If you can’t remember whether you took your pills this morning…

May 16th, 2016

…don’t worry: soon your medicine will be able to answer the question for you. I’ll admit, when I first read an article in The Times newspaper with this headline that went on to say pills will “soon be able to tell if you have taken them”, I checked the top of the paper to see if the date was the 1st of April!

A US company, Proteus Digital Health, has developed a tiny sensor the size of a grain of sand that sends out a signal when ingested. The minuscule device, which can be attached to pills, contains a silicon circuit that transmits a signal to a patch worn by the patient. The patch will then contain a record of the dates and times when people take their medication.

*Science alert!* The sensor gets it’s power source from a coating of copper on one side and magnesium on the other. When these enter the gut they get wet and, as in a battery, the metals act as an anode and cathode and cause a charge to pass.

It all sound very high-tech and futuristic! Obviously keeping track of your medicine times is very important, so if you can’t wait for this technology to become available, we have the perfect solution.. the Get Well Wheel.

Just turn the dial to record the time you take your medicine. No science, no patch required!

No science, no batteries required… no problem!

 

 

 

#shopsbs is launched, and Chiggs’s cards will float your boat.

May 3rd, 2016

It was a few years ago now, but some of you may remember when Chiggs was retweeted on twitter by Theo Paphitis (of Dragon’s Den fame) when he chose us as a winner of his Small Business Sunday (‪#‎SBS‬) initiative.

#SBS

#SBS

It was a huge honour, and last year I attended one of the yearly SBS events with some other Harrogate based business owners. The exciting announcement at this year’s event was the development of an SBS shop, and now it has been launched! It is to showcase the products of the businesses who have won #SBS and Chiggs is delighted to be included.

If you are looking for a ‘New Baby’ card that the new parents will be delighted to receive, or for a Get Well Soon card with a useful twist, Chiggs Baby Feed Wheels and Get Well Wheels are here on the SBS shop. 

Have a look around, there are some lovely items!

Baby Shower Wheel

 

(Note, the Chiggs Twitter account has changed name since we won SBS, and is now @ChiggsHQ. Do come and say hello!)

Made by Chiggs

March 14th, 2016

This is the first of a (probably somewhat infrequent) series;- “Chiggs Makes!”

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m very proud of my card ‘makes’ , but after 10 years it’s safe to say I’ve got them down pat. This is something a bit different to the usual Baby Feed Wheels, Baby Medicine Wheels and Get Well Wheels!

My husband is a big tea drinker (i.e. he drinks a lot of tea, not that he’s big… he’s around 5 ft 10 allowing for shrinkage).  He’s also very fussy about his tea, which is why I refuse to make it for him… many years ago when we first met he made the mistake of saying I made the worst cup of tea he had ever tasted. Big mistake. Huge! He’s had to make is own for the last 19 years.

Each cup of tea has to be made in his little tea pot and left to brew. I have noticed recently that he’s been using a tea towel to put on the tea pot to keep it warm while it mashes, so as the loving wife that I am I have been looking around for a little tea cosy to fit over his little tea-pot-for-one. Not easy to find! In fact, I found it impossible, so I decided to have a crack at making one myself, and I was very pleased with how it turned out. Which is why I’m boasting blogging about it here.

Choice of fabric was easy: it had to be tiger print. I like to buy (or make) tiger things for my husband, because my favourite football team are nicknamed The Tigers. He doesn’t support this football team, he supports a completely different and far inferior football team, but I don’t let this stop me in my quest to tigerify his little life.

Tiger Tea Cosy

 

I was without a pattern, and quite honestly winging it, so cut 2 pieces in an elongated oval shape, and sandwiched a semi circular piece of wadding in between each pair. The fold then became the bottom of each semi circular half, I pinned together both pieces and sewed the whole lot, i.e. both ‘wadding sandwiches’ (not actually a technical sewing term!) around the curved edge.

Sewn around the wadding sandwich

Turned right side out so the stitching was on the inside, and voila! A Tiger Tea Cosy.

One-pot tea cosy

Dippy eggs are back on the menu.

February 25th, 2016

Since the salmonella crisis 30 years ago (I remember it well, and it doesn’t seem so long ago!), pregnant ladies have been advised to avoid eating runny eggs, raw eggs or products containing raw eggs (mayonnaise for example).

Well, good news for dippy egg lovers! A new report says that pregnant women should now be advised they can safely eat eggs during pregnancy.

The Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (catchy!) has found that due to improved hygiene and storage over the past 15 years, the risk of salmonella in British hens is now very low, and British eggs with the red lion mark actually carry a very low risk to vulnerable groups such as pregnant women.

Egg

Presents for a new mum

February 1st, 2016

I’ve put together a few ideas of presents to take round when you visit a new mum with a new-born baby. Baby often gets all the presents (who can resist gorgeous little baby outfits?!) especially if there has been a baby shower before the birth, so these are some ideas especially with Mum in mind.

  • An insulated coffee/tea mug with a lid, to keep hot drinks hot and avoid spillages! Drinking lukewarm coffee and doing everything one-handed is par for the course in the first few weeks of parenthood!
  • Baby Feed Wheel so the new parents can keep a note of baby’s feed times… pencils and scraps of paper are easily mislaid!
  • Food…check dietary requirements (I’m lactose intolerant so couldn’t eat the box of the chocolates my husband’s colleague brought round. Not normally a problem but in my post partum state it seemed like the end of the world that my husband was eating ‘my’ chocolates, even though I couldn’t!). If you’re taking meals around, make sure they’re easy to reheat and there is room in the freezer for them.
  • Nibbles like biscuits, chocolates, muffins and crisps to dip into while feeding, esp if breastfeeding, these can also be handy to give to other guests!
  • Magazines or a kindle voucher.
  • Hand cream (lots and lots of washing hands in those first few weeks can play havoc with your hands!)
  • Anything off the ‘banned’ pregnancy food list (pate, strong cheeses, smoked salmon)
  • If she’s a good friend, a basket of practical presents like dry shampoo, lasinoh cream, breast pads, maternity pads and a baby medicine wheel. If you can make the basket a ‘useful’ one, then so much the better.. maybe with a handle so it can be used to keep the everyday baby bits and bobs in, to move from room to room.
Keep track of baby's medicine times, set the 'clock' dial to show when baby is given calpol etc.

Keep track of baby’s medicine times, set the ‘clock’ dial to show when baby is given calpol etc.

  • Thank you cards and stamps.
  • A cosy cardigan or bed jacket type item for the night feeds.
  • Really nice cordial or soft drink. I love ‘Ame’ because it’s not too sweet, but it’s so difficult to find in the shops!

And while you’re on your way, don’t forget to ask the new parents if they would like you to pick up anything from the shops for them on your way round!

Harrogate Nursery Fair consumer day has been scrapped

January 20th, 2016

Harrogate International Nursery Fair announced in November that the final day of the trade fair, Tuesday the 22nd of March would be open to both trade and public visitors.

I wrote a post about this decision at the time, reporting that the idea of a mixed trade and consumer day had initially proved controversial, but that the show’s organisers had said that following the uncertainty about how such a day would work, exhibitors were backing the idea. Well, possibly not, as it has now been announced that the public day has been scrapped, and as with previous years the final day of the show will be trade only.

Harrogate International Nursery Fair is the UK’s only nursery trade show, and takes place in March at the International Conference Centre on Kings Road in the beautiful spa town of Harrogate… a town that Chiggs is lucky enough to call ‘home’!

HIC nursery fair

 

Happy New Year… here’s to a joyful 2016!

January 14th, 2016

Happy New Year to you all!

There was a celebration in December as the 15th was the 10th Birthday for Chiggs, marking the day 10 years ago that I took delivery of the very first print run of Baby Feed Wheels. I can scarcely believe I have been running my business for 10 years, and I’m very much looking forward to the next 10!

Rewind to 10 years ago this January, and I was approaching local shops to see if they wanted to sell the Baby Feed Wheels. I had a great reaction to the cards, and was also offered some very useful advice… of course, I was completely new to business, so any help was very very welcome! On the advice of a local card shop I put the cards in cellophane wrappers… I’d been so involved with the design of the Wheels, it was something I hadn’t thought of!

The very first shop I approached was Magpie Greetings, which at the time was based in the Westminster Arcade in Harrogate. They bought a stock of Baby Feed Wheels to sell in their shop, and I’m delighted to say that 10 years down the line, many re-orders (and a premises move to Beulah Street) Magpie are still selling Chiggs Wheels! They now also sell the Get Well Wheels in their ‘get well soon’ card section.

Here is a #ThrowbackThursday photo of me and Chiglet at our exhibition stand at the Harrogate Card and Wrap Trade Fair, taken in January 2009. I must point out that my little helper is now 13 and as tall as me!

#ThrowbackThursday

#ThrowbackThursday

 

 

 

 

Harrogate Nursery Trade Fair will open to the public in 2016

November 23rd, 2015

Harrogate International Nursery Fair has been a trade-only show for over 45 years, and for the first time during the 2016 show it will combine the last day as both a trade and public open day.

This means companies making baby products who exhibit at the show can showcase their goods to shops and retailers on the first 2 days, then use the final day when public can attend to raise their profiles and market to their end consumers.

Show dates:
Sunday 20th March 2016 – Trade only
Monday 21st March 2016 – Trade only
Tuesday 22nd March 2016 – Trade and public open day

Display of Chiggs Wheels at trade fair

Display of Chiggs Wheels at trade fair

The announcement initially proved controversial, with exhibitors wondering how the new format will work as the final day will be a ‘no selling’ day, and will be to provide visitors with  information only.

Here at Chiggs we have exhibited our Baby Feed Wheels and Baby Medicine Wheels at this trade show twice in the past, although not for a few years now, and we are considering taking a stand at the 2016 show. So we have a few queries about how it will work!

Will non-trade visitors want to attend a baby show where they can’t buy anything? It’s on a Tuesday, so unless people are on maternity leave, will many be at work?  There will be demonstrations and seminars for mums and dads-to-be to encourage attendance… will this be enough of a draw?

Exhibitors will have to only display retail price on the Tuesday, as consumers won’t need to know wholesale prices. Any retailers visiting on the Tuesday will have to ask for the trade price “under the counter!”

Consumers visiting on the Tuesday who are interested in products will be directed towards local stockists…. in our case, if Chiggs exhibits that will be Little Star Company, a baby goods shop in Harrogate, or Magpie a greeting card shop also in Harrogate.

Little Star Co, Harrogate

Little Star Co, Harrogate

The show organisers have reported positive feedback from the majority of exhibitors…

Adrian Sneyd, show organiser, commented: “Initially there was a little confusion about how the trade and consumer day would be structured and there was concern that additional stock and payment facilities would be required. However, now that exhibitors understand that this is not the case, there will be no selling at the show; they are beginning to see the benefit of raising brand awareness to consumers.”

It’s a bold step from Harrogate Nursery Fair organisers, and has probably arisen because large companies are not paying to attend Harrogate trade show, they are doing their own individual company Show Cases instead. It’s very expensive to exhibit, and many smaller businesses like mine struggle to afford a stand. With fewer companies exhibiting at Harrogate, fewer independent shop owners are attending, and attendance figures are down; opening the show to the public may address this.

 

National Cat Day (well, why not?!)

October 29th, 2015

Today is National Cat Day! (Really, who comes up with these?!)

Anyway, to celebrate, here are a couple of pictures of Daisy the Chiggs Cat. She is a lovely 4 year old cat who we adopted from the local RSCPCA cat shelter, where she had been taken with her 3 kittens, around this time last year.

In this picture she is ‘helping’ me stocktake in the office (by settling in the furthest point of the cupboard!)

Daisy the cat in the Chiggs cupboard

And here is Daisy lying on my lap last night practicing her ‘gangnam style’!

Daisy Gangnam Style

#NationalCatDay

Buy British Day 2015

October 3rd, 2015

Today, Saturday the 3rd of October is ‘Buy British Day’. The campaign started last year with the very first ‘Buy British Day’, and as last year you can follow the #buybritishday hashtag on social media to find out more about the campaign.

buy british day 2015

I’ve said it (many times!) before, and I’m sure I’ll be saying it again 🙂 Chiggs is very proud that Chiggs Wheels are all printed and handfinished in the UK. Our printers are a fabulous Lancashire based family business, and our envelopes, cello bags and even the sticky pads we use to hand-embellish our cards with are all made in Yorkshire.

So ‘Buy British’ today! The full range of Chiggs Wheels- Baby Feed Wheels, Baby Medicine Wheel and Get Well Wheels- are available from the shop on the Chiggs website, and our cards can also be bought from our stockists -have a browse on the stockist page to find a Wheel near you!

If you’re a retailer who would like to join the British revolution, Chiggs Wheels are all available to trade at wholesale prices, and we will be very happy to send you our trade price, terms and information by email if you fill in the trade enquiry form.

 

New baby congratulations cards

new baby essentials

Get Well Soon cards and medicine reminders

Get Well Soon cards and medicine reminders