Well, first up I must apologise as this post is not going to contain any photos to make it more exciting.
For months I have been anxious about the fact I signed up to pitch my work to a panel of experts at Liberty in the hope they may be interested in stocking it. As the day drew closer I felt sick to my stomach with fear. I had been so preoccupied in every day life thinking about it that I've done all sorts of stupid things and been really clumsy (more so than normal). One morning I nearly pumped hand soap onto my toothpaste - that sort of thing...
I set my alarm for 4:45am on Saturday morning but I woke up after just 3 hours sleep at 2:30 and couldn't get back to sleep for worry. So, after another hour or so of tossing and turning I got up and plodded around and waited for my taxi to arrive at 6:00am. Next up I'm on a train with a couple of drunks from the night before and feeling mixed emotions - partly still riddled with fear and partly resigned to the fact it was happening and there was nothing I could do about it!
I got to London a few minutes early but then panic set in as there was the usual tube problems. I had read that previous years people had queued outside of Liberty for up to 5 hours! Urgh. I was worried that by the time I arrived I would be behind hundreds of people already, so needless to say when I got there I was pretty shocked to be able to walk straight into the building and join a queue of people going up the staircase. It didn't feel like it took too long to get to the top floor where they then split you off depending on your discipline as it were, so I got sent to sign in on one side of the room with everyone else who made women's fashion or accessories. Very kindly Liberty had tea and biscuits at the ready. I sat there for about 2-3 hours but it went by rather fast. Next up, my name is called out and the time had come to pitch my work! As I approached a table with just one panel member at it I quickly tipped out all my pieces very conscious of the fact you only get 3 minutes. I felt like all of my pitch went out of the window as I only got to say a few things I had planned before she called over someone else to take a look at my work. They seemed very keen on the buttons I make and talked about other things I could do. They took my card and that was it! I was so bewildered and still am, but understandably over the moon that they took an interest. So now I guess I wait and see if they contact me. It would be jolly nice if they did.
I think the moral of this story is, I'm so glad I went. When I signed up I thought I was so out of my depth and contemplated pulling out right up until the last minute. Thank God I didn't! It's good to take risks, it's the only way to get anywhere. I have some more nutty risk taking plans for the year. If nothing comes of them, so what? You have to be in in it to win it as they say. If you're a designer / maker then please consider signing up. Liberty have another date for the British Open Call in August. It's a really positive experience (no one was there crying!)
Also, a cheesy big 'thank you' too all of my friends who wished me luck - I feel like the biggest plonker for being so worried about it.