OK, so I know we're halfway through January 2015, but I think it's important for us to look back at our 2014 calendar and take a peek at how it all started! Some of our readers may already know about it, but for a few of you, it will be new and interesting!
Not to be arrogant, but it all starts with me! I lost my hair a few years ago and although it was really tough, I had a fantastic support network in my friends and family! I worked through it and over time came to terms with it, and then I took part in the Alopecia UK flashmob! While there, I learned a lot about who they are and what they do, and came to appreciate just how much they have to offer! They also inspired me to help where I can and to raise much-needed funds if I'm able!
Now, I'd probably collapse after 5m, let alone running 5km, so doing a run, swim or anything sporty is pretty much out of the question! I'm terrified of bungee jumping and go weak at the knees at the thought of jumping out of a plane! Basically, I'm not much use at doing something worthwhile, and thereby inspiring my friends, neighbours and relatives to dig deep! I could put in a cheeky request for a hand-out, but I'm pretty sure they'd tell me where to go and if it worked, would only work once! So... what to do?
I work for a PR & Marketing agency and wanted to ensure that whatever I did, it would make a big impact, raise awareness and most importantly, raise funds. I'm not sure quite when I thought of the idea to recreate calendar girls (nude and bald), but once I'd had it, I couldn't stop thinking about it! I got together a crack production team and a group of fabulous sponsors (who I couldn't have managed without), borrowed a venue and convinced twelve ladies to get involved, some with the promise of gin!
A few months later, and we had a fabulous, finished calendar! Next step was to prep a press release, elicit the promise of a few real-life stories and send it out. We expected a little bit of exposure and potentially a few interviews near to where the ladies lived, but we couldn't anticipate what happened next! The press loved it and it went around the world - twice; publications everywhere from Brazil to China, Hungary to Russia picked up the story and before we knew it, our faces were popping up on 180 websites / newspapers / magazines, in more than 50 countries! Not only that, but the orders started coming in from around the world and it's fair to say we had more orders through the website from as far away as Jamaica and Australia than we did from the UK! It couldn't have been better! It's also worth a mention that some of us enjoyed a trip to London to appear on Good Morning Britain (video below). So far we think we've raised about £4,000, but despite it being January, we're still getting a couple of orders a day! Amazing!
On to 2015, and we're hoping to do the same, albeit with a completely different theme! Watch this space!
In the meantime, here's some of my favourite pictures (all copyright Pretty Bald Limited of course)...
February: The gorgeous Kate and Amy
December: With all the girls
Phew! I think that's probably plenty for now, but watch out for interesting and exclusive updates over the coming months...
Here's the promised video of our appearance on Good Morning Britain... (More about that later!)