Delivery after delivery…

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.

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Iris Hantverks beautiful shaving cup in concrete! The soap smells fantastic! Just one of many great designs by Iris Hantverk.

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 :)

Charlotte x

Formex trend spotting, awards and great ideas…

So am following all these bloggers, instagram, shop owners, suppliers and designers from both amazing Top Drawer and Home in London and Formex in Stockholm. Oh yes I am in shopping mood! Now after we have cleared up the shop from Christmas stock and are working our way through the stock take I am totally ready to do a little make over in the shop. What is on trend…well in Sweden all about organic foods and materials plus a lot of soft neutral colours like soft pinks, lilacs, eucalyptus, greys, mints and so on. The Nordic Neat, Nordic Essence, Nordic Motion and Nordic Folklore. It is more and more common that you find food in interior design shops as well as restaurants starting to look at clever designs and interiors for a new look. To follow a trend can be quite tricky and I admire designers who get it perfectly right and I love when a design really shows the love behind it. Also reading about trends and how to approach them is extremely interesting. One man I admire a lot is Ernst Kirchsteiger and his way of thinking regarding trends is quite healthy. In an interview he mentions that you need to look at trends as the topping in the cake. You need a stable base and a trend should just be the bright red cherry on the top. It sure sounds very close to my own heart and ideas. Do not overdo it…everything does not have to match, it is more about you and your personality than the interior design magazines.

Formex in Sweden is now the biggest meeting place for Nordic interior design. With 850 exhibitors and over 25000 visitors from all over the world. This is the place for a lady like me should be…sadly I never seem to make it! We say it every year and this year we actually started to plan to go in August, because it would be great to see new and exciting Christmas designs. But of course it turns out it will take place the same time Stina starts P1…sigh! Oh well we still have a few months to work out a solution. Formex is the place where you can also make a name. I just read a lovely article about Lina Rickardsson, the founder of Pappelina. Pappelina turns 15 years this year and it is fascinating to see how it all started and how well they are doing all over the world. Plus I like her as person, that always helps.

I watched the Swedish morning news and saw a few bits from the Formex fair. One bit was about what is on trend at the moment and they had chosen to film and show off a brand I adore a lot. Well done Västergården! You got it right, how to mix handmade tableware with organic foods. And I was very delighted to see Gustav Hallen win the Formaidable award for his flask Accent designed for Sagaform. I love flasks and I have tried this and it is superb. The design is a classic 1970’s TV flask, but with a modern twist focusing on the modern kitchen handles and stylish lid. It should be drip free (for the ladies who worry about their tablecloth, or mums like me who seem to spill everywhere), comfortable to pour from and also keep the heat. It is stylish and ergonomically well done! Congratulations we say! And guess what it has arrived! You can buy the happy blue (with blue and purple lids) or the stylish black (with black and lime lids).

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Winner at Formex 2015
Winner at Formex 2015

A flask to me is great. When I was home with Lovisa I poured the left over coffee from the pot in my flask in the morning, headed across town to nursery to drop off Stina, came home an hour later and had a hot cup of coffee. When we have guests over for a fika there is always coffee in the flask, hot and ready for the second cup. So why are flasks not as popular in the UK as in Sweden? Maybe because here it is more common to use a cafetiere or a fancy machine rather than a coffee maker (which I am a big fan of). And the take away culture is rather big here. We have a massive coffee culture in Sweden as well but the take away is not as big as here. You meet your friends at a cafe or at someone’s home instead of grabbing a coffee on the go. As you shold know by now is that we take our FIKA extremely seriously…don’t mess with it…so I wonder if the take away culture will ever break through?!

Had a look through Sagaforms Spring Summer 2015 catalogue and yes we will try out some of there more FUNctional kitchen designs (very clever ideas). More about that later because now it is time to get moving, need to prepare some orders!!!

Have a great day.

Charlotte x