Upcycling Tutorial Part 1: Making Repairs

Instead of throwing out your old pieces of furniture, give them a little love instead- we can show you how.  Learn #howto make repairs to your furniture We’re all about sustainability here and that means we try to #reuse #recycle and #reduce waste. 🖌️♻️🗜️

This is the first of 4 videos on ‘How To’ #upcycle. What else would you like to see? 👀

People and planet first is our mantra! 👫🌏 The sale of every upcycled item means one less new item being produced. And that’s got to be good for the earth 👍🏽

 We change lives for the better in practical, measurable and impactful ways. At Petit Miracles our people bring new life to salvaged, vintage and antique furniture items – creating unique, beautiful, bespoke and affordable (with quality you just can’t find in churned out factory furniture!) 

Through our combined efforts we can create positive and lasting change. Join us! 👩🏻‍🤝‍👨🏿

Keep upbeat with upcycling while isolating at home

Amidst all the distress and uncertainty we are facing with the Coronavirus pandemic, we are taking a pro-active approach to self-isolation and wanted to share some top tips for upcycling projects you can do at home.

Preparation

  • First clean the item of furniture using a damp cloth and use a waterproof tarp (if you have one) to protect your floors from becoming stained.
  • Remove any hardware that will come off, like knobs, cushions, or wheels. 

 

          Sanding 

  • Sanding the item with coarse sandpaper is an extremely important part of the process. It increases your chances of creating a longer lasting finish, as it strips all of the existing finishes and roughens up the surface allowing the product to adhere to the surface with a greater bond.
  •  After those initial stages, use a medium then fine sandpaper to get the super smooth finish.    

       

         Painting 

  • Pour some of the paint into a paint kettle or tray. For the best results from brushing, don’t dip directly from the can.
  • Apply the paint in light, even coats in the direction of the grain. Don’t worry about getting the paint completely opaque on the first pass. You’ll get a much better result if you use 2-3 light coats of paint rather than trying to brush it all on in one coat.
  • Use light, smooth strokes with a brush, and try to use as few strokes as possible to avoid leaving brush marks in the paint.

The saying a ‘bad workman always blames his tools’ does not apply when it comes to upcycling! The key to a good paint job is to use high-quality paint and good paintbrush. Buy the best brush you can afford and make sure it’s the right kind for the type of paint you’re using. Latex brushes don’t work well with oil paints, nor do oil brushes work with water-based paints. Once you have the right brush, you can focus on technique!

Most paints are touch dry after 3-4 hours, so leave in a well-ventilated area and then take some pictures and don’t forget to send them to us!!  We would love to see some of your transformations!

 

Do something good for the planet, the community and someone’s life.

 

Work from home in your business

As you know, the world has been put in self-quarantine, we won’t discuss more and let’s focus on things we can do while all this happens, it’s a great time to focus on things we have been postponed because of lack of time. 

One of the subjects we will discuss today is about social media, this powerful tool that allows us to connect immediately to our customers, develop relationships and build close ties with them.  It comes very handy at this moment when customers can leave their house and probably are bored and go throw the internet. 

But social media is not about posting content every day, it is about creating a strategy, setting goals, developing a concept, creating accurate content for your audience, tracking your data and outcomes and adjusting for the next strategy.  

 

Identifying your goals will allow you to direct the specific message you want to deliver, think about; What’s the purpose of this campaign? A new product, an event, a new location opening, building relationships, increased sales, brand awareness,  etc. 

Then you’ll think about the channel you want to use, is it Facebook or maybe Twitter, what about YouTube but remember each platform is different and engage in different ways, use each tool in the best way to deliver the adequate message.

 

Create a content calendar, use this tool to organize and schedule your content, what copy will use for this image, what days and times you have more traffic on your platforms, those are the days you’ll more likely post something. Study your market so you know: it is more women? How old are they? What ethnicity? What are their interests? And create content specifically for them.

 

Monitor and respond, during the campaign look at the post who has more likes or comments, reply to the comments, engage with your audience, and last for not least, measure the results, what was the general response, what you can improve, what were the difficulties, take over your analytics and use this knowledge to adjust to your next campaign.  

 

Not every social media campaign will follow these steps but it is a template of how you can start working with social media while this last, you have extra time to plan, create and execute so don’t lose time and start working on it. Be creative.  

 

Petit Miracle Interiors: What Is Upcycling?

What is upcycling and why is it so important? At Petit Miracles, we have made it our mission.

We’re all about sustainability here.

People and planet first is our mantra. The sale of every upcycled item means one less new item being produced. And that’s got to be good for the earth.

We change lives for the better in practical, measurable and impactful ways. At Petit Miracles our people bring new life to salvaged, vintage and antique furniture items – creating something beautiful, bespoke and affordable.

Through our combined efforts we can create positive and lasting change.

Watch our video to find out more!

Petit Miracle Interiors: Who We Are

Support Petit Miracles and do something good for the planet, the community and someone’s life. Through our combined efforts we can create positive and lasting change.

We’ve been changing lives and spaces since 2012, nurturing creativity in a supportive and social environment all while helping our learners to gain valuable training, guidance and experience, all while creating unique and lovingly upcycled furniture.

Watch our video to find out more!

We Are Hiring: Community Enterprise Manager

Are you looking to join a passionate team, driven by helping others unlock their full potential?

We are looking for ambitious individuals to join our small team in London, to help us grow our network and our impact. The work will be varied, pace will be fast and fit with the team is critical. Could you be part of the Petit Team?

The opportunity

As Community Enterprise Manager, you will project coordinate the Petit Miracle Hub programme from start to finish, leading on the recruitment of entrepreneurs onto the enterprise programme and ensuring evaluation measures are completed. In addition, you will deliver one to one mentorship ensuring members feel supported and are engaged in the programme. You will also be instrumental in driving our brand forward by networking with local businesses and organisations across the borough and by managing our social media platforms.

We want to meet the right person for the organisation’s plans for the future and support you to grow and develop based on your strengths.

Key tasks

● To recruit entrepreneurs onto enterprise programmes

● To deliver business training and mentorship to learners

● To foster relationships and recruit trainers for monthly business workshops

● Locate and facilitate business opportunities for Petit Miracles as well as its members

● To lead on the promotion of Petit Miracle Hub to our members, funders and corporate partners

● To lead on project administration tasks

● To ensure the monitoring and evaluation of programmes through data management

● To manage Petit Miracle Hub social media platforms

● To write and manage content for our blog and campaigning work

● To be an Ambassador for Petit Miracles, speaking at events and to local groups

● To attend weekly meetings to ensure all staff are kept up to date

The T’c and C’s

  • Flexible working hours, part time (3-4 days a week)
  • Renumeration £15,000 – £20,000 per annum, pro rata (dependent on experience)
  • London (Shepherd’s Bush)

To apply

Please submit a CV along with a cover letter highlighting what you want to bring to the role.

Only complete applications will be reviewed and only qualified candidates will be shortlisted and contacted.

The final closing date for applications is midnight Sunday 16th September 2018.

Petit Miracles is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate in its recruitment practices and, in order to build the strongest possible workforce, actively seeks a diverse applicant pool.

Everyone who works in the Petit Miracles team must be fluent in English and have a valid work permit to work in the UK.

To discuss the role further please call our director, Elisicia Moore (see Job Spec attached below for details).

Community Enterprise Manager Job Specification

For your 100% Egyptian Cotton needs – Sabani Linens

Petit Miracle Hub Entrepreneur Interview

Meet Alena from Sabani Linens

What is your background?
I used to work as a GP in the UK for about ten years before I decided to retire from the profession because of my children. Once they were more grown up, I decided to start my own business with my son. He was keen to start our own business supplying bed linen.

Tell us about your business?
Our products are mainly Egyptian cotton bed linen and the other product is Egyptian Stonewashed Linen which has become a very fashionable item these days! We always introduce new colours. We have three ranges of Egyptian Cotton at the moment. Two of the 400 Thread Count Satin Finish which is very soft and silky and the other is the 180 Thread count Percale which has more of a crisp finish. They are all embroidered with double lines of different colours to suit every style!

Where did the idea for your business come from?
The reason why we decided to start a bed linen business is actually because my husband, who is Egyptian, has been in the Egyptian Cotton business for decades and his father before him so we felt it made sense to use his contacts.

What is the most challenging thing about running your own company?
For us, the most challenging is to get my supplier to agree with the relative small quantities we order from them. They are used to working with major retailers and it is only because of personal contacts that they agree to supply us with much smaller quantities.

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Certainly to not be easily discouraged because it is not easy to start from scratch! To have a very good knowledge of your chosen area of business is key. Another thing, is to have a good business plan in order for you to know where you want to be in a few years time. Don’t spend too much money initially. Don’t overspend.

How has working with Elisicia and Petit Miracle hub helped you?
The Hub has definitely helped to improve my credibility. Other than selling online on website and a little on amazon, I make most my sales through Portobello Market. Customers love that I have a shop now where they can go and see the products with their own eyes.

In 5 years time…
In five years time, as much as I enjoy doing Portobello Market, I would love to be able to stop doing that. It is one of my main revenue streams at the moment but it would be nice not to have to rely on the market. I want to be established in a shop or hope our website will become more successful than it is at the moment.

Check out the full range here

Upcoming workshops with Imperial’s I-HUB!

Join us for two upcoming workshops with Imperial’s I-Hub on Wood Lane 31st May

 

Marketing and Social Media for Business  9:30 – 11:00

In today’s day and age, whether you like it or not, social media plays a huge role in business marketing. Used properly, it can help build awareness, boost sales and even help to get your business found online. But it has to be used in the correct way and on the correct platform.

This Part 1 workshop, hosted by the Imperial White City Incubator I-HUB, will help you to get the most out of it. You’ll learn:

–   To identify and understand your customers

–   To create messages that will attract your customers

–   To select the right media to bring your message to your customers

–   The role of social media in marketing and how to use it effectively

 

Face-to-Face Selling in a Digital World 11:15 – 13:00 

In today’s digital age, there is one thing that just cannot be replaced – personal communication.

Though virtual marketing has changed the game dramatically with the rise of social media, it can’t fully replace the value of face-to-face selling. But if you’re going to do it, you want to do it right.

In this Part 2 workshop, hosted by the Imperial White City I-HUB, find out how to stand out with your face-to-face marketing. You’ll learn about:

– Planning your sales targets and objectives

– Understanding your target audience and identifying customer behaviour

– Getting to meet the customers and overcoming objections

– Closing the deal and what to do next

 

Who are these workshops for?

Anyone wishing to improve their basic social media business marketing skills.

What are my transport/parking options for getting to and from the event?

This workshop will be held at the IMPERIAL WHITE CITY INCUBATOR I-HUB.

The closest Underground stations are White City and Wood Lane.

Trainer:

The presenter has been advising companies of all shapes and sizes for almost 25 years. In his earlier career, he was a successful business owner himself and gained extensive knowledge during 8 years in sales and sales management. He shares this expertise regularly with clients and has run multiple marketing and sales training workshops (both for groups of businesses and company sales teams), making these key insights available to business owners through practical advice.

Interested?

Book on Eventbrite or e-mail hub@petitmiracles.org.uk for more information.

Are you up for a #challenge?…

Are you ready for a challenge? A #challenge?

Calling all makers, hobbyists, crafters, creators, designers, recyclers and upcyclers, here at Petit Miracles, an award-winning interior design charity based in Shepherd’s Bush, we are inviting you to join our new Instagram hashtag challenge #MyUpcycledLife starting on Thursday 3rd May 2018!

With the challenge, we hope to unite people passionate about turning the old into the new!!

Why take part?

Petit Miracles diverts furniture from landfill and provides employability skills for local vulnerable, unemployed adults through work experience in painting, restoration, interior design and basic DIY. We also run a business incubator in our Hub project, where we support brilliant small businesses.

With the hashtag challenge, we want to promote our good work and share our passion for upcycling.

How do I get involved?

1. Follow @petitmiracles on Instagram
2. Share your photo guided by our prompts (see photo)
3. Use the hashtag #MyUpcycledLife
4. Tag @petitmiracles in the photo

At the end of the month, we will select the most creative #MyUpcycledLife Instagrammer & offer 2 FREE places on our popular furniture upcycling workshops, which take place on the first two Saturday’s of every month.

Save the date, 3rd May, Spread the Word & let’s get upcycling!

#MyUpcycledLife

A Vegan Delight – Maxine Cooks

Petit Miracle Hub Entrepreneur Interview

Meet Maxine from Maxine Cooks

What is your background?
I have always been a vegetarian cook. I started off working as a KP in Portobello Road Market and I just worked my way up. I have also worked for Planet Organic and helped to open up their kitchens. After that, I went on maternity leave and I have now started my own business!

Tell us about your business?
I started my business about two years ago in November 2015. I run a vegetarian catering business called Maxine Cooks. I try to do most of my food that is free from. That’s basically free from eggs, nuts, dairy, sugar. It is good for everyone and anyone. I value the fact that my food is nutritious, delicious and healthy. I care a lot about leading a healthy lifestyle and I try to put this message across to my customers because it is really important to have a healthy lifestyle now while you’re young so that you won’t feel those aches and pains when your older.

Where did the idea for your business come from?
Well, I have always wanted to do something like this. After I finished my maternity leave, I had a little think about what I could do next. I didn’t really want to go back to my old job so I thought well, it was time for me to start my own business so here I am!

What is the most challenging thing about running your own company?
Being organised and having a clear head is key if you work in a kitchen by yourself. But I would say the most challenging thing, for me, is the marketing side of things. Being a start up business and having limited experience with marketing. Because you are new, people are basically going to take a chance on you compared with the other competitors that are out there already. That is the thing that is quite frightening. To get out there and do that and prove that to others.

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
The advice I would give to other entrepreneurs is that before you go in their and start your own business. Research, research, research, whatever it is that you want to do, go out there and check out your competitors and check out if it is something that is needed and is what people want and see how others are doing it and how you can do it better. Why would people want to come to you over someone else? That is the question you need to ask yourself.

How has working with Elisicia and Petit Miracle hub helped you?
They are very friendly and warm. The team have lots of great ideas and really want to help you out with your business. They send out emails and suggest links for you to check out. This is extremely useful as they sometimes think of things that you would not have thought about otherwise. The one day seminars they offer are also really good to go on!

In 5 years time…
I want to be set with my own cafes dotted around the place – everywhere across London. And a couple in Nottingham because that’s where I am from!

To find out more information about Maxine Cooks, please visit www.maxinecooks.com or go visit the Old Laundry Yard @ Shepherd’s Bush Market where you can Maxine Cooks every day Mon-Sat 9-6!