In these uncertain times, it is so good to see so many communities coming together to find ways to support their neighbours, friends, families, local businesses, carers and the NHS. Local online communities for some have been invaluable, whether used to organise support or collect donations for those in need, to share local news, to obtain advise or provide recommendations to others, or to just bring a smile to peoples faces!
We have had to adapt this Spring to a new norm, as have so many other businesses and this has included creating an online shop and pop up Garden Shop to display and sell our crafts! We would like to say a big thank you to our friends, family, customers and local online communities for their continued and much appreciated support in these new endeavours, it wouldn’t be possible to remain in business without you!
As with other event organisers we have not been able to run our workshops and training courses as we had hoped and won’t be able to do so until early July at the earliest. This is a shame as we had so many exciting new events to bring you this year, however, we recognise that the most important thing is to ensure we re-launch all events once again when it is first safe and sensible to do so.
In the spirit of community, we would like to ask you our friends and customers to help support our business even further by requesting a favour, we will, of course, be pleased to offer you something in return, ”quid pro quo”.
I won’t beat about the bush, we would be extremely grateful if you have been satisfied with our products or services we have delivered to provide us with a recommendation!
This action will really help people make purchasing decisions and also help us to bounce back when lockdown restrictions have been lifted. We have found recommendations including those provided on social media and by word of mouth to be the best way to share good experiences with others and to help promote our business to new friends (customers we haven’t met yet).
The competition will run from 22nd May until 31st May.
The live draw will take place on Monday 1st June 2020 at 2 p.m. This will be promoted live on Instagram. We will contact the lucky winners directly after the draw via telephone and/or email.
CLICK HERE to make contact and enter our free prize draw.
I mentioned earlier that we have had to adapt and find a new norm, we are pleased to say we have been able to do this by bringing our products and services to you by introducing two types of shops:
We have opened a Garden Shop displaying our natural, homemade Willow Crafts and Botanicals including our Obelisk and Harlequin Trees. Our little cottage is situated on a bridal and cycle path so we have had many people passing by our front garden in the past few months, especially with the lovely weather we have been having!
We would normally be exhibiting our business at various agricultural and country fairs across Surrey and Sussex this time of year and given these have all been cancelled was worried we would lose the face-to-face connection with our friends and customers that we value. The Garden Shop seemed like the next best thing but now we consider it to be a unique part of our business going forward as it has brought us so much closer to those in our local and nearby neighbourhoods, so much so we are on first name terms with many of our visitors and are already seeing lots of people returning on a regular basis.
Rustic Obelisk and other plant support workshops had proven to be a favourite choice of our customers last year, therefore, it made sense to take orders and make these myself this year. I already had Willow in storage from the coppicing I had undertaken earlier in the year, some of this with the help of volunteers, so all I had to do was start weaving! I began by displaying Obelisk and Harlequin Trees (a decorative tree woven in the harlequin pattern from living Willow) of various sizes in my new Garden Shop and when I realised how popular they would be I quickly set about creating an online shop on my website. I had to upskill quickly to master the use of Woo-Commerce but I’m always up for a challenge when technology is involved!
To date, we have a small selection of products on sale plus gift vouchers, however, we will continue to add more over time. Again, this is an adaption that we plan to keep. Paul and I had previously made a range of rustic products to order so it made sense to take this step and set up an e-commerce shop offering free local delivery.
The next step in our aim to adapt is to introduce a selection of online courses to support our existing training courses and workshops. For example, those who have participated in our Wattle Hurdle Workshops know that the steps are quite complicated and difficult to remember and it is only through practise that you can eventually become an expert! Therefore, an online tutorial available to view after the course has ended will help as a reference tool for those who wish to continue to practise and improve their newfound skill.
I am also planning on creating a small number of tutorials to accompany the sale of our Gift Packs, the first of which we launched last week for those who would like to make a Willow Dream Catcher!
All customers who had bookings with us to commence earlier than July have now been contacted, we have been working hard to ensure these workshops and events can be rescheduled where possible.
Moving forward to July and beyond we have a growing list of workshop experiences and training courses available in our Experience Box Office to be held at our various locations. We have ensured that in addition to buying tickets to reserve your place in advance, each workshop also provides you with the choice to join a Waitlist to express your interest in the event rather than pay upfront in these uncertain times. We will make contact nearer the time to inform you if the event is still going ahead and if you wish to make a booking.
We offer a selection of Wood Art, Willow Craft and Bushcraft workshops at various picturesque locations across Surrey Hills and Sussex. We will continue to add further dates and events so do bookmark the following page for future reference:
The desire to conserve and enhance our heritage hedgerows, undertake new (old) skills and spend time in the outdoors has been on the increase and I expect this will continue, especially given the current climate. It may be some time away but we would like to welcome you to join our Coppicing and Hedgelaying Training Course this coming Winter and enjoy an experience that will stay with you for life!
We will have more updates for you in the coming weeks including news of a very special event we will be hosting at the Birtley Woodland Art Space, hopefully in July!
Wishing you all well, stay safe.
Lorraine & Paul
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We have a selection of Willow kits and online tutorials available in our Shop! Dismiss