Fantale Fans, born by Creative Director Anna Louise-Taylor, arrived onto the Bristol scene with more than a bit of a flourish earlier this month. With eye-catching designs that beg for an impromptu photoshoot; these fans are more than just a tool to keep the body temperature down, they are a fashion statement.
As a raver, I strongly believe that if you aren’t drenched with sweat by the end of the night you haven’t been partying properly. Which is why when I first saw the Fantale designs having bumped into the fabulous Anna-Louise at 25A Old Market (great coffee by the way!) I had to get one for myself!
I sat down with Anna-Louise to talk Fantale and what advice she’d give to independent business newbies…
Hello lovely lady! So first off, what inspired you to start Fantale?
I’ve always loved raving, fancy dress, international travel and festivals. I’ve always wanted my own creative business too! I’ve been using fans for years as way to cool down when out and about, and feel fabulous and glamorous using them. I grew up in New Zealand and Fantails are beautiful native birds there – and as I have been a journalist and love visual storytelling it seemed fitting to marry the things I love together as a play on words.
The silk material is absolutely divine and really adds to the fans aesthetic, why did you pick it?
Silk was the only option to achieve the glamourous textured finish I wanted and allow the double-sided printing of my designs – one of their unique features.
I adore the designs, all of them are so fierce! Is there there a story behind them?
Thank you! I was really inspired by fun, cheekiness, sassy and sophisticated brands. I don’t take life too seriously and wanted people to have a product that was a bit cheeky and different. I approached Chris Cummings, now the creative director at Maya agency in Bristol, to do the designs a few years ago after seeing his work and loving his “Colouryum” prints. As the project has been on the backburner for a while, it has taken a few years to get the designs out there. We originally started with nine but ended up launching with four. They’re really fun.
They really are – I think they might turn into a ‘complete the set’ obsession! What advice would you give others looking to start their own business?
It doesn’t seem real until you start having tangible milestones and moments. A product is easier to quantify than a service. But every bit of work you do towards it that people don’t see counts! I couldn’t believe I actually was making my dream a reality until I got a website and my stock arrived. I’d been talking about it for years. And then I did it, but it took some major life changes for me to start. It’s not easy, and there’s a lot of sacrifices, frustrations, hard work behind the scenes, late nights, early starts, and things you don’t know how to do. You just have to keep believing in yourself and accepting help and support when you need it.
Find a mentor, find people who believe in you, and inspire you, find inspiration wherever you can and a way of life and balance that works for you.
Get them while they’re in stock at Fantale and make sure you keep your eye on them – my ma’s already stolen mine!!
This (was) going to be a fairly short entry because I have SO much work to do at the moment. You know those times when sleeping feels like a waste of hours…
But before I forgot I wanted to put up a foodie blog post because I’m really excited about food again.
After diva don Eva showing me the basics in Japanese food (I watched her whip up a feast in under an hour. What witchery is this…?) I had to try.
WaterSky in Eastville is good for sushi rice and seaweed wraps.
Sushi rice is easy to cook – (1 cup rice washed, top with 1.5 cups water, splash of rice vinegar and salt, bring to boil and turn heat down till all the waters absorbed. Turn off and leave stand for 10 mins)
While the rice was doing its thing I prepped far too much veg – be warned.
Then I put down a dishcloth, topped with a layer of clingfilm, and then the seaweed wrap. Spread on the rice evenly leaving roughly 1cm around the edges (in hindsight as you can see from the pics I got a wee bit over-excited with the filling, you really don’t need much)
Then, wrap! The good thing about the cling film and dishcloth is it makes the rolling easier and leaves you with less clearing up after because the towel catches it all!
The next weekend I was craving pizza, which is rare but I know when it comes to wheat it’s a slippery slope.
Enter… Sweet Potato Pizza crust (click link for the recipe) Oh. My. God. I can’t actually explain how much I love this. I would go so far as to say I prefer it to regular pizza.
I got the recipe from Blissful Basil and adapted by using spelt flour instead of gluten free flour (because I didn’t have any) and cornmeal instead of almond meal – but the results were still amazing.
Finally, a fabulous friend of mine gave me tickets for Grillstock. I wish I could say I tried the best pulled pork in the land…but in honesty I was only there for De La Soul .
I wasn’t in the best of moods, but the energy they brought to the stage was infectious. I don’t think anyone could have left feeling down. When you see performers who are there, not for money, but because they enjoy what they do it shows hard work and dedication can get you anywhere xxx
As I’ve mentioned before, I am a baking addict and am constantly being mocked by my family and friends for taking pictures of my triumphs pre consumption. It may seem odd to some, I’ve endured a couple of snipes along the lines of, “Why do you think anyone wants to see pictures of your food? Who cares what you’re eating?!” Well…I do. And this is my blog. Which, more than anything else, is a place for me to document things I’ve enjoyed, thought about, or discovered in my life. Occasionally, food is one of those things. I like to cook, I like to eat, I like to feed. At the moment I like to experiment and blog about it. If this is not of interest to you, AVERT YOUR EYES.
For anyone that is interested, and fancies trying out one of my recipes, here have been my star baking moments over the past month…
First up is the IMMENSE carrot cake with orange zest butter icing that I made for one of my besties, Sophie O’Kelly’s birthday. The recipe was to feed 8…I doubled it. The end result could have fed 20. The finish on the cake wasn’t the perfect picture I’d hoped for, partly due to not having time to let the butter icing cool before piping it on, but overall I was happy with it. Got me a new icing bag off ebay especially for the occasion *happy face*. I didn’t actually get to eat that much of it, but the nibble I did have was rather awesome (if I do say so myself). I would post the recipe I was following but halfway through I started free-styling due to being a couple of ingredients short… Either way, the result was a very rich, moist cake which took roughly two hours to bake, and went down very quickly. Result!
My second bascapade (baking escapade) was cookies. I’ve always wanted to be a cookie master but every time I follow a recipe, they never come out the way I want. Too sweet, too crunchy, always too…something. So on Thursday I stumbled upon an experimenting opportunity-as usual there is a story behind it.
I’ve been hitting it hard recently in the form of festivals, carnivals, street parties, and general frolicking around Bristol. Despite vowing I would eventually calm down and return to a regular routine, my body has taken matters into its own hands…and turned on me. For the past week I’ve been led in bed feeling sorry for myself, without the ability to stand, talk, or eat. Despite this, when I got a text off my friend asking if I could cook her dinner I said ‘Yes, of course’, and decided to throw a dinner party. I told everyone to bring a dish to cut down on the effort I’d need to put in…shocker! Nobody did. I ended up whipping up a meal for 6, of which I could stomach none of. I tried, I failed, I went to the kitchen to start making pudding. Post creaming together butter and sugar, supposedly for a cake, I realised I had no eggs so decided to make cookies instead. Normally, you need eggs for cookies because they provide the binding factor which helps them keep their shape, but they’re not essential in terms of taste. As you can see from the first ‘cookie’ picture, the resulting aesthetics weren’t incredibly pleasing but they still tasted pretty darn good.
Anyway, today at my mums I perfected the recipe, so that they were just as pleasing to the eye as they are to the mouth (that shouldn’t sound weird but it does…ah well). I use spelt flour because I’m not a massive wheat fan, but you can use any kind of flour. Bread flour makes the end result a bit more doughy and gives the cracked top on the finished cookie. I normally split the batch before the *star* ingredient stage so I can make lots of different flavours. Out of one base batch I made peanut butter for my dad and raspberry for my mum.
SO- here are the basics for you to use in your own cookie journey…
100g spelt flour
100g bread flour
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
Firstly preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the beaten egg and vanilla essence. Sieve in the flours, add in pinch of bicarb of soda and baking powder. Mix together thoroughly and add your star ingredient (e.g peanut butter, raspberry jam, lemon curd, desiccated coconut etc). Take a heaped teaspoon of mixture and drop onto baking tray, push down slightly with back of spoon (make sure you leave enough space between drops for the mixture to spread) and put in the oven to bake for 15-20 mins. You should be able to tell when they’re done by a crack appearing in the top.
The resulting cookies should be soft in the middle, not too sweet, and brilliantly bite-size so you can keep track of how many you’ve had (although personally I choose to ‘lose count’ after the fourth…).
Happy baking! xxx
So clearly I am the worst blogger like EVER. Laaaaaaaazy. In my defence, I didn’t want to bore people with mundane bits of information but as I have 3 followers, I don’t think it matters cause no-ones reading it aaaaaanyways!
Now I’ve had this epiphany (and am currently unemployed-more on that another day) I have de died I am going to blog AT LEAST once a week. I have no excuse now that’s have a swanky iPhone-the world is at my fingertips!
So look forward to many a post of my cooking inventions, I like to experiment, and if your lucky, some mundane thoughts.
I think my baking passion was born when I became completely obsessed with The Great British Bake Off. Bizarrely it was while I was dieting, I couldn’t go a day without watching some sort of cookery programme, although that was my favourite. So unsurprisingly I decided to try one of the recipes from the show this morning when I decided my very hungover friend needed some cupcake love. I call these little gems, Strawberry Inspired Orange Cupcakes!
Here’s where you can find the original recipe: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/raspberry_and_cream_89607
Although I made a few amendments… Before any cooking began, I boiled an orange after zesting it and cutting it in half for about an hour until it was reeeeeally soft and then blitzed it with a hand blender. Keep the orange zest separate as I did do this once and blitzed the entire orange but the skin made the mix a bit bitter so better to zest it first and then boil.
I then made the cake mix according to the recipe above, and added in the orange mush at the end. Whilst tasting, add the zest bit at a time until you feel the taste is right. I’d probably use roughly half, but trust your tastebuds!
After lining the muffin cases, I put a dollop of cake batter into each cases, followed by 1/4 tsp of strawberry jam, and a 1/4 of chopped strawberry, before adding another dollop of cake batter. You want the piece of strawberry to be well covered to ensure it doesn’t burn in the oven.
Popped into the oven, I let them bake for roughly 20 mins whilst getting on with the icing. Again, I followed the recipe above pretty closely except for adding in strawberry jam instead of fresh strawberry’s and a little bit of the orange zest from earlier.
After allowing the muffins to cool, I made an icing bag out of a plastic zip lock bag and piped it on. As you can see from the photo, the first ones (left) took an a rather dog turd aesthetic…not ideal. So I attempted to do hearts on the rest of them.
Gotta say, pretty darn yummy! And before getting involved, I recommend watching this brilliant lady….
Happy baking kids!!! Xxx