Sew is Life is written by E. It is a little space of blogging bliss inspired by art, design, craft, fashion, beauty and wellness. Based in Perth, Western Australia. Read about the daily ramblings of me being a mother of three and wife to an amazing creative man. The second me makes fresh skincare at SELF Organics. These are my stories sewn together with love.
I catch myself saying this a lot, but this year has definitely been a test of strength and patience. 2013 has been one that has passed by too quickly with more worry and stress than anything else.
It may have something to do with taking on the newsagency business and seeing that it isn’t exactly how I thought it would be when my family first bought it. I was new, inexperienced and had no guidance. My naive and opportunistic view can cloud my ability to see how the previous owner was running this business and well….small shops are often forgotten about.
It’s a little disheartening because everyday it isn’t unusual to hear from customers, but "Woolies sells this cheaper", "I could get 2 of these from Officeworks with the price you are charging me". "You don’t do lotto?".
It has definitely been a challenge to transform this small shop into something my customers can see as a service driven, family-owned and community conscious newsagency. We could never EVER compete with the giants like Officeworks and Woolworths. The store’s motto is ‘serving the community’. Our wish to get our lotto license is still sitting upon the decision of Lottery West and we will hear the outcome in December. Foot traffic is the main criteria they are looking at, and if more shoppers went local we could show them this.
That’s why I am here writing to you about the Shop Small campaign promoted by the Liberal Party. I’m glad that Tony Abbott is supporting this movement and encouraging shoppers to support their local shops during the lead up to Christmas.
We small shops are more often than not - families who put in the long hours and hard work, we provide the quality service because we care about our customers and their loyalty. We treat them as friends, as they learn a bit about us and we learn about them and their families. Even though we work ourselves ‘silly’ the profit margin is significantly less than the big guys but the satisfaction of providing a service and running a business is pretty fantastic. And profits…well they are really a dream, and if they are earnt they are a family’s livelihood.
Here is what my family’s shop looks like. It is my place of ‘peace’ away from domesticity. (It is located at Rostrata 7-Day Centre Shop 6, 2-4 Glenmoy Avenue, Willetton if you wish to drop in and say hi) or on our Facebook Page here.
Small businesses make up 95% of the Australian businesses and they are the ones that keep the money moving within Australia. Most of the larger companies are owned overseas, therefore money is not being recycled in our economy.
If you wish to support the Shop Small campaign this November, just shop at your local store. Get to know your local shop keeper and let them know you support them. You can also Tweet about it by using #shopsmallau
So please, get behind the Shop Small movement and behind fellow Australians! I’m sure you will put a smile on your local businessperson’s dial for Christmas :)
I certainly did not want this to be a promotion for the newsagency, I really want others to know what small business owners are like, and how they feel about this campaign.
You can also read more about ‘Shop Small here (the official page)
Have a fab Monday lovelies! And if you think a small business does something great, share it on social media and in the comments section :)
*I’m writing this post to share my experience. This is not a sponsored.
It’s back! The Vogue Online Shopping night is on again, it all starts today at noon. Have you been checking out the Vogue website to keep an eye on your favourites and book marked your top shopping sites?
Sadly I will be at my work desk, but hopefully during my lunch break I can squizz out the specials on my smart phone. Or by the time I knock off I’ll be plonking myself in front of the laptop with a warm cuppa ahh…. The event runs from 12pm to 12am, so there is ample time to look and pick up some early Christmas bargains for friends, family or yourself!
You may also want to keep updated with what’s happening on social media by using the hashtag #VOSN and share the purchases you have made via Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. I would love to hear about your buys!
This is a great way to support Aussie brands too and I’m so happy that Etsy Australia has also jumped on board…because you too can support handmade from our local creatives!
And here are some offers that I shall be spying on today:
RY.com.au - spend $59 get a $10 voucher, free shipping, Plus One redken duo gift per customer for the first 50 customers only. Use code 'VOSN'
Activeskin - get 10% off, use code ‘VOSN13’ and receive a dermalogica gift pack if you spend over $100 (but use code ‘free VOSN gift’)!
Nourished Life (Organic beauty store) - 10% off storewide with code 'VOGUE'
milkandco.com.au - 50% off (excludes shipping) use code ‘VOGUE13’
Eclektica.com - 30% off with the promo code 'VOGUETTE' and free shipping
missmoncur.com - 25% off with promo code ‘VOGUE’, first 50 shoppers will receive 15% off all purchases
Etsy.com - 20% off all VOSN retailers, use promo code ‘VOGUE’. Look out for Loliette who is owned by one of my mates from high school. She makes killer ballet flats.
Ambrosia Candles - 15% off all items and a free candle for the first 15 orders over $30 and use the code ‘VOSN13’
- A complimentary Wishbone bangle, valued at $55 will be given to every customer who spends $200 or more in one transaction.
- Spend $500 or more in one transaction and receive a complimentary set of three Wishbone bangles valued at $165.
It’s such a great line up this Summer, so many new and upcoming retailers joining in. Oh-no watch out wallet!
Will you be buying anything during VOSN? What have you got on your list?
Have fun lovelies and login and have a say on social media by using the hashtag #VOSN. Everytime VOSN buzzes like a huge virtual marketplace and trens on twitter. I’ve always have fond memories of my time on VOSN.
I’ll see you there or maybe at ‘Shoppaholics Anonymous’ ;)
Hi guys, how was your weekend? Hope you got up to lots and relaxed too.
I want to share my latest purchase…and this was a much needed update to my sad and sorry looking wallet. I didn’t really think to change my wallet, until I thought this is probably a reflection of my spending habits and also it may be causing bad luck or bad ‘feng shui’ to carry such a poor looking wallet.
My old black Olga Berg served me well…it will be sad to say goodbye to such an old friend. We had many good times out shopping together. And I saw that Marcs was having a sale during my birthday so I thought..why not update my prime accessory with a gorgeous red and gold detailed wallet.
The Olga Berg travelled with me where ever I went, so it was only a matter of time it would fall to bits. This new one is made of leather…so hopefully it will last the wear and tear little longer. There are 16 card sleeves, a coin zipped compartment, another zip pocket on the side and a main zip to stop receipts falling out.
I found all those hidden Maccas (McDonald’s) receipts! Oops..
Do you consider your a wallet an accessory or just a necessity?
Enjoy your Monday!
It seems everywhere I turn, there are ladies with beautiful baby bellies or new borns and teeny toddlers. Even little Luna has started crawling and sprouted her first tooth! Whenever she smiles with that toothy grin, I want to give her an eye patch, a pirate’s hat and listen to her say “Arrrgg…”. It would be the cutest thing I reckon!
So these days, I find my wallet is being emptied and going towards shopping for bubs and other friend’s bubs. The Lime Crime restock will just have to wait until I can save up some extra dough for a Velvetine. Don’t get me wrong…I secretly love this stuff…who doesn’t like buying mini outfits? At least it looks cuter on them than it would you. I mean…come on…adult onesies?
Do you know of someone who has a mini-human, but you have no clue what to get her and her new bub. If you haven’t been shopping for a baby before, believe me you will be blown away at the selection! There are just so many different ways to transport and feed a little person.
I have put together a short guide on top gifts for Mums and their babies, to help you on your way at the department stores:
1. Always include a gift (no matter how small) to pamper the woman who just went to ‘hell and back’ - maybe a massage voucher, a voucher for a mobile hair service, online shopping voucher (for clothes, makeup, skincare etc), a nice comfy set of PJs to lounge around in (make sure they have buttons down the front for breast feeding)
2. A gift to keep baby occupied - find a baby mobile with soothing music, or a baby bouncer, toys with lots of colour, textures and lots of sounds. But make sure the toy has a volume control! Also make sure it is age appropriate, little children tend to put everything in their mouths…so small items that can break off should be avoided.
3. Making chores a breeze - Ajax wipes, Easy off Bam shower spray, Vanish Napisan (this stuff is made of gold I swear!), a dust buster or even offering to help do a load of washing is a great way to help a new mum out. Cooking a meal and freezing them are also great ways of showing you care.
4. Something to keep baby happy - Baby blankets, soft toys, bath toys…most TOYS! Also learning how to play with baby, so mum can go and have a shower. Sometimes if you haven’t held a baby or played with children in a while, you can forget how to see from a child’s perspective. Singing, being silly and talking to them are great ways of keeping them amused. And if they cry, it is just their way of communicating…as they haven’t learn grown up language yet.
5. Something for travelling with bubs - a stylish nappy bag, baby bottles, maybe go halfsies with a friend to buy a pram, portacot or baby sling.
The possibilities of baby gifting are endless! The trick is not to get too bogged down by the choices and listen to the mother’s needs…what is she hinting at? Hmm…
Also check online stores for bargains, with baby shopping - the best price is OUT THERE! With so much competition, you can bargain hunt till you find the price you like.
If you have any questions about baby gifting please feel free to ask. With three little ones, I have already done the research for you :)
And here are some online stores for you to scope out and get you started:
The Iconic (Yes! They have recently opened a baby store, so you can shop for yourself, mum and bubs hehe…free shipping too)
What is Black Friday you ask? For those who live in the US they are very familiar with the term Black Friday as it is the day after Thanks Giving. It has become an unofficial holiday where retailers hold sales specifically for shoppers to get their Christmas shopping done. Rather than retailers being in the ‘red’ zone, they are actually turning a profit on this day and will fall within the ‘black’ zone.
For many of us, around the world the term ‘Black Friday’ is known as Friday 13th or an unlucky Friday. But these are all silly superstitions whether you believe it or not! And if ‘Black Friday’ is a labelled a SALE day for Americans, shouldn’t the rest of us take advantage of completing our Christmas shopping on time too? We can brave the sales online without having to put up with the rowdy, wild-eyed bargain hunters that have sharpened elbows and stompy boots.
Please raise your hand if you are super organized for Christmas :)
Let the shopping begin! From makeup, to fashion, to stationary. Here are some Black Friday sales to check out:
That reminds me I have to get a calendar and diary for next year! I am such a stationary addict…and I love to be organised before the new year rings in.
Get more bang for your buck this Black Friday! :) Sales start today Thursday 22/11 and will end on Monday 26/11.
What will you be shopping for this Christmas?
Just wanted to share an online retail therapy offer from French Connection UK. For only 2 days (from Wednesday 4th April to Midnight Thursday 5th April) French Connection UK will be having a special offer in association with Grazia magazine. They are offering 20% off full priced merchandise, just enter the code: GRAZIASS12 at the checkout. Only one offer per customer.
Please read the Terms and Conditions below:
T&Cs: 20% off in association with Grazia between Wednesday 4th April – Midnight Thursday 5th April, simply enter promo code GRAZIASS12 at the checkout. This discount is only valid on full-priced merchandise and only one discount per person will be allowed, even if multiple purchases are made. The offer does not include any items from the French Connection home range. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers or promotions or used to purchase gift cards or charity items
The other side of the world is currently experiencing the warmth and light, whilst dusk seems to be coming earlier for us down under. French Connection UK have some cute, versatile pieces that can be really great for layering. As our Winters will most likely reach a maximum of 19 degrees during the day, I don’t worry about rugging up too much.
Take advantage of some new season pieces!
What couldn’t you do without this Winter?
What a kind gesture for Vogue Australia to host an Online Shopping event for online shopaholics on June 8th during the wet and rainy season. It is like Fashion’s Night Out without walking in heels down a red carpet, but in the comfort of your own home, sitting in front of your laptop in ugg boots and jammies. Judging from all the activity on Twitter it sounded like Vogue had a successful first online shopping night, so I hope there will be more to come!
But what comes with online shopping is the patience of receiving the goods. I have developed this sense of anticipation for quite some time now. It is worth it in the end when you scored a bargain with item + shipping equaling less than what you paid in the stores. Not to mention the amazing competitions that several retailers were running during the event!
While shopping at Napoleon Perdis, I was one of the first 80 shoppers to snap up their Deco Deluxe Lip Gloss. A limited edition set of gorgeous, glimmering, lip smacking lippies that I was so surprised to receive in the mail with my Palette Patrol. I swear all the lip glosses that have gone astray in the last four years amaze me, they have ended up in the car, in my hand bag, in the other hand bag, in the nappy bag, in the jacket I wore last Winter and so on. I hope to take care of this set of pretties to last me a while.
Deco Deluxe Lip Gloss
Napoleon Perdis Palette Patrol
On VOSN I stumbled across the StyleSofia shopping website (first time I heard of it!), which I instantly thought “this is a sign” because they have my daughter’s name! And their fashion is fun, feminine, flirty, easy to wear and a price tag that makes me grin like a Cheshire cat. I was also very fortunate to be one of the shoppers that picked up a KustomKix pack with my purchase. I received a Lime Crime lipstick in Retrofuturist,it is the perfect red to suit all skin tones. Ever since then, I have become a fanatical Lime Crime follower! And some goodies from Space Factory, including their nebula scarf and ‘We Believe’ t-shirt.
Lime Crime Lipstick in Retrofuturist & Me at Hillarys Boat Harbour wearing a Space Factory Nebula Scarf
I hope you guys make it to the next VOSN, because it was such an exhilarating experience for me (minus the RSI from frantic clicking through sales) and I think anyone who has an eye for a bargain, especially when it comes to fashion, will have a ball. ‘Like’ the Vogue Australia’s Facebook Page or subscribe to their mailing list to keep up to date with their next VOSN.
On September 8th 2011, Vogue will be hosting their Fashions Night Out around the globe. In Australia, the festivities will be happening in Sydney but keen fashionistas can also participate online. Go to the website to check out more information about the night. Support our Australian designers and local fashion industry! Keep our economy going strong ;)