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

 

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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

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.

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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.

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Lets test the water first
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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.

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Sand and waves are exciting
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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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

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!!!

 

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.

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;)).

 

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.

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Soft chocolate base with caramelised coconut topping

 

Charlotte x

 

 

 

Welcome AVEVA!

Before Christmas we introduce a few new brands to the shop and Aveva was one of them. And wow just wow your response to Aveva was so fantastic that we had to do an emergency top up order just before Christmas and I think I need to place another one very soon again which is the best feedback you can get when introducing a new brand!

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Wool Trivets in Warm Red Tones
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Love the grey and yellow combination
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Spring Greens…

Swedish Aveva is modern and playful design company who focus on sustainable ideas and material. Working with wool and wood is their trademark and most of their designs are produced in Scandinavia as well as in parts of the world where hand crafting traditions is still alive.

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For me personally Aveva brings happy, colourful designs to your home. I just hanged up some of their garlands over the girls beds at home and they love them and so do I. Nothing makes a home happier than colour, it brings so much joy! I am so delighted to see the response for Aveva and we will happily introduce more of their designs during the Spring here at Spektakulär!

Enjoy

Charlotte x

Middle of January

How did that happen? And I just noticed I have not blogged anything since Christmas…oh dear!

Well I got lots of news, well maybe not news but the latest! First of all I like to say a massive thank you to all of you who supported us this (well 2015) Christmas. You are amazing and we are ever so grateful for your support to your local shops and of course to us!

After Christmas I just took a little break and it took me some time to recover. I must admit I have struggled this Autumn. After our first P1 child we changed my rota around and I am now working four half days (and every Saturday at the shop), then rush to nursery and the off to school pick up. It is great to be able to collect my five year old every day. But for some reason I feel like I never finish a project. So much paperwork and emails I am supposed to deal with and that horrible feeling that you can not keep up is quite hard to deal with. Feel that my organising skills should come handy but they seem to have left me at the over this Christmas. Anyway after Christmas we just took some time off and relaxed and spent a few days with grandparents in Aberdeen.

Now we are back to some sort of routine life again. Little girl did her last day at tweenies room yesterday at her nursery and is now moving in to big room. A bit more emotional than I thought. She is not so little anymore… oh the joy of parenthood!

Shop wise, well there is a little Christmas Clearance Sale taking place, will last until end of January, a great opportunity to sneak in a few Scandi goodies before next Christmas (I know but some people already started their shopping). Richard and I went to Top Drawer in London for two days and met some of our amazing UK suppliers and agents and saw lots of fantastic and stunning Spring collections as well as some new brands we would love to introduce to the shop.

 

 

Yesterday Zuzanna managed to clear the middle table in the shop and it is now gone…oh the SPACE!!! And we also put down the most amazing Pappelina display rug. It is one of their biggest size and now you can see it at the shop and walk on it and get an proper idea how fantastic these rugs are. I have got the new Spring 2016 catalogue and I am looking forward to start place my orders for this Spring. You will see lots of joyful designs from Sagaform, Broste Copenhagen, Pappelina, Linum, Spira, Aveva, Bosign, Muurla, Mirins plus lots more as well as new brands. But first we shall enjoy the dreadful stock take and make sure the shop is nice and tidy before new stock start arrives.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, do pop in to the shop and grab a bargain in the sales.

Charlotte x