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.
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.
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.
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!
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 :)
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.
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.
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!
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
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 IngelaP 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!
Oh it is time! Yes normally we wait until after Halloween but we do need to be closed for a day so tomorrow it is.
Spektakulär will be CLOSED tomorrow Sunday 30th October (only one day), but fear not Lilla is open as usual and we can hopefully grab a design or two if you are desperate (if we can find it among all the Christmas boxes, ladders, staff and mulled wine of course).
Now this is very exciting because this year I have ordered in quite a few new designs to both shops. We are delighted to introduce Christmas decorations from Stelton and Rosendahl , among other beautiful decorations. I am delighted! Not everything has arrived yet, but maybe that is a good thing because it will be nice to keep changing all the way until Christmas. However our main attraction has arrived and it is our gorgeous lighting. Stars and Advent Candle Bridges are in. So ones more the shop will shine and make everyone smile, just the way we love it! Ohhh I can not wait until Sunday night when we close up and leave the shop all happy (yet exhausted).
However the shop is looking pretty amazing at the moment, so pop in today for a brows before it will turn all Christmassy :)
Good Morning… well it was morning when I started this post!
Oh another lovely Autumn morning, I just love the crisp freshness, you can just tell there is changes in the air. I love Autumn, don’t get me wrong, I have no favourite season. I just love them all and what each of them brings. I do really appreciate having seasons, even though I do not get a lot of snow (miss the snow a lot) in the winter I think we should consider our selves very lucky to live where we live. Remember living in Las Vegas a year and in May the sun went down at 18.00 at night…it just felt so wrong. Sun is not supposed to go down until 22.00 – 23.00 in the end of May. Anyway, I am just happy that Autumn has arrived and even though I am sad to see summer go, yes I had a nice warm summer since I spent it in Sweden (believe it or not). But Autumn brings something else…HYGGE! Hygge is not Swedish, it is a Danish word but we Scandi people all seem to use it and be used to it. It is our way of living. Yes it is getting dark, dull, wet, cold and yucky outside so why not make our indoor life cosy. Enjoy the darkness and create a nice welcoming home instead. A cup of tea in the sofa with a warm wool blanket, candles (scented for you who likes that (not for me)). Time to invest in a few good books or a new box set on netflix. There are lots of ways to enjoy Hygge, but most of all I suggest you enjoy it with your loved ones. So this Autumn I shall try to relax more and hang with my girls. More board games and hot chocolates!
Other news is that both shops are going through some changes at the moment, almost daily we are getting new deliveries and there is a nice vibe in the shops which we all love. As you might have noticed Zuzanna is not around as much and that is because she is off to Uni this year to do her masters in Comics (why don’t you ask her all about it when you see her). But we are delighted to welcome a couple of lovely new ladies who has recently joined us. Our lovely Ruth just turned 50 (I know it is very hard to believe) and we took her out for Birthday drinks and I am so pleased with the team of ladies that now work in both shops, I really noticed how they all got along and enjoyed each others company and I firmly believe that to run a small business and not be the face of it you need to have a great team that support you and that you as a boss support back. I think everyone is happy if we all have a good balance and are friends. However sometimes it is a bit tricky not to be too friendly and more like a boss, daily challenges but we just have to go with the flow. As long as I stay fair and everyone knows what to do I think it is fine. So you wonder what I am doing then since you hardly see me at the shops these days, well I can tell you. I am spending every spare hour I have (other than entertaining our daughters) in front of the laptop organising all the Christmas orders…oh this year is going to be crazy…crazy exciting! Lots of new and exciting brands and also this year I have two shops to fill up. At the moment I am trying my best to get orders and budget to go together. It is tricky to try to get it to work, but I am hopeful it will all be well in the end.
But first lets enjoy a stunning colourful Autumn, blankets from Swedish Klippan has arrived, fresh designs from Pappelina, Nordic cooking books as well as life style books and had two Christmas books in that both sold within a day (hmm). Stylish Danish Sej, an amazing brand using rubber, so black, so stylish, so useful, I love it. Fantastic Iris Hantverk (oh I need to do a blog about Iris Hantverk, what an fantastic brand and the story behind is just super) brings wonderful hand made bath and kitchen designs.
Swedish Linum rugs and cushions. Sagafroms new Oval Oak candle holders (oh yes they are huge). Stunning Danish Sence Copenhagen, new jewellery which we are sodelighted with (oh I need to treat myself), reflectors by Swedish Firefly and lots more.
And good news, I have huge absolutely huge orders that is ready to be shipped from Sweden with santas from Nääsgränsgården and this year you will have two really bright shops in Holy Corner full of advent candle bridges and stars from Swedish Star Trading. This is only two orders of many many orders…you will love spending time at Spektakulär and Lilla this Autumn and Winter :)