Posts Tagged ‘Magpie Greetings’

Wheel in the window

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

I was in my local town of Harrogate to do some shopping recently, and as usual my first stops were in some local Independent shops. We are lucky in Harrogate, in that we do still have a few non-chain retailers, although they are getting harder to find! A whole row of really lovely ‘indies’ closed down recently when a Jamie Oliver ‘Italian’ and a Nandos took over half a block in the centre of town.

One rather wonderful independent retailer we do still have, though, is Magpie on Beulah Street in the centre of town. Regular readers of this blog (Hi, Mum!) will recall that Magpie Greetings were my very very first stockist of Baby Feed Wheels, and have been re-ordering these ‘new baby’ cards (and now our Get Well Soon cards, too) for the last 10-odd years!

Magpie, Harrogate

Magpie, Harrogate

You can imagine my delight, then, to see that Magpie have put a pink Baby Feed Wheel in their window display! I still get excited when I see Chiggs Wheels actually for sale in real live shops, so I was skipping down Beulah Street to be part of a window display! Thank you Magpie!

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

Thursday, 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

Monday, 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.

 

Winter Wonderland

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

We’ve woken to a winter wonderland here at Chiggs HQ. This is the view from my work station this morning- and the snow is still falling in Harrogate!

Harrogate snow

I must say, it’s times like this I’m very glad Chiggs is a home based business, and I don’t have a commute to tackle! This morning I’ve been keeping up to date with social media (no, not just faffing around on Facebook- this is serious stuff 🙂 ). If you would like to keep in touch with all things Chiggs, our Facebook page is Chiggs Wheels and I am on Twitter @ChiggsHQ

This afternoon I’ll be (hopefully!) walking into Harrogate to deliver Baby Feed Wheels to a lovely card and gift shop, Magpie Greetings on Beulah Street in the centre of town, who have been selling Chiggs Wheels since we first started- they were our very first stockist way back in January 2006!

Busy, Busy!

Monday, August 18th, 2014

August has been very busy here at Chiggs- maybe all our stockists are getting their orders in to prepare for those September babies- (there is usually a baby boom 9 months after Christmas/New Year!).

We have sent more Chiggs Baby Wheels out to Angel Wholesale, the one stop shop for nappy cake, baby shower and baby basket supplies. If you head to section ‘nappy cakes’ and then ‘embellishments’ you can find each of the Baby Feed Wheels and the Baby Medicine Wheel. All Chiggs Baby Wheels are available in single quantities from Angel Wholesale, with savings to be made buying them in larger quantities.

Baby Feed Wheels have winged (wheeled?) their way to Maternal Instincts online maternity and breastfeeding boutique, Baby BoBo nappy cakes in Louth, Lincolnshire, and a variety of eBay shops, Mini AcornsClick and Buy gifts and Smartieprints.

It’s always a pleasure to visit one of our local stockists, Magpie Greetings here in Harrogate, and we dropped of a reorder of Baby Feed Wheels and Get Well Wheels this afternoon (and bought a lovely card while we were there- I never leave empty handed!)

Babies Babies baby shower specialists are another business who have restocked with Baby Feed Wheels this month. All our stockists sell Baby Feed Wheels, but not all sell the full range, so if there is a Chiggs Wheel you can’t find at your favourite independent retailer or online retailer, have a browse through the Chiggs shop

If you run a business and would also like to sell Chiggs Wheels, do have a look at our Trade and Wholesale page, and either fill in the trade enquiry form or send us an email for more information. We would be delighted to hear from you!

Greeting Chiggs stockists.

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

We have had a real variety of wholesale orders so far this year; re-orders from our regular retailers and we also have some brand new stockists of Chiggs Wheels.

The ‘Stockists’ page on the Chiggs website has been updated. This page  lists our retailers, ‘bricks and mortar’ shops county by county, and also has  ‘jump’ links to our international stockists, and to the online retailers who also sell Chiggs Wheels.  This is an incredibly diverse range of companies, including businesses offering baby gifts, greeting cards, children’s clothing, new baby hampers, nappy cakes and baby shower goodies. Phew!

New retailers to join the Chiggs family since our last stockist update in January include Smartieprints who specialise in personalised gifts, Lemon House Gifts, based in Preston, and Baby Cakes to Celebrate have added Baby Feed Wheels and Baby Medicine Wheels to their range.

A new shop recently opened up in Darlington, County Durham, Love Style Home, are selling Baby Feed Wheel ‘new baby’ congratulations cards and also the Get Well Wheel ‘get well soon’ cards.

We’ve also made deliveries to fellow Yorkshire businesses recently, Pots 2 Go ceramic cafe here in Harrogate (pictured above), Appleby Cards and Gifts in Otley, and Magpie Greetings (also in Harrogate, and incidentally our very first stockist way back in 2006!) have all reordered Chiggs Wheels for the delectation of their customers.

If you would like to sell Chiggs Wheels through your business, have a look at our Trade and Wholesale page, and either fill in the trade enquiry form or send us an email for more information. We’d love to hear from you!

From empty slots to pop-up shops

Friday, June 28th, 2013

No-one can miss the increasing number of empty, shuttered-up shops on our High Streets. Even here in Harrogate- a town previously renowned as being ‘recession proof’ we have the largest number of empty shops around town that I have seen since moving here 12 years ago, with both Independent and household name businesses closing.

Are people spending less on the High Street and more online?

Are business rents and rates too high for the smaller independent shops to afford?

Are parking costs putting people off, driving people to drive to out-of-town shopping malls where parking is free?

Here at Chiggs we practice what we preach, and really try to shop at our local independent retailers- buying meat from the butcher; fruit and veg from an excellent, knowledgeable greengrocers right in the centre of Harrogate; cards and presents from the gorgeous Magpie Greetings  (where Baby Feed Wheels and Get Well Wheels are also available!); and last December we held Holly’s birthday party at Pots 2 Go ceramic cafe in town (also a Chiggs stockist!)

Various initiatives have been started to try to help independent businesses. Mary Portas was appointed by the Government to lead a review into the future of Britain’s high streets (as mentioned previously on the Chiggs blog )- her recommendations generated many column inches in the newspapers- and the annual Independent Retailer Month will again be running throughout the month of July.

Pop-up shops have also started, well, popping up- taking over empty retail units on short term leases. While providing some rent for the landlord and filling an empty shop, albeit temporarily, pop up shops also give entrepreneurs an opportunity to try out their business model without  a huge outlay and tying themselves into the financial commitment of a long lease agreement.

Pop Up Britain (part of Start Up Britain) has recently opened a flagship pop-up shop on London’s famous King’s Road.  The outlet will offer short-term opportunities to start-ups and micro businesses from all over the country over a 12 month period. The fabulous news is that Chiggs stockist Hello Baby Gifts has been selected from over 800 applicants to have a shop, and will be taking their gorgeous baby gifts, hampers and nappy cakes (and of course Baby Feed Wheels!) to Kings’ Road in the first 2 weeks of August.