March(ing) on!

Marching on blog post

What a month it has been – and how quickly things can change in just a matter of days! 

It seems like we’ve all been affected by the Coronavirus – and when we sent our April issue off to the printers at the beginning of last week, we didn’t envisage that less than two weeks later we’d have the kids off school and be isolating ourselves as much as possible!

We certainly never thought that we’d see something of this magnitude in our lifetime and we hope that as quickly as Coronavirus came, it disappears. Or at the very least that it doesn’t affect our daily lives for long.

On the plus point, we’ve a couple of reasons to celebrate this month – Mother’s Day (hence the picture with {some} of our children) – and this month’s International Women’s Day!

So what better place to celebrate than by announcing our involvement in the #BossWoman podcast!

Lauretta joined local business woman and brainchild of the #BossWoman podcast, Cheryl Huggins, to share her story of launching a new business while coming to terms with her cancer diagnosis.

You can have a listen to the recording here – with details including how the magazine was launched, the challenges Lauretta faced, building a business in the face of adversity and staying positive.

What we learned…

Coronavirus is affecting all of us. We’re now witnessing people panic buying (and shops running out of essentials), to the closing down of schools and self-isolation – crazy!

We’re lucky enough to be able to work from home, but some people aren’t quite so lucky. All we can say is that we hope the virus gets nipped in the bud as quickly as possible and that we can all go back to living our lives as normally as possible without feeling paranoid going about our daily lives.

We’re encouraging our readers – and all residents as much as we can – to help one another, particularly the elderly or vulnerable. This is especially important in times of need. Communities that help support one another are stronger together – and this includes supporting local businesses who are the backbone of the local community. We’ve just learned that Bromley Council is encouraging volunteers to come forward to offer their help if and when needed. If you think you can help, please fill in this form. 

As much as possible we will continue to publish Life In Orpington magazine (as long as we’re able to cover our print costs) – we realise that some readers depend on the magazine for local news and information. However, what we would encourage people to do is to check with organisers if their events are still running; many organised events and get-togethers have been cancelled, so it’s important to double check this.

A huge welcome

Thank you to the following businesses who have joined us for the first time for our March issue: The Bank Locksbottom; Lee Lam Business Consultant; LSEC; Grace Rose Pilates; The Cooking Shed; Philip Training Centre; Hair By Jo; Cannon Cars; Dolly’s Dog Walking; and Tech Assist London.

We hope to do our new advertisers proud, even in these unpredictable times! One of the ways we offer value is by promoting our advertisers for free on social media, as well as including their news, tips and expert advice in the magazine, which helps raise awareness of their brand.

Out and about

A new first for us was attending our printer’s annual conference, which was held at the Regent Street Cinema – a lovely venue in London.

We heard from a company called Two Sides UK, which had some interesting statistics to share with attendees. For example, did you know that you’re more likely to remember something if you read it on paper rather than on a screen? And, according to studies, print is also more trusted than digital channels, and it delivers more recall and response than its digital equivalent.

The event also provided us with networking opportunities and the chance to be inspired by some of the bigger publishers. We met one lady who had eight magazines in the Edinburgh area and had grown from one small magazine herself – a huge inspiration and very apt given that this month we celebrated International Women’s Day.

We celebrated this in our March magazine by contacting some of our female advertisers to provide their success stories – we really believe in celebrating the successes of others and acknowledging the support that we offer one another.

And talking of International Women’s Day, iVerbalize had organised ‘Her Story, Her Voice’ event in Bromley, which was due to take place on Monday 30th March. We’re thrilled to be media sponsors for the event – and we were equally thrilled to be invited to join a speaker’s panel to share our story – thank you Ronke! Alas, the event is moving online instead (what an innovative idea!), so at least all is not lost.

Earlier this month we were invited along to a supper night run by Regan at The Cooking Shed. It was a Middle Eastern menu (which was scrumptious!) and the setting – at The Homestead Cafe, Beckenham Place Park – was wonderful.

In terms of networking events, we attended our regular monthly PIB meeting and the launch event for Athena Bromley at The Manor At Bickley.

Marching on blog post
At the Athena Bromley networking launch event

Other news

This month was supposed to be the debut ‘Meet The Buyer Bromley’ event, which we were delighted to be part of – both on the planning panel and as media sponsor. And this, like many events at the time of writing, have been cancelled for the foreseeable future.

We’d love to hear what you’ve been up to this month, if you’ve got any recommendations or just fancy saying hi – email us at

Until next month, stay safe! 

March: Treating ourselves

March Treating Ourselves

March has come and gone in the blink of an eye and we’ve certainly been keeping busy this month.

First of all, we thought that as a small business we should try and go along to some networking events. Local businesses supporting each other is something that we’re very keen on – particularly if we’ve used someone ourselves and can vouch for them.

Network for business growth

So this month we went along to the Orpington 12.30 Women’s Networking event, held at Scala in Orpington High Street. It was a small group, which was actually quite nice as it made it more intimate and we could get to know each other a bit more.

We also went along to the Ladies That Latte Group in Bromley. It was an interesting event – not least for its location – and we also had the opportunity to meet at least 20 different businesses.

And finally, we attended the Networking Cupper event in the Glades, which ran over two days and allowed us to meet with local businesses.

Next month we’ve got our eye on another two different networking events and then we should have tried most of them locally (with the exception of the very early morning events which, as mothers of young children, we’d find it very difficult to attend).

Colour consultation

This month – it being Mother’s Day – we thought we’d treat ourselves to a couple of pampering sessions.

First up, we had the pleasure of meeting Rebecca from Rebecca Ffrancon, who specialises in colour and style consultations.

It wasn’t something that either of us had given much thought to if we’re honest, but it was really interesting what Rebecca told us about projecting our brand’s colours at every opportunity. So for us, that could mean wearing purple and blue co-ordinating tops or having a purple or blue pen/handbag/notebook.

We decided to book Rebecca in for a colour analysis, which would mean she’d be taking a closer look at our skin tone, hair colour and personalities and from that, working out which colours best suit us.

March Treating Ourselves

We discovered that we were both ‘warm’ tones and that Nicky should experiment a bit more with brighter colours and Lauretta should look at more autumnal colours.

At the end of the session Rebecca gave us each a mini swatch to keep in our purses so that when we go out shopping for new clothes, we know what to look out for.

It was a really enjoyable session and we think it would make a lovely gift for a special friend or family member. Rebecca also does wardrobe edits, so if you think you’re stuck in a rut, you know who to call!

Oh and keep a look out for Rebecca’s style tips in the May issue – we’ve certainly learned a few new things.

Beauty is skin deep

Finally, we had the pleasure of meeting Deb Horgan, who is a supplier and distributor of skincare and beauty brand, Tropic.

We had heard a few things about Tropic recently – mostly how good it was, so we felt the need to try it out and see for ourselves.

What we discovered was that all Tropic’s products are made with premium natural ingredients. It’s freshly made and cruelty-free and therefore guilt-free.

With so much talk about toxins and how bad they are for us – it’s refreshing to discover something that you don’t have to worry about being harmful. And with our skin being our largest organ, we believe it’s really important to be vigilant about what you’re feeding it with.

Deb gave us a mini pampering session, which started off with face masks which she customised to our skin, and while we were waiting for the masks to take effect, we enjoyed a wonderful hand massage that left our hands feeling silky soft. It was a wonderful experience and so lovely to get pampered for a change.

We have to admit, we did wonder if the products would smell nice, given the fact that all the ingredients are natural, but we were pleasantly surprised to discover that most of the products we sampled smelled divine.

March treating ourselves

In fact, having bought a selection of products from Deb there and then, we can definitely say we’re converted!

Yes, the products are pricier than what we’d typically pay, but we think they are worth the money – and apparently, you don’t need to use as much product as you would do with most others, meaning that you are getting the value for money.

That about sums up March for us – we’re looking forward to April as it’s the month that signifies the start of spring – with blooming daffodils, hopping bunnies and plenty of chocolate.

Friendly feedback

Finally we’d like to say a HUGE thank you for all your comments, messages and words of encouragement about Life In Orpington.

We’ve been overwhelmed with all the positivity and how readers have been enjoying reading the magazine.

We’ve got another epic issue just launched – and we’re now working on our May issue (it feels a bit strange working on May when we’re still in March!).

Please feel free to sign up to our monthly newsletter – we’re giving away a Bloo cleaning hamper to mark the start of spring cleaning month to one lucky subscriber.

Talking of winning, we’re also giving away a pair of Vue cinema tickets, a Chakra Aromatherapy Gift Set AND a huge bundle of chocolate Easter treats – enjoy the issue!