It's a funny week. the week before Christmas, especially somewhere like Hay on Wye. If we were in a big city we'd be gritting our teeth for a huge Christmas Eve Saturday, but given how busy we've been over the past fortnight my instinct is that most shoppers are ahead of the game this year. We'll see! In any event, there is a lot to do, and it's a good time to look forward to what this Christmas season has taught us.
We seem to be increasing the market for our delicious Zotter chocolate exponentially - we ordered more than ever this year, and yet we're still close to selling out! We'll have more fantastic flavours in for Easter.
It's also become clear that t-shirts are not just for "t-shirt weather." They make great gifts all year round, and our new range from Glower have proved incredibly popular. Look out for more styles from them next year, along with an attempt at some designs of our own!
Finally - I know we're in the town of books and everything, but book sales this year have been phenomenal. Several customers have commented that they like the fact that our book range reflects the rest of the shop - ethically minded, outward looking towards the rest of the world, and thoughtfully conscious. We'll do our best to expand the range in 2017.
Before we get into that we're looking forward to our trip to Mexico - more of which next week! We're planning to keep our Instagram feed updated while we're out there, so stay tuned for that.
It only remains for me to wish you a very Happy Christmas from all of us at Eighteen Rabbit - thank you for your interest and taking the time to read our blogs week in week out. We hope that we can continue to keep you entertained in the year ahead!
Mid-December is an interesting time of year in the shop. I'd say it divides roughly into a 45:45:10 split. The first group are the well-prepared ones, who have been craftily tucking away potential presents all year long, and now need just a few finishing touches to allow their perfect plans to fall into place. The second group are in full-on buying mode - they have lists, they have scribbled notes on their hands, they have lots of bags and their credit cards have a faint red glow around the chip. They'll get there, as long as they focus.
Then there are the ten percenters. They amble in, cool as cucumbers, scouting out the shop with hands tucked into pockets. They smile and nod, and explain they're "just having a look" waiting for "inspiration" to strike. Off they go again, narry a carrier bag in sight, still as far from buying their first present as they were on the August bank holiday. You have to admire them. Will they make it? Who knows. But last-minute shoppers of Britain - we salute you!
Whichever group you fall into, there are some things you can't change. As Christmas Eve is a Saturday you could potentially post something first class on Friday 23rd and still have it arrive in time - though we're suggesting Wednesday 21st as a good cut off. So you have just under a week to order any of our fancy fair trade treats before the big day. We never try to give anyone the hard sell, but here are three clever ideas if you're stuck for inspiration...
Recycled tyre wallets from Cambodia. Fair warning - we will sell out of these. Very popular, particularly as gifts for tricky-to-buy for men.
Star earrings. Back in stock after a short absence, these beautiful earrings are handmade from brass in Tamil Nadu. A perfect festive look!
Landmarks by Robert Macfarlane. The follow up to the hugely succesful "Old Ways" is a great gift for outdoorsy folk - and a lovely present from the "Town of Books."
In our last blog before Christmas we'll look forward to 2017 - until then, don't let the shopping madness sweep you away - let's do whatever we do with a spirit of peace, love and compassion.
Excitement levels are running at record levels here in Rabbit Towers as we look beyond Christmas to our upcoming trip to Mexico in the new year. It's a beautiful country which we know reasonably well having visited in the past - in fact, this will be our sixth trip in twelve years! We're flying in and out of Mexico City, and driving from the capital over to the west coast via Guadalajara.
We know that many of our customers love our selection of products from Mexico - from small, ornate tin mirrors up to beautiful, handwoven rugs. Perhaps there's an item you've seen in the shop but didn't get a chance to buy, or perhaps you have a favourite Mexican item we haven't stocked up until now? Well, here is your chance! Within reason, we'll be aiming to bring back a good selection of new stock from our trip, so if you have requests, let us know about them. No promises, but we'll do our best!
We're particularly excited about sourcing some Huichol art from Nayarit, visiting our friends at Fabrica Social in Mexico City, and visiting the craft hotspot of Tonala on the outskirts of Guadalajara. And don't worry if you're planning to be in Hay in January - the shop will still be open thanks to the wonderful Dora! Check the website for exact opening hours nearer the time.