The Engage Academy | A Product Styling Workshop With Louise Beaukes
Written by on March 17, 2015.
Tagged under: BLoved, Louise Beukes, Maria Sundin, Product Styling, Teadxb, The Engage Academy, Wedding business workshop, Wedding entrepreneur UAE, pretty, wedding styling
Product Styling Workshop
Earlier this month, The Engage Academy hosted an intimate product styling workshop with multi-talented award-winning wedding blogger (Blovedblog) and wedding industry stylist Louise Beukes. I’m very happy to report that the inspiring session – held at Dubai’s Al Badia Golf Club – was my favourite Engage Academy event to date.
In case you’re wondering what The Engage Academy is, it’s a community and also a series of workshops for wedding and creative entrepreneurs. The aim is to encourage excellence and education within the UAE wedding industry and to help wedding entrepreneurs hone their talents. This, in turn, affects the quality of service you receive as a bride. I’m pretty sure you’re going to love the gorgeous images from our product styling workshop.
Louise is a lady after my own heart, having launched a similar concept to The Engage Academy in the UK, called Flourish and Prosper. We met a few months ago and hit it off immediately. Like myself, she’s passionate about the industry and helping wedding creatives to achieve their full potential. Joining Louise at our workshop was locally based fine art wedding photographer Maria Sundin, who not only advised our attendees on photographing their own work, but also took all the super pretty images you see on this post today.
Styling is one of the best ways to tell a story about a brand or product and professional photography massively increases the potential to sell that product and/or service.
Roomful of props
The product styling workshop took a few months to organise and, between Louise and I and all our fabulous sponsors, we filled the room with beautiful trinkets, props, flowers and items, which the attendees used during the workshop.
Firenze Flora supplied bucket-loads of colourful, aromatic blooms, plants and flower arrangements, with flawless professionalism and attention to detail. These were used by the attendees during the work shop. Louise and I also asked them to create some flower arrangements using Pantone’s colour of the year Marsala and they produced the most exquisite statement floral set-ups, a bridal bouquet and boutonnieres (you will see these in the images below).
Not being a fan of banquet chairs and traditional corporate event settings, I hired all the furniture for the event from CATERTAINMENT, which supplied elegant ghost chairs, some statement furniture pieces and lots of large white workshop tables.
Newly launched Party Social, which specialises in furniture and prop rentals, supplied the array of colourful and beautifully textured linens that were used during the interactive styling session later in the day.
As for the vessels, vases, crates and more, Lovely Styling kindly lent us some of their pretty inventory. And saving the day, as always, was one of our favourite partners, Mylist.ae, who equipped us with some gorgeous homeware items from a few of their partner stores, namely O’de Rose, The White Company and Tavola. Sunny’s POP supplied pretty gold straws, popcorn and patterned boxes as part of our prop set-up too.
Louise and I also went on a little shopping spree and provided colourful ribbons, stamps, straws, fruits, candles and lots more. With so many gorgeous items available, our workshop attendees were like children in a candy store!
The big day
To kick-start the day, the Al Badia Golf Club catering team treated us to a delicious breakfast, after which the speaker sessions started. Louise Beukes took to the floor with some great advice on the art of product styling, covering not only techniques but also the key areas that wedding and lifestyle bloggers and print editors look for when selecting products and businesses to feature.
Our very own UAE wedding lovely and BCME expert panel member Maria Sundin then offered our attendees tips and advice on photographing their own work at home, at the office or in their studio using natural window light. She also touched on areas such as photo composition and camera equipment.
After a delicious lunch at Blades restaurant, the most exciting part of the day took place – the interactive workshop. Louise started the session by creating a styled item, using a recent piece of print press I had in Aquarius magazine. Taking onboard everything they’d learnt during the speaker sessions and example product set-up, the attendees then got to work, styling their own products and branded items. Louise was on hand to offer guidance and make suggestions the whole time. I had a go myself, styling some of my own home items and branded Engage Academy and Bride Club ME cookies.
I was so proud of all the attendees and their finished styled products; they all looked amazing and photographed really well – as you can see from the final images by Maria Sundin below! Well done ladies!
The finished products
Each attendee left the workshop with an awesome swag pack packed full of creative and pretty goodies. A big thank you to the following swag bag sponsors: Sunny’s Pop, Maha Ibrahim Design, The Rustic Bead, Blovedblog, InterContinental Festival City Dubai, Dot Your T’s and Cross Your I’s, Love Notes UAE and the Gourmelicious girls.
Suffice to say, the workshop was a huge success and we have already been asked to organise another – so watch this space and ‘like’ the Engage Academy Facebook page if you are interested in attending any of our workshops or networking events in the future. I personally enjoyed every second and learnt a tonne myself in the process too. Massive thanks to our gorgeous speakers Maria Sundin, Louise Beukes and to all the lovely attendees of our workshop.
Ciao for now!
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Adeel Royage says