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Free shipping week!

Well, thanks to storm Arwen, our events this weekend have been severely disrupted.  Yesterday we should’ve been at two events – one was cancelled, the other was a distance away and I decided not to attempt it (plus my voice disappeared so I’m not feeling great either).

Today we loaded up the van and set off to a local village market.  Sadly because it was a small village the roads were awful and after wheel spinning a few times we decided to come home.

So, I’m here with my feet up again wondering how I can recoup some of my costs.

From today until 4th December 2021, we will be offering you free shipping on any order, as long as you use code ARWEN at checkout.  Please let me know if you have any issues with it – I have tested it but I’m feeling very sorry for myself and I tend to miss things when I’m like this.

Cari xx

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Restock, new stock and a quieter event

It’s the day after our third event this season, and I’m battling a cold and exhaustion.  I’ve got a hot coffee, I’m updating the website and trying to recharge ready for another busy week.

Gisborough Hall had around 1900 visitors which was amazing!  Seems like you have missed the Christmas fairs and are now coming out in droves to spend your hard earned money.  We are very grateful for each and every customer.

We had a couple of stock deliveries – the remaining things we ordered at the beginning of the year and a quick delivery from the lovely Sass and Belle.  I love their novelty range and just had to grab these to see what you thought of them.

I’m not sure I’d hang sprouts on my tree but I’m sure there’s a fan out there for them!

Sadly they didn’t arrive in time for us to take to West Tanfield yesterday.  We were at a school fundraiser in the village hall.  A much quieter event after our two busy ones, so we took the time to reorganise ahead of another event packed weekend.

Our next big event is at the stunning Bowes Museum,  on the last weekend before Christmas (essential to wrap up warm for that one as it’s all outside).  It’s a lovely festive atmosphere and a brilliant end to our season.  If you can’t make it there please do order through our website, we are posting out regularly so you shouldn’t have to wait long (delivery services allowing).  We use Royal Mail for all our deliveries so you should allow for them getting busier the closer we get to Christmas.

Cari xx

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Quick update

I’ve been very glad of my half day today.  I’m tired and my feet hurt after a full day yesterday, but I wouldn’t change a thing!

Redworth Hall Hotel Christmas Fayre was the busiest one yet, with apparently 1400 visitors.  It honestly felt like every single one bought from us too!  We had an amazing day, so thank you if you were there.

We’re doing it all again this weekend at Gisborough Hall Hotel this time.  We still have plenty of lovely decorations to bring for you to buy and doing our best to get some new things too!

Please let us know if you’re going to be there – you can get free entry by clicking on the event page and selecting going.

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Making a list and checking it twice – organising my stock for events

Well, in just over a week we will be at Redworth Hall Hotel for Luxury Christmas Fayre’s first event in a couple of years.  Am I ready?  Well, no, not really.

The problem is that running a business from home, especially when you’ve just had a large stock delivery, means that everywhere you turn there are boxes or display things or paper bags.  Our house isn’t even that big, so we are officially bursting at the seams.

This also makes loading up for events tricky, as the chances of forgetting something are high.  Add to that the fact most of the bags and boxes haven’t been touched for at least 12 months and, well, you see my point.

Having said all that, I’m bristling with excitement to get back to face to face retailing.  I love our website, but there’s nothing quite like seeing children’s faces light up (both big and small) when they see our stall.  I also can’t wait to see Redworth Hall Hotel all decorated for Christmas – it really gives you that magical warm glowy feeling that this time of year encapsulates.

So, although I’m sitting here trying to plan how to pack everything ready for transporting to Redworth Hall, making sure nothing gets left behind, I’m also trying to keep a lid on my excitement levels too.  It’s going to be a busy run up to Christmas!

Hope to see you there!

Cari

p.s. If you are planning to visit the Christmas Fayre at either Redworth Hall Hotel or Gisborough Hall Hotel, click on the organisers Instagram page and screenshot the invite or head over to the event page on Facebook to get free entry.

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Dream big – the magic of Christmas

I’ve always felt a special type of magic at Christmas time.  It’s as if anything and everything is possible.  This year I’m dreaming big, with exciting plans for the next ten years.

I’ve always wanted to have my own shop, ever since I can remember.  I used to dream of greeting each customer, watching their faces as they see the treasures inside, and helping them choose just the right item to take home.  I guess you could say having my own business to take to markets and fairs is almost the same.  I haven’t taken the leap from online to bricks and mortar mostly because of the costs involved.

This year I have dared to dream of a warehouse full of Christmas treasures here in the UK.  It would be a true family run enterprise now my children are almost adults.  We would have sparkle and magic down every aisle, and customers would leave with trolley loads of Christmas magic to fill their homes.  We could even invite the big man himself for a visit (if he isn’t too busy).

People would travel from far and wide to visit our amazing Christmas warehouse.  It’s at the end of my ten year plan, and you could be a part of bringing this dream to reality.

What are you dreaming of this festive season?

Cari

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We have events booked!

Well, what a week it’s been.  Flat out with my day job in a local school, trying to arrange stock deliveries and the sale around it – I’m exhausted!  How is it only the end of the second week back?

I did have a lovely email drop into my inbox though – if you have ever visited one of these events you will know how popular they are.

Logo for Christmas Fairs run by Your Main Event
Two of our favourite events returning this year

I’m really hoping that nothing changes and we are able to attend both Redworth Hall and Gisborough Hall Christmas Fairs.  Please put the dates in your diaries and keep your fingers crossed – after all, we have all missed out on so much over the last two years!

Our sale has now ended – sorry if you missed it!  It’s well worth joining our newsletter for updates like this, or you could always follow us on Facebook and Instagram (I’m going to be using both a lot more over the next few months).

If you can’t manage a visit to either of the Christmas Fairs above, we are also going to be at Gisborough Forest & Walkway with our stall on 5th December.  They aren’t running a market this year but will have Christmas trees for sale and are inviting traders to set up alongside the visitors centre.  I think we will need to wrap up with lots of layers!

I hope you are as excited about Christmas as we are – it will be here soon!

Cari xx

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Time for a stock sort out

It’s been a busy week here at UKCS HQ, mostly redecorating our living room and younger teens bedroom, but I’m also trying to get myself organised for another season of few events and mainly selling through the website.

I have my stock in plastic tubs ready for loading for each event, but as things have changed quite a lot now I decided that turning my small office into a stock room was a better solution, as then I will be able to pick and pack your orders more efficiently.

With that in mind, and a lot of stock to fit on the new shelving (before we even get this years delivery) I’ve been working on a pre-season sale for you all.  You can see a sneak peek of what will be available from 1st September, but (as long as I’ve scheduled it correctly) you will have to wait until the day for sale prices.

To be honest, I’m a little worried we won’t have enough shelf space for everything.  I ordered so many lovely things way back in April/May with the hope that Christmas markets would be up and running again, but it’s not looking hopeful.  We find lovely new homes for so many of our Christmas decorations at events, but this year I’m fully expecting Bowes Christmas Fayre to be the only one again.  Keep your fingers and toes crossed for us, but if you don’t want to take the chance of us being at a market close to you this year please order online.

Cari

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Delivery day is coming!

I love receiving parcels.  There’s something about the excitement of opening lots of boxes from a stock delivery, especially this year as I’ve had to order online so haven’t seen the items in the flesh.

I originally booked delivery for the end of the school summer holidays as that’s the time when I’m here all day, but have had to push that back a little as only 30% of what I ordered is available.  I can’t wait to share its arrival with you over on our social media pages!

I’ve also ordered a few things for our sister site, selling decorative homewares all year round.  This has been in the planning for a long time, so it will be lovely to finally have something there for you to get your hands on!  The plan is for this shop to even out the cash flow while indulging my love of pretty things for our homes.

If you simply can’t wait to get started on your Christmas purchases, you can browse our remaining 2020 Christmas ornaments and decorations in the shop.  We are also in the process of adding a range of Christmas cards and stationery which is very exciting!

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We’ve found a new supplier

I was scrolling around the internet recently (as you do) putting off doing my accounts or some other job I really don’t enjoy, when I found an amazing business with gorgeous papier-mâché baubles, wooden baubles, felt decorations and lots more Christmas loveliness!  I can’t wait to get some stock in and on the website, but it’s still a little early in the year for that.  However I have grand plans to use their product range for our parent company, UKCS Homewares Ltd, as their ethics are very much in line with ours.  Watch this space!

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Missing the trade show

It’s around this time of the month that we usually attend the trade show in Harrogate, but with the current world situation this has obviously been cancelled.  It’s so much nicer being able to see the new ranges, as they aren’t usually on our suppliers website until summer.

So, this year we have decided to choose stock we weren’t able to get in 2020 as well as some other decorations we think you’ll love.  Now to keep our fingers crossed that some events can go ahead by October!  Obviously we will update our product range on our website as soon as the stock arrives at the end of August.  We might even offer a pre-sale as we did last year, to make sure you don’t miss out sign up to our newsletter.