I love discovering lovely things and recently came across a wonderful online store called Two Ducks. I was delighted when founder Claire accepted my invitation to tell her story and showcase her gorgeous products on my blog.
“I’m passionate about British craft and British design – and this passion has taken me through an incredible year since we launched Two Ducks, our new business selling beautiful British gifts.
It’s been hard work getting started but discovering that lots of people share my passion has made it enjoyable and really encouraged me to keep going. There’s been a brilliant response to the products I’ve discovered from makers around the UK and to the recent opening of our shop in St John’s near Woking. But even before we opened I received lots of support through social media and help in building the brand, from choosing our strap line ‘The Home of Beautiful British Gifts’ to selecting products for the shop. ”
“Beyond the daily business of the shop I’ve also had the privilege of meeting some of the many talented designers who create the wonderful products we stock. This has inspired me to find out more about retail and the creative industry in this country and I’ve started reflecting on my experiences in a blog, here are a few of the topics I have explored:
a. The designer-maker (creative) industry is largely dominated by women and that makes it quite a unique, special and supportive place to work!
b. Universities teaching Design-related degrees understandably focus on the creative studies but this often leaves graduates a little ‘underprepared’ for the commercial market they enter.
c. A lot of smaller/new designers struggle to get their products taken by retailers because their initial pitch focusses more on the skill/design of their products than how those products will fit with the business they’re approaching – which is a shame because this is fairly easy to change and could really help them.
d. Using social media can be brilliant for customer service – you can tweet customers new products you think they might like – link-in to maker descriptions on Facebook and build relationships online across a much wider range of people.
But ultimately this business is about the giving and receiving of gifts and so my favourite thing from this year has been showcasing new items that I know my customers will love! Here’s some I’ve been stocking this summer”:
Gorgeous natural aromatherapy soaps by Northumberland based company ‘Ginger Duck’ – carefully made, wrapped and finished all by hand in maker Alex’s little cottage beside the River Tweed (£4.50 a bar).
Make-up pouches by Fanny Shorter. Fanny designs the fabrics, prints them in her own studio at Cockpit arts in London and then lovingly sews them with a brass zip fastener (£18). We have new designs coming in September.
Thank you for showcasing your lovely Two Ducks products Claire new products for the Autumn are coming soon so keep an eye out for them!