National Dress Your Pet Up Day

My favourite dress up day of the year!!

I asked Max earlier to write a piece on this and he passed up the opportunity… he doesn’t “agree” with it.  It seems he’s not alone.  So many people ask me “Why do you do that to your dog?” and “Surely he hates it?”  Firstly, he’s a chihuahua – he gets cold easily and therefore, as a responsible dog owner, I put a coat or sweater on him when I take him for walks.  He associates his “clothing” with walks, fun and frolicking outside.

mrpoochie   So when I dress him up, no, he doesn’t “hate” it, he loves it!  He loves the attention and fuss he      gets off passers by.  I can’t take him out without at least one person doing the “awwww” as they  walk past, even grown men!   My cat, however, doesn’t like dressing up – I tried once – he looked  uncomfortable.  I never tried again.

 In my opinion, he looks a beauty!  So smart and handsome,  especially in this photo on the left.

 He also won this years Tombola bingo pet competition and beat over 200 other entrants (the elf  costume below)!  He got a special treat for that one!!

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Pet costumes are getting more and more popular.  We import most of ours from America and as far as we know, we’re the only ones in the UK that stock them.  There’s not a massive range within the UK suppliers so we end up selling to some really serious competition entrants as they know they’ll be very unlikely to bump into another dog wearing the same outfit!  In America, dressing up animals is big business and we’re slowly catching up.  Attitudes are slowly changing, and I hope in future there’ll be less animosity towards people that let their pet join in the fun!!

Some of our 2014 collection

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Who’s Your Favourite Superhero?

One of our best selling lines are our licensed Superhero costumes by Rubies, one of the world’s leading fancy dress manufacturers.  So we thought we’d compile a little factfile that hopefully you will find interesting!  Not just for men, these outfits come in all sizes and sexes and we have included a few photos of the lines we offer below.

Batman

 RU881626_BATGIRL_TUTU_COSTUME-500x500Real name: Bruce Wayne

First appearance: 1939 in “Detective Comics”

Enemies: The Joker, Riddler, Two Face, Ra’s al Ghul, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy and Catwoman to name a few!

Super powers: Batman has no superhuman power, instead he relies on his own “scientific knowledge detective skills and athletic prowess”

Equipment: Utility belt, batarang and of course, the legendary Batmobile.

Spiderman
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Real name: Peter Parker

First appearance: 1962 in “Amazing Fantasy”

Enemies: Chameleon, Vulture, Doctor Octopus, Sandman, Scorpion, Rhino, Kingpin, Hobgoblin, the Shocker to name a few!

Super powers: Spiderman has the ability to cling to walls, superhuman strength, A “spider sense”, perfect balance, speed and he is able to shoot spiderwebs from his wrists.

Equipment: Spider tracers, a light beacon and a special camera that can take pictures automatically

Superman

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Real name: Clark Kent

First appearance: 1933

Enemies: Lex Luther                                                                                                      

Super powers: Flight, Super strength, invulnerability, super speed, x ray vision, super hearing, breath and intelligance!!

 

Iron Man

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Real name: Tony Stark

First appearance: 1963 in “Tales of Suspense”

Enemies: Mandarin, Crimson Dynamo, Iron Monger, Justin Hammer.

Super powers: Iron Man is regarded as one of the most intelligent character in the Marvel universe.

Equipment: His suit.

The Flash

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Real name: Jay Garrick, Barry Allen, Wally West, Bart Allen

First appearance: 1940 in “Flash Comics”

Enemies: The Rogues: Captain Cold, Mirror Master, Pied Piper, The Trickster, Double Down and Heat Wave.

Super powers: Flash can move, think and react at light speed and can run incredible distances. In later versions, he can vibrate so fast that he passes through walls (quantum tunnelling). He can travel through time and borrow speed.

 

Captain America

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Real name: Steven Rogers

First appearance: 1941 in “Captain America Comics”

Enemies: Red Skull, Baron Zemo, Crossbones, Doctor Faustus, AIM, Arnim Zola, Flag Smasher.

Super powers: He has no superhuman powers, however, through Vita-Ray treatment he has transformed and his strength, edurance and speed are at the highest end of the human ability.

Equipment: Shields, his fire retardant uniform, under which he wears a bulletproof armour and his custom made motorcycle.

Now I don’t know about you, but I think my favourite out of the above has to be Spiderman.  Mainly because he has a bit of a “relateable” story behind him.  The troubled teen if you like, the self obsession with rejection, inadequacy and loneliness.  Using his feelings and channelling them into a positive power has to make him one of the ultimate role models for youngsters these days.  Not to mention being able to do the spider web thing – how much fun could you have with that!!!!!!

Better The Devil You Know?

People never fail to amaze me.

I never thought my first “proper” blog (after the introductory one) would be on an unhappy subject, considering I originally started this as more of a “business” path than a personal one, but todays events are something I can’t help but want to put into written words.  They say writing things down can clear ones head and vent in a way verbal words can’t.

When posting on Facebook from my business page, this wouldn’t be a subject I would touch on.  It’s just too personal for people to really understand, or maybe one that would provoke a lot of judgemental comments.  I kept a diary for years as a child, and I’m hoping writing this down, albeit on a public platform, might help me tonight.

Last night, publishing my first entry, I kept Lauren informed along the way.  We’d been all a buzz at the office thinking up ideas and getting excited about product reviews and blogging about lots of fancy dress related subjects.  It was a new twist on business that injected some hype into us.  After a manic Halloween and Christmas I think we’d got a bit bogged down in the mundaneness of the every day grind that we forgot what really excited us about our chosen trade.  I sent her a text asking what she thought of it, asking her opinion of whether it was too cliched, too cheesy, whether it truly got across what we had discussed earlier in the day.  A couple of hours later I wondered why she hadn’t responded.  I started writing a message and got as far as “Have you had chance to check out the blog yet, I posted a link on…” and I got a text (in true mind reading Lauren form!) that read “Well I would have a look if I could find my laptop…

Image as the story emerged it turns out some low life scumbag took it.  He knocked on her door, was invited in by her partner, was offered a cup of tea (as friends do) and whilst her partner was finishing off getting ready for work upstairs, stole it.  I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

They managed to find out that he then went and sold the laptop and used the money for crack.

Lauren is honestly the most lovely person I have ever met and there was nothing I could do to help.  I felt sick for her.  How she felt I really can’t imagine.

When she came into work this morning she said she’d been to the cash generator place across the road – he tried to sell it to them yesterday but they wouldn’t accept it because it didn’t have a charger.  He’s on CCTV, it’s been reported to the police and guess what… they don’t really seem to care.

So she’s circulated his photograph on Facebook trying to find out who now has her “life” for want of a better word.  It has all her photographs of her beautiful daughter.  Years of memories and sentimental things.  Like most of us, she didn’t back up regularly and with every hour it was like she thought of another thing she’d forgotten was on there that she’d never get back.  Moments you can’t recreate, memories that won’t forever be with you as much as you try.  My heart was breaking for her.

In just a few hours her photograph has had nearly 200 shares.  Some amazing support, but also some dubious comments.  The one below bugged me.  This was a comment on a share made by my friend and by someone that doesn’t know Lauren.  She’s just trying to find her laptop and yet I felt like this person was almost making her out to be just as bad as the scumbag that did this to her:

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Excuse my swearing in response.  It infuriated me that he made out she shouldn’t be trying, in desperation, to find something that honestly means everything to her.  We are all guilty of doing drastic things in desperation, but how else was she meant to act?

Which made me start thinking about the morality of “naming and shaming”.  Lauren’s had to go about trying to find her property this way.  The police, even if they caught him, aren’t going to find her laptop. That’s probably above and beyond what their services offer.  A few people have asked “How did he get into the house?”.  She’s reluctant to say he was invited in as she somehow feels she will be fall victim to the “you brought it on yourself” accusations and the assumption she associates with a druggie.  People are so quick to judge.  Is she right to circulate a photograph of the person that did this?  Is she right to “name and shame” in this case?  In my opinion, yes.  I firmly believe so, even if she doesn’t get her belongings back – maybe it will stop it happening to someone else in future.  And rightly, or wrongly, of myself to say so, if he does get “lyched” as the above post suggests, it might make him think twice about taking liberties like this in future.  After all, if he can do this to a friend – what might he do to an old lady he opportunistically stumbles across one winter evening on a quiet path?  She wasn’t making unfounded accusations – it is concrete that he did it.

I wholeheartedly admire the creative thinking she’d put into this.  Me… I’d probably still be crying in a corner wallowing in my own self pity!!  She’s contacted the police, the pawn shops, friends, family, she’s got his face and name all over Rugby in a matter of hours and is cracking on with a positive attitude.  Her positivity is so infectious and I truly hope whoever has got her laptop has a conscience and she gets it returned to her.  Social media can be an amazing thing, and the shares and messages from people we don’t even know has been astounding!

We touched on briefly whether it was worse to be robbed by someone you know, or someone you don’t.  I think, being a non confrontational freak to the max, I’d rather not know for fear of actually having to come face to face with them.  Lauren however said…

“Better the devil you know”

I’m hoping this is true for Lauren.  I really do. And that Karma prevails.

A New Chapter

“For last years words belong to last years language and next years words await another voice.” — T.S. Eliot

As 2014 rolled in this quote was all I could think about.  I’ve been reading blogs for a while but had never considered I had anything “worthy” to offer the blogging community… so… with the new year I decided to channel my inner voice and offer a small insight to my crazy business life and, hopefully, manage to stay away from the mundane “corporateness” most business blogs seem to possess.

us1 So let’s start at the start and introduce myself…

I’m Sammantha and I run a fancy dress company called Fancy Me Ltd.  We started off specialising in “sexy” costumes, hence the name, but we quickly expanded to cater for men and children as well.  We are just coming up to 18 months old and it’s honestly been the biggest rollercoaster of my life!

My right hand woman, and “bestie” is Lauren.  I consult Lauren over everything!  Both in business and in my personal life.    We went to school together and I feel like she really knows me inside out.  To have her as an employee is like gold dust.

My aim with this blog is to take you on my travels as an up-and-coming “businesswoman” (I hate that term!).  I still don’t really consider myself a stereotypical “businesswoman” – you know, the money hungry, hard faced type that wears a suit to work every day and tramples on every she comes across.  I actually care, probably too much, what others think of me.  My father always used to say “treat others how you wish to be treated” and I’ve tried to take that mantra on in my professional life as well as my day to day travels.  After all, without customers, we wouldn’t have a business!

Hopefully what I hope to offer in this blog is a jovial look at the fancy dress industry and include:

  • Information on trends
  • Showing you how one outfit doesn’t mean “one night” – accessories can totally transform one key base into lots of different styles, saving money, time and stress for those last minute party invites!
  • Our pick of customer photos
  • Make up tips
  • Festival and film guides
  • 100% honest product testing, not only from adults but we plan on getting the kids involved too (and we all know how brutally matter of fact the little ones can be!)
  • Headline hitting news and local events
  • An inside view on days in and out of the office for us

The Mad Hatter: “Have I gone mad?”

Alice: “I’m afraid so.  You’re entirely bonkers.  But I’ll tell you a secret.  All the best people are.”