writing an article about the West Focus competition.

Three MACE (MA Creative Economy) teams Blue Glimpse, Easthetics and 42 features in the article. However, we represent MACE and Kingston University so in reality it is good publicity for all teams in MACE.

‘Kingston entrepreneurs sweep the board at the Bright Ideas competition’

http://www.kingston.ac.uk/news/article/829/04-mar-2013-kingston-entrepreneurs-sweep-the-board-at-the-bright-ideas-competition/

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Blue Glimpse team celebrating their Bright Ideas Award (Photo:www.flickr.com)

Please take a look at the Flickr page below. Photos from the Bright Ideas Awards night.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/24022865@N06/8516378252/in/set-72157632882557524

Blue Glimpse: Jabels

This semester we got involved with Young Enterprise London with Dwain Reid, British business mentor.  Young Enterprise gives young entrepreneurs a chance to get an early start in learning skills and vital techniques for starting up a business from scratch. Young Enterprise hold workshops every month where the entrepreneurs can discuss their ideas and pick up vital skills in relation to starting up a mini business and coming up with a product. We got into small groups to form our mini business. In our group we have Celia our Business Manager, Karin our Marketing director, Sean our Financial Director and me the Business’s HR and Operations person. Our Business is called Blue Glimpse. It took us a while to come up with this name, it was only an hour before we went on the computer to register our business did we agree on the name. I did wonder if it took this long to come up with a name would it take us longer to come up with a product.

The next task was to open a bank account with Santander and come up with a product. The product can be anything except from a food and drink product. We could come up with a new product or a better version of a product that is already in the market. Our business group had to go back to basics and use the skills we learnt in our Lean Start Up two-day workshop with Eiwei Chen (my first blog post).  As it was hard to meet up during the week we had to observe the public as much as we can and try and look for a problem.  I went to St Pancras and Kings Cross Station, observed people on the buses, bus stops, Clapham common, on the trains, on the streets, in the gym etc.  I went to a house party and asked the people there. Two people suggested I come up with an umbrella that was made from quick dry material. I told them that it had already been done, I was sure we had those umbrellas in Hong Kong. I still couldn’t find a potential problem we could use for our business.

It was coming up to the product deadline and I was starting to panic. I told my group and we finally found time to meet up and discuss our ideas. We all liked Sean’s idea about a fridge system allowing people to know when their food was going to go off, I definitely have that problem in my house we tend to forget what we have in the fridge and it goes mouldy and we have to throw it out. We all then had a few days to try and come up with a product that would help people organise their fridge and allow them to know when their food product will be out of date.

We all agreed on rubber band labels to go over containers. I thought the best idea was to have a tag attached to the rubber band the labels will be erected allowing people to see the tags at the very back of the fridge. I also thought that the rubber bands were going to go on tupperware containers, I thought we were going to aim to target young people who like to cook for themselves and use containers to put their left over cooked food in and who forget when they cooked it. I thought our product was to help people avoid wasting their food in the fridge. However, my team had already decided on Jars.  Jam jars then narrowed our target audience but with the limited time we had we all thought it was a good idea. People usually use jars for home made jam, chutney, sauces, and salad dressing.  Then if the jar labels are popular then we thought that we could extend our product to different size labels, which could then fit over different size jars and containers.

We had to come up with a product name. Sean coined the word ‘Jabels’ by putting the words jar and labels together.

When trying to come up with a product name and a company name we had the problem of coming up with names that had already been done. Once we came up with names we would google search the company or product name. We were lucky that Blue Glimpse and Jabels weren’t taken.

Ideally we want our product to be a rubber band with a white board tag attached allowing people to write on the tag, wipe it off, and write on it again. We want our Jabels to be re-useable.

We needed to make a prototype before our Dragon Den session, 5 minutes to pitch our product to 7 business professionals. Celia managed to buy rubber wristbands (2012 London Olympics) for our prototypes. We found out that we could write on the rubber band directly with white board markers and wash it off. However, we need to test this more when we have our final product and see if this can be done.

Sean and Celia researched and contacted potential UK rubber band manufacturers. We wanted to ask the manufacturers if it was possible for them to embed a white board piece into their rubber bands. But the manufacturers were a little confused on the idea. So we thought if we could test our idea of customers writing on the rubber band directly more thoroughly then it could potentially be our final product. Celia found an online rubber band website where you can customise your own band. However, we thought it was a good idea to play it safe for Dragons Den and so our prototype had the rubber band with white board cut out pieces glued to the bands. This allowed us to demonstrate the writing and wiping away of the texts.

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More blog posts on Blue Glimpse, Jabels, our Dragon Den session and our trade fair experiences will be posted in the new year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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V&A Assignment

V&A WHATS ON GUIDE 2016

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The most interesting and creative assignment I had this semester was for my MA Museums and Galleries course. The assignment was to come up with the V&A What’s On Guide for 2016. During our 5 weeks class sessions at the museum we found out that it takes a lot of organisation, advance planning, extensive research, audience evaluation and editing to create these museum guides.

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(Etching of the Poynter Room by John Watkins, c. 1876-81, http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/a/architectural-history-of-the-v-and-a-1863-1873-fowkes-architectural-master-plan-an-interrupted-vision/)

We had to come up with a theme for our guide and I chose to focus on Architecture. I decided to connect the V&A, being one of the first arts and cultural districts, to up and coming arts and cultural districts such as the West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong, Saadiyat Island Art and Cultural District in Abu Dhabi, and the Entertainment District in Shanghai.

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(West Kowloon Cultural District, Hong Kong)

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(Cultural District, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi)

The What’s On Guide I was designing was for the July-September 2016 issue. I thought the summer issue will allowing me come up with creative outdoor events and take advantage of the new extension, (Phase 2 on Exhibition Road), that the museum will have opened to the public earlier that year. The new extension will offer the public an outdoor space to relax and enjoy, a new café, access to a new gallery, and a space for performances, art and events.

It was surprisingly hard to come up with two events per event area which then had to relevant to the theme of the guide. We were asked to come up with sixteen separate events. The eight event areas were exhibitions, displays, special events, families and young people, Evening events, course and workshops, demonstrations, tours and talks. We were told to be innovative with creating our events. My friend said she was going to have a famous chef to come in and give a cooking course to visitors and have someone from the Royal family to come in as a guest speaker. I decided my guide will have Australian Architect Michael Lynch and English Architect Sir Norman Foster to come and give a talk on the emergence and impact of creative towns.

Despite the stress from having the freedom to come up with sixteen imaginative and quite realistic museum events I actually enjoyed coming up with event ideas. I confess, I actually want to go to a few of my none-existent V&A events, especially the Friday Late event. The event consists a night of music, food, beverages and spontaneous dance performances around the museum. My embarrassing confession is that this event was inspired from a scene from one of the most terrible dance movies ever to be released ‘Step Up 4 – Revolution’. In the movie the “MOB” organises a flash mob dance performance at a gallery event. In this scene the dancers emerge from the art spontaneously and begin to perform and amaze the audiences. Out of the whole movie that was the best scene, I personally recommend you to not watch the movie but to just watch the art gallery flash mob scene on youtube (Link below).  Just imagine a series of unexpected dance performances from above and within the interior of the V&A interrupting and entertaining groups of people at a V&A Friday Late.

Watch this scene: Art Gallery Flash Mob scene, Step Up 4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VlnaowmqJg

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 It will be interesting to receive not only my teachers feedback to our creative writing assignment but also the feedback from the V&A museum staff.

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Frieze London

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MACE students and I managed to get to the Frieze Art Fair 2012, we all arrived excited and ready to take in all the art. Our tickets only allowed us to have access to the fair for two hours, from 5pm to 7pm. We had the privilege to walk amongst the 5pm VIP guests, I could not tell the difference between who was VIP and who was trying to be. After the first hour I was ready to leave. Despite the headache I had, due to the typical bright lights of the art fair, I managed to stay the whole two hours.

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We found the Gagosian Gallery from New York art booth. I was drawn to this painting (above) however, there was no caption and it was hard to tell who was representing the gallery. It was hard find any handout or books on the artist. Fellow Mace Students and I had a strange feeling when we entered Gagosian’s booth. We felt unwanted and unimportant. I got a sense of ‘we know at 5pm to 7pm there will be no real buyers, so we can relax and not make an effort’. Was there no captions for the artwork because they expected us to already know the Gallery and to recognise the artist represented without having to ask.

I was quite surprised to not see many red dots on the captions indicating artwork sold or other coloured dots indicating artwork reserved.

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Frieze was my second Art Fair experience, I had the opportunity to work as a volunteer and represented Schoeni Art Gallery, Hong Kong at the Hong Kong Art Fair 2012 in May.  I found that at both Art Fairs there was too much art to see and I found myself swimming through the lanes quickly as a result of lack of interest. I found the gallery representatives unapproachable and at times judgemental, especially when they stare at you as you walk by or took a photo. At the Hong Kong Art Fair we were told to always be alert, helpful, and engage in conversations with visitors, invite them to see all the artwork and meet the gallery owner. This friendly visitor interaction was encouraged throughout the whole day and not only when VIP’s were scheduled in. I did not find this friendly visitor and gallery staff interaction constantly throughout Frieze, but I am not saying that it wasn’t there at all.

Being an amateur and new to London’s Art World it was not easy to recognise the VIPs with the 5pm tickets. In Hong Kong the staff, Gallery staff, Sponsors, Journalist had visible photo identification cards hanging around their necks with different colours indicating who they were. It would of been interesting to see how different the atmosphere was when it was VIP only sessions.

Mace students and I had the privilege to listen to Art Market Analysis Anders Petterson, Founder and Managing Director of ArtTactic http://www.arttactic.com/, about the Art Market and prepared us for Frieze. After two hours with Petterson we found ourselves ready for the fair, he discussed the politics of Art Fairs, which includes not only the placements of the galleries art booth at the fair but also how the gallery is chosen. It’s all about reputation. For a gallery to be picked for an Art Fair the people who choose the galleries have to consider the reputation of the artists represented and what has the gallery achieved in the art world.

Personally, I find Art Fairs pretentious. It’s about galleries and artist maintaining or boosting their reputation. It’s about art sales, galleries competing each other for sales. Not only does the Artist and Galleries have pressure but the Art Fair organisers have pressure in keeping certain top galleries for the art season. For some of the visitors its about being seen at the art fair and its the time to become an art critic. Despite being considered pretentious Art Fairs are also considered as positive events within the art world. Art fairs give emerging artists and galleries the opportunity to launch their reputation into the prestigious art world. Art fairs bring different art cultures together in one space. It gives people the opportunity to network. Most importantly, they are part of the growing Creative Economy.

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Prototyping

What is prototyping?  Prototyping is when designers, innovators, creators test out their ideas before creating the final product. During the Lean Start-up workshop we used paper prototypes for our Movie-U App. Prototyping is very useful as it allows the creators to find out where their products work well and where they faulty.

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Last friday we had the task to create a new ‘Shoe‘ prototype within two hours. One of our creative team mates came up with our shoe before we left the room. Despite our quick thinking team mate, we went out to the public to ‘Crowd Source’.

Crowd Sourcing is important as it allows creators and designers to understand their audience better by asking them questions.

Our creative team asked people about their shoes, what are their favourite kind of shoes, the colours they preferred to wear etc. We decided to narrow our target audience to girls only. We asked the girls if they like wearing heels and how often do they wear heels?

The main questions we focused on was “when you have a night out in heels do you bring flats to change into?” we weren’t surprised that nearly every female we asked said yes. One girls answer was no, she explained that sometimes she walks home bear foot and carries her heels. One girl said it depends what she is wearing then she may or may not bring flats.

Our creative team came up with a Persona. Roxy is in her mid-twenties, she likes to party on the weekends, she works monday to friday, she has a boyfriend, and she likes to spend money on shoes.

We wanted to design a shoe that is comfortable, that has extra padding for certain areas that tend to rub and irritate. We also wanted a shoe that had two main functions, they could be flats or heels. The main problem we came across was with the attachable heel. How will it be attached? Where will it go when the customer de-attach the heels?

We decided it would be convenient if the heel could be stored in the shoe.  We thought we could have it stored in the sole but then we had to create a thicker sole to make room for the heels.

Keep in mind we only had 2 hours and limited resources to do the challenge, this is one of the designs our came up with:

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Overall, it was an insightful task but I am not convinced that the team will take this shoe prototype any further.

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