Journal

Mother’s Day Special – Striking a work life balance 21.03.20

As females, we are always asked how we juggle our work & home life, and it struck me recently that although Ruairi and I both work together, live together and have 2 children together, I’m sure he has not been hit with the same question. In fact, after writing this, I asked him, and his blank expression gave me the answer I expected. Not once.

As a mother of two young boys, I am all too aware of how challenging it can be to juggle things so in honour of Mother’s Day, I wanted to discuss work life balance and how to strike a healthy balance.

I have always been an organised person, and never has it been more essential, yet challenging. However hard I try to get ahead, I always feel on the back foot. Aside from that little slice of time, just after you have tidied up, got the kids to bed, finished your emails and got the snacks sorted for the next day… that little glimmer of peace and calm when you’re winning. But then, just as you’re settling into bed your phone beeps, your emails come in from overseas customers, your brain starts whizzing on overdrive about new designs and ideas, and before you know it you’re up again and being awoken to the screams of ‘Mummy I’m awakkkkkeeee’ coming from the next room. And so it begins again.

 

I sometimes wonder whether working for yourself when you technically have the freedom to say no, work around your own schedule, and being in control are a blessing or a curse. I almost always come to the decision its a blessing. Albeit, it’s challenging to juggle things when you care so much about your business but inevitably your family come first. Would it be easier if I had a 9-5 job that when I closed the door on, my mind was free to ponder over what I should cook for dinner for the boys, or what size nappies they are now in. Im not sure it would be, because I think this is just me. Whether I work for myself or someone else, I think I have always tried to go the extra mile, as I know so many of my peers do the same. Always striving for more and wanting perfection from home to business and back again. But I’m not sure it’s actually achievable.

I think we need to know when to switch off. Be proud to say no, I’m taking my lunch break today or im having a rest. Its something I have battled with my whole working life, but since having children have got much better at stopping to prioritise them. I work so much more efficiently now and know that I can no longer procrastinate about things in the same way I used to. I think as parents, and in business, Ruairi and I are very lucky that we work incredibly well as a team. We juggle things around the needs of the boys and a desire to prioritise time with them while they are small and before school comes along and they no longer want to spend time with us!

‘Work life balance’ is a funny phrase, I think when we prioritise one over the other inevitably it tips the scales and we feel the other is suffering, but I think thats just it, it will waiver from side to side within the course of days and weeks – if we have a deadline, an issue at work or a trade show abroad then work is going to take our attention away from our family for a bit. While I don’t like this, we make sure we tip the scales back the other way and get back that quality time we would have missed. When life tips us back the other way and one of them is sick, or in need of some one on one time, its top of the list and inevitably work gets put on the back burner. I guess thats just it, its not ever completely balanced day to day, but overall we strive to ensure that while we want (and need!!) to make sure we have a successful business that can sustain our family, its essential we balance that with raising our boys our way and with us. We are lucky we have family close by that help out and we often crack on with work well into the evening to catch up that time lost during the days, so other than being some what exhausted sometimes, thats how we make it work for us.

I think our generation are sometimes guilty of glorifying overworking and enjoy revelling in that exhausted drive, run on caffeine and ambition, but what stands out  to me now, and what I really respect is when someone says I’m taking some time out, I’m cherishing my family, I’m taking a back seat for a while. While I’m only really able to speak about my industry and peers, so forgive me if this is completely inaccurate of your industry or attitude, but it stands to me that while we might get a bit less actual time, we should be proud to work smarter when we have a family to juggle rather than guilt trip ourselves over that reduction in time spent in the office.

Whether you juggle your own business, or work for a company where you have had to negotiate early finishes in order to do the school run, or however you manage to juggle your work and life, I am sure of one thing. Since becoming a parent, I am much better equip to juggle and multitask and get the job done more efficiently than my former procrastinating self with far too much time to ponder over the smallest of decisions. If only I knew then how much I could actually get done in a day if I had to! Our work life balance is a constant seesaw, with all its unexpected ups and downs, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Since writing this blog post, the world has been consumed by coronavirus, so I suspect your Mother’s Day plans may have some what changed. Try to remain positive, use the digital channels available to speak to your loved ones, and cherish the time with your families where you can. Im looking forward to spending the day with my boys, we hope to head out to the forest for a walk and a picnic as the pubs off limits! Im also planning some time to design tomorrow so I can get some new Positive Vibes cards out there as soon as possible….

Stay safe everyone, Happy Mother’s day,

Katie x

 


An update on our Plastic Free Pledge 02.03.20

As we are now safely into 2020, and the dark days of January are behind us, I wanted to update you with how our pledge to be Plastic Free by 2020 was going! I am incredible proud to report we have achieved it…. Well we are 99% there!

Our biggest challenge was how to secure our greetings cards, and keep them safe and clean in store if we abandoned cellophane sleeves. We have spent a LOT of time testing various techniques, from Card Klasp Stickers to tracing paper belly bands and corn starch sleeve. While all come with their benefits they also all come with problems. We found some worked for some of our customers and for others they didn’t, depending on how they displayed their stock. We are still continuing to explore the greetings card packaging and reach the perfect solution, but for now we are settled on the corn starch sleeves. This is because it provides the best protection for the cards which we found both the stickers and belly bands could not do as well, and also became damaged themselves unless end customers are very careful, but thats a little out of our control.

With regards to outer packaging, we have replaced our cardboard tubes that carried our gift wrap as they had plastic caps on the ends. They are now packed in a recycled cardboard self sealing oblong tube which is also much sturdier and compact for the post. Win Win! We now also use paper belly bands to brand & package our notebooks & notecards rather than cellos or plastic front boxes, and to be honest they are much nicer for it, I wish we had made the change years ago! Furthermore, our outer packaging is all recycled and our paper and marketing material is all printed on FSC certified papers and are all 100% recyclable.

2019 also saw the launch of our first 100% recycled collection, with cards and envelopes made from reclaimed coffee cups otherwise destined for landfill. We have expanded this collection to our Christmas 2020 range, which are all made from the same reclaimed stock. This will be our first 100% recycled Christmas collection and we will be doing all we can to promote and encourage a Green Christmas later this year.

This year, as we celebrate our 10th year in business we have been reflecting on previous designs and are set to release some sample sale mystery packages online in a bid to use up sample stock, discontinued lines and archived items rather than waste them. There are some really exciting bundles to get your hands on and will be priced at £15 with an actual retail value of £60!

So, when I said we were 99.9999% there, there is the issue of the glue on some of our stickers. While the stickers are still recyclable and made from paper, the glue has some plastic content. We are in the process of trying to replace this, but as yet we have not found a supplier in the industry that has managed to crack the problem completely. We also still use a small amount of biodegradable bubble wrap – only when absolutely necessary – its made from recycled plastic and is 100% biodegradable.

Did I mention all our inks are also vegetable based and the items are all made in England so our carbon footprint, although not perfect, is plodding in the right direction and the single use plastics are OUT. We will continue to do our bit and educate ourselves on how we can do better and encourage you to do the same. There are so many sustainable options out there now, there really is no excuse for not going greener.

Katie x

 


How to Write a Valentine’s Card 13.02.20

Writing a personal message in a Valentine’s card might seem a little old-fashioned to some people. Many of you may rarely write by hand anymore, and don’t send letters or give people notes as much as you once did. Valentine’s Day is one occasion when you might feel the urge to write something meaningful, whether it’s in a letter or a Valentine’s card. If you’ve never written a love message or note before, you might feel a little overwhelmed or intimidated by the idea of it. However, once you start thinking about it, it’s not as difficult as you might think. A Valentine’s card can be a beautiful message of your love that’s sure to be appreciated and win you some brownie points too.

Because writing Valentine’s notes isn’t common, choosing to write and give someone a card makes it extra special. You can write down your thoughts and feelings, which is especially useful if you have a harder time saying what you feel out loud. If you’re setting out to write a Valentine’s card, take a look at some of these tips to help you get started.

Get the Right Materials

Before you begin, it’s a good idea to gather the materials that you need. You don’t necessarily have to write a beautiful letter in calligraphy with expensive ink, but it’s worth putting some thought into what your card looks like. You could start with a luxury Valentine’s card, which gives you a readymade place to write your declaration of love. If you want plenty of space inside to write your message, choose one of our cards which are all blank inside. You can write what you want without having to work around a message that has already been printed. No pressure 🙂

Start with a Draft

Once you’ve picked out something to write on, you don’t have to start using your chosen card right away. If you make any mistakes or decide that you don’t like what you’ve written, it would just be a waste of materials. Writing a first draft can help you to work out what it is you want to say, and you don’t need to be afraid to mess up – this is a great tip! Before you even write a full note or letter, you might want to jot down some notes, so you have an outline of what you want to write.

What to Say in Your Valentine’s Card

Of course, the most important thing to consider is the contents of your message. No one can really tell you exactly what to write because your Valentine’s message needs to come from the heart. However, there are plenty of tips that can help you decide what you want to say.

If you’re not sure where to start, begin by saying why you’re writing this note. Valentine’s Day may have a special meaning to you – “on our anniversary”, “our first date X years ago”, or simply “happy Valentine’s day” – but it could also be something such as you miss them, you’re thinking of them or you want to help them through a tough time.

While that’s a good way to get started, it won’t necessarily be very personal. You can follow on by getting a little deeper into why you’re writing the letter and what you want to say to show your partner that you love them. This might include telling them why you love them, both physical and personality traits, as well as why you work so well together. What do they do for you, not just in practical terms but in the way they make you feel? You might mention a special memory or talk about the life you share together.

How to Start and Finish your Valentine’s card

Starting and finishing your love letter can be tricky. You might have be taught to use “Dear Sir/Madam” and “yours sincerely” for letters at school, but they’re not exactly appropriate for a Valentine’s card. Choose something that feels right to you, whether it’s using a pet name, expressing your love, or even putting an X for a kiss.

Writing a Valentine’s card might seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Write it from the heart and focus on what you really feel to get it right.

And don’t forget you can buy a Valentine’s card from our store!


Celebrating 10 years of luxury cards & stationery 12.02.20

Believe it or not, March 2020 marks our 10 year anniversary…10 years since I followed my dream, stepped back from the rat race and took a chance on myself. I remember when I started I felt like a fraud, serious imposter syndrome, and I distinctly remember thinking I would have ‘made it’ if I was still in business in 10 years…I can safely say 10 years on, I still feel like I’m making it up as I go along at times! Its been a rollercoaster… one at times i’ve wanted to jump off while at others, screaming to go faster.

In celebration, this year will be launching exclusive ranges, looking back at our archive collections and spending 2020 celebrating just how far we have come over the past decade. I wanted to start with a bit of reflection, some of you are probably familiar with our story, but if not, here’s how it all began…

In Jan 2010, having worked in fair trade fashion for 2 years I became dissatisfied with the lack of creativity, fed up with commuting and I longed to work on my own projects. Following an impulsive decision and a whirl wind few weeks I found myself self employed and working from my brother’s studio while temping in the city to make ends meet. By late September, and a string of freelance commissions I decided to turn some of my illustrations and graphics into rubber stamps and began hand printing them onto beautiful cards & paper. It was an incredibly organic start, driven from a instinct to create and a love of stationery rather than a planed out business venture. My debut collection was born and my first stockist was a beautiful wine & flower shop on Bermondsey Street that my brother’s friend owned, it has sadly since closed – not as a result of selling my cards I hasten to add.

In terms of ‘Big Breaks’ I got mine in the form of a Liberty Open Call day in early 2011 – If you didn’t see the TV series – it was a chance for 1000 people, first come first served, to come and present their designs or ideas to a panel of buyers and if they liked you, you were in! So I set off at 4.30am, eager not to miss my chance or be too far down the list, and yet I was still 4th in line, and had to wait 4 hours until the doors even opened! Plenty of time to practice my pitch and calm my nerves. After a gruelling few minutes of quick fire questions and snap decisions, the buyers liked my cards and, just like that, the course of my business’ future had officially began. I still remember in every detail calling my mum from the coffee shop on the corner outside and telling her they wanted to see me again for a buying meeting the next week. History was made and I was over the moon.

With a spring in step, and a bit of confidence that I might be onto something with my hand printed cards, I went on to exhibit within the Launchpad section of Pulse – a trade show for home & lifestyle brands. It was there that I picked up another few iconic highstreet names including Selfridges & Paperchase. Over the next few months I continued to print cards, map out new ideas and meet the demands of my few but high profile stockists. It was a mad time, I was working 15 hours days, temping two days a week then going back to print and pack orders, build a website, compile some sort of a plan for how to make this budding business into a fully fledged business.

I remember getting my first payment in from Liberty and Paperchase, seeing it in print on my bank statement was a little surreal. I used that money to reinvest into a collection of notebooks, it was a very modest, slow, organic growth, due to limited funds and being a one woman business, but slowly I grew the collections.

Over the years we had a few collections that really made our mark on the industry, our original hand printed cards certainly still define our range. They are individually hand stamped on a table top adana letterpress now but for the first few years of business I hand printed them all using individual rubber stamps. Our technique now uses the same principle of keeping every print and every card unique but eliminates the repetitive strain injury I caused myself back in the early days! One memory I look back on so fondly was when we got our first order from Waterstones bookstore in 2012. We had just brought our first press and I roped in my sister, mum and aunt to help print and pack it all. I think it was actually only about 2000 cards, which we now produce in a few hours, but as it was all very new I had no idea. We got a production line going across my parents kitchen table and cheerfully printed and packed and distributed the order. It was a milestone in our production methods as it took so much less time with the help of the new press and I also realised how much easier it was with the help of others.

My mum started to help me out more and more, and my sister took on some packing work while on maternity leave, before long they became invaluable and I didn’t want to do it without them. With relatively regular orders coming in from Paperchase, Liberty and Selfridges, I quit my temp job and gave my mum and sister some more regular work. It was another milestone in the business history and one that I have never looked back on.

Fast forward 8 years and my sister now runs our whole production studio, she is absolutely integral to the running of the business and my mum is equally amazing but juggles helping us at work with looking after her grandkids. People often ask me what its like working so closely with family, and while its not without its challenges, my overall feeling is one of incredible fortune. The trust and commitment is unrivalled and its also a lot of fun, albeit it can be pretty unprofessional environment most of the time! New, non family, team members have to slip into the flow of familial jokes which has led us to have a very close team over the years that I consider family despite not all being related!

Adding to this, in early 2015 my partner Ruairi joined me as a business partner and continues to run the ‘business & sales’ side of things. It has changed the business structure for the better and given me more time to concentrate on design. From a personal perspective it’s been an incredible move – we get to spend everyday together and we make a very good team as he thinks in a different way to me and we challenge each other and therefore leads to exciting ideas and opportunities we might have otherwise not thought of. We now have a young family and the benefits of running your own business together become ever more worthwhile.

2015 also saw the introduction of our stationery subscription service; POST. I wanted to introduce a service that, at the time, was not available in the UK. It was common place in the US and I knew we could create something really well curated and considered. POST continues to run, and every month we deliver boxes all over the world. I enjoy developing the box and coming up with a theme that inspires and excites the recipient.

As I look back at our signature style and designs over the years there are a few main themes that I have nurtured. Typography, tangible craftsmanship and a organic pattern.

My original collection of cards was all typographical – a combination of hand illustrated and graphic design. Its something that as a greetings card designer is integral to design in order to indicate your message, but I like to explore how you make typography more pleasing to the eye. Size, font and styling all combine to create a huge collection of typographical designs over time and its something that will forever feature heavily in our portfolio.

Tangible craftsmanship is what has driven me as a designer over the years; I strive to make people want to touch our products and appreciate all the little hand finished details that go into their production – from the delicate die cut edges of our cards, and gold foil detail on the envelopes to the textured finish on the stock of the cards and notebooks, nothing is overlooked in the design process.

Our introduction of pattern and pastels was a considered move to introduce some subtle colour to our otherwise monochromatic range. Although over the years I was concerned we always fell back to the same soft pinks and greys whenever we did a ‘colourful’ range, I now appreciate that this is just our signature palette, that people recognise from the brand. You only have to take one look at my home or wardrobe to know how much I love a pastel and neutral palette, with hints of black& gold. The patterns I have created over the years have always been soft and in line with this palette, from organic takes on architecture in our monochrome pattern range, or our iconic Marble Collection, and even our most recent collage collection – everything has a soft, organic quality to its form.

As our business grew, I could no longer share a studio with my brother but luckily the woman next door was moving out so I didn’t go far…I had the first studio of my own in 2013. It was in a place called Make Space Studios in Waterloo, I spent the first 5 years of business there, working next door to my brother as well as having my sister and mum working with me but from home, in Essex. It was in 2015 that my parents and I invested in building a studio in the garden of my family home to house the growing production in Essex (I want to add at this point that I don’t underestimate how much my family has helped make my dream a reality.) It was an incredible milestone for the company and we held a little opening night in late 2015. Between Make Space, where I made some of my closest friends (and where I met Ruairi) and our new production studio business steadily grew and life was good. In 2016 and the news I was expecting, we decided to move our London studio to Bow in east London to be closer to our Essex studio and limit our commuting.

With the arrival of Baloo in May 2017, I had to some how take a back seat from what I had been living and breathing for 7 years. It was a tough shift in gear but it taught me a lot about myself and my business. I handed over roles I never thought I would, all be it temporarily but it was still unnerving. I’ve had to learn that at times other people knew more about the business from day to day perspective than me, but I had a more important role at home. Luckily as any new parent can verify it puts things into perspective and all the small things I used to sweat over seemed to be less significant and I learnt to be so much more productive and decisive, the days of procrastination were over.

2017 also saw the development of our Debut leather range, entitled HiDE, it was a project I had been lovingly moulding over the course of my pregnancy and it was amazing seeing it come to fruition and be so well received. It wasn’t without a lot of ups and downs and it was a long time in the making but eventually we launched it in early 2018.

As we have grown over the years, peaking as a team of 14 in 2016/2017 we have learnt a lot about what we need and want from a business. Following some business mentoring throughout 2017-2018 we have since whittled it down to a sweeter spot that works better for us while we have a young family. There is now 8 of us and we juggle all the roles between our family run team.

In the autumn of 2019 we embarked upon our first proper retail space by taking on a Pop up store on Elizabeth Street in Belgravia, London. It was a dream come true, something I have wanted to do since I started and I loved making the space our own. We also launched our first ceramic collection in collaboration with Emma Alington which was and exciting development for the brand and having the Pop up retail space made it possible.

The Pop Up model is something we are looking to experiment with in terms of location, size and product over the next few years with a view to one day having a studio-shop where people can see us printing the cards, shop the full collection and provide workshops for our fans. Alongside this, we have new product launches planned including some retrospective collections looking back over our best sellers from the past 10 years.

At the end of 2019, we had another little boy, Woody, so as we enter our 10th year of business I am working from home a lot more again and juggling a young family with the running the business. It undoubtedly comes with multiple challenges but with our stellar team and Ruairi and I both committed to developing and nurturing the brand (whilst ensuring a healthy work life balance!!) we enter a new phase for the business that we are incredibly excited about.

Here’s to the next 10 years.


Johnny Cash’s love letter to June Carter 31.01.20

Writing a love letter is an age-old tradition, and a romantic way to let your love know how you feel about them. It might have fallen out of fashion somewhat, especially with the decline of letter writing and sending physical post, but this only makes writing a love letter or even a card a more romantic thing to do. If you take the time to put into words how much you love someone, they are sure to appreciate the effort and the sentiment and treasure the words that you write for a long time. If you’re looking for a romantic gesture for Valentine’s Day or any other occasion (or just because), a love letter, card or not is a great idea.

In the music world, and perhaps in general, Johnny Cash and June Carter’s relationship is one of the most famous. The film Walk the Line even chronicled their love story in 2005, featuring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon in the starring roles. Both Cash and Carter died in 2003, but their love story endures and is regarded as one of the greatest of all time. In fact, a love letter that Johnny Cash wrote for June Carter Cash, who was his wife for 35 years until her death, was voted the greatest love letter of all time by a poll in 2015. It was ranked above letters such as the love letter from Winston Churchill to his wife Clementine and John Keats’ letter to Fanny Brawne.

The letter was written to mark June’s 65th birthday in 1994, and clearly but poetically sets out Johnny’s love for her. One of the important things to note is that the letter itself isn’t long. It doesn’t go on for pages and pages, and it doesn’t use lots of flowery language. It simply tells June how Johnny feels about her, without mincing any words.

Here’s the short but meaningful letter in full:

June 23 1994

Odense, Denmark.

Happy Birthday Princess,

We get old and get used to each other. We think alike. We read each others minds. We know what the other wants without asking. Sometimes we irritate each other a little bit. Maybe sometimes take each other for granted.

But once in awhile, like today, I meditate on it and realize how lucky I am to share my life with the greatest woman I ever met. You still fascinate and inspire me. You influence me for the better. You’re the object of my desire, the #1 Earthly reason for my existence. I love you very much.

Happy Birthday Princess.

John

Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash got married in 1968 and were together until her death. Johnny Cash passed away at age 71 just four months after June, who died when she was 73. During their relationship, they both had their struggles, including addiction, but their love endured.

Johnny and June’s marriage wasn’t the first for either of them. June had previously been married twice before, and had one daughter with her first husband and another with her second husband, while Johnny had been married once, and shared four daughters with his first wife. They were both married when they first met. Nevertheless, they remained together for decades after their marriage and had a son together, John Carter Cash, who is also a musician, songwriter, and producer.

June and the rest of the Carter family performed with Johnny for several years. June co-wrote one of Johnny’s most famous songs, Ring of Fire, and performed with him on tracks including Jackson, and It Ain’t Me Babe.

Johnny Cash’s love letter shows that you don’t need to be a poet or a songwriter to craft a beautiful declaration of your love (even though he was one himself). There’s no need to use big words or try to sound pretentious. The most important thing is that you speak from the heart and tell the recipient of your letter what they mean to you. They don’t need you to write a sonnet or sound like another person. In fact, it’s much more important that you sound just like yourself. The words that Johnny Cash used might have been simple, but he also poured a lot of meaning into them.

If you want to write a love letter or even a note in a Valentine’s card, stay true to yourself and your relationship. Think about what is meaningful to you and how you share your love for each other. There’s no need to overthink what you write and try to be someone you’re not.

And don’t forget you can buy a Valentine’s card from our store!


3 Alternative Ideas for Valentine’s Day 28.01.20

I’m only just getting over Christmas and we’re now dashing towards Valentine’s Day at the speed of light, almost like it happens on an annual basis.

Having been very busy for the past 6 months with the arrival of Woody and our seasonal pop-up shop, there hasn’t been a chance to think about Valentine’s Day but I’ve been browsing late at night for some unusual, alternative ideas for the 14th February and wanted to share a few of my favourites.

Even if this is a first date, or a chance to go out with your partner, these three ideas are all perfect to lift your spirits and have a great evening out. Don’t forget to pick up one of our Valentine’s Cards for extra brownie points.

1. Midnight Apothecary at Brunel Museum

Campfire Cocktails in the City! Voted one of London’s best pop-up cocktail bars since 2012 and featured in Vogue, World’s Best Bars, the Independent on Sunday, Red, Elle and Time Out.

For the colder months, the cocktail bar travels underground… serving seasonal delights from Brunel’s Grade II-listed Victorian tunnel shaft! Accompanied by candlelight and phenomenal live entertainment, they have everything you need to keep your cockles warm and your spirits high this winter. Delicious, locally-sourced food is on sale from their friends at the Piccalilli Caff. Like the cocktail menu, their offerings change regularly based on the seasons. As if that’s not enough, they will also be selling the enormously popular Deluxe Hot Rum Toddies, and toasting marshmallows around the fire.

Once per month, usually 14th of each month
From 6-10pm
From £12 to £40 per person

Book your ticket

2. Dennis Severs House

Its creator was Dennis Severs, an artist who used his visitors’ imaginations as his canvas and who lived in the house in much the same way as its original occupants might have done in the early 18th Century. This he did for his own personal enjoyment as well as for the harvest of an atmosphere, which he then employed to provide the visitor with an extraordinary experience. To enter its door is to pass through a frame into a painting, one with a time and life of its own.

The game is that you interrupt a family of Huguenot silk weavers named Jervis who, though they can still sometimes be heard, seem always to be just out of sight. As you journey off into a silent search through the ten rooms, each lit by fire and candlelight, you receive a number of stimulations to your senses.

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday
From 5-9pm
£15 per person
A typical visit lasts around 45 minutes and includes a short introduction.

Book your ticket

3. East London Liquor Company

Looking to enjoy a gin tasting in London? Want to learn how whisky, gin and vodka are made on a distillery tour? If you’re looking for a gin tour, whisky tasting or to learn how rum is produced, the East London Liquor Company have an experience for you.

The first gin, vodka and whisky distillery in east London in over 100 years, East London Liquor Company produces and imports a range of quality spirits. Spearheading the boom in handcrafted spirits from the heart of the capital’s old distilling quarter, the East London Liquor Company produces distinctly-flavoured, own-brand gins, distilled in beautiful copper stills in a converted glue factory in Bow Wharf. Led by founder Alex Wolpert, the focus is on traditional British recipes with quintessential English flavours, using 100 per cent British wheat for the production of small batch gin and vodka.

Wednesday to Sunday
Various times
From £15 to £45 per person
Tours last between 30 minutes to 1.5 hours

Book your ticket


How Katie decorates for Christmas 15.12.19

With the arrival of baby Woody this Christmas, decorations have taken a little longer to go up but when I finally got a chance to deck the halls I naturally fell back into the annual traditions that I know and love.

I put on a Christmas film, this year’s choice was Home Alone, and dig through my box of decorations. With Baloo as our little sidekick things were a lot less plain sailing as previous years, but I’m in no rush to decorate as it’s always fun to decorate our home.

I always go for natural colours with a hint of brass, copper or gold. Starting with the tree, it always has to be real, we have gone big this year, nearly 8ft to be precise! I combine natural greens, clean white lights and bronze baubles. We have steadily grown our bauble collection, and this year we have had some beautiful hand painted ones from a friend marking Woody’s first Christmas. Call me scrooge but I can safely say there is no tinsel in sight! Its classic, traditional and rather minimal, if a little Scandinavian in style.

I try to reuse and keep it green wherever I can – including old gift tags as decorations for the tree, wooden reindeers and home-made paper chains using our scrap papers. Few green suggestions here such as a wooden tree or recycled cards as gift tags for your gifts.

We have also adorned our tree with our new collaborative ceramic decorations made with Emma Alington; it’s lovely to have something we have made on the tree and I look forward to making decorations with the kids in years to come such as these.

If you’re starting to decorate, then I have a few ideas that I wanted to share with you…

Paper Chains Above The Hearth

The paper chain is one of the most uncomplicated and delightful holiday decorations in my quiver and incredibly easy to make. While you can use a fresh stack of paper, I prefer to cut up old documents I no longer need and repurpose them for use around the home – and always minimal colours.

Two styles of paper chains are prevalent in my household. The first is the plain paper variety with little stars cut into each of the rings. It creates a neat, gentle effect that pairs incredibly well with frosting on the tree. The second is to use holiday-themed coloured card for each link. Natural tones are ideal for when you want to spruce up a bare wall or add a little drama to your pantry – nothing too bright and bold.

Paper Garlands Hung From Beams

Paper garlands are among the most versatile holiday decorations in my arsenal. This year, I’ll be sticking them on door frames and hanging them from overhead beams.

If you want a vintage-themed Christmas, I highly recommend that you use garlands wherever possible, particularly overhead. They work exceptionally well on mantelpieces or in any home with exposed wooden beams. Hanging them is easy. Just place a few small tacks in the wood, attach your cut-outs to a piece of string, and then drape the completed garland over them.

I also recommend purchasing a craft punch, a tool that lets you cut out a variety of shapes for your garlands, quickly and easily. A craft punch can help you get out of last-minute decoration rushes, allowing you to whip up dozens of individual garlands in short order. You can either attach them to a string or fix them individually to a door frame, your mantelpiece, or anywhere else you feel is in a bit of a need of a lift.

Crepe Paper Streamers On Walls And Furniture

Crepe paper streamers are one of the simplest and most affordable ways to add a little festive cheer to your home, providing you with myriad options to spruce up your house.

There are all kinds of ways that I like to use this particular kind of paper for decorations. One idea is to attach a long, thin ribbon to the cornice of your room and start twisting it to create little twirls. Then, once you’ve got the ideal number of rotations, stick it to the skirting board to hold it in place. This way, you can cover vast tracts of bare walls with decorations with minimal effort. Plus, it’s a great way to framing focal points in your home, like the fireplace or the TV.

There are plenty of other ways that I like to use streamers too. One is to wrap them around railings on beds (or anywhere else where there are columns or posts). You can also use twisted crepe paper as a quick garland and drape them from the ceiling – just as you would the punched variety.

Paper Fans And Flowers

Paper fans and flowers are the perfect way to create a big impression while staying within budget. They feature enormously in my household every Christmas time and pair exceptionally well with chains.

When it comes to paper flowers, you can either buy or make your own. They’re excellent by themselves, but they’re particularly useful for concealing joins and ties. You can pair them with paper chains using wire cords, using the volume of the flowers to hide any of the scaffolding behind.

Bought paper globes make excellent, make-shift chandeliers, allowing me to add a little pomp and ceremony to the holiday season. They work particularly well above the dining table.

Finally, two-dimensional paper fans are ideal when I want to conceal any unsightly parts of my home that are bare for the rest of the year. You can place them on walls to create a stunning display that heralds the arrival of the season.

Paper Stars In The Living Room And Dining Room

Stars are intimately associated with the Christmas season, and they’re beautiful too, working in practically any setting.

Try hanging paper stars on a semi-invisible string from the ceiling, creating a mock-planetarium feel – perfect for the living room or dining room.

I’d love to see your photos of Christmas, so why not share them on social media and tag in @katieleamon so we can see your great decoration ideas.

And don’t forget you can buy some luxury Christmas Cards from our store!


Thank-You Messages: What to Write in a Card 09.12.19

Nothing beats receiving a handwritten thank you card after you’ve done something for a friend or loved one. The quality stationery and thought-through message are thanks that make no task too much. The trouble is that the art of thank you notes is dying. Now, we’re more likely to send a quick and thoughtless text than we are to take our time selecting beautiful note cards to show appreciation.

Even if you do embark on the joy of thank you cards, our disconnection from the process may well leave you at a total loss as to what to say. The simple ‘thank you’ that you might send in a text message certainly won’t suffice. In fact, there’s a pretty high chance that your chosen card already states this fact for you in some form.

Instead, genuinely capturing gratitude is about knowing what to write. Of course, your note cards themselves also matter, but we all know that the message inside is the main priority. To make sure you can perfect your thanks in the future, consider the following ways to get that message just right.

Remember to say thank you

This may seem like a simple point, but it’s vital to remember that you’re writing this card to say thank you. While these two words alone might not be enough to complete your message, they certainly need to feature. This is the case even if the card itself does say thank you. Otherwise, your recipient may miss the point of your card entirely.

It doesn’t even matter how you include this sentiment. You could go with a casual ‘Thank you for…’ or a slight variation like ‘I am so grateful for…’ Whatever you do, though, make sure your recipient can sense your thanks! Fail to achieve that goal, and you might as well save yourself the time of writing a card in the first place. Worse, you’re at risk of coming across as ungrateful.

Personalise

Remember that a simple ‘thank you’ isn’t enough to complete your card. To take gratitude even further, you should also personalise your message. You can do this in two keys ways, each of which is incredibly effective for showing appreciation and also ensuring that your recipient values the effort.

Firstly, you’ll want to personalise your note cards by naming the gift or favour that you’re showing thanks for. This is especially vital in the case of birthdays and other instances where you’ve received multiple gifts. Failure to mention anything specific will make it seem like you’ve just sent blanket note cards to everyone. That’s no way to show your appreciation. Instead, always make a personal note of why you’re thankful to this specific person. That way, they’ll never feel like one in a crowd.

Secondly, you should take this personalisation even further by showing what that gift or favour did for you. You needn’t go into details here, but a few sentences about how you’ve been using whatever the person gave you is vital. This way, they’ll be able to see that their thoughtful effort has found a real use in your life. What could be better than that for showing genuine thanks?

If the person has done a favour for you, you could take this even further by including a few sentences outlining what their help has meant. This way, you can guarantee that they keep hold of that card for a long time to come.

End with an opening

As with any well-written note, a thank you effort should end with a few closing lines. When showing your gratitude, it’s always worth using these as an opening to take your friendship one step further. You certainly don’t want to ruin all your personalisation with a simplistic ‘see you soon.’

Instead, consider an ending that can keep this communication open and meaningful. Some fantastic examples of this would be –

I’d love to meet up soon

I look forward to hearing from you

I’m here if you ever need someone to talk to

Etc.

This adds a real depth of sincerity to your efforts and shows this person that you aren’t just going through the motions. As well as furthering your message of gratitude, that can extend your friendship, and even lead to meetings. By comparison, a basic thank you with a flippant ending could leave you failing to get together for months.

Think about how you sign off

Even once you’ve perfected your closing statement, you’ll want to consider how you sign this card. As anyone with a love for letter writing will know, your choice of closure can make a vast difference to the overall tone of your message. Even if you perfect all these other pointers, then, a rushed sign off could leave your recipient in the lurch. Don’t let it happen by thinking long and hard about a way to sign off that really captures the tone conveyed throughout your message.

As a general rule, personalised signatures can emphasise your relationship and your gratitude as a result. Opting for in-jokes or phrases relevant to your friendship is always the best option here as that again adds to the personal vibe that you’ve been aiming towards throughout.

If nothing relevant comes to mind, you can still retain meaning with the right generalised sign-offs, including –

Love

Affectionately

Friends forever

And, of course, you’ll want to sign the perfect signature so that your friend can cherish your thank you note and your relationship for many years to come.

A final word

Writing a thank you card might seem like an entirely new art, but it’s surprisingly simple to get this right. In fact, the majority of your success here depends on how much you’re able to convey from the heart. Heart is often what’s missing from computer-based thanks, after all, and it’s easy to overcome when you incorporate stationary instead. Just take some time to think about what a gift and its giver mean to you, then write whatever comes to mind.


The Lost Art of Handwriting 25.11.19

Expressing thoughts and creativity through writing is an art that can be dated back thousands of years, and good penmanship was considered an advantageous skill for many generations. But has handwriting become a lost art? And, if so, can the skill ever be resurrected from the dead?

Handwriting is dead, long live Handwriting!

The digital age has undoubtedly improved our lives in a wide array of areas, but it has come at a cost. While we still communicate through alphanumeric symbols on a daily basis, perhaps more frequently than ever due to online interactions in both business and leisure, the likelihood of picking up a pen or pencil is at an all-time low.

Despite being great for your memory, very few people keep a diary in the modern age. Instead, they choose to broadcast their lives on social media. Likewise, sending an instant email notification has taken over from written letters to become the norm while even shopping lists and notewriting activities have been replaced by using the smartphone App equivalent. Essentially, digital writing has become faster and more convenient than the traditional route – not least because a pen and paper are rarely to hand in today’s climate.

Unfortunately, as was shown when you first discovered how to write back in your primary school days, practice is an essential ingredient in the recipe for handwriting success. While inactivity with a pen won’t make you forget how to form basic letters, it will have a negative impact on the ability to keep your writing straight or join letters through loops, arcs, and curvatures.

In many cases, this results in ineligible writing. Sadly, if the writing cannot be read and comprehended, it does not serve a purpose. While the value of language still remains, the ability to collectively express ourselves through penmanship is seriously on its knees.

Is it Important?

While there is no denying the decline in the penmanship capabilities of the average person, many people would question whether it truly matters. Similarly, large sections of the population would suggest that its merely another sign of a conscious and significant shift towards the digital age, especially as baby boomers (who are significantly less computer literate than younger generations) edge closer to retirement.

Nevertheless, there’s something special about the uniqueness and individuality of a person’s writing. While we all understand the same codes, symbols, and identifiers, we all express ourselves in a slightly different way. Let’s face it; we can all identify our mum’s handwriting from our dad’s handwriting or our partner’s handwriting from a friend’s. This instant association can generate emotional responses that easily outweigh the reaction gained from reading a text or email.

On a separate but related note, the digital forms of communication will eventually be lost. It might not seem like it right now, but the social media channels we use today are sure to be replaced one day. Likewise, smartphone and tablet devices are destined to become obsolete at some point in the future. Sadly, those digital communications will be lost, whereas the handwritten letters and greetings cards can be kept as personal keepsakes forever.

The sentimental value of handwritten messages isn’t the only reason why the art of handwriting should be treasured. The National Handwriting Association champions “handwriting as a vital component of literacy” and alludes to the fact that many application forms are still completed by hand. It should also be noted that, when dealing with professional endeavours, judgements will be made (even if it’s on a subconscious level) based upon the aesthetic appeal of your writing. Conversely, illegible writing will distract and frustrate the reader, which will negatively impact their mood.

Furthermore, despite our constant reliance on technology, there are times when you cannot get to a tech device. Writing is also scientifically linked to good hand-to-eye coordination while it can also be an indicator of an individual’s capacity to learn.

In short, then, the obvious decline of handwriting and penmanship is something that should concern individuals and society as a whole.

Can the Art of Handwriting Be Saved?

While handwriting standards have plummeted, people still know how to write – they’re just not very good at transferring their vision of letters and symbols onto paper. Therefore, it is possible to resurrect the art form and improve the general standards. As was the case during childhood, practice is the key to success.

There are several ways to consciously take responsibility and become more confident with a pen in your hand. Keeping a diary, going back to traditional shopping lists, writing cards rather than choosing personalised online designs, and dedicating a few minutes to writing each day can have a truly positive impact.

If restoring your former handwriting standards isn’t enough, and you wish to become better than ever, conscious efforts must be made. While modern technology is one of the primary causes for the problem, it can also become the solution. The Lernstift – a term that translates to “learning pen” – is a German-manufactured pen that vibrates to alert the user to poor technique. By identifying and correcting poor technique, positive habits can be formed to reach a higher level of legibility than before.

Technology can also teach you to become a more competent pen user through guides and video tutorials. From rediscovering how to form letters and symbols in the correct way to learning new skills of calligraphy, investing time into these tasks has to be more productive than checking out your ex’s new partner.  We know you all do that, don’t pretend otherwise.

Alternatively, joining a group or attending workshops can give you that additional motivation to pay greater attention to your handwriting. It’s enjoyable, rewarding, and can help you rediscover skills that you thought had been lost forever. You can buy some new pens, pencils and even a leather pencil case from our store. The days of scratching your head while trying to work out what that note to yourself actually meant can become a thing of the past.

Even with some institutes fighting to preserve the art of handwriting, the truth of the matter is that we all need to take personal responsibility. Now is the time to make it happen.


The difference between Stationary and Stationery 11.11.19

The English language can be confusing at the best of times, let alone when two words that look virtually the same have completely different meanings. There are several opportunities to get the spelling and meaning of words wrong when putting a letter, article, feature or blog post together, and one of the most common grammatical mistakes is getting stationary mixed up with stationery. If you’re one of hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people who struggle to distinguish your envelopes and cards from issuing instructions to stay still and not move a muscle, this guide should come in handy.

Stationary and Stationery definitions

The words stationary and stationery may look very similar, but that subtle vowel change alters the meaning of the word entirely.

Stationary is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “not moving or not intended to be moved,” while the definition of stationery is “writing and other office materials.”

Stationary is an adjective described to use a person, object or situation that isn’t moving or changing, while stationery is a noun used to describe a collection of office items such as envelopes, papers and cards.

Example sentences

It’s clear to see that there are major differences in the meanings of the two words, but the trouble is that it’s often difficult to determine which spelling is right when you’re writing. To make the task easier, here’s a couple of demo sentences:

Stationary

During the storm, I accidentally drove into a stationary car.

The caravan is not stationary, and it can be moved very easily.

Stationery

I’m looking for the best supplier of personalised stationery in the UK for my wedding invitations.

Have you got the stationery you need to start the new university term?

The history behind stationary and stationery

Sometimes, when you find it tough to remember which spelling fits within the desired context, it helps to have an insight into how the word originated. Stationary comes from the Latin word stationarius, which was used as a military term and referred to soldiers who belonged to a military station. The indication was that being stationary meant being attached to a station and maintaining that position. Today, the meaning isn’t restricted to a military sense, but if you recall the origins, it might help you to remember that stationary implies being static and not moving.

The word stationery is derived from stationer, a term used to describe booksellers and publishers. If you associate stationery with books and writing, this should hopefully ensure you get the right spelling next time you’re writing about bespoke cards or you’re on the hunt for personalised writing sets or notebooks.

Stationary and stationery may sound the same, but that single letter makes all the difference when it comes to the meaning of the word. If you struggle to remember which spelling to use in which scenario, you’re not alone! Hopefully, this helpful guide will come in handy next time you’re looking for the best personalised stationery in the UK, or you’re searching for the perfect adjective for a person or object that isn’t budging anytime soon.


Is writing a diary good for your memory? 28.10.19

Brain training to keep the memory in tip-top shape is a growing concern for millions, not least because increased life expectancy has seen the number of people that will suffer from memory-related illnesses skyrocket in recent decades. Could writing a personal diary be one of the smartest steps to combatting the threat of those conditions?

Despite an increased willingness to read about the lives of others (as is shown by the growing popularity of autobiographies), as well as a desire to broadcast our daily lives on social media, the concept of writing a diary has become far less common. But it might be one of the key ingredients in the recipe for success; here’s why:

Expressing Your Experiences Helps You Reach Better Conclusions

Understanding our experiences and being able to learn valuable outcomes from them is a central feature for building a better memory. Writing them down, either in a paper personalised diary or via a blog, can is the perfect way to relive those recent experiences and actually contemplate what can be ascertained from them. Writing rather than other forms of communication actively force you to think more about those outcomes as you attempt to make sense of them and express them in a coherent fashion.

Reaching more reasoned conclusions will give you the best chance of recalling the information at a later date. Meanwhile, this analytical thought process can establishing winning habits that influence the way you process and remember information in other aspects of your life.

Writing A Diary Reinforces The Memory During Sleep

It’s very easy to experience something and forget it almost immediately. However, writing a diary encourages the mind to consolidate and stabilise those thoughts and memories during our sleep. This significantly boosts our ability to recall this information at a later date. Studies have been conducted into this, concluding that writing a diary in the evenings is the best option by far. The suggestion is that the memories are fresher in your mind during your sleep, which helps cement them in the individual’s mind.

Even writing yesterday’s memories in the evening is better than doing it in the morning, which gives greater credence to this reasoning. Either way, the ability to accurately recall memories is far better when you have written them down. This is reminiscent of academic learning too.

Putting Your Thoughts Out There Establishes Greater Clarity

We can all appreciate how difficult it is to remember things that were said while our minds were focused elsewhere. Unfortunately, having thoughts of yesterday’s events swirling around your mind can cloud those interactions, which will impact the ability to absorb info and remember it. Expressing your thoughts via a diary takes them off of your mind, which subsequently provides the clarity of focus needed to take more from new experiences.

The increased organisation of your mind can support short-term and long-term memory benefits. Moreover, the diary writing procedures can help internally compartmentalise the various experiences and info that you’ve learnt, further supporting your memory.

Writing Gives Permanence To Your Past

Expressive writing is shown to boost your working memory, but it also ensures that your past is not forgotten. When we remember past events, we are actually remembering the last time we thought about them. Therefore, having them clearly defined in the form of a diary actively stops those memories becoming warped over time. This ensures that the mental imagery remains clear for many years to come, which can only have a positive impact on your long-term memory.

As well as permanence to the past, the bookmark lets you reflect on the moment and make a mental bookmark. Consequently, then, contrary to some people’s beliefs, it’ll aid your future rather than hinder it.

Journaling Boosts Your Cognitive Processing

Cognitive processing is central to our memory and brain capacity. In act, cognitive decline is one of the most significant factors in the onset of dementia. Writing a diary encourages us to interact with our surroundings and our own experiences in a far more meaningful manner, which brings increased cognition and will keep the mind well trained. Slowing and halting declines in this sense won’t make you invincible but will significantly reduce your vulnerability.

Keeping the memory sharp through journaling will support cognitive processing in the short, mid, and long-term future with greater effect than many of the alternative activities that you may have tried to incorporate into your world.

Writing A Diary Organises Your Emotions

Severe memory problems can often manifest in confused emotions. Not knowing how to process experiences and memories from an emotional viewpoint inevitably leads to a host of further brain processing issues. Unlike social media, which usually present a false happiness, a diary is likely to paint an honest picture of your world. By enabling yourself to express emotions, even to yourself, is shown to have hugely positive long-term impacts.

Regulate emotional responses in this manner, you become more synchronised with experiences and memories for immediate and ongoing benefits. This increased brainpower and emotional awareness will boost your quality of life while allowing you to tap into memories with greater results.

Writing Keeps The Mind Active

Apart from anything else, writing supports the idea of keeping the brain active. Spending hours sat in front of the PlayStation can slowly but surely turn your brain to mush. Attention spans are falling as a direct result of changing lifestyles and the fact that we are more engaged with screens than our surroundings, loved ones, and selves is the key. Writing helps you reconnect while also ensuring that the brain remains engaged at all times.

While there are no guarantees involved, the correlation between brain training and brain power cannot be ignored. An active mind is likely to hold onto its memories, along with other key capabilities, for a happy and fulfilling life.

The Final Word

Writing a diary is great for the brain, providing clarity, and supporting the idea of accessing memories for years to come. If you are yet to document your life in this way, now is the time to start.

Shop for Diaries


Katie Leamon Radio: Autumn Vol. VIII 25.10.19


Upgrade Your Gift Wrapping This Year 14.10.19

If you’re one of those people who likes to get organised early, and you have an eye for detail, you’ll know all too well that preparing doesn’t just involve compiling lists of gifts and recipients. It’s also about buying into the excitement and exercising your creative talents to make your presents look incredible. If you’re keen to up your wrapping game this year, here are some wonderful ways to dazzle your friends and family.

There’s nothing more visually enticing than a beautifully wrapped gift. Whether you have a pile of parcels, or you’re making your way through the crowds to greet friends laden with sparkling bags or glistening boxes, there’s no doubt that wrapping can make a difference. If you tend to go for low-key wrapping, or you’re always on the lookout for novel ways to make your gifts stand out in the crowd, here are some innovative ideas to inspire you this year.

Embrace the natural look

An affinity with nature and the great outdoors doesn’t have to stop at buying decorative accessories or choosing furniture or flooring for the home. Why not consider using this trend as inspiration for a wrapping theme? In addition to using sustainably resourced paper printed with trees or animals, you can also go a step further by incorporating tangible touches like holly sprigs, pine cones, berries, and pine leaves. Finish the look with a raffia bow or a simple string tie for a chic, minimalist aesthetic that will look stunning.

Personalise your presents

Personalised gifts have become incredibly popular. The good news is that if you love the idea of personalising your presents, you don’t have to stop at buying a gift that features meaningful dates or initials. You can carry the theme, and add a personal touch to your wrapping. You can do this by designing your own paper or by creating bespoke gift tags.

Gift tags serve a purpose, distinguishing the recipient from other family members and friends within the pile, but they also have serious aesthetic appeal. For a personal gift for somebody special, you could add a monogrammed tag or even use a photograph to make it clear who each gift is for. Retro-style polaroids are an excellent option, and you can choose to add words or simply let the image do the talking.

Utilise your creative talents

Have you ever trawled stationery and card shops desperately trying to find wrapping paper or gift tags that have that extra special edge? You can buy all kinds of paper from stores, but nothing compares to designing your own if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for. If you’re an artistic type, or you enjoy doodling or drawing, have you thought about putting pen to paper and letting your creative juices flow? Using your own designs will ensure you end up with paper and tags that you love, and it can also add an extra dimension to your gifts for others, as you can customise different designs for each recipient.

Get tagging

Gift tags can have a dramatic impact on the look of a gift, and they can really elevate even the most simple and modest design. Once you’ve wrapped your presents, don’t forget to add a tag of some sort. You can buy all kinds of tags, often as part of matching wrapping sets, or you could make your own. Ensure that the tags you buy or design complement the paper and any other accessories you plan to add, for example, ribbons or bows. When you’re putting a mental picture together, think about how you’re going to fasten the tag and where to place it for full effect. You could use string to tie a tag for a rustic look or opt for a silk or velvet ribbon tie for a more glamorous, opulent effect.

Invest in a paper cutter

If you like to get creative and you’re looking for ways to spruce up your wrapping and turn heads, investing in a paper cutter is an excellent idea. With this kind of tool, you can use all kinds of shapes to decorate your gifts. Choose from stars or Christmas trees for a classic festive vibe, or hearts or reindeer for children’s presents. Once you’ve chosen a shape, you can select coloured or white card and use your cutter to create strings for tying tags or adding interest to plain paper. White stars work brilliantly on black paper, for example, and you can finish the look with a larger star-shaped gift tag in gold, silver, or craft paper.

With Christmas shopping, there’s no better time to start thinking about what you’re going to buy and how you’re going to present your gifts. This year, why not up your wrapping game and try something a little different? You can design your own paper, create your own tags or take inspiration from trends or ideas you’ve seen on the catwalk or in interior magazines. From sprigs of holly and personalised gift tags to custom-designed wrapping paper and ribbons made using a paper cutter, there’s a host of simple but effective ways to upgrade your wrapping and wow your friends and family.

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Katie Leamon Radio: Autumn Vol. VII 11.10.19

Our latest playlist from the Katie Leamon Radio. Autumn Vol. VII eases us into this part of the year with easy lyrics and some amazing instrumentals.

Happy Friday, enjoy! X


Evening Standard Magazine’s Elizabeth Street Social

Join us for the Evening Standard’s Magazine Social on Elizabeth Street on the 17th October from 5 – 9pm. London’s prettiest neighbourhood, Elizabeth Street, will host a shopping evening in partnership with ES Magazine. Visit a pop-up bar for pampering with nails by London Grace, hair by Issy’s and SMUK on make-up. The pop-up will also host panel discussions on the biggest Fall trends in food and beauty. On the evening Elizabeth Street’s beautiful brands will be hosting in-store activity and some exclusive offers. And of course, you can stop by the Katie Leamon Pop Up shop for a complimentary drink. We will also be offering free personalised notebooks for purchases on our HiDE Organisers & HiDE Pouch. As well as, five free Katie Leamon pencils with purchases of our HiDE pencil cases & pouches.

Here are some of the other exclusive Elizabeth Street offers on the night:

The Athenian: enjoy 10% discount for the evening.

Beulah: 10% discount on the AW19 collection.

Hawico Scotland: 10% discount on the AW19 collection; colour-selection service, with bubbles and nibbles.

Jo Loves: win a Jo Loves Shot Candle Experience.

Joanna Wood: free gift when spending over £50 and enjoy a glass of prosecco on the night.

ME+EM: enjoy a glass of Champagne as you shop

NRBY: 10% discount, plus the chance to win a £250 voucher

Stivaleria Cavallin: 20% discount, prosecco as you shop and a talk to discover ‘the art of shoe making’.

Summerill & Bishop: 10% discount on selected lines throughout the day.

We very much look forward to seeing you on the night and sharing the delights of what the Evening Standard Magazine Social has to offer.


Gifts For People Who Have Everything 30.09.19

Most of us have at least one friend or relative who has everything. When it comes to buying gifts, shopping for presents for those hard-to-buy-for people can be daunting, but there is a solution. In the last decade, there has been a noticeable rise in the popularity of personalised gifts, with a dazzling array of options now available both in-store and online. If you find yourself in a scenario where you’re struggling to think of novel ideas for a sibling or a friend who already has every gift on your mental short-list, adding a personal touch could solve your dilemma.

The history of personalisation

The popularity of personalised gifts may have soared recently but adding personal touches to presents is not a new concept. If you look back through history, there are some very early references to personalisation. In the Middle Ages, artisans often added a symbol, a name or carefully-selected lettering when creating bespoke items to take ownership of the product, but this practice quickly evolved. Monogramming became a means of marking your work, but also adding something extra to a token or gift. In the Renaissance era, incorporating personalised messages became more commonplace, and sweet ditties and romantic verses were often used for engagement and wedding gifts. Today, personalisation takes a diverse range of forms, and it’s possible to purchase a selection of objects branded with letters, poetry, dates, and places. Personalised gifts have a luxurious edge, and they are often associated with exclusive brands.

Why are personalised gifts so popular?

We all have an affinity with our names. Of all the names that our parents could have chosen for us, they selected one moniker. As a child, I would get excited whenever I saw something with my name on, and although the intensity of the feeling may wane as I aged, it never really leaves. (This was our only drawback in choosing an unusual name for Baloo!) Another draw is the thought that goes into buying or designing a personalised item. Usually, when browsing the aisles and shelves, either physical or virtual, we select a product, wrap it, and give it to a loved one. With a personalised present, there’s an extra stage in the process, and this automatically makes that gift more thoughtful. As a buyer, you’ve gone out of your way to do something different and select an item that is unique. Human beings are innately sociable creatures, and we’re programmed to respond positively to warmth and affection. Feeling like you mean something to others can fill you with unbridled joy.

Personalised gifts have also become more popular because we buy tokens for an ever-growing range of occasions, and many of us have an innate desire to purchase something that isn’t ordinary or run-of-the-mill. We’re increasingly keen to swerve the tried and tested and think outside of the box to show those closest to us just how much they mean.

Personalised gift ideas

Personalised gifts have become much more accessible, and for shoppers searching for tasteful, meaningful presents for relatives, colleagues, or friends, this is excellent news. There is a broad spectrum of gifts available to cater for all kinds of interests and tastes. Here is a carefully curated selection of ideas to provide inspiration if you’re looking for the perfect gift for somebody who has everything.

Personalised notebooks and stationery

If you have a friend who loves to write, or you’re on the hunt for a classic, timeless gift that looks beautiful and also serves a purpose, bespoke stationery is a wonderful option. Products like monogrammed, personalised notebooks and customised writing sets are a cut above standard items you would find in a stationery store, and they’re likely to appeal to a wide range of recipients. From those who keep a journal to list lovers and those who like to make notes either inside or outside of work, this is a perfect choice.  We have a great selection of personalised notebooks, correspondence sets, and leather stationery.

Jewellery

Jewellery has been a popular gift for centuries. Although styles and trends have changed, many of us love nothing more than opening a box to reveal something shiny or sparkly. Personalised jewellery adds another dimension and adding a date or a name can elevate what is already a beautiful item to the next level. For any occasion, incorporating details and letters and numbers that mean something can make your gift even more precious. I was given a tiny gold disc pendent with a ‘b’ on it when I had baloo and it hasn’t left my neck in over 2 years.

Prints and artwork

There is something special about gifting prints and artwork. To choose something like a picture or a framed image requires you to know somebody well, as you’re looking for a style that would jump out and evoke an emotional response in another person, rather than catering for your own taste. When choosing prints, you can enhance the gift by incorporating a personal touch. Adding names or special dates, for example, can make that person feel as though that design was made specifically for them and create a present that will forever bring back memories or conjure up happy thoughts. We have a range of personalised prints available.

Hampers

Gift hampers have become incredibly fashionable in the last few years. While going to a store and selecting a basket filled with treats is a lovely idea, you can go one step further if you choose to embrace the personalisation trend. If you know the recipient well, you can put together a sumptuous selection of their favourite things, creating a bespoke hamper. From toiletries, candles, and luxury pyjamas for a relaxing, tranquil night of pampering to a decadent selection of edible delicacies, you can adapt this idea to suit any occasion. My favourite hampers come from Fortnum & Mason.

Trying to buy gifts for people who have everything can be exasperating. If you’re fretting about treating somebody special, and you’re experiencing a mental block, personalised gifts could provide a solution. Adding personal touches not only creates unique presents, but it also adds a meaningful element. Once you’ve selected an item you know your friend or family member will love, you can put your own spin on it or add words, letters, or dates that mean something to them to elevate that product and make it extra special. Gift buying doesn’t have to be a chore and there are some fabulous personalised items out there to suit all occasions.

Take a look at all of our personalised gift ideas.


Why Do We Give Birthday Cards? 16.09.19

Nowadays, sending a birthday message on Facebook or Whatsapp might seem like an easier option than sending a loved one a physical greeting card, but by sending them an online message you’re unintentionally missing what the message is all about. Yes, more of us are becoming reliant on technology in our daily lives and use it to communicate regularly with others. This shouldn’t, however, mean that you should send your family members or friends an impersonal e-card.

A personalised birthday card is a wonderful addition to a gift (or a solo recognition of their birthday) – bespoke to the person, you can add a handwritten note to wish them an unforgettable day. Personalisation is what is missing from an online message. No matter what your online post says, it simply won’t match up to what you could have written in a card.

A physical card also shows that you have spent the time and effort to go out and purchase it for them; instead of simply sending them a message from a phone – which can look as though they had forgotten about their birthday until you were reminded about it on the day.

Even if you are reminded of their birthday with a Facebook notification, you should try and get ahead of the game by sending them a physical card. When you purchase a card, it shows that you have thought about that individual person, paying attention to the style of card and message within it. With so many different styles of cards available, there is bound to be one that suits them to a tee.

A sentimental gift in itself, they can be looked back on for years to come. Transcending time, you can look at a birthday card from relatives that have since passed away or from people that are no longer in your life. A sweet symbol of each birthday that you have, it will be a shame to not reciprocate the gesture when it comes time for that loved one’s special day. We often take loved ones for granted and regret the number of physical items we have from them to remember them by – which is where a birthday card can come in.

Yes, a Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Whatsapp message might remain on your timeline forever, but is it really a sign that you took the time to remember your birthday? Even if it’s a long message filled with emoji’s it simply does not match up to the joy that they will get from opening a card that you have taken the time to send. Arriving on their doorstep on or before their birthday, it will undoubtedly put a smile on their face – that an online message simply can’t replicate.

Facebook or other online messages might be fine for those who you aren’t great friends with, but it shouldn’t be used for those that you truly care about. If a loved one’s birthday is coming up, start to think about ordering a birthday card.

The History of Birthday Cards

Greeting cards date back to ancient Chinese and Egyptian history, as a way of sending goodwill to those around them. With greeting cards in China being in the form of handwritten wishes and Egyptian wishes on a papyrus roll, the tradition started to become prevalent across the countries. Developing from a New Year’s card to Easter, Valentines and birthday, it was the initial way of celebrating an occasion before gifts were given. In the early 15th Century, this new way of celebrating special occasions came over to Europe and transformed rapidly into what it is today.

The first birthday card to be sent is still unknown. However, it is clear that throughout the years this tradition has evolved to become an important pastime – whether it’s your loved one’s 1st or 100th birthday. A staple in many countries, it’s a tradition that shouldn’t die out. Even if writing on someone’s Facebook wall might be tempting.

When the first postage stamp was issued in 1840 and with the advances in printing, birthday cards began to be sent not only across the country but across the world.

Why Else Do We Send Birthday Cards?

Sending a birthday card could also be an act of communication. It’s clear that as you grow older, you won’t be able to see certain family members as often as you once did. Everyone moves on – whether it’s a case of moving abroad or simply a little distance away from your family home. When you receive a card from a family member, it shows that they still remember your birthday and despite you not being 5 years old anymore, you still mean a lot to them. Keeping in contact with them is undeniably important and a birthday card is one of the ways to retain the bond that you have with them.

They also give an authentic touch. Personalised cards are a far more meaningful greeting than a simple Facebook post – which anyone could do with the click of a button.

Shop Katie Leamon Cards

If a loved one’s birthday is fast approaching, show them how much they mean to you with a beautiful card from our bespoke collection. With a variety of birthday cards, you are guaranteed to find the perfect card for them – no matter what their age or personal taste.

Affordable yet luxurious, the majority of our birthday cards are handprinted and include elegant patterns that differ to the shop-bought alternatives. We strive to showcase the importance of sending physical greeting cards to your family or friends. And that’s why we have created a collection that can bring people together, harnessing a tradition that has grown throughout the years. Here are a few of our personal favourites.


The Art of Wrapping Gifts 02.09.19

Wrapping paper – with a history dating back thousands of years, we frequently purchase to wrap birthday, anniversary, Christmas presents and any other special occasion gifts. But have you ever wondered, why do we wrap gifts?

In this journal post, we will take you through a brief history, show you the importance of gift wrapping and why it is now considered an art form that shouldn’t be ignored.

A Brief History of Wrapping Paper

A tradition that dates back to ancient China (in the 2nd Century BC in fact), gifts were wrapped and then distributed by government officials.

In 14th Century Japan, gift wrapping soon became an art. Furoshiki, which involves the technique of pleating and folding cloth meant that people could wrap gifts in an exciting and aesthetically-pleasing way. A method that is still seen today, it is delicate and elegant.

Fast forward to 1917 in Kansas City. The Hall brothers (who later created the internationally-renowned Hallmark company) owned a stationery store that sells greeting cards, gift tags and white tissue paper. After running out of the tissue paper, they attempt to find an alternative. And they settled on envelope liners. This crucial choice developed into the wrapping paper that we see today. Since then, the technique of wrapping gifts has developed so that it is now considered a work of art.

In 18th Century Scotland and England, decorated wrapping paper rapidly became a huge craze. From gold-embossing to marbled papers, it was no longer about plain wrapping paper. Instead, people wanted to receive and give gifts that were wrapped in a remarkable paper.

In the modern-day, people are looking towards higher-end wrapping paper that follows interior design trends. Whether it be marbling or polka dots, there is always a new trend that is echoed in the stationary industry.

Making Gifts Extraordinary

Alongside the wrapping paper you can add wonderful touches like twine, ribbon, a bow (the US believe that the bigger the bow the better!) or even a simple gift tag. A great way of enclosing the present so that it is a surprise for the receiver, it shows that you have taken the time to not only select a wrapping paper that suits them but that you have put the effort into concealing what you have bought and adding to the suspense of the unveiling.

Just think about it. A bare gift in a bag is bound to make the receiver feel a little less enthused. Not in an ungrateful way, by any means. But a wrapped gift adds a special touch that simply can’t be replicated by an unwrapped gift. Heightening the experience overall, there is nothing quite like ripping open a present – no matter what the occasion.

For me, I reminisce about being a child and it came time to opening presents on Christmas Day, now I am older and have a child, it’s as exciting again, if not more, to see his expression when faced with an array of oddly shaped objects all mystically covered in colourful gift wrap.

An Art Form in Itself

Now, not everyone is amazing at wrapping. And I’m sure that your relatives or friends won’t be distraught if your wrapping isn’t a complete work of art. Speaking from experience – Ruairi’s signature wrap is ton foil, but it still adds to the excitement! But with the right tools and materials, you can wrap gifts in a way that will make them eager to see the gift inside.

One thing to remember is to not use too much paper or tape. Too much tape on a gift shows that you have rushed the wrapping process. Whereas too much paper is not only wasteful, but it can make the process of unwrapping more difficult than it should really be.

Not everyone can afford professional gift wrapping. So if you are looking for a fun (and more budget-friendly) alternative, the first step you can take is using good-quality wrapping paper. Even though it is tempting to use the cheapest wrapping paper you can find, this could rip when it comes time to enclose the gift – sending you into a panicked frenzy. High-quality wrapping paper will also make the gift look a little more premium – which therefore gives off a good impression when you hand the gift to them.

With numerous inspiration posts across the web, it’s clear that the world of gift wrapping will continue to grow. So make sure that you aren’t left behind. Invest in some wrapping paper and gift tags, so that when it comes time to wrap a gift, you aren’t left in a last-minute rush that means that the gift isn’t wrapped how you would have wanted.

Add a touch of creative flair with wrapping paper that you are proud of. And by doing so, your loved one will love your remarkable gift. Just remember to not go too over the top on gift wrapping – even if it is a Pinterest masterpiece, it probably won’t be worth the effort or money that you have put into it.

Tips for Wrapping

  1. Cut your wrapping paper so you’re able to wrap the gift with 5cm extra. Paper should cover both sides of the package’s height.
  2. Position the narrow side of your box diagonally across the sheet of wrapping paper. Yes, diagonally, trust us it’s better.
  3. Fold the bottom and left sides up and over the gift.
  4. Tape those sides together on the top of the gift.
  5. Fold the top and right sides up and over the gift.
  6. Tape those and you’re all done.
  7. Tie the gift with a length of luxury ribbon – the quality really shines and they’ll likely want to reuse it on their own gifts.
  8. Attach one of our gift tags, sign your name and you’re done.

Shop Katie Leamon Wrapping Paper

Is your loved one’s birthday coming up? Or perhaps another special occasion is rapidly approaching. Don’t worry, we have you covered. With a wide collection of luxury wrapping paper, you are guaranteed to find a style that you adore. We also have a collection of beautiful gift tags, which you can use to write a memorable handwritten note on. Better still, use one of our hand printed monogrammed postcards with your recipients initial on and combine great wrapping with a personal touch.

Our selection provides you with wrapping paper that your family member or friend will love. Adding an extraordinary touch to their day and with designs that will make your gifts stand out. Created with love and proudly made in England, our collection is perfect for any occasion throughout the year.


POP UP SHOP 21.08.19

We wanted to update you with the finer details of our upcoming Pop Up Shop to avoid any disappointment! We open officially on September 7th September at 10am! We will be hosting workshops every other tuesday from late september and will have them up on the site to buy soon as well as being available to buy in store!

The full details are as follows:

Address: 73 Elizabeth Street, Belgravia, London, SW1W 9PJ (few doors down from the iconic Peggy Porschen’s bakery!)

Opening Times: 10-6pm Monday – Saturday // Sundays 11-5pm – {Please note our sunday trading is a little uncertain at the moment as we are not sure how busy it will be but we aim to be open during these hours.}

 

Keep a lookout on our instagram for daily updates! @katieleamon


Katie Leamon Radio: Summer Vol. VI 08.08.19

Tune into our latest playlist showcasing some of our favourite tracks from New York Artist’s. We head over to the Big Apple this weekend for the NY NOW gift fair! If you’re visiting we are in booth 7521, if not, enjoy a slice of the city with our NY summer playlist.


Katie Leamon X Emma Alington 06.08.19

Introducing the Katie Leamon X Emma Alington Collaboration. As you may have spotted we have recently been working with the super talented Emma Alington to create our debut collection of ceramic homewares.

We first met Emma nearly a year ago at London’s Design Junction where we both bonded over monochrome patterns, delicate gold details and quality materials…. it was clear from the outset our brands were aligned. Emma’s brand centres on beautiful hand crafted ceramic products for the home & table. She begins work at the potters wheel or by slip casting, lovingly moulding her shapes and bringing them to life.

Its been a joy to work alongside Emma to select the right pieces for the collection as well as moulding our patters around some of her best selling styles and combining our aesthetics to create a beautiful collection we cannot wait to share with you.

The Katie Leamon X Emma Alington collection will officially launch online and in our pop up shop in September but here is a sneak preview from the range.


SUMMER VOL.V: KATIE LEAMON RADIO 26.07.19

We hope you enjoy this summery playlist!

 

Image, Mak & Ruby


24 Hours in Bristol 25.07.19

Following the Mollie Makes awards I extended my trip to give myself 24 hours to explore Bristol and boy what a city! Here is a round up of how I spent 24 hours in Bristol and what I would recommend you get on your list next time you’re in town…

Cargo, Wapping Wharf: Its a new concept area on Bristols harbour-side full of converted shipping containers. There are independent shops and eateries galore, in fact there is too much choice if anything! I dined at Woky Ko and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Delicious bao buns and noodles, friendly service, lovely harbour-side views.

Vintage Shops: If you read our guide to Amsterdam and Lisbon then you’ll know I love a vintage shop! If there is a flea market or second hand shop to find, ill find it, and luckily Bristol has a wealth of them! I could spend all day rummaging through all the incredible finds if I had the chance. I treated myself and Ruairi to a couple of bits from Sobey’s and highly recommend a visit!

Clifton; Suspension Bridge & Village: The bridge is probably a staple part of a trip to Bristol whether you drive or walk over it…. Although up some pretty unforgiving hills from the harbour, when you get to the top the view is all worthwhile and it feels like you could be anywhere. Clifton Village itself is a great spot for a coffee and a browse. I stopped for brunch in Rosemario’s and people watched as Clifton came to life with dog walkers, commuters and school runs.

No trip to Bristol could be complete for a stationery addict without a visit to Papersmith’s. Im sure those of you reading this need no introduction but in case you do, they are full of an eclectic mix of stationery finds from across the world and Clifton Village was their first store, so its well worth a visit.

 

Street Art: Bristol is Banksy’s home town. Meander the streets and you will undoubtedly stumble past original Banksy’s on your travels. Its an inspiring city full of street artists with an appreciative audience. There is a wealth of inspiring things to look out for including this one which I loved!

 

Finally, Bristol’s Independent retailers; Bristol is the queen of the independent shops, with too few to mention, so head up to Gloucester road in the north of the city centre for the longest run of independents in Europe! There are also a great selection south of the harbour on North Street. Opposite sides of the city but worth the hilly climb!

Katie x


Mollie Makes Handmade Awards 2019

A few weeks ago I was honoured to be a judge at the Mollie Makes Handmade Awards in Bristol. It was an incredible experience to be part of and I was lucky enough to meet some really exciting new brands as well as some lovely fellow judgers.

Huge congratulations goes out to The Completist; winners of the Small Business Award. They were incredibly considered and thought out and have huge potential to be a globally renowned brand.

The Established business went to Elspeth Jackson of Ragged Life. Her enthusiasm and success making rugs from rags was the perfect example of someone turning their passion into their business and showing that our lost crafts are making a huge comeback.

The Hand Made Champion award went to Diana Bardega of Mamahood, they support and champion independent businesses run by mothers, giving them a community of support and a outlet for their work. Its more than just a business, its a collection of inspiring women with a strong voice. 

The Best Illustrator Award was picked up by Liz Harry – her flair, unique style and strong brand identity bagged her the prize, and is certain to be another brand to keep your eyes peeled for.

Finally there was the Best Workshop Award, in association with West Elm: Francesca Klutz at The London Loom picked up the award…. Her therapeutic, inspiring workshops bring a community of crafters from all ages and abilities together in a vibrant and energetic environment and support the community while they are at it! Hats off to that!

 

Sadly not everyone could win, however I have to mention two of my favourites that didn’t pick up a prize.  They were in tough categories and sadly there can only be one winner, but had we been able to crown more people, I know mine would have gone to Emma West Illustration and Hannah Whitham’s; You are Small. Emma’s dedication to the narrative, care and passion was so apparent and so beautiful to see. When her first book is published be sure to pick a copy up….. from children’s stories to educational leaflets, the innocence and detail of her illustrations is beautiful.

Finally, Hannah’s You are Small brand echo’s a similar story to that of my own… producing hand made things from the kitchen table and trying to meander your way into the business world with it all. They made hand dyed children’s socks, tights and clothes and are simply stunning. I would have worn them all myself! Her attention to detail and knowledge of colour palettes was inspiring and I hope to see them in more shops soon!

Katie x 


SAMPLE SALE 22.07.19

As we prepare to move into our Pop Up shop it means we have to sadly leave our Tottenham home. Therefore, we have decided to host a flash sample sale for the week of 22nd -25th July 2019. You can expect to find some old, some new and some ‘nearly got there’ pieces from over the years. 

Please join us to find a bargain. We have notebooks, HiDE leather, greetings cards, notepads, pencils. And for those who want to be extra prepared….lots of Christmas goodies too. As well as lots more!

The sample sale will be based at our London Studio. Starting Monday 22nd July until Thursday 24th July from 10am – 5pm. With a late opening on Wednesday, 10am – 8pm.

Please use the map below for directions to our studio – look forward to meeting you here.

 

If you have any requests or would like to know more about the sample sale, please don’t hesitate to call us on 07957 006 360 or email ruairi@katieleamon.com. 


Summer Vol.IV: Katie Leamon Radio 12.07.19

Enjoy some of our laid back summer favourites this weekend with the latest from Katie Leamon Radio! 


5 Must See Exhibitions in London this Weekend 04.07.19

London in the sunshine is a hard thing to beat, and with the wealth of creative exhibitions on at the moment, the capital has never looked better. Here is a few of our favourites that we recommend heading to this weekend..

First up is FOOD; Bigger than the plate – another great exhibition by the V&A. The exhibition explores current experiments at every stage of the food process, calling into question sustainability, politics and pleasures related to the food industry. It’s a great favourite for all the family.

Click here to book your tickets!

 

Another favourite of ours is the powerful Cindy Sherman exhibition currently showing at The National Portrait Gallery. As keen photographers and Cindy enthusiasts it was a must see for us and we cant recommend it enough. Her work continues to grab our attention and her sense of disguise and intrigue are ever present in this retrospective.

You can get your hands on some tickets here!

 

Finally, one of my favourite places to visit in London… The Science Museum. An institution for the curious mind of both children and adults alike. They have just launched their Top Secret Exhibition; It explores over a century’s worth of communications intelligence including the story of the famous Bletchley Park team that cracked the Enigma code in 1941.

The exhibition is free (woohoo!) but you have to book your slot here.

The Science Museum is also celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the moon landing with an immersive festival for all the family. Another reason to get yourselves over there this weekend. You can get more information on the Summer of Space Festival here.


Summer Playlist Vol.III | Katie Leamon Radio 28.06.19

Summer is finally here! Grab a drink, get outside, turn the music up and get the festival feeling with this weeks playlist. 

 


Katie Leamon Pop-Up Shop, Elizabeth Street

We are incredibly excited to announce that we are going to have our very own little pop up shop opening in September (Exact date TBC). We will be take up residence in a beautiful little spot in south west London, a few doors down from the iconic Peggy Porschen Bakery on retail’s royalty; Elizabeth Street and a stones throw away from the honey pot that is Eccleston Yard. 

It’s been a dream come true to be able to pour my heart into building a little stationery haven home to our lovely little paper goods. My imagination is having to be reigned inline with our budget when planning; I’m tempted to serve penny sweets and champagne to every customer!! We will however, be hosting a variety of workshops including our popular hand printing and Christmas card workshops as well as hosting sales evenings for our lovely stockists. 

We will bring more info as the plans unravel but be sure to make some time to pop in and say hello! We will be there until Christmas at least (all being well) so plenty of time to stock up for the festive season!! (Sorry to mention Christmas when we finally have summer in our hands!)

 


Playlist: Summer Vol.II 07.06.19

To celebrate our new product launches we’ve put together playlist of some of our favourite new music!


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