Thursday, 30 May 2013

Talk About Fireworks !

I recently encountered my first piece of online hostility from Twitter when a little bit of mischief went haywire.

A friend made a comment about a well-known money 'producer'. I couldn't resist a little bit of playful fun, so replied to them, complaining about their poor 'postal' service. The predictable response from the money producer, was that they actually made coins and didn't deliver parcels doh ! I laughed and then tied up the joke neatly with a "Really"! response.

I thought that was it, but I was wrong.

Far, far away in a Twitter galaxy not too many million miles  past the other side of politeness, two throughly charming individuals entered the conversation with such an aggressive tone, that I was genuinely surprised.

One who called me the 'B' word for being 'stupid' and the other who called me 'easy' (no, I don't know where that came from either ?) and told me to admit my 'mistake' and 'save my dignity'? Over reaction ? Totally. I responded saying his obvious lack of humour was sad and he was very easy to wind up.

Twitter is a universal forum for open, transparent opinions, but verbal abuse, well we can all do without it.

The' B' word has always repelled me and the use of it when insulting someone is just so unnecessary. Surely the English language has more to offer us, in terms of clever word play between 'smart' online duellers? To think that much passion was evoked, by a very obvious silly joke.

Everyone's enttiled to a voice and when it's challenged as an individual you can deal with it, in whichever you see fit. You could launch into a drawn-out online dogfight - battling for your views to be heard or just try to get in the last word.

You could respond in sarky tones or take the higher ground; which is to look beyond sound-offs and be heartened at being part of a global virtual nation, where freedom of speech is to be lauded, not mistreated or diminished by ill-tempered exchanges, often about very little.

In business, as in this example, the money producer's community manager dealt with the verbal ping pong effortlessly.

First, by clearly defining the tone of the exchange.

With good humour.

Several witty responses were issued, followed by a few retweets and a reminder to the user of the' B' word, that it was inappropriate, and that no further responses would be made to the individual concerned, if he continued in that tone. I was impressed.

Balanced live virtual opinions will always be exciting and often challenging, but some will inevitably be met with confrontation and general negativity. In a business this is thankfully addressed by a community manager.

A good one can handle just about anything, that's thrown at them and ultimately reverse a situation favourably, making the role of brand engager, I believe an increasingly vital component within business today.

Want to know what the next messge was that popped up after that Twitter set to ?   "Live is too short - enjoy it!   Exactly.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Colin Eyes the Prize ! - Interview With Eyewear Designer, Colin Leslie (Part 2)

(Here's Part 2 of Divasdelite's exclusive interview with Colin Leslie)

DD - You're a member of the Ethical Fashion Fellowship 500. Can you tell us more about the Fellowship?

CL - The Fellowship 500 is a collective of ethical, eco and sustainable based companies and brands, who support the well-being of the planet. We all care about how and where products are made. We've elected to  make an ethical stand, by not supporting things like slave labour and mass wastage.
Being Ethical has changed so much over the years. It used to be viewed as faddy, a little hippy, but thankful things have changed. Being Ethical is fabulous just like CL glasses.

The Eco Unit.T range is made from recycled acetate frames, injected into new moulds. Sourced bamboo and drawstring dual-purpose eyewear pouches made from ...would you believe plastic drinking water bottles; that are soft enough to clean your lenses as well.

DD - What have been the toughest challenges you've faced running the business in the midst of a recession?

CL What recession ?? CL sunglasses and fashion frames have been selling like hot cakes !! Bamboo eyewear is the latest craze to hit the UK this Spring/Summer 2013. What’s cool is seeing so many celebs wearing CL #bamboo #shades and fashion frames.

We’re definitely on the rise and our biggest challenge is keeping up with the demand. Our most popular styles are the Eco Unit.T Retro ranges as seen recently on Twitter worn by UK actress Elana Di Troya.

DD - What promotional advice would you give to up and coming fashion/accessory moguls?

CL - Mogul? I’m hardly one of those yet ! I’d say I’m a guy who loves what he does at work. Advice, well I’d say I’ve used the skills of my building trade to promote my brand and I'd sum it up like this:

1. Firstly lay down the foundations.
2. Have a vision of how and where you want the brand to go.
3. Follow your ideas paths and tweak it along the way.

Pretty much the same way to building a house.

DD - Where do you see CLE in 5 years time?

CL - Hopefully CLE will become an iconic eyewear brand like Ray Bans, Oakley, Gucci and D&G. Not just because they are ethical but because they’re cool. I’ll know I’ve really done well, when I can look around and see copies of my glasses, when I’m on holiday.

DD - You have a fabulous array of celebrities wearing your eyewear and I read a great endorsement of your glasses from Alicia Silverstone on her ‘The Kind Life’ blog. For all of those up and coming designers out there, how did you manage to snag them?

I can’t tell you how excited I was when I found out that Alicia Silverstone had mentioned me on her “The Kind Life” blog. I have always been a big fan of Alicia's since Clueless. It felt amazing to get a thumbs up from her.

It’s so exciting watching CL grow and encouraging to see how it’s been embraced by celebrities, who of course are such a great way to promote the brand.

Social networks have made it a lot easier to contact celebrities, so I tend to try and go direct to the celebrity or their management. I’m passionate about CLE and it’s great to see that being picked up by customers and celebrities alike.

DD - What's been the biggest break in your designer career so far?

Luckily for CLE there’s been quite a few. Being approached by “Dragons Den” in the early days of CLE. Reaching the semi final in the Barclays Bank “Take One Small Step” 2010 for a chance to win £50,000 out of 3000 companies across the UK.

I loved showcasing CLE at LFW2011 and landing our first celeb “Olly Murs” , who wore our glasses at Heart FM. There’s nothing quite like the buzz I get from seeing a customer or celebrity in our bamboo sunglasses!

But CLE’s biggest break, that has to getting into the Brits Awards 2013 gift bags. That was massive for us in terms of exposure and working with such a high profile event.

CL was named as an official gift bag sponsor. This led to the brand receiving global exposure on various news reports, blogs and media including the likes of GQ , Hello and OK. We even contributed to website reports in China, Thailand and Indonesia. It was crazy, but a lot of fun.

DD - Name 3 websites that you can’t get through the day or week without looking at?

CL- I use Facebook and Twitter daily, to checkout news, trends, up and coming actors, music artists and of course celebrities who I think would look great in CL. My last website definitely has to be “Ethical fashion Forum”

If you’re an ethical brand or a designer looking to get noticed, or just grow your brand, then this is an essential site for you. They have endless lists of members, from product photographers, media, bloggers, retailers and other industry contacts.

DD - Name the most remote place in the world, someone has placed an order for your glasses from?

CL - Good question. The most remote place I have sent my glasses to is Brazil. They was the Gunsmoke silver Aviators – they’re very smart looking glasses :0) It’s quite satisfying knowing that the CL website has now reached almost 23K visitors, including Brazil :0)

DD - What’s next for CL?

CL - We want to keep growing the business and continue to make our customers happy.  Also I’d love to work with the Brits again after such a great experience this year; and then maybe BAFTA, the Grammys and the Oscars.
Buy It: Colin Leslie glasses at :
Follow: Twitter - @Colinleslie01 / Facebook - :

As well as granting me an exclusive interview, Colin has very kindly provided me with a pair of his gorgeous designer sunglasses, as the prize for an exclusive Twitter competition.

Before your designer hearts burst with excitement, the good stuff doesn’t just stop there, oh yes there’s more ! Colin will also put you on his facebook banner AND the the front of his website for a whole month. Now if that isn't a great competition prize, then I don't know what is :0)

What do you have to do - On Saturday 1st June (not before) head on over to Twitter @Colinleslie01 and @divasdelite and RT the competiton tweet to win. Colin will be picking the lucky winer on Friday 7th June.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Colin Eyes the Prize ! - Interview With Eyewear Designer, Colin Leslie (Part 1)

You may have noticed we’ve been tweeting like crazy all week about @Colinleslie01aka #Colin Leslie Eyewear. So what is it about him that's got us on tweet overload?
They say accessories can make or break an outfit. For me that includes eyewear, like some fabulous shades or glasses, which led me to Colin Leslie Eyewear. Founded in 2009, his bamboo ethical eyewear collections have grabbed the attentions of celebrities, fashionistas and moi !

Divasdelite managed to pin down this multi-talented eyewear mogul for an interview, to learn more about him and his brand. Read part one on the interview below:

DD - Colin when did you realise you wanted to become an eyewear designer?

CL - In the early stages I did not realise that I was going to be a designer of eyewear. It just sort of happened, must be fate right? Actually, it all started after an accident that I had on the building site in 2009. I’ve been a carpenter/ joiner for over 30 years. I was off work for nearly 12 weeks convalescing. That got me thinking about the time I wouldn’t be able to climb over roofs and uneven ground, what was I going to do with myself?

So I thought, why not start a new business. Something fun but fashion based. I chose sunglasses because they linked in with my trade. And that’s how CL was born.

DD - What inspired you to design in bamboo?

CL- My passion has always been working with different timbers. Bamboo’s one of the fastest growing plants, at least a foot a day. It felt like the most natural and obvious source product to use and its perfect for ethical fashion.

DD - How long does it take to make a pair of your glasses?

CL - Normally the production of the glasses can take as long as 2 months. From design, prototype, manufacture to the final product.

DD - Where do you source your bamboo from?

CL - The bamboo is specially sourced from plantations in China, Hong Kong and Japan. It’s specially grown as material for furniture and other products. No wild or harsh bamboo is used, as this is harmful to the environments natural habitat.

Fashion as you know tends to go full circle. I am a young 51 with 4 adult children and my first granddaughter, but I can remember wearing the same ‘current’ styles when I was 16. So I’d say my style of eyewear, is more of a modern twist on old classics, Retro and Vintage.

DD - How would you describe your individual style and what inspired this year’s collection?

CL - Fashion tends to go full circle, I am a young 51 with 4 adult children and my first grandaughter, but I can still remember wearing many of the current styles when I was 16. In terms of my style I'd say I'm more of a modern twist of old classics, Retro and Vintage.

DD - What sparked your involvement in the AfCar Game and why should we all get involved?

CL - We became involved with Afcar, due to HKC Management.

CL is worn by a few of her celebrity contacts and clients like Rough Copy from Xfactor, singer/actor Ashley Walters from “So Solid Crew”, and Corrie Richards from “Damaged”. Helen Kotonias has been a great inspiration for our brand.

Afcar is a brilliant charity football match event and a great family day out. Team Caribbean featuring Jason Roberts, Andy Cole, DJ Campbell, Jamie Lawrence and Sol Campbell will be facing off against Team Africa which includes Patrick Vieira, the Sodje brothers, Ade Akinbiyi and Ibrahima Sonko

It’s not just a football game either. There’ll also be a dance-off, music, celebrity appearances, food stalls, face painting and a steel band. Tickets will cost £10 for adults and £5 for those under the age of 16, infants will be free. Family Ticket – for two adults and two children – is available for £25.Tickets can be bought on the Brentford ticketing website.

It’s going to be an amazing event and we should all support it.

(Read Part Two of Divasdelite exclusive interview with Colin Leslie tomorrow and we'll give you details on our Twitter competition to win some fabulous Colin Leslie sunglasses :0)

Buy It: Colin Leslie glasses at :
Follow: Twitter  - @Colinleslie01 / Facebook - :

Let the Good Times Roll !

Hi All, I'm back from under the radar of way too much work (the daytime gig), redisovering my passion (the night-time gig) and unbelievably things are still bubbling nicely along between B and me.

I laid things on the line

"Silence, doesn't equal a happy relationship"

Happily for me B got it and stepped up his game right away. We're not talking every day - let's be honest with work, time differences and just work in general, it's not sustainable. But we have managed to compromise and talk several times a week and touch wood it's working.

So man front tick.

Mum front tick.

She has now thankfully, finished her radiation therapy and with that crazy adventuress soul that I love about her, promptly announced that she's moving house and buying a condo in Miami - I know, she doesn't do things by half my Mum :0)

Finally, there's the work front. In the past three weeks I've had several opportunities turn up that I'm thrilled of which I'm posting after this. What's been great is the excitement and energy you can gain from loving what you do.

Compared with my daytime gig, which seems to be challenge upon challenge, my night-time gig is fun, this plus Mum's situation, is making me consider what I really need to be doing to be happy on all fronts.

Interesting times !!!