Monday, 8 December 2014

Christmas shopping

SHOP_LOCALIf like me, you are very behind on your Christmas shopping, you might like to check out the following fabulous small Cornish businesses, who sell unique, one-off or simply lovely, unusual gifts. The high street is generally so boring nowadays & the same in every city, so why not have a browse through these websites:

 

 

 

Rocke and Nutter: Homewares, gifts & accessories sourced from Cornwall and further afield. Beautifully designed and unique pieces you often won’t find anywhere else. Their aim is to promote the finest Cornish artists and makers – such as Tom Raffield and Charlotte Jones.

I really love these Nadia Dafri bracelets and these beautiful limited edition illustrations by graphic artist Lisa Claire Stewart.NADIA_JAFRILisa Claire Stewart

Lancaster & Cornish: An online lifestyle, homewares, fabric and haberdashery store based in Cornwall. Inspired by the flora and fauna of the Cornish coastline, their products have a contemporary edge and a strong ethical background.  Everything they sell has organic certification where possible, from fabrics, to trims, to the inks used to print their designs.

These tea towels are gorgeous and the French Knickers sewing kit makes a really unusual gift! TEATOWELSFRENCH_KNICKERSFRENCH_KNICKER_BOX

Atlantic Blankets: A stunning website selling a gorgeous collection of beautiful blankets, fantastic throws and delicious accessories. Inspired by their Cornish surroundings and the amazing coastline of the British Isles, they have searched the countries of the Atlantic seaboard and beyond to create a mix of fabulous woven treats. Blending contemporary design and colour with traditional weaving methods and natural fabrics, their blankets and throws are the perfect complement to any decorative scheme and make ideal gifts for all ages. This Arran style is one of my favourites (I have a couple!) and I really love this Multi spot merino too. Arranmulti_spot_merino_lambswool_throw

Ace Illustrations: A unique collection of lively limited edition prints. Each print is numbered and signed by the artist Angus Crook. They can be personalised too (for free).FERGUSturtle

Wren’s Hearts: Beautifully handcrafted love hearts packed full of hand-picked local Cornish shells. Unique colourful hearts offset against gorgeous grey blue slate. Perfect for any home or garden. HEARTS-1WRENS-HEARTS

Syrup & Salt: Unique, personalised silver bracelets on ribbon – you can have pretty much any message added – I ordered “Love, Life, Wine”! They arrive beautifully packaged too.SYRUP&SALTSYRUP&SALT2

The Buggysnuggle Company: Of course I have to give us a plug! Our hats, blankets & Sofasnuggles make lovely gifts & if you spend over £25 & use code: BLOG15 you can get 15% off between now & 21st December!SOF350-5TOG154-3 CBL345-3I hope you enjoy browsing through these websites & find a little inspiration for your Christmas shopping!

 

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Introducing… Diva’s & Dudes Children’s Boutique in Wick

I’ve only just looked on a map to see where Wick is (geography was never my strong point!), and was surprised to discover it’s way up almost at the top of Scotland! It’s certainly one of our most northerly stockists in the UK! So, I’m guessing shops selling nursery & children’s items are probably quite hard to come by all the way up there, so if you live in the North of Scotland, please pay them a visit & check out their fab window displays! Please read on to find out a little more about Alana and Diva’s & Dudes Children’s Boutique…

DIVAS DUDES_2DIVAS DUDES_1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What made you decide to open your shop?

I have 4 boys and have always struggled to find nice clothing for them especially in the North Of Scotland so decided to take the plunge and fill a gap in the market by opening my own boutique.

What do you like to do if you ever get a chance to relax? Go to the cinema - Favourite Film – Titanic (Me too! A rare treat though!)

If money was no object, what would be the one thing you would do? Travel the world

Now, about your shop:

Name of store: Divas & Dudes Children’s Boutique

Established? 2009

Shop address: 45 High Street, Wick, Caithness, Scotland, KW1 4BP

Telephone: 01955 603355

Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10am-5pm

What brands do you stock?

Mayoral, iDO, Tutto Piccolo, Hatley, Satila, Gymp, Le Chic, Boboli, UBS2, Babystyle Prams & Nursery Furniture, Sophie le Giraffe, Hippychick, Bam Bam, Buggysnuggle.

DIVAS DUDES_3Created with Nokia Smart CamDescribe what makes your shop special?

We are known for our Fabulous Window Displays

Do you have a particular ethos?

Great Customer Service & Free Gift Wrapping Service

 

Pop over & “Like” them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Divas-Dudes-Childrens-Boutique/305511042794591

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Introducing… McCullough’s of Bangor, Northern Ireland

MCCULLOUGHS_SHOPFRONTWe have been supplying McCullough’s for years & years and what lovely people they are! Definitely worth making a detour if you are anywhere near Bangor. Bangor itself was voted the most desirable place to live in Northern Ireland and is just 14 miles east of Belfast & close to George Best Belfast airport. So read on to find out a bit more about this lovely store:

What made you decide to open your shop?

We are a family owned and run store for two generations. (The store was opened by John McCullough in 1961 & is now managed by Jenny & David McCullough).

What do you like to do if you ever get a chance to relax?

As I live in the countryside I love to get out to enjoy a cycle ride in the evening, then come home and relax with my family.

MCCULLOUGHS_BUGGYSNUGGLESFavourite dad joke?

Me: Please may I leave the table? Dad: And where are you going to leave it? (Ha ha! Groan!)

If money was no object, what would be the one thing you would do?

A round the world cruise.

Brands stocked:

Bugaboo, iCandy, Emmaljunga, Joolz, Uppababy, Baby Jogger, Out’n’About, Mutsy, Orbit, Oyster and Silvercross (plus many more, including Buggysnuggle!)

What makes your shop special?

We are a family run business offering a personal service. We also stock more “up-market” products.

DMCCULLOUGHSo you have a particular ethos?

We have a super after sales service. We service all our prams free of charge after 3 months.

 Anything else you’d like to tell people?

We see all of our customers as individuals and pride ourselves on our high level of service.

Shop address: McCullough’s of Bangor, 17-23 Bridge Street, Bangor, Northern Ireland BT20 5AW

Telephone: 028 91 270443

Opening hours: 9.30-5pm

Website: http://mcculloughsbabygoods.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mcculloughsbangor

So make sure you go in & say hello if you’re anywhere near Bangor!

Monday, 29 September 2014

Introducing… Baby Bears in Perth

We’ve been supplying Baby Bears since shortly after they opened 4 years ago, so if you’re near Perth please pop in & say hello, or visit their website!

Baby Bears Logo largeWhat made you decide to open your shop?

We opened our shop when Lorna was on maternity leave with our son Finlay. We noticed that there was a gap in the market in Perth for a baby shop where you could buy things that were a little bit different from the norm. Initially we did not do prams/nursery furniture because there was already a shop in the town doing that but when they shut down last year we started doing some prams (unfortunately our shop is quite small!) and nursery furniture. The shop has now been open for 4 years and is going from strength to strength. When Finlay was 3 Lorna went back to work as Head Textile buyer at The House of Bruar which allowed Gordon to use his experience as Operations Manager (at the same company) to build and grow the Baby Bears website. He has also just started a new business with his best friend which is taking up a lot of time at the moment.

What do you like to do if you ever get a chance to relax?

With a five year old son, 2 businesses to run and a full time job we rarely get any free time but when we do we both enjoy golf. Gordon is also an Aberdeen football fan and is looking forward to taking Finlay to his first match soon. We enjoy nothing better than a night away with a lovely meal – but I think that has only probably happened about 3 times in the last 6 years!

Favourite dad joke?

Tim Vine’s one liners are brilliant and one of our favourites is ‘had to throw the hoover out today – it was just gathering dust!’ – I LOVE this joke!

If money was no object, what would be the one thing you would do?

Apart from the obvious – dream house and luxury holidays – we would love to grow the Baby Bears business. We want to open more shops, expand the website and do a mail order catalogue.

Baby Bears shop<br />Picture by Graeme Hart.<br />Copyright Perthshire Picture Agency<br />Tel: 01738 623350  Mobile: 07990 594431Brands stocked:  

icandy, Oyster, Uppababy, Clair de Lune, Buggysnuggle, Sophie La Girafe, Pink Lining, Bob and Blossom ,Olive and Moss, Piccalilly, Skibz, Jellycat, Big Jigs, Beatrix Potter (to name but a few…)

What makes your shop special?

We try to make sure we stock things that are different to those which can be found in other high street stores. We are always on the lookout for new and exciting products. We take great pride in our presentation – and wrap all purchases nicely so it feels that little bit more special.

Do you have a particular ethos?

Customer service is of the upmost importance to us and we will do whatever we can to help customers. Although we can’t always compete with the big names on price we offer customers the very best value for money we can and we certainly make up for it with our service.

Anything else you’d like to tell people?

We would just like to tell people how important it is to support their local independent stores. Everyone wants to have lovely shops in their town but if people don’t use them they will not be there for long and we really don’t want every high street in Britain to look the same. – Absolutely! Couldn’t agree more!

Shop address: Baby Bears, 260 High Street, PERTH PH1 5QJ

Telephone: 01738 621 913

Opening hours: 10am-5pm Monday-Friday and 10am-5.30pm Saturday (Open Sundays in December)

Website: www.babybears.org.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Baby-Bears/171555036202853?fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/babybearsshop

So make sure you visit Baby Bears if you are in the area & I’m sure they will sort you out with whatever you need for your little ones!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Introducing… Baby Direct in Horsforth, Leeds

BABY_DIRECT_sept14-2We supply lots of lovely independent baby & nursery stores around the UK & in a new series of blog posts I want to introduce you to some of them.

Baby Direct is based on the A65 in Horsforth, Leeds and prides itself in being “Yorkshire’s Premier Baby Store”. Now in their 26th year, they are specialists in every baby product from pushchairs to car seats, from nappies to nursery furniture.

They are well known for their amazing customer service, specialist product knowledge and superb after sales. They have built their business on ensuring customers buy the right products to suit their lifestyle, and have 2 floors stocking everything you could possibly need for your baby from pushchairs to car seats, washable nappies to bibs.

BABY_DIRECT_sept14They stock 100’s of popular brands including Stokke, Bugaboo, Out n About, Silvercross, Joolz and Uppababy, and they also stock lots of natural & eco baby products.

The team at Baby Direct look forward to welcoming you to their store very soon!

Address: 96-98 New Road Side, Horsforth, Leeds LS18 4QB

Tel: 0113 225 0505

Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10am-5pm Sun 11am-4pm

Website: www.baby-direct.com

FB: www.facebook.com/babydirectleeds

Monday, 14 July 2014

Photoshoot

What a way to start the week! 9am this morning 7 babies, 8 buggies, and a huge pile of Buggysnuggles made it down to Tregirls, one of the beautiful local beaches on the Camel Estuary.  PHOTOSHOOT-JUL-14

It started with a bit of light mizzle, then the sun came out (too bright & hot) & then July 14th did a perfect impression of autumn! The wind got up, the sun went in & the temperature was ideal for making the babies want to snuggle up in their Buggysnuggles! PHOTOSHOOT-JUL-14-2

2 and a half hours later, just after we’d called it a wrap, we got caught in a heavy downpour & by the time we were back at the cars everyone was soaked - the rain then stopped as suddenly as it had started! PSL004-4PHOTOSHOOT-JUL-14-3

Thanks to all the fab models (Lowen, Soloman, Connie, Audreah, Stanley, Sophia & Trista) & their lovely mums!

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

That time of year!

This is the time of year for weddings, christenings & parties it seems, & if you’re stuck for an unusual gift idea then look no further!

Cornwall is full of small businesses brimming with ideas & quirky stuff & so here are a few of my favourites and I urge you to read about them – there are some great stories behind the businesses!

SYRUP&SALTSyrup and Salt make fabulous silver bracelets which you can have stamped with any words you like. They make a perfect gift for a christening or birthday and come beautifully packaged.

 

 

 

 

 

WRENS-HEARTSSearch for “Wren’s Hearts” on Facebook to find the home of these gorgeous handmade shell hearts on slate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEASPARKLEI came across Seasparkle on twitter & love how they use sea glass as an alternative to real stones and they look just as good!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FAY-PAGEFay Page makes stunning jewellery inspired by the beautiful Isles of Scilly. I especially LOVE her shell charms which are cast from genuine finds from the sea shore!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hopefully this has helped with any present dilemmas and might even inspire you too!

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

The Big Heart Bike Ride 2015

Call it a mid-life crisis or something, but 2 weeks ago, after a couple of glasses of wine and quite a lot of chat via face book, I found myself signing up for a charity bike ride…

NEW_BIKENot just any bike ride either! The Big Heart Bike Ride is a 500km charity cycle ride through Rajasthan in India and I will be cycling with with the "Valley Girls" (amongst others) - a group of 17 friends from "up country" (including Jo who started The Buggysnuggle Company with me) and this is our team name! 

I have always wanted to visit India and so to be able to do so whilst raising money for good causes seems like too good an opportunity to miss! 

The ride is called The Big Heart Bike Ride and is in aid of a variety of heart charities. We are raising money as a group and as individuals too. As an individual I am planning to give 50% of the money I raise to the British Heart Foundation, but I also want to give 50% to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Cameron (my eldest son) was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2008 when he was 12 years old, so this is disease is very close to my heart. Diabetes related heart problems are common so I don't feel I've strayed too far from the aim of the ride either! 

Before I signed up, I hadn't been on a bike in probably 10 years! the panic set in a few days later when an impressive information pack arrived which included the terrifying training schedule! Gulp! I didn't even own a bike! (well not one that wasn't rusting in the shed with 2 flat tyres anyway!) 

So last week I bought a bike, helmet, outfit etc. (who knew there was so much kit?) and I am now officially a typical "all-the-gear-no-idea" cyclist! 

Over the next 10 months I will keep you up-to-date with my training and fundraising. All of us Valley Girls are paying for the cost of the trip ourselves so everything we raise will be going to the chosen charities. 

READY_1So far this week I’ve notched up 50 miles and it took me most of that to work our how to change the gears – I’ve only ever ridden bikes with 5 gears, so 20 is a lot to cope with! I’ve also discovered that it’s a lot hillier in this part of Cornwall than I had fully appreciated…

If you fancy donating to either of these charities via my sponsorship page then please click here – your support will be very much appreciated!

Friday, 24 January 2014

Star Gazing

aurora borealis

I absolutely LOVED watching BBC Stargazing Live last week – the amazing shots of the aurora borealis filmed from a plane were incredible – definitely one for the “bucket list”!

One of my favourite things to do with the kids is a bit of star gazing. I can remember a few constellations from my days at Brownie Camp (a long, long time ago!!): Orion, the Plough, Cassiopeia… and Sam is always very impressed when I point them out! We take a huge pile of blankets & make a camp on the trampoline! There’s lots of “ooh-ing & “aah-ing” when we spot a shooting star!

It’s also been known that we all nod off & wake up an hour or so later soaked in dew!

According to Star Gazing live the next few things to spot in the night sky are:

28th & 29th January – The Moon & Venus will appear close together just before sunrise.

19th February – The Moon, Mars & a star “Spica” will form a triangle as they rise.

1st week of March is National Astronomy week & there are lots of events on.

The Star Gazing Live Events calendar is can be downloaded here.

SOFASNUG_4sThe Buggysnuggle Company can also provide you with the perfect accessory to your star gazing adventures… Our new Sofasnuggle – have a look at it here.

Happy star gazing!

Friday, 17 January 2014

A new start!

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged since last June – it’s been a crazy 6 months!

The first part of last year was a tough time, what with Jo leaving the business & everything concerned with that, plus having to learn all about the other side of our business – very steep learning curve!

NEW_OFFICE_4NEW_OFFICE_2

The summer was incredibly hectic (when normally it’s our quiet time!) as we were dismantling our old office in the garden & building a new, weather-proof one! I moved my office into the house temporarily & set about demolishing the old office. Working in the house in the summer holidays was full of interruptions & my 4 year old daughter occasionally answering the phone – not terribly professional!

John & I have worked from home, in our garden “office” for the last 10 years, but by last winter it was leaking, freezing & falling to bits – not a fun environment to work in to say the least.

NEW_OFFICE_9At the end of July 2013, 2 lads from Oeco Garden Rooms arrived, and within 2 weeks, we had a lovely new, warm, weather proof office, which is especially fortunate after the soaking the UK has had this winter! I can thoroughly recommend Oeco Garden Rooms – easy to deal with, and they sent a pair of great lads to build it who worked flat out & we’re really pleased with the result!

So The Buggysnuggle Company has a new HQ & although I’m still not quite straight, I’m nearly there, and am pleased to welcome Tori & Rosie to the business.

I’m now really looking forward to 2014 & concentrating on all the developments & ideas I have had in the pipeline for a while…

So here it is… the new HQ!OFFICE-A