Monday, 23 April 2012

I have a dream.

You may already know a little about my background before I became a greeting card designer and publisher, but in the past few weeks I have been reminded of a dream I had to become a window designer and dresser (aka Visual Merchandiser).

In the final show of my Illustration degree I specialised in creating window displays for retail. Soon after graduation I started work for a high street store, not earning a very good wage, but learning the basics about Visual Merchandising. I took the role as in-store Homewear VM, which I loved doing.

In order to pay rent and survive I had to leave this job and worked for an insurance company for a year, but I used to break free at lunch and find somewhere quiet to sit and read about fashion merchandising, store layout and design, I delved into the psychology of retail design which was fascinating.

I was so determined to be a Visual Merchandiser that I once applied for a job in Oxford Street even though I lived in Bournemouth. I was willing to relocate just to do the job (at that point I would have even tried to commute) I must have been mad!

Eventually I found a Visual Merchandising job for a high street department store closer to home which was my first rung on the ladder. Unfortunately, as the story goes, the long hours and physical demands of the work brought back health problems I have had since my early twenties, and seeing no way back into the job after months out of work, I had to face facts and decide that it just wasn't going to be possible.
All that gazing and dreaming about one day designing for Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Bergdorf Goodman (New York) etc, fizzled out.

One of the most captivating windows I have seen in New York.

We all know from my blog, what has happened to me since, things have definitely worked out well for me through a lot of blood, sweat and tears, and then just the other week Harrods launched a competition to create a mood board on Pinterest inspired by the theme of a street party for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

I jumped at the chance and spent all day of the launch finding old photos from my past, putting together a mood board which just felt right. I didn't go for too strong a British theme, I found an overriding theme of pink and gold inspired by outfits worn by the Queen and the interiors of Buckingham Palace, which I could envision in the windows of Harrods under their amazing lighting. Pink and gold is warm and inviting, opulent yet not overpowering, and can be used with subtlety and complimented with many other hues.

I have been itching to find out who would be shortlisted in the competition all weekend, then tonight I suddenly received lots of mentions, and congratulations and twitter, which I could not quite believe!! Out of a huge amount of applicants and lots of strong competition, my Pinboard was one of the 5 shortlisted. All I have to do now, is wait until Friday 27th April at 7pm when the public vote will close. You can vote for my pink and gold Jubilee board here (Fay Martin) and make my dream come true!
Thank you x


  1. Fay it looks fabulous. I love the whimsical approach you've taken with the mood board. Really pretty. Complements your illustrations well too. Got everything crossed for you! x

  2. Thank you lovely, I can't think about anything else at the moment. :)

  3. GOOD LUCK!! I have voted and tweeted and wish you the best of luck. xx

  4. Voted! :D
    Good luck!
    It was really interesting to read your story. Despite big setbacks you have built your own creative business, despite it not being what you planned for. Dreams are so hard to chase!

  5. Thank you for your lovely comments. It is funny how life has a funny way of moving full circle. Years ago I would never have thought I'd be a greeting card publisher, in fact at Uni, I remember being told specifically not to go into the industry as it is too difficult. :)