Tag Archives: #mysw

Prepare for Record Store Day

Vrecord player

Record Store Day is a day to celebrate and spread the word about the unique culture surrounding independently owned record stores internationally, so why not support our independent store by purchasing some of our vinyl memorabilia to help make sure your are prepared for April 16th.

Special vinyl releases are made exclusively for the day so why not show off your new vinyls in our Art Vinyl Play & Display Record Frames at just £39 each. The stylish framing solution can hold a LP or 12″ single in its sleeve and you can change your display or play your record whenever you wish to. It is also a very efficient way of protecting your precious vinyl from dust and warping.

If you’re yet to enter the trendy record playing scene then now as the official stockists of GPO Retro we also have a collection of Suitcase Record Players at a price of £79. They have a quirky retro design and the pop of colour adds a unique twist. The light-weight suitcase feature also allows you to play your vinyl wherever you are. It also features built in stereo speakers and a USB stick so you can record and listen to your vinyl records on the go as well.

Finally, why not invest in one of our Vinyl Record Cases for just £34.95. They go alongside the record player very well as the colours compliment each other; four colours are available including red, black, blue and brown. They make sure your records stay in good condition and sound the best they can for as long as possible.

We have these products available on our online store but if you’d prefer to see the products in person just pop in to Design Essentials’ Saffron Walden shop on Market Row.

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Emojis at Easter

Saffron Walden Keyrings

If you were a fan of our emoji cushions we now have a range of emoji keyrings to add to your collection. These are the perfect Easter gift for someone who’s got enough chocolate to sink a ship- why not help them avoid a trip to dentist and give them this quirky gift instead.

The keyrings are so versatile and can be added to a dog’s collar, backpacks, handbags and as a even on a necklace chain for  quirky accessory. They are made from plush fabric and come in six expressions from the Blowing Kiss emoji to the Cheesy Grin emoji making them the ideal for a friend or family member who is never seen without their phone.

At £3.95 they really are a bargain so why not treat your loved one to a Heart Eyes emoji keyring to show how much you care at Easter.

Can’t wait to get your hands on these keyrings? Take a look on our website to buy them now.

Go Retro for Mother’s Day

Vintage Style Products


At Design Essentials we have a wide variety of retro-style products to give a room a quirky twist. At the moment mixing modern furnishing with hints of retro flare is a popular interior design trend. The products we have at Design Essentials are very versatile and can work well in any room from a kitchen to a bedroom and are appropriate for a wide range of ages.

Products featured above:

Cinematic Lightbox-£30

This is a bestselling product and is available online and in the Design Essentials Saffron Walden store. It comes with 69 different letters, numbers and symbols, to allow you to display a special quote; names of family members; seasonal messages; or even favourite films. Even celebrities like Fearne Cotton and Jamie Oliver have been loving lightboxes just like ours!

Suitcase Record Player-£79

This is a very stylish, lightweight record player, with a suitcase design making it easily portable. It is great quality, bound in leatherette making it the perfect gift for a music lover. Another fantastic feature of the product is the fact that it comes with a USB stick to allow you to record your vinyl records.

Vinyl Record Case- £34.95

To go alongside the record player why not invest in one of our record cases to make sure your records stay in good condition and sound the best they can. The case has a removable lid and is available in four colours; red, black, blue and brown.
Ampersand Light- £40

This is another funky retro light that we have on offer at Design Essentials and is a bold statement piece for your room. Like the Cinematic Light it too is one of our bestsellers and adds a bit of old-school Hollywood glamour to your home.

Retro Rotary Phone-£39

This telephone is a product sure to earn itself a few compliments. The simplistic design makes it a hit with homeowners and the ‘70s design adds a sense of nostalgia. It has a traditional bell ring and rotary design giving it a timeless finish.

Valentine’s Day Gifts


Presents for your partner

It’s not long to go until Valentine’s Day so make sure you don’t forget to treat the special person in your life! Here at Design Essentials we have an array of gifts that are sure to put you in your partner’s good books.

As you may know, leather is the traditional gift given on a third wedding anniversary so if you’re coming up to three years as a couple take a look at our timeless leather range. A thoughtful idea would be to fill the leather Memory Box with quotes and mementos from your most special moments as a couple. Or if you haven’t got the budget for the memory box you could buy one of our Clothesline Photo Displays and put the quotes and photos up on there instead.

Also the candles we have in the shop could be the perfect gift for a wife or girlfriend. We have some gorgeous scented candles from Geodesis (Neroli being the most popular) and even candle accessories as shown above to glam-up your plain candles.

Finally, our best-seller the “Cinematic Lightbox” is a fantastic gift for Valentine’s as it is a very on-trend home accessory at the moment with the likes of Fearne Cotton, Jamie Oliver and Caroline Flack all owning one. To add a personal touch why not put a sweet message up to make it that extra bit more special. Or if you’d rather keep it simple why not buy a couple of our Wooden Letter Lights in your and your partner’s initials.

Celebs Go Mad For Cinematic Lights

If you keep up to date with celebrities’ social media profiles you will have probably noticed that the “must-have” home accessory at the moment is the Cinematic Light!

Celebrity Cinematic Lights

Everyone from Caroline Flack, to Nina Nesbitt and Fearne Cotton have one and have been showing of their messages on Instagram. Caroline chose to display a personal family message, Nina was promoting her new single and Fearne decided to display a humorous message for her followers to see.

Celebrity Cinematic Lights Celebrity Cinematic Lights


Even local celebrity Jamie Oliver came into our Saffron Walden shop to get his hands on one of the funky lights to give as a Christmas present! If you’re dying to get your hands on one…or even more, we still have plenty more lights in the shop or ONLINE.

#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.




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.