Shop Local!

You might have seen various calls this Christmas urging you to shop local and support local and independent businesses (Shop Local Saturday this year is taking place on December 7th.) If you’re around the West End of Glasgow, there are loads of opportunities to do this. The area has just won the Great Neighbourhood award from the Academy of Urbanism, praised in part for its community spirit and the wealth of creativity in the area.

It’s no surprise then that independent retailers, bars, restaurants and designer-makers and artists across the West End are banding together to put on Christmas events to give residents the opportunity to shop local, support independent businesses and have a great time! Here’s a quick round-up of the events we know about; they’re all on different dates so you can go to all of them if you so choose!

Yuletide at Cushion and Cake

First up, quite shamelessly, is an event we’re involved with: Yuletide at Cushion & Cake. It takes places on November 28th from 6-9pm and will be in the Cushion & Cake tearoom and across the road at the new Cushion & Cake Too function room (where the C&C Crafternoons are hosted). Sellers who’ll be joining us include Glasgow Craft Mafia alumni Pumpkin Sputnik, Ding Dong Designs and Make Stuff With Us, as well as A Canny Squirrel, Jill Kirkham and loads more! Keep an eye on the Cushion & Cake website and Facebook pages for details of more sellers as they are confirmed.

You’ll also be able to buy from Cushion & Cake’s lovely selection of regular suppliers, including Lovely Pidgeon, Cherith Harrison and Herb Lester. Local traders on Old Dumbarton Road have chipped in to sponsor the event, Duke’s Bar are hosting carol singers and serving mulled wine, and the Old Dumbarton Road Cake Club will be selling cakes in aid of Yorkhill Children’s Hospital.

festive finnieston logo

A week later, and a bit further down the road Festive Finnieston is happening (5th December). Artists and makers based in the Hidden Lane including Finch & Fouracre, Shona Jewellery and Pink Grapefruit will be taking part in a pop-up shop in the Hidden Lane tearoom, and other laners will be welcoming the public to an open studios event.There’ll be lots more happening; follow @festive_finnies on twitter to keep up to date.

The Shop of Interest is also participating in Festive Finnieston- but if you’re about this Sunday, 17th November, they’re hosting their annual birthday sale.

Up at Queen Margaret Drive, the Queen Margaret Drive Winter Festival will take place on Saturday 30th November and Sunday 1st December between 12 noon and 6pm. Queen Margaret Drive is home to lots of independent businesses, including Ae Fond Kiss, the Black Orchid florists and the North Star Cafe. There’ll be a brass band, DJs, stalls, and a whole lot of fun to be had.

Finally, we have to mention ethical fashion retailer Think Boutique and Rapa Nui Gallery, who are once again teaming up to open a festive Pop Up Shop on Byres Road from 21st November to 21st December.

We’ve only mentioned a few of the businesses involved here;  if you’re taking part in any of the above events, please leave a link to your business in the comments. Likewise we’ve listed West End events because that’s where we’re based. If there are any similar events happening elsewhere (Glasgow or other cities and towns), please stick a link in the comments.

A little update – and lots of action!

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Inver Cottage

So we’ve been a little bit quiet around these parts for a couple of weeks, but here’s what we’ve been up to:

  • Received, quality checked, folded and squirreled away 80% of the t-shirts you ordered via our indiegogo campaign
  • Had our first public appearance with actual t-shirts at Inver Cottage – thanks to their lovely patrons we are currently out of all additional stock of the Treehouse design, and down to very limited stock of Puffer
  • Finalised the last two designs of our original collection and continued working with exciting new designers behind the scenes for next year’s collection
  • We’ve been in talks with potential stockists of our collection and put plans in place for our first trade fair
  • Worked on the packaging for our first orders, which will be shipping soon (once said packaging and remaining 20% of orders arrive in the post!)
  • Discussed arrangements for the colouring books and badges so they are ready to ship with the t-shirts at the end of the month
  • Planned for our next event, at Yuletide in the West End of Glasgow on 28 November – there’ll be reindeer and everything!
  • We’ve also eaten A LOT of chips and drunk A LOT of coffee in the interests of getting things done and we also spent a couple of weeks slowing down and generally being kind to ourselves so we didn’t get ill or burnt out.

We can’t wait for the next step – to send you your packages and hear your feedback, too.

Continue reading A little update – and lots of action!

Find us amongst the gin and teacups

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No, it’s not just another Thursday night in at M&WHQ, we’re talking about an event taking place this Saturday at The Arches, in Glasgow. Next door to Central Station, just under the Heilanmans Umbrella, you’ll find The Arches – a great little space that’s host to every kind of entertainment, including live music, performance, art and even aliens.

This Saturday we’ll be there with our Mimi and Will samples for you to see in person, as well as assorted goodies from our alter egos with StellaMyStar and GirlIndustries.  Gin in Teacups is a well-established Scottish vintage and crafts market and we’ve been assured that their events at the Arches are always a good time.

So come and join us from 12-5, check out what’s on, and maybe treat yourself to a bite to eat or stick with the theme and go for some gin in the bar.  Hope to see you there!

Can’t make it along to see us?  Remember you can always place your order online – but only for the next 6 days – at Indiegogo.

Another key milestone!

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With just a week left to go in our Indiegogo pre-order campaign, we’ve made it to 25% of our target, with a flurry of activity in the last couple of days.  Having broken through the £500 barrier is particularly significant, we’re now searchable on Indiegogo and unhidden from the public again, so we stand to reach a lot more people on Indiegogo who might wish to back us on our way.

We’re so grateful to everyone who’s decided to invest in one (or more) of our products, and to everyone who’s liked a facebook post, retweeted us on Twitter, followed us on Pinterest, read our blog or been there for us through what is quite a stressful as well as exciting process.

But we aren’t there yet!  While we’ve now sold the equivalent of 25 t-shirts, we need to take pre-orders for another 75 in order to reach our first target, to release more designs in our collection and to help develop and grow our business, all the while ensuring that you get your t-shirts, badges and colouring books in good time.

If you’re intending to buy but aren’t sure which designs are your favourites, don’t let that put you off.  There’s no need to make your mind up on sizes or designs until after the campaign closes, when we’ll send you an email with all your options.

Best of all, there are still a handful of t-shirts available at early bird prices, if you thought you’d missed your chance, think again! Now the countdown is on for our next key milestone of £1000 – who’s with us?  Simply click here to visit Indiegogo and chose how many t-shirts you wish to buy – see you there!

Ten reasons to shop with Mimi and Will in the next 10 days

With ten days left to place your pre-orders in time for worldwide Christmas delivery, we thought we’d give you ten solid reasons for shopping with us.

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There’s something here for everyone, boys, girls, siblings, cousins and friends.  Whether dinosaurs, animals, nature, the great outdoors or gentler pursuits (ice cream, anyone?) are your thing, we offer a range of designs and colours to suit everyone from 2 to 12.

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We’re so excited to be working with some of the UK’s leading illustrators, and designers from a range of disciplines, including ceramics, comics and other creative things not beginning with c!

It’s not just about t-shirts – treat yourself to a badge or colouring book.  With the colouring books you get an exclusive sneak peek at forthcoming designs which won’t be released as t-shirts for a little while yet.

All our pre-orders include a 10% discount which is valid for a year on your future purchases from us – the gift that keeps on giving!

While children grow so quickly, the quality and finish of our garments mean that they make a great investment for handmedowns and passing on.  Because they’re gender neutral, they’re twice as useful for sharing and giving.

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With your purchase, you’re supporting not one but FOUR independent businesses – the t-shirt manufacturers who’ve signed up to fair labour principles in Africa and India, the British designer/maker who has provided the image on the front of the t-shirt, our lovely printers who run a traditional workshop in Wales and of course, us here in Scotland at Mimi & Will.

We’re at a critical point in our business development – every penny we receive in pre-orders goes towards making the t-shirts, spreading the word about Mimi & Will and commissioning more designs from wonderful craftspeople, artists and designers whose work we know would look fantastic on a t-shirt.

The more orders we receive, the better we can make our business – by improving our website, our photography and our branding – you could be a part of our success story by investing in us at this early stage.  If we exceed £500 of pre-orders this week, our campaign has a chance of making it back onto the front page of Indiegogo’s website – giving us more exposure to potential customers.

Be ahead of the fashion pack – while we’re very new, we’re also confident in the quality, value and look of our t-shirts.  Your kids could be amongst the first to wear and share Mimi & Will clothing, how cool would that be?

We’re making it as easy as possible for you to buy – pay with PayPal or credit/debit card via Indiegogo, or email us for an invoice at mimiandwill.uk@gmail.com – let us know how many t-shirts, badges or colouring books you’d like to order and we’ll take it from there – you don’t even have to make up your mind which sizes and designs you’d like, we’ll follow up with you once pre-orders close to get your preferences.

Go on, make someone smile on Christmas morning – or in our case, today!  Order now at: http://igg.me/at/mimiandwill/x/3097542 – and as many of you have been doing (thank you thank you!) please continue to spread the word and share our link with friends, family and colleagues.

Reading, writing, and the rest

Here’s a round up of a tiny handful of our favourite things to do and read… on paper.

First up is one of our favourite magazines for children, Anorak.  Founded in 2006, it describes itself as “all about a child’s world from fashion to stories, culture to science and sport to food”.  We love reading about all those things, and the bright colours and clear layout of the magazine always make us happy, as does the smell of the real paper and ink they use.  We’re suckers for a good theme, and the latest issue is all about games, just the thing for getting outside in the sunshine, or getting together as the nights draw in.

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Of course, Anorak has online content, too, and we really enjoyed their latest blog post about screenprinting.  But we would say that, wouldn’t we?

A favourite bedtime story in our house right now concerns a forgetful robot named Bernard, who leaves his bottom behind on a swing in the park.  I don’t want to spoil the ending for you, but let’s just say it involves seafaring rabbits and a trip back to the swings.  What’s not to like?

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By Sue Hendra, it’s available in both hardback and softback.

Speaking of Robots, we just found this adorable set of activity books that’s bound to keep children amused for hours.  Culture of Beauty is an Etsy seller based in London, and has a gorgeous shop of crisp fresh paper good and stunningly understated baby quilts.  This sounds like an unusual combination, but click through to check out the shop, you won’t be disappointed.

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For mum and dad older children, show them what they missed by not growing up in the 80s, when digital was something to do with watches and your music may or may not have skipped when you were jogging.  Mel Simone Elliott, superstar illustrator best known for her cultural icon colouring books, has created a 52- project bumper book of activities that both reference and recreate the film, music, tv and trends of the 1980s.  Oh, and there are free downloads for colouring in on her website, too.

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So that’s our little round up of things to read and do, but we’re always ready to find more – share your favourites in the comments box below.