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The Nations love of Poppies grow.

It was lovely to meet so many people at Armed Forces Day in Cleethorpes on Saturday.

Sassy Spirit was right on the sea front and we had a fantastic view of all the days activities. The Red Arrows were amazing and I confess to feeling a huge surge of patriotic pride as we watched them cross the sky streaming plumes of red, white and blue.

      

We took along our growing selection of beautiful Poppy Accessories and were pleased with the lovely feedback we received. There was no doubt that fans of the baskets were wide and varied as you can see below. I confess to chuckling every time I see the picture of Darth Vadar standing so solemnly with his Madaraff basket.

      

Your love of our new Equilibrium Poppy Jewellery was also delightful to see and I was pleased so many of you liked the new friendship bracelet with its adjustable fastening.

   

I hope you will all delight in our selection of poppy accessories available. If you are looking to see them in the flesh please pop along to our Facebook page to stay up to date with where we will be. For those of you venturing to Lincoln to see the Poppy Wave at Lincoln Castle please check out the Craft and Gift Fairs at the Assembly Rooms on Bailgate where we regularly attend.

I hope to see you all again soon.

The Perfect Pairing - Using your Periea Organiser with your Madaraff Basket

Our Madaraff Baskets pair perfectly with our Periea Handbag Organisers for those times when you want to add some structure to your basket. raffia baskets for sale

We know that many of you love to use your basket as a handbag during the summer months but not all of you love the open space and wish for some pockets and dividers. By placing one our handbag organisers inside this can easily be achieved.

Matching Bag Style

Each of our handbag organisers comes with handles for easy insertion and lifting out of the basket. Depending on which Periea style you select you can easily add large dividing sections to your basket and up to a dozen smaller pockets. This enables you to safely stow away your smaller handbag items and prevent them from rolling around in the bottom of the basket.

bags and baskets

At the end of the summer you can move your organiser on to another bag or use it in a variety of different ways to store all types of things in.

Check out my blog on a holiday to Florida and how I took 3 different organisers with me.

 

Is Romance Dead?

I spent the day at the beautiful Assembly Rooms in Lincoln yesterday.  It was the first Craft and Gift Fair of the year and I was surrounded by 40+ other stall holders. Several of us had lovely displays with some carefully selected valentine inspired gifts to tempt the romantic males of Lincoln.

Oh the disappointment!

What has happened to the men of Lincoln?

Not only did we find they had deep pockets which they were determined to keep their hands inside but the mere concept of buying their loved one a gift was met with mirth, amazement and a great deal of sarcasm.

When coaxed to discuss their view point many seemed to be under the illusion that all us women really wanted was an over priced bunch of red roses from the supermarket. Now far be it from me to knock a bunch of roses, I certainly would be happy to receive flowers at any time of the year. A carefully chosen gift that I can keep however would be decidedly more cherished.

Am I alone in this view point? Is it that all a woman wants for Valentines day is a bunch of supermarket roses or is that romance has died out in our men? Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

Vintage Inspiration

I love Downton Abbey and one of the reasons I love watching it so much is quite purely the fashion. Last night Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) was flirting with the very handsome Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode). In both scenes we saw her in the most beautiful beaded gowns. It was not just the gowns themselves that stood out for me though it was the truly exquisite accessories she wore with them. Beautiful beads, diamante head band, gloves and a satin bag, they were stunning. How I wish I could travel back in time and just live for a little while in such glamour.

I shall be very sad this Christmas when we watch the last ever episode, Autumnal Sunday nights will not be the same without it. I shall miss not only the drama but my “fashion fix” of nostalgic glamour.

I have always been someone that purchased accessories for myself. This probably comes about as a result of growing up with my Mum running her own business. She used to be a partner in a local shop selling Jewellery and Giftware. She started the business when I was 11 and I was thrilled to find such easy access to fashion jewellery had suddenly come my way. I would help out in the shop on a Saturday and spend many hours looking at and trying on all the bejeweled adornments.

This was back in the 80s when Dallas and Dynasty were at their peak and diamante accessories were everywhere. I became an instant Magpie and collector of sparkly things. This has never left me and I find myself instantly gravitating towards anything that catches the light. It can sometimes be a problem for me when I am buying for Sassy Spirit as I find myself stocking up on anything with a sequin attached to it. I love that Lady Gaga has been quoted as saying she is trying to change the world one sequin at a time. I am totally with her on this and committed to spreading them everywhere. I wonder if she loves the Downton Abbey fashion as much as I do? Perhaps I will tweet her and ask………….

When I met the ladies from Peach Accessories at a trade show I was in seventh heaven. Their handbags ticked all the boxes for me. They had sparkle, were vintage inspired, all handmade and not mass produced. In fact they only make 50 of each design so your chances of bumping into anyone with the same bag as you are slim.

Using my Peach bag is about as close to a Downton Abbey lifestyle that I am likely to get unfortunately. It’s a shame that my life isn’t more balls and high society but I guess this is the modern age. Still, I pick my bag up every day and it makes me smile. The site of the shiny crystal clasp is enough to lighten my mood and carrying it (even on the school run in jeans) makes me certainly feel just that little bit more elegant. It's my own little piece of modern vintage fashion.

I for one am pleased that modern design is still influenced by our more opulent past. I love the vintage inspired accessories that are now so widely available. Give me a fury wrap, some diamante and beading any day.

 Thanks for reading.

Faux or Fur Where do you stand?

The debate between fake or fur is long running and emotive. 

I had the perception that faux fur had won the battle over hearts and minds some time ago. So as a buyer I was surprised when visiting Autumn Fair this year to find real fur is not only back in vogue, it’s everywhere.

Many of the wholesaler’s I met were carrying genuine Raccoon and Rabbit fur lines. In fact I was told that a Raccoon Tail Pom Pom is the must have handbag accessory for this winter.

I have to admit they looked (and felt) very nice and in the rainbow of colours available it wouldn’t be hard to easily dress an outfit with a clip on pom pom. I wandered around the event pondering the frequency at which the Pom Poms were appearing on stands and asking myself if consumer attitudes have now changed, is real fur acceptable again and no longer the luxury of the rich and famous?

One earnest seller was ready to convince me that it has. “We have certificates from our factory that all the fur used is a natural by-product of the food industry” she said. 

"A by-product" I thought, really?

In that split second my mind raced back to a childhood memory of watching the "Wilderness Family".

Skip; the father that had moved his family out of the smoggy Los Angeles air to go and live in the wilds of the Rocky Mountains. On their arrival they are greeted by 2 beautiful cheeky Raccoon's that pop up out of the chimney stove.

I remember the image clearly, their cute little faces and stripy tails. I couldn’t quite get my head round what the lady was telling me and neither did I want to believe that these beautiful creatures are now being consumed in such great quantities that their “by-product” is producing enough fur to support the latest fashion craze. 

I always thought that the UK was a nation of animal lovers. Granted the Raccoon is not a native of our shores and I read online that they can be seen as pests in more urban communities across the US. Perhaps they are to many US homeowners the equivalent of our Fox? Even so, I can't forsee a huge take up in the demand for Fox, either as a staple meat offering or a handbag accessory but perhaps I am wrong?

I came away from Autumn Fair without purchasing any Raccoon or Rabbit fur products but I was still thinking about the “by-product” comment a couple of days later when I read that Walter Palmer, the US Dentist that had been widely criticised for his part in the hunting and killing of Cecil the Lion, had returned to work. I couldn’t help thinking that the wearing of a Raccoon Pom Pom is perhaps the thin end of the wedge?

If we are so ready to accept the re-emergence of fur as a fashion product how long will it be before the taste for Raccoon and Rabbit fur grows into something more exotic? Will we still be outraged by stories like the killing of Cecil or will the by-products of a hunt find their way into mainstream fashion also? The more and more I thought about it the more if felt just wrong.

In the end I have had to take a decision on if I will stock real fur products or not? My decision is that Sassy Spirit will not be stocking real fur products. I don’t believe that this single decision will make any difference to the wider world but I am a woman of principle and this decision is the right one for me. I have spent some time looking at the wide and beautiful range of faux fur options available and simply can not see a need to buy real fur. I can only hope my customers will join me in wearing faux fur this winter and leave the beautiful Raccoon's alone.

If you think I am wrong or have any opinion on fake over real fur, please do leave your comments below.

Thanks for reading.

Getting organised with Periea Handbag Organisers.

Last month my husband and I took our 2 boys to Florida for a family holiday; with us came Claire, Lexy and Chelsy. 

It’s amazing how stressful getting ready for a holiday can be. My husbands contribution to the process tends to be quite minimal and to be dressed and in the car ready to leave at the appointed time is in his opinion him doing his bit. This means that it's left to me to do the majority of the packing.

This year I booked everything myself without going through  a Travel Agent. The amount of documents I had to print was phenomenal. I decided that an A4 Lever Arch File was not ideal for my carry on luggage so instead I dived into my stock of Periea Handbag Organisers.

Claire was ready and waiting and perfectly matched my needs. Our park tickets, driving licences and loyalty cards went straight into the built in card slots. Passports, Airline Tickets, Hotel Confirmation, Car Hire Booking and Airport Parking documents all folded up nicely into the 2 middle sections. My suitcase keys and currency all zipped away nicely inside. I was sorted and of course it fitted perfectly inside my handbag.

Bouyed up with my successful packing of Claire, I took Lexy up to my bedroom. I am not one to put my make up away after I have used it, so my bits and pieces were strewn across my dressing table and bathroom windowsill. In no time at all Lexy was filled and ready for her holidays; with cotton buds, wipes and tissues added to the outer pockets.

Chelsys conversion to my toiletries bag was as equally swift and effective. Shampoo, Conditioner and all my essentials slotted perfectly inside. When we arrived and I found my shampoo had leaked, I was able to just empty everything out and just put Chelsy straight in the wash with my dirty clothes.

The family, Chelsy, Lexy, Claire and I all had a great holiday and we are all looking forward to our next outing and in the meantime my love of Handbag Organisers is growing as I find more and more ways to make use of them outside my handbag. 

If you are using yours in an innovative way please do let me know by sharing your comments below or post your pictures on our Facebook Page.

 Thanks for reading.

Clare

Online Shop is Open

I am delighted to announce that the Sassy Spirit Online shop is now Open!!!!!!

It’s been a hectic few weeks putting everything together and Mark at Techware One has been super patient talking me through the process of listing all my products.

I also have some fab suppliers in; Periea, Peach and Madaraff who have all supported me in the provision of photographs.

I will be adding new things to the store in the coming weeks, so do take a moment to “Like” us on Facebook or “Follow” us on Twitter to stay up to date with new stock as it arrives.

If you are coming to Sassy Spirit party be sure to take advantage of the Click and Collect service and have your order delivered free of charge to the party.

Finally I should say thank you to all my loyal customers. The online store has only come to life because your support has brought the business to this point. I look forward to hearing from you all as you shop in the store and do let me know if I am not stocking something you would like to see.

clare@sassyspirit.co.uk

Thanks for reading.

Swimming Costumes and Sunglasses - The look for Autumn/Winter 2015

I have had a fantastic day today. My good friend Julie from Boho Belle and I have been to the NEC to learn all about the upcoming fashion trends for the Autumn/Winter Season and place orders for lots of new and exciting things.

Sun glasses fake fur and swimming costumes

It’s been super tiring but we have had loads fun. We saw lots in the Fashion shows and got to see all the new colours for the season and just how we will be wearing them.

The Sassy Spirits on the catwalk showed us how to dress up a swimming costume with sunglasses, a wrap and plenty of fake fur! It wasn't a look we plan on trying out ourselves but I would love to see pics from any of you that want to give it a try.

 

We did try on some things for ourselves but thankfully they weren't swimming costumes.

By the end of the day we had both placed orders for our respective businesses and we are now looking forwarding to the next few weeks as the new stock arrives and we get to share it with you.

Watch this space for updates on what arrives and when.

We are so excited to share with you that our online store will be opening in September 2015

 

I am feeling super excited at the moment. Yesterday we agreed with our web design company Techware One that we were ready to take the business a step forward and provide online shopping facilities for all you Sassy Spirits.

This is such a great opportunity for us to reach more busy ladies struggling to find time to shop but wanting to buy beautiful things from a friendly and reliable supplier. It also means that we have the opportunity to extend our product range.

I am now busy researching new lines for us carry as we go into the Autumn/Winter Season and our first Christmas. There are a few things I will be looking at straight away based on the feedback you have given me when I have met you at home parties and events but if anyone has any ideas on what you would like to see in our online store please do get in touch and let me know your thoughts. You can use the form on our home page to submit your ideas.

It’s going to be a busy few weeks here whilst we get everything ready but I am looking forward to sharing news with you as and when it happens.

Thanks for reading.

Going Mad for Madaraff

In April 2017 we started stocking Madaraff bags and hats. Your response to them has been amazing.

The brightly coloured baskets have been a huge hit with you.

Madaraff Bags

 

Attractive Raffia Products

I was immediately attracted to them when I saw them for the first time. These baskets are so cheerful to look at that I was spoilt for choice trying to imagine which bag I should have for myself.

I was interested to learn that Madaraff is a family business founded by 2 brothers and their wives. Attracted to Madagascar by its diverse flora and fauna one of the brothers fell not only in love with the island but with a local lady who would later become his wife.

Their family business now brings beautiful and inspired handmade products direct from Madagascar for sale in the UK.

The raffia used is a renewable and sustainable raw material and all of the products are fairly traded. The products are made by family run, co-operatives or small artisans units regularly visited by Madaraff.

Sassy Spirit stock a wide range of colours and sizes so we are sure, we have something for you.

Many of our customers love to use the baskets as a summer handbag and so when buying a basket from us we offer our customers a discounted handbag organiser to go with it. Check out how the two work together. 

To see what we currently have available please visit our online shop.