23 December 2014

Review of the Year - Thank you 2014

What a year it has been!

Thank you for joining our journey, being part of our little corner of Howick, visiting us and of course spending your hard earned pennies on gifts, beautiful pieces for your home and those things you really 'needed'!!

Here is a look back through 2014 at The Ruby Orchard.

January// At the start of 2014 we had a clearance sale. You all loved grabbing a bargain... especially 30% off all the Love Milo products!  The Feature on creative series has continued throughout 2015. We have LOVED sharing our suppliers hopes, dreams and favorite tipples with you!

February// February Introduced you to our whole team with our 'Meet the team' series.  The team has changed quite a lot since and we look forward to introducing you to our newest team members in 2015!

March// In March we launched our newsletter, now you (our exclusive shoppers) get monthly updates and previews of products, sales and events.  Skinny La Minx arrived in store in March and has become a firm favourite We'll continue to stock it if you continue to buy it!!

April// I spent Easter in the UK with family and kept you drooling on the blog with a mini series -'A little bit of Britain', I showed you some of my fave decor shops in and around Devon.

May//  A trip to I heart market meant we spotted the beauty that is  - Millamae. This stunning range of journals, diary's, gift tags and notebooks has been one of our best selling ranges of 2015.

June// On the 1st June we held our first Creative 'In store' workshop. Nadia vd Mescht was our guest speaker and many of our suppliers joined us for a hugely successful day.

July// Sandi joined the team in July. She is just brilliant with you (our customers) and welcomes everybody into the shop with the friendliest face and smile. She is so creative too and loves to blog and pin for us...Unfortunately with the shop so busy she not been able to dedicate enough time to this, Lets hope our changes planned for 2015 will give Sandi the creative outlet she is craving!

August// Our furniture range developed and grew throughout 2014, our second full time carpenter joined the team in August and we hope to surprise and excite you more and more in 2015 with quirky and one off pieces.

September//  As a teacher for 10 years I didn't really have a vast business knowledge... So I shared some business tips in September and will continue with these top tips next year.

October//  October was all about Weddings with our wedding month on the blog.  We launched our gift registry service, introduced you to Mel from Midlands photobooth and shared some wedding prettiness with you.    October was a busy month as we hosted our second Creative 'In store' Workshop - It was such a pleasure to have Che from Indieberries as our guest speaker who fascinated delegates with everything social media!

November// Our second Christmas shopping evening meant plenty of wine was drunk in store!  My lovely friend Jen from the The Farmers Daughter provided the most divine food you could imagine and of course you shopped till you dropped - Thank you!

December// It has been a bumper December... where did all you shoppers come from?? We loved putting together our Christmas gift guides each week.  Even Patrick Lambie popped in for a spot of shopping! We thought we had ordered enough stock, but clearly didn't. We have learnt for next year!!

2015 - SOOO much planned! I am bursting to share more with you...but you'll just have to keep watching. 

Thank you again for being part of The Ruby Orchard.  We send you the warmest wishes for 2015


17 December 2014

Christmas Gift Guide: Gifts for Grandparents

Grandparents are the most special people on earth.  They have 'been there and done that' as parents and so can spoil you rotten as a child, guide you with words of wisdom and advice as you navigate adulthood and be the best babysitters ever!  What better way to spoil them rotten with wonderful gifts - from The Ruby Orchard this Christmas.

Take a look at some of our ideas for perfect gifts for Granny and Grandpa :)

Beautiful cotton scarves - R145

Polk dot Mug - R110 - Wooden coaster - R99 (for a set of 4)

Rusk Jar - R155

Teatowels R120

Biscuit tin R230

Handmade soaps R32

12 December 2014

Feature on Creative - Meet Artist Lara Waldburger

I have a philosophy when buying new stock for The Ruby Orchard... If I wouldn't put it in my own home, I won't put it in the shop... It is that simple!

We don't stock original artwork and this isn't something I have been looking for, but when Lara brought some of her watercolours in to show me I instantly knew it was something I would hang in my home, I know you (our shoppers) are going to LOVE these! 

The seascape and floral watercolours have such vibrant, pretty colours, an abstract twist and are mounted in crisp white frames with wide white mount boards.  We have five going into the shop on Monday! Excited!  Read on to find out more about Lara, the artist behind these beauties! 

Introducing Lara Waldburger

1// Tell us a little bit about yourself

I am blessed to live in the beautiful KZN Midlands with my precious family - my husband, two little boys and i'm expecting a little girl! I absolutely love painting and I always have. I love teaching children art and I run art classes. Taking long walks; devouring a quality novel and sharing a cup of earl grey tea with a special friend ranks highly up there.

 2// When you were younger what did you want to be when you grew up?!

 I wanted to be a teacher like my Standard One teacher, Mrs Horn, and an artist.

 3// What inspires you when painting?

I'm so inspired by natural beauty. Delicate flowers, exquisite landscapes and the sea, oh the sea! I also enjoy painting near my children. As chaotic as it sometimes can seem their energy excites, invigorates and inspires me. We've lived in a temporary, small flat for the past year and I've had no choice but to paint where they play - our dining room table has become my art studio! But they like it and they know to be very careful around mommy's table; I play some Mozart usually, and when I've finished a session they sometimes get to use the leftover of my paint for their own creations at their own table. Their art is the best! Having said that, I am looking forward to my own art space again as of next week when we move to a beautiful, bigger home!

4// What mediums do you work in and why?

I have mostly worked in oils and acrylics - usually on very large canvases, and charcoal; but this year, living in a small space with small little boys I have explored watercolours more avidly, and am smitten. They are sensational.

 5// What are your hopes and dreams for your paintings?

 That my paintings would bring some joy and even a sense of peace and tranquility to hearts; and a reminder of the incredible natural beauty which surrounds us in our beautiful South Africa.

6// Why should our customers buy your paintings?

 I read this quote the other day and it resonated with me. "When you buy something from an artist you're buying more than an object. You're buying hundreds of hours of errors and experimentation's. You're buying years of frustrations and moments of pure joy. You're not just buying one thing, you are buying a piece of a heart, a piece of a soul... a small piece of someone else's soul" As I've said, my favourite theme for my art is that of the natural beauty of nature that surrounds us. Certainly, living where I do, I am very blessed to enjoy such beauty each day, and I'm thankful for that. And I hope that a bit of this transfers to my art, and into many precious and beautiful homes.

7// A little more about you?  What's your - Top Song? Top Food? Top beverage? Top Place? Top movie?

Top song: A Dustland Fairytale by the Killers. Although not my favourite band of all time, I've heard this song sung countless times in my ear by my husband and it is the first one that springs to mind, and warms my heart!
Top food: Sushi.
Top beverage: Champagne of course.
Top place: Cape St Francis in the Eastern Cape.
Top movie: A Tree of Life.

8// And lastly imagine you are heading out for dinner with a bunch of creative geniuses - who would be sitting around the table with you?

Claude Monet; Vincent Van Gogh; Bruce Springsteen; Terrence Malick; my husband, Chris Waldburger; and maybe Jennifer Lawrence and Steve Carrell? These are all just off the top of my head. Not sure how well they'd all combine?

10 December 2014

Christmas Gift Guide: Gifts for teen girls!

The teenage world:  a mysterious and sometimes secretive one! 

I taught teenagers for almost 10 years... so think I would be a pretty good buyer of teens gifts!  Girls love stationery, pretty grown up things for their bedrooms and of course super cute jewellery.  Here's some of the gifts we have in store that would perfect for teen girls!

Necklace R300

Decorative Hearts R155

 School diaries R150

Homework book R110

Storage Crates R220

Washi Tape R35

Lunch box 'Salad Nuts & Fruit' R180

08 December 2014

Feature on Creative - Kierrin from Just Dandy

We first met Kierrin, designer, maker and creator of  'Just Dandy' products at The Hilton Arts Festival, she had a stall full of brilliant creative products that immediately caught our eye!  Kierrin went on to attend our 'In Store' Workshop in October and then had a one-one consultation with us to review and improve her range and work through her costings for prepare her for wholesaling.  She is going from strength to strength with her lovely products, which we now stock at The Ruby Orchard - yay!!

Her range of products is vast, we love Kierrin's wood burnt products in particular.  The D’angelion collection consists of 7 angels: Angel of Joy, Angel of creativity, Angel of Courage, Angel of Peace, Angel of Hope, Angel of Serenity and the Angel of Love. They make such sweet gifts or a Christmas decoration.

We caught up with Kierrin this week to ask her a few questions for our 'Feature on Creative' series - here she is!

1// How did your business begin? When / where / how did it all start?

 My Business started in December 2013 on a whim. I had always wanted to own an Arts & Crafts Business and since I was taking a Gap Year, I had the opportunity to start it. Over the last few years, people have shown an interest in buying my artworks and it encouraged me to explore creating things for a wider market. Truth be told, my own business started at the age of 8 when I started making and selling cards to family and friends.

 2// Why do you do what you do?

 I do what I do because it excites my spirit and passion. I have a passion for what I do and I have since I was 18 months old. I do what I do because I want to share my passion with other people and each time someone buys my product, they buy a piece of my passion.

 3// When you were younger what did you want to be when you grew up?!

 Besides the clichéd Ballet Dancer, Actress and singer. I have always wanted to be a business woman and wanted to create something unique. At first I wanted to go into event planning, weddings or stationery.

 4// What inspires you when designing new products?

 A lot of things inspire me. I think about my target market and new trends. I try take my designs from there but key factors that affect the design of new products are nature, the African culture, and dreamland. A lot of my designs come to me in dreams.

 5// What are your hopes and dreams for your products?

 I hope that people will get as much joy out of owning my products as I did out of creating them. My dream was to have my products in a shop like The Ruby Orchard and I was blessed to have been given the opportunity.

 6// What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt so far in your business journey? Definitely being organised and taking criticism.

 7// Why should our customers buy your products?

 When people buy one of my products they buy a piece of passion and not just a means to a profit.

 8// What’s your favourite product from your line?

 My D’angelion Collection has to be my favourite product as I designed them, I created the stories behind them, and they are unique and have a special place in my heart.

 9// About you? What's your - Top Song? Top Food? Top beverage? Top Place? Top movie?

 I am passionately curious about life. I love all of the arts. I am a sporty girl. I am a complete socialite.
My favourite song has to be “I see Fire” – Ed Sheeran.
My Favourite food – SUSHI. My favourite beverage - Coffee! (I can’t go a day without it.).
My Top Place has to be The Kruger National Park
My top movie has to be The Lord of the Rings Trilogy!

 10// And lastly imagine you are heading out for dinner with a bunch of creative geniuses - who would be sitting around the table with you?

 • Leonardo De Vinci • Einstein • Jane Austen • Stan lee • Salvador Dali • Bob Marley • Jack Black

Wood burnt block just R40 - in store now! 

03 December 2014

Christmas Gift Guide: Gifts for Little ones

Do you remember when you were a child and Christmas was such a magical time?  Remember how excited you got at the very idea that Father Christmas/Santa was going to visit YOUR house and  leave a pile of presents under the tree!  Leaving out a glass of milk and a biscuit for Santa - oooohhh the excitement!

We have picked a few gorgeous gifts for little ones that we think they would love to find underneath the tree this Christmas :)

Santa Gift sack - R215

Set of 12 colouring pencils in tin - R112

Money box - R70

Soft toys - Rhino R180  , Giraffe R180

Soft toys - Monkey R225

Set of 3 Snack boxes - R180

 Handmade Wooden Truck R420

 Handmade Wooden Truck with detachable trailer R465

Handmade wooden Cars R90

02 December 2014

End of Month Review - Goodbye November... Hello Christmas!

With Christmas fast approaching and the school holidays now here, I've started preparing our household for the festive period, checking off the gifts on my list, planning the Christmas day menu and excitedly waiting for my little sis' to hop off the plane from the UK!

November has been busy at The Ruby Orchard... here is what we have been up to:

1 // November has meant one thing... Get more stock in the shop for Christmas!!! Bigger and bigger orders placed, boxes full of stock have been arriving daily!  Our Christmas stock has been a big hit! Click here to see a some of the lovely new things in store. 

2// I took a walk back through the blog in November and shared some of my favorite posts from 2014.

3// Christmas Gifts guides have been a weekly feature on the blog this month.  Gifts for her, Gifts for Him, Secret Santa ideas, stocking fillers.  Our weekly guides will continue throughout December -Yay!

4// Our clever team of wood workers have been busy renovating and spraying chairs for The Farmers Daughter restaurant. They look fab... go see!

5// We shared some pretty gift wrapping ideas with you, make simple brown paper look amazing with clever accessories.

6// I am loving the count down to Christmas with my 3 year old who already cant wait any longer!  His advent calender is causing so much excitement! We gave you some alternative Advent Calender ideas.

7// Our Christmas shopping evening ended the month with a bang. Thank you again for supporting us and making our shop what it is!

Happy Holidays! 

01 December 2014

Christmas Shopping - A Huge Thank you

Friday 28th November saw The Ruby Orchard holding our second Christmas Shopping Evening, Phew!!  What a fantastically successful evening it was. A huge *Thank you* to customers, suppliers, friends, family and many others who joined us for our festive night.  You shopped, you nibbled, you sipped on wine and beers and then you shopped some more.  And a bit more.

The gorgeous girls behind the counter Sandi, Hazel and Tsepi wrapped and packed and worked their little socks off and The Farmers Daughter put on the most delicious spread - Thanks Jen and your team.

We had a ball and we hope you guys did to.  Looking forward to our next big 'do' already!

A few snaps of our fab evening below...

The FarmerS Daughter herself - Thanks Jen and the team

26 November 2014

Christmas Gift Guide: Gifts for Her

For a special Nanna
For a fab Sister
For your lovely Mum
For a beautiful wife
For an awesome Girlfriend 
For your Bestie

Whoever she may be... buy her something she will love this Christmas! 

 Scarves R145 each

 Purses R260

Decorative Hearts R155

Stacking ceramic pots for jewellery, jam... or anything really! R65

 Handbag R485

Handmade soaps R32

 Herb Planter R335

Ice Cream sign R120

 Wooden Candle holders - Small R175    Medium R195     Large R215

 Bird Napkin Rings R135

Necklace R385
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