September 2019 – Parcel Contents

Wow, September seems to of been a super speedy month! But, I have to admit, I’m loving seeing the little blasts of Autumn-ness, that are now starting to arrive.

It’s time for our parcel reveal this month, and our theme for September was, simply, “Home”.

The contents were all about enjoying being back at home again, as the long Summer holidays come to an end, and making that home, a cosy and happy place to be.

September Contents:

Photo Frame –

This month, your parcel theme is simply “Home”. The long Summer holidays are coming to an end, and it’s time to celebrate being back at home again, and making it, well, homely! Your first item is this lovely photo frame. We love the quote and wanted to include something to help fill your home with memories, people, pets or places you love.

Jewellery Dish –

We all need a safe place to keep keys, jewellery, and other essential trinkets, that seem to find themselves getting scattered randomly around the house. This “Choose Happy” ceramic dish seemed the perfect choice – pop it on the dressing table, coffee table or anywhere else, and never loose the “little things” again!

Prosecco Rose Candle –

Candles are a great way to add an instant cosy feeling to a home. This tin candle is made from soy wax and is in the lovely fragrance of “Prosecco Rose”. It has been handmade in North Yorkshire by Charlotte, over at Crafts Uniquey.

“Kindness Rules” Button Badge –

This button badge may be small, but it comes with a very big message – kindness definitely rules! And not just kindness to others, but just as importantly, kindness to yourself. Day to day life can be exhausting, work, chores, family and friends…sleep, repeat. Remembering to show ourselves a little kindness too, is vital, so pin this little badge on your coat or bag, as your personal reminder!

 “Hard Times Don’t Last Forever” Postcard –

We will all go through tough times at some point in our life, that is sadly unavoidable, but when we do, it’s important to remember that things are always changing. Change can be difficult to deal with on its own, but those hard times are only ever temporary, hard times don’t last forever, and we will come out the other side – and there’s always something better around the corner. Postcard from Katie Abey Design.

Smile Cards –

As always, there should be a couple of these little cards in your parcel, I’ve written one for you, and the blank one, is for you to write a short inspirational or positive message, and give to someone you know, or leave somewhere for a complete stranger to find – but this is of course optional, there’s absolutely no pressure to do this if you don’t want to.

Parcel Assistant –

Your *Parcel Assistant this month is Larry. Larry loves being snuggly at home, and is very excited to be moving in with you, getting comfy on the sofa, and watching a boxset!

Karen x

*Parcel Assistants are cheeky little pompom chaps who help (or hinder!) us with packing your monthly parcels!

 

October 2018 – Parcel Contents

It’s Halloween tomorrow, so that means it’s the end of October, and time to reveal this months parcel contents – the theme for October was ‘Happy Autumn’, and for the contents this month…we went all out decorations!

October Contents:

Wooden Plaque –

If you have been receiving our parcels for a while, you’ll know that we like to include practical items within your contents, but this month, as we are entering the most decorative time of the year, this month we’ve gone all out, decorations! Halloween is now very soon, so we couldn’t not include a little something to help you out with any visitors…so ‘Welcome My Pretties’!

Plaque made by ‘Sarah’s Crafty House’ – you can find her page on Facebook (spiders added by us).

Leaf Garland –

We added a similar leaf garland in our parcels this time last year, and received lovely feedback, so we wanted to include another one this time. The wire inside means if you do have another, they can easily be tied together to make one long garland, which makes a perfect Autumnal fireplace or shelf decoration.

Crochet Pumpkin & Sweets!  –

In our opinion, it’s just not possible to have an Autumnal themed parcel, without a pumpkin, so why not a crochet pumpkin! This has been made by Vicki, Vicki makes lovely crochet items, and currently has some fabulous Halloween creations in her eBay shop – you can find her here: www.ebay.co.uk/usr/stars53vicki. There’s also an orange and white stripe paper bag – but is it a Trick, or Treat?!

Autumn Wood Slice & Pine Cone –

The final two decorations this month are a beautiful ‘Autumn’ wood slice made by Jajo Gifts, and a pretty pine cone. Jajo Gifts specialise in laser engraving and wedding accessories, and made these seasonal wood slices especially for our parcels. Pine cones look great sprayed gold or silver in an Autumn arrangement, but also look great, just as they are!

 ‘Make Future You Proud’ –

When we have things we know we want to do, or would like to do, particularly things that aren’t easy to achieve, or need a lot of hard work, it’s easy to put them off, and tell ourselves ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’, or ‘I’ll start that next week’…or maybe ‘next month’?? Things don’t have to stay how they are now. Our future self is determined by the choices and decisions we make now, so we have the choice today, or on any given day, to take small steps towards our future goal, whatever that may be! Postcard from Katie Abey Design.

Smile Cards

As always, there should be a couple of these little cards in your parcel, I’ve written one for you, and the blank one, is for you to write a short inspirational or positive message, and give to someone you know, or leave somewhere for a complete stranger to find – but this is of course optional, there’s absolutely no pressure to do this if you don’t want to.

Parcel Assistant

Your *Parcel Assistant this month is, Bruno! Bruno likes a quiet life, so he shouldn’t give you too much trouble…hopefully!

Karen x

*Parcel Assistants are cheeky little pompom chaps who help (or hinder!) us with packing your monthly parcels!

 

Autumnal Thank You…

Good Morning!

It’s about time I gave a big shout out to another two lovely crafters who have contributed to our parcels – we are so grateful and lucky to work with the best handmade businesses!

In this post, I’m going to showcase ‘JaJo Gifts’ and ‘Sarah’s Crafty House’.

We asked the business owners to write a short description and tell us a little about why they started and what their small business means to them.

Amanda Gilchrist from ‘JaJo Gifts’ –

‘JaJo Gifts started in 2013 while I was on maternity leave with my second child. I’ve always enjoyed making things and needed a hobby while away from the 9-5.  I started making a few items and people asked me to make them for them too, so my little business was born.

It is named after my children Jasmine and Joseph, and the products on offer have changed over the years, but have always had a handmade, self-designed element at their heart.

Starting at my dining table while working another job, things have moved on, I have a designated work area and we are currently a team of 4, and it is what I now do full time.

It gives me time with my family and the flexibility to work around them, and it brings me great joy doing something I love’.

You can find Amanda’s products here: http://www.jajogifts.com

********

Sarah Williams from ‘Sarah’s Crafty House’ –

‘Sarah’s Crafty House started 3 years ago now, I’ve always been quite crafty and creative, making gifts for family and friends, so picking a name was easy, as that’s how my house is!

While in my previous job, we’d always have a giggle making light of things not going to plan, or at colleagues and their funny ways, and most days ‘that should be on a plaque’ would get said, so I did put them on a plaque as gifts, and everyone loved them. After about a year of doing stalls and orders for friends, I decided to do it full time, so now I get to do what I love, and get to spend more time with my kids.

Plaques are my best sellers by far, but I also make jewellery, some pyrography, printed bags, candles, the list goes on, I’m basically a craft addict!

I’ve been delighted to have my plaques included in the brilliant Smile Parcel, and hope they added an extra touch to everyone’s Halloween décor’.

You can find Sarah’s products here: https://www.facebook.com/sarahscraftyhouse

Karen x

Quarterly Update!

Good Morning! Well, Autumn has finally arrived, although, as I look out of the window writing this, it definitely looks very ‘spring-like’ outside, apparently, it’s 24 degrees – but with orange leaves on the ground!

I mentioned earlier in the year, that I wanted to do quarterly update blog posts, just to let you know what has been going on at The Smile Parcel over the previous 3 months, so as we are now three-quarter way through the year, that’s what I’m going to do today!

But first, tomorrow (10th October) is World Mental Health Day – mental health issues can affect anyone, at anytime, but tomorrow is a day to show support for better mental health, and start taking care of our own well-being.
If you, or someone you know is struggling, we have a ‘Get Help’ page on our website, where you can find useful contact details for organisations who can offer support and information.
This year, the focus for World Mental Health Day is mental health in the workplace, and how to look after ourselves, and each other, when in the work environment – there’s lots of information on the Mind website regarding boosting staff well-being, and how to mark the day in your workplace, if you want to find out a little more.

When we launched The Smile Parcel just over 18 months ago, it was our intention to eventually create an individual parcel to enable us to donate a percentage from each and every parcel to support a mental health related charity.
This has now become a reality, as at the end of June, we were accepted to list on the new uOpen platform.
These parcels are ‘The Smile Parcel Plus’ and they are a ‘Plus’ in 2 ways, they still contain all the lovely monthly goodies you are used to, but also include a beautiful handmade soy candle, with a different scent each month, made by Charlotte over at ‘Crafts Uniquey’, along with a 10% donation to the UK’s first, free messaging service, which officially launches next year, and aims to give help and support to anyone in crisis, at any time.

These are available to order now as a recurring monthly subscription, and you can find them over on this link: https://www.uopen.com/subscription-box/the-smile-parcel-plus

Charlotte has a lovely shop on Etsy, and you can find her here: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/CraftsUniquey

We also started taking pre-orders for our Christmas gift parcels a few weeks ago, and will officially open the website for these on 1st November. If you’d like to know more about these, and how to order, I published a separate blog post on 19th September with all the details here: https://www.thesmileparcel.co.uk/pre-order-christmas-parcels-open/

In September, the website had an update, and also had a security boost, to ensure all pages are fully padlocked!

As you know, all payments are (and have always been) taken securely through PayPal, and this hasn’t changed, but we do understand that for your peace of mind, customers like to see the little padlock visible at the top of the screen.

We have added some information to the website regarding the option to pay for subscriptions as a lump-sum payment, rather than as monthly instalments. I know some of you prefer to pay this way, and it’s especially useful when purchasing subscriptions as gifts, so you know they are all paid for, in full, and you don’t have to think about them every month.

And finally, we moved into our brand-new office HQ! We now have a purpose-built office, and therefore somewhere that’s shiny, bright and new, to cover in cardboard boxes, bubble wrap and sticky tape!! 😉

Karen x