On Tuesday I took a trip to Shadwell to the Tobacco Dock to see this years Lush Creative Showcase. Obviously I had never been to anything like this before but I've bought a few Lush products over the years and had one of the best customer service experiences there so it was great to get a first look at what was coming up and get a real insight into the company.
When you walk into the venue the place really does look beautiful, one thing I will say off the bat is that the venue was really representative of the brand and by the looks of things they really did have the entire venue to themselves.There was greenery everywhere and dotted about the place you could see that signiture Lush front peeking at you from blackboards.
Upon arrival I was given my wristband (another thing to add to my London scrap book) and instructed to download an app that would aid in giving me more information throughout the afternoon. However a) it was slow in downloading, b) it was asking me to sign up and create an e-mail or link with facebook and c) Ambers app didn't even work so needless to say the app was promptly deleted, that wasn't a very promising start to the trip for me.
So with no real idea of what direction to go in I headed off around the venue, starting in the Christmas Showcase and taking in the wide range of products that Lush will no doubt sell in large quantities throughout the holidays. There were massive blocks of soap, bath bombs by the hundreds and gift boxes galore as you walked around the room and took everything in. There were some staff on hand to help but overall the large quantities of crowds in the room made it hard to hang about and have a good look and the tills in the corner meant that large queues would block certain areas.
Everything in here looked extremely festive and smelled amazing. As a rule, at Christmas I tend to stay away from bath sets as loads of people give them out at Christmas but the Lush sets really are something special and I wouldn't mind receiving something myself. We spent a good 10 minutes walking around in here and taking everything in but there will always be something really odd about hearing Christmas music during a London heatwave. As always, a Lush display always throws up the perfect photo opportunity so below are some of the pieces you will find in stores this Christmas.
My favourite part of the afternoon was seeing the selection of interior swatches that the company are coming up with to use in their stores. After a history in visual merchandising it's interesting for me to see some of the process behind showcasing different products since I'm used to seeing it used with clothes.
Marble and copper are looking like the key materials they want to go for but whatever they choose to ride with, it looks like it will be done in a recycled and upscaled style.
Fun fact, some of the swatches of 'marble' seen here are actually made up of recycled plastics.
In the make up section there was a load of lipsticks to be swatched which is usually what I would run for but these pigments were absolutely beautiful and I couldn't ignore them. Happiness was this stunning darker gold shade, not unlike the gold you get in the Naked palette but the colour payoff was oustanding. The Cinderella blue was also beautiful, definitely not a shade I would usually consider but after seeing it swatched I totally fell in love. All of the pigments I tried had spectacular colour pay off so whatever one you decide to choose you won't be dissappointed.
Walking into the more open foyers off the Tobacco Dock is where you are really wowed by the effort that Lush have put into this showcase. There was a huge bathtub setup that allowed staff to show off their new products in huge vats and in the corner there was a deceiving cotton candy stall which oh my god, DON'T EAT because it's shower scrub. I totally thought I was about to get free candyfloss but I used the shower scrub that night and it was really amazing so that made up for not getting to eat it.
The bath setup in the foyer was truely the shining jewel of the event. I was looking at it and thinking 'all this for a two day event?' but every single person that came across this spectacle was in awe of its scale and you could say it was a sculpture that captured what Lush is all about? I dunno, either way it was crazy impressive to look at, almost like a fountain and you literally couldn't take a bad photo of it either.
The only thing I couldn't get on board with on the day was the huge urgency to sell. The whole afternoon felt very rushed, when we arrived we were asked if we were considering jobs in Lush etc. and when you pair that with the need to sign up and use the app and the whole thing just felt a lot more like a marketing push. I have no doubt that the marketing would have been a huge driving force behind making a two day event for the launch but I just felt that the afternoon should have been more balanced with talks and interaction with the products themselves. I don't know if it was our timing but when we went into the beanbag room there was nothing happening and nothing to tell us if there was any other talks/music going to be on that day (although it was probably stated on the app.)
I would also say that there were areas of the venue that I walked into and didnt even know if I was still at the Lush event or if I had strayed into somewhere else.
Overall the day was interesting, I seen a lot of things that I liked - in particular the make up - but overall I just felt the event wasn't very social or educational about Lush. I would say that the members of staff that I did encounter seemed super knowlegable on the products and really excited about what they were doing. Would I go back to the event again? Yes but only because it's something different to what I usually dobut I would rather go back to my local Lush and speak to staff one on one to learn about the new products when they come out rather than attend another event like this.