When you stand in front of an audience I wonder what you see. Last Monday, MSL celebrated its 4th birthday in our favourite venue, The Club at The Ivy.

As I opened the evening I saw smiling faces of different generations, inquisitive faces of men and women who were keen to know about the developments of Semple particularly our latest magazine and, excited faces who wanted to meet our two special guests writers Rowan Coleman and Julie Cohen.


In our 4 years, we have hosted many guests at our Semple Secrets events. The pioneering journalist Katherine Whitehorn, the curious artist Grayson Perry, the chocolate alchemist Chantal Coady, the entrepreneurial banker Carol Bagnald, the supremo of networks Vanessa Vallely and the Sunday Times number-one-slot author Victoria Hislop.

It was therefore wonderful to have two special guests at our birthday celebration. Writers Rowan Coleman and Julie Cohen whom I met on a writers course at the Guardian newspaper venue. Julie and Rowan are prolific writers who, through their stories, comment on issues of everyday life.


I asked them about failure. Julie said: “The act of failing taught me how to succeed” and Rowan, “I had my first three novels rejected – don’t be afraid.”

As we stood and raised our glasses I thanked the wonderful MSL team – Sophie, Jenna, Jess, Sophia and Dulcie and their families for their eagerness, warmth and determination to be creative and thoughtful. For developing MSL into a quality, well respected international brand.


That night we launched Semple Magazine issue VI, a magazine for those curious to know what is on the minds of others.



We also launched our first Semple Collection of women’s clothing, in partnership with designer Laura Ralph, The Centre for Advanced Textiles and The British Library.



Not everyone associated with MSL could join us but to you, wherever you are, I would like to thank you for all that you do for us.

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