The Orla Kiely Launch

The Client

Established in 1946, independent furniture store, Barker and Stonehouse, is a family owned homeware and accessories retailer with stores nationwide.


To develop and execute a strategy to launch the Orla Kiely furniture collection exclusively at Barker and Stonehouse.

The campaign needed to excite key audiences through a combination of PR, social media and marketing. There also needed to be a high footfall launch event at the Guildford store, to drive sales and maximise ROI within strict time constraints



social media impressions


AVE of editorial coverage published to date


eyeballs to date

The Launch

Renowned print designer, Orla Kiely, selected Barker and Stonehouse as the exclusive retail partner to launch her first upholstered furniture collection.

We developed a promotional strategy which included the design and production of a range of content packages. These were used both online and offline across social media, direct mail and in-store.

The central focus of the campaign was Orla Kiely’s personal appearance, Q&A and book signing at the launch of the furniture collection at Barker and Stonehouse’s Guildford store.


Publicising the launch event

Ahead of the launch event, Cool Blue created an invitation and distributed via direct mail to the Barker and Stonehouse Guildford database. Digital copies of the invitation were also shared via Barker and Stonehouse’s social media channels to maximise footfall into store.

Sophie Robinson

Sophie Robinson

For the launch event Q&A, Cool Blue selected an interview host who was familiar with Orla Kiely and the interiors industry. A host with an established following was required, so that Barker and Stonehouse and the Orla Kiely brand’s could harness the influencer’s audience.

Renowned for her love of colour and pattern, we partnered with interior designer and presenter of The Great Interior Design Challenge, Sophie Robinson, for the launch of the Orla Kiely furniture collection. Sophie was tasked with hosting the Q&A with Orla Kiely and also promoting her involvement at the event across her social channels.

Cool Blue provided Sophie with content to promote the launch in the lead up to, and during the event. We also liaised with Sophie and her team sharing a proposed Q&A script ahead of the Q&A.

Orla Kiely for Barker and Stonehouse video
The Launch Event

The Launch Event

Held at the Barker and Stonehouse Guildford store, the launch event schedule included a live interview with Orla Kiely, hosted by Sophie Robinson, as well as a Q&A and book signing of Orla’s book, A Life in Pattern.

Barker and Stonehouse also hosted an in-store competition to win the Mimosa snuggler from the new collection. This also attracted footfall and provided valuable data for future use.





Photography and Videography

Professional photography was managed and directed by Cool Blue to capture the event and collection at the Barker and Stonehouse Guildford store.

These images were shared across all parties’ social channels and included within a Barker and Stonehouse press release for relevant regional media.

Additionally, Cool Blue managed and directed the production of a series of videos, including full storyboarding and creating a detailed script for Orla Kiely to follow. These included edits of Orla Kiely’s favourite Barker and Stonehouse pieces, an overview of the new furniture collection and a video of Orla Kiely discussing why she chose to work with Barker and Stonehouse. The videos were shared across Barker and Stonehouse’s website and social media channels.

Social Media

Social Media

Ahead of the event, Cool Blue shared content around the launch with Barker and Stonehouse, Sophie Robinson and Orla Kiely to promote the event and secure high attendance. A dedicated hashtag was created to ensure that the collection was promoted to audiences beyond the event attendees.

On the day, the Orla Kiely interview was livestreamed on Instagram, so that it could be watched by those who were unable to attend the event.

Orla Kiely and Sophie Robinson also shared images from the event across their social media channels.

Design Work

Cool Blue additionally managed the design and development of specific creative content for this event. Alongside the press release, and event invitation, we also designed in-store signage featuring Orla Kiely’s favourite pieces from an edit of Barker and Stonehouse’s portfolio, a backdrop for the interview, and wrote and designed a feature for the Barker and Stonehouse brochure. We also liaised with Barker and Stonehouse around the creation of competition postcards.

Media and influencer liaison

Media and influencer liaison

Cool Blue promoted the event to relevant media across online and offline channels and secured interviews with Orla Kiely, across national, online and consumer media.

A dedicated press release was created, as well as biographies around both the Barker and Stonehouse and Orla Kiely brands,  for inclusion within the media pack.

Press Coverage

Cool Blue secured press coverage of the collection and event across a range of relevant media, reaching key audiences both online and offline. Press coverage included interviews with Orla, features focused on the new collection and products included in shopping and news pages.

"The Orla Kiely event was the cornerstone for a hugely important product launch for Barker and Stonehouse. Cool Blue were the lynchpin in the creation, co-ordination and delivery of the event and navigated the dual choppy waters of a tight deadline and changing brief."

"The pre-planning and attention to detail came to fruition on the day of the event, with our attendees happy with the setup (and of course the cake!). The impact of the event was felt long after it came to a conclusion with a number of shares on Social Media and purchases made both through our Store and Online."

Kev Alderson, Barker & Stonehouse

“I love the Orla Kiely furniture. The event at Barker and Stonehouse was fantastic and I even purchased a sofa from the collection today.”

“I travelled all the way from the Isle of Wight for the Orla Kiely event today, I really enjoyed the live interview and I’ve had a great time.”

“We were so thrilled to get our book, A Life in Pattern, signed by Orla Kiely.”

Customer Feedback

Open Menu