30 July 2014

Support Handmade

Is buying handmade more expensive?

Yes it can be and that's why we feel this pretty image sums up exactly why some of the crafty little products in our store may need a little more of your investment than any of our others products. We source quite a few of our ranges from local Creatives who spend many hours coming up with their unique products. And so when you buy their products you are not just buying their product you are buying a little piece of their imagination and their Sunday afternoons spent timelessly experimenting with new and exciting designs. 

**I found this a while ago, saved it in my Ruby Orchard inspiration folder and now unfortunately can't seem to find the resource. We hate using images and quotes on our blog or social media accounts without ensuring we have the original source to reference and praise the person who created it, we apologise and thank the creator in advance but something like this really was too good for us not to share! **

Edit - 5.9.14 Thanks to helpful, lovely person... we found the source of this image... check out her illustrations on her facebook page... its simply lovely! 

28 July 2014

The Block Shop


I first heard of Ali from 'Alice May Stationery' when I bought a Dippy Egg board in 2012.  I just loved the clever design, fun and quirky nature and have bought several as gifts since.    The Dippy Egg board was one of the first products on the shelves at The Ruby Orchard and remains one of our best sellers.  Ali's range of gift tags and Christmas tags have also flown off our shelves. 

With their passion for functional design Ali and her husband Richard have been working timelessly on a new range of boards to make your kitchen work that little bit better and with such style! On 21st July 2014  The Block shop was launched, Well done Ali and Richard!  Go and check it out now!  The photos by Derryn Semple and photo compositions are simply stunning, they are so well styled and show off the clever products beautifully.

The quirky foodie blocks are made from bamboo and can be customised and engraved to make an extra special gift.

The Dippy Egg board

 The Cheese Block

 The Snack Block

The Braai Block

 The Carving Block

I cannot wait to receive my order and will never have to search for the perfect wedding present again!

The Ruby Orchard team wish Ali and Richard all the best with the new range.

25 July 2014

Sandi's Favourites

Sandi joined The Ruby Orchard team a few weeks ago, it so great to have another energetic, smiley person to work with.  We asked Sandi for her top 5 products in store... here they are! 

Cup & Saucer set R180

Red Scarf with stars R145

 Bunny Bottle stopper R70

Large Glass Jar with Ceramic Bunny Lid R178

 Dippy Egg Boards R195

23 July 2014

Party Perfect

Did you know we stock Millamae cup cake wrappers? 

A gorgeous little collection that will make any party table bright and fun. 

A colourful range that cater for both boys and girls parties - these lovely little cake wrappers will put the finishing touches on your birthday table for R45!

21 July 2014

A Creative 'In Store' Workshop - 19th October

On the 1st of June we held our very first 'In Store' Workshop aimed at small Creative business owners looking to get their products into Independent retail stores around South Africa. The course was attended by jewellery designers, dress makers, swim wear stockists and various crafty individuals. We were also privileged to have Nadia van der Mescht as our guest speaker who wrapped up the course and gave her tips on how to improve your business. The workshop was the ideal day for our creatives to share their experiences and tips within a like minded environment. 
"Was perfect, it went very quickly, but I guess that is what happens when you enjoying yourself. "
- Cindy Kirk (Dye4Designs)
"Thank you so much for the lovely workshop you hosted, I found it very enjoyable and learnt some valuable tips."
-Roxann Message (Roxstar Bikinis)
"Thank you I loved my morning found it very helpful and interesting."
-Erika Whitby
We are now delighted to be holding our second round of the course on the 19th of October so if you are a business owner looking to grow and develop your business then this is the perfect day for you. The day includes learning about pricing your products for wholesale, selecting the right shops for your products, the differences between consignment & exclusivity and which is right for you and your business, producing professional catalogues and order forms and lastly Ché Dyer from Indieberries will be sharing her top tips on using social media to grow your brand and business.

Ché Dyer is the designer behind our quirky love vouchers, cards and doodle books. South African born Ché loves good music, red wine, pretty paper and bending herself into challenging yoga poses. She currently lives in London but will be our special guest for the day and will dive into using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc to promote your business. The fun side of running your business!

The Creative 'In Store' Workshop will be held at The Ruby Orchard on the 19th of October from 9:00am until 14:00pm and will be held by the The Ruby Orchard owner Hannah Keppler and IT Wizz Nicola Tweed. The investment for the workshop is R695 per person and includes post workshop resources, delicious tea time snacks, a light lunch and a host of goodies from our lovely sponsors. 

Our workshops are interactive, informative and intimate and therefore we only have a limited number of spaces available so if you would like to be a part of this exciting and educational day then please drop us an email (therubyorchard@hotmail.com) today to book your space.  

If you would like your business to be a part of this successful day then please drop us an email to discuss becoming a sponsor and what we can do for you.

11 July 2014

Meet the team - Sandi Christie

Let me introduce you to our latest Ruby Orchard team member - Sandi Christie...

1// What were you doing before you started working at The Ruby Orchard? 
Living in London - I have just returned to South Africa after 15 years. It's very different but it's good to be home.

2// What do you like most about your role at The Ruby Orchard? 
The lovely team of people! Also, it's so different to what I have previously been doing so being surrounded by creativity and such gorgeous products is very inspiring!

3// When you were younger what did you want to be when you grew up?! 
 That feels like ages ago - I have no idea! I am sure it would have involved working with animals though.

4// Describe yourself in 3 words! 
Quiet, trustworthy, vivid imagination

5// What do you on your days off? 
Have a bit of lie in, hang out a lot with our dog, drink a lot of tea. I try to learn more about my camera and practice using it to!

6// 2 truths and 1 lie about yourself 
I am 6ft 1" tall
I make a mean spaghetti bolognaise
I love horror movies

7// I never leave home without… Lip balm!

8// What’s your - 
Top Song – at the moment it's Coldplay - Sky Full of Stars
Top Food - an Italian dish called 'Pasta Puttanesca" - absolutely delish! Also anything 'pie' - I *heart* pie. Top beverage – Tea or a big glass of Shiraz
Top Place – In my travels, I think my favourite place visited was Croatia - just stunning.
Top movie – The Big Blue - seen it so many times but I still love it.

9// Imagine you are heading out for dinner with a bunch of famous bods - who would be sitting around the table with you? 
 Nick Brand (photographer) Jack Black and Dave Grohl, Morgan Freeman, Richard Branson, Drew Barrymore.

07 July 2014

Tick Tock - Thomas Kent Stylish Wall Clocks

A little bit of England arrived at The Ruby Orchard last week and what a delight it was unpacking our new beautiful clocks!

These clocks by Thomas Kent are sophisticated and elegant and fast becoming one of my new Ruby Orchard favourites, they come in 20" & 12" sizes and variety of different colours.

04 July 2014

Here are a few of Jenny's Favorite things...

Jenny is the brains behind the accounts side of The Ruby Orchard.  Jenny's top 5 items in store at the mo...

Blue Ceramics, Red Fruit colander, Wooden people, Red Kitchen scales, Window Mirror. 

02 July 2014

Feature on Creative - Heather from Skinny La Minx

Skinny La Minx

1// How did your business begin? When / where / how did it all start? 
After 10 years of illustration work, I needed a change, so in 2006 I took a half-day job as a comics scriptwriter, and spent the rest of my day messing around in my studio on Long Street. I started blogging about my work, and opened an online shop on Etsy. People around the world started reading my blog and buying my things, and I got some wholesale orders to the USA, and suddenly I found that I was a designer with a design business. By 2010, my business had grown a lot, and I was very relieved when Pearl Thompson joined the business, taking over the operational side of things. Now we have a lovely shop in Bree Street and a super-fab team helping run the show.

2// Why do you do what you do? 
I’ve always liked making things and I’ve always loved beautiful textiles. I think I’m still excited by the idea that a little sketch or paper cutout of mine can get reproduced onto fabrics and sent into homes and stores all over the world!

3// When you were younger what did you want to be when you grew up?! 
I went through a prolonged stage - thanks to a TV show called Quincy - of wanting to be a forensic pathologist. Kids can be odd.

4// What inspires you when designing new products? 
My inspiration comes from ordinary, everyday things like plants, fences, teacups, staircases and vibracrete walls. I usually have a notebook with me, where I make sketches, and I take a lot of photographs of textures, details, juxtapositions and compositions that seem to give me ideas.

5// What are your hopes and dreams for your products? 
To create and produce top quality, internationally sought-after design and products, and to have a good time doing it.

6// What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt so far in your business journey? 
When starting out, I think it is a very good idea to keep a job that brings in money that you can use to fund your studio habit without putting pressure on yourself to make things that are economically successful, as this is a killer to creative thought. Another valuable lesson I’ve learned is that you’re only as good as your systems and the people you work with. I’ve been hugely lucky to have an amazing systems thinker as a business partner, and a brilliant, motivated team on our side too.

7// Why should our customers buy your products? 
My designs are individual, simple, clear and accessible, and seem to appeal to people all over the world who share my interest in the shapes, colours and styles inspired by mid-20th Century design.

8// What’s your favourite product from your line?
I can’t pick favourites! They’re all my darlings.

9// About you? What's your - Top Song? Top Food? Top beverage? Top Place? Top movie? 
Top song – currently, it’s ‘Broken Heart’ by Dr Dog
Top food - After a trip to Japan last year, I’m a sucker for Japanese food, and can always be lured with the promise of onigiri.
Top beverage - I like to drink one cup of coffee in the morning, and then pots and pots of tea all day long. Top Place – Tokyo (and New York, and Paris, and…. Of course, Cape Town)
Top Movie – I loved Ice Storm, mostly for the gorgeous architecture, and more recently, Her, for the exquisite styling.

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? 
I’d have Jonathan Adler and his husband Simon Doonan, Stig Lindberg, Grace Coddington, Terence Conran, and then I’d have my husband Paul Edmunds too, as he’s much better at making conversation than I am.
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