31 December 2013

Review of the year - 2013 you have been good to us!

January// Sat on a plane, leaving my homeland and family after a wonderful, winter wonderland Christmas, what did 2013 have in store? Would we stay in SA longer than the year we had initially planned? In January 2103 I really had no idea how the family business would morph into what it has.
February// A shop that makes people talk, a shop that feels different, a shop whose interior surprises.  How would we create this?  Erecting rusty corrugated roof sheeting of course! With some pinterest inspiration a corner of the shop was transformed!

March// Our first trip to a trade show to find new stock... we found some brilliant suppliers and lovely products, yet I had mixed feelings.  Have a read - Imported Vs Proudly South African.
April// Choosing a name for the shop... this took some time.  Paper Moon, Place Settings and All Wrapped Up made the short list! Signs and logo designed, The Ruby Orchard was born. We invited friends, family, businesses and colleagues to our first big 'do'. Our official launch night was a such a success!
May// A trip back to the UK always inspires.  I wish I could ship containers full of products from my favourite places and designers.  We will keep working to provide you with products you don't see anywhere else! My inspiration often comes from English country cottages, Emma Bridgewater, Cath Kidston, Laura Ashley and other beautiful British designers.

June// We had gathered a few old pieces of furniture and workbenches to use as displays in the shop... however customers wanted to buy them! We started searching for other pieces that needed restoring and found a hidden Midlands talent to upcycle for us.  In June the furniture was in the workshop.
July// July saw the first pieces of furniture arrive... my father in law really wasn't sure that they would ever sell! Oh yee of little faith!  Old tool boxes converted into quirky storage benches, Old doors into stunning kitchen tables... this side of our business has grown immensely, we hope to continue to excite you with our before and after photos!

August// Our blog was born in August and told the story of how it all began.  Nicola Tweed joined The Ruby Orchard team too - she sells, searches for products, blogs and assists with marketing.   August saw us hunting markets for new and unique products - Rondavel soaps, Oak & Willow signs and beautiful Token Ceramics came on board.
September// We jumped at the chance of a last minute stand at the Garden & Leisure show in Pietermaritzburg.  An exhausting 3 days, but so worth meeting so many new customers.  Our framing business now closed the old framing workshop was stripped and fully decorated to transform The Ruby Orchard into an even lighter, brighter and airier space!

October//  With Nicola on board we headed to Durban for some creative brainstorming with Nadia Van der Mescht.  Armed with a bag of marketing strategies we have hit the web!
November// We have been featured - Garden & Home described us as the 'New kid on the decor store block'. Check our press page for our other blog and press features.    November also saw our second big event of the year - Christmas shopping evening. Wine, mince pies and shopping, Thank you to everyone who supported us.

December// Wow! Shoppers came from all over the Country.  Our online sales started to grow, we have not been able to stock the shop quick enough!  We have leant so much for next year.
A huge thanks to everyone who has supported us this year and to those who have supplied us.  Here's to an equally extraordinary 2014!
Goodbye 2013... you have been good to us... Hello 2014. 


  1. I have read all your posts after finding the link in the Garden & Home mag while on holiday in the Midlands. Popped into the Ruby Orchard after nagging my hubby to let me see. Ooed and aahed over just about everything and wished I could use some of our holiday budget to buy something beautiful...but perhaps next time we visit, now that I know about this lovely shop! My little girl came in with me clasping a little bouncy ball that I was afraid would knock over something fragile. In that moment she had an idea and asked, I think it was Nicola, for a piece of string. It wasn't part of her job description, I'm sure, but solving a little girls problem and finding a piece of string so a little 4 yr old could tie it around her ball, was no trouble at all! I have loved reading your story and trust that you will grow and prosper even more in 2014. What an inspiration! Xx Lara

  2. Hi Lara, Thank you so much for your message and kind words. I am so glad Nicola was able to assist your little 4 year old! Thank you for visiting The Ruby Orchard, I am so glad you liked it. We hope to see you again soon :-)


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