Another Holiday Season & Assorted News!

Hi to all fans of the Ladybug!

Of course, I’m always willing to admit that I’m the worlds worst blogger, but at least the Facebook Feed is updated a few times a month!

It is hard to believe that another year is in the homestretch. A busy one it has been, too.

After most of two years, we decided to reconfigure the booth at Renaissance on the Langley Bypass over on the Vancouver side, to feature a candle wall in the main part of the store. There will still be a case full of collectables, but the focus on our Danish Taper Candles makes more sense moving forward.

Starting in the Spring of 2015, we will introduce selected vintage and antique items to the main store, as it is getting very difficult to obtain Danish Iron new and some very cool candleholders come up if you keep your eyes open!

Meanwhile, we are through Thanksgiving and zooming towards Christmas! The big order from Denmark is scheduled to arrive in Vancouver on October, 22 so we will be loading the stock before the end of the month. Lots of new candles and much Scandinavian Christmas Decor… Always a lot of fun.

If you like us on Facebook, you will get a special treat: A free pair of H4 tapers in any colour, whenever you spend $20.00 or more. I find it’s easiest to just google “Ladybug Boutique Victoria” and then follow the link to Facebook… There are thousands of Ladybug things on Facebook proper and it is tedious trying to find the right page.

Thanks to all of you who have continued to loyally support our, and many other, small businesses during this long period of economic difficulty. Small businesses give communities their unique flavour and it is great to be able to continue operating a special little store, in ours.

Cheers,

The Big Bug!

Lots of News!

Much activity in Ladybugland since the last post!

Our New Satellite Store is up and running at Renaissance Furniture on the Langley Bypass in Langley, BC, south of Vancouver. It is at 20560 Langley Bypass, (604.530.0692) on the right, when you are headed East.  The Langley Bypass is the extension of Highway # 10 and is easy to find. Of course, in this age of GPS and Google Maps, you just look it up!  We have set up our full selection of tapers, just like the home store, and have a selection of Danish Glass and Iron for you peruse, as well.  Renaissance Furniture specializes in reproduction and reworked furniture, with an emphasis on re-purposed wood and metal.  Many of the pieces are unique, specialty items you won’t see anywhere else.  

Part of the store is set up as a Vintage and Collectables Gallery, which is where we are!  If you are wondering why we would be there, given that the only thing in the main store that qualifies as vintage might be the staff and owners, well, that is because this location allows us to pursue our interest in Antiques and Collectables.  Which is why this location is called Ladybug Candles & Collectables!

Of course, we haven’t been neglecting the main store either.  With the end of our much missed neighbour, Continental Kitchen, we have returned to our roots and introduced new lines of textiles. Runners, tea towels, dishcloths, potholders and a wide variety of woven and cork-backed placemats, from famous North American companies, compliment our existing Swedish linens from Ekelund and hand woven placemats from Lori Davies on Saltspring Island. The bright colours and patterns really feel like spring!

We are continuing to expand our candle selection, as well, with more colours in our Danish pillars and drop candles.  This is also a great year for glassware. New patterns from both our friends at Mad About Glass in North Vancouver and John and Ulrike Paulsen at Dansk Glaskunst, fill the section with still more colour.

All in all, much to see at both locations!

Mention this post and get a free pair of H4 tapers with any purchase over $20.00 at our Victoria store!

Enjoy Spring!

Ho Ho Ho

Well, Here we are, the end of November!

Christmas is in full swing and the elves are very busy…  All of the orders that were still outstanding the last time I wrote, are in.  We have received a great selection of tea-towels, runners and table squares in Christmas and winter patterns from Ekelund of Sweden, which will appeal to anyone with a fondness for colour. Our Bronze candelabras and holders from Harrogate House have arrived, as well. Italian quality and style for an elegant table. 

Some things, like the electric candles from Abbott are going fast! We have the best price in town, as far as I can tell, for the “Real Flame” electric pillars and should sell out soon… 

When you get to the store, look for the RED Dot, GREEN Dot, find a Dot and save a lot, price tags on various ornaments on the outside table and throughout the shop.  50% off regular on the red dots, 25% on the green.  My treat.  Who says I’m Grinchy!

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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Getting Ready for Christmas!

Finally, at long last, we are moving the web-site into the 21st Century! Thanks to my friend Tina and Bohdan at Interconnect Communications, we are preparing to sell, first, our very popular taper candles and, soon, our Norse Museum jewelry.  We should be up and running over the next few weeks. We are also preparing our Facebook page, so you can “Like” us there!

While all of this is going on in the cyber-world, I am setting up a small satellite store in the new Antique Mall on the Langley Bypass in the Langley area, south of Vancouver.  The store is called Antique Concepts and the Antique Mall part should be fully ready and stocked by mid-November.

At the Ladybug at Mattick’s Farm, we are preparing to set up for Christmas. Over the next two weeks our little Elves will be taking over and spreading a Nordic Christmas through the store. We are adding a lot of linens and new glass to our lines, so look for new treats amongst your familiar friends.

I have promised to be better about up-dates, so keep an eye on the blog!

 

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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Look! A New Post.

One of the problems with being a “one man band” is that there are always so many things to do and, thus the poor website is the last thing on the list!

We have had a better than anticipated Spring and Summer season and are very grateful for the community support and the tourists that find their way to Mattick’s Farm.  Thank-you all very much!

As always, our popular lines have been supplemented with interesting new items to look at and buy:  Dichroic Glass earrings and pendants by local Victoria Glass Artist, Renate, are a huge hit.  Dichroic Glass was developed for the American space industry as a method of bounding metal oxides to glass under high temperatures.  The result of variations in the process is a shimmering glass that reflects myriad colours.  Each piece is unique and is like wearing a little work of art.  Renate is prolific, so our selection is ever varying.  Well worth checking out.

We have also added Mark Bateman’s handmade glass Hummingbirds and Dragonflies.  These delicate little creatures add sparkle to any window and offer another opportunity to showcase local talent.

Geoffrey Lane has added Soy Wax to his candle line as well as a Beeswax blend to his main line.  These premium candles from North Vancouver compliment our huge selection of imported Danish candles.  Unscented, as always…

It being August, the Christmas orders are all going in to our Danish suppliers.  As well as the much anticipated new colours from our favorites candle makers, we are looking forward to new Glass from Dansk Glaskunst.  Our popular patterns will be augmented with a few well chosen (I Think!) pieces of their “free-form” glass in  their new colour ranges.  We are also restocking our Norse jewelry from Kalevala of Finland and Neils P Design from Denmark.  For fans of Celtic and Viking Age design these lines are a “must see”.

New ornaments from Denmark and Sweden will round out our collection of “Nisser” and “Tompter” (those cute little Elves that live in the back corner of our store) and a new collection of wooden “pyramids”, hand crafted in Germany, emphasize a traditional, European Christmas.

Leslie, Mary, Betty and I are happy to welcome Bonnie back from sick leave and are looking forward to welcoming all of you to the store over the Fall.

Finally, in answer to the numurous queries, we have been working on adding a mail order component to this website.  So some time before Christmas we will list the ranges of candles we always have in stock, so that our customers outside the Victoria can replenish their supplies!

January Already!

Hello Everybody!

Here we are into the New Year.  I hope the transition from the feverish activity of the Holidays to the regular grind was smooth and free of extra pounds!

The snowfall before Christmas was not very helpful.  Mattick’s Farm is far enough out that inclement weather is a real problem.  To those of

you who made it out, a heartfelt “Thank-you”.  To those who were trapped at home or otherwise wary, we hope to see you throughout the year and next Christmas.

The Spring stock is coming in already:  Bright new serviettes, fresh pottery from both Sue Clarke and Marilyn Henderson and sooner than we think, Easter candles and egg cups will be sliding in too.  A Valentine’s display will be out first, in the third week of January…a few nice candles for that romantic dinner, perhaps?

Over the next weeks we will see a new line of napkins, mugs and placemats in the store.  I have been looking at this line for a while and am pleased that the supplier has offered it to me.  I’m sure it will be a welcome and complimentary addition to our selection.

I’ll try to post more often in the next weeks, so watch this space!

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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