23 September 2013

Little Soap Folk

It is the school holidays. Jonah my 2 year old has spent an hour with his soap folk activity box!

Made by the creative Rondavel soap folk... we have 'little soap folk' houses in store now. 

What it is...

The little cardboard house can be coloured, painted and decorated. The box comes with 2 soap people handmade with Dandelion, lavender and oats (Jonah cannot wait for bath time tonight!) and a clever little puppet to colour in and play with.

This is such a clever little gift for children! Christmas is coming, if you have grandchildren, nieces, nephews, godchildren or any other little people to buy for this is such a fun and creative box of treats!


19 September 2013

Waratha Proteas now in store!

Aren't these gorgeous? Locally grown and freshly cut this morning! What more could you want to brighten your day?! Waratah Proteas will now be sold fresh in store every Thursday so be sure to pick up your bunch before they are gone...

Here are some tips to make your Waratah Blooms last longer:
Make sure that the vase is big enough – they are very thirsty!  Remove any leaves that will be under the water line – they will rot. Take a hammer and mash the bottom of the stem (about 3cm). This opens up more area for water absorption.  

Water - Add a tsp. of sugar to the water (food) and a tsp. of bleach (keeps bacteria at bay).  Every two days change the water completely – add sugar and bleach at each water change.  Adding an aspirin will acidify the water, increasing the water uptake and the longevity of the flowers.

Placement – Place ideally where there is good air circulation. Although they like light, they don’t need direct sunlight – this could cause them to dry out prematurely, The best is a place that receives indirect sun, and remains cool during the day. 

With good conditions you can count on your Waratahs lasting as long as three weeks - they will dry out naturally in the vase and can be kept as a dry arrangement if you wish!

17 September 2013

The Garden & Leisure Show 2013

Great excitement! The Ruby Orchard will be exhibiting at this years Garden & Leisure Show from the 27th to the 29th September at the Royal show grounds in Pietermaritzburg. You will be able to find us in Hall 6, stand 18 & 19.

We will be displaying a select few of our much loved products and some new products which we are sure will become firm favourites! You'll be able to find gorgeous rustic frames, herb & flower growing cards, bright scarfs, ceramic bunnies, hanging hearts, Candy Flower iPad covers & wallets, Alice May's dippy egg boards and more!

We look forward to seeing you there!

13 September 2013

What’s in a window…?

Today our shop window grew… it grew a lot, well actually it almost doubled. 

We are lucky enough to have a shop on a main road… or are we? A window display is the bill board for a store. It excites and invites or you just don’t notice and drive on.

Many of our customers have told us they have driven by, and then had to turn around and venture inside.  How can we keep the window displays fresh, intriguing and downright awesome?!

Quirky displays that tell a story rather than display a set of products may work on Oxford street, London, but Howick?

Scrolling through the images on this blog made me feel quite homesick… I long to amble around Covent Garden and gaze into all the shops that I miss so much… I think some of these window displays are verging on ‘art’… not that I know very much about art! http://thewindowdisplayblog.com/


Keep your eye out…window displays to make you do a U turn at The Ruby Orchard coming soon!!

04 September 2013

Imported Vs Proudly South African

I recently went on a buying trip, searching for new ranges and products to sell at The Ruby Orchard.  The trade show boasts halls of quirky signs, trendy ceramics, rustic home décor, cosy cushions and a load of tat… where do I start?!  

How do I select a range of products that sit in harmony with each other, excite buyers and do not make customers wince when they turn over the price tag?

Should I focus on products made in South Africa?

How can I make The Ruby Orchard remain different from the other shops on the Midlands Meander? 

I LOVE locally made products. Our Rondavel soap range, signs by Oak & Willow, Alice May Dippy Egg boards and our homemade scarves are some of my favourite products we stock.  I still find new locally produced products every week using social media, craft markets, word of mouth and crafty friends.

But sometimes imported products are just so nice. Little silver birds, ceramic bunnies, chunky pots with pretty turquoise glazes… and all such great prices.  I also want to fly the British flag in Howick and stock my favourites from back home.

So, the answers to my questions… I buy what I like, what I would put in my home, rustic, yet stylish, cute and timeless, and no designer price tags.  Some of our products are imported, some are made locally and crafted by South African hands. It is that simple.

So excited our new stock has started to arrive.  The Ruby Orchard - Just lovely things.



02 September 2013

New Growing Paper Card designs in!

Talk about nifty! Growing Paper cards take recycling to another level because, let's be honest now, how often do you reuse the gift cards you give and receive? All Growing Paper cards are embedded with either flower or herb seedlings that with a little care and attention will grow as soon as they are planted.

There are 3 mixtures of seedling, all hardy and plantable almost all year round.
  1. Herb mix consists of a mixture of Basil and Wild Rocket seeds
  2. Flower mix consists of a mixture of Alyssum and Poppy seeds
  3. Indigenous flower mix contains African Daisy and Buck bay vygie seeds

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