Etsy Made Local 2017 Highlights

Wow, wow, WOW! Etsy Made Local Glasgow was amazing!

I dubbed up at about ten to eleven on Saturday with my volunteer hat on. The queue was down the street and stayed that way all day, although it did move quite quickly, there was a constant stream of people joining the end. My fellow orange-aproned volunteers and I were all about keeping everyone happy, doing tea/coffee and change runs for the vendors and handing out chocolates to the lovely people waiting to come in.

About 4pm, I was ready to make my escape and get back to prepping for Sunday. I did manage to grab a few bits before I left though!

Chalso at Etsy Made Local 2017
Items from ZoeScottDesigns, BitterLimeDesigns, KnottyKnottyMacrame and CaliGirl.

On Sunday, we’d made it into the Sunday Herald and it was looking to be another record breaking day. I was unaware of all this at the time as I was busy setting up and once the doors opened I don’t think I looked up until 2 o’clock! What a buzz! Only problem was I was too busy to shop, what I great problem to have!

Chalso at Etsy Made Local 2017
It was so busy, this is the only quick snap I managed to take all day!

That evening, at home with a glass of wine and a big grin on my face, I turned to the Facebook vendors group to give my thanks to the Glasgow Etsy Team leadership for organising another hugely successful event. I spent the next wee while reading through all the similarly gushy messages from other vendors, it gave me such a warm feeling to be part of such an amazing event (and no, it wasn’t just the wine!). Thank you Glasgow Etsy Team and everyone who came along to Etsy Made Local 2017!!

Advertisements

Not Black Friday, Indie Friday!

#JACIndieFriday

Looks like I’m not the only one fed up with Black Friday! The Just A Card campaign are so fed up they’ve created an alternative, Indie Friday!

“Black Friday is the scourge of the festive season – great for deals but not exactly dripping with the spirit of Christmas! And as independent businesses it’s more or less impossible to compete; both on pricing, and for the attention of your customers.

So this year Just A Card is painting Black Friday indie! On 24th November we’re summoning you to join our #JACIndieFriday campaign, a celebration of all things colourful, passionate and independent. And the best thing is that all you have to do is make as much noise about your product and business as possible!” Kayte Ferris

 

I’ll be tweeting and retweeting loads of fab indie businesses tomorrow as well. Check out the hashtag #JACIndieFriday on your favourite social media, you’re sure to see something you like, made with love and, if you buy it, you can be sure, you will be the cause of someone’s happy dance tomorrow!

Read more on the Just A Card website justacard.org.

Happy shopping!!

Christmas is coming!

Etsy Made Local is almost upon us! It’s a great event featuring a broad selection of local Etsy sellers. A fabulous opportunity to support local makers and get some Christmas shopping done!

Etsy Made Local 2017 at The Briggait in Glasgow 2nd and 3rd December 2017 11am - 4.30pm
Etsy Made Local 2017

I will be at Etsy Made Local in Glasgow on Sunday 3rd December. If you are local, please come along and say “Hi”! If you aren’t local to Glasgow, look out for an Etsy Made Local event near you, they are happening all over the world on the first weekend of December. To see a vendor list for Saturday 2nd December and Sunday 3rd December visit the Glasgow Etsy Team website or the Event page on Facebook.

Here is a selection of the items I’ll be taking to Etsy Made Local and are available now from the Chalso Etsy shop.

 

Festive colours!

Green Malachite earrings with Sterling silver or a red Carnelian bracelet with 9ct Gold, Chalso’s got you covered for festive accessories!

 

Chalso Circles

Beautiful Sterling silver jewellery, you’re sure to find a Christmas gift to suit any of the ladies in your life in the Chalso Circles collection!

 

Birthstone jewellery

Birthstone jewellery makes a great gift for her. These are the winter birthstone pendants, Garnet for January, Amethyst for February and Aquamarine for March.

Chalso winter birthstone pendants
Chalso winter birthstone pendants

 

Gifts for him too!

This Lava and Tigers eye necklace is just one of the gifts for him available in the Chalso Etsy shop, you can see more here.

Mens Lava and Tigers eye necklace
https://www.etsy.com/Chalso/listing/269679747/

 

Last dates for Christmas orders

If you are ordering from outside the UK, please order before the end of November.

If you are in the UK, please order before 18th December, earlier if possible!

 

Further reading

More on Etsy Made Local

More on the Chalso Circles collection

More on Chalso Birthstone jewellery

Sign up to the Chalso Newsletter for shop updates and exclusive special offers direct to your inbox!

 

 

Autumn days

I always find the transition into autumn difficult. We have a saying in Scotland which gets used a lot towards the end of August “the nights are fair drawin’ in”. Because, in June it is pretty much light all the time, come late August it becomes noticeable that the nights are getting dark again, this signals the end of hope for a good summer, until next year! Us Scots are ever hopeful for a good summer, phrases like “scorchio” and “taps aff” are bandied about at the first signs of warm weather in May and the radio and newspapers will run stories predicting the hottest summer EVER. The reality being we are lucky to reach a 20°C day time temperature in July. The hope is not totally unfounded though, every 10 years or so we really do get a melt-the-tar-on-the-roads-hot summer. To be honest though, what makes a good summer isn’t the temperature, it’s the blue sky, the lack of rain. A poor summer in Scotland consists of endless overcast days and rain, lots of rain.

September I find a bit depressing as summer comes to an end and another long dark winter looms ahead. However, by the time November comes we are getting the usual predictions of a white Christmas (which come true about as often as the predictions of a hot summer!), Christmas preparations are well under way and I have forgotten about the disappointment of a wet summer and am enjoying autumn for the joys it brings, the colours of the leaves, the rainbows, the clear frosty mornings, the cosy jumpers and wooly scarves!

 

 

Etsy Made Local 2017

Etsy Made Local is on for the third time in Glasgow this year! As in previous years, the venue will be The Briggait on the first weekend in December (2nd and 3rd December 2017 from 11am – 4.30pm).

The Briggait is an amazing venue but, in December, it will be cold! Bring your woolly jumpers, coats and hats, think out door market on a dry, crisp, winter’s day!

Organised for the third year by the Glasgow Etsy Team, there will be over 60 different Etsy sellers on each day, from all over Scotland.

It all started in 2015 when the amazing dedication and hard work of the Glasgow Etsy Team leaders made it a day to remember.

Etsy Made Local 2015 was such a huge success that in 2016 it was extended to cover two days to allow an additional 60+ sellers to take part (including me!).

Of course, I managed to do a bit of shopping while I was there!

I was lucky enough to make the cut for Etsy Made Local 2017 too and I’m looking forward to it already! See you there?

Etsy Made Local 2017 at The Briggait in Glasgow 2nd and 3rd December 2017 11am - 4.30pm
Etsy Made Local 2017

For more info see the Glasgow EML 2017 Facebook Event Page and the Glasgow Etsy Team website. For more on the organisation behind Etsy Made Local Glasgow, see this blog post by the Glasgow Etsy Team Captain.

Vendor lists for Glasgow Etsy Made Local 2017 at The Briggait:

See who’ll be there on Saturday 2nd December 11am – 4.30pm.

See who’ll be there with me on Sunday 3rd December 11am – 4.30pm.

 

CAF Event

Following on from my involvement in Giving Tuesday last year, I was lucky enough to receive an invitation to the CAF Scotland Giving event at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh earlier this month.

CAF Scotland Giving

 

The whole report is available to download here. In summary, it turns out us Scots are a pretty generous bunch, not just with our money, but also our time. The really encouraging thing for the charities there was to see that a lot of young people are donating their time by volunteering.

As the report shows 56% of giving to charity is in the form of cash so, there was an interesting discussion about how charities can continue to receive donations as the world moves closer to a cash-less society. As we increasingly swipe, click and tap to pay for things, there is less loose change for charity cans.

After the talk, I met some really lovely ladies who were there representing the charities they work for. Antonia from Euan’s Guide, Euan’s Guide is the disabled access review website that aims to ‘remove the fear of the unknown’ and inspire people to try new places. Angie from SANDS Lothian, a charity supporting families after the death of a baby. And Susie from RDA, whose horses and ponies provide therapy, achievement and enjoyment to people with disabilities all over the UK.

All in all it was an interesting and enjoyable evening.

 

Further reading

Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) website

Giving Tuesday 2017 blog post

UK Giving Tuesday website

 

 

Giving Tuesday 2017

Giving Tuesday is the antidote to the massive consumer frenzy that is Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It is a worldwide day of giving, a day to do good stuff, a day to make a difference. It doesn’t matter who you give to, choose an international charity or a local one. It doesn’t matter what you give, whether you make a trip to a charity shop with some clothes from the back of your wardrobe or run a marathon for Cancer Research, whether you donate time or money, cakes or clothes.

I use social media a lot to promote my business so I thought this was somewhere I could help spread the word about #givingtuesday. In November lots of businesses are promoting #blackfriday sales but last year I decided, instead of having a sale, I would donate 10% of my November sales to Clyde Cash for Kids. During November, I promoted both #givingtuesday and #cashforkids on Twitter and other social media.

This year I thought it would be a great idea to get more people involved. Most people I spoke to about Giving Tuesday last year, had never heard of it. So, I’m putting the word out to the Glasgow Etsy Team, and all Etsy sellers, let’s do this!

Many of us already give to a charity close to our hearts and many of us raise money for that charity through our Etsy shops. Giving Tuesday gives us the opportunity to raise the profile of our charity work. As a community, Etsy sellers can really help raise awareness of #givingtuesday whilst still supporting our chosen charities.

Whether it’s a percentage of sales/profit or a dedicated charity item in your shop, what ever you choose to donate, I just ask that this November, you share what you are giving on social media using the hashtags #givingtuesday and #GETgiving and, most importantly, make a donation to your chosen charity on Giving Tuesday!

Giving Tuesday falls on the Tuesday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, this year it’s the 28th November 2017. Let’s do this!

 

Further reading

Giving Tuesday website

Chalso case study

Previous blog post on Giving Tuesday 2016

Chalso on Twitter

Glasgow Etsy Team website

Just a card day

There are lots of generous people out there encouraging and supporting small businesses. The Just a Card campaign, for instance, encourages people to support independent shops, galleries and Designer/Makers because every sale makes a difference, even if it’s “just a card”.

 

JUST A CARD Day

The very first JUST A CARD day is on 28th September 2017.

Just a card day 2017

On Just a card day you will find hundreds of makers, artists and independent shop and gallery owners posting their stories on Instagram, using the hashtag #justacard and #justacardday. It will be a day of discovery! You can join in too by sharing your story or liking/retweeting the Just a card message or by buying from a small business, every purchase counts no matter how small!

Small purchases really do make a difference, even if it's "just a card"
https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/AngelaChick

 

Lots of small and micro businesses sell on Etsy, including me, so remember:

Lemonade Design Studio
https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LemonadeDesignStudio

 

You can see my story on the Chalso Instagram and in this previous blog post.

 

Links

Keep up to date with the Just a card campaign on their blog, Instagram and Twitter.

https://www.justacard.org/blog/2017/9/22/just-a-card-day

https://www.instagram.com/justacard/

 

 

Looking back on summer trends

Moonstone jewellery has been a big hit this summer!
The Chalso shop has always contained lots of colour but, this summer, it’s been the more subtle and minimal pieces that have been popular.

This necklace and earrings set is made with Rainbow Moonstone and Sterling silver.

Moonstone with Sterling silver, earrings and necklace set.
https://www.etsy.com/Chalso/listing/507563832/

 

These bracelets are stretch bracelets made with tiny Sterling silver beads.

 

Chalso couples bracelets continued to be popular over the summer months too. They make great wedding or anniversary gifts. This set is made with highly textured black Lava beads and stunning Amethyst. The Amethyst beads are smooth to the touch, but the internal crystals in purple and white are clearly visible. Each bead, and therefore each bracelet, is unique.

Amethyst and Lava couples bracelets, anniversary gift, You Complete Me couples gift.
https://www.etsy.com/Chalso/listing/281218964/

 

Something new (should thoughts have turned toward Christmas already!). Minimal, Sterling silver bar pendant that can also be personalised. I made one of these for my Mother-in-law’s birthday last week using the initials of her eight grandchildren. Each side represented the families of one of her own four children.

 

For seasonal updates, gift guides and special discount codes, straight to your inbox, sign up for the Chalso Newsletter here.

 

Links

Minimal gifts from Chalso on Etsy

Moonstone jewellery by Chalso

Chalso Couples bracelets

Chalso on Instagram

 

Summer in Scotland

Summer in Scotland can be everything from awesome to frustrating (much of the frustration comes from the unpredictability of the Scottish weather!). I love the light nights and on a warm, sunny, summer’s day there is nowhere I’d rather be. This year we had a staycation. Armed with sunscreen and raincoats, we went on day trips around Scotland. As well as firm favourites like the Glasgow Science Centre, we also went a bit further afield (you can read more about Glasgow and Edinburgh kid friendly activities in a previous post).

The Falkirk Wheel

The Scots are famed for their ingenuity. A recent example of this is the Falkirk Wheel. The only one of it’s kind in the world. The Falkirk Wheel links the Union and the Forth and Clyde canals and replaces a system of 11 locks which used to take a day to traverse. Originally the Falkirk Wheel wasn’t planned as a tourist attraction, but so many people wanted to visit and ride on the wheel that there is now a Visitors Centre, where you can book a boat trip on the wheel, and the area around the Falkirk Wheel has been transformed into a kids water play area.

 

The Kelpies

Just a few miles from the Falkirk Wheel are The Kelpies. An amazing, 30 metre tall, sculpture, designed by Andy Scott, sitting along side the Forth and Clyde canal.

“I see The Kelpies as a personification of local and national equine history, of the lost industries of Scotland. I also envisage them as a symbol of modern Scotland – proud and majestic, of the people and the land.”                             Andy Scott

The kids were suitably impressed, their only slight disappointment was having to leave before it got dark, so we didn’t get to see them lit up!

There is a great time lapse video of construction of The Kelpies here.

 

Heads of Ayr Farm Park

We always enjoy a day out at Heads of Ayr! There are lots of things to keep the kids happy, from giant sand pits and jumping pillows to zip lines and a donut slide. There is also an Animal Zone and indoor Adventure Barn. My Primary school aged kids are at the perfect age to enjoy Heads of Ayr to the fullest! I’ve posted some pics from the day on my Instagram.

 

Whitelee Wind Farm

Something I’ve been meaning to do for a while was a trip up to Whitelee wind farm. There are lots of tracks around the turbines for walking, cycling and mountain biking. The day we had planned our visit for turned out to be wet and overcast but, determined, we packed a change of clothes and the bikes and headed on up.

When we got out there, literally among the clouds, I felt like I was on another planet! The wind turbines are an impressive sight and what with the low cloud and the swooshing of the blades, the atmosphere was eerily alien and strangely thrilling!

After getting thoroughly soaked, and a much shorter bike ride than planned, we headed back to the cafe and visitors centre for hot chocolate and cake! I’m so glad we went though and I will definitely be going back but, perhaps, we’ll wait for a dry day!

Whitelee wind farm

 

Further reading

https://www.scottishcanals.co.uk/falkirk-wheel/about-the-wheel/how-it-works/

http://www.andyscottsculptor.com

http://www.thehelix.co.uk

http://www.thehelix.co.uk/things-to-do/the-kelpies/construction/kelpies-time-lapse-video/#.WZSphK2ZNsM

http://www.headsofayrfarmpark.co.uk

https://www.scottishpower.co.uk/whitelee/