Friday, 28 June 2013

Friday Funny, NEW shoes!!

My two naughties & shoe shopping

Big girl naughty will spend all day talking about going shoe shopping, perusing the pretty shoes, choosing shoes, looking at her shoes in the mirror, smiling at the lady as they are paid for and swinging the bag around, swooning over them all day and talking about her NEW shooooes all week.
Completely forgetting her old shoes.

Little boy naughty simply cries and cries THE WHOLE TIME whilst taking off his shoes, having his feet measured, trying on new shoes, choosing new shoes, 
buying his new shoes, on the journey home and on. 
Turns out he doesn't want to be parted from his old shoes.

Goodness me!
Boys and Girls

Thursday, 27 June 2013

New babies, new mums

I have a lot of little friends with babies due this Summer and Autumn.
It's all very exciting.
The poem below was sent to me by a lovely soul when my smallest naughty was almost due.
So for all the babies due soon, the new mummies and new babies, I share it with you.

Only One Mother

Hundreds of stars in the pretty sky,
Hundreds of shells on the shore together,
Hundreds of birds that go singing by,
Hundreds of lambs in the sunny weather.

Hundreds of dewdrops to greet the dawn,
Hundreds of bees in the purple clover,
Hundreds of butterflies on the lawn,
But only one mother the world over.

By George Cooper

Love u-ni-k x

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Wordless wednesday- or almost wordless!

Tomorrow this cheeky wotsit is a year old!
Wishing you a happy HAPPY birthday little E.P

May you always boss my naughties around, keep them on their toes and keep them covered in paint, sand, snot and giggles.

Love Auntie A x

Teacup tuesday- TUNE!

It's supposedly summer- a time to be musical.
I'm a big music fan and with this weekend being Glastonbury weekend it's a time to turn the music up!
I normally have music coming out of every room so I can hear it where ever I am in the house.
It helps me think, relaxes me, inspires me and makes me happy.
I am often found bopping or wiggling with the naughties.....
Lunch is often eaten while head banging or doing some type of bop as we eat. Normally resulting in giggles.

With that in mind I share a few blogs I have written on inspires, it provokes and it can change a mood in a second. Use it productively and it can feed your soul!

So if your having a lull or a non-productive day switch on the radio or put on a favourite CD. It can certainly change your mood for the better!

I call it MUSE music........inspirational tunes! Here is my MUSE music blog here.
It can also capture a moment perfectly! Here is my sentimental music blog.....which I wrote while reminiscing with tears in my eyes. Soppy date!

So..........turn on your tunes and get to it!

Monday, 24 June 2013

Monday maker... wendy house!

I was forever building dens when I was younger... explains a lot about why I seem to have a constant stream of builders in my life, I'm now just building a bigger den!

We'd like to offer a wendy house, den, tree house, teepee even! Help us find one that is u-ni-k (like these lovely ones from Judith Needham).

Dreaming Spires from http://www,

Where you can play

 Where you can personalise it as much as you want


Somewhere that will always be home, no matter how old you are because it holds many happy memories!

Please tell us where we can find the lovely makers that can join our u-ni-k team.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Sometimes even the best plans go awry!

Today's blog is written off the cuff, in between saving the builders from a very curious toddler (she's already taken a fancy to one and wants to point brick work with another) and organising the personal touches for the next phase!

As a former project manager, I had all this in hand and organised weeks ago but a short telephone call has put this into disarray!

The wall tiles I wanted in the bathroom are now out of stock & discountinued! So my floor tiles don't match the new ones they want to replace the discontinued stock with.... Must go and choose all new tiles and have them delivered tomorrow.

So sometimes your best laid plans don't work... which is where Anna & I can help. If you suddenly realise that it's your god child's birthday on Saturday, drop us a line and we'll see if we can gift wrap & send special delivery a gift of your choice. We try to keep an example of each of our stock pieces with us here at u-ni-k so that we can send off at short notice.

So never fear, we are here!

(just don't ask us about builders)

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Tea Cup Tuesday- Low Cost Marketing

Marketing is a necessity in my opinion when it comes to running a business. In my finding’s, normally also a costly one!
However there are forms of marketing that are free and if you play it right can really help your business bloom.

Here are a few free forms of marketing that I can recommend.

Set yourself up with a business page. Update your status with friendly talk, engaging conversation, images of you and your products and lovely links to your website. 
Give yourself a personality. From my experience I have found that people like to know how things are made, what makes them unique and who makes them.

A free way of networking and communicating with like minded businesses. Creating a little fan base by tweeting about your products and following and engaging with potential clients.

A fabulous way of sending out emailable campaigns to your clients. It’s easy, it’s simple and really quite clever. Sending bulk mailings out via mailchimp means they are less likely to hit the trash or spam files of the recipient.
Mailchimp also helps you design your email in a simple aesthetic way if that isn’t your forte!

Community Sites, for instance-
If you are a handmade crafter UKhandmade have a section on their website where you can advertise your business or product. You are invited to write about what you do and share it with their readers. 

Clearly crafting community,
A great place on facebook & twitter to ask crafty related questions, reply to the client requests,  reply to the CCC requests for products in colour or a beginning with a certain letter and generally follow the chitter chatter of like minded crafters and clients looking for unique products. These community sites are great at marrying a wanting client with a capable maker

Join local networking communities. Help, ask for help, get your product out there by people seeing your name, you talking about what you do and getting to know like minded business people.

Markets & Events
If you are a maker, book a stall or table at local events and fetes. It's the perfect place to not only sell your product but market it to local lovelies. And don't be disheartened at the end of the day if the cash taken isn't much. If you have had a day of talking positively about your product, smiling and handing out business cards to prospective clients it has definitely been a positive one. The selling experience quite often goes beyond market day....with sales following weeks or months later. Clients taking cards on the day and making purchases in later months is still a market/event sale!

Word of mouth
Always the best form of marketing! In my opinion one of the BEST forms of free marketing!
Talk about your business positively. If you are sold your positive vision will inspire others. Always have a sample and flyers to hand. You never know when you may need them.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Monday Maker- finding a new maker

It's our birthday month and Sarah and I have set ourselves the task of finding four new makers this month.
We have made a  plea for a dolly and teddy bear maker.
This week we ask for something very special.

A boat maker.

Not a pretty one that just looks lovely. But a toy boat you can take out and actually floats, sails and keeps you captured at the park and boating lake for hours.....
A working boat.

We have both searched high and low but cannot find a suitable toy boat!

So help!

If you make, know of one or know of someone who makes something similar let us know!

PEEPO by Janet & Allan Ahlberg

Thursday, 13 June 2013

World shortage?! Breaking News... little girls no longer playing with dolls? Really?

On Monday we asked if anyone knew of a talented maker of dolls so that we could find a doll to join our merry gang... and unlike our request for a bear maker we've not had a response so far!

So it seems we've hit upon a global shortage? Do we only have the mass produced plastic dolls to play with these days? Come on everyone, there must be a dolly maker out there somewhere!

We know and love the Flo dolls from Fat Hen & Flo

We also love the personalised dolls from Five Past  Seven

In fact it would be hard to choose between them. But we were looking for a u-ni-k doll, something handmade & traditional. A rag doll perhaps? Something soft & big enough to cuddle?

Since you can't find one and we can't find one... perhaps there's no longer traditional dolls being made?

Do little girls no longer play with dolls (mine puts one to bed and washes another's hair once in a while but she has her rabbit as her constant companion)?

Perhaps there's not a demand for them?

What do you think?

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Teacup tuesday- Did you know...?

You know that Sarah and I like to keep ourselves busy!
Yes crazy mummies we are! If being Mummy to crazy toddlers as well as running a successful baby gift website wasn't enough!?

Sarah also runs a lovely photography business called Sarah Davies photography. Her sensitive captured moments are beautiful and sweet. She captures a pause, a trot and a pose perfectly. She see's what most of us blink away. She runs off and clicks, she patiently waits and clicks and most of the time clicks away while the rest of her followers and group are unaware of her clicks. 
Go and take a peek her shots are beautiful!

I have just taken over running a little market called Independent Markets. The first one is next Saturday at Godalming and I invite you all to samples the delights of the stalls I have chosen. 
It is a little treasure trove of local makers, crafters, producer and artists. 

So for all you local blog readers,

You are ALL invited to The Godalming Independent Market
on June 15th, 
Borough Hall 

11- 4.30pm

We represent lots of lovely talented makers, producers, artist and craft people....all showcasing their exquisite makings.

We have Dylan's Ice Cream
& Ollo foods 
to keep us refreshed and full. 

It's the day before fathers day and we have plenty of ideas for Daddies day presents, 
with Mancakes from The Sweet Oven
bird and bee houses from Tall Grey Bird

delicious chutney from Ollofoods, calendars and coasters from local artist Kevin Gorton 
and I know not a single man who can walk past the U-ni-k gifts stall without smiling at the handsome Mr Moose coat stand.

INVITE your friends, family and neighbours. It is going to be a lovely day!

We have crafting tables for all ages from Thimble workshops 

and The Portable Pottery Company also will have her potters wheel to show you how it all begins.

And our friends the Arthouse Meath showing us their inspirational art works

Don't miss it, you'll miss out!
Come and sample the delights!
Here is you emailable Invitation.

If you are local, look out for us both in The Surrey Advertiser this week promoting u-ni-k and the lovely Godalming Independent Market.
Come and say hello on 15th June. We'll both be there!

Friday, 7 June 2013

Friday Funny....

OK so I posted about how Mum's are the family version of Google... Here's a Pinterest Pin I found about it!

Have a lovely weekend.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

My new found love... vintage!

I'm not a traditional girl, my taste is usually described as 'modern classic'. It's no secret I like things to be made from natural materials, and where possible made by hand!

Mentally I've always thought 'vintage' was a term used to describe doilies, pastel flowery patterns, and green bathrooms thought fashionable in the 1960s.

Until I visited the V&A. Now the Victoria & Albert Museum in London is not my usual stomping ground, the Natural History Museum is, definitely ME. However, Anna insisted that I make time for the V&A so on my one day off this year (my birthday, no-one should work their birthday) off I popped.

Wow, what a treasure trove of lovely pieces. I'd not saved much time for having a look (I'd gone to the NHM first) and I'll definitely be going back. The V&A are fabulous at showing vintage off at it's best! So thank you Anna for sending me their way.

This visit inspired me to look at some of our vintage pieces with a fresh eye (no bad thing for a photographer). While I've loved the look & feel of our Shuktara blanket, I now appreciate the delicate floral designs stitched together; the smell of the vintage  children's stories in their hardcover books, the soft loved feel of the mangle linen on Winnie's Pinnies.

Vintage isn't always doilies & granny florals. Sometimes is classic, timeless pieces that should be loved & treasured.

Find our vintage pieces at

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Encourage your children to enjoy the pleasures of the English language
 with a love of reading & books.

(Some wonderful vintage books can be found over on our website)

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Teacup Tuesday... insurance - a bet you wouldn't want to lose!

OK so it seems mundane, and actually the money it costs could be spent on something 'better' like more marketing or a stall at a fantastic craft fayre but really insurance is something you can't do without.

If everything goes swimmingly then yes, it seems unnecessary but if it doesn't all go swimmingly then insurance is the net there to help you. Take Anna's recently uninvited and definitely unwanted visitors... her insurance is going to help her replace the electrical items she lost (not unfortunately the camera memory card). Otherwise she'd be without them for longer than a few weeks :(

The same as a business, should someone decide that your product arrived in poor condition or even worse never turned up then the insurance you paid for when posting it helps you reclaim towards that loss and perhaps even covers making a new product and resending.

But it's not only product or belonging insurance a business needs, no there's liability & other areas that we need to cover ourselves for. In this 'have you had an accident that wasn't your fault' TV advert soaked society, I wouldn't dream of erecting a gazebo or table at an event without the insurance to cover me for any accidents that may happen. A table can be heavy if it gives way... and if it fell on someone's foot and they decided to seek compensation then I'd need my insurance to back me up!

So not mundane or unnecessary at all. When you need it insurance is the safety net that catches you when accidents happen. If you run a small business then it is a necessity.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Monday Maker.... WANTED - A Traditional Teddy Bear!

Usually we celebrate one of our talented makers on the blog! This week we are looking for a talented crafts person / people to join our merry group.

u-ni-k gifts doesn't have a teddy bear, which is a tragedy for a children's gift company. So we'd like you to help us find the u-ni-k bear.

Please recommend a handmade bear, made from natural materials, that will sit handsomely among our other u-ni-k gifts!

Either add a link to your bear recommendation in the comments below, email us at or post on our Facebook page!

(Note for makers:
We don't charge makers for featuring on u-ni-k gifts, we work with you to create a pricing structure that suits both you & us. All our u-ni-k makers have a contract with us that helps clarify our working practices. We're more than happy to ask our current makers to contact you to let you know about working with us! )