Posts tagged shop local
Shop Small: My wishlist
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A few weeks ago I shared a shop small guide to Christmas cards - well this week is ‘my wishlist’! These are the things that I would love to get for Christmas and I think you guys will love them to and they might be inspiring as you work out what to get for friends and loved ones. I thought I would share a bit about each one - but please check out all the small businesses that I have linked below because they really are lovely and these are not the only products that they sell.

1. Sleepy Doe - Mumma Collar PJ set - I already have a set of sleepy doe pyjamas and they are seriously so comfortable. Right now my nights are spent breastfeeding so I really want a comfortable and warm set of pyjamas that button down the front for easy access. These tick ALL the boxes. They also do gorgeous kids pyjamas.

2. The Botanical Candle Co - Soy Wax Melt gift box - I have been in love with this company ever since I discovered them on instagram and bought one of their gift boxes for my sister in law. Their candles are gorgeous, their packaging is beautiful and I just love their aesthetic - everything they sell is stunning. I love the simplicity of soy wax melts and think this would be a beautiful and relaxing addition to my bedside table.

3. Claire Hill Designs - Feather Gold Charm Necklace - I am a big fan of simple gold jewellery and have been a fan of Claire Hill’s designs for a little while. I love this leaf necklace and she also has a beautiful acorn one, and I think it would look great layered with some longer gold necklaces.

4. Tilly and the Buttons - Stevie Dress Pattern - I have been wanting to try and make my own clothes for a little while but my sewing abilities are not that great, but I think this pattern from Tilly and the Buttons could be a good place to start. I love this style of dress and it is supposed to be a good pattern for beginners. All I will need to do is find the time - ha!

5. Fine Little Day - Book - Fine Little Day create such inspiring designs and products and I saw this book in a shop a few months ago and it just looked so inspiring, and full of creativity and ideas for living a creative life.

6. Young Gums - Beth Bently - I am constantly getting stuck in ruts with what meals I feed my toddler, and next year I will start weaning my daughter so thought a new kids cook book to give me some inspiration would definitely help. This one looks great and I have heard people rave about it.

7. Libby Ballard - Ceramic Travel Mug - I am not a coffee or tea drinker so haven’t got myself a reusable travel mug but my chai latte and hot chocolate intake has gone up recently so I thought it was time to stop getting throw away cups in cafes. This ceramic travel mug is gorgeous and comes with a fabric band to hold onto. Super stylish and I just love beautiful ceramic mugs.

8. Lines and Current - Mona Ring - My love for gold jewellery continues with this simple but stylish ring from Lines and Current. They have so many beautiful products but I really love all of their jewellery. This one has been on my wish list ever since I saw it.

Another thing to mention is that this week is Just a Card’s Indie Week and loads of small businesses have been posting on instagram and sharing about what they make and so if you check out the hashtags #indieweek and #justacard and you will find so much inspiration and lots of ideas for great gifts. Just a Card do such an incredible job of supporting and championing small businesses and you can find out more about their reason for existing and how you can get involved here.

Shop Small: Christmas Cards
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This year as I am on maternity leave and not selling any of my own products, I thought I would share the love for some other of my favourite small businesses and do a series of Christmas gift guides on the blog. I have decided to start off with Christmas cards which is one of my favourite things to shop for from independent illustrators and designers as they are often so beautiful and different from what you might pick up in the high street shops. I am going to keep the format of these posts pretty simple - and below are 8 of my favourite packs or designs that I have seen and I really hope that you will love them too. Yes buying from small independent businesses can end up costing a little bit more, but usually the quality, the gorgeous designs and the customer service make it work while. As a small business owner myself I can tell you for sure every sale really does make a difference to the people behind the scenes (and it is often just one person doing everything) and Christmas is an especially important time for them. Maybe you can’t afford to shop small for all of your christmas cards or all of your gifts, which I totally get, but even just one pack of cards, or one gift can make a big difference. And if you want to find out more you can always check out the Just a Card campaign which is constantly championing and supporting small, independent, and local businesses. Enjoy shopping and I hope you find something that you love below. Also keep an eye out for my gift guides which will be coming up in the next few weeks right here on the blog!

Shop independent this Christmas

One thing that I love about the internet is how easy it is these days to sell things online - as a result there are so many creative talents selling beautiful products. I love starting my Christmas shopping early and feeling organised and on top of it all - I think part of it is because I just love buying gifts and thinking about what my friends and family will enjoy. 

In recent years obviously being a small business owner myself I feel more and more passionate about supporting small businesses and shopping from 'independent' places as much as possible.

I am gathering quite a nice little collection of independent shops online and so I thought I would share them in case you are like-minded and want to start ticking things off the list in preparation for Christmas. All of these shops I have featured below are also all UK based because lets support local while we are at it hey!

So lets dive right in...

The Pattern Guild  - A friend brought me a pencil case from these guys and I use it constantly and love it. The patterns are beautiful and the products are handmade and really quality! 

The Pattern Guild - A friend brought me a pencil case from these guys and I use it constantly and love it. The patterns are beautiful and the products are handmade and really quality! 

Wild and Fawn  - Simple but striking jewellery is where it is at. I have a beautiful ring from Wild and Fawn but also have my eye on the necklace above. Great for your stylish friends.

Wild and Fawn - Simple but striking jewellery is where it is at. I have a beautiful ring from Wild and Fawn but also have my eye on the necklace above. Great for your stylish friends.

Pluck'd Designs  - What I love about these hats is they are super stylish but also reflective! They are handmade and beautiful quality and would make such a great gift.

Pluck'd Designs - What I love about these hats is they are super stylish but also reflective! They are handmade and beautiful quality and would make such a great gift.

Clement and Claude  - I have got really into candles recently and so was really excited to discover these guys at a Crafty Fox market. I bought a couple and the scents were perfect!

Clement and Claude - I have got really into candles recently and so was really excited to discover these guys at a Crafty Fox market. I bought a couple and the scents were perfect!

Esme Winters  - I have the most beautiful patterned journal from these guys. Great for stationery lovers and also for getting your wrapping paper to make your presents look top notch!

Esme Winters - I have the most beautiful patterned journal from these guys. Great for stationery lovers and also for getting your wrapping paper to make your presents look top notch!

Dianne Tanner  - I have the clutch above and I absolutely adore it. I love Dianne's products because they are quirky and different and you won't find anything like it anywhere else. 

Dianne Tanner - I have the clutch above and I absolutely adore it. I love Dianne's products because they are quirky and different and you won't find anything like it anywhere else. 

Basil and Ford  - These guys have really fun bright typographic prints that would look great in any house! They also have a glow in the dark print which is pretty cool! 

Basil and Ford - These guys have really fun bright typographic prints that would look great in any house! They also have a glow in the dark print which is pretty cool! 

Geo-Fleur  - Everyone is crazy for succulents and plants these days - these guys have such beautiful and affordable planters that would be ace gifts and add a stylish twist to home decor! 

Geo-Fleur - Everyone is crazy for succulents and plants these days - these guys have such beautiful and affordable planters that would be ace gifts and add a stylish twist to home decor! 

Above are a few of my current favourites that I have featured but there are also some old favourites that I always like to go back to and check out - so here are a few more links for you to peruse at your leisure:

Oh my clumsy heart
Chloe Vaux
Prickle Press
Lucie Ellen

Also, don't forget to check out my shop for paper goodies that would make great stocking fillers or that would be beautiful additions to your friends walls. 

Happy Shopping! 

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Tips for your first craft fair
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Guys I mentioned it enough times on here for you to probably have worked out that on Sunday I was selling at Crafty Fox Market in Brixton. One of my goals this year was to sell my products in person at a craft fair and I am so glad I achieved it. 

It was a really great day and I loved meeting so many customers in person and also other makers who I had been friends with online for a while but not met in real life yet. 

Whilst it is still all fresh in my mind I thought I would get everything written up and share a whole load of tips for doing your first craft fair (or some tips might be handy for old seasoned pro's). Some of these things were tips that people shared with me before the event (thank you so much!) and some are things I worked out and learnt on the day. 

Packing list - For peace of mind work out way in advance of the event everything that you need to take and then as you are getting everything packed and ready you can just tick off the list and feel confident you haven't forgotten everything. I did have a dream (nightmare!) the other day where I turned up and had forgotten everything. 

Phone/device charger - I decided to get this for the market but I think it will probably be handy for so many life events too. There are loads of different makes and styles of these but I decided to go for an Anker one which would charge my phone 6 times over. If you are doing a craft fair and have a smart phone with a crappy battery then this is a must! ESPECIALLY if you are taking card payments using your phone. You don't want your phone to die and then not be able to use the card reader/take photos/book a taxi etc. 

Card Reader - I debated about whether to take one or not as I didn't know whether I would be doing a lot of craft fairs in the future, and I didn't really want to shell out £70/£80 for one - so I decided to go for iZettle as they have a card reader you can get for free. They take a 2.75% cut (or lower depending on the volume of your sales) which seemed reasonable to me. I was so impressed with this. I didn't use it loads as a lot of people came prepared with cash and people don't tend to buy a greetings card using a card, but I did use it a couple of times for larger sales and I think it was totally worth getting. It was so easy to set up and really easy to use on the day and it felt really good to know that I wouldn't lose out on any sales due to not having one. 

Box of tricks - This is a box that you fill with things like masking tape, packing tape, paper clips, safety pins, string, glue, pegs - anything that could come in handy when putting your stall together. Having all of this stuff made me feel so much better even though I didn't need to use most of it. You never know though when you are going to need to tape/peg/pin something in place. 

Suitcase - I pulled out the biggest suitcase we had and filled it with everything. When you are selling notebooks, prints and cards that thing got heavy quickly - luckily for me the venue was only a very short taxi ride away so it wasn't too bad getting the suitcase there. It was a bit tight squeezing the suitcase under the table but it worked out fine and if you have a bigger table then this wouldn't be an issue at all and is a great place to store it. I had all of my extra stock in there too so I could just duck under the table and get things whenever I needed to stock up cards or prints. 

Attitude and mood - I tried really hard to stand up behind my stall as much as possible (rather than sitting down and pretty much disappearing behind the card stand) and to smile and look as friendly as possible. I want to be friendly and open to chatting but also not pushy so that if people wanted to just browse the stall without any pressure to buy they could totally do that to. It was a hard balance to get but I think your mood and attitude at these events is really important. I really think that people who are shopping probably subconsciously pick it up, and if you look sulky and like you don't want to be there that is not going to make them want to come over and chat about your work. 

Biz cards - Not everyone will necessarily want to buy things on the day. I have definitely gone to markets before where I wasn't ready to make a decision but took away biz cards/postcards and checked them out again online later. I think it is sooo important for people to have something they can take away. Get more than you think you will need printed. People who pick them up might turn into customers later on. 

Table cloth - It totally depends what kind of look you want for your stall and some people didn't use table cloths and it worked well but I decided to get a really big one so that it covered all sides of the table so that people couldn't see all the stuff I had stored underneath. Zoe suggested getting a cotton dust sheet which was one of the best tips I was given. I got one from a local paint shop - it was £7 was totally massive and will cover all sorts of size tables in the future and I really liked the material. 

Practice your stall - I wish I had done this earlier on (but wasn't ready) but I am SO glad that I practiced my stall beforehand. I set everything up as I was planning to on the day. It was really helpful to take some time to think as a customer and work out the best way of presenting everything, labelling everything and how much to put out. I did actually slightly change it around on the day because of lights reflecting on my prints and things and what looked best but I think as I had a practice it saved a lot of time and was just a case of tweaking things rather than starting from scratch.

Stock - I don't think anyone will ever be able to give a clear answer on this as there are so many variables but before I went I really struggled with knowing how much stock to take. I erred on too much rather than too little as I knew I had another craft fair coming up in a few weeks and so would be able to take left over stock to that too. I am glad I did as my stall looked full and well stocked all day long. 

Take food - I don't know about you but I am super grumpy when I haven't eaten and I wanted to be totally on top of my game so that I had lots of energy and was friendly and alert when customers came past. My lovely husband was around for the day and he brought me a yummy sandwich, chocolate and diet coke to keep me going. If you don't have someone with you who you can send out to get treats then I would definitely recommend bringing a packed lunch. Also another tip, make it something that you can eat over a long period of time (it took me two hours to eat one sandwich), and also that doesn't look totally gross to eat - I had to keep ducking down to grab a bite of my sandwich behind the stall because no one wants to see that. 

Anyway I hope if you have a market coming up or if you have been thinking about doing one then this is helpful. I had such a great day and feel like It was such a good experience. I am looking forward to my next market already which will be on Friday 16th and the Green Room Cafe in Stoke Newington. If you are free come and pop by, it would be lovely to meet you. 

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