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 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?!
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 :)
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 :)
During the summer you will get a few guest blogs by our amazing ladies at the shops. Yesterday we took on a new brand to us, and this is by two local mums. As you know we are strictly Scandi focused! This is the first time (and probably the only) I have ever bent that rule and I do that only because I believe in this product so much and I really feel passionate about the Brug. Rachael has written a wonderful blog about the Brug and please do pop in and try it out for yourself, I am taking one with me to Sweden for the summer! Charlotte x
Hello lovely Spektakular blog readers, my name is Rachael and I can be found in Lilla most Friday’s and Sunday’s.
We have so many amazing products between the two shops but I wanted to take a minute to introduce you to one of the very newest, the Brug from Wunderlife.
As a mum to a VERY active toddler, I am always looking for products that will make things that little bit easier, saving me time and allowing me to concentrate on the more important things in life!
The Brug is a fantastic product designed here in Edinburgh by the lovely ladies from Wunderlife, with exactly this ethos in mind.
What is a ‘Brug’? I hear you cry?
Well… it’s a shoulder bag that transforms into a rug!
The Brug is water resistant, lightweight, machine washable and folds away into a neat pouch when not in use.
A day at the beach or the park? It’s perfect to stow all your kit; chuck it all on the Brug, pull the draw strings, fasten the buckle and zip, and you’re off. The long straps allow the Brug to be worn on the shoulder or across the body, keeping both hands free, and even fits nicely across the buggy handle. Once you’re there, it’s super quick and easy to unpack, and with the Brug laid out, you have a base for the day.
Ideal for travelling, holidays and camping too, the possibilities are endless!
But it’s not just for outdoors, the Brug is perfect for use in at home too. What better way to contain the Lego, or even the PlusPlus, on a visit to grannie’s? Or just a handy way to clear way the toys once the little ones are in bed and reclaim your living room.
Personally, I love that the Brug is machine washable. As someone who only has to look at a drink to spill it, and with two messy men in my life (Husband and Toddler), being able to stick the Brug in the washing machine is perfect!
Come along to Lilla, to find out more about the Brug. Touch it, try it out and you might just love it as much as we do!
It is time, once again for our annual Summer Sale. As you are well aware this is a clearance and when it is gone it is gone. There are lovely designs here that has been discontinued by the supplier, previous seasonal stock, brands we have decided to part away from and so on.
Sharpen your elbows because there is some good stuff in this years sale.
This is the only time of the year I buy things for myself. Designs I love but have not bought since I think oh well I can buy it next time they come back in…but now this is it!
There will be a lot by Swedish Sagaform this year since they have refreshed their range and some old favourites have been discontinued. Sadly we also said goodbye to Cult Design earlier this year so everything by Cult will be reduced.
All table runners by stunning Swedish Linum as well as previous season cushion covers, we will also say good bye to the colourful Candy bowls and tealight holders.
Having a clearance like this gives us lots of space and great opportunity to fill up the shelves with new seasonal stock, new exciting brands and so on.
Finally we have open our second shop. We are delighted to welcome you to Lilla.
(Lilla is the Swedish word for Little)
Lilla is located two doors up the road at number 15 Colinton Road (just the other side of our lovely Spanish neighbours). Why did we open so near? Well sometimes we get opportunities in life that we really should take and this was one of them, and frankly it is great, I nip in and out between these shops in seconds. Don’t even want to think how much time I would be spending driving between shops (and we all know how fantastic Edinburgh traffic is). We were offered this premises and we were thinking what on earth are we going to do with two shops next to each other. And that was the start of the idea behind Lilla. We always had a small selection of Children’s designs in Spektakulär but lately that section has grown and we saw more and more great products and brands that we knew we could sell if we had the space. Customers have been asking about a broader selection so not just babies, and to be quite frank I did feel it was a bit neglected! As parents ourselves we do know that our children do come first and since Stina started P1, well hello party hell. And personally I am so sick and tired of the mainstream rubbish that you can get from the big supermarkets. We thought we could offer something better.
Last Saturday we finally open the doors to our new shop and if you have been walking by you have seen us working away. The Wednesday night before opening all my wonderful staff came in to start the set up and it was a super night. These happy animal and party sequin masks by Danish Rice, well apparently not just for children :).
From now on you will see Zuzanna, Kirsty, Joanne and Ruth at Spektakulär and at Lilla you will find Anna, Emma, Rachael and Ruth. Me well I will just float about ;) No no I will now try to get a bit more organised (keep ignoring all that paperwork is not making anyone happy). You will find me in one of the shops every Saturday and half days during the week.
We are now in the process of clearing Spektakulär of all the children’s designs including all the Moomins. We do know the Moomins are not just for children but we do believe that they will be best together with the books which are now located at Lilla. By clearing Spektakulär from all the children’s designs we are gaining lots more space and we are excited. Already this week we notice a huge change at Spektakulär. It is more grown-up, tidy and have a great feel. Which we are all very pleased with.
Sadly it did take us a bit longer to open than expected, I kind of forgot how much time and energy it takes to open a shop. I did kind of blamed the last one on being pregnant. Well if we ever open a third shop I might believe I will be more organised (hmm there is always hoping).
Last we like to thank you all for you kind words and your excitement and support regarding the opening of Lilla. Thank you! I do love our little chats in the shop! Sometimes it does feel very personal and I enjoy that from the bottom of my heart. We would not be able to do this if we did not have you to support and believe in us so thank you.
I am not a hard core liquorice fan, I do enjoy it I mean I am Swedish after all (it runs in my veins) but when I am home in Sweden it is not what I need to fill my suitcase with (no then I fill it with chocolate and bread). So when I came across Danish Johan Bulow liquorice I did not have massive expectations but wow. You know when you put something in your mouth and it is just a pure pleasure experience, like a smell or flavour from childhood and you get all warm and happy inside. That is what happen to me! Zuzanna’s friend once said Johan Bulow is the king of liquorice, she is not wrong! Even Richard who is not that keen on liquorice enjoyed Lakrids (unless he is just pretending to keep me happy).
You just have to try it for yourself! I have a couple of favourites, first I am a coffee drinker and I tried the Dark chocolate and Coffee covered liquorice, oh hello that one I enjoyed a lot! But also the freshness of the White and Passion Fruit chocolate covered is stunning! However the Pink LOVE, gosh taste bud heaven and it is totally true what says on the box “With these flavour-packed mouthfuls, you get to experience a broad variety of taste sensations. First the intriguing taste of raspberry, followed by the intensity of dark chocolate, and then – just when you thought the ride was over – the tickling heat of Habanero chilli liquorice swirls around your taste buds” my mouth just exploded in flavours, wow!
They have four chocolate covered flavours which seems to be main flavours
A. Chocolate Covered Soft Liquorice (Belgian Milk Chocolate)
B. White Chocolate and Passion Fruit Covered Sweet Liquorice
C. Dark and Coffee Chocolate Covered Sweet Liquorice
D. Roasted Almond Coated in Belgian Milk Chocolate and Raw Liquorice Powder
As well as the pure liquorice sweets (no covers)
1. Sweet Liquorice: the one and only sweet liquorice you will ever need
2. Salty Liquorice: this is the true love for any Salty Liquorice fans out there
3. Red Liquorice: their answer to the american version, I would say it is better
4. Habanero Chilli Liquorice: the spicy one (sadly not in stock just yet)
5. Salty Chilli Cranberry Liquorice: created after request by the public (sadly not in stock just yet)
No 1. Sweet Liquorice
No. 2 Salty Liquorice
No. 3 Red Liquorice
As you are aware I do enjoy baking but I have never tried baking with liquorice. Seen recipes for years but since it is not as common as finding good quality liquorice here in the UK as back home I have just not done it. But now is the time for me to give it a go since we also stock the Raw Liquorice Powder .
On Lakrids website are some pretty amazing recipes. Think I should give these chocolate chip and liquorice a go, but the ice cream and oh wow even some brown bread with liquorice…oh my baking fingers are starting to itch!
Have I tempted you yet?
How about these lovely ones. Lakrids seem to introduce a few limited edition flavours now and then, for example I was given the Salty Caramel Chocolate covered liquorice for Christmas, that went rather quickly. For Easter they have a Mint edition (I thought I ordered it but must have missed it, sorry). Last summer was a Elderflower, oh I hope they will bring that one back.
Let me introduce you to the LOVE flavours. Two outstanding and simply lovely flavours that is good for all year around. Does not need to be for Valentine’s. We all need love now and then, so why not treat your mum this Mother’s Day or instead of an Easter Egg from the supermarket. new house gift, get well soon, the little extra to a wedding gift oh you name it. We all need love and for some it is an easy way to say it with chocolate so why not with chocolate and liquorice?!
Love Pink: Raspberry and Dark Chocolate covering a hot Chilli Liquorice (taste bud heaven)
Love Cerise: Blackcurrant infused White Chocolate covering soft Liquorice (very fresh and pleasant taste, perfect with a cup of tea)
I am not sure how I will be able to stay away from these. Selling things you love to eat is really hard. You just like to take another one and another one…so addictive! Self discipline Charlotte!!! On the other hand, I would not sell anything I did not love!