It’s been a very exciting week at the Barnes branch of TWR, due to Middleagedad’s involvement with Selfridges Bright Old Things project, which launched yesterday. As MAD’s assistant I helped him put in his window (below) which happened all day and all night on Wednesday/Thursday and I got to see the inside workings of Selfridges up close. It was fabulous fun.
On Thursday morning just before the launch there was a press photoshoot (daaahrling….) and he got to meet all his other BOTs (above, obvs I tagged along too), who turned out to be a joyous bunch of inspiring, interesting and creative individuals. Of course they are, they’re older and are therefore full of amazing life experiences, captivating stories (I’m looking at you Bruno Wizard), knowledge and terrible jokes.
Hats off to Selfridges for focussing on older rather than younger for a change and understanding the huge potential this sector has to engage the public attention. Bright Old Things is a celebration of the retirement renaissance happening within the over 50s, who have created new vocations for themselves in later life. As the store says, the BOTs are indeed ‘old enough to know better’ and demonstrate that creativity is ageless.We hope the attention on older by one of the world’s leading retailers will help change the perception of age and what is possible as we pass the 40-50plus mark in life. Older is changing and you, dear reader, are part of this change by refusing to fade away.
Now is SO the time to become older entrepreneurs and use our lifetime of experience and knowledge, why wouldn’t you? It makes such sense!
So what are the BOTS doing?
Bruno Wizard (below, with Molly Parkin) is a fascinating chap who has done so much it’s impossible to pigeonhole him, but he is clearly an artist at heart and now also writes. Molly Parkin, legendary editor of Nova and erotic fiction is now an artist and recovering alcoholic, “At 55 I fought my way back to sobriety, it was the hardest thing I had ever undertaken. But it has rewarded me with art as my favourite, sublime act of creation.’
Sue Kreitzman (below with MAD) is a regular on TWR. Previously she was a very successful cookery writer and broadcaster, with 27 cookery books to her name. She is now an artist and curator, what made her change? ‘The menopause. Or I had a psychotic break. Or the muse bit me in the bum. In other words, who knows? It hit me like a bolt of lightening and changed my life forever”. So watch out if you are currently in the middle of your menopause……She has some lovely jewellery for sale, made in collaboration with Tatty Devine.
I absolutely love Den Woods beautiful furniture and had to be held back (by MAD) from buying up her entire stock of leather and oak chairs. Den was an actor before changing careers at 57, although she does still act when a meaty role comes along. She says ‘Do something you love doing and create a working practise and environment you enjoy being in’.
Middleagedad (doing some merchandising of his stock, below) had the best line when asked how he felt about being a Bright Old Thing ‘I’m just happy to be called bright….
There are many more BOTs, read their stories here. Hopefully they will inspire anyone out there who is thinking changing careers to act on the thought. Old is SOOOO the new young.