02 September 2018

Part 1: HiHo Style, Skills & Silver with Rhea Freeman

It’s not often that an event pops up in your newsfeed that makes you reach for the credit card straight away. But when British equestrian jeweller HiHo Silver launched tickets for their Style, Skills & Silver event in the Cotswolds, I knew I had to go & be part of the day on 6th September.

With only 4 nights to go until we all meet at The Fish Hotel in the beautiful Cotswolds I wanted to get an insight into what the day will hold, & caught up with a few of the team behind the inaugural Style, Skills & Silver event. First up on the blog is equestrian PR & marketing guru Rhea Freeman who will be hosting one of the Skills sessions.


Hey Rhea, welcome to Country Bumpkin Chic, & thank you for taking part in my interview…

So, what’s the story behind launching the HiHo Silver; Style, Skills & Silver event?
Well, it’s super exciting, isn’t it? It’s the brainchild of Emma Warren, Managing Director of HiHo Silver… and we’ve built it from that. There are so many elements of what HiHo does coming together in the one event that it’s a bit mind blowing! There will be the chance to chat to and learn from HiHo’s amazing team of brand ambassadors who have superb personal brands in their own right (and are so skilled!), the chance to chat and network (but in a nice and non-terrifying way!), the chance to meet up and quiz people you might know from your social media feeds and lots more besides. There will be fun, food, loads of learning and the setting is stunning- the view from the drive is breath-taking. I stopped to take a pic on the way out.


And why choose The Fish Hotel in the Cotswolds? 
Again, this was Emma’s idea! She’s recently had a break in Foxhill Manor, which is owned by the Farncombe Estate – the same as The Fish (you’ll actually pass it when you go to The Fish) and was so impressed. The location is great because it’s close enough to good roads but it’s crazy when you turn off. The drive goes on for miles and it’s so calming and so pretty. The layout also means we’ll be able to hold the workshops in different places on different levels so everyone gets their own space to do their thing.

Views from the drive to The Fish Hotel

There’s been a lot of chat about cake on Instagram. Have you done any taste testing? Can you share any inside knowledge on the food for the day?
Because I’m nothing short of a hero, I had a chocolate fondant when I went to do a recce. I know, save your praise (!). Oh my. It was delicious. It went down a bit too easily if I’m honest. I’ve also seen the menu for the day and I really think there will be something for everyone. And something delicious for everyone at that!

Yummy chocolate fondant!

Who’s the event aimed at? I’ve seen lots of bloggers & micro influencers on Instagram chatting about attending. Is it a necessity to have a blog to attend or just an interest in equestrian or the countryside?
Well, it’s actually a really interesting mix of people. We have a lot of bloggers coming, people with a passion for the countryside, and also a lot of small business owners, which is great. The workshops running and the people who will be there for you to speak to are all pretty special. We have two professional photographers (Sophie Callahan and Rachel Bragg), two style bloggers (Harriet Edwards and Karen McConnell), a co-founder of a British accessories brand (Melanie Clarihew), a service based business lady who’s a tech wizard (Ruth Chappell), a few members of team HiHo (including Queen Bee Emma, King of the Road Andrew and Countess of Contentment Michelle) and me. All these people will be available to chat to. Whether you’re looking to improve your business, working with brands/influencers, PR, marketing, blog, photography skills or any of the above, the event is for you. [Check out the list of who to follow from the Style, Skills & Silver gang below].

Any tips on networking before the event to make the most of the experience?
I have a few…
  • Use the #styleskillsandsilver hashtag. We’ll be promoting this more on the run up to the event
  • Share in the Small & Supercharged group and on your social media if you’re attending- and if you tag HiHo too they’ll more than likely share your story on theirs on Insta.

Which part of the day are you most looking forward to?
Meeting people in real life that I feel I know well through social media! I’m also really excited to work with people and help them develop their blogs and businesses, if that’s what they’d like. Aside from this, I am excited about the photography elements. I do really enjoy photography (only with my phone I hasten to add!) and I learnt LOADS from when Sophie came and did a shoot at my house not that long ago. I’m excited to see Rachel and her flatlay wizardry in action too. Have you seen the images she’s created for this event? They’re incredible.

Are people able to make any purchases on the day?
I don’t think there will be stands as such, but I know there’s been discussion about people being able to buy things we take if they like. It’s such a tricky call because we really don’t want anyone to feel pressured into buying because that really isn’t the aim of the day. I have it on good authority that there will be a HiHo discount voucher in the goody bags though… shhhh.

Are there any other brand ambassadors attending?
Well, funny you should ask… I’ve had a message over the weekend saying that Becci Harrold from Super X Country can now come, which I’m thrilled about.

What would you say was key to getting the most out of the day?
Good question. Notebook and pen would be a good call, definitely. Some kind of camera – your phone is completely fine, it’s whatever you take photos on and feel confident using from speaking to the photography wizards. Business cards or contacts too. Attitude wise, I know that we all just want everyone coming to have a good time and learn. If you have any questions, ask, and if you’re not sure who then I am very happy to field any questions and help anyone. And I know the rest of the team are too. I know some people are a bit nervous about not knowing anyone, but as I said to them, they know me as I chat to most people online… and within moments you’ll know everyone else too.

And will you look to hold any other Skills, Style & Silver events in the future?
I believe that’s very much the plan. We’ve had so much lovely feedback about this event that we’re hoping it’ll be the start of something really exciting!

Thanks Rhea for taking part in the CBC interview & I look forward to seeing you in the Cotswolds next week.

Coming up next on Country Bumpkin Chic, an interview with the lovely Melanie Clarihew from British accessories brand Mackenzie and George – who will also be hosting the style session.

Follow the HiHo Silver – Style, Skills & Silver gang on Instagram:

HiHo Silver @hihosilveruk 
Emma Warren – MD of HiHo Silver @emmawarren_1 
Rhea Freeman – PR and Marketing @rheafreemanpr 
Melanie Clarihew – British accessories brand @MackenzieandGeorge
Sophie Callahan – Equine Photographer @sophiecallahan 
Rachel Bragg – Equine & Canine Photographer @sweet_images_uk 
Harriet Edwards – Blogger at A girl About Country @harriet_lily
Karen McConnell – Blogger & Stylist @karenandclan1
Ruth Chappell – Owner of Dressage Anywhere @dressage_anywhere


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