Celebrating Father’s Day

Last Sunday I celebrated my second Father’s Day as a dad, last year my baby daughter was but a few weeks old and we were still getting to grips happy father's daywith being parents of a newborn to really enjoy or contemplate Father’s Day if you know what I mean.
This year, the occasion really had me thinking about what it really means to be a father and of course I got a little nostalgic, looking back over the amazing memories of the last year.
It’s incredible to think how much having a child has changed my life, even the tiniest, simplest, most basic routines have been adapted and tailored as her needs take priority, our world as parents revolve around her and I still cannot fathom just how much light and love she has brought into our lives.
Obviously juggling the running of BODO and being the parent of a newborn is no easy feat and I am lucky to have a great support network that have been incredible with childcare and the like. I’m also lucky to have a great team working with me at BODO, which always makes things that little bit easier.
Being a father and I mean that in the sense of being there for your child no matter what, providing support, care, unconditional love, education and compassion, is really really important to me. I’ve seen too many children suffer through lack of a nurturing relationship with their parents and I determined to be as good as I can be. Of course I’ll probably make mistakes, we all do, but I’ll always try my hardest to fix them and do all that I can to support and nurture.
To all of my friends, family and readers out there who are fathers, I’d like to wish you a belated happy Father’s Day. I hope you had a wonderful day and really enjoyed spending time with the people in your life who matter the most.

Preparing To Launch: BODO Brand Photoshoot

It’s been a hectic couple of weeks for myself and the BODO team what with preparing to launch online sales of the BODO Sandal and offline sales to follow shortly, there has been a great deal of work to be done and it has literally been non-stop!
An important part of the launch is making sure we have the right images to advertise the brand, ensuring that they accurately represent the BODO Sandal as a high quality, fashion sandal that is both durable, comfortable and looks great! 

On the 9th May, we had a photoshoot using professional and highly experienced footwear models, wearing the sandal on the streets of London. I was on hand behind the scenes of the shoot with Blonde & Black taking smartphone shots of all that was going on. After the shoot, the images were retouched and edited before completion on the 4th June. Most of the images are being saved for when we launch, however I did manage to sneak one for this blog!!
For me, it was an incredibly interesting day, seeing how much hard work and preparation that goes in to creating the perfect images for a brand. Of course it was not without a couple of problems, with London’s traditionally mercurial weather doing its best to meddle in our affairs and numerous passers-by, motorists and the like stopping to see what was going on and asking loads of questions!
We took a number of brilliant shots, all with the intention of highlighting the personality of the BODO brand. We did several fun, quirky shots (which no doubt you will soon see) intended on capturing the essence of London lifestyle – people just hanging out, in various different weather conditions, on steps, cobbled stones, grass, pavements and such like!
The photo shoot was a big part towards helping launch the brand as we wanted to keep the focus on the sandals and BODO brand name. All in all I’d say the day was a massive success, we managed to capture some fantastic images and I also made some great contacts and friends during the course of it! Watch this space for more epic pics!!

One of the pics from our recent photoshoot!

One of the pics from our recent photoshoot!


Social Media Pressure 1 vs Hackney Council 0

 I have written many articles on this blog that focus on the power of social media and this is going to be another one.  This week, Londoners have been up in arms about the proposals by Hackney Council to introduce fines against the homeless.  

As part of a PSPO (Public Space Protection Order) police would be given the power to hand out £100 to rough sleepers, fines that if unpaid could quickly rise to if unpaid £1,000 and would effectively end up criminalising some of society’s most vulnerable souls.  How many homeless people do you know that have £100 quid floating about in their back pocket? 
When I first came across an article about this move on my Facebook newsfeed, my initial reaction was something along the lines of “Seriously, what the…!!”  I thought, this can’t be true, it must be some sort of spoof story or an article by someone who had their facts all fuddled, that’s how ridiculously confounding it felt to me.  However, after a little bit of research, I discovered that unfortunately it was true, Hackney Council really were introducing legislation to allow fines to be doled out to rough sleepers. 
Those of you who know me, or regularly read this or BODO Planet’s blog, will know that homeless is an issue that I myself and BODO as an organisation, feel very passionately about.  Hearing about the plan to introduce these fines really made my blood boil and in fact this week’s BODO Planet was going to cover a story drawing people’s attention to the PSPO and the efforts of the public to have it revoked.
 Luckily however, the social conscience and social media won the battle against this ridiculous legislation in a matter of days.  A Change.org petition started by LSE law graduate Zahira Patel gained 80,000 signatures almost instantaneously and after much public pressure from members of the public and celebrities who took to twitter and other social media outlets to express their disgust, Hackney announced that all references to rough sleepers in the PSPO would be removed!
It is a fine example of how social media really can be a formidable force in the power against injustice.  

"Victory" - the Change.org against the PSPO

“Victory” – the Change.org against the PSPO

CEO’s and blogging

I was having a discussion with one of BODO’s marketing execs the other day and we got to talking about blogs and why so many CEOs write Ceos and blogging2blogs and why indeed I am writing this one. It was quite a broad discussion about how strange it is that so many CEOs write blogs these days when compared to the dark days before the internet.
I guess the equivalent back then would have been a CEO writing a pretty successful book, or publishing a column in a big newspaper! So yeah, a few would have done what you could see as a similar discipline or outreach tool, but it is nowhere like what it is today. Pretty much every CEO of every major start up, especially those that are in any way internet-based, has one. Some of those, I’m sure do it out of love for writing about the things that motivate them, for having a platform to share their ideas, adventures and experiences. But for others (and I would fall into this bracket) many CEOs write blogs because they are advised to by their marketers.
Ceos and blogging1Blogging has many advantages, it can help to increase your website’s search-engine rankings because new and fresh content appears on it on a regular basis as well as enabling you to connect with your consumers in a way that just wasn’t possible before. The key thing here is the way in which the internet has made people more social.
Before, if you wanted to do some research on a company that you were interested in buying from it was painstakingly difficult. You’d probably need a qualification in research-techniques and possibly have to spend hours in a dusty corner of your local library, browsing through a plethora of newspaper cuttings. Nowadays you can find out pretty much all you want to know about a company or organisation on your smartphone whilst waiting at the bus stop and eating a cornetto!
Because finding this information has become so much easier, many more people are interested in discovering it and that for me is why blogging is so important. If your consumers want to know what motivates your organisation, to find out if you really are as ethical as you claim to be on your labels, they can find out with a couple of clicks! Your vision is now something that you can shout and be proud about, social media is your platform and your voice!
Of course there is always the chance that no one will read your blog apart from your mum and your best friend, but there’s just as much chance that it will work as an incredible platform for you to promote your dreams and goals!