We’re looking forward to a good catch up with Helen of Doily Days. Many of you will already know of Doily Days Magazine as we often have copies out at our fairs and Doily Days were also sponsors of our 1st wedding fair back in March. We’re very pleased to welcome them back as sponsors of our Autumn Happily Ever After Creative Wedding Fair this October in Shoreham, West Sussex. Today we find out a bit more about Helen, and what the future holds for Doily Days…
Tell us a little about yourself and the Doily Days Magazine…
I live in Southsea with my son Rupert who’s almost two. I work part-time on Doily Days due to my mummy commitments but I can often be found working late into the night… especially when deadlines are looming! We publish our alternative wedding magazine twice a year and distribute for free in Sussex, Hampshire and Surrey. We’ve built quite a following since we launched in 2013, I guess we’re known as a ‘vintage’ wedding magazine. We also organise The Wonderous Wedding Fair in association with The Vintage Parade (in November in Southsea). AND we’re about to launch a new local magazine… so I’ve kind of got my work cut out at the moment!
I love quirky vintage clothes and interiors and admire independent businesses and people doing things ‘a little differently’. I enjoy a good old-fashioned UK mini-break. My favourite places are Hastings and Margate. I practice yoga as often as I can, I find it very effective for restoring balance in body, mind and soul. Love dressing up for parties and drinking cocktails…
When was Doily Days founded and how has it evolved since then?
I’ve been running Doily Days since 2009. We started as a vintage china hire business and slowly started doing everything and anything when it came to weddings! We were involved with wedding favours, catering, transport, flowers, styling and coordination. I put together a number of retro ‘sets’ that were used for weddings and photo shoots; a living room, a diner and a pop-up bar based around a 1950s boat bar. We had so much fun but my very favourite part was receiving the professional images from the event and sharing on social media/getting them out on blogs. I have a real passion for photography and the ‘likes’ we got back made all the long days and hard work worthwhile. As I did more weddings I got to know more and more suppliers and so the idea for a magazine was born; a publication combining my love for weddings, photography, quirky businesses and marketing. The magazine content has remained the same since our very first issue but the look and feel has changed with a rebrand last year. We print on uncoated paper stock now. The rustic feel really goes with our brand.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Meeting the people behind the awesome, independent businesses and, even better, getting to call some of them my friends. I also love some of the things I get to do in my role as editor. This year I spent two nights at an amazing glamping site in the Wye Valley in return for a hen party review in issue 10. I do feel very blessed to be doing something I love so much.
Have you had a favourite issue of Doily Days or favourite photo shoot you’d like to share with us?
I think my most memorable issue is the special issue, issue 7 which came out in March 2016 just after my son was born. We did the GOLD cover shoot in Hastings when I was VERY pregnant and those giant balloons on the cover will always remind me of how I was feeling; huffing and puffing along the streets in Hastings with those two gorgeous models! The cover will always bring a smile to my face as we grabbed an actual sailor who was just walking by with his dogs… we couldn’t have got a better model. The issue represents our finest work from 2013-2016… AND it was the last issue with my previous designer. From issue 8 we moved forward with a fresh new look but I’ll never forget the early issues and how each issue made me feel.
When is the next issue of Doily Days out and where can we find it?
Issue 10 is out at the beginning of September. You’ll be able to find it at wedding fairs in Sussex, Hampshire and Surrey as well as select bridal boutiques, venues, florists etc within our distribution area. Copies will of course be available at The Happily Ever After Creative Wedding Fair in Shoreham in October.
We’re excited to have you on board as part of our creative wedding fair once again. Did you enjoy your previous wedding fair in March?
I loved the fair at the racecourse in the spring. The event had such good vibes with so many traders, fantastic entertainment and flipping brilliant goody bags! I’ve known Claire in a professional capacity for years now and I know how hard she works and how good she is at marketing. So sponsoring her wedding fair was a no-brainer really.
Do you have any top tips for anyone starting out in the creative industries or self employment?
Just go for it. Don’t even think about it too much. You have to start somewhere so get going with positive actions. If you have passion for your product or service you’ll definitely succeed, but you have to work hard; things won’t just happen or fall into your lap. Networking is great but networking events can be scary. Just arrange drinks or coffee with people if you think you can help each other out. Be open to collaborations. And always keep a notebook and pen to hand, I’m lost without my notebook/lists. I work in a very old-fashioned way with bits of paper everywhere! But it works for me and that’s fine. You need to find a way that works for you. Finally don’t get bogged down with what everyone else is doing/your competition. There’s always going to be competition, just focus on what you’re doing and do it to the best of your ability in your own unique way.
What does the future hold for Doily Days?
We’re launching a new magazine in October. It’s a local community magazine for Southsea. It’s not wedding related, it’s a photographic project to showcase the inspiring creative talent in the area. We have a new website launching in September (alongside issue 10) so we’ll be doing more blogging. We’re having a party in October to celebrate our tenth issue and then of course we’ve got The Wonderous Wedding Fair in November. I’m moving house too (gosh it’s making me tired just thinking about it). Watch this space but I’m hoping to start doing some pop-up events from home.
Do you have a motto, phrase or inspirational quote you use to keep you motivated?
Just do it
How can we find out more about you?
Don’t forget to pick up your free copy of Doily Days at Happily Ever After Creative Wedding Fair on October 28th at The Shoreham Centre, West Sussex.