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hihoandco group shot
Image by Matt Sweeting Photography

Unless you’ve been in a hole for the last few weeks (and that’s fine, we all need to go to ground occasionally!), you’ll know all about #hihoandco. This event was put on at Blackdown Shepherd Huts in Somerset, by Hiho, on Monday 11th Feb. As you’ll know if you know me at all, I work with Hiho (and have done for a while!), and I was also part of the organising team for the event. Hiho & Co was, quite simple, amazing, and I loved every moment. I lost my voice for three days afterwards but gained huge amounts of amazing memories and good vibes… so I’m fine with that!

I could write a very long blog about the Hiho & Co day, but I thought it would try and find the top five things about the day… it’s taken some thinking about, but here goes…

Five things I loved about #hihoandco

  1. The venue. Oh my. This was something else. I work with Blackdown Shepherd Huts and was absolutely blown away the first time I visited. The huts are like nothing I have ever seen before and are so beautifully designed. Not only was I amazed by the huts, but the workshop. I have this thing about workshops and warehouses – I kind of love them. I see them as the heart of the business and am always amazed by the degree of organisation in them. The Blackdown workshop was next level with specially designed bit for each thing – like the special sinking floor, for example. More than the beauty of the venue alone – the Blackdown team. Will, who owns Blackdown, along with the rest of the team, allowed us to completely take over their premises for two days… seriously- how many people would let you do that?! They also let us use another hut (the selfie hut) and take over their tearoom. I loved them all before but I love them even more now.
  2. Capture By Lucy. I’ve been a fan of Lucy and her amazing backdrops for quite some time. I think she’s incredibly talented and I love what she creates and the story behind her brand. But in person? She’s absolutely lovely! Not only did she handle the level of madness that follows me around, but she delivered the most amazing talk to the Hiho & Co guests. I’m going to treat myself to a backdrop too – I just need to decide which one!
  3. The brands. We were very, very lucky to have the most amazing support from some incredible brands in the equestrian and country industry, as well as those beyond. Mackenzie & George are heavily involved with Hiho & Co as Melanie (co-founder) is also part of the organising group. We had Fairfax & Favor, Albion Saddlemakers, Joules, Cupsmith, Hullabaloo Drinks involved with the goody bags. In addition we had additional props loaned from The Tartan Blanket Co and Albion Lifestyle. It was great having such an incredible range of products to use in our workshops and for dressing areas.
  4. The team. I have to talk about the team, don’t I? Whenever we embark on one of these events, I’m reminded how incredible the people I work with are. At the head of the Hiho & Co idea is Emma Warren – who’s also MD of Hiho Silver. This lady is so hardworking, kind and welcoming – words can’t express it. She’s also a sandwich short of a picnic. But no one who wasn’t would suggest these big things… and pull them off to such a degree, would they? Next up, Melanie Clarihew. Melanie, and her husband Chris, founded Mackenzie & George, and are some of the kindest, hardest working and most talented people I know. I’m regularly found laughing about something random with Melanie, but I am always in awe of what they create. The new luggage tags that they made and personalised for each goody bag were a great example of this. They’re amazing. Ruth Chappell- my little roomie and organisation whizz kid. Ruth is the lady behind Dressage Anywhere and I’m so impressed with how she runs, manages and promotes that. But at Hiho and Co, she keeps us organised. She sorts out so many behind the scenes things, and is a fixer. She makes me laugh a lot and has the kindest soul. I love Ruth a little bit. Then we have Rachel Bragg aka Sweet Images aka the flatlay queen. Rachel is also a very good friend and her gentle encouragement to everyone is incredible. She has no idea how good she when it comes to her teaching or photography, but she is next level. And shares this all so so willingly too. And last but not least is Sophie Callahan. The photography whizz kid. I have so much respect for Sophie – not just her skills but her whole demeanour. I adore Sophie and constantly learn from her attitude to life. She’s very laid back and takes the knocks in a way that she uses them to fuel her rather than lets them get her down. If you’ve read her baby blog you’ll understand exactly what I’m talking about. She’s stubborn as a mule too – and if I told her off once for trying to lift something heavy, I told her off 10 times… but I was the same when I was pregnant!
  5. The people. And this is a big one. The people who came to Hiho & Co were incredible. We had a lot of people come and see us for the second time (after coming to the first event held at The Fish in September) and it truly was like meeting up with a load of friends. How good is that? I feel that everyone who comes to one of these days is there for the right reasons. They get a huge amount of value from the workshops we run, but there’s also a lovely vibe, the chance to find new friends and so much more. Some of the people attending shared lifts – some even went out to dinner the night before – and this really did warm my heart…
hiho and co cupcakes

So there you have it – five things I loved about #hihoandco – but be in no doubt I could have written a book on the subject! If you want to see a little more of the magic, pop on over to Instagram and have a look at the #hihoandco hashtag. Equally, have a look at Hiho’s own blog and follow the links listed to the blogs created by some of our amazing guests.

Rhea Freeman Newsletter Link
Image by Sweet Images UK

Today’s blog focuses on one of my lovely clients, Hiho Silver. Well, after #hihoandco on Monday, it seemed as good a time as any to share this!

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Hiho Silver for quite a few years now and I’m so, so proud to work with them. Not only is the jewellery stunning (and can put up with the level of abuse that happens to it in my daily life!), but the people are lovely too.

As I get to hang out with Hiho Silver a lot, I thought it might be fun to share five things you might not know about Hiho Silver. I mean, you might do, but I thought it would be quite a fun way to lift the lid on this popular equestrian jewellery company. Are you ready? Let’s look at five things you might not know about Hiho Silver…

Hiho Silver is 25 years old this year!

Yep, Hiho is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. On the wedding anniversary chart this is… silver! To celebrate its 25th year, Hiho will be releasing a number of super special, limited edition pieces. I can’t tell you what they are or who Hiho is working with – because Emma and the team would actually shoot me – but trust me when I say you have some real treats in store!

Not all silver is the same

Ok, this is a fact about silver rather than Hiho Silver, but it’s an interesting one all the same. Not all silver is the same. Hiho use sterling silver, meaning it contains 92.5% silver and 7.5% of another metal. Pure silver is a really soft metal, meaning that if you were to make jewellery out of it, it wouldn’t stay in the shape it was meant to for long. By adding another metal and making sterling silver, Hiho’s pieces are a lot more durable, but the additional metal is chosen so it doesn’t detract from the silver’s beauty.

But before you think ‘this sounds odd’ – it isn’t. The hallmark 925 is used on a lot of silver, including Hiho’s, and the 925 refers to the percentage of pure silver in the jewellery. All Hiho is made with the highest quality 925 sterling silver, and pieces over the minimum legal weight threshold have a hallmark as a further guarantee of quality.

The Cherry Roller

Ah- the Cherry Roller. I LOVE this piece, but there’s a lot more to it than just a beautiful piece of jewellery. The Cherry Roller was designed by the Hiho team and is exclusive, trademarked and copyrighted. This piece took a long time to refine – and I know a lot of testing went on behind the scenes before it was sold. There are lots of clever elements in the design, not least the fact it can be customised with the beads a customer chooses. This, to me, makes it even more special.

Hiho Silver was in an old piggery for a number of years

Hiho may have started life at Forde Abbey, but a good fews years ago the team relocated to a piggery. Ok, that’s not quite true. Although the building used to be a piggery it had, obviously, been converted into a pretty impressive office space with everything you’d expect. They’ve now moved to the old granary.

It really is a team effort…

And this is one of the really lovely things about Hiho. The team. When a piece is designed, so many people chip in with their thoughts, ideas and so on, to help perfect each piece and make it as good as it can possibly be. Of course there’s usually a lead and someone brings the seed of the idea which is then developed, but everyone brings something to the party and I really think that is why Hiho’s jewellery is so special. This collaborative way of working doesn’t stop at design – on no. When we are planning a campaign or a sponsorship or anything else, everyone involved has a say on how we can make it better so we get the desired outcome. It’s a rather lovely way of working…

To find out more about Hiho, have a look at the Hiho Silver website, or go on over and follow them on Instagram or Facebook.

If you liked this, you might also like…

Why I love the CZ Roller Bead

Hiho & Co Instameet

Hiho & Co Instameet

What are you doing on Monday 11th February? If the answer is ‘nothing’ or ‘nothing that can’t be changed’ – read on – I have the perfect way to spend the day. The Hiho & Co Instameet. Well, I call it an Instameet because I think that’s a term that everyone gets, but it’s SO much more than that. A bit like saying a Lindt ball is a chocolate. It does it no justice at all.

So what’s Hiho & Co?

You may remember that last September, Hiho ran an event called ‘Style, Skills & Silver’ at The Fish Hotel in Broadway. This was the very first of its kind in our industry and brought together bloggers, vloggers and small businesses with some of the best brands in our space, and various experts too. There were two workshops- one about style and one about skills, and a group of the most amazing people learnt lots and got hands on in both workshops. I ran part of the skills side with Sophie Callahan, Ruth Chappell and Rachel Bragg, and I had the most amazing time. As soon as the first one was finished, we all agreed we wanted to do it again. We’d had the best fun, met lots of amazing new friends, and learnt lots too. It was great. So then we started plotting. And that’s where Hiho & Co came from.

Why not Style, Skills & Silver?

As I mentioned, the first event was called Style, Skills & Silver, but this one has had a name change. Emma Warren (Queen Bee of Hiho Silver) felt that Hiho & Co was a true reflection of the collaborative nature of the event. Not only the brand ambassadors and experts, but also the people attending. Because without exception everyone worked together. And not only that, but created some mind blowing content and further collabs long after the event ended. I like the new name a lot!

So what’s happening at Hiho & Co?

We’re building on the very firm foundations of the first event, but with a few changes. We’ve moved location to Hiho’s home county and are able to hold the event at Blackdown Shepherd Huts. These huts contain the most Instagrammable interiors and details I’ve ever seen, and with the workshops we have planned, are going to work so well. Their exteriors are pretty extraordinary too, with the craftsmanship shining through at every opportunity, providing the perfect backdrop to our plans.

At this event, you’ll still have the chance to work with Sophie Callahan, Rachel Bragg, Ruth Chappell, Melanie Clarihew, me, and the Hiho team, but you’ll also be treated to a workshop run by the very talented Capture By Lucy. I promise you, it is going to be superb.

You’ll also be treated to a delicious lunch, cakes, a goody bag, plenty of opportunities to chat to people to help your business flourish… and you’ll make some new friends too. Probably people you feel you already know through Instagram. But in real life.

The bad news is that, at time of writing this, there are just FOUR spaces left. So if you want one, get in quick! You can book your ticket to Hiho & Co here!

Do I have a treat for you today! Today’s episode is all about the power of collaboration and trying new things. If you’ve ever wondered about how collaborations work with many brands, or why it’s important to try new things, this is for you!

For this episode, we’re talking to Emma Warren, MD of Hiho Silver. In it, she talks about working together, why it really is important to try new things in your business, and how the Style, Skills & Silver event Hiho ran in September ’18 did this. Emma is a lady who just doesn’t just talk a good talk, she’s always trying new things and testing theories… and we get a look at the mindset behind that here too.

Let’s talk about the power of collaboration and why we should embrace trying new things

Show notes for the Small & Supercharged Podcast – Episode 15 – the power of collaboration and trying news things with Emma Warren. In this episode we have a really good chat with Emma Warren, MD of Hiho Silver, about collaboration, trying new things, and how this all came together in the Hiho Silver Style, Skills & Silver event. In this episode you’ll hear…

  • How the idea for Style, Skills & Silver came about.
  • The idea that was at the hub of the event and how this grew and developed in line with Emma’s vision.
  • How the skills that the group of amazing attendees learnt are being used even now.
  • The ability to collaborate with other brands to make an event like this work – Melanie from Mackenzie & George, Ben from Fairfax & Favor, and Sophie from Evemy & Evemy attended in person, and Annie from Albion Lifestyle and Belle from Annabel Brocks let us loan products to play with and use for the workshops.
  • How Style, Skills & Silver was quite a different concept, and how Emma and Hiho felt about that.
  • We talk about how Emma’s knowledge from different industries has been brought across to Hiho and that can help to encourage her to do new things.
  • How an event, like Style, Skills & Silver, has far reaching benefits – not just for skills but also for people’s lives.
  • That people who attended and presented at the event really pushed themselves outside their comfort zones, as much as the people who attended and tried new things did.
  • How the biggest take aways from the day were things that no one could have really predicted.
  • Why working together with other brands is kind of brave, but also hugely valuable and important. We also talk about balance and how some people and brands really embrace collaboration and others don’t. Emma also acknowledges that collaboration isn’t for everyone, but how this is fine too!
  • How people like different things at different times, and how collaboration isn’t just about the pound notes. It’s about far more than that.
  • The importance of authenticity when it comes to collaborations – how this idea might not work for everyone, but how it works for many brands and when it does, it’s great. But we also talk about why it doesn’t work for everyone and can depend on heritage and company DNA.
  • We talk about the next Style, Skills & Silver event – and how this will be in February.
  • How you can find out about the next event and how the people who came to the first event will get a 24 hour window to order their tickets before general release.
  • Why Style, Skills & Silver was a no shopping event and the benefits of this.

Since this episode was recorded the event has been renamed as Hiho & Co and the next event’s theme is around being all you can be. This will focused around helping people tap into their own skills, using them as well as possible, and not fixating on what you can’t do. I’m excited…

To find out more about Hiho Silver, all the links are below. And if you want to find out more about Emma, I’ve included her links too!

Emma Warren:

Instagram

Website

Hiho Silver:

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Website

Dimpsey Glamping:

Instagram

Facebook

Website

 

We’re now on day two of the first week of my 2018 Christmas Giveaway. And today it’s all about Hiho Silver. Well, Hiho Silver and the Fob Bracelet with Equestrian Charms, to be precise.

sterling-silver-fob-bracelet-with-equestrian-charms-equestrian-jewelleryWhat’s the Fob Bracelet with Equestrian Charms

It’s so, so lovely! But there’s a bit more to it than just loveliness!

This is a sterling silver bracelet which is made from a sturdy chain that really will take you from mucking out to going out! It has a circular link on one end and a t-bar fastening at the other, which makes it easy to put on and take off, and secure when in place. At the circular end, things get a lot more horsey, as that’s where the equestrian charms are. On this bracelet, you’ll find three of them: a hat, a boot, and a stirrup, all hand cast. These little charms are SO cute and have all the detail you’d expect from Hiho too.

This is part of Hiho’s Equestrian Collection and has been on sale for a number of years, and still continues to be a best seller. And it’s not surprising when you see the quality and beauty of it. I still can’t believe how detailed the little charms are. They’re ‘properly’ horsey and can be identified at at least 50 paces by anyone who’s equestrian!

For the competition, I have one of these gorgeous Fob Bracelets with Equestrian Charms to giveaway from Hiho Silver.

How do you win?

Well, that’s all down to luck, but you do need to enter to stand a fighting chance!

As per the blog yesterday, all about the Fairfax & Favor Chatham Purse, this year’s festive giveaways have been grouped, meaning that five products make up the prize for week one. Week two also has a festive bundle made up of a different five products.

For this competition, I’ve added a video to my Rhea Freeman PR Facebook page and this shows the Fob Bracelet is all its glory – it is SO pretty. In addition, there’s a pinned post which is where you need to enter.

To be in with a chance of winning, all you need to do is…

  • Go to my Rhea Freeman PR Facebook page
  • Find the pinned post at the top of the page
  • Like and comment on the pinned post, and make sure you like my page too
  • Do this all before midnight on Sunday 2nd December 2018!

And if you would like to share the competition or the videos (I’m making five for each week!) then please do – I’d be really grateful.

To enter the competition, you can find my Rhea Freeman PR Facebook page here.

Thank you Hiho Silver

If you follow me on any social media platforms, you’ll know I have the pleasure of working with Hiho Silver, and have for a number of years. Not only are ‘Team Hiho’ absolutely lovely and then some, but the jewellery. OH MY, the jewellery. I’ve been a fan of the brand for a long time – long before I started working for them. Their brand story, how they design the jewellery, the brand ethos and more have always appealed to me, and I know all the above ticks many boxes for others too.

I wear my Hiho all the time – I don’t even take it off to go to sleep. I know I shouldn’t admit that in public but, hey, I’ve done it now! I’m a very proud brand ambassador for Hiho too. I LOVE the pieces… and if you haven’t met them yet, you will soon!

Visit my Rhea Freeman PR Facebook Page to enter

I am so, SO excited to be able to share this episode with you. Actually, I’m really excited to be able to share this lady with you. This is Emma Warren. Emma is the Queen Bee (MD) of Hiho Silver and runs her own luxury glamping business too. But this isn’t all there is to Emma – far from it. She’s an accountant by trade (keep reading, please!), but has had the most amazing career. The path she’s taken to get where she is not is a really interesting one, but more than that, Emma’s ability to be multi-passionate, to juggle so many things, to lead this multi-hyphenate life, is fascinating. The thing is, being multi-hyphenate (as in, having more than one passion and one job title) is branded as new… but it isn’t… as Emma explains. Have a listen here…

 

Let’s talk about being multipassionate and juggling life and work, with Emma Warren

Show notes for the Small & Supercharged Podcast – Episode 7 – being multipassionate, leading a multi-hyphenate life, juggling and the career path she’s taken…

  • Emma talks about the journey she’s taken to get where she is now
  • Being multipassionate and how having a multihyphenate career isn’t a new thing (but maybe the branding is)
  • We talk about how Emma found Hiho Silver and how she become involved at first
  • How she believes accountants should earn their money because of their unique position within the business, and how they can be the ‘wheel hub’ for all the elements
  • The value of doing things you really enjoy – even though you may still have to do your filing(!)
  • What being the MD of Hiho actually involves – and how being hands on in a small business is really important
  • The value of a great team
  • The speed of change and how it’s important to try, test and break things
  • Where the idea for Dimpsey, Emma’s glamping business, came from as well as how she made Dimpsey different to other glamping experiences at that time.
  • Getting the family involved in the businesses to help make the experience more inclusive
  • Work/life balance and how Emma views it all – are blurred lines such a bad thing?
  • Emma’s top tips on how to juggle work, motherhood, running a ‘mini’ farm and lots more.

To find out more about Emma and her businesses, here are all the links…

Emma Warren:

Instagram

Website

Hiho Silver:

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Website

Dimpsey Glamping:

Instagram

Facebook

Website

Subscribe to the Small & Supercharged podcast on iTunes

The Fish Hotel BroadwayThere are going to be a few blogs about Hiho Silver’s amazing Style, Skills & Silver event, because I’m still buzzing from it. Last Thursday (6th September) was the day of the event we’d been working towards for a while. And I say we because it really was a we. The event was the brainchild of Hiho’s Queen Bee, Emma Warren, but the two workshops that were held were a huge team effort, that I will tell you about in more detail soon. Today, we’re focusing on the beautiful venue – The Fish Hotel, Broadway.

The Fish Hotel, Broadway

Based on the Farncombe Estate, The Fish Hotel is a real hidden gem. And it is properly hidden too! You clamber up a hill called Fish Hill (and it’s a serious hill with some quite surprising bends!), before taking a left down a long drive. The Estate is massive and contains three amazing venues/hotels – there’s The Fish Hotel, Dormy House and Foxhill Manor. As you turn off the main road, you are taken down an incredibly long drive. It would have been useful if I’d measured the length of the drive but this thought only dawned on me as I started to write the paragraph. The thing is, the length of the drive isn’t the thing you remember. It’s the view. I headed to the venue with Ruth (Dressage Anywhere) and as I’d been there before, I wittered on about the view for most of the drive down the drive. I’ve seen the view before but it was no less impressive second time around. Worcestershire stretches out beneath you and it’s just a sight to behold. I took a picture when I went for a recce, but it doesn’t do it justice. The scale can’t be appreciated in a picture. The entrance is impressive and sets the tone for everything else.

Springfield House

The Fish is made up of a few different areas. The Hook is the restaurant were we had a very nice pizza for dinner the night before, Springfield House is where we held Style, Skills & Silver, we stayed in the Coach House (I think). They also have a number of other buildings in the grounds, including some stunning shepherd huts by Blackdown Shepherd Huts that people can stay in too. It’s clearly a big place, but the careful design of it all means it all feels rather private and lovely. There’s also a lot of greenery – when we walked up from the restaurant the night before (we didn’t stop setting up until gone 9pm so dinner was quite late), it was lovely – tree lined, beautifully lit… heavenly.

Springfield House has quite a different vibe to the restaurant but it’s absolutely lovely too. It manages to strike the mix of modern, cosy, funky, quirky and practical. And that’s quite a combination! We had four rooms in total on two different floors. The first floor was where we held the workshops – the space and the light were lovely and worked so well with the practical workshops. Up a level we had a lovely lounge where we met at the beginning and end of the day, and the room next door where we had lunch and chatted too. The rooms were lovely and having the space over the two floors worked so well with the way the day ran.

Where we stayed

The night before I stayed in the Coach House. I shared a twin room with Ruth and it was the most beautiful room. Lovely fresh white bed linen, Galaxy hot chocolate (yes, I’m very easily bought!), a huge bathroom with lovely toiletries. Everything was beautiful. But like with Springfield House, it was beautiful but very cosy and comfy too. There was a handwritten welcome note, really lovely blankets on the bed, a wooden book with ‘All you need to know’ written on it including all the important things you needed to know, like how the wifi worked. The decor was so pretty, but so comfy. I couldn’t fault it.

Breakfast was included but as I made my way down I got summoned by Sophie and Harriet, who were also staying in the same building, to have a look at their room and give opinions on what to wear. I say summoned. Sophie shouted out the window and I decided I’d rather spend time with them than eating. I felt a little nervous anyway and the last thing I need when feeling a bit nervous is food! Their room was as lovely as ours. It was a slightly different design. It had a little hall and a gorgeous outside terrace space with a glimpse of the stunning view I have spent a lot of this blog wittering on about.

This isn’t a TripAdvisor review – I mean, why be conventional?! But I wanted to explain a bit about the venue as it was really special. It’s not your average hotel, or conference room, or meeting place. It’s way more special than that. I’m looking for an excuse to return as soon as I can!

Find out more about The Fish Hotel here…

To see more about the event, see Karen & Clan and Sophie Callahan’s vlogs.

I’m beyond excited to be part of Hiho Silver’s Style, Skills & Silver, which will be taking place at The Fish Hotel, Broadway on Thursday September 6th. I’ve had a few people ping me messages about it, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to have a little chat with your about this fab event. Whether you’re a business, a blogger or a vlogger, I KNOW that you’ll love this event!

What’s #styleskillsandsilver all about?

Well, that’s the hashtag for the Style, Skills & Silver event – but as for the event itself, read on…

The event, hosted by Hiho Silver, has been designed to bring together Hiho’s brand ambassadors, team, brand friends and more under one roof. The day will be lighthearted and fun, but also packed with value. There will be…

  • A style workshop run by Melanie Clarihew from Mackenzie & George, Harriet Edwards aka A Girl About Country, and Karen McConnell aka Karen & Clan
  • A skills workshop run by Rachel Bragg from Sweet Images, Sophie Callahan from Sophie Callahan Photography, Emma Warren from Hiho Silver and Ruth Chappell from Dressage Anywhere, and me too.

And they’ll be lunch, tea, cake and the most amazing goody bag.

What will happen in the workshops?

I’m heavily involved with the Skills workshop, so I’m going to focus in on that! I know that we’ll be learning all about flatlays and have expert advice on how to create them and use them on in our businesses, we’ll have real life examples of how flatlays can work for all businesses including service based ones too. We’ll chat about the power of social media and how to harness it for what you want and we’ll be looking at how to repurpose and use the content you create, to help ensure that all your effort works as hard for you as possible AND generates the response you want. We’ll also be talking about how to manage that little voice in your head that suggests you shouldn’t do things and you shouldn’t try… because what if you’re not good enough? What if you fail? We don’t like that voice… we appreciate his good intentions but there’s no need for that kind of madness in #styleskillsandsilver.

In the Style workshop, the three ladies will be looking at how they style outfits, how accessories make all the difference, and how you can dress up and dress down looks with a few minor tweaks. I’m excited.

But I won’t know anyone at Style, Skills & Silver?

You know me, don’t you? In all seriousness, I know all the ladies involved and they are all absolutely lovely and within a few minutes you’ll feel like you’re lifelong buddies. I also reckon that you’re connected to a lot more people than you think. That’s the beauty of social media. I know a lot of people from my Small & Supercharged group are going, so if you’re in there, it’s a great place to meet the people you chat to. In real life. And if you’re not in the group, you should join now… here’s the link.

But in all seriousness, I get it. It can be really daunting to think you’re going to be spending the day with people you don’t know and you’ll be on your own and isolated. You won’t be. The way the workshops are designed means that you’ll have lots of chances to engage, interact, chat and enjoy. Yep, the day will be really interesting and you’ll be learning new skills, but you will also have chance to speak to people, pick up ideas to help you grow and develop your business or blog, and meet new people. And if you’re feeling funny, I’ll be the tall one eating the sweets and the cake – we can have a chat, OK?

OK, you’ve twisted my arm, how do I book a ticket for Style, Skills & Silver?

I know that #styleskillsandsilver only have a few tickets left, so crack on! You can book up through EventBrite here. If you have any other questions, just drop me an email or a DM. I promise you that I won’t bite and that I’m really looking forward to the event. I should be able to answer your questions, but if I can’t, I will find the answer! Hope to see you on 6th September in Broadway!

Karen McConnell Royal highland ShowI for one was completely blown away by Karen McConnell, aka Karen & Clan and KAEquestrian’s Royal Highland Show content… did you see it?

As an ambassador for Hiho Silver, and as a friend, I did know what was happening before it did. In a full disclosure kind of way. But an idea is just an idea, isn’t it? It’s the execution of these things that REALLY matters, and Karen completely surpassed my expectations (which were pretty high, let’s be honest!). More than this, I genuinely felt like I was at the Royal Highland (and I really wasn’t, I was in Worcestershire!), saw new products thanks to her Instagram Stories, and also have not got a serious liking for Holland Cooper… which was something I didn’t have before. I didn’t ever dislike the brand, far from it, I’ve always been very impressed by what Jade and the team have accomplished, think the showroom is to die for and more, but seeing the outfits styled in a way that I would wear. And seeing how they all endured all day wear. And hearing Karen rave about them too means that they’re now firmly on my list of stands to visit at the next event I go to.

But I digress.

The whole content plan leading up to and during the Royal Highland Show was geneuinely superb, so I asked Karen a few questions to get the inside info from the show. You ready?

Behind… Karen McConnell’s Royal Highland Show coverage

Why did you pick the four brands you did to work with?
I chose HiHo Silver, Mackenzie & George, Fairfax & Favor and Holland Cooper as the four brands to work with on this project as I absolutely love their products. They all stand for the height of style and quality and together, I think, they make up the perfect country outfit.

Did you learn anything new about the brands working so closely with them?
Absolutely, Obviously when you start asking about the different products and manufacturing processes, you develop a better understanding of the products themselves but the most interesting part for me is getting to know the personalities within the teams that ultimately make up the overall personality of the brand. As a consumer, when I find a brand whose personality I like and get on with, I’m completely sold and as a blogger it’s absolutely vital that our personalities gel in order to create content that complements the brands I’m working with. I feel after working on this project together, I know all the brands a little better, love them even more than I did before and hopefully they know me a bit better too.

Karen McConnell Royal Highland ShowWhat did you enjoy the most about the Royal Highland Show? How long have you been going?
I’ve been going to the Highland Show since I was a child and it’s always a great event with loads to see (and buy!). It really does pull the whole of Scotland’s rural community together (as well as lots of others from south of the border and further afield) and this year, wall to wall sunshine just made it even better. As always with these events, although I love the attractions and shopping, what I love most is bumping into friends, clients old and new, and meeting new people with similar interests.

How did you come up with the idea of working with a brand a day, and how did you find implementing that during the event?
I knew I wanted to do something different at this year’s Royal Highland Show (last year was all about the equestrian side of the event), and with country style and fashion becoming such a large part of the Karen & Clan blog, it made sense to me to feature all my favourite country fashion brands who were exhibiting at the show. A brand a day just made sense to me as that way I got to really dedicate my whole day to showcasing the brand to share with my social media audience. It also worked well when I did IG story takeovers for Hiho Silver and Mackenzie & George. Implementing the format was really easy, I always knew where my focus needed to be.

What were the favourite pieces you got to wear and use from each brand – just one from each (I know it’s hard!)
Oooh, this is such a tough question! If I had to pick only one item from each of the brands they would be…..
Hiho Silver – The Bumblebee Necklace – I only spotted this on the website the other week and instantly loved it. I’ve not taken it off since the show, so cute!
Mackenzie & George – The Windsor Maxi Clutch in Navy – I’d coveted that for a while and it’s even more beautiful in real life. I got it embossed with my initials too which makes it even more special.
Fairfax & Favor – The Heeled Amiras in Tan – I wore these three of the four days at the show and they’re super stylish and surprisingly comfortable. I’ve never owned a pair of over the knee boots before and I was nervous about whether I could pull them off (in my head they were only for tall people!) but I LOVE them.
Holland Cooper – Another really hard choice but I really loved the Cadogan Jacket in Stone Herringbone (link to Duke) I wore on the Sunday. Its military influence is super-cool but the gorgeous tweed makes it instantly classic in style. I loved teaming it up with the matching Carrie Cap too (I know that’s two products – sorry!)

You’ve done a huge amount of research into what to wear at country and equestrian shows for your Royal Highland feature. What would your top tip/s be when it comes to clothing for these kind of events?
I think dressing for a country show you need four key ingredients – a gorgeous tweed blazer or cape, a comfortable pair of boots (you’ll be walking all day), a great bag and fantastic accessories. If you have all of those things, all you need are your favourite pair of skinny jeans and a shirt and you’re good to go!

To find out more about Karen’s trip to the Royal Highland – here are some must see blogs and vlogs…

What I wore to the Royal Highland – Thursday

What I wore to the Royal Highland – Friday

What I wore to the Royal Highland – Saturday

What I wore to the Royal Highland – Sunday

What’s in my bag – Royal Highland vlog

What to wear at a country show – vlog

Badminton Trot Up

Image by Sweet Images/Rachel Bragg

I think I’ve JUST recovered from Badminton – but what a week it was! Badminton Horse Trials week is always a busy one for me (as are the weeks leading up to it with all the prep) BUT when you see it all come together so beautifully it makes every moment worth it. And that’s why, today, we’re going behind the Hiho sponsored best dressed at the Badminton Trot Up.

The Hiho Silver sponsored best dressed at the Badminton Trot Up

For the second year running, Hiho Silver sponsored the best dressed at the Badminton Horse Trials Trot Up. Last year they did it for the first time (and the first time the best dressed had been awarded at Badminton too!). And this year, well, it was the sequel!

Last year, Hiho’s Andrew Ransford judged the best dressed with sponsored rider Emily King and eventer Dani Evans. This year, Andrew judged the trot up style stakes with brand ambassador Alice Plunkett and stylist, socialite and columnist, Lady Alice Manners.

The Hiho Silver team – trot up side

Now, you might think that Andrew, Alice and Lady Alice were the only people involved in the Badminton trot up and Hiho’s sponsorship. But you’d be wrong. Because behind the vast majority of ‘things’ like this, there’s a lot of work. And this was no different…

Also on the ‘house side’, we had…

Badminton Trot Up - Emma Warren

Emma Warren – image by Sweet Images/Rachel Bragg

Emma Warren- Hiho’s Queen Bee/MD. Emma went up for the trot up to take pics for social media, which she sent over to me (before they were showing on the trot up Live stream – talk about fast fingers!!) to help keep Hiho’s Instagram and Facebook following up to date with who was running down the trot up and what they were wearing.

Sophie Callahan- brand ambassador. Sophie was on Radio Badminton with Rupert Bell and Matt Ryan discussing trot up style. She did this last year too and was absolutely amazing. After the trot up, she also wrote a news item for the Badminton website about it – you can read Sophie’s take on the trot up here – along with who won the Hiho best dressed female and male prizes…

And then we had Rachel Bragg- Sweet Images/photographer. Rachel was also house side and was taking pics of the presentation, the judges and the horses and their stylish rider too. These have already been used on Hiho’s social media but will also appear online and on other content soon and in the run up to next year’s event too.

And, in addition to this…

There was the Badminton team who helped to bring it together from their side. And I had the joy of working with them and they were incredible.

And that’s before we dig into the ‘home team’ who helped keep the home fires going (Michelle and Amanda at Hiho Towers), the show team who kept the stand going during the trot up and the HUGE amount of planning something like this takes.

So that’s how it all works. It’s great to be a small cog in this kind of event, and when you see it all come together and work exactly how you want, well, it’s something else!