So what’s new, 2014?

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It’s the start of ‘Year 3’ for The Wise House and with it comes a great deal of excitement and extra pressure to keep growing the business. I had imagined myself kicking back after the Christmas period, with plenty of time for rumination and planning. Oh, how mistaken I was. I’d forgotten that when you are accountant, IT person, manager, buyer, seller, PR guru (or not) and tea girl that there is always a backlog of things waiting to be attended to. The inconvenient business of doing my tax return, end of year accounts, stock check (which my daughter Rose loved doing much more than me) and figuring out the joys of Google’s Product Listing Ads (which left me teetering on the brink of insanity) has taken up rather a lot of my time.

Luckily a counter-balance to all that other stuff is the rather more pleasurable task of picking nice things to sell. My mum accompanied me to Top Drawer trade show this year and her timeless good taste was a big help. We spotted some great new products that will appear throughout 2014.

One of our first new collections for 2014 comes from one of my favourite and first-ever suppliers, Mac & Ninny Paper Company (of bookplate and jam jar cover fame). Vic and Tony have produced a new retro-style range of greetings cards and drinks coasters (think posh beer mats) using their new vintage Heidelberg windmill letterpress machine, manufactured in 1962. I really love the geometric flower designs, and the lightly embossed effect gives the cards and coasters a wonderfully textured look and feel. The coaster sets are great value at only £5.99 for half a dozen. A great dinner party or house guest gift.

Mac & Ninny Drinks Coasters   Mac & Ninny Letterpress Icecream Cards  Letterpress Geometric Flower Cards from Mac & Ninny

I’ve also come across a couple of small ‘one man/woman band’ companies with very novel gift ideas. The first is already in stock in the form of the ‘Cake In A Tin’ – a wee little cake for one that makes a very nice small gift.

The second is from Lou Brown who has designed and printed a ‘Bicycle Made for Two’ card and Love Voucher set. Inside the envelope are six love vouchers, little promises that the recipient can exchange at any point such as ‘Dinner at a place of your choice’ or ‘Breakfast in bed’. Both products make lovely gifts for Valentine’s Day.

Chocolate with candle Lou Brown Love Vouchers and Card Lou Brown Love Vouchers and Card

Looking at the trends or this year there is a focus on natural materials such as metals (zinc and copper), blondewood, coloured glass (I do so love a green bottle) , ceramics (particularly dip dyed) and even concrete (I noticed that Cox & Cox have concrete hearts and houses in their new Spring collection among other things). Geometic designs and scandi-chic are still very much in vogue too.

One of our bigger suppliers, nkuku, has launched a gorgeous new product range for Spring, much of which I can’t get my hands on until then. However, a few bits will be in stock soon such as the coloured glass hyacinth vases and metal baskets which I had just ordered and low and behold they popped up in this months Red Magazine...

 nkuku hyacinth bulb coloured glass vase nkuku Alama Baskets  nkuku stag bottle stopper 

My seamstress and I will continue to design and make some one-off handmade pieces in beautiful fabrics, with new ironing board covers due in February and a spring collection of fabrics for our popular kid’s hipster bag. I’m on the lookout for some funky kindle/ipad covers too.

I’m always open to suggestions for products you would like to see so don’t hold back!




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