I love Pinterest.

It is such a great way to log ideas, build a briefing note and remember great things you have seen online. And what I like best is that such a visual representation can at one click take you to the website that you originally saw it, keeping track of everything in one funky mood board.

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My first foray was when I was trying to find some wallpaper for a cafe I was working on at Silverstone and whilst I didn’t think the examples I picked were very useful to many other people, I still see these images re-pinned all the time. Funny really how quirky orange papers with whisks on or red icons of pots & pans could be desired for anything other than a race track cafe, but there you go! Still, the board I created was sent to my team at Silverstone and my vision was then dutifully executed.

An easy table centrepiece

An easy table centrepiece

After that, I created boards to demonstrate other things that I was progressing. One for the Queen’s jubilee so I could keep track of what I had seen for a report I was compiling, and another for an event I was arranging, trying to DIY on a shoestring so contemplating good, cheap, easy to make table centrepieces. The event was rained off in the end, but the board of ideas remains if and when I ever need to resurrect it.

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After that, came the design of a new ice cream offer for a stately home and an ongoing project over a couple of years designing my own new house. There is so much online to disseminate when doing that from scratch and just keeping track of what you have seen where would be a nightmare were it not for this technology. Instead, I crafted mood boards for each thing, whether lighting, or fireplaces, gardens or kitchens. And by picking bits from different pictures and piecing it all together I could create something that was never done before. An idea from outside became an internal wall of herbs, a fireplace concept became a feature wall….and so on.

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Then came the biggest work project of all, designing a brand new restaurant/cafe and retail concept for Laverstoke Park Farm. And as ever with me, I didn’t want it to be like anything else that existed, rather a place that others would visit to see the next big thing in the food arena. My head was full of ideas. My pinterest board was loaded with snippets. From clever ways to display wines, to unique storage for bread, counter designs to flooring, menus to meat this board was packed full of great ideas which I was formulating into a new concept of my own. Sadly, what seems so clear in my mind was almost lunacy to others, who didn’t have the vision to see that I was thinking laterally not literally. It made me realise that my way of thinking was not the same as others and that people really struggle to get past what is in front of them and to open up their imaginations. But nevertheless, my vision would have been fab!

In the end the project didn’t go ahead, but my ideas remain for another day.

Nowadays, my focus has moved onto innovative packaging and some of that was used to create the picnic concept I mentioned last week. Again, my mind moved towards adapting what I saw into something new. And despite our trials and tribulations, these picnics are thankfully getting good support from customers since their launch. We also use shared boards to log recipes or product ideas and that allows the team to all post different perspectives into one place that can be referred to at any one time.

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In August, I am heading off to Denmark and believe it or not, Pinterest is great for planning holiday trips too. I can see all the great food places to go, link to some good sites with ideas on what to do and piece together the places that I want to see. I always like an element of research when travelling as I worry that I am going to miss something and what has been great is that once the Denmark board was created, I was getting new ideas via pins sent back to me from other people who have pinned the same things as me. This push back is a clever tool in the same vein as the Amazon: people who bought that also bought…. but without the hard sell.

And the latest news is that Pinterest, along with other sites such as Google, Twitter and Instagram, are developing the ‘buy button’ so that now it will be easier than ever to shop online. This Harvard Business School article is an interesting read on the subject and I will watch this space on that one.

Meanwhile, my holiday plans progress and any new project ideas will be brought to life on my profile. If you are interested in keeping an eye, then I am here.

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