Marie Claire At Work LIve: Part 2 The Afternoon

Ahhhhh, Mini Stylist is in bed – how long she keeps her four year old self there for is anyone’s guess – and I have a lukewarm coffee by my side.  Time to continue with the reflection on the 2016 Marie Claire #AtWorkLive event. 

After a lengthy lunch working our way around the sponsor’s stalls, sampling tasters of the Cointreau Fizz, and devouring gorgeous peanut butter brownies for dessert - in the ginormous lunch queue - it was back to the second breakout session to re-engage myself with business advice from insiders (Sharmadean Reid of WAH nails, Julie Deane of The Cambridge Satchel Company, Kate Unsworth of wearable, productivity-enhancing tech, in search of a tech-reliance-free-life company Vinaya and Amy Hanson of the humanitarian SmallSteps Project), chaired by the inquisitive and engaging deputy editor of MC Miranda McMinn. 

So, what were the best tips of the Starting your Own Business session?

  • You don’t need a fortune to start your own business; Deane had £600 and was motivated purely by family responsibilities.
  • You should work in phases to ensure control over your finances and your project, advised Reid.
  • Ask people to work for free and you might be pleasantly surprised (the Unsworth art of negotiation).
  • Apply transferable skills and engage with something you’re incredibly passionate about, as did Hanson.  

I was so awed by their stories that I didn’t have time to take notes, and I forgot to take photos. 

By 3 o’clock I was flagging, however; perhaps next year Marie Claire could set aside a dimly-lit retreat room with lavender scents and blanket-laden beds for 20 minute power naps?  There were so many ideas generated from the sessions, hastily tapped into phones and scribbled into notebooks, that I imagine it would be as busy as the Cointreau trolley.   

I was so was looking forward to an express manicure by a fabulous lass from the at-home beauty team, Le Salon, which was great, AND it’s still chip-free a day later! 

There was just enough time for beauty hacks from Bruce at Vidal Sasoon, which I think overran a little; essentially he advised us not to be afraid of products, and to ditch the straighteners; yeah, not gonna do that. 

SJ from Bare Minerals applied the fastest 6 looks to three models I’ve seen since Lisa Potter-Dixon at last year’s event...

 SJ was a big fan of multipurpose products, using lipstick on your cheeks as well as your lips, which I’ve done for years; props for the confidence boost!  Her hair was amazing, too, and so bouncy as she flew between the models, applying, blending and highlighting the Bare Minerals goodies.

And then it was the closing Keynote speaker, Issy Suttie, before heading back to the 29th floor to unwind with a few cocktails, I was desperately trying to keep track of my bags, too (I don't travel light. At all); after one blogging event – and their amazing cocktails – last November I managed to leave a bag of presents behind in the venue, which was thankfully returned, but a tenny bit bleddy stressful that close to Christmas. 

All my bags and I made it back to Devon safely, exhausted and energised; thank you, Marie Claire team!

PS - check out my gorgeous green nails, part of the Essie spring collection. 

Time for a summary:

Fab #atworklive:
Er, the frickin’ awesome programme! Where else could you pay less than £100 to hear Stella Creasey (MP), Karen Blackett and Sophie Kinsella, not to mention Founders and CEOs of some of the brands we all adore (WAH Nails, Cambridge Satchel Company particular highlights for me this year).  Free manicure with @lesalon.

Not-so-fab #atworklive:
No chance for nipping out to the shops (last year’s Piccadilly location was great for a spot of retail relaxation).  I was also expecting a Summer date, so almost couldn’t make the event this year.

Early bird tickets £75, after that £95.  Goody bag alone is worth it; this year’s estimate is around £200.  And at London prices the Cointreau Fizz’s quaffed have likely paid for my ticket. 

Why not share the inspirational events you’ve attended, or would like to, in the comments box below, particularly if you were at the Marie Claire do, too!

Disclaimer: I wasn't paid for my thoughts for this post, nor Part 1.  So ner.

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