All Posts by Anna Smart

Faking it until you make it

AKA - so you think you're not confident?

Are you the kind of woman other people think are confident, when deep down you feel like a complete fraud? Because you know that you're faking it? And actually, you're not confident at all.

What if that's all confidence is?

We tend to think that confident people are breezing along, not giving a thought to what people think of them, but are they?
Or are they like the rest of us? Filled with the same insecurities, fears and worries. They've just managed to get themselves to the point of doing things anyway.

What if other people thinking you're confident means you probably are?

Maybe confidence isn't something that's there for you all the time. Perhaps it's not some kind of serene feeling, whatever you face, that means you know the answers, can take the plunge, can be brave.

Maybe all it really is, is about overcoming fear just enough.  Overcoming fear doesn't mean not feeling it. It simple means being able to move past it, and take action.

If you're 'faking it 'til you make it' when it comes to being confident - you're probably already there.

I've been doing it for years. I know other people will often see me as chatty, confident, more than a bit bossy and 'take charge-ish'.

Do I sit at home thinking "I really don't know what I'm doing, what if everyone finds out? And do they even like me anyway?" 
Of course!

I needn't worry - because the truth is they're all waiting to be found out too.

And that's the big 'secret' to confidence - it's not some magic feeling of knowing what you're doing all the time. It's just taking action, despite sometimes not knowing what you're doing, not feeling like you should be doing it and not being sure the outcome is going to be as you want.

All the time women look at our images in the studio and say "but all of these women are so confident - I'm not like that!".
In reality, everyone has felt exactly the same way. If you've made it into our building, you are exactly as confident as the last person. And the next!

Much love,
Anna
xx

You made me look and feel amazing - thank you.

The whole experience was brilliant, the team put me at ease throughout both in our pre chat over the phone before our session and during the day.

The personal touch to find out what I liked and didn't was reassuring and gave me confidence - although a little nervous during the build up.

The hair and make up by Katrina was excellent and she gave me some tips along the way which is always a bonus.

The photoshoot itself, although shy at first, was the most amazing experience. It was something I have always wanted to do but completely lacked the confidence to follow it through. The team made me feel at ease and helped my confidence grow during the session and getting into poses, which made me feel relaxed and by the end I was enjoying the shoot so much I didn't want it to end. I felt and looked a million dollars.

The viewing session was a bit emotional for me as  wasn't sure what to expect but the images have come out so well. I am so pleased and it's given me such a personal boosy. I recommend every woman does this once in their lifetime.

I'd do it again in a heartbeat!!
Thank you so much to Anna, Robin and the team.

Michelle.


Shoes with a story

So these shoes come with a story.

Firstly, I should say I know they're nuts. I'm not expecting everyone to rush to the shops, wanting a pair. I like mad shoes. And when I first saw these, months ago, I fell completely in love.

However, they're also not the most practical shoes ever and I couldn't really justify getting them. Then, Irregular Choice had a huge sale. Maybe I could justify getting them, if they were a little cheaper...

So, I watched the price and kept thinking 'just a little bit lower and I'll buy them'.

They reached the right price. They were sold out in my size. They had pink ones, they had blue ones, but they didn't have these ones. All that was left to do was whinge to Robin that I had lost them forever (I didn't think they'd me making more - I doubted they were the most popular style they could be making).

I'd like to say I let the whole idea of them go, but that would be a complete lie - I grumped, whilst Robin pretty much took no notice.

And then, on Tuesday, it was my birthday and I found the reason they had sold out in my size is because Robin had bought the last pair.

Is it ridiculous for a pair of shoes to make you happy? Yes. I'm therefore ridiculously happy 😉

Much love,
Anna
xx


The year in 365 pairs of knickers

How does someone go from no body confidence to posting a photo of themselves in different underwear on Instagram every day? You'd have to be brimming with confidence...wouldn't you?

When I first spoke to Vee, and her take on how she's improved her body confidence, I knew I had to find out more!

" My journey into reclaiming my confidence actually started about 9 months before deciding to do 365 days of knickers. I have an incurable chronic health problem and because of this I was retired from my job because of ill health. It meant I lost my identity as a professional person and with it whom I was. I was suddenly retired at 42, no prospect of working again. Plus I was initially so unwell I wasn’t able to get out of bed and function. All I could wear was soft and comfortable clothes.

Once I found a treatment which meant I could function again I looked at my wardrobe and realised that all I had was leggings, soft clothes, no bras, and black cotton knickers and I realised I had absolutely no self esteem. I’d always loved pretty underwear and what I had in my drawers even my Grandma wouldn’t wear.

I went out the next day to New Look and bought some lace knickers.

I opened an Instagram account and started posting pictures of me wearing my new underwear, just as a record for myself initially but then I got followers and realised that people liked what they saw, which gave me a confidence boost and actually improved my body image.

I then read an article from a lady who showed that the before and after pictures in adverts for slimming products could be faked and watched some videos on You Tube on how to pose your body to display it to its best advantage. Now when I say I’m a size 16 quite a few people don’t believe me.

So how did a different pair of knickers every day come about?

On the lead up to Christmas 2016 I did an advent style count down of Christmas themed knickers. I loved thinking up different ways to make the pictures seasonal, using tinsel, lights and other Christmas paraphernalia.
It also got really positive feedback from my IG followers. I realised that I had a managed to collect a lot of knickers in the nine months leading up to Christmas and jokingly wondered if I had enough to do a different pair of knickers a day.

What has doing this achieved for you?

My body confidence is sky high. Yes I’m the wrong side of 45 and I’m a size 16/18 but no one cares and the only person who ever cared was me.

Having confidence in my body has meant my girls are more confident in their own bodies too.

Plus it made me realise that regardless of size everyone has issues with their body. Yes everyone has issues, from wanting a bigger bum, boobs to wanting a slimmer tummy or thighs. if someone criticises you it’s their insecurities that bring that out of them and jealousy in your confidence.

And what do your family make of it all?

My 15 year old calls my knickers dolly pants and laughs when I head straight for the knickers when we go in shops. My other daughter is the same. Both of them think it’s quite funny that I show my bum on the internet every day in different knickers but they also are encouraging and supportive.

My husband thinks it’s fantastic. Having body confidence means I’m more confident as a person too plus he gets to see all those knickers in person so there are some benefits...

What are you hoping to achieve by doing this?

I want to build up confidence in other women, we tear each other down when what we should be doing is building each other up. I’m so much happier as a person since I started building confidence and stopped being so negative. Everyone has positives regardless of size, shape or colour.

Plus when you compliment someone you get a boost too because you made a difference to them.

And how's your body confidence now?

As I said it’s sky high, even on days when I have bad health days and I struggle with wearing normal clothes. I found comfortable, soft and sexy clothes and knickers.

Plus I’m more confident now to go without a bra, nipple covers stop that noticeable nipple poke and are a great sexy boost. Plus there are so many soft and sexy lace, cotton and microfiber knickers out there.

Is there anything else you'd like to share with us about your project?

It’s not so much about the knickers but about instilling confidence in yourself and others.

As I’ve said I’m the wrong side of 45, a size 16/18 and need to lose a serious amount of weight but the only person who has the right to say that is me.

As women we constantly tear each other down and criticise each other, I can guarantee that even reading this many people will be internally criticising me for what I am doing.

If your thought was ‘wow she has some guts, showing her fat backside on the internet’ think about it in a more positive and helpful light and leave it as ‘wow she has some guts’ because that is more helpful.

Straighten each others crowns instead of knocking them to the floor.

And finally - where do you get your knickers from?

My knickers come from a variety of places. Good old Marks and Spencers have great knickers, New Look, Next and even Tesco do great 3 for 2 offers and have great variety of shapes and sizes.

I love Brazilian cut as they make your bum look good. Something with a back detail is always my favourite though and Victoria Secret/Pink do fantastic knickers (and yes the XL/L fit my size 16 bum absolutely perfectly).

If you've found your body confidence has taken a knock and you've found a novel way to overcome it and get your confidence back, please get in touch via the form below - we'd love to share your story.

Much love,
Anna
xx

September shout out

Thank you so much to all of the fabulous women who came along to be 'behind the scenes' day models for us in August, and featured on our IG page.

This month we're doing things differently - if you would rather not have your images shared by us, this is perfect timing!

We're looking for women who would love a boudoir portrait session to come along for a complimentary session, part of which will be shot by one of our new photographers, Elise or Rachel, under Robin's expert guidance.

There are no requirements for you to be a certain size, shape or age (except you must be over 18!).

You'll get:

  • Complimentary portrait session, including a fabulous makeover (usually £99), at our Witney studio
  • 20% off anything on our price list, as a big thank you from us

We have selected dates available. If you'd like to take part, please fill in the form below and I'll be in touch.

Much love,
Anna
xx

Please note that as with all of our sessions, we will ask you for a fully refundable booking deposit of £50 (returned to you when you come and view your portraits).

August shout out for ‘behind the scenes’ day models

We'd like to give a massive thank you to everyone who came along to be a 'behind the scenes day' model for us in July!

These sessions are a great way for us to show what happens when you come along to us for a portrait session - giving lots of women the confidence to book a session of their own.

If you'd like to take part this August or September, just fill in the form.

If you think you simply are not model material - we definitely think you are, so please don't think there are size/age restrictions on coming along to star on Instagram for us!

You'll get:

  • Complimentary portrait session, including a fabulous makeover (usually £99), at our Witney studio
  • 20% off anything on our price list, as a big thank you from us

You need to be:

  • Over 18 years of age

To see what we mean, take a look at our behind the scenes day images on our IG page - would you like to feature there?

We have selected Thursdays, Saturdays & Sundays throughout August & September that we need models for. If you'd like to take part, please fill in the form below and I'll be in touch - all we will ask you for us a fully refundable booking deposit of £50 (returned to you when you come and view your portraits).

Much love,
Anna
xx