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.

14947394_687807784702902_3679480004385215887_n
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

 

Advertisements

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

Welcome Autumn!

So much is happening at the moment and I must admit I struggle to keep up! So sadly the blog is what takes the worst hit. Not blogged for some time, I do apologise!

Now where do I begin, well first our beloved Spektakulär turned six years last Sunday. Six years, been six years of lots of emotions but what a fantastic learning curve. Also six years ago our first baby girl arrived and then as you know little sister two and a half year later. Yes it is a challenge to juggle family and business life but sometimes I have to remind myself how much the girls enjoy spending time in the shops and also I personally believe we teach them lots of life and social skills by being  part of our business and also chatting to customers. I think Stina’s favourite thing is the scanner, to scan products through the till and make that beeping noise. She just loves it. So be prepared next time you are in and find her behind the till ready with the scanner.

We spent the summer in Sweden as always. Am glad I have the most fantastic staff who love and look after the shop, now both shops, so well that I can go abroad and not worry. As well as Sweden we have also visited other beautiful locations in Europe. But now we are back to the so called routine life. Breakfast club, school, nursery, after school activities and oh hello work. Richard is working his normal day job and then trying to keep up with all the enjoyable paperwork, I think we have most of it under control. But now the really hectic but the most fun bit of being a small shop owner, Christmas preparations. Oh there is nothing better I think than to arrive early to the shop on a dull dark morning in November and all the Christmas lights are lit. It is just so cosy and it brightens up the day.

First, yes Spektakulär has looked a bit bare perhaps but fear not new lovely designs are on its way. Richard and I spent a weekend in London (yeah during the heatwave, it was great) and went to Top Drawer which is a lovely relaxed yet very stylish trade fair. Most of my UK agents and distributors have a stand there. Only problem is that I chat chat chat, these people have after six years become friends and you just need to catch up and gossip and of course see any new designs. This time I placed lots of orders at the fair and they are starting to arrive. At Spektakulär beautiful Ekelund arrived on Monday (oh we love). At Lilla, we are delighted to welcome a new reflector supplier and what a funky brand Firefly is. I really can not make up my mind which ones I love the most. The burger and the roller skate oh and the bolt… You just have to pop in to have a look for your self. Guess what Rachael just emailed me, Linum and Bosign has arrived, a new stunning and stylish jewellery brand (but I need to sort out the prices because I was not expecting it in just yet) which will go on display this weekend. There is one more delivery due this afternoon and I am pretty sure it is from Swedish Pappelina.

So great news, the shops are starting to fill up again and if you are happen to swing by during the next few days it will probably look a bit different from last weekend :)

So just a quick blog but hey at least a finished one (have about 30 drafts since this Summer). Have a great day. I know Rachael at Spektakulär will :)

Charlotte x

A day at the beach…well more like five minutes

Staying at my sisters house in Trollhättan at the moment. Only 10-15 min drive from her house is her summer house. I will tell you about Swede’s and their summerhouse another time (we had one as a child, lots of happy childhood memories). Anyhow, my sister is renovating it at the moment so full house, our brother and some of my sisters friends are around this weekend which is so lovely. Full house is good for your soul now and then I think. My girls and I was not sure what to do, after a lazy morning eating breakfast out in the sun most of the grown ups headed to the summer house and so did we, however two minutes drive from summer house is a lovely little beach. So we made a little detour. They are called Badplats in Swedish, an area where you can go for a swim and play, normally with a cafe selling you an ice cream, needed coffee or sticky buns (which the wasps love). So we stopped here and the girls were so delighted. Stina just love go in the water. But from the house to the badplats something happen to the weather, the sun went and it was really windy. Luckily it was not that cold in the air, just a bit dark. We also had the beach all to ourselves, hmm a sign of not a perfect day at the beach perhaps.

wp-1468783337527.jpg
Brug is following us everywhere

Less than a month ago we took on a new brand to Lilla. The Brug is super, I am so delighted with this bag/rug. Easy to pack and carry with us. Today it was my beach bag and we took it for a test round.

wp-1468783373043.jpg
Lets test the water first
wp-1468783347195.jpg
Actually not that cold

Just love how high Lovisa pulled her skirt. She was not sure about this whole thing. And did not help big sister wanted to splash and run in the water either.

wp-1468783320253.jpg
Sand and waves are exciting
wp-1468770599089.jpg
Hmm we might as well just change

Stina was just so excited, since the weather has not been that great, this was the first time we went to the beach this year. Last year Lovisa was not interested at all and I struggled to keep them both happy. Stina out in the water, Lovisa the other way or me carrying her while Stina wanted further and further out.

wp-1468770578309.jpg
Changed and ready for a dip

Stina could have stayed in the water for hours, she just screeched with joy every time a wave came , Lovisa not so much. I carried her most of the time, she laughed a lot at silly sister, but was not keen to be in the water. Then dark clouds appeared, got them dried and warm, we made it in under a tree just before a shower.

wp-1468770563086.jpg
The sky got dark and we packed up swiftly

Delighted with the Brug, hardly brought any sand with us home. Nothing extra in the car. Gone are the days with a wet towel covered in sand in a plastic bag leaving sand everywhere. Nope for my first proper testing round I could not be more pleased!

wp-1468769625902.jpg
Just adore these capes

And of course, check out these capes by Danish The Organic Company. We stock a lot of OC at both shops and I bought these for the girls and I am delighted, so soft and cosy. And while getting ready on the beach it was very comfy to stay warm under a nice big towel.

wp-1468769608065.jpg
Come on lets go back to the car

Plus they look rather cute in their capes. We can easily order these in for Lilla if you would like one for your little one as well.

Tomorrow Richard arrives and we have another 12 days in Sweden before we head to Copenhagen for a few nights and then back to Edinburgh. I am just hoping the weather will pick up and that Richard can hang with Lovisa and I can take Stina for a proper swim in the lake.

Have a super summers day

Charlotte x

IRIS lights

Oh the love we get for the Iris Lights are truly amazing, and to be frank I am not surprised – they are so beautiful. The colour combinations are stylish and well thought through and we love them all. I just can not work out which one I like the most.

Now I am working my way through some orders during the summer while I am home. Really nice to see things in real life and in a Swedish shop. Iris is one of the first ones to place. We have a few of the lights already on order but please feel free to have a browse though and contact us if you like to order one.

We stock two sizes, 25 light sling and a 35 light sling, I personally just love to hang the straight down from the ceiling on a wall as a feature. It really creates a cosy feel. Which I am all about, a homely home is the most welcome feature you can give your own home.

I am just checking to see if Iris close for the summer, it is very common in Scandinavia that for at least two weeks the warehouses and offices close down, used to be all of July but now these days about two weeks. I have gotten lots of reminders already. As soon as I know I will place this order.

But for now here is some stylish inspirations and I just wish I had a space for them all at my own house.

Have super day

Charlotte x IRIS_Dining10968340_487535838053795_4340254615178619829_n10952086_509576229183089_4101901849523194586_n10885571_468823719925007_2394260392398554842_n10517507_498189860321726_8340601275076307146_n10429290_484945658312813_6909242265491850899_n10341411_380519478755432_4704790327836010966_n1947780_495505797256799_6529552570194857748_n1653633_433474293459950_1594299083378435356_n18119_514123378728374_241048348202164413_nspring

Glad Påsk – Happy Easter

We like to wish you a wonderful Easter. I am pretty sure you are all looking forward to a little break. Time of the year to relax and welcome Spring and of course stuff your face with chocolate. Now if you like to avoid the supermarket mass-produced Easter Eggs, why not pop in to us instead? We have wonderful luxury LAKRIDS (Danish liquorice) and yesterday Alex at Nordic Affär told me a huge box of amazing DUMLE had arrived! So Zuzanna has prepared lovely Moomin mugs filled with Dumle. Now you can enjoy one of my favourite sweets Dumle (Soft toffee covered with milk chocolate) and who does not love a beautiful Moomin enamel mug from Finish Muurla!?!?!! A super gift!!!

 

Easter_Moomin_HappyEaster-e1458560669955.jpg
Happy Easter everyone

During the Easter period we are delighted to let you know we are open as usual…no need to panic!!! Zuzanna is kindly covering for me on Saturday so we can head north to the grandparents.

Easter_Moomin_MoominpappaMoominmammaEaster-e1458560707239.jpg
Moominpappa and Moominmamma

Since this is our first school year I see holidays from a different angle and yes this break is needed. Stina is tired!!! And I am sick and tired of her tears and whining! So a week at grandparents for them is well needed (for all of us).  I am sure that we are going to paint eggs and have an Easter Egg hunt in the grandparents garden which will be nice. While in Sweden I am positive Swedish grandma (mormor) is off to Blåkulla on her broomstick (sorry mum for calling you a witch, but lets face it, according to yourself and Swedish traditions you truly are one;)).

Easter_Moomin_Snufkin-e1458560722138.jpg
Snufkin
Easter_Moomin_MoominAndMymblePaintingEasterEgg-e1458560693889.jpg
Easter Egg painting

 

A Saturday treat perhaps

Yesterday was a perfect day to stay at home and do some baking. Stina looked out in the morning while we were getting ready for the school run and said “I am not going out in that!!!!” yeah I felt the same but off we went. Nice to have a day at home with the girls during the afternoon and of course a perfect day for baking.

A few years ago my aunty had made some beautiful bakes and this was one of them. Six months later or so it popped up on my Instagram feed, I do follow quite a few wonderful bakers. So I gave it a go and yes it sure is a winner.

A few Swedish names are kladdkaka med falsk toscatopping, chokladkaka med kokostopping. A chocolate base with a caramelised coconut topping. Yes it works beautifully together and it is rather addictive, one piece is not enough, ten is too many (trust me on that one).

As you know I bake mostly Swedish bakes and this is one of those so let me do a quick converter thingy.

1 dl is 1 deciliter which is 100 mililitre (100 ml). I hope that works out ok for you.

1 dl = 100 ml

Chocolate Base

  • 175 gram soft salted butter (please go for good quality butter)
  • 3 dl caster sugar
  • 1.5 dl cocoa powder
  • 0.5 dl golden syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 1.5 dl plain flour

Coconut Topping

  • 75 gram butter
  • 1.5 dl golden syrup
  • dash of milk or cream
  • 3 dl caster sugar
  • 200 gram desiccated coconut

Now time to bake…

  1. Heat oven to 175 degrees
  2. Mix the butter and the sugar fluffy
  3. Add cacao powder and golden syrup
  4. Add eggs, one by one (one egg, mix, next egg… you get the point)
  5. Fold in the plain flour
  6. Baking paper in a oven tray (needs edges and needs to be a bit bigger, one you would use for a traybake)
  7. Bake in the middle of the oven, recipe said 30 min I had it in for 20 min and it was a bit over done. Test with a stick and it should still be a bit gooey in the middle.
  8. Let the cake cool down a bit

Time for the topping

  1. Melt butter, sugar, milk and syrap.
  2. Let it boil for about 5 min
  3. Add coconut and let boil for a minute
  4. Add on top of cake
  5. Back in the oven for about 10 min or until topping starting to get a bit of colour.

Cut up in suitable slices and enjoy.

2016-01-29_22.30.35.jpg
Soft chocolate base with caramelised coconut topping

 

Charlotte x