This week we joined a favourite of ours for a fundraising event at Newcastle University’s Student Union. Getting back into the swing of the pop ups hasn’t been easy but now we’re back we don’t want to stop...
So who exactly were we fundraising for? If you’ve been following CATCALL for some time now you’d know that we are big fans of Smart Works and exceptionally lucky to have a branch right here in Newcastle. Smart Works have one overarching goal, to help women get into employment. Now I know what you're thinking, how exactly do they do that? Simple, by giving women the confidence to nail their job interview. We all know how it feels, going into an interview feeling nervous, unprepared and just all round lacking in self esteem. But this all goes away after an appointment with Smart Works. Firstly, any woman who comes for an appointment will get a hand selected interview outfit and styling session to help them look and feel at their best. Following this, they are then able to partake in a one to one coaching session from business professionals who can help them see their own strengths and build their confidence not only in themselves but also the interview process. However, as this charity relies on donations of clothes that fit and suit such a variety of women, storage space is limited. What better way to solve this issue than a big ol’ sale of stock to increase storage space and raise money to help run this fantastic service.
The two day sales event kicked off with an exclusive ticketed event for all those keen beans wanting to get their hands on the discount goods before anyone else. Endless rails of clothing were out ready as the shoppers came rambling through with a complimentary glass of Prosecco in hand. Everyone from fashion lovers to Smart Works patrons were grabbing as many bargains as they could. Not only was the shopping experience available but also a fashion show from Newcastle University’s Fashion Society. This society gives Newcastle University students the opportunity to collaborate on fashion based projects from pattern making to modelling and everything in between. In this instance, they curated a fashion show which demonstrated the stylish and professional outfits that they provide for their service users.
So after a fun filled evening, we packed up our boxes and headed to the second day of the 'Sustainable Fashion Sale' all in aid of Smart Works with 20% of all our sales going straight to the charity. Hanging the classic pink fairy lights above our table we were so excited for the students to hit our stall and they didn’t disappoint. Not only did we have our classic tees and accessories but we also managed to showcase our brand new stock that had never been seen before. As well as our stall, the lovely Melanie Kyles brought her beautiful intricate embroidery work and offering a hand monogrammed service for personalised treats. We even nabbed ourselves an enchanting yet fierce headband that we just can’t get enough of.
Overall, across the two days Smart Works managed to raise a whopping £6,500 to help women get into work. This will help them keep up their phenomenal success rate of over 1 in 2 women getting the job. Thank you to Nathalie and Helen for not only running a great service but also for inviting us to take part as well as every staff member, volunteer and customer. It’s you guys that keep us all doing what we love.
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SISTER SHACK X CATCALL
Recently we joined the wonderful Sister Shack at Newcastle Student Union for our first market stall in MONTHS. Not only were we trying to get back into the swing of things but also trying to keep up with the immense competition from all the other fabulous female creators. I mean, I’d expect nothing less from a Sister Shack Market. And you know what they say, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. So here’s a little peak at some of our favourite stalls…
Good Strange Vibes
First up, Good Strange Vibes, a wonderful brand created by artist Louise Brown. Her fun and whimsical designs not only look great but also have a strong social message. Addressing important points from body positivity to period inequality, supporting such a brand will really make a difference in the world.
Check it out now at www.goodstrangevibes.com
Finally a brand that tends to the inner whimsy goth that hides in us all. From linocut brooches to handmade feather jewellery, this unique gift shop has trinkets for everyone. Of course we couldn’t help ourselves when we came across this little piggy brooch and had to invest.
Check it out now at www.skullbag.com
I was shocked to find out that this seller was attending their first ever market and I think it is safe to say it will be the first of many. A simple design, terrarium plants in a variety of crystal clear glassware, making a must have for a number of shoppers (including myself!). Who knew putting a plant inside an old school child’s milk bottle made it so irresistable?
Check out their IG @Madelinebaughartist
Raunchy, outrageous and simply brilliant. Slutmouth is a brand designed to reject the taboos around the body, sexuality and sex. Modern society is still shy when it comes to issues around nudity, sex and open sexuality. However, Slutmouth is here to expose this and show the young adults of today that there is nothing to be ashamed of. We STAN (whatever that means).
Check them out at www.slutmouth.co.uk
As the fear of climate change becomes increasingly real, the need for sustainable fashion is evermore desperate. In comes Just Harry. A brand that recycles denim into new wonderful fashion pieces that not only look great but also are helping reduce waste in the fashion industry. From dungarees to custom made t shirts with personalised denim appliqués, they’ve got everything to feed your need for denim.
Check them out at asos.mp/just-harry
And last but certainly not least, Mojo Lingerie. A company that creates made to measure lingerie for everybody. And by everybody, they mean EVERY BODY. No matter your size or shape, they will create beautiful lingerie that is the perfect fit made specifically for you. As a woman who throws a fit at the thought of wearing an underwire bra, the elegant lace designs by Mojo Lingerie really are a dream come true.
Check them out at www.mojolingerie.co.uk
This is just a tiny sample of the amazing people who showcased at the Sister Shack Home From Home Market, check the rest out over at @sister.shack
ONE NIGHT ONLY: AN ODE TO THE GIRL'S BATHROOM
The standard night out. A pastime with a startling propensity to be more or less exactly the same every time you choose to partake. It is as if there is a checklist to be followed, certain rules to abide by.
Outfit stresses. The friend who is always, without fail, so inordinately late that you begin to question why they bother coming at all. Pre-drinks. The last minute panic prompted by the arrival of a taxi, which still manages to be a surprise; no matter how much notice you were given. The Houdini friend who will disappear, audaciously returning an hour or so later; in the possession of a drink or three and without any awareness of how long they’ve been gone.
There is, however, a shining light in this alcohol-fuelled routine. Something that is different every time. Something that adds a little light and excitement to what might otherwise be a distinctly predictable night. Something to talk about over the meal you stubbornly profess is breakfast, despite the fact that it is actually two in the afternoon, and your heavy heads can barely lift from resting position on dusty café tables. This beacon of hope? The saviour of a slightly dull evening?
If you are lucky enough to have experienced this phenomenon, you will be acutely aware of how truly excellent drunk friends can be. For one night, at least, they are the greatest people you’ve ever met. Drunk friends are interesting. Drunk friends are exciting. Drunk friends are the people you decide you absolutely one hundred percent will keep in touch with, because you all decided to go to that festival together in August, and you can’t miss that. Drunk friends are the ones you will likely never hear from again.
Of course, if you are proficient in your inebriated networking, you will be aware that are different categories in which each of these drunk friends fall into. There are the social sorcerers, who manage to capture the attention of everyone in the smoking area, beguiling their way through their evening with unbelievable stories, and unending levels of charm. There’s the lone jester, who appears as if from nowhere to enthusiastically provide an evening’s entertainment, and who will likely get kicked out of the takeaway a few hours later, after jumping over the counter and asking for your order. Perhaps the greatest of all drunk friends, however, are those who reside in the girl’s bathroom.
This very particular category of drunk friend is home to the true queens of the drunken friend world. They are among the most hilarious, kind and supportive people you will ever meet. Every night, around eleven pm, the dingy, dusty bathrooms in bars and clubs up and down the country transform. No longer places of horror and disgust, they become magical, safe spaces, ruled by ethereal, if not slightly tipsy creatures - creatures known affectionately as Girl’s Bathroom Friends.
The girl’s bathroom on a night out is a truly magical place, and it is the tireless work of the Girl’s Bathroom Friends that make it this way. Of course, there are still templates to go by. The returning characters among an ever-changing cast. There will almost always be someone crying over a boy, and another trying to comfort her. There’s always someone who will promise to be your Instagram photographer, and will go as far as to stand on a sink in an effort to get you at just the right angle. And there is, every night, without fail, someone whose true calling in life is, it would seem, an ability to make you believe that you really do look ‘absolutely amaaaaazing!’ To put it simply, if you are seeking some support, a safe space, a pep talk, or just someone to ask about how much a nipple piercing actually hurts; the girl’s bathroom is the place to be.
There’s a lot we can learn from the girl’s bathroom. It appears to be a place entirely devoid of negativity or competition. If someone looks great, you tell them. If someone is in distress, you do your utmost to comfort them. If someone is in need of something that you possess, you share it with them - even if it is only a lipstick. Girl’s Bathroom Friends are the best simply because they represent that which we all ardently desire from those around us. To feel supported, safe, and inspired is an incredibly valuable commodity. One that, try as we might, cannot be bought, sold, or magically conjured up. It is something built on an alliance of our own behaviour, and that of those around us; an agreement to perpetuate confidence, kindness, and a desire to make others feel as great as we’d like to. Scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. That sort of thing.
There’s also value in openness. The deep discussions about life, love, and everything in-between. The stories shared with people you’ve just met, merely because you rightly perceive that your own experience is, in some way at least, relevant to that which your new friend is currently crying about. There’s the total, unabashed trust from the girl who showed you the results of her tummy tuck, just because you were curious. And there’s the willingness of others to scrape you off the floor and welcome you into their girl gang when you’re having a bad night.
There’s truly something to be gained from losing some of our cynicism, from dropping a sometimes internalised disregard for those around us. There is incomparable benefit to be found in a willingness to embrace a little vulnerability, and to pioneer compassion. Imagine if the whole world followed the ethos of the Girl’s Bathroom Friend. Now, wouldn’t that be great?
Written by Steph Hebdon @stephhebdon
CATCALL X SMART WORKS
This week marked the start of a beautiful working relationship and one we could have previously only dreamed of. Just over a month ago, a representative of Smart Works Newcastle got in touch with us and asked if we would like to attend their upcoming event and we couldn’t have been happier. And last Friday that event finally arrived. For those of you who aren’t aware of the wonderful work that Smart Works does then here is your chance to find out. With 7 branches (and counting) across the UK, this charity was started by women for women. Their aim? To get more women into employment. The debate of inequality in the workplace is nothing new to any of us but a charity designed to help women get their foot in the door certainly is.
So how do they go about achieving such a momentous goal? Well it all starts in branch. First off anyone identifying as a woman and has a guaranteed interview for a paid position is welcome to attend an appointment within their local Smart Works centre. However, this is not your stereotypical charity pity parade that many assume it to be. Instead you are greeted by Smart Works employees who provide a styling session for each client. Picking out different interview outfits to suit each lady individually and to give them the confidence they need to succeed at interview. Not only do get they get a personalised style experience but they also get to take a full outfit home with them including both shoes and accessories as well as a goodie bag of sanitary and hygiene products. Now for some women, this is an outfit to help them be more confident whilst entering their interview but for others, this may be the only interview outfit they own making it all the more crucial that Smart Works is available to help them. Following from this, they are able to be coached by professional women who have been on both sides of the interviewing experience, giving them hints and tips to secure the position they’re after. For those who have been out of work for a while, this one to one coaching can really change a person’s perception on the interview process and what it takes to succeed in getting the job.
Does it work? I hear you ask. Well with over 50% of the women attending their Smart Works appointments getting the job, it’s pretty hard to argue that it doesn’t. But with that being said, this charity could not be a success without public support. Donations of supplies, a helping hand in the office, monetary contributions. Whatever you can give could have a drastic change on another woman’s life. For some a job is a way of supporting their family for others it can give a genuine sense of purpose in life which may not be possible without the help of Smart Works. Here at CATCALL we strongly believe in the power of fashion in building confidence and Smart Works does just that. Help support them in changing women’s lives today.
For more information about Smart Works and local branches near you, visit their website at www.smartworks.org.ukCATCALL X PICNIC
It’s been another fun week here at CATCALL HQ. After what felt like a lifetime of waiting, CATCALL X PICNIC finally arrived. So on Friday night we packed up our Pop Up shop and headed down to Think Tank, Newcastle to showcase some of our brand new stuff. With the latest addition of badges and stickers, we couldn’t wait to chuck our tat at anyone who would take it.
From Ormstons to Great Waves to Picnic, there was no way this line up was going to disappoint. Music lovers from across the region entwined in an embrace we couldn’t have previously imagined, beautifully lit by incandescent neon. I mean, it was always going to be hard for us to contain our excitement. Not only did we party with our fave bands but we also showcased our brand new products. From tit tees to tote bags to badges and stickers, we got it all. And to round it all off? We even got to introduce card payments for all you lovely cash free people.
So what’s coming up next for us? First we’ll be hitting up the studio to take some pics of our brand new stock launching end of September. You may have seen some sneak peaks already but if not get ready for our first line of cute ass tote bags as well as more tees coming which are already in high demand. But somehow even more exciting than that we’re braving the night bus to go cross country with our very first slot at Camden Market coming September 19th. We’ll be bringing silver streamers and neon lights one hell of a way so if you’re around pop down and see us, it would mean the world.
I hope London is ready for us (because we’re certainly not).CATCALL TURNS ONE MONTH OLD.
One month. A twelfth of a year. Thirty mere days. And yet here we still are. Although this may be a small milestone to most, it is one giant leap for Catcall kind. The final hoorah of our launch party was just the beginning of our hard work and unexpected tears. Whilst everyone drank beer and partied to our poorly put together playlist, we perched on an overused guitar amp to do the final part of the project. Click the detonator *cough* I mean launch button. And that was only the beginning.
Little did we know how much joy this small, badly thought out, project would bring. The sheer excitement brought from hand packing each order is not one we ever thought we would experience. Now one month on, we are expanding from our four original lines to a mighty eight, adding some cute AF tote bags to our ever-expanding collection. Not only has our beloved website brought us delight but we have also been able to bring our products to you in person. Unexpected to us, the popularity of our pop-up shops has given us the hunger to make Catcall a real success. So in that spirit we’ve now added a number of events from Newcastle to the big LDN where you can buy our products instantly.
Although this may not seem like much, this is only the beginning, so watch this space. And above everything thank you to each and every one of you for your support. It means more than you will ever know. I can’t wait for this ride, who knows where we’ll end up.
CATCALL WAS BORN.
From a twentysomethings bedroom daydream to a fully-fledged business prospect, Catcall Clothing evolved from a mere idea to what lies before you now. After months of planning, preparation, crying, swearing and hissy fits, the labour which was launch day arrived. Not only was this event ambitious but it was downright ludicrous. Launch a clothing brand with an event including a range of local musicians and a Pop-Up shop with LITERALLY no experience? Yeah, no problem mate. But then, in the midst, the so very dark and dank midst, out came Spotlight Music UK. Our saviour. Our shining light. Our damn good promoters.
After a hell of a lot of silver streamers and accidental balloon popping, Komparrison was the first to take the stage. And what a bloody beauty those girls are. Yeah, you heard that right, GIRLS. FEMALES. DAMN WOMEN. A bit of a foreign concept in the music industry apparently. Their acoustic tones and perfect harmonies filled our beautifully lit venue, giving a performance only two true friends can achieve. Next up, Human X. Paving the way to their own genre, they entwined electronica and indie into a twisted fantasy that couldn’t have previously been imagined. The dark romanticist in us all fell in love under the fairy lights, with electro pop vibes that won’t be quickly forgotten.
And finally, Deep.Sleep. Sometimes you have to give the lads a chance I suppose. As with every one of their headline shows, you can’t help but get encapsulated in the boyish charms of those young men. Taking the opportunity to warm up for their highly anticipated Kendal Calling slot, they couldn’t have rounded this phenomenal night off any better with their indie pop love songs. And with the that, down came the streamers, out came the beer and our launch was complete.
And as for us? Well, we’re just glad we didn’t throw up.
Spotlight Music UK