Tag Archives: Victoria

Our Story

The Ladybug Boutique started out as Scandinavian Weaving in Market Square on Johnson Street in downtown Victoria thirty years ago when a nice Swedish lady named Victoria opened a small shop to sell her weaving.

mugs

About a year later an equally nice Danish lady named Birgitte joined her and a great partnership was born! Over the years the ladies expanded into candles, giftware and Scandinavian specialties from Christmas Nisser to craft-paper, flags, mugs, Danish glass, cookbooks and traditional Norse jewelry

winter giftware display

With the move fifteen years ago to Mattick’s Farm in Cordova Bay the name changed to “The Ladybug Boutique” in honour of Victoria’s lifetime fondness for lucky ladybugs.

After three years of operation in Vancouver as well, the two decided that retirement might be worth contemplating, so on the day of the twentieth anniversary the store officially passed into the safe hands of Michael and his sister, Ilse.

Michael and Ilse have kept up the traditions of the store, but have also added new flavours to the mix over their ten years. The addition of more handmade products from local artisans as well as selected collectables have kept the store different and interesting. Victoria and Birgitte follow the evolution with interest and Victoria is still happily pitching in at Christmas.

candles

The familiar faces of long time staff members Leslie, Mary, Betty, along with the addition of Judy, continue to ensure that customers are welcomed to “The Ladybug” with enthusiasm and good cheer.

napkin display

As we always say: “If you can’t find the perfect gift, at the right price, in this store, you’re not looking hard enough!”

Almost Ready!

Well, tonight’s the night! Yesterday Tina ran a test sale through the site and today we are going to review all the functions and then, if all goes well, we will be able to sell our taper candles on line! Woo-Hoo!

Meanwhile, the store is coming together. By the week-end the first round of stock will be in place.  Our order of Scandinavian themed cookbooks and mugs will be in in about another week and the Norse jewelry should be in soon, too.

There has been a lot of media chatter about “Christmas creep“; that is, the idea that retailers are starting Christmas decorating and selling earlier and earlier every year… As someone who has worked in retail for well over 30 years (really?

christmas candles on the morning table

Since I was 2?) I can say, with some authority, that while some retailers, usually the big box stores, have pushed the envelope, most of us still set up just as we always have. We begin to prepare in October, after Thanksgiving, by organizing and moving the stock into our Christmas format.  Then we put up the trim and load the inventory. Because we are open seven days a week and like to serve our customers, it takes about two weeks to totally convert the store.  The plan is to be finished for November 12th.  Our store has followed this format for over 25 years and every year folks say the same thing: “What, already?” The interesting thing is that some people start to shop quite early and ask for things in October. Can’t please everyone!

One thing, though, we can all agree on: No Christmas music until December 1st. 

 

 

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Welcome

… to the Ladybug Boutique at Mattick’s Farm in beautiful Cordova Bay, BC.

Halfway between Swartz Bay ferry terminal and downtown Victoria, this pretty little enclave of shops, nestled next to the award winning Cordova Bay Golf Course, is home to the kind of specialty businesses that give a community it’s unique flavour.

signThe Ladybug, as it’s fondly known, has been the number one source of high quality smokeless, dripless and scentless candles on Vancouver Island for over 30 years. Highest quality paraffin tapers and pillars and well as “Stearin” (organically sourced, sustainable palm oil) tapers and pillars from Denmark 🇩🇰 are complimented by choice Canadian makers of organic beeswax and specialty candles.

 

It is at Christmas that the store’s Scandinavian roots really show. The little red hatted elves (Nisser, Tomter, Heinzelmännchen or Wichtel, depending on your background) fill every nook and cranny!  elvesAdvent Calendars, Swedish Angel Chimes and a multitude of decorations appear to turn the store into the epitome of a Northern European Christmas. If this store doesn’t put you in the holiday spirit, nothing will!  elves

 

 

 

A little bit of Christmas hides in the back   of the store year round, so if you’re in Victoria midsummer and want to stock up on some Christmas bits, you’ll find them.

 

 

The Scandinavian theme continues with hand blown hanging and sitting birds from Denmark, Ekelund table linens from Sweden and an ever changing selection of silver and bronze Norse museum jewelry.glass birds

Local artisans also shine. Pottery, hanging glass ornaments from well known artist Mark Bateman, fun jewelry, beautiful handmade scarves and placemats from local weavers, as well as a great selection of cards, mugs and placemats from wildlife photographer Stuart Clarke are just a sample of what awaits exploration!stuart clarke mugs

 

 

 

 

 

 

glass ware

 

valentine's setting

 

The Candle Store With So Much More” is just one of the great shops at Mattick’s Farm. Stop in and discover another of Victoria’s hidden gems.

An Exciting New Blog Post!

Well, I have to admit that the blog seemed like a good idea when we redesigned the web site, but actually using it has been something of a challenge!  I often wonder were people find the time to have things like blogs…perhaps they are avoiding other tasks?

2009 was a year most retailers would like to forget and the shops at Mattick’s Farm certainly were no exception.  Indeed, 2010 seems a little soft in the Victoria area, so far, as well.  This has made our loyal clientele more valuable than ever and I would like to say a heartfelt “Thank-you” to all of you who found your way out to us over the last months.

Business being a little quiet is no excuse for the store to be boring, we have been cheerfully chugging along as usual, looking for interesting new items and keeping the candle selection second to none!  We have added a new line of fancy tapers made of Danish wax by the “Old Time Candle Company” in Vancouver, at a special introductory price of $3.99 a pair, and are inviting feedback from our customers. Yes, you get to be “Beta-testers“!  We have also added a popular line of “Molca” candles from Holland, in pillars and floaters that have been very well received.  Our “Flatyz” candles from Lithuania have also been a great conversation piece.  They are a great decorative gift item, though, we cheerfully admit, not the greatest idea for practical burning during a power outage!

We have also augmented our selection of Danish glass vases and bowls from “Dansk Glaskunst” with new shapes and sizes and added a new line of locally made pottery from “Dragon Pottery”.  Our paper napkin selection has grown, too, with the addition of “IHR” and “Home Fashion” serviettes from two premier German makers.

The best received new addition has been the beautiful collection of glass hummingbirds and dragonflies by Victoria’s very own Mark Bateman.  We have been delighted to watch them fly out the door!  Add the new cards from local photograhper Stuart Clarke as well as fresh colours in our handwoven placemats from Lori Davies on Saltspring Island and the store is as cheerful and interesting as ever.

Mattick's FarmThe Mattick’s Farm Tenant’s Association has been busy planning summer entertainment and events to brighten your summer weekends.  Check out the Mattick’s Farm website for details.

Leslie, Mary, Betty and I are looking forward to an entertaining Summer and hope to see you at “The Farm”.  Mention that you read this post and we’ll give you a pair of “H4” Danish taper candles with any purchase adding up to over $20.00!

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Preparing For Christmas!

Greetings Everyone!

Yes, once again, the Christmas Season is closing in!  Currently, the big order from Denmark is somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic, due to arrive in Vancouver on the 3rd of November.  Give us a few days to bring the shipment to Victoria and clear Canada Customs and the new stock will start to appear for the weekend of the 6th.  All of the goods from our domestic suppliers are already on the way in, so early Christmas shoppers can find all manner of treats.

The store will be officially ready on the 12th of November as the Christmas window goes in that day.  We are looking forward to seeing many of our friends over the holiday season and hope the store fulfills everyones expectations.

Please join Leslie, Mary, Betty, Bonnie and myself over the last two weekends before Christmas for a warm spiced apple cider and perhaps a guest appearance from Victoria and Birgitte, as well.

I’ll keep updating this site over the next weeks so check back!

Cheers,

Michael