The Power Of Pearls

This week is the fourth anniversary of my mother’s death and I have been thinking about her and the legacy she left behind. We shared a love of interesting jewellery. She had an excellent eye and one of the pieces I inherited from her was her pearl necklace.

Lily Blanche Pearl Necklaces

Three strands of ivory cultured pearls with a pearl and sapphire clasp, they live in a slim, navy leather case nestled in a white silk lining.  I have only ever worn them once – to a very grand white tie dinner in Helsinki for the Millennium Technology Prize, Finland’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

These are special occasion pearls and I feel I am the custodian of them for my daughters and their cousins. My daughter has said she wants to wear them on their wedding day.

Pearls Are Always Appropriate

Jackie Kennedy Onassis in the White House with John Kennedy Jr

 

“Pearls are always appropriate,” said Jackie Onassis but they can be intimidating. Jackie O knew what countless women – from Elizabeth I and Coco Chanel to Princess Grace of Monaco and Angelina Jolie -have learned; pearls equal power. And if ever women were reclaiming or finding their power, it is now.

Classic Pearls
Angelina Jolie address G8 delegates

Pearls never really come into to fashion and they never really go out of it. They are the ultimate anti-trend jewellery. It is absolutely no coincidence that the women in the Royal Family who have access to some of the most sumptuous jewels ever made, opt time and time again for pearls. From the Duchess of Cambridge to the Queen – pearls and royalty are synonymous.

It is not just the fact that they go with everything, or that a single string of classic pearls boost confidence and signals that you mean business. It’s that the creamy or pale pink lustre of pearls reflects the light upwards to the skin bathing it in a lovely glow. If you are regularly photographed or in the public eye, pearls will soften harsh lighting and lead to more flattering images. This was one of the secrets the Queen Mother passed on to her daughters.

Coco Chanel in pearls

Pearls are often, paradoxically, understated but dramatic in their effect. If you have pierced ears and you don’t already own a pair of cultured pearl stud earrings – acquire some. You will be amazed at the effect two little pearls can have and you may never feel properly dressed without them again!

One thing is certain, invest in pearls now and you will still be wearing them decades later. To shop the Lily Blanche Pearl sale click here

 

 

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Christmas Deliveries – We’ve Got This

Rule number one – don’t panic. We’ve got this. You are our customer and we won’t let you down. That, in a nutshell, is our philosophy. There is still plenty of time to shop online for Christmas at Lily Blanche

Every  Lily Blanche customer is important to us and we will do everything in our power to ensure that you are not just satisfied but delighted with our service. Last Christmas every single Lily Blanche Christmas order was delivered on time. This year, the volume of orders has doubled but we are organised to repeat the feat. See Christmas deliver dates here.

We know that you are really busy, you have a million things to attend to and it is impossible to keep track of everything you buy online but we are really, really experienced in sending parcels so here is what happens when you buy from us.

Your order is made with care

Your order is made with care. It is checked and given a final polish before it leaves the studio. I try personally to oversee as many of the orders as I can. Your chosen piece of jewellery goes into a gift box with some extra tissue paper inside to protect it in transit. The box is tied with ribbon and a branded polish cloth goes in with it.

Your gift box goes into a sturdy cardboard outer lined with two sheets of contrasting tissue paper. We add a little spray of Jo Malone nutmeg and ginger scent between the sheets to give a lovely Christmassy perfume when you open the box. Next, we place one of our luxurious lookbooks on top of the tissues sheets. This gives even more protection to your gift box and is lovely to browse through.

The Lily Blanche boxes being prepared with tissue paper

We add a little spray of Jo Malone nutmeg and ginger scent between the sheets to give a lovely Christmassy perfume…

 

Next, the tissue paper is folded and your invoice, a personalised letter from me, any gift message and some other little surprises are added. Everything goes into a crisp, thick personalised envelope. If you have ordered a Memory Keeper Locket, another envelope with instructions and sticker frames is included. We give you double the number of frames you need just in case.

Blogger The Daydreamer aka Christina Miller unboxes Lily Blanche

The whole box is then checked and sealed. Your label is printed and Royal Mail tracking labels are put on it. Clear tape goes over the tracking sticker so there is no chance of it coming off in transit. Finally, your box is photographed for our records, your tracking number is recorded and you are emailed with it. The order goes into the correct sack, the paperwork is printed and the sacks are hand-delivered by us every afternoon directly to the Royal Mail depot in Stirling where we know the delivery guys and they take the same care and trouble with your order that we do.

Lily Blanche sacks going into the van at the Royal Mail depot this week

We have had a complaint this year from the wife of a customer who signed for an order from us that was addressed to her husband. She was unhappy that our logo and our address were on the label as that spoiled the surprise.  Royal Mail will deliver 130 million parcels this Christmas. We put our logo on the label because if something does go missing, it is much easier to find it if it is in a branded box than if it is in a plain, anonymous box.  We are obliged by Royal Mail to put a clear return address on all Royal Mail Signed For parcels. They won’t accept them otherwise. There are also new rules about what can be posted by Royal Mail. If the company sees our logo, they immediately know that we have an Online Business Account with them and that everything we send passes all the relevant legislation so our logo represents added security for ourselves and our customers.

If you want an order to be a secret please let us know. We will always endeavour to work with our customers. If this means delivering to a work address or delivering for a set date, we will do our utmost to make sure this happens. Just drop us an email and let us know.

For our free shipping service, we ask that you allow five working days. Royal Mail is massively busy at present and the tracking website is not always working but this is a hugely reliable service. We have not lost anything yet. If you have not received an order within seven days of receiving the Lily Blanche shipping email, do please contact us. If you do not receive the shipping email, please check your junk mail file. If you are using a hotmail, aol or other generic-style email address and  you may not receive the shipping email – this is a problem with hotmail and aol and there is nothing we can do about it. You will be missing other emails from other companies too. You can always email me gillian@lilyblanche.com and I can forward it on to you.

I hope this information helps you understand our service. You can have complete confidence  in it. We take it very seriously.

Have a wonderful Christmas and I hope there is a Lily Blanche box waiting for you under the tree.

Gillian x

 

 

Purple Patch – Pantone Colour Of The Year 2018

The Pantone Colour of the year 2018 has been announced and it is – drum-roll please – 18-3838, ultraviolet. We’re going to be seeing a lot of purple in the new year. Lily Blanche Purple Amethyst lockets, earrings and rings are bang on trend.

 

Here is what Pantone has to say about its choice. “Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now. The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own.

Enigmatic purples have also long been symbolic of counterculture, unconventionality, and artistic brilliance. Musical icons Prince, David Bowie, and Jimi Hendrix brought shades of Ultra Violet to the forefront of western pop culture as personal expressions of individuality. Nuanced and full of emotion, the depth of PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet symbolizes experimentation and non-conformity, spurring individuals to imagine their unique mark on the world, and push boundaries through creative outlets.

 

 

Historically, there has been a mystical or spiritual quality attached to Ultra Violet. The color is often associated with mindfulness practices, which offer a higher ground to those seeking refuge from today’s over-stimulated world. The use of purple-toned lighting in meditation spaces and other gathering places energizes the communities that gather there and inspire connection”. Prepare for a purple patch!

Black Friday Offer – Use Code Friday15

A number of cutomers have asked us if we are participating in Black Friday. This year we have decided we will. Our code is Friday15 and you can use it throughout the Lily Blanche website now. It is valid till midnight Monday November 27. We are doing so mainly because some of our stockists are participating in Black Friday and our over-riding philosophy is that our most loyal customers should always get our best offers.

 

The code works for everything except Memory Keeper Lockets. I hope it helps a bit with the Christmas shopping. Remember there is free UK delivery on all orders. 

Happy shopping and if you need any help, I’m only a phonecall (01786 464251) or an email away.

Gillian x

 

Lily Blanche Last Shipping Dates For Christmas 2017

Christmas falls on a Monday this year which means that there are fewer posting days than usual before Christmas. Below are the last possible posting dates for Christmas delivery but to guarantee your jewellery arrives in plenty time, do please order as early as you can, firstly because we will sell out of some popular items and we’d hate to disappoint you and secondly because although the postal service is heroic, it is human and fallible and very occasionally things will go wrong. Happy shopping!

 

 

 

Paying It Forward – Lily Blanche Reviews

They say that one good deed deserves another and while I’ve always been a bit suspect of the concept of karma – bad things happen to good people too – I do like the idea of spreading a little bit of love or joy. I believe small acts can, cumulatively, make a big difference.

Recently we’ve started working with the review company Trustpilot. Trustpilot sends out an email on our behalf to every Lily Blanche online customer asking them to review their experience with us. I was quite nervous about this to start with but I’ve been really touched and bouyed up by the lovely messages our customers have left. You can read them here

Reviews are really important to our business and help other customers make decisions but I always feel slightly awkward asking for them. We all lead busy lives and we are all bombarded by companies asking us to reveiw things. So I’ve been thinking about how we can say thank you to those who take the trouble without influencing what they write or think about us. And I think I might have come up with an idea…

If you followed us last year, you will know that our charity of the year last year was Social Bite. This is an amazing organisation established by Josh Littlejohn and Alice Thompson which helps to feed – and more importantly – employ some of the most marginalised people in society – those who are homeless.

I have been privileged to spend time with Josh and have got to know a little bit of the work he and Alice are doing and it is incredibly impressive. Not only does Social Bite allow customers in their cafes to “pay forward” a coffee or a sandwich for a homeless person, it employs 20% of its staff from the homeless community. This often means giving people who have been written off not just a second chance but a third or fourth chance.

Josh Littlejohn with Leonardo Dicaprio

Social Bite’s latest venture is to build a village in Granton, Edinburgh to house people who have lost their homes. We want to keep supporting this cause so we’ve decided to give 10p to Social Bite for every Trustpilot Review we receive, irrespective of the rating. It’s our way of paying forward the kindness of our reviewers.

 

We will, of course, keep supporting Social Bite in other ways too. This is a bit of an experiment and I hope our customers approve. It fits with the ethos of what we are trying to do here at Lily Blanche, which is to do business in a caring and responsible way. Leave a comment below or on our Facebook page and let us know what you think.

Gillian x

 

Everyday Love Stories – David and Beryl Barnes

 

“No matter who my dad met, he always seemed to touch people and leave that special something”

When Lily Blanche customer Helen Thompson got in touch last month to tell us she had chosen the Gold Feather Locket for her mum Beryl and wanted to give it to her on her birthday on September 9th in memory of her father David who passed away last year, we were really touched by her thoughtfulness.

Helen sent us the photographs she wanted to use in the locket. When we saw the photo of David in his hat, we were smitten and wanted to know more about the charmer in the panama.

Helen told us that David and Beryl had met at a mutual friend’s wedding and Beryl offered to buy David a drink. It was the start of a great romance. They were engaged and married within the year.  That was 40 years ago last September. Sadly David lost his battle with cancer just before their ruby wedding anniversary and so Helen’s parents didn’t get to celebrate their special day together.

“I took mum away to a place we went as kids and we celebrated it together with dad in spirit,” Helen says. “My dad had done lots of jobs over the years but he ended his career at Greater Manchester Fire Brigade as a hydrant mechanic”.

David grew up in Radcliffe and was proud of his broad Lancashire accent. He lived his whole life there till 2014 when he moved with Beryl to live next door to Helen in a little village called Hawkshaw where he’d always wanted to live. This is where he spent his last couple of years being cared for by Helen and enjoying his granddaughter.

“He was so happy there,” Helen recalls.  “The photo of mum and dad was taken at a fish and chip shop in Whitby nearly a year to the day before he died. He loved it there. It was his favourite place and held so many childhood memories of holidays for him.

“And the picture of my dad in the hat just epitomises how he was always – happy and laughing and the most loving person you could meet. No matter who my dad met, he always seemed to touch people and leave that special something. I’m heartbroken he’s gone I miss him every day he was my best friend as well as my dad. But I believe we will all be together again one day so I look at it as not saying goodbye to him just see you later”.

Lily Blanche Gold Feather Locket

It was an absolute privilege and joy to work on the photographs for Beryl’s locket. We reshaped and resized them digitally using canva.com and then printed them out on high quality photographic paper. Helen approved them by email before we sent them off to her, along with some spares. She chose two and popped them into the locket.

This week, Helen emailed to tell us Beryl had received the locket. “Well it was my mum’s birthday on Saturday and she absolutely loved the locket. She had a little cry as did I and said she will have dad with her everywhere she goes now. So thank you so much for everything you have done for us”.

 

The privilege was all ours. You can read Helen’s review of the Rose Gold Feather Locket on our Facebook review section. We love hearing the stories behind the photos in the lockets so please do share them. If you need help with resizing or printing images please email gillian@lilyblanche.com. You can see the Lily Blanche Feather collection here

Lily Blanche – lockets for those who love and are loved. #everdaylovestories