AB London Meet up 20/01/18

"Skincare first..." With this in mind, my AB (for Asian Beauty) journey started couple of years ago. Fast forward to January 2018, on a typical London day...

Saturday 20th: it's pouring down and I am making my way to Crystal Palace station where I will take the Overground to Whitechapel  then hop onto the Hammersmith and city line, destination Farringdon. I have lived in South East London for over 10 years now and don't really venture up North so I feel very excited to leave my usual saturday routine behind. 

Sitting on the train, I take out my notepad and pretend to scribble few notes down about me, about the business, about products....?!??! After all, I am part of a beauty panel, I'm one of the professional... but deep down, I know I am not! I have so much more to learn and if anything I will be the one going to this AB meet up and learning few things about new trends and new products...

 

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Oh yes, did I mention I was going to the first AB meet up of the year organised by Asian beauty/skincare blogger Sophie @mapletreeblog (Picture on the left)

 

Sophie has a great blog and instagram page. She always gives good products insights, shares her skincare routine and is also a big Lush fan too. I love following her so I was so happy when she contacted me to take part in the meet up. She usually organizes 2 a year (summer and winter). I was unfortunate to miss last summer one but this time nothing was going to stop me.

 

She contacted me early November last year and between the first email exchange to the actual day, there probably was over 20 emails back and forth regarding all sorts of things like sponsoring, raffle, the agenda, the beauty panel, the goodie bags etc.

 

As well as successfully gathering over 25 skincare addicts, Sophie also organised a charity raffle for Refuge which offers support to women and children victims of domestic abuse. 

 

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I arrived an hour earlier so I could grab a bite and get some caffeine in my system. After wandering around, I settled in Pret A Manger and decided to chill... If I'm honest, I was stressing a bit which might sound silly (who doesn't stress, right?!) but most important I was also super excited. 

 

Then the beautiful Tina (who was the unofficial photographer and took all the pictures on here. So all credits to her.) found me in Pret and I think it really helped meeting someone beforehand. Maree from @beauty_and_seoul also joined us. She is also part of the beauty panel so it was great to motivate each other.

 

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at the venue, the crown tavern, clerkenwell

The pub was very close to the station (which I found out after getting lost and walking past there twice). I can't say much about the area as it was just pouring down all day so not good for exploring. 

Sophie booked the room upstairs and it was fairly big considering there was about 30 of us. When we arrived, everything was already organised into section: a table for destashing, goodie bags, mystery bags and the beauty panel. 

When I saw my card on the table, I knew I would need a bit of help from Mr Prosecco!

 

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AB addicts

The thing with bloggers, instagramers and now businesses is that we are all constantly on our phone. For a picture, for a live feed, for a story...

When we arrived, the room was already packed. Most of the time it's very intimidating to find yourself in a room full of strangers but I was lucky that I recognized few familiar faces from the AB Leeds meet up in May 2017. 

So now let the fun begins...

 

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the raffle

 

 

 

 

The raffle which was broadcast live opened the meet up.

After a little introduction of the afternoon from Sophie,

she presented each donated prize from the sponsors

and pulled a name out for each prize. 

 

I cannot believe how generous each prize were

and how much money Sophie managed to raise:

Over £1200 will go to Refuge, a charity offering help

and support to women victims of domestic violence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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the beauty panel

Although few other UK shops sponsored the event with prizes and goodie bags, only 3 of us were present.

 

*Beauty and Seoul with Maree

I have met Maree at the Leeds meet up last year and really didn't have the chance to talk to her back then. She is an amazing blogger and vlogger too and opened her online shop couple of months after me. I find her story very inspiring and feel so privileged I got to sit on the panel with her.

 

*(Soon to launch) Skin Library with Abiola 

Abiola's brand partner Yuri, was also present. From friendship to partners, Abiola and Yuri shared the same passion for Asian Skincare and met in Seoul. Yuri currently lives in Seoul and came to London for the meet up. They will be stocking few brands I have never heard of and I am so excited for them!

 

More online UK shops!

Competitors... yes! but I always find competition healthy and the world is BIG enough for all of us. The more the better as it will only raise awareness for Asian Beauty! I am a firm believer that women entrepreneurs should support and empower each other! Let's do it girls!!!

The beauty panel talk was also recorded live and It went better than I thought. The conversation flowed nicely between Maree, Abiola and I and everyone seemed interested (I hope).

Some of the questions asked:

"What inspired you to start your business?"

"What excites you for the year ahead?"

"Which product could you not live without?"

"What will be the trends for 2018?"

"Any unexpected challenges that you've faced?"

"How do you deal with bloggers asking you for free products?"

"How do you select your brands?"

"How long does it take from contacting a brand to getting the products?"

 

For anyone reading and wanting to find out what my answers were, I will write another blog soon, something like a behind the scene type, so stay tuned for it!

 

The beauty panel talk definitely helped as it was easier to go into each group and asked about their thoughts.

 

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The afternoon was amazing and the time just flew by that it was almost sad having to say goodbyes especially when it's always impossible to talk to everyone. I will definitely be part of the next one! It's nice to find a community that shares the same passion as you for Kbeauty, for Asian skincare.

 

                                                                                        #ABcommunity #theABteam #ABrocks

Pictures credit to TINA @tiinasol on Instagram

Follow Sophie @mapletreeblog

Maree @beauty_and_seoul

Skin library @skinlibraryuk