Small Business Saturday

Good Morning

Wow blogging sure has not been for me this last year. Sorry I have neglected you!! Shops are full of great designs, we have had a wonderful year introducing new brands and our Lilla shop is very very slowly turning into a Moomin shop (well not a full on Moomin shop, but more and more designs). The shops are absolutely bursting at the moment and I am struggling to see where to put more in…I am sure it can be done!

Now if you are tired of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday hype then think about supporting Small Business Saturday. It is a campaign to raise the profile of small business at the crucial time of the year when an advertising blitz from corporate retailers can dominate.

There a lots of great small businesses right on your doorstep – find them here

This Saturday avoid the retail park or shopping mall , and leave your mouse unclicked.  Use the finder to discover retailers who can offer fantastic distinctive gifts this Christmas.  Know that the money you spend stays in the community you live in, paying salaries to your neighbours instead of fees to accountancy firms to work out a new tax dodge.  Bruntsfield and Morningside are a superb cluster of vibrant independent businesses working hard to offer something special.

If you’d like another good reason to come to Bruntsfield/Morningside this Saturday, we are running a competition.  Enter by buying something – your receipt will have an entry form attached.  You can enter once in Spektakulär and once in Lilla.  There are two prizes of £50 of gift vouchers to be won, one prize in each store.

Also starting on Saturday is American Express’ “Shop Small” promotion.  If you have an Amex card you can register and get a £5 credit when you spend £10 in a host of independent businesses.  T&C’s here.  Find participating businesses

This offer runs until the 17th December.  There is no cost to the small business involved, it is a real win/win for you and us.

You can find more on social media with the hashtags #shopsmall #smallbizsatuk

We are looking forward to see you this Saturday :)

Charlotte x

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Design Letters

Hej!

Design Letters Note Books
Hej! Personal notebooks!

What is going on, how is it June already? I really struggle to keep up! I can not believe our oldest daughter is almost about to finish P2. Time to get my notebook out and get more organised. I am a proper notebook person, love stationery and could easily spend a fortune on notebooks, pens, colouring pens or just nice things related to stationery! And I am a bit hooked with bullet journals at the moment!

Every time we are in Sweden I see Design Letters everywhere! Especially the children’s tableware which is just stunning! Then at a recent trade fair they had a stand and I just wanted to buy it all!!! It was hard to leave that stand!

So of course we are now super delighted to introduce Design Letters to our Spektakulär shop! We have started with the gorgeous personalised notebooks, action, brainstorm, sketch books and travel journal! Pencils and colouring crayons. I love all of them but somehow I just can not chose between C or my Swedish nickname L for Lotta. Maybe I should get them both or maybe the action book (aarggghhh decisions). But my absolute favourite collection is the baking/cooking collection. The recipe book and the DL (decilitre) measurements, they are just stunning! Since I use DL when I bake I would love these so much and it does help that they are so stylish as well. On my birthday list!

Design Letters - Cooking/Baking collection
Time to get baking

Design Letters creates amazing designs using the iconic Danish architect and designer Arne Jacobsen‘s hand-drawn typography from 1937. Everything from pencils to children’s plates and cups. We are so pleased with the response so far and are really hoping to add more of Design Letters to both the shops.

If you are looking for a nice gift then may I suggest the personalised notebook?!

Father's day
Gift Ideas
Design Letters
Time to get organised

Have a wonderful and stylish week :)

Charlotte x

 

Spring time and Pappelina delivery!

Yes Spring is coming, February is almost over…wow that was fast! I still feel like Christmas is just a couple of weeks ago! Well Christmas is now packed away, both shops cleaned and some new Spring deliveries has arrived. Both shops feel fresh and I just can not wait for Spring to arrive! It’s hinting but then now and then we get reminded that nah still Winter!

Anyhow this week coming we expect a new delivery from lovely Pappelina! Pappelina has not introduced any new pattern designs this season but focused on colours instead and new size 60×85 cm and I personally think that was one smart move.

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New Pappelina Colours

At Top Drawer we saw the new colours and wow love them all. So am very excited about this delivery. As you know Pappelina is a Sweden based company. The rugs are made in Sweden, the plastic is made in Sweden. During the last few years they have grown incredible large and are now know all over the world. As a Swede growing up with hard wooden floors these makes perfect sense to me, but I must admits sometimes it is a challenge to try to sell a plastic rug to a person who has carpets. But hey I would not do it if I did not believe in them. These rugs are worth every penny, they are hand crafted in Sweden, they are easy to clean, soft under foot and best of all stylish and contemporary.

Spring is coming so why not make your home spring fresh with a lovely rug! We (Richard and myself) are still debating which rugs for our hallway. We have a 5 m hallway so am thinking one long or two or three rugs. But I also noticed our bathroom rugs needs replacing as well (kind of ignored it and hoped that after every wash they will look like they ones did). So I think we will start with that one before we decided which one/s for our hallway.

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Folke in Reds
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Dana in Blues

All images are from Pappelina’s FB page.

Before you think I can only have this rug in the hallway or bathroom or kitchen, please think again. Take them camping, why not in your office, under the big dining table, playroom, utility room? Check out our Pinterest Pappelina Board for inspiration.  We will let you know on our Facebook page when they new delivery arrives, however we already have a rather large quantity in store so pop in and check them out.

Charlotte x

 

 

And we are back!

Hejsan!

Both shops are back up and running again after the Christmas and New Year holidays! This time of the year just makes me a bit gloom! The lovely Christmas lights disappears….booo! I am pretty sure you are all well familiar with the Danish word Hygge by now! Wow must have been the word of the year! And guess what Hygge does not finish when Christmas is over, no no Hygge is more important now than before Christmas (not jut for Christmas you know). We do need something to look forward to during the dark month of January! So at the moment I light up candles every night and enjoy a lot of cosy time with my little family, games, books and films (my kind of cosy).

Yesterday Richard and I managed to sit down and have a little chat about 2016 business wise and we made a plan for what to do for January and yay stock take time :) Well that is only one thing on our huge list. We have a very exciting year ahead and this year we really like to get Lilla out there! Time to make sure you and everyone you know knows Spektakulär has a little sister and it is only two doors away. Perfect for Scandi gifts and treats for you young ones. But let me just say thank you for supporting us, you are amazing!

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This morning my little helpers are in the shop with me and they are on quality control to make sure the toys we sell in Lilla is up to standard and yes I believe our Oscar and Ellen Doctor’s Bag has passed the test :)

Charlotte x

 

 

Good Bye 2016…Hello 2017

Welcome 2017! I am glad to see you!!! Hope this will be one good year!

Now 2016 was a very emotional year! First I am absolutely delighted that we finally managed to open a new and happy shop. I mean yay two shops :) Sometimes you get opportunities in life and business life you just got to go for. When we found out that the property of Lilla became available we just went for it even though we had no clue what to do with it, but turning it in to a Scandi Children’s shop turned out to become a hit. It is such a happy shop, a happy place for all of us to be at. By opening a new shop our crew had to grow as well and at the moment we have nine amazing part timers who all bring joy to the shops. Lilla has turned out to be a great success, and I just like to say thank you for sharing the love and your support for Lilla.

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Welcome to our Happy LILLA Shop 

Having the shops at number 11 and number 15 Colinton Road is very very handy. It is so often I can just nip out between the shops. Emergency or not. We all know how wonderful Edinburgh parking and traffic is so am happy it is less than 20 steps away. Now sadly opening a new shop means you neglect the old shop a little, so am delighted the ladies have worked so hard to keep it up to standard. And this spring we will give it a good tidy and also introduce new happy designs.

2016 was sadly a year full of unpleasant world surprises and as a small business trading with the EU we saw the effects quite early on due to the weaker pound.  This is the time of year when our suppliers release their prices for the next year, and there are signs that many will raise prices.  We will work hard to find brands and products that will continue to offer great style and value but some prices will have to change for the worse.  We are not unique in this, but we will try to make the best selection that we can.  We always have a long list of brands we like.

This was Lilla’s first Christmas and we are starting to look at what sold and what did not, retail is a constant process of trial and error. It takes a few seasons to discover the right balance of price, age and product, to fill the gaps and listen to what our customers tell us. I also like to change the look of the shop now and then since I personally like it being different now and then.

But now lets forget 2016 (I really wish it could just be a sad dream) and focus on 2017. What do we have planned for this year? Well my personal resolution is to become more organised! Got a long list, as always get my social media up and more under control I mean I see the social media gurus and I sometimes go oh wow that is amazing I need to do that (feeling inspired), and sometimes I go how on earth do they have time and is that not just spam (closing my laptop and think I deal with it another day). Finding the balance is what I need to do! This year we will try to get us out there and show what we really are. A small happy independent and personal shop and of course a Scandi shop.

Richard and I will head to amazing Top Drawer in mid January. I love Top Drawer, it is a great little trade fair, it is not just full of big brands who needs to make cash it is also full of small independent crafts people who are selling their handmade product to a small shop just like us. It is also a fantastic opportunity to have a proper chat face to face with my UK agents and most of all meeting other shop owners who has the same love and some of these people have become friends and we have teamed up and work together. I do not believe in not sharing trading secrets because to have a small high street full of different charming independent shops is what we should aim for, rather than one huge department store or a impersonal shopping centre. To be frank running a business looks so easy sometimes but I struggle to find a balance of being a mother who always feel guilty and a business owner who always feel she could do better, I do sometimes wake up in the middle of night thinking that’s it, we will close the shops and I will get a normal job which gives me a proper salary and when I leave work, I leave work, not like now as a small business owner you always work, even when you are on so called holiday. But owning your own business is truly amazing and if it was not for all the fantastic customers and the people we meet and greet everyday I would not keep this going!

Anyhow we have a new year ahead and this year we will work hard to grow a little bit more and be a place that you will enjoy coming into, for a gift, a treat or just for a chat:)

Have a wonderful day and we will see you soon again. Shop will reopen on the 4th January. Normal opening hours 10.00 – 17.00. Now enjoy your time off with your loved ones.

Charlotte x

 

Small Business Saturday

Yay today is Small Business Saturday and we are offering 20% off all cushions at Lilla and 20% off all cushion covers in Spektakulär. Add a little extra comfort to your home after a hard day’s shopping!

Use this https://smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com/small-business-finder to find all the great small businesses near you.

Today is also the start of the Shop Small offer from American Express.  You can get £5 credit to your account when you spend £10 with us.  Why not let Amex pay for some of your Xmas shopping? Find out more and register your card
#SmallBizSatUK
#ShopSmallUK
So go on, support your small local shops :)
Charlotte x

Ingela P Arrhenius

A couple of weeks ago…no a FEW weeks ago Ruth sent me this, since the blog is something I seem to be very good at neglecting I have asked my jolly team to write guest blogs now and then. I guess it would be super if I posted them as well. Sorry Ruth (I bake you something)! So here you go, we are a dedicated fan club of the amazingly talented Ingela P Arrenhius and am delighted her illustrations and and designs are now a part of our Lilla shop. 

I fell in love with Ingela P Arrhenius‘  work even before Lilla was a twinkle in Charlotte’s eye, when a close friend bought me one of her cards for my birthday 6 years ago – I still have it on my shelves! I have always loved anything retro and 50’s influenced and since we introduced her range to Lilla I have become completely Ingela obsessed!

Ingela is a freelance illustrator, based in Stockholm, Sweden. She has always loved to draw and loved anything with drawings on them – stickers, comics, even junk mail with illustrations. She was heavily influenced by her artistic parents – her mother makes silver jewellery as a hobby and her father collected art and movie posters – and she remembers a big cupboard in the kitchen which was always full of paper, colours, clay and crayons.

We introduced a few of her pieces when Lilla opened and we were delighted to find that our customers immediately loved her just as much as we did and so the range has since grown and grown! Our biggest hit in the early weeks was a gorgeous tin tea set – we all wished it came in adult size! Last week we had a big happy delivery of brand new Ingela delights – beautifully crafted wooden animals sets, suitcases,  kaleidoscopes, drums, puzzles, building blocks and the most amazing death-defying stacking acrobats – I had a very happy Monday going through it all!  We already stock posters, cushions, plates and cards with her cheeky, cheerful designs and now we have a designated Ingela area – that’s how much love there is for her here at Lilla! Come along to the shop soon and see for yourself, she will definitely brighten up your day!

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Ingela’s Tea Tin set for Omm Design

Thanks lovely Ruth :)

Charlotte x