A year in the life of Rewired

27 11 2009


The Rewired team with Rob Markwell (Pitch Consultants) and Michael Collie (BBC)

I can’t believe it has already been a week since we were getting dolled up in the office ready for the CIPR PRide Midlands Awards. Held at the ICC, the awards celebrate PR professionals and agencies across the Midlands region. Rewired was up for Outstanding Small Consultancy and I’d tried not to think about it too much for fear of being disappointed, but as soon as we sat at the table, my heart starting going. Luckily, my first trip on the stage was to collect a bottle of Veuve (I was one of the raffle winners!) so we popped the cork to settle the nerves.

The night was amazing and 21 awards into the show, Rewired was announced as the CIPR PRide Midlands ‘Oustanding Small Consultancy’. I won’t go into details but let’s just say the night didn’t end when the awards did and my bottle of Veuve was one of many.

It was such an amazing achievement for us as a company and a team, especially seeing as though Rewired was only been born 18 months ago.

Winning got me thinking about what an amazing year and a half it has been at Rewired. Everyone knows how much I love my job and the people I work with, but more than that I was proud of Rewired for having such a fantastic year in such a difficult economic climate.

This time last year, we had already begun working on some amazing clients; Taste of Birmingham, Hello Digital, Wolverhampton Art Gallery and The Big Picture, but since then the client list has gone from strength to strength. We’re working with some amazing organisations on some really exciting projects and clients.

We’ve maintained our niche of creative, digital and leisure companies but developed each of these client bases to include some amazing companies. As well as regional organisations like Screen West Midlands, Audiences Central and Ormiston Trust, we’re also working with innovative companies and projects like Mudlark.We’re still heavily involved in the region’s arts scene and continue working with Wolverhampton Art Gallery; currently on the amazing ‘Pop: Jann Haworth’ exhibition, which you MUST go and see.  We are also working with Punch Records on some amazing music and arts projects, and so far have brought some brilliant music to the city!

We also have also strengthened our events arm; both PR and event management. We’ve done PR for BASS Festival, Style in the City and Birmingham Book Festival. As well as the event management of Producers’ Forum ‘Celebrate the Future of Film’, Royal Television Society Awards and a number of high profile film premieres and industry events for Screen WM.

As well as Style in the City, we have also moved in to the fashion world (much to my delight), working with Retail Birmingham. Style Birmingham, the consumer brand for Retail Birmingham, had a fantastic rebrand earlier in the year (courtesy of 383 Project, who I love working with). Since then, Style Birmingham has gone from strength to strength and is fast-becoming the city’s voice for style and shopping. This project is a major part of our leisure/consumer work, which also includes work with Lasan, Birmingham’s premier Indian Restaurant, who have recently won Best Indian Restaurant on The F Word.

There are so many other clients to mention but you’ll get bored if I keep going, but it’s just amazing for me to see how much we’ve grown since last year. We’ve just been taken on by a couple of new clients, which I’m sure I will be blogging and twittering about very soon.

2010 looks to be a very exciting year so hopefully, this time next year, I’ll be writing a post about event more exciting times at Rewired HQ!

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The Trend of the Jack-in-the-Box Shop

18 11 2009


Image Credit

The term ‘pop-up shop’ seems to have been thrown around quite a lot recently; with fashion designers, artists and well-known brands opening temporary shops across the country. The trend for these fashionable units is a result of both the recession and throw-away fashion; what better way to stay on top of the style game than to close shops after just six months and move on to ‘the next big thing’?!

Last year London became thoroughly ‘pop-tastic’, with shops, restaurants and art galleries taking over the city’s coolest areas. There was a massive rise in portable restaurants, like the Reindeer Restaurant and Flash, and also art galleries like the Proud Gallery, which started merely as a marquee over a car park. Even retail expert Mary Portas opened a hyper pop-up, open for just one hour and selling vintage clothes, and again this year she teamed up with Grazia to open a charity shop in Westfield.

The trend has continued to grow with On|Off, Doc Martens, and heritage brand Baracuta joining the list of pop-ups. Even London Fashion Week fuelled a host of pop-ups across the Capital.

But it’s not just London benefitting from these shops, this year the trend has come to Birmingham.

Back in September, Councillor Martin Mullaney headed up the Style in the City fringe, Pop Up in the City. Using an empty unit on Corporation Street, he worked with a 14 local designers to open a market-place for shoppers during the three-day fashion and beauty festival.

Now that Christmas is here, Harvey Nichols has re-opened their Christmas pop-up gift shop on Level 3 of The Mailbox, selling the best Christmas gifts and to-die-for hampers. They are also holding a Festive Fete for shoppers on 30 November.

Jewellery festival Brilliantly Birmingham has also jumped on board the pop-up train. Teaming up with Pavilions, the temporary boutique will be open from 5-24 December and will showcase a number of designers, giving shoppers the opportunity to buy original hand-crafted jewellery and commission bespoke pieces.

But the latest and one of the most exciting of the pop-ups to arrive in the city comes courtesy of Punch Records and the Sauce Gallery. Pioneering typographer, sleeve designer and artist Swifty will be setting up shop at the Sauce Gallery in Custard Factory from Saturday 12 December 2009-10 January 2010. From originals and one-off prints, to T-shirts, skateboards and stickers, Swifty fans will have plenty to choose from. Partly inspired by Peter Blake’s ‘Toy Shop’, it will also feature Swifty’s Newsagents installation and be home to the A-Z of Swifty Show. For more info, go to www.punch-records.co.uk.

So, it looks like the pop-up trend is going strong, and I have to say that I’ll champion it all the way. An article by The Times summed pop-ups up perfectly, calling them “The epitome of our high-speed, short-attention-span culture.”

Not only do pop-ups keep the cool crowd entertained but they also gives artists and young designers a platform to showcase their work. They also makes the most of empty and under-used units. A win-win all round, I’d say!