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The Journey So Far...

Welcome Inside (a Land of Escapism)

You may have met me at a market or event, or purchased from our felt store.

You may, perhaps have an image in your head of some young thing who makes shiny trinkets between real jobs. Or perhaps not.

This is me.

In my head, I'm giving the age 32 another try on for size. I like the sound of it. Reckon I'll hold on to that one for a few years yet before maybe moving to 35.. ya'can't plan these things.

That is your first introduction to my world of Escapism. Some may call it denial.

This blog is likely to meander in a number of directions. Of course it will continue the running story of what and where, Lola & Alice is at. New ranges, ideas and inspiration. aka: lots of pretty pictures. Everybody needs something to look at that gives a moment of escape from reality. A reminder that there are beautiful shoes to dream about. Flowers to make you marvel at the wonders of nature. Or images of times gone by, which bring a smile, laugh or sense of amazement at how times have changed.

The brand Lola & Alice started as a scratch that needed an itch. Five years on, it's practically full blown ecema! Looking at how big the ranges have grown and the ideas of madness and wonder have developed. We have taken a few risks along the way.

Risk; that would be trying out markets that were more than $30. Then going really bold, heading to events outside of Christchurch.

2021 has been the boldest to date. Looking for a direction or stepping stone of what to do with this wee collection of funny earrings and things, the phrase "Go big or go home!" came to mind. So last April, I headed to Wellington for the Women's Lifestyle Expo. Not only a pricey event, but an overseas one too! (In Covid times, crossing Cook Straight is as close to going to another country as we're going to get!) We stayed at the very lovely U Residence Hotel in Wakefield Street, a ten minute dawdle along the water front from the Arena. Location couldn't have been better. Being from Christchurch, the buildings in Wellington terrified me. (You just think differently about buildings after Feb 2011).

I'd heard people say you can't beat Wellington on a good day.
Wellington on a good day. sunny
Wellington putting on perfect weather.

We had a great site in the ASB Arena. A bit of a double edged sword, looking right across at #koakoa NZ made Lemon Cello. The expo was busy, the feedback so lovely and positive about L&A. But overall, the event didn't show me enough of the direction I was hoping for, needing to know how to go forward. There was much less stock to take home, so that showed me there was something in my shiny trinkets of madness and quirk, afterall. Little did I know, the soon to be slippery slope, Armageddon Expo was happening in Wellington that same weekend.

poster advertising #chchgeddon 2021 armageddon expo
Armageddon Christchurch 2021

Fast Forward a few weeks and a giant leap of risk. It was May. There we were, setting up in the Christchurch Arena as an exhibitor in #chchgeddon The 2021 Christchurch Armageddon Expo. You never know if you don't try, right. With no idea of what to possibly expect over the next two days. Arriving before kick-off at 9am, I was astounded to see the queues of people, cosplay clad and eager to get in those doors. I could tell this was going to be one interesting weekend. Rain and all.

A truly phenomenal event is the only way to describe the experience. Any expectation of sales and sights to be seen, were surpassed by anything I could ever have thought of. For the first three hours on Saturday morning, I kept thinking all the girls in school uniforms had just come from school! It was a whole new world. Both fascinating and frightening at the same time. It made even the raunchiest drag show look tame! Lola & Alice had found their niche! After that one event, I was hooked. Slippery slope, down I went and signed up for Palmerston North, or, #palmygeddon the following August. After Palmy, there was no going back. I had become like soap on a water slide. #auckgeddon, at Labour weekend, was a no brainer. Annoyingly, Covid had other plans.

earrings for armageddon expo swords
Creepier than our usual pretty things.

With our entry into the new world of Amrmageddon Expo's, the ranges have now expanded into unchartered territory. The wapons and skulls entered into the floral and sparkly world we so love. The closest to creepy stuff I'd previously done, was the Anatomical range, with skeletons and anatomical hearts, brains and lungs. But the ranges for Armageddon, were next level on the creepy scale from what we were used to.

The journey continues....

This blog has been pushed along to happen, due to that 'thing', that is stopping events from happening and everyone being terrified of the unknown... yes, Omiwhatsit. Six months of booked events, which are now no longer, means I have excellent stock levels and will do for some months. Armageddon Tauranga, Chrischurch and Wellington were due to be Feb, March and April, so that meant earring making on a silly scale. I've been reading about all the social media melarky, trying to work out the right bits to do and how, for brand coverage. Evidently, so 'they' say, a blog is a good way to do this to get google rankings better? When it isn't your specialty, it is all quite overwhelming. Remember when Instagram was just about pretty pictures only... they were the days.

enamel pins
Pins, Pins, Pins!

As much as we're not about anything serious, (except the Double Helix earring), the serious side of trying to tackle the unknown that is social media, is buzzing like a mosquito that needs a good slap.

The feeling of my head wanting to explode, when trying to understand there's more to social media than just pretty pictures, indicates I've been spending too long on my Island of Denial.

With plentiful stock, enamel pins fighting for space and no events for the forseeable future, the website now has a Pin Store so everyone can get their pin fix. You can find it under Ranges in the website menu.

To the next adventure...

brooch sparkling bugs
Sparkling bug brooches from the new Bugs'n'Bees range.

Speaking of buzzing... the release of our Bugs n' Bees range was due to happen at Tauranga Armageddon at the end of Feb, Now, like so much else, we'll launch it on line. It's full of lots of really attractive and cute bugs, that woud be terrifying in real life. The irony. These monsters of brooches are quite stunning. They'll be in the bug section of the store soon.

So, come along for the ride, won't you. Escape into a land where there will always be something to smile at and surprise.



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