The Ladybug for Christmas

Once upon a time Victoria had no fewer than 3 dedicated Christmas stores. Last year, the “Original Christmas Village” closed after the owner died and his wife decided to sell the building and retire back to Germany.

This has left Victoria with only one source of all those special Northern European Christmas items that the season requires: The Ladybug Boutique!

Our customers have always known that the Ladybug carries Scandinavian Christmas goods, but now the word is out that we also have all of the Advent, pyramid and chime candles the season requires. This year we have added beeswax Chanukah candles, as well and have vastly expanded our selection of traditional Christmas ornaments.

To give our customers lots of time to stock up, we are even going to set up Christmas a little earlier this year… Look for the little elves sneaking in after Thanksgiving!

Stained Glass

Interesting and new is my goal, and to that end we are really pleased to introduce the wonderful stained glass windows from Glass Artisan Maryann Shoemaker.

Maryann works using the traditional “copper foil” method to create magnificent new windows that evoke the traditional styles of a bygone era. Suitable for architectural installations or for hanging up instead of drapes, these fabulous windows are a bit of an investment, but worth it for a unique piece.

It has been a long time since my last blog post. Waiting for a new hip slowed everything down, and looking after the website was not the highest priority.

Now though, with my new parts doing great, my mind has really turned back to refreshing the Ladybug and bringing the store back from “caretaker” mode.

Leslie, Mary, Betty and Judy have gone all out keeping the store in good order, but new and interesting is up to the “Big Bug”  – Me!  🙂

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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