Collaborations

Christmas Shopping Event. Design your own Christmas

All day shopping event.

Wednesday 28th November

Star bag

On Wednesday 28th November Design Essentials we will be hosting our annual early Christmas Shopping Event (open 11am – 7.30pm) to start off the festive season. We will be holding a raffle with all proceeds going to a local charity.

Christmas is right around the corner and it’s a great time to get inspiration and those items personalised and gift wrapped whilst enjoying a glass of Bucks Fizz ,some eats and of course great company.

We will have in residence on the day the awesome Gail Grisham and Erica Swaine to tell you all about their brand new collections.

You can sign up for our gift service which gives you money back on purchases made too.

So do come along and start the season with us and enjoy a glass of wine and festive treats. We will have much more happening at the event and we look forward to seeing you there. Let us know if you can join us.

artisan lane gifts at Design Essentials

artisan gift, hand crafted mugs, artisan treats and loose tea, perfect for gift for him and her, thank you gift, new home gift, thank you gift

artisan lane – a collection of lovingly crafted gifts by local and artisan producers

artisan lane is a small family business, based in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire. We select high quality gifts from local designers, small batch and artisan producers here in Britain – including Saffron Walden’s potter Claire Folkes Ceramics and glass gift designer Molten Wonky. These gifts are often handmade and hard to find, which we think makes them extra special. You can even see the artisan who designed or made your gift, all are featured on the artisan lane website.

Our range of modern curated gift box collections, all beautifully packed in luxury keepsake boxes, are ideal gifts for family, friends and colleagues.  There’s a box for every occasion and season, whether it’s a birthday, new home or thank you gift.

We make gifting effortless for you, by sending your selected gifts straight to your chosen recipient’s doorstep (or office). We’re also delighted to offer a selection of gift boxes and an exclusive range of smaller gift bag options in the Design Essentials shop.

artisan lane gifts, Pamper collection, artisan gift, perfect gift for her, well-being gift, birthday gift, thank you giftartisan lane box, Restoring collection, gift for well-being, aromatherarpy gift, perfect get well gift,artisan lane gifts, Afternoon Tea gift box, gift for him, gift for her,artisan lane gift box, Baby collection, new baby gift, christening gift, artisan gift, handmade gift, gift set

We have a few fantastic ideas for Teacher and Dad gifts – don’t forget it’s Father’s Day on 17th June!

OFFER AT DESIGN ESSENTIALS  – we are delighted to offer a FREE, Love You Dad, clay heart decoration (pictured below) when you purchase any artisan lane gift at Design Essentials. Available until 16th June, 2018 and while stocks last.

artisan lane gifts, Love You Dad heart, Father's Day decoration, add to make perfect Father's Day giftartisan lane, gardeners care collection, gift box, perfect for gardners, gift for dad, gift for Grandad,

Recommended gifts for Dads and Grandads in the artisan lane collection include: Afternoon Tea Collection, Tea for Two, Take Five or Gardeners Care collection.

 

Teacher Gifts  – give something different and meaningful this year whilst supporting local producers.  Checkout our recommended teacher gift selection.

artisan lane, gift box, Comfy Teacher collection, beautiful pashmina, teacher notebook by Bespoke Verse, perfect teacher gift,

  • Teacher Comfy collection  (pictured) The ultimate luxury gift for your favourite teacher and includes our handmade soft pashmina and touching Teacher poem notebook Teacher Comfy collection
  • Take Five Teacher collection Both practical and enjoyable this gift includes our handcrafted mug, artisan shortbread and touching Teacher poem notebook Take Five Teacher collection
  • Teacher Pamper collection Features some wonderful award winning soothing skincare treats, beautifully fragranced candle and our Teacher poem notebook Teacher Pamper collection

 

We hope you find the gift you want at Design Essentials and thank you for supporting local and artisan producers.

Rachel, owner at artisan lane gifts

artisan lane gifts, owner

PS. Bespoke and mix & match options are also available. Just contact us with your requirements at artisanlanegifts

 

Design Essentials loves to chat: The Plant Pot Shop’s Chloë Fiddy

What inspires your work?

I’ve always believed in the power of plants to transform surroundings. I started working with plants in containers a long time ago, while I was renting a house. I was soon captivated by the design possibilities you’re presented by the constraints of working with such a small surface area. You can plant a container or window box with such an enormous range of styles. There are always the classic box balls which will never fail to look stylish. You can add a few low growing flowers like pansies around the base. Or you could start with a standard tree and under-plant around the trunk with salvias and grasses for a prairie effect. You can play with contrasts – I love for example a deep purple leaf contrasted with a green and white variegated grass.

I guess you could say that plants are my inspiration. Whenever I visit one of my nursery suppliers I go into a sort of trance while I look around and mentally design the layout. Once I’m back and planting it’s quick and easy, the plan is all there in my head.

You just need to know three fundamentals about the plants you’re choosing; they need to all like the same soil type and the same amount of light and water.

 

What has been the work that you are most proud of?

I’m always delighted to see my clients’ faces when they receive their planters, especially when they’ve ordered them already planted up. I’ve often had compliments along the lines of “Wow, you’ve totally exceeded my expectations!” It’s always given me so much pleasure to arrive back at my house and see my own planters, so I’m really proud to think that my work has spread that joy to other people.

This new range of personalised planters is completely unique to the market and they add such a smart touch to a front door step and such a fun and stylish touch to a wedding venue.

I’m just hoping that somewhere there’ll be a wedding anniversary NOT forgotten because there’s a planter in the garden to remind a couple of the date. That would be a moment to be proud of!

 

What is your most important artists’ tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio? 

Music. Without a doubt, every creative process requires music in my opinion.

 What’s the best and worst thing about being a designer?

Well, as a designer you’re really putting yourself out there, you’re telling the world that this is your opinion of good taste and good design. Of course this is subjective, so you’ll never please everyone!

Once in a former life as a textile designer, a client, from an extremely prestigious French design house, looked at a design I’d submitted, and said “Do you think this is nice?!” Crushing! But it didn’t matter too much, we’d worked together on collections for 13 years and I saw hundreds of the designs I did for him in shops on Bond Street and on real people.

Which brings me to the best thing about being a designer. It’s the pleasure of that moment when you see that someone you don’t know has picked your design, paid for it, and is using it. I think that’s what keeps all designers going back to their drawing board to make a new collection. There’s a compulsion to create.

 

Just to indulge me, your favourite Take That member? 

Take who? I’m more of an indie kid myself.

Favourite drink?

Good quality gin and tonic. A classic. It needs to be COLD. Keep the gin and the tonic in the fridge at all times. And use at least 4 ice cubes in each glass.

Happy planting  🙂

Chloë

Thanks to Chloe for chatting to us at Design Essentials, we are looking forward to welcoming her personalised planter designs at the store. Here’s a look at a few on our website.

 

Design Essentials Shop Saffron Walden

One of the hardest things I have to do in Design Essentials is to attempt to drive every angle of the business by myself. There are limited resources and time and where do you focus that attention is for ever my quandary.  I would however like to say thank you to Day Glow Media for  creating this video for Design Essentials which I hope gives you a taste of our shop in Saffron Walden and gives those of you who haven’t visited a feel for what we are about. Do click on the link below and have a peek inside the shop.

 

 

and here’s  just a little bit on what Day Glow Media are about.

BRIM FULL OF BRIGHT IDEAS

25 years of endless passion and enthusiasm for broadcasting and storytelling means they can offer you a stunningly professional and bespoke service. They could tell you about all the famous people they have worked with and all the accolades received, but no doubt they will all in good time. Just check them out here to begin with.

 

Sheepskin Rugs at Home

How to style sheepskin rugs in the home, simple steps to make your interior ooze with character…

  • Do you want to add your own stamp on a room but don’t know how?
  • Do you have a rug at home but you’re bored of looking at it on the floor?
  • Do you love furniture, colour and textures?

 

Check out a few styling steps below, ITS EASY PEASY!

DONE! Check out Design Essentials collections on the website or visit us in the Saffron Walden store.

These sheepskin rugs are all £45 and can be purchased on the website here. Colours change often so give them a call on 01799522417 to bag yours.

This post has been written by yours truly (Lauren Bouch) Snoop through my website here https://bouchlauren.com  and keep up to date with my on Instagram. 

 

https://twitter.com/Wendy_howell1/

https://www.instagram.com/design_essentials1/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Melting Messages – ‘Meet the Designer’

Logo inverted

 

Having grown up around the Saffron Walden area, it was inevitable that I would come across such a unique shop that Wendy and her team run. My design background has given me a keen eye for what looks good, and from the moment I saw Design Essentials I knew I wanted to sell my candles in this shop. Melting Messages started in February 2015, thereafter came a year of development and seeking out the hotspots to stock them. When I finally launched the business in February 2016, I felt it was time to drop in and meet Wendy herself. I gave her a mini pitch of the business which went a little something like this…

Melting Messages’ journey

Our journey began, when I was searching for a gift for my mother’s birthday. Unable to find that special gift, I decided to create something unique for her. My sole purpose was to create a product which conveyed a message in an original way. Hence why there is a message hidden inside the candle, creating that big ‘REVEAL’ moment.  She loved it and from that moment Melting Messages was born as I decided to share this experience with others. Candles are used in a variety of different ways – to celebrate an occasion, give as a gift, create an ambiance or decorate a home. I wanted to create a product that could reflect these. I wanted to create a timeless product that would allow any moment to be preserved and be something worth remembering.

Our candles

Melting Messages is a UK based company. All our candles are designed in our studio and hand poured here at our factory. We source our wax and other key components from other UK manufacturers. We are proud of our heritage and we can proudly say they are ‘Made in Britain’.

“Meet The Designer” event

Wendy and her customers loved it, so much that we have decided to dedicated a whole two weeks on the collaboration. Saturday 2nd July will be a ‘Meet The Designer’ day at the shop from 11am – 4pm. Please come and see us and these amazing candles. Whether you are searching for a Birthday, Anniversary or even a simple Thank You present, our Melting Message candles will be perfect for these special occasions.

For more information and to RSVP for this special event, please email: wendy@designessentials.org.uk or pop into the shop if you’re in town.

Here is a sneaky peak of what’s to come…

 

Happy Birthday Melting Messages's candle

I Love You Melting Messages's candle

Marry Me Melting Messages's candle

Thank You!

 

Hope House Press – Hope House who?

Hope House Press - luxury leather notebooks and diaries - for you, for me, for everyone.

Hope House Press is a luxury leather bound, personalised notebook and diary studio based in Cambridge, UK. We have been in existence for a number of years – founded in 2007 by someone who just loved making personalised, luxury notebooks that are very special indeed, for other people. The ‘other people’ loved them so much that it grew into a business and in March this year – 2016, we – the Weston Family – took it on when the original founder decided she wanted to move onto another, totally unrelated project.

Hope House Press notebooks and diaries are the stuff of legend. Not just because we’re loved by the likes of Tatler, the Guardian newspaper and the i newspaper. But because we spend hours working on every piece that we produce. We refer to our products as pieces, styles and collections because to us, they are not simply a product on a production line – they are something to be written in today and enjoyed forever. Whether you’re writing about your wedding day memories, the arrival of your first born child or simply noting your shopping list – they’re all things that you do and reflect on your life and where you are at. Your time, your thoughts and your life deserves to be documented, valued and remembered. And that’s what Hope House Press does – we help you document all those things and more. In a world where everything is about the selfie and a filter over the top of it, Hope House Press notebooks and diaries are hand made from scratch, printed on with ink and hand finished and packaged with a level of detail that’s not far from Rowan Atkinson’s packaging skit in Love Actually.

We’re also popular because we make life easier for people. If you’re ordering for Father’s Day and left it a bit late, don’t worry. Give us a message for your Dad and we’ll pop it into a card and send the gift direct for you. If you’re organising for a retreat or group event and need items posting directly for you, we’ll do that as well. And no, we won’t charge you extra for it. It’s just part of the loveliness that is Hope House Press.

And that’s the reason why we’ve chosen to partner with Design Essentials as our first offline stockist of our pieces and collections. We’re starting small, offering some items that aren’t available anywhere else and with personalisation that’s not available to the world at large. We’re sharing our beloved notebooks which celebrate Father’s Day and all things Wedding related. We chose to partner with Wendy and her team because they too are rather special – their knowledge is extensive, their service exceptional and their ranges are without exception beautiful, unique and in many cases raise a smile that stays with you long after you’ve left the shop!

We’d be thrilled if you’d consider joining us on Thursday 26th May, from 3.30pm to around 8 / 8.30pm for Pimms and cheese and nibbles. We’ll be doing a fabulous giveaway on the night and hosting some one day only deals and discounts on products as well. They’re likely to be for our the most popular ranges at the moment – Father’s Day and Weddings. So if you’ve got something or someone to celebrate in the coming months, please come and visit us so that we can help you find the perfect gift for that occasion.

For more information and to RSVP for this very special evening, please email wendy@designessentials.org.uk or pop in the shop when you’re next in town and tell us you’ll be coming!

In the meantime, if you’d like a preview of some of the things we’ll be bringing, please keep reading!!!

Drumroll……

Quite possibly the best gift you can buy a Dad - a notebook celebrating his genius!

 

Best. Wedding. Gift. Ever.

 

Vintage personalised leather notebook - Progress not Perfection is perfect for yourself as a place to document the things you're working on....

#MySW Launch Event

Wow! I’m still getting over the excitement of the launch event for #MySW, the Town Team’s campaign to promote Saffron Walden. I was so focused on getting ready for the night I didn’t have a moment to think about what happens afterwards. I think there’s a lesson in there for me somewhere! 

I’m sure lots of you will have read Molly’s blog post last week with her thoughts about how it went, so I try not to repeat anything.  Wendy seems to have been even busier in the shop setting up for Christmas, organizing Black Friday’s sales and the Independent Retail Shopping Challenge alongside Jude Cox of Jack’s Outdoor. Does that woman ever stop? I’ve been keeping a much lower profile following the amazing media coverage the campaign received in both our local papers and the number of views the full length video has had on YouTube. So far it’s been looked at over 4500 times. Even using the most pessimistic conversion rates, we’re confident that translates into dozens of visitors to the town’s businesses and attractions.  And that could mean several thousands of pounds for the local economy.

Wendy Howell at the #MySW launch event in Saffron Walden

Lots of businesses are beginning to share the videos on their websites or in messages to their customers.  Only last week I was delighted see that Saffron Hall included a link in their November newsletter. And Wendy has also heard from English Heritage that Audley End House and Gardens will be supporting the video.  Saffron Screen has also promised their continuing support, and if you happen to be in the UDC reception you’ll see the video playing on the screen there.

Whether you’ve got a website and thousands of Twitter followers or, like me, just Facebook entry and a few dozen friends’ email addresses it would be great it if you could share the links anywhere you can.

Full 3-minute version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APvOU0WMVkQ

30 Second version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWAVxmpvbkM 

design essentials mysw event

The support and feedback has been amazingly positive and we also had some really helpful suggestions for the next video.  This film is just the start, and we’d love to hear from you with ideas to make sure we capture more of the great things about Saffron Walden.  Suggestions so far include the football club which is apparently the 15th oldest in the world and the amazing services our County and Town libraries offer.  I didn’t know that there were mediaeval manuscripts to look at, or that library membership entitles us to use many of family ancestry sites free of charge. We want to film and represent the things you love, so please get in touch with Wendy either through this blog or pop into the shop for a chat. We’d love to hear from you if you’d like to be filmed talking about your favourite things in Saffron Walden. The next part of the campaign for the Town Team is a trip in January to attend ‘Excursions 2016’ at Alexandra Palace in London. This is a national trade show for Coach Tour Operators so they can plan their year’s trips and outings. Look out for more next month, but meanwhile please keep sharing the video as widely as you can, and let us know what it is you love about #MYSW.

Emma

#MYSW

 

Saffron Walden Brand Campaign

Design Essentials was very excited to launch the #MYSW campaign on Wednesday last week at Saffron Screen. The evening was very successful, with free drinks and nibbles going down very well with guests. However, the main reason for gathering together an audience of local entrepreneurs and proud Saffron Walden residents was to showcase the wonderful town brand campaign that our very own Wendy had been working extremely hard on for the past six months.

design essentials mysw event

Photo credit to Joe Higham reportage

The aim of the campaign is to improve accessibility and awareness of our fabulous town. In times when the internet dominates it is becoming increasingly difficult for our much-loved high streets to lure people away from their cosy sofas to do their Christmas shopping. So the Town Team has put a huge amount of time and effort into coordinating a radio ad to run until the 24th December on Star FM and a new video for the Tourist Information Centre, created by the talented Jonathan Glazier (from Pepper Raffety and ex head of light entertainment at the BBC). Emma Thomas, who collaborated with Wendy on the project said these advertising channels “aim to promote Saffron Walden and its great shopping to attract tourists and coach parties from the surrounding counties”.

In addition to the brand campaign, the team is also looking to use #MYSW as the foundation for the Saffron Walden entry in the Great British High Street Of The Year competition next year where the prize up for grabs is an impressive £50,000 to invest in the winning town.

design essentials mysw event

Photo credit to Joe Higham reportage

Please do join in with our #MYSW campaign as it is as much for local residents as it if for us as a business so by all means share your own favourite pictures of Saffron Walden or your latest fabulous purchases from the many indie shops on social media with the hashtag – we’d love to see your take on the campaign!

Watch the 3-minute #MYSW ‘What’s Great About Saffron Walden?’ video here or the 30-second one here.

Tag us in your pictures on Twitter (@SaffShopLocal) or facebook (Saffron Shop Local)

by Molly Winter

What’s great about Saffron Walden #MySW

What's Great About Saffron Walden? #MYSW

What’s Great About Saffron Walden #MySW

Wendy has been busy lately, on top of her day job, working with me on delivering a campaign for Saffron Walden Town Team called simply #MySW. We’ll be launching this officially on 18 November at Saffron Screen.

What's Great About Saffron Walden? Video Premier Invitation

I met Wendy earlier this year when I joined the Town Team to look at some accessibility issues and it soon became clear that we were both passionate about Saffron Walden but also that the things we love about it are quite different. During one of our usual catch-ups working on a marketing strategy for the Town Team in Starbucks ( good disability access ) during May/ June this year we were chatting about this and I don’t know quite how we landed on the concept but that’s how #MySW was born and the help of Gareth Wild the designer at Apropos was enlisted

We’re now working to use #MySW as the foundation for the Saffron Walden entry in the Great British High Street Of The Year competition next year. The winners get £50k to invest in their town. For us the most important thing about #MySW is it’s something everyone, residents and businesses alike, can join in. It sums up the pride in our town and also that different people enjoy different things about Saffron Walden.

As part of the campaign a radio ad promoting the town and its great shopping is up and running until the 24th December on Star FM and we’ve coordinated a new video for the Tourist Information Centre to attract tourists and coach parties from the surrounding counties.

 

Design Essentials letter lights used to promote the Town Team's Saffron Walden #MySW campaign

 

#MySW also links into the Christmas Indie Retail shopping competition starting on 19th November, and as soon as that’s underway we’ll be working on Saffron Walden’s Summer Of Arts And Culture which will include an event celebrating Saffron Screen’s 10th anniversary, having more art and sculpture in the town, and putting on jazz and theatre in the Market Square as well as spreading the word on the Maze Festival in August.

We will share all this over the coming months and hope lots of you will share your pictures and stories on social media using #MySW so all of us are part of it.

Emma