Thursday, 6 October 2011

We are who we are!

I’ve been thinking about the subject of this blog for sometime and musing over how best to explain myself.  Then whilst chatting with Sarah while Danger baby and the Naughty dived off soft play things during Go Banana’s (or monkey wotsits, as I call it) it was bought to my attention by Sarah that people think we are expensive. So I have set about trying to explain a little about what we do and who we are. We don’t price our products highly and then put all the golden nuggets we make into our pockets for our own benefit.  We barely make a mark up with most of the products we sell. We bring them to you because we have found these treasures have complemented and enriched our lives and we hope they will yours too. They are truly special things that should be shared.

Let me explain. (I’ve highlighted the basic points in red and black to re-iterate my points!)

We are a gifts website that sells traditional gifts. We are not Mother care, Kiddi care, Jojomamen wotsits, Mama’s & Papa’s, Tesco’s or any other baby retailer that sells basic's for Mummies and Daddies to buy for their little ones. Nor would we want to compete with these retailers, we couldn’t even if we wanted to. After all they do what they do well and are already readily available. They sell mass produced products for babies.  Sarah and I buy our children’s basics and bits from these retailers because we can go and find exactly what we want in quantity. A pack of 6 white bibs, a pack of 6 sleep suits all lined up and ready to buy. That’s what they are great at…that’s why they are massive! These products are normally made on a production line by machines in a far away country where the only time the product is touched by human hands in during Quality Control checks. The finished product is the exact as the one boxed beside it. There are no originals.  The products all have a use by date of a season or perhaps a year when they are then out of fashion or falling apart. The products sold here are mass designed by a design group/house who reels off designs and designs on a commercial basis to supply the demand from their bosses and consumers. These designs made, are then forgotten about. They bare the label of the BIG DOGS. No acknowledgement is given to the designer or maker. They are then stuffed into shops for us to purchase from a sales person who barely acknowledges you nor knows any details of what you are buying.

Annafie liberty print dress
We on the other hand are quite the opposite. We represent and support small craftspeople and masters of their craft and trade. This means small production and in some occasions one’s off. Yes, you can buy something that nobody else has and cannot be bought anywhere else. Our products never leave the hands of our makers until they are prised away on completion. Yes, our makers find it hard to let their precious makings go…truly made from the heart. Each product is made with hours of love and care normally by a human being…not a machine.  If a machine is used It is worked by a human being.

Syot Fire Truck
We have worked hard to organize our makers to make even rarer products for u-ni-k, so some of the things are made just for us…not like “Not on the high street” that can be found in numerous places. Making them unique and special. And to add the cherry to the cake we even can organize for a leg length or a preferred colour to be used with our bespoke service so that what you choose to buy is perfect and made just for you. Not a service that the BIG DOGS i've mentioned can offer.
Our products are not in fashion or “on trend”. They are simply just beautiful things that last a lifetime. We make sure the makers names are added to our website. We even link to their pages so that we can be a happy family and support each other. Our makers are just as important and special as the products they produce.
Most of what we show on our website is made in the Uk by people who care and masters of their makings. The things that are made in France, Germany and India are made by craftspeople and are all helping the environment by using sustainable trees and recycled fabrics or by employing and making jobs for the local community. One of our suppliers is even a charity!
We can talk endlessly about how great our makers are and go into depth about what they make. 

u-ni-k hand knitted softy

I understand that some people will just not understand what we do. That is fine. Some people simply do not want to understand quality, beauty and things made well. I agree some basic things need to be made on a Mass produced scale. After all I don’t want to pay £10+ for one bib or one muslin. That’s ridiculous. What we represent is those special things that should be treasured a lifetime.

While our terrors raced about Sarah put it so simply …when you compare the pounds spent to the length of time that has gone into making the products we represent and then you think about the hours of pleasure you will have loving and using the products we promote…. you’ve actually bagged yourself a bargain!

Shuktara baby blanket
After all, we all know that a coffee in an independent coffee shop is delivered, looks and tastes far better than a coffee from Starbucks and Costa! Starbucks and Costa are just convenient. Pay pennies for convenience. Pay nuggets for quality!

After all, Mothercare baby blankets rarely sit on the recommendations pages by Daisy Bridgewater of the telegraph but our shuktara blankets do!

If you disagree, I am happy to explain further. 


  1. It takes me [Sarah] 10 days to knit, stuff and sew a bunny or lamb. So at £35 that's £3.50 a day, not including materials... But it's worth it to think that some little person will take Dorris into the outside world and they can dig together looking for treasures for many many hours.

  2. I just couldn't put it better! Very well done, Anna.

  3. Thanks Njomza. Your peices are always beautiful!! Timeless, that why we love them!

  4. Well said! A decent price charged for one's work is about valueing yourself after all.

  5. absolutely Whitney-Anne. We are glad you agree. So many people think it's about just plucking a price out of thin air!!