Misty Cudahy is an explorer, a party girl and a branding expert with her heart belonging to her beloved London. This creative force has come together under her own company Eccentric where she helps brands with their creative marketing. We went to Misty's ecclectic home in Forest Gate to delve into her interior design secrets, style inspiration and hidden London hot spots.
DONNA IDA: You are the founder of Eccentric - tell us about it.
Misty Cudahy: Eccentric was set up in 2012 (London - Olympics) as a creative marketing agency. Encompassing everything from strategy to building foundations for the grass roots customer engagements and event production. We have a core team composed of our computer genius/digital geek, a fabulous story-teller - both in and outside of work! And myself - ideas queen.
DONNA IDA: What is your background? Where did you study?
Misty Cudahy: I studied business with hotel management and German. Living in Mallorca during my teens I worked in restaurants from a very young age and was conversing with an international team speaking several languages. In fact I project managed my first restaurant opening at 16 - communication is key!
DONNA IDA: How did you get into your branding and creative role?
Misty Cudahy: I've always worked in start-ups and having lived in lots of different countries as well as being a Londoner at heart, this is something that I feel comes naturally. I think it was when I launched MiH-Jeans with Chloe Lonsdale and Kalle Applefeldt that this was properly exercised; as we did everything from creating the branding to choosing the details for our fashion line.
DONNA IDA: What tips would you give to people aspiring to work in the marketing, branding and creative industry?
Misty Cudahy: The future of marketing has definitely moved online and continues to change each day with technological advancements. Follow marketers on Twitter and blogs and listen to Podcasts. For me marketing is common sense, human etiquette should be applied throughout all communication. If someone sends you their CV a simple response is all that is required to leave a good impression. I'm a collector, much to the exasperation of my husband, and I refer to these assortments when I am looking for branding inspiration; whether it's postcards or carrier bags it is also a great way to show your team what you're looking to achieve.
DONNA IDA: What's the biggest party you've ever managed?
Misty Cudahy: I don't tend to do huge parties, just a few hundred people. I love organising events where everyone has a different experience. We held our wedding reception in my brother and sister-in-laws garden in Suffolk - they live in an old vineyard. The weekend beforehand, my (now) husband was freaking out as he was literally clearing out the barn of rubbish and he just had no idea where people were going to sit, where the bar was going to go or how we would manage to make adequate room for the essential dance-floor. However, the morning of the wedding it all came together and our friends and family returned home with totally different souvenirs, from snogging on the bouncy castle to running through the bonfire. Needless to say, my husband has learnt never to question my ability to make an idea into a reality. I love wedding planning - I'm the best bridesmaid!
Misty wears IDA Mabel Jeans
DONNA IDA: Have you partied with any celebrities? Any gossip you can share?
Misty Cudahy: I've organised parties for celebrities but working in private members clubs, you never reveal what goes on behind closed doors.
DONNA IDA: Tell us about your day to day wardrobe - how do you wear your jeans?
Misty Cudahy: I like to play around with fashion, depending upon on my mood. In Winter I'll wear a fuchsia or bright pattern shirt to brighten up my day. My 'go-to' outfit would be jeans, a white shirt and grey jumper - you can't go wrong! I always have a pair of trainers in my bag but have a crazy collection of ACNE boots and shoes - thanks to my best friend Baby. We're always first in line at the annual sample sale - it's a military operation!
DONNA IDA: Why do you like shopping at Donna Ida?
Misty Cudahy: In my twenties I wore MiH but now I'm a little curvier and I love a cropped jacket so the IDA jeans are perfect. I have lots of scarves I find in flea markets that I use as belts.
DONNA IDA: What are your favourite jeans? Which was your very first pair?
Misty Cudahy: The Mabel in every colour, they're the perfect length for my short legs and great at firmly hugging the love handles! The first pair I received were a gift from Donna after helping her put together the look-book shoot. My first ever denim purchase was Levi's!
DONNA IDA: Who is your fashion icon?
Misty Cudahy: My girlfriend Victoria Carrier she is always immaculately cool but comfy and on trend. She's a merchandiser and looks after the purse strings and forecasts trends - she's just started at a new brand ME+EM. My school friend Mimi Doctor for Summer style, she's got beautiful pieces that will never date! They're the only two people I could swap wardrobes with!! Although I'm not sure they'd have mine.
Misty wears IDA Bobby Dazzler Jeans
DONNA IDA: Describe your style highs and style lows?
Misty Cudahy: In Mayfair I had to wear dresses everyday - 1920s vintage dresses. I don't think you could get away with this look many places but Mayfair and it felt right to walk down the street in heels and flouncy dresses! Before Eccentric came about, stall owners would even call me to say they had the perfect dress for me!
DONNA IDA: Your blog Eccentric Londoner shares hidden hotspots - what are your favourite places?
Misty Cudahy: My favourite place to go out is Opium, it's a cocktail bar and dim-sum place in China Town, discreetly placed behind a Jade door on Gerrard Street. It's London's best kept secret - oops! The bar-tenders are amazing - book in advance so the bouncer knows you're coming! I also love the Rooftop at the Boundary (Shoreditch) in Summer for yummy Mediterranean food to share. I'm not very good at updating my blog! Eek...but the next blog will be about our local litter picking which I started at the beginning of 2014 working with the rangers of Epping Forest to remove rubbish from Wanstead Flats and we've had over a hundred volunteers to date, so it is really exciting to see a London community so passionate about green spaces. This weekend a new group started on another side of the flats which is such a relief as they're huge and they need a lot of hands on love!
DONNA IDA: You love interior design and designed your home yourself, tell us about it and any quirky pieces you have collected?
Misty Cudahy: Yes I love interior design, it's like set designing but on a permanent basis!! I like sourcing each individual piece so the room is totally bespoke. I have a list of bits and pieces I'm looking for on my phone that simply can't be picked up hassle free on the high street. Every piece has a story. I love Kempton Market and get up in the middle of the night to drive across London and ensure I am there with my torch as the stall holders start setting up. I'm always on eBay which gives you a great understanding of what the going rate of things currently is. Having only just finished 'home' I think I may have already found another house that needs totally renovating AGAIN. And as everything is bespoke, I will start from scratch as before - It's definitely a branch of Eccentric I would like to develop. I'll look to start in the future - I love property.
DONNA IDA: What's next?
Misty Cudahy: I'm currently working with Prescott and Conran updating their communications and planning for several new openings in 2015. Obviously these plans remain top secret for the meantime, but keep your ears and eyes open for Albion news - it's such a great brand - it's the lifestyle of the hospitality world.