Tuesday, 18 June 2013

We have a lot in common with Josh Groban!

I was watching Josh Groban in concert in Manchester the other day (a birthday pressie from my hubby), and for some reason it popped into my head that we have a lot in common.

OK this may seem a bit weird but just go with me here.....

Josh Groban has lots of great fans, but he isn't exactly mainstream (yet).
Hello Brolly has lots of great fans too, but we could always do with more, so please tell your friends.

Josh's fans are discerning, and appreciate that he hasn't changed his unique style to chase a more mainstream audience (he still sings songs in a variety of languages on each album).
Hello Brolly customers are also very sophisticated, and appreciate that here at HB we could buy in all sorts of umbrellas, and aim for a mass market, but our ethos is 'Why buy the ordinary, and bland when you can find beautiful umbrellas that are different and unusual'.

Josh believes in creating great music, and goes to great lengths to get amazing musicians from all around the world to play with him (his band consisted of musicians from Russia, Cameroon, America and his choir was from good ol' Manchester).
Here at Hello Brolly we also go to great lengths to source stunning umbrellas from all over the world, we have umbrellas from America, Canada, UK and China.

You only have to see Josh on programmes like Never Mind the Buzzcocks (which he's been guest host a few times) to know that he likes to have fun, and doesn't take himself too seriously.

At one point in the concert, when Josh was chatting to the audience he uttered this line...
"I've just realised that I'm strange.......... but that's OK 'cos I sing pretty."

Well I've always known I was strange, and I definitely don't take myself seriously, which is probably not a revelation to you if you've ever read one of my umbrella descriptions (check out the descriptions on Palm Tree umbrella or It's Raining Cats & Dogs if you want proof).

Like Josh my being strange is OK, because it let me create the entire Hello Brolly world, everything you see encompasses my strangeness and hopefully shows how much fun I have doing it.

Lastly Josh may not be to everyone's taste, but the people who love his music will be his fans forever.
Hello Brolly has a selective clientele, and we hope that you will also be our fans forever.
Thanks for reading
Karen Lee

Monday, 17 June 2013

It's Recycle Week - 5 cool things to do with your old umbrellas


Old umbrellas can make great bat wings, and even the ears are made from umbrella parts!
Find out how to make this masterpiece, step by step, here: http://www.evilmadscientist.com/2006/how-to-build-a-better-bat-costume


Use some decorative ribbon to tie a nice bow part way up the umbrella so that the flowers can sit in at the required height. Buy a nice bouquet of flowers (or you can use plastic flowers) and create a nice arrangement. Only use half of the umbrella if you plan on a door hanging or use flowers all the way round if you plan on standing the umbrella in a pot.
Idea & Picture courtesy of http://greenparadisehomes.com


If your long stick umbrella has a torn canopy, but the frame is still intact have a go at this new take on the classic Crystal Chandelier.


Art has no limitations. Check out this dress made out of a broken umbrella, bubble wrap, and buttons for an art installation in Chicago.


This lovely pink jacket was created by Recycling Zychal  out of old umbrella canopies, but if you are handy with a sewing machine why not have a go yourself.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Brolly good show Ma'am - The secret of the Queen's umbrella style!

To celebrate Her Majesty's Official Birthday I'll let you in on the secret of the Queen's umbrella style.

Have you ever wondered about the Queen's umbrellas, and how they always seem to match her outfits?

Well the secret is that the Queen commissions her umbrellas from, Royal warranted umbrella maker, Fulton. The East End umbrella maker, founded in 1956 by engineer Arnold Fulton, has long been the Queen's choice for brollies.

The royal dress designers come up with the outfit, and then they confer with Fulton who trim the umbrellas with the appropriate colours so that they match her outfits exactly.

Her Majesty likes to use the transparent Birdcage umbrella so that her public can still see her from all angles.

The next generation seem to be following the Queen's lead and opting for the Fulton Birdcage umbrellas too.

The Duchess of Cambridge has been spotted with a totally clear Birdcage, and ordered a black-trimmed Birdcage to match her Temperley dress at the London War Horse premiere last year, at which William gallantly held it over his wife's head.

Nigel Fulton said of his royal commissions "We are immensely proud of our Royal connections and hope to build upon our relationship for generations to come."

Want to see which Fulton Birdcage Hello Brolly stocks? Click Here

Friday, 7 June 2013

The sun is shining, time to get out the umbrella. It could save your life!!

"Are you mad, the sun is finally shining and you're banging on about umbrellas?" I hear you say.

No, I've not lost a few (more) of my marbles, I'm going to tell you why it IS good to have an umbrella in this glorious summer weather. According to a US study published in JAMA Dermatology, any umbrella can block more than three-quarters of ultraviolet (UV) light on a sunny day.

But why should we want to block UV rays?

Silver Heart Umbrella
Exposure to UV rays can disrupt the replication of DNA leading to harmful mutations that turn into skin cancer. I know this better than most as my husband has had quite a few skin cancer patches pop up on his back and chest (his first was when he was only 35!), and when we've gone to have them removed (frozen off & cut out), the consultant has been very adamant in telling us that there is no such thing as healthy tan, and to try to block the skin's exposure to UVA and UVB rays wherever possible.
My hubby puts his cancer down to the poor knowledge of the effects of UV when he was growing up, when during many a hot summer day he would be out all day in the sun with only a splodge of plain old Nivea moisturising lotion on.

So back to why a brolly is a great UV blocker.

Windproof Square Golf Umbrella
Researchers at Emory University, in Atlanta,  collected 23 umbrellas from people at their medical school. The brollies were checked for no fabric tears, and then on a sunny morning they used UV devices to measure radiation levels just under each umbrella's fabric, and by the nose of the person using it, and then compared this to radiation readings taken with no umbrella.

All but one of the umbrellas was a standard, handheld rain umbrella. The other was a travel sun umbrella. The standard umbrellas blocked approximately 77 percent of the UV radiation (up to 90% if the umbrella was dark colour), and the sun umbrella blocked more than 99 percent of the UV rays.