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!
As you might be aware I am home in Sweden during the summer (as usual) and while I am away the lovely ladies are looking after the shop and also enjoying blogging a little. Time for lovely Ruth!
Summer holidays – yay!! When I was school age the summer seemed to go on forever and it was ALWAYS hot! Not so much now it would seem – hmm, we definitely need things to keep our little things entertained when the weather isn’t playing ball.
I love Lilla, it’s a place of happiness and has wonderful stock but the company I fell in love with instantly when we were setting up the shop is Oskar and Ellen – they made me squeal slightly with excitement and definitely brought out the silly side of me. Charlotte and I did spend quite some time parading (prancing?) around in the heads and tails dress up kits but what I really love are their imaginative play sets.
Stina dressed up as a shark
Lovisa our little wolf
There is a great range – pirate ship, castle, space rocket, circus (scary-ish clown included!) farm yard, airport, but my favourite has to be the stables. There are 2 booths inside for White Diamond and Black Beauty (or Angelina Jolie and Thunder as my daughter has just renamed them!) and Olivia the stable girl has a grooming brush to keep them in show condition and is obviously quite the rider as she has a first prize rosette. The outside is beautifully embroidered and everything packs away inside the stable so you can take it anywhere.
I would have LOVED this when I was a kid – it’s never too late, you will find me in Lilla throughout the summer, cantering around the shop with Olivia – come and play!!
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.
Since Richard and I had the shop and the girls we sometimes struggle to talk about anything else than the girls or the business…I assume this is common called as life! However sometimes you think of things you did before this life (I mean the last five six years) and I think about our city breaks our just taking the car and go away somewhere for the weekend, and yes I must admit now and than I miss that more chilled life. However our girls are getting bigger and spending a weekend with grandparents is heaven to them and I know the grandparents love spending time with their granddaughters too. So after our summer holiday I got one of those spam/promotional emails from the airline we used flying back to the UK. Affordable tickets to Copenhagen! Well why not, asked the grandparents, asked Zuzanna to cover the shop and asked Richard to take time off work (well that was the tricky one since I liked to keep it as a surprise, sometimes it is good to have the shop to blame on). So Richard’s birthday is at the end of October and I bought the tickets in August, yes I managed to keep it a secret! I think everyone knew but not him and he was delighted when he found out (phew)!
So off we went, it was wet and windy but it did not really matter, we did enjoyed Copenhagen!
Even though we are not supposed to talk about business we do, owning your own business makes it your lifestyle! Owning your own business does not mean you leave work and have other things to focus on, no its always there. You do weird things like when having a coffee at a friends house you check the brand of the cup, small things like that! Anyway yes we did see The Little Mermaid (larger than I remember). Sadly lots of tourist hanging on her and I was not that touristy to do the same. We saw her, said hello and kept walking around the beautiful buildings. Oh I could move to Copenhagen in a flash, such a fantastic city. International, happy and chilled!
Of course we have been in great shops, even said hello to lovely Jane and husband from our new brand Mirins Copenhagen and I am excited to introduce more of her lovely bath and body care products to our shop in the future.
Spent a few hours in a amazing shops looking at New brands, displays and of course all the stunning Christmas Windows! Arrgghhh we need a bigger shop, I really like a great big space to show all the wonderful, functional designs, colour combinations or just inspiring designs… Oh well we shall see what the future holds!!!
Now if you have not been to Copenhagen, just go! It is relaxed and lovely, everyone speaks English (which is great because my Danish is crap). And this weekend Tivoli open its gates to their Christmas fair (which we missed…boooo)
We stayed at a lovely little Boutique hotel very central. SP34, great hotel, great atmosphere, great staff, great breakfast and hello wine hour (oh yes). Tiny let down was the room itself, but we hardly spent anytime there. And if you like a good burger, in connection to the hotel is Cocks and Cows, the burger place to go to! And just down the street is a great independent shop Nordic Nesting, well worth a visit!
Now back to reality, breakfast club and nursery, late nights in front of the computer and yes we are busy at the shop which is so fantastic. Thank you all for supporting us. Not all of our amazing stars are on display yet but we can go through them when you are in. And more fantastic Christmas decorations are arriving daily.
Do I really need to ask people to support their local shops? Why do we need to do it? Do I do it myself? What is the big deal? Can we just not price hunt online or visit the big retail shops? So many questions and of course there are some text book answers and most likely a few hearty messages.
Of course you should support your local shops, if you don’t we would not be here. I think that is the main reason but of course you can see lots of lovely posters why you are support your local shops. Like this one…
I get it, small shops often have a smaller range, prices are not hammered due to competition and parking…oh don’t get me started on the parking around Holy Corner. But I do really love that we have so many shops in this area that are all lovely, different, personal and not to talk about the independent cafes, bistros and restaurants. So why not make a day out of it. Take the bus, meet up with a friend, chat your way though some shops, enjoy a great lunch or fika and then chat through a few other shops. Christmas shopping done and you had a nice day. One of the reasons why we are open on Sundays is because there is free parking and most cafes are open.
Now do I do it myself…come on I am not perfect! And I am a very convenient person and always (well feels like it) on a tight budget. I try the best I can! When I go food shopping, yes I go to a big supermarket and things do end up in the trolley because it is convenient. And with small children I like to get it done very quick and always seem to forget something. This is why Richard does our food shopping. He is great at shopping and only misses to buy things because I did not put them on the list and apparently after all our years together he can still not read my mind (sigh)! But I try to visit my favourite local shops now and then and I have also (since the girls arrived) created a gift box at home with things we pick up in sales, odd shops, Sweden holiday or whenever there is an opportunity. I went though it not that long ago and realised that the girls have enough in there so their Christmas gifts are sorted, will just add a tomte (santa/gnome) for them each since I like to continue my tradition.
I am incredible impressed by you who come in to see us with a list and get your Christmas gifts and treats here and enjoy the shop and a little chat (yes I can be a bit chatty). Thank you! We are still here only because all of you our wonderful customers.
Please try to support your local shops this winter and for the rest of the year. It does help your community and of course us as well. I promise to do my best as well!
For you with American Express cards, don’t forget their Shop Local Campaign starts the 6th December and runs all the way until the 21st December. Last year they did one Saturday and it was a huge success. Shops don’t have to pay to be part of it, just take the card. It encourages people to explore the shops around them and rediscover the places beyond the TV advertising and corporate Christmas. You can come in and do your Christmas shopping with us instead of the big department store and get a £5 credit back from Amex. You can read more on AMEX website. I have already seen a few of my favourite shops is on their list (including our amazing local curry take-away…sorted)
Thank you and happy Christmas shopping, remember to take it easy and enjoy treating your loved ones, it should be fun!