Studio Tour: QVC

QVC Studio Tour for Stylist's Own Blog by Joanna Thornhill - The Sets

Whether you’re a die-hard viewer or occasional stumble-upon-during-a-late-night-channel-surf casual voyeur, we all know QVC. But aside from occasionally featuring their numerous homeware products in styling shoots and shopping round-ups, I have to confess I knew rather little about the company. Until now. As part of their 20th (UK) birthday celebrations, they invited a bunch of bloggers, journo’s and ‘slebs to check out their state-of-the-art HQ in Gunnersbury, West London (having moved out of their former home by Battersea Bridge to this custom-built metropolis) to show us how it all goes down. As I used to work in TV production in a former life, and still dabble in the odd bit of set dressing, I was particularly interested to see what goes on behind the glossy veneer, so off I went, camera (and credit card) in tow.

QVC Studio Tour for Stylist's Own Blog by Joanna Thornhill - The Sets2

Arguably the kings of televised home shopping, they remain stoically unaffected by the advent of the Internet during their lifetime (whilst many products are now available to buy from their website, the majority of their sales are still generated from their TV ‘shows’). To lure in viewers in their droves, celebrity guest presenters feature regularly, and are as diverse as Trinny and Susannah to country crooner extraordinaire Dolly Parton, who presenter Miceal Murphy described as an “absolute firecracker” after hanging out with the pint-sized popstress. (New-favourite Dolly fact? Her Twitter description reads as “working 9-5, what a way to make a living”. This almost makes me as happy as teen-lit legend Judy Blume’s one-line profile: “Are you there, twitter? It’s me, Judy” (teens of the 90’s – geddit?). I’m also now considering redoing my own website, to include a giant picture of me in the middle wearing a silver sequin dress, towering barnet and jovial expression, Dolly-style. Why not?! I digress…)

QVC Studio Tour for Stylist's Own Blog by Joanna Thornhill - Live Studio

Sadly there were no Hollywood A-Listers pedalling their wares during my studio tour, but it was a most fun little visit nonetheless – despite having been on TV sets many a time, there’s still a great buzz knowing that what’s happening just a few feet from where you’re standing is also going out live on the tellybox.

QVC Studio Tour for Stylist's Own Blog by Joanna Thornhill - The Gallery

A peek in the gallery revealed the nuts-and-bolts behind what we saw on the studio floor, with live sales graphs jumping around on monitors, leading producers to feed nuggets of information to the presenters on what was nearly sold out or to recap on queried items, resulting in ever more fervent caller spikes.

QVC Studio Tour for Stylist's Own Blog by Joanna Thornhill - Curated Picks

After the tour wrapped, I was then greeted with the real-life versions of a curated product selection I’d picked out to accompany my entry on their website (above) – I’ll update this post with the link to the final selection once it’s live on QVC.

QVC Studio Tour for Stylist's Own Blog by Joanna Thornhill - Collier Campbell

A personal highlight for me was seeing this original watercolour hand drawing (above) by design house Collier Campbell – a glorious riot of flowers and unabashed girlieness, it forms the template of a best-selling cushion from their range and is also part of my curated selection. I always enjoy seeing the mark of the maker on products, and there was something super charming about viewing their original brushstrokes up close and seeing the ‘selvedge’ colour palette at the side of the piece.

Other favourite pieces included Prepology’s rather space-age looking chef’s whisks, for all the baking I do (cue chortling boyfriend in background), this quirky coral design paperweight by none other than Taupe Queen Kelly Hoppen and a rather bling-tastic peacock cushion by Butler & Wilson.

Right, I’m off to bag a steam cleaner – I do love a gadget…

{Images: all copyright Joanna Thornhill}


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About Joanna Thornhill

Freelance Interior Stylist, Author, Writer and Crafter working for a range of magazine titles and commercial clients. Author of Home for Now (CICO Books 2014)

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