Teaching Young Entrepreneurs at The Prince’s Trust

July 12 2018
Beth is thrilled to once again contribute her expertise to young entrepreneurs at The Prince’s Trust! This transformational branding workshop will take place on July 17, 2018, from 13:00-16:00 at The Prince’s Trust House in London. 

For those of you not familiar, The Prince’s Trust is a wonderful organization that provides support and services to transform the lives of young people, professionals and entrepreneurs from ages 11 to 30. At their core, The Prince’s Trust believes every young person should have the chance to embrace exciting opportunities. Staying true to this belief, they have helped over 80,000 young people to start their own business since 1983. This is something we can all support and engage in! 

In this special workshop for The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme, Beth will share her knowledge on transformational branding and will provide guidance for Enterprise programme members seeking to build and define their brand and launch their work into the marketplace. She will teach attendees what it means to discover, define and build their brand, and the tools they will need to communicate and come to market. Attendees will come away thinking like brand analysts, which will give them powerful insights into how to position their product or service successfully in the future.

For more information about The Prince’s Trust and the Enterprise programme, visit www.princes-trust.org.uk. 

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What Makes a Go-To Production Company?

June 16 2018
Calling all production companies, producers, CGI companies and animators! 

We are happy to announce that Beth will be speaking on behalf of the savvy Advertising Producers Association (APA) in London. The highly informative Marketing Now event takes place on Thursday, June 28, 2018, from 9:00-11:00am at the Picturehouse Central in Piccadilly. Beth will be the first speaker at 9:00, talking about “What Makes a Go-To Production Company” at this APA members-only event. 

She will share her expertise as to what makes a go-to production company or animator? Why should clients choose to collaborate with you to bring their brands to life? How do you define, create and maintain a clear brand voice that connects to your audiences, regardless of what part of the market you are in? In this primer on essential core branding, Beth will answer these questions and help the audience discover how to excavate, analyze, communicate and operate as a powerhouse brand.

For more information and to register, please contact APA

See you there!

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Trends in Food to Go

April 10 2018
Beth recently attended the Food & Drink Innovation Network (FDIN) Food to Go bi-monthly conference in London. It was a fantastic opportunity to hear from seven phenomenal speakers about a wide variety of innovations, opportunities and market trends in the Food to Go segment. It was an interesting mix of statistics, personal stories and insights into the eating and buying habits of food to go consumers. 

Thank you, FDIN! We learned so much! Hope to see you soon!


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Blog | Food

Speaking and Eating at Hotelympia!

March 13 2018
Thank you to Emily Newman, our fellow panellists and everyone who attended our "Cutting Through Noise" seminar at the great Hotelympia event in London on March 5 2018. Beth discussed the importance of brand definition and the key aspects to consider when launching and maintaining your brand in the hospitality industry. She spoke about the importance of building your community and creating a connection with your audiences, whether they are internal, national or even virtual.

We had a great time at Hotelympia and gave us an opportunity to look at the wide variety of suppliers and their specialised products – plus we had lots of fun trying out the delicious food and drinks!

Once again, thank you Hotelympia. See you next year at Excel!


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Beth Takes to the Catwalk for a Seminar at Pure London

February 23 2017
Last week Beth returned to the fashion stage, speaking at the Pure fashion trade show at Kensington Olympia in London. She loved presenting to such an attentive and involved crowd, with a large standing room turnout. Pure London showcases very creative, current and forward thinking independent designers and manufacturers, and the halls were filled with bustling activity. We had to pull Beth away from shopping to do her talk!  

The presentation provided a great chance for Beth to express her take on Transformational Branding, and marry it with another one of her passions - fashion! Speaking about How to Communicate your Brand using Photography and Motion, she analysed some of the hottest brands out there and how they are nailing their branding, with tips on how to read their imagery and apply this to attendee’s fashion and retail businesses. 

We would like to thank Taina, Sarah and all the team at Pure, as well as all the attendees Beth spoke to after the presentation. Roll on Pure July 2017!

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Double Header: Beth's seminar and panel for the Association of Photographers at ShootLDN

October 14 2015
A big “Thank you!” to the wonderful audiences that attended Beth’s recent events at the AOP Awards Exhibition and Seminars in London last week. We’d like to give a special thank you to the panellists that joined Beth for an insightful discussion on Friday about navigating the worlds of stills and motion – thanks to Josh Rothstein, James Gerrard-Jones, Ross Walker and Waldo Wilkinson for sharing their wisdom in this lively and educating talk. They covered a range of topics from the protocols of film production and budgeting, how to identify what your own brand is and how to express and manage this over different mediums, the differences between preparing a motion shoot compared to a stills shoot, the challenges of maintaining consistency between your stills and motion work, and how to approach writing treatments for motion work.

Saturday saw Beth riding solo as she delivered a presentation that spoke about the process commercial photographers can make to cross over into the fine art world. The seminar was a deep exploration covering both the visual and practical issues surrounding developing a fine art practice today

Once again, we thank the audience for being so receptive and appreciative, and to the AOP for hosting these events. Keep tuned to www.mercurylab.com for Beth's upcoming appearances, and email studio@mercurylab.com for enquiries regarding Beth speaking at your event.

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The Changing Retail Landscape

January 22 2015

These days, it’s tough to be a small retailer. As I’ve been out and about in neighborhoods that range from Park Slope, Brooklyn to Soho, NYC, I’m noticing so many empty storefronts where local retailers used to be. At the same time, many off-price, national retailers are successfully setting up shop. Nordstrom Rack, T.J. Maxx and Neiman Marcus Last Call have all opened on the Brooklyn Mall, and they are packed with customers. People are shopping away online, despite the risks of their information being hacked as it was at Target. So consumers are consuming, but infrequently with the independent shops.

It’s a trend, for sure. Small retailers with a strong brand and distinctive wares can still make it, but the economies of scale for larger retailers are hard to beat. There still exists a strong interest in the handmade, artisanal and unique – hence the success of Etsy, and Blake Lively’s new website venture Preserve, which showcases a curated group of USA-based artisans whose offerings span a variety of disciplines. Local food shops prosper as the trend towards food provenance and the public’s interest in protecting the environment continues to expand.

I’m sad to see a kind of depressed quality on what used to be shopping streets like 7th Avenue in Brooklyn. What’s the solution? It lies with price, originality, and vision, as well as paying attention to the holes in the marketplace so that you can provide products that consumers cannot find elsewhere on the local level. And as always with retail, it’s about being personal and forming relationships, one of the cornerstones of brand strategy and brand building.

Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice: The Pumpkin Spice Trend

November 20 2014
The end of summer and the month of September can leave us unhappy and moody and looking for something to be excited about. Once September ends, the month of October always picks up our spirits up, since we can feel the Fall season approaching. The little things get us excited for Fall: sweater weather, boots, the autumnal colors, football, and of course, pumpkin spice. Pumpkin spice brings a sort of cozy feeling to the season. The taste and smell reminds us of the holidays to come.

This Fall season was all about pumpkin spice, which really rocks our world – in moderation, and appropriately applied. Starbucks first came out with a delicious Pumpkin Spice latte for the Fall kick-off last year The smell and taste of that latte is like pumpkin pie in a cup – therefore, perfection. But this year, the Pumpkin Spice trend is oversaturating the market. Not only does Starbucks have a latte, but also other mass-market chains such as Dunkin Donuts and McDonald's have a pumpkin spice coffee of their own. Keurigs seem to be a popular for those who prefer to brew coffee at home. We’ve even noticed that Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, and other coffee brands have been selling boxes of Pumpkin Spice flavor k-cups to carry home with you.

In an explosion of pumpkin overexposure, lots of other products are hopping on this trend. There are Pumpkin Spice products in the sweets category; such as ice cream and m&ms. Bars and restaurants are also whipping up fragrant Pumpkin Spice cocktails, shots and martinis. Pinnacle has even created its own Pumpkin Spice flavored vodka.

And it doesn't stop there. Now there is Pumpkin Spice chips, bagels, jello, butter, yogurt, and beer. Americans love Thanksgiving – it’s part of our national identity. Of course, so do we, but we are drowning in a sea of spice! It’s just too much of a good thing, and maybe not so thoughtfully applied in terms of product development. Meanwhile, we are off to Starbucks for an afternoon coffee break – with a Pumpkin Spice latte, of course!

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'Tis the Season for semiprecious Shopping...

December 07 2013

semiprecious is here for the holidays!

In celebration of our new Etsy store launch, we're offering a special code (HOLIDAY15) that you can use for a 15% discount at the Etsy store only! You can also purchase directly from our semipreciousny.com site. All of our products are designed here in NY and made by hand in Morocco. Order all these great pieces for your home (or loved ones!) this holiday season.

Some of you already know our line of flexible, bendable, vegetable-dyed silk napkin rings, available in a rainbow of colors. Buy a set for your own holiday entertaining, or give them as a special home or hostess gift. 

We are also selling our exclusive artisan-made pillows. Witty and deluxe, designed with oversized tassels and buttons and dressmaker details, the pillows are like art objects for your home or office. Each design is made in small runs of vegetable dyed silk, cotton, and wool.

Also, don't forget to follow and like us on our new semiprecious Facebook page!

Happy Shopping & stay in touch!

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Deliverance Delivers: Building a Sustainable Food Brand

August 09 2013

Last night I was sitting and eating with some friends at Pizza Express in London. It was much better than it sounds, as many restaurants in the UK are part of chains (or chainlets) actually serve fresh, locally sourced food. Anyway. A delivery moped passed the window from deliverance.co.uk, painted in red, with beautifully modern typography. First of all, the name is so smart, a great play on words that references the biblical ways in which food delivers us. The offering itself is unlike anything that I know of in NYC. Incredibly high-quality food cooked to order and delivered to your door. It's a modern version of a personal chef.

This brand is very well managed. Like many British companies, they focus on the provenance of their food sources, naming the family farms and butchers with a Royal seal of approval, purveyors to the Crown. Given that London is a wide, horizontal city where it takes hours to run an errand in Central London, communities tend to focus around the local High Street. That High Street will have Indian, Arab, and Thai restaurants plus a few pubs with gastro pub aspirations. At the same time, Brits tend to lavish lots of love and care on their homes, are very social, and just like their American counterparts, are working too hard. So Deliverance has filled a hole in the market.

It's a branding and marketing rule that the first one successfully out of the gate with a new offering will own 50% of the market. In London, you can get your food delivered from the supermarket, from a shop that stocks only frozen ready meals, like Cooks, or from you local pizza place. It seems to me that Deliverance is delivering on their name, and their service, which is another factor in building and maintaining a brand: credibility. As they've been around for 15 years, they are sustainable, credible and differentiated, the three hallmarks of brands that are set up for long-term success. New York foodies, take note!

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