Christmas in July 2018

If you work in retail, you'll know first hand that Christmas is a time of huge rollercoasters of emotion - bring on the orders, where are the orders, bring on the orders pretty please and then blimey, the orders are here and we're working day and night to get everything in the right place at the right time. It's a wonderful and terrifying experience, all at the same time. 

What's even more difficult to do though, is be ready for Christmas eight months ahead of it! Big multiple retailers run between 18 months and 2 years ahead of the actual calendar - what we think comes about as an 'of the moment trend' is not one at all - someone else foresaw it long before you and I did!

As part of this #ChristmasInJuly is a time when everyone who has a product to sell shows it off to journalists, bloggers and influencers alike. It's a huge touch, taste, see and feel event. It's also a huge listening opportunity - you get a feel for what people are loving by talking with them about what has caught their attention the most.

We're supporting Not On The High Street with their work in this area by making our brand new personalised place settings and sending them to them, as part of the eating phase of their contribution to the Christmas In July phenomenon. We spent our entire weekend working on them and thought you might like to see some of the behind the scenes work which went into them. 
Here Richard is cutting the leather. He's done the first cut and is now trimming it to size. We buy a whole hide at a time and work out how we can get the most out of it. These reduces waste and keeps costs down as leather i an incredibly expensive raw material to work with - patches, shading and marks all have to be worked around. This requires patience and being able to see the pieces all cut out without before actually taking a knife to it...

Another really interesting stage is the burnishing. Here Richard is taking the piece of cut leather and running the wooden burnishing tool along the edge. This softens it and removes rough edges. 

And now it's time for a confession. That's all I got because in all honesty I was in a whirling dervish experience of de cluttering at home. As quickly as I was putting everything into bags for giving to friends, recycling and for the refuse centre, our boys were re discovering their love of them!!! 

I don't even have the finished product to share. I'm so sorry about that. We didn't get time to photograph them - they needed to be orrffff in the post to Not On The High Street HQ! We will of course make more and photograph them as the finished article as soon as we have a moment. We're still very busy with teacher gifts, mid year, academic year diaries and helping people give wedding gifts which are personal, thoughtful and useful. No mean feat at all with the latter.... 

Have you even started to think about Christmas gifting yet? I have but I'll share that in another post soon!

Liz Weston - Hope House Press. 

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