I Pledge To Shop Small, Will You?

Hey guys.

Being away having a little time off has put my blog schedule out of whack but it’s a Thursday and I’d like to chat about something that I’m actually starting to get quite passionate about.

Christmas is just around the corner, so I’m pledging to shop small this year and I’m asking you to also consider it; let me tell you why. Having recently opened my Etsy shop and having barely dipped my toe into the retail market ocean, this is what shopping small means to me. When I see that order e-mail in my inbox the pure joy of it lights up my day and warms my soul. It’s also the cause of many a happy dance. Even the smallest purchase, like a card, means the world to me.

That card, on average costs £2.50 and that to me is fruit for the week. Or perhaps, it’s a ‘pat on the back’ coffee from my favourite indie cafe. Last week, I was able to treat Lewie to lunch and that hasn’t happened for a very long time. It was a simple meal of a toastie and a hot chocolate but I felt amazing and proud that I could do that for him.

These purchases fuel small businesses dreams, and your support helps them to feed their families, pay their bills and most of all it means they can keep making and creating.

Now, I’m not an idiot and I know that people want to get as much as they can for their money, especially at this time of year. I too buy from high street suppliers and from the likes of Amazon simply because it’s cheaper and convenient. You choose where you spend your hard-earned money and all I’m asking is that this year you support some small, independent businesses too. That could result in buying a handful of illustrated cards for your nearest and dearest or deciding to purchase one gift this year from a maker. Put your money back into the local economy and buy your turkey from your favourite butcher down the road or whilst out christmas shopping, stop by an independent cafe for lunch and coffee to recharge instead.

Small businesses can’t compete with the conglomerates but by shopping small and rather than getting something machine-made, you’ll be buying a product that has been handmade with love, passion, time and born from years of experience. There is an abundance of places that’s full of amazing people online. Sites that spring to mind are Etsy, Folksy, Ohh Deer and Not On The High Street but stop by the indie stores in your towns and cities too, you might find some unexpected beautiful items. Norwich is full of them, especially around The Lanes and Jarrolds has a lovely card section that supports locals too. You could also hop over to a nearby Christmas Craft Fair, that’ll be full of indie makers.

Who knows, you might find a seller you adore and would buy from again for all sorts of occasions, not just Christmas. Support them further and share the love by liking their social media channels, like what they post and even share some posts too. Oh and don’t forget a review, they’re incredibly insightful and helpful.

It may take a little more time and effort but your support is truly worth it. Be the reason someone has a happy dance moment and fill their hearts with festive glee.

I’m taking the pledge to support small, who’s with me?

I pledge to shop small badge

Cx

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Portrait Gifts

Hello there!

I hope that you all had a fantastic new years and are finding a way to combat the January blues.

A super quick post for you lovely bunch today. In the run up to Christmas I made a few gifts for my friends. I shared a handful of sneak peeks on my Instagram and Twitter feeds, but now, since they’ve all been unwrapped, I can finally reveal the illustrations; hurrah!

So here you have it, three custom portraits. Apologies about the lighting in the photographs…I’m working towards improving this. Enjoy!

I relished creating these images and I’m happy to report that all the recipients loved their gift!

If you’re interested in commissioning a bespoke portrait for yourself or as a present to a loved one, please do get in touch via: hello@frogandpencil.com

I’d be delighted to hear from you.

Cx

‘In Mutual Weirdness’ – Frog & Bear’s Wedding Invite

Hello there!

I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while now but I’ve been waiting on the good ole British weather to turn brighter. I should probably invest in a couple of good lamps hey? Alas, I woke up this morning to beautiful sunshine which meant I had natural light to photograph our wedding invitation, woohooo!

Creating this invite was a complete labour of love. It involved A LOT of cutting out, however I made it through thanks to a Tom Hanks movie marathon! I thoroughly enjoyed the process and I was, and still am, super happy with the result. I also received a bunch of lovely compliments, and that encouragement has nurtured the beginning of Frog & Pencil.

Wanting something distinctive, I chose to design a ‘book’ style invitation. This would contain everything our guests needed to know and additional personalised pages, in one neat package. I hadn’t seen anything like it in the shops or wedding fairs and decided to give it a whirl.

Here’s a run through of what our pages covered:

  • A Dr. Seuss quote about love
  • A brief story about our relationship
  • The actual invitation
  • A map
  • Local accommodation details
  • The RSVP
  • A few extra important points
  • Our contact information
  • Finishing with a photograph of Lewie & I

Some pages varied depending on recipient, for example, our accommodation page. Close family & friends were staying with us at Chaucer Barn over the weekend and they were given alternative details. What I like about this type of invite is that you can pretty much add whatever your heart desires.

So, here you have it, our ‘book’ style wedding invitation gallery, enjoy.

I think these are unique, personal and they make a lovely keepsake. These will certainly be one of the bespoke invitation options that I’ll be offering and I hope others love them as much a I do.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Cx