I am very excited to share with you that we will be exhibiting at the
Country Living Spring Fair
26-29 April at Alexandra Palace
and have 25 pairs of free tickets to give away!
If you would like to come see us, and all the other brilliant businesses at the fair, then use code 18CLS216 when booking tickets on the Country Living website to get a pair of free tickets for any day, while they are still up for grabs!
How to apply for tickets:
On Friday 23rd February I had the pleasure of meeting Theo Paphitis. This wasn’t because we just happened to be in the same place at the same time, but because I had won an SBS award back on the 16th July 2017 and was invited to the 2018 SBS event in Birmingham, run and organised by Theo and his team.
Since SBS launched in 2010, 329,000 small businesses have applied for the award, and I was very fortunate to be one of the 0.68% that won. It is still mind-boggling! It was an absolute pleasure to be invited to this event, sponsored by great businesses, all with the purpose of nurturing and advising us little ones.
Opened by Ryman CEO Kypros Kyprianou, you could feel a buzz of excited energy about the room at the honour of being at such an event with these big names. Sponsored by eight companies, Ryman, Robert Dyas, DHL, iLaw, 123Reg, Square, Western Union and HP, each of the groups introduced themselves and gave some information about how they would like to support us small businesses.
This year’s focus was on brands, so after Theo introducing himself, Stephen Cheliotis, the expert at SuperBrands gave a great talk about the importance of brands within business, but also that a main importance is a customer’s perception of the brand, and how it makes them feel. Colour and shape of the logo is not as important as the feeling behind the brand experience.
As we are all small businesses being spoken to by the large ones, a lot of questions occurred, starting with ‘I know I’m small, so I can’t do x & y, but…’ to which Theo stopped and pointed out that just under 50% of gross value added to the UK economy comes from small businesses, so actually we can! How crazy is that, that this small business is helping contribute to that figure in some way.
One of the most uplifting things for me is that apparently most small businesses will fold in the first 2 years. As some of you may know from my recent 2-year celebration and giveaway, I have just passed that mark! As many doubts and worries for this business run through my mind, something must be going right, and I know that most of that is because of you lovely people supporting me.
The afternoon consisted of a fireside chat from AO founder John Roberts and Theo. Eye opening and so honest. They both emphasised how important it is to be transparent, honest, and admit when you have made a mistake. Don’t grovel, just fix it. But most importantly, be upbeat! You set the tone for your company. Being brand recognised is something but having a positive recognition or experience from a company is more. Speak to every customer like you would your grandparents and look back at your actions and assess if your mum would be proud. Most of all, use common sense, and stay grounded.
The day ended with photos with Theo. As I found out from collecting name badges at the start of the day and having my winners certificate signed, everything had been done alphabetically, but luckily the photos were not! We had been told that we wouldn’t have time for a conversation with Theo as he had over 200 people to take a photo with, and it was only 4pm when pictures started – understandable, as no one wants to head home late, especially on a Friday. As the excited and stuttery person I am when nervous, I went straight for facing the camera for a photo after saying hi, but Theo actually struck a conversation with me instead. His daughter has the same name as me, and as my certificate was the last to be signed by him (being alphabetical and all) he remembered doing it, and asked what my business was, and what I do. He was really positive about it all, and it was great to have a lovely, although brief, talk with him.
One other thing I can take away from all this, is don’t be afraid to ask others for help/ advice/ support / whatever it may be. This event happened because Theo thought of it one Sunday evening back in 2010, and it wouldn’t be possible without all the sponsors he had asked to be on board with him. These companies, and the amazing guests, all give up their time for free to be there. It shows that being a supportive community really does win. As I always like to say, community over competition!
I had a fab day out, I think my mum did too (she was my plus one) and I came home with an SBS branded notebook, goodies, and a lot of great advice.
To anyone out there with a small business, I recommend entering SBS – I did, and the next day found out I was a winner, that has now opened me into a whole world of business support and love.
That time of year has come around quickly, but Z-O-E is turning two! To celebrate and say thank you for all your support this past year, we are doing a giveaway.
To enter to win this bundle worth over £80 simply
For a bonus entry, head over to Instagram:
Follow @zoeoliviaelsdon, and like the post with this same image
Feel free to tag friends you think would be interested too!
You have until 4pm 22nd Feb to enter. The winner will be notified by 6pm on the 22nd Feb and can choose the sizing of the baby and toddler clothing.
(Competition UK only. Bundle includes, 2x 3pack muslin squares, 2x burp cloths, 1x bee baby grow, 1x rabbit t-shirt, 1x arctic long sleeve)
To make this celebration even better, from 14-22 Feb there will be special offers up on the site too!
These include Buy One Get One Free on three packs of muslin squares, and a free muslin square with every order over £30.
Thank you once again for all your support and bringing Z-O-E to the ripe old age of two. It has swung by so quickly!
As many of you will know, at the start of the year I set myself the goal of joining in with the drawing a day challenge for 2017. Needless to say, it didn’t pan out quite how I hoped! After a good start, I smashed my phone screen, and the posting stopped. I won’t make excuses that this was the reason I really stopped, as I could have picked it up later when the phone was fixed. In reality, I just ran out of time to continue, and after not completing it for the phoneless month, I just couldn’t start back up.
So, as I do really miss it, I am starting the new challenge of drawing an alphabet based illustration a week. There are 25 weeks left to the year, and 26 letters, so one week I will double up, but the idea is to go through the alphabet, and each week draw an object/ animal/ item etc that starts with that letter. I may even include the letter in the illustration! As my name starts with a Z, it’s only fitting that I do this challenge with the alphabet in descending order – Z first.
If you have any suggestions for things to draw, please let me know. The animal obsessed drawerer in me will pick many a furry friend to illustrate, so it would be nice to get some other objects involved too! Who knows, maybe it will even turn back to a drawing a day, sticking to that letter for the week of drawings. You will just have to wait and see!
It is with great excitement that I can share that Z-O-E is now on Not On The High Street!
As NOTHS state they are “the home of the UK’s best small creative businesses”, it makes us so proud to be a part of their site too. Originally launching on their site with our new ‘Welcome To The World’ gift boxes designed especially for them, we have now added the majority of the products that are on this website, so you can get comforters, baby grows and blankets there too. As we were accepted on their site based on the gift boxes, there are some exclusives on their site, which you are welcome to see, here.
All The ‘Welcome To The World’ gift boxes have been designed so that you are able to mix and match your favourite patterns, and have them packaged in a luxury gift box ready to gift to the new little one entering this world. There are a variety of boxing options, from a few essential items all the way to a set of everything! Of course, they are all packed with care, neatly folded and wrapped in tissue with a card stating what is in the box, before being placed inside.
So, let us know what you think of them!
To celebrate Z-O-E turning one on the 18th February, we have a wonderful giveaway to say thank you to all you lovely people for your continued support and love this past year!
To enter the giveaway of FOUR boxes of muslins up for grabs simply
Entry to the giveaway closes at 4pm on the 18th February 2017. The four winners will be notified by 6pm on the 18th Feb and can choose which box they receive.
To make the day even more special, from 6pm tomorrow we will have some special offers up on the site too for one whole week!
From 6pm tomorrow until midnight 25.2.17:
SPECIAL ONLINE PRICES
FREE PRODUCTS WITH ORDERS
Please see T's&C's on the website for full details
Thank you once again for all your support in getting this company to its first year! It means a huge deal to me to reach this milestone, and I couldn't have done it without you all.
Although I have called these little squares of muslin ‘wash cloths’, there are more versatile than just cloths to wash your face and body. Since using these products for a variety of roles, and hearing how you lovely customers use them too, I have created a little list of 6 uses for these mighty muslins:
1. Wash cloth – muslin is a great material to softly exfoliate with, removing dead skin cells and impurities without harming your skin itself. It is one of the reasons why muslin is great for eczema sufferers, as it gently removes the dead skin cells, allowing for better absorption of skincare treatments
2. Sweat band alternative – a number of customers have bought these for family holidays. Great to have in your pocket when hiking, or running, as they wick away sweat easily, and will exfoliate and remove dirt at the same time. One added bonus- they dry quickly too, so they won’t be damp in your pocket for long. Great at the gym as a mini gym towel alternative, or your wipe down cloth
3. Mini muslin – for the on-the-go days when out and about, they are fab to have in your pocket for quick and unexpected uses. Whether your baby has dribbled and needs a quick wipe, or you want a clean surface to put a snack down on, they are a great size to fit into your pockets
4. Handkerchief - they are a soft alternative to the standard cotton ones, being kind on your skin
5. Face cloth - For the same reason as using the wash cloth for your body, they are great at softly exfoliating your skin. I use my muslin cloth with the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish hot cloth cleanser, as it is a fun patterned alternative to their muslins when using the product. They are also a great substitute for flannels, as they dry super quick!
6. Cleaning glasses – great for the dinner party set up, they polish dry glasses fantastically to give that great shine! (It doesn’t have quite the same effect when the glass is wet though)
I think it’s time I changed the name of this product..… but whatever your use for the muslin cloths may be, don’t forget to wash them regularly too!
The 15th August. A date I will never forget, with a heartbeat skipped in sadness every year it comes back around.
This year I want to do something special on it, partly as it falls on a Monday again, partly as it is the 5-year mark, and partly because life should be treasured, and I want to make sure others don’t go through what my family had to that day and afterwards.
On Monday 15th August 2011, my dad unexpectedly died on the 17th hole of the golf course he was senior captain of, aged 56. The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA) were there within minutes. In pretty much any other situation that would be a life saved or at least a fighting chance, but with sudden death there is nothing you can do.
From Friday 12th – Thursday 18th August 2016 I will be donating 50% of profits from all orders to the HIOWAA as a way to remember my dad, and to support the air ambulance that tried to save him.
The Air Ambulance are a fast response team, called every day for many types of incidents, often lifesaving. It costs in excess of £230,000 per month to maintain their life-saving service – approximately £7,500 per day. They are solely funded by us, the community, and have no government funding whatsoever. This was a shock when I first found out, and now I want to make sure that they stay in the air for all of us so they can help others. I want to bring to the attention of as many people as possible that the HIOW air ambulance rely solely on donations. Having the air ambulance around makes it possible so that no one has to go through this devastation when a life can be saved by their speed and ability to get to any location.
One day I want to be at a point where 100% profit from a product can go to the HIOWAA, with an exclusive print just for them, but that will have to wait until the company has grown a little more.
This is to support HIOWAA so they can continue running, ensuring that a fast response team is around to keep families and friends together as long as possible.
So PJE, this one’s in your name. x
Finishing a Textile Design degree meant that one day I hoped (and dreamt about) seeing my designs on products out there in the world, but seeing something I am so proud of, and it being the first design sold, just made me so overjoyed, that I could never express it properly in words. The hours spent putting the detail into the design, and the joy I got from it cannot be described in words. This print was my kid that I nurtured in my final year of uni, and released into the world, and it means more to me than just birds, branches and florals.
Seeing my designs out there never gets old. It never will. The excitement and elation is something that will never fade, as it has been a dream of mine ever since I chose my degree, to bring my designs into life by placing them on products that people use. Hence why I started the hashtag #zoemuslin after launching my muslin collection. That way I can see where the products go, and how they are used in people’s lives. For me, it is not primarily a promotional tool, but so that I can be excited about what I have created and know that the ideas that have been running around my mind are in people’s lives, and are not just left on paper for good. I cannot tell you how big a smile I get from a post sent to me with a photo of my products in use, or a lovely comment about the designs. It gets me so excited to show you the next step coming from my studio, that I have to contain myself from sharing new designs before it’s ready.
So, thank you, for all your kind words and positivity. Please do continue to share your comments and pics of my muslins, as I cannot tell you how much it makes my day!
Ornithology, available at B&Q, under Holder Decor
The first collection of baby muslin squares have landed on z-o-e.co.uk! (27.1.16)
As mentioned on the ‘about’ page, the baby muslin squares are just the start of the collection. And these prints are the start of the muslin square designs.
Designed especially for you, the muslin squares are made with the softest material and highest colour number I could find. The two main criteria I had was that they had to be super soft- the best grade I could get, and contain the highest number of colours to print in the pattern as possible. So with the thickest, softest muslin my manufacturers could supply, and the highest number of colours they could print with, here is the birth of the Woodland and Mechanised Dodos gift box collections.
When it came to designing and selecting the prints there had to be animal designs in the collections, as for me, they are what I love drawing and painting the most, with florals coming in a close second.
As I have lived in the country, surrounded by National Trust land since I was six, having a woodland themed collection was a must. This welcomed the Bluetit, Rabbit & Hare, and Columbine Flower designs.
To compliment and not compete with this collection, I decided to create a pattern with less watercolour fluidity, brighter and bolder, that was still hand drawn. As I had to include a bird design (I have managed to include a bird print in nearly every collection I have done so far) I thought of bringing back the dodo. And what would be better than a group of mechanised ones. This led to creating Mechanised Parts and Blueprints to unify the Mechanised Dodos collection.
Two different collections, made with equal love and care. At the end of the day, my aim is to connect with you through my passion and love for design.