Community LOVE

Walking to work on a Saturday morning and getting a phone call that tells you your shop has been broken in to is not a nice experience. There are a lot of things going through your head. I need to call the police, which number to use, insurance, landlord or not, get a hold of Richard, knowing his bloody phone is not working as it should. What is the damage, and as we were closing one shop this weekend it was basically empty so am thinking it is probably ok. Trying to stay positive with 25 minutes still to walk. But then you get the second phone call from the actual police telling you it is the other shop, the one that is jammed packed with fab designs. The police were waiting for me and they were so lovely and supportive. A person was really determent to make it in and he did but it made such a mess. The safe was stolen but it was basically empty (wish I could have seen his face when he open it) but it is the mess that is left behind. And the brick!

My shop is located on a busy side street with fantastic neighbours and the lovely Bia Bistot gave me contacts to phone, cake and coffee (a lot of coffee). A huge recommendation to Comely Bank Glazing who turned up within a couple of hours and replaced the window. As it was a Saturday our girls were dancing. A parent collected Stina while Lovisa and Richard came to get me and we all went home instead of hanging around a cold and broken shop. You go through a lot of emotions. I personally believe having your home broken into is worse, or a fire, it could have been so much worse.

But I felt really deflated when this happened and you go through a lot of emotions in one go. So I vented my frustration on social media. I needed to let people know we were closed but might have also just gone blaaaahhhhh.

Within seconds the love and the messages that flooded in, I could not believe it. My Instagram was filling up and so many private messages. I do not have the FB app on my phone so when I logged in I was in tears. So many people offered help and that is something I would struggle to ask for. But wow, friends, staff and fellow shop owners came in and helped me clean yesterday. Friends offered with playdates for the girls. My post was shared in local media and on a large local FB group. The community has sent us so much love and as I posted in one of my posts, one person knocked me down but hundreds pulled me up! You did! So thank you!

Lets help each other out, be nice and be kind to each other. That is what a great community is about and wow have we received some love this weekend. You helped me by showering me, my shop, my staff and my family with love. But you know what else you can do? You can help by support your little local shops, the independent cafes, the mum that works from the kitchen table setting up her own business. Pop in and even by just buying a £2.50 card will help. Log out from the amazon account and give the little ones some love instead. Head over to Bruntsfield or any fab area you feel it is time you visit (take the bus) and go for a wander. We all do need your support to survive! So lets all work together!

We are back up and running again and we are working on some great new ideas and will redo our shop ready for a busy summer. And yes of course we used the brick that was left for our new window display. Is it yours?

Is this your brick?
Please pop in to claim your prize*

*prize may include a mild duffing up and/or prison

** no cash equivalent as you’ve already had that

If you have any information about this incident, please contact the police via 101. Alternatively, an anonymous report can be made to the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Charlotte xxx

Glad Påsk!

School holidays – yay!! Long lies, chilling out, late breakfasts, hours of lounging ahead. Oh sorry, forgot, we have kids, scrap all that – we can but dream. Hope you all have some nice plans though even if it’s only doing the same stuff but in a different location – we all deserve a bit of a break from the everyday.

So, we know how we spend Easter – rolling eggs, eating chocolate, separating scrapping siblings, but how do the Swedish do it? Well, like most things they do it with great enthusiasm, style and a dash of witchcraft.

It would be a rare Easter gathering that didn’t involve some egg painting. This ancient tradition brings the happy colours of spring to the Swede’s Easter table and the eggs are then gathered together and used as a centerpiece. They are often later hung from trees or birch twigs with brightly coloured feathers and some are maybe scattered round the garden as an Easter hunt.

Girls Decorating the Påskris with mormor (Swedish Grandma)
Påskpyssel Easter Decorations with the cousins

A traditional Easter lunch is likely to consist of different varieties of pickled herring, cured salmon and Jansson’s Temptation (potato, onion and pickled anchovies baked in cream). The table is often laid like a traditional smörgåsbord. Spiced schnapps is also a feature of the Easter table. At dinner, people eat roast lamb with potato gratin and asparagus, or some other suitable side dish.

Påsklunch
Swedish Påsklunch being prepared
Family Påsklunch in Sweden

Just like here in the UK, Swedish Easter is filled with candy, chocolates, and toffee, delivered to the kids in large brightly colored påskägg – eggshells of cardboard or plastic – the bigger, the better. Every year Swedish kids are high as kites from skärtorsdag until late on påskafton, when the påskägg has been emptied.

Easter Treat

My favourite Swedish tradition is the Easter Witches. On skärtorsdag, Maundy Thursday, modern Swedish children dress up as påskkärringar (Easter hags) paint their faces, carry a broom and knock on neighbor’s doors for treats, much like American children do at Halloween.

The tradition is said to come from the old belief that witches would fly to a German mountain the Thursday before Easter to cavort with Satan. On their way back, Swedes would light fires to scare them away, a practice honored today by the bonfires and fireworks across the land in the days leading up to Sunday.

So, there you have a not in any way complete, potted history of how our own #superswede Charlotte would be spending her holidays if she weren’t here. Have a lovely one wherever you are…

Ruth x

All images are from a Swedish family holiday 2017

Rice Kids Event

We are delighted to announce the first of hopefully many fun events at Spektakulär! Rice is one of our best sellers – there can’t be many of you that don’t have one or two of their bright, happy melamine pieces in your home somewhere and they are a constant seller for us.

I am always trying to persuade Charlotte to open a Riceteria – a colourful and funky cafe that uses and sells Rice products but within a super cool cafe environment – cake, coffee, c’mon! Anyway, I digress (again I know – focus Watt.)

On Friday 5th April we are holding a kids event where your tiny ones can come and decorate a rice cup with an exciting selection of sticky, glittery things then take it home and use it as a flowerpot, pen holder or just as a very splendid table decoration. Not only do they get to have a bash at being creative, you get cake and we do all the clearing up – what’s not to love.

There are 3 time slots – 11am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm and tickets are £3. It will probably be fine for you to drop in but if you book we’ll know how much baking to do!

Hope to see you there xx

Make Your Mother’s Day

When I was growing up we didn’t do Mother’s Day in our house. Of course my brother and I brought home the tat we were forced to make at school – enjoyable only for the break it gave us from Mr Woolridge and his fury at our inability to recite the 7 times table. Paper daffs, cardboard rosettes, mum figures made from loo roll inners – year after year of shoddily constructed offerings. Here you go mum, you’re welcome.

As we got older though we found that mum didn’t want Mother’s Day presents or even cards. She thought that if you needed to be told once a year to appreciate all her hard work, her unconditional love and the patience that we gave a daily battering to, then something was drastically wrong. So we stopped. No cards. No presents. No breakfast in bed. We thought nothing of it, that’s how it was. I know, I know.

Then I became a mum. Ellie was 9 months old on my first Mother’s Day. ‘She’ somehow forgot go to the shop and get me my first Mother’s Day card. First Mother’s Day – yep, I’ll say it again. First. Bit special. Y’know. I’m over it now obviously (so not) but from that year onwards, I bought my amazing mum cards and presents whether she wanted them or not. Bit of free advice here, err on the side of caution and get down those shops and maybe not just when the card shop tells you it’s time to think of her.

So, what to buy? You could go down the traditional flower route but we don’t sell flowers and this blog isn’t for nothing you know – it’s to tell you of all the wonderful gifts we have in Spektakulär Home and Spektakulär Gifts that are perfect for the wonderful mum in your life. Oh, where to start?!

Personally, feed me Lakrids Liquorice and you are guaranteed to be my favourite child (listening you two?) In 2007 the first Lakrids by Johan Bülow shop opened in Svaneke. The idea was to cook the liquorice in the shop, making sure that you could smell it in a radius of 100 meters. It worked. Everything was sold out within two hours. The last customer even bought the sample bowl on the counter. It is AMAZING!

Image by Lakrids By Johan Bulow

For lovers of natural body and skin care – we stock the luxurious and almost edible smelling range from Mirins Copenhagen. The company is one of our most loved and offers bath and body care products, using only natural and organic ingredients. All of their products are free of preservatives, free of synthetic additives and free of artificial perfumes.

All products are developed based on Herbalism and Aromatherapy, to enhance the mood in addition to pampering the body. Just gorgeous.

Image by Mirins Copenhagen

For something a bit different we have our Spira faces bags. We love these so much – the cushion range has long been one of our best sellers so we were delighted when they started producing matching bags. If you can find one that looks like your mum then you are totally aceing Mother’s Day and if not just buy her the Frank one – we all love a bearded, tattooed sailor (what, just me?)

Image by Spira Of Sweden

I have blogged about Lindform before but to save you the bother of trawling back through, let me describe this amazing brand again.
The inspiration for Lindform vases comes from Scandinavian nature with its organic tones and simple shapes. The company is a Swedish family business started on a small scale in 2007. They have since then grown to be a brand that is synonymous with Scandinavian design and quality. Each piece goes through several hand made processes resulting in wonderfully tactile, contemporary designs. Perfect as individual pieces and stunning in a group they have been a great seller for us here in Spektakulär since we introduced them a couple of years ago.

Image by Lindform

So, lots of ideas for you there and we have so many other ranges that would be perfect for making her day. Absolutely no excuse this year you lot…

Ruth xx

p.s. I spend a ridiculous length of time stressing over the apostrophe in Mother’s Day – is it your mother’s day or the day for mothers? I’d go the latter to celebrate all mums but gave in to majority rule #virgo x

Walk All Over Cancer

After months of sitting still and eating more rubbish than ever my body decided it did not like me very much anymore and my mind was all over the place (not in a good place)! After we came back from Sweden I started to walk again and saw the add for Cancer Research #walkallovercancer. I knew straight away this was something I wanted to do, good for myself (as I know my mind is in a much happier place when I exercise) and do good for someone else!!

#walkallovercancer is a way to help raise money towards Cancer Research and together we will beat Cancer. Every day throughout March I will walk at least 10000 steps a day. Some days this will be easier than others. Please support me by donate here to my fundraising page. We will also create some boxes in the shops so please pop your spare change in there and best of all 30th March (day before Mother’s Day) we are having a BAKE SALE in our HOME shop at number 15 Colinton Road. So please save the date and join us then for homemade Swedish treats!

This will be a true challenge for me as I know myself and I am one LAZY lady and I give up so easily. It will also be a challenge for my family as I am making them walk with me, but also a fantastic opportunity to explore the beautiful Edinburgh and also to catch up with friends. Yesterday I walked for an hour with a friend while our daughters were at dancing and we walked around Craighlockhart Nature Park. Today the family walked (girls scooted) from Craigleith to Davidsons Mains via the bicycle path and we visited the grounds of the stunning Lauriston Castle. These are places I drive past but never explore, Edinburgh truly is stunning and I think this will be a month of me really getting to know this city I have now called my home for the last eleven years.

Even if you can not support me with money please do support me by follow me on our Instagram stories I will need all the encouragement I can get and please do pop in to the shops and ask me how am getting on!

Charlotte xxx

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

 

 

Home sweet home…

So week one past just like that and we have done NOTHING!

Maybe that is a good thing! Going home was well needed after the last few weeks in the UK. As a Swede and a small business owner I took this whole brexit thing very hard. So going home has given me lots of hope and also some ideas how our business will survive this (well hopefully).

 

Anyhow! Normally we go to Sweden for a few weeks since I really like the girls to work on their Swedish, I am really bad at speaking Swedish to them…oh well we are getting there! So the first two weeks it is just the girls and myself then Richard will join us as well. We have booked in to see a few of our amazing suppliers as well as lovely friends when he arrives which will be great. But at the moment we are visiting lovely local independent shops full of designs I personally love, exploring the forest behind my mums house and eating way too much.

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Hemlighter (Secrets), charming boutique filled of lovely treasures 

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Behind mums house is a forest and they just love exploring 

 

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After a heavy rain storm, out for a slug count…57 I think before they gave up (Yuck)

Sadly the weather is absolutely rubbish here, I can not remember the last time I have seen showers like this, it is cold, wet, dark, rather dull to be honest (it’s very disappointing). We try to go out for some walks when the worst is over and have been out picking blueberries and wild raspberries in the forest. Buying blueberries in the shop in UK, well for me they are not blueberries, these ones we pick our self, we got purple fingers (Lovisa was purple all around her mouth) and they are really colourful and tasty. Also found lots of raspberries so once again I need to concur my fear of snakes and also tics… oh man I hate those tics. Found one or two on my mums dog and cats…yuck! Even though they are covered in lots of protecting stuff they still get them, guess it does not help there are lots of roe deer here and they are covered in those vicious little horrid unnecessary blood sucking creatures.

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Blueberry picking in the rain

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Super tasty!

Otherwise we just chill, which I think has been very good for Stina, she is tired emotionally after her first year at school.

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Stina with her cousin Emma (Happiness)

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A visit to my grandmother Ulla

So hanging with cousins, visiting family, playing with new friends, me having tons of Fika (yes all my clothing is a bit tighter than a week ago) and so on is rather relaxing. Oh yes and Pizza, no there is no better Pizza in the world than SWEDISH Pizza. Any Swede who says anything else is not a true Swede (I am serious)!

 

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Saturday Sweets, A must in when in Sweden

I hope you are having a nice time as well and that the weather is better than here (however at this moment I am sitting in the sun on the veranda, hope this will last at least one day).

Don’t forget I have wonderful staff who all is looking after both shops while we are at home. At the moment I am not placing any orders but the shops are still full of lovely designs and we are awaiting in a few deliveries so please pop in and find a nice treat or gift. I have notice that the amazing Tulipop is flying out at the moment, surely not back to school already…

And our clearance sale is still going at Spektakulär. Still lots of lovely designs. Please do note that these are designs that will not be reordered again so pop in and grab a bargain.

Charlotte x