Felting For A Fairtrade
So what does fair trade have to do with felting? In addition the wool produced in the UK used for needle or wet felting gifts there are many other countries who rely on the product to provide an income and support communities.
Over the last year Wobbly pins have been looking to extend their range of products and unique gifts and have been sourcing items that are Fairtrade meaning we are giving something back to communities whilst supporting our love of crafts.
So what does it mean for the felt items that are we sell?. At our craft fairs you can buy our handmade items or a range of gifts that we have bought from a companies who are reputable Fairtrade suppliers. This means that they are working with communities to produce goods that they have paid a market rate price that enables decent working conditions and local sustainability whilst learning a trade.
That extra few pence that you pay for an item may not mean much to you but it does ensure that the small scale producer in the remote countryside that produced your gift has some choice and control over their future and is able to reinvest in their community.
Where does our stock come from?
One of our suppliers is Gringo Wholesale and they have been importing Fairtrade items for many years. Over the last few months we have also been visiting trade fairs to meet the people behind the products and we have made some new contacts with small producers in Nepal that we are hoping to work with and have our own range designed.
So the month of May has been very busy here in the House of Wobbly Pins with some lots of discussions about logo’s & labels . We have been thinking about redesigning our labels for a while as the business has evolved and covers a myriad of crafts.
Classic or Quirky
A few cups of tea and maybe just a few gin & tonics have been consumed whilst doodling and exploring a new label design for our soap and candle range. Should we write a classic or should we be quirky or floral or moody?.
So many choices are available when trying to decide on a design that reflects your ethos and will not become outdated in this fast moving world but also catch your customers eye when you are faced with so much choice.
We have considered spots, stripes, flowers, geometrics, squares, swirls, font style (important as we get older-I have difficulty reading a lot of labels), shades of purple, & yellow……..you get the picture.
The Logo & Label winner is?
So in the end we choose a classic theme, with a classic colour combination , with a font style that you can read without recruiting an interpreter. We have retained our hand doodled birds combined with a new brand to reflect our handmade soap made in small batches and our candle range.
When you are out and about watch out for our new brand labelling arriving in late June, wrapped around our handmade soap and candles.
We hope you like it as much as we do.
Traditionally the month of January is devoted to detoxing – how many people have had a dry month in some format?. A few more days until the end of January to reflect to think about what did not work last year, what did go right – either as a result of meticulous planning or sheer accident and what can we do differently for a more successful, happy and healthy year ahead.
I have been directing these questions to my soapy journey now that I have moved on from the honeymoon period. At the beginning I scoured the internet for information, attended courses, read soapy magazines and washed a lot in 2017, all in the name of research.
Pinterest has been a great companion in the early hours of the morning when I could not sleep, admiring the many colour and texture combinations of soap makers large and small around the world.
So I know what I need to do this year – this means trying some different techniques. I have perfected my trace and have only had 1 seized batch in 18 months, I panicked and threw the soap away in a temper, now I would have the confidence to rebatch it. I have always lusted after some simple swirls and experimenting with colours, so as a little self development exercise and to achieve this goal I will book myself on another soap course – there is always something new to learn and a good way to network with people with a similar interests.
Faith In Nature
Looking ahead I also want to experiment and have faith in using natural colours, maybe some nettle and paprika, I will have to raid the kitchen cupboards for inspiration.
Chemical Chain Reaction
The process of soap making and the chemical chain reaction has taught me a lot about myself – planning, getting the right ingredients in the right order at the right time, dealing with the occasional slip up and making the best of a situation when things go wrong – all can be applied to every day life.
I am at my happiest when I cut the soap and lay it out to cure as I can admire it for a further 6 weeks before it is packed up to be sold. When somebody buys a bar of my soap and I get compliments I still do a little happy jig inside so when I have a bad day over the next 11 months I will reflect on my Dry January and think positive thoughts.