Last Tuesday, although I must admit it feels like weeks ago, was the party to celebrate the launch of my book hosted by Simon Wilson at his Butler & Wilson shop on Fulham Road.
Simon had promised me a party when I first told him I was writing a book back in 2011 but I thought he might have forgotten or even changed his mind, so I was thrilled when he insisted that we must do something to mark this fairly momentous occasion for me.
I was not involved in the planning as it was Simon's idea, and anyway I was away on holiday, but our marketing department at QVC joined forces with Simon to plan and execute the party so that everyone who was able to attend would have the best possible experience.
I confess I was slightly apprehensive when an email arrived whilst I was in Mauritius entitled 'There's good news and there's bad news'. For a horrible moment I thought all the invitations had been sent out and no-one wanted to come!! As it turned out it was the exact opposite, most of the invitees wanted to come so it had to be on a first come first served basis and I apologise if you missed out.
It had been decided to hold two events so that it would not be overcrowded. The afternoon was mostly for QVC customers, and the evening was a mixture of family, friends, customers and my publishers, and lovely model Ali was in attendance at both. It was wonderful to meet so many of you and an enormous thrill to hear your positive comments about the book and my pleasure to personalise the signed QVC copies. I had so many of you remarking about similarities between my life and yours.
We enjoyed champagne and canapes, well I say we, I stuck stalwartly to the elderflower water as I was 'drunk' on the atmosphere and wanted to savour every moment. Simon was very generous with the raffle prizes but it was the evening draw that made me laugh. I had asked prior to drawing out the first winning ticket if my family were allowed to win the prizes… I think you know what's coming. The first ticket out of the bag was my son Daniel's!!!!! We drew the other two prizes and then drew again for the prize that Daniel had very graciously put back.
We also had a very special model to give Ali a hand in demonstrating the prizes. My friend of 30 years, Denise, showed them off 'Price is Right style'… that brought back a few memories I can tell you. The highlight of my evening was when Simon produced a stunning cake with the picture from the back cover of my book on it, filled with fresh fruit and cream. I cut it up for my guests to enjoy, or take home in their 'party' bags but there was still half the cake for me to take home, and most of that I took in for the backstage gang at QVC.
For those of you who would like to get a feel of the party Will Gowing filmed the evening event and you can view it here…
It certainly was a lovely celebration and we are celebrating again on QVC this weekend. This time it is nothing to do with my book, it is Founder's Weekend. It is twenty years since QVC UK was incorporated and less than six months later we were on air with our first broadcast. The rest, as they say, is history!
Simon will be part of our celebrations with his Couture show at 6pm on Sunday, so I hope you will join us for that, and all the other huge brands that QVC now offers.