One of London’s most iconic events and one of my personal favourites, I’m thrilled to share that we’re displaying my collection of Home Jewellery at RHS Chelsea Flower Show. I’ve collaborated with Absolute Flowers and Home to create a display that showcases my current and new collections of beautiful ceramics and glassware – including some new colourful arrivals.
GREAT Festival in Shanghai – Virtual Creativity
I’ve recently returned from Asia, where I visited both Shanghai and Singapore – but more about the latter in later blogs! Shanghai was Great Britain’s time to shine and I was there to fly the flag for creative industries. However, the experience as a whole was a fantastic opportunity to see the innovation, creativity and new ideas that our island has to offer. The GREAT Festival was the perfect opportunity for businesses of all shape and size to meet with Chinese investors in order to promote export to this fast-moving economy. Meetings could be set up, deals could be done and new connections could be forged.
Day One explored the new face of entrepreneurialism, new markets, new networks and the underlying values and qualities businesses need – creativity, imagination, re-invention – to face new and future business landscapes. As these qualities are part and parcel to my design ethos I was very excited to see what was on offer.
Walking around the fair, I spotted many stands that sparked my interest and got my creative juices flowing. I loved meeting with the team from John Downer Productions, BBC Earth and BBC Worldwide who had created a series of penguins to record secret footage in the Antarctic – this was key to our understanding of this climate and I adored the cute little figures moving around. So inspirational!
I also spotted a fantastic device by Rex Bionics, who had created a device to stabilise legs allowing a wheelchair user to walk again. It’s just fantastic to think that creative technologies like this are coming out of the UK and giving people who are disabled the power and dignity to move again.
The evening brought the event’s official opening ceremony. After being serenaded by the fantastic Jessie Ware, The Duke of Cambridge, HRH Prince William joined and announced the festival to be open. From doing a lot of work with his father and The Princes Trust, it was truly the Best of British in the room and it was buzzing with creativity. It was also the Duke’s first official visit to China, so it was great to be a part of this moment. I actually had the chance to meet him, but more on that later!
For all of you lovely people who watched Dragons’ Den on Sunday, you’ll know that Deborah Meaden and I have struck a deal with Donna Kerr-Foley and are enormously excited to work together in making The Running Mat a runaway (pun absolutely intended) success!
As soon as I saw it, I knew it was something people would use on-the-go or even at home. I can’t believe no-one has thought of it before. Donna is such an inspiring and professional business woman who really knows her stuff! She runs a string of women’s boot camps across the North East and that’s when she noticed her clients’ workouts being hampered by tough, muddy conditions that impacted their hands and joints as well as clothing, which is when she came up with the brilliant idea. The best ideas come out of necessity and it takes a real keen business mind to notice this need.
I am really into my fitness and am a big champion of people throwing on their workout gear and taking up outdoor exercise. Taking it out is an absolute treat too!
Having embarked on a new venture as a Dragon on Dragons’ Den, I wanted to share my feelings about it here with you. I‘ve always been passionate about championing entrepreneurs and the opportunity to be part of someone’s innovative new business idea really excites me.
When asked how I feel about taking the place of a fellow business woman on the show, I tell them that it shouldn’t be viewed as such. What I am hoping to do is bring a different perspective into the Den and add my own creative energy.
I still remember how I felt at 16 when I started my design business and that is the drive that I want to see in the eyes of those standing in front of us pitching their dreams. I love talking to entrepreneurs, but if I don’t see something I like, I won’t invest in it. Being a businesswoman involves giving some tough love sometimes. Saying that, I know a gem when I see one and there’ll be some real ones this season.
Tune in for the first episode on Sunday, 12th August on BBC 2. In the meantime, check out the Dragons’ Den trailer.
And so I landed yesterday on the final leg of my tour, Moscow for the press launch of Barkli Virgin house today.
Barkli Virgin House, the Moscow residential project designed by myself for design company yoo, and developed by The Barkli Corporation. The development consists of 21 apartments, including two penthouses as well as featuring my designs in the common areas including the lobby and an external terrace. Located on Moscow’s renowned Golden Mile, the development aims to set new standards in the Russian luxury homes market.
I arrived into Moscow airport after a long flight from Taipei via Singapore and quickly swung by my hotel before heading directly to the site to add the final touches to the installation before today’s press launch. It is always great fun working with Yoo, I have known John Hitchcox (below) for many years.
The show suite looks amazing, I am thrilled with the end result. It is funny, even though I visualise how a space will look when I design it I am always blown away by the end result, blown away by the way it is as I pictured it in my minds eye.
To view some of my phone snaps of the show apartment please take a peek at my facebook site (professional shots to follow) – http://www.facebook.com/KellyHoppen.
Today has been a whirlwind of press interviews, speeches and this evening we will be heading to a gala dinner for some well deserved food and drinks before a super early flight back to London in the morning.
Thank you to everyone who worked so hard in making today’s event a success.
Next stop —> home (bed).
A lot of my work involves travel, whether I am meeting clients or visiting trade fairs, giving lectures, and September has been a great example of how these extended trips work.
The trip started on 8th September with a 3 day trip to Maison Objet in Paris launching the new furniture pieces within my furniture collection. My stand looked amazing, it really gives you an insight as to how the collection can work within a living space, either as single pieces or as a whole.
The fair is a great time to meet potential suppliers and resources for my own studio as well as displaying my products to potential stockists as well as meeting the world media who are all there to find the latest ‘it’ product.
From Maison I flew onto the China Furniture Fair in Shanghai to launch the new pieces in my furniture collection. I love spending time in Asia and am always overwhelmed at the reception that I receive.
After a full day at the fair i headed to a welcome party and book signing at Alexandre’s Heng Shan Store. Alexandre are a major stockist of my collection within Asia.
The following day after a morning at the fair I then headed on to an amazing event at the Agricultural Bank of China where i designed the VIP room for their clients and held a seminar on my design style.
The hospitality of my Asian friends and fans never ceases to amaze me. I was given so many beautiful bunches of flowers and gifts I am always looked after.
After a very eventful trip in Shanghai I travelled on a night flight to Taipei. It was my first time in Taiwan so I was feeling very excited about the trip, even though it was to be a flying yet very packed visit.
Well I never expected to receive the welcome that I did as i arrived into Taipei airport! I felt like a rock star! thank you so much to all that came out to support me, I am so hugely touched and will never forget it.
Taipei is an amazing city! I stayed in a beautiful suite at Le Meridien and quickly headed to bed in preparation for a very busy day ahead.
The following day, I met with some of my interiors clients before heading to an amazing event at Alexandre.
The book signing was so exciting, there was literally a mob of lovely faces all waving their books ready for me to sign.
I have also been given the honour of viewing the palace archives for an inspirational design trip during my next visit to Taipei which is amazing!
The following day I met with some new clients and viewed the site of our new development. It is always fascinating to see an empty plot of land and the proposed plans of what we are trying to create within the space. It is very inspiring for all involved.
I would like to thank everyone involved in making the section of my trip such a wonderful experience. I will be back soon! Kelly x
Next stop ——-> Moscow 18th September 2011