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What would I do without you?

It’s been 2 weeks since Bunyip had its light fingered visitor, and that awful feeling that I’d really messed it up this time washed over me and I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders.

So much has happened since, so many emotions, and November has run away and it’ll soon be Christmas and life isn’t going to let up so I thought it best to get something written now to catch you all up on the story.

Firstly I still feel a bit stupid about the whole thing. I know I should have been more careful but a working woman needs coffee. It feels wrong that I let my guard down for 1 minute, switched off, get distracted in the middle of a task and I’m punished for it. I still feel like having a trantrum and stamping my feet and shouting IT’S NOT FAIR at the top of my lungs. Most of you are aware of the journey Bunyip has had over the last 12 months or so. It’s not been easy, but of course you just keep your chin up, smile and keep going.

I didn’t really want to publicise what happened but I also didn’t want people to hear through the rumour mill  or wonder why I was in such a state and I think I made the right decision.

The whole social media sharing thing isn’t natural for me but I am so glad I let people know. It was a real eye-opener that people actually want to know what you’re going through, and I feel blessed by the reaction of my friends, customers, fellow traders, the City, the retail community and the wider crafting community. I’ve cried tears of frustration, joy, gratitude and relief. I’ve cried for no reason what-so-ever. I’ve been spending evenings reading through all your kind words, and incredible generosity. I’ve had cake, craft courses, earrings and vegetables thrust into my hands with such conviction I had no choice to accept – which is harder than you think! I’ve had people visiting the shop everyday and its been wonderful to see you all. I’ve had the 2 best weeks in this shop and on the website. It’s completely blown me away.

The Police have CCTV of the culprit entering and leaving the shop, but have been unable to find the cash box having followed his path after he left here, I’m waiting to hear if they have an clear shots of his face so we can try to identify him. The insurance claim is in and I’m crossing my fingers that they will accept my claim.

Your reaction has galvanised me to carry on and look forward with renewed hope for next year and the years after that. I’ve always seen Bunyip as a family business. Not just my family (although look out for Esme’s Scrunchy Business coming soon!) but the wider Exeter and Devon community of people who just love to make.

So THANK YOU, thank you thank you for your likes, your shares, your purchases, your hugs, your veg, your shoulders to cry on, your lovely comments, your wave of messages, your bags full of orders, and your love.

Mattie xx

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Bunyip Craft, an update: week 1

It’s been a week since I sat down to share the news that Bunyip Craft was on the move. It’s been an incredible rollercoaster of a week, with tears and smiles, cake and support from all over the world and lovely, lovely comments and suggestions. I’ve had a piece on Devon Live and been on Radio Exe. I feel held together by the care, compassion and belief of so many people; friends, customers, family and people I’ve never met. Sometimes all your hard work is repaid in kindness.

The strong possibility that we’re not going to find a retail space to move into is slowly dawning, I was hoping something would instantly jump out of the bag, but it hasn’t happened so far. Please keep spreading the word for us.

Really genuinely lovely people have offered to share space with us, with so many different concepts that my business brain has been spinning. I’ve been offered workshop space, party space, a couple of bespoke jewellery range possibilities, those DIY craft pub nights are most definitely going to happen, I’m not the first person to think of the shared makers space and have some of the bigger influences of the arts community on my side.

I’ve been out and about: looking at trading estate office spaces, community spaces, searching about in Topsham, out of the way city shops, city centre offices and more. I have a list of the possible spaces, with pros and cons on each, none are exactly right, though some are very close. I’ve come to a few more realisations; I need to be in cycling distance of my kids school, the main change for us as a family, is that my husband is going to be working full time, so I need to be able to do school pick up and don’t want to get in the car everyday. If we do take on office space, while we wait for a retail opportunity to come our way, then it’s going to be much easier if it’s on the University side of town. I need to be able to store all my stock, paperwork and shopfit, so the office space can’t be tiny. I want to carry on doing parties and workshops, whether out of the office space or from some of the other spaces I’ve been offered, I’d like to be able to do ‘open days’ from any space we take so that customers can still come and see us and the stock before they buy.

I’m petrified of not having the day to day footfall and spend of customers. I really want to hold on to my wonderful staff, and will need to pay for any space we take on, so will need to carry on taking a decent sum each week. Can I do that from only my online sales?, will anyone want to take my crafty kits and jewellery wholesale? Can I have some time off before I start the next adventure, to get my head together and allow some creative freedom? It’s beginning to look like I need the cheapest yet biggest office space I can afford, which isn’t much to ask…

Meanwhile, Bunyip is still running as brilliantly as ever, the Sale has started on lots of end of lines so come in and grab them while stocks last, I will keep on adding more as time goes on. I’ll keep you updated on any further developments in the land of Bunyip Craft.

Enjoy the sunshine, we are!

 

 

 

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Creativity Call Out

Creativity Call Out

At Bunyip, our retail shop ethos is all about finding the most exciting, contemporary products to sell to our customers – a happy, cool and colourful bunch who we know appreciate a trend-led craft treat. This can be fairly difficult in our industry, which is so traditional sometimes that we struggle to find the products of our dreams amongst the slightly old fashioned wares.

We’re lucky enough to be able to stock the shop from lots of different suppliers, many of them big companies that allow us to buy all sorts of wonderful things and keep our prices down on all your basic craft supplies. More often than not, we find that we can find trend led products from these companies, but it really is all about picking and choosing from vast catalogs that really vary in quality, price and style. These wholesalers have provided us with some of our favourite products of this year though, from cactus pin cushions to hummingbird cross stitches to spaceship fabric – we do our best to pick out the bits we think you’ll love!

But, what we absolutely love stocking is work from independent designers and artists. We still have the fabulous kits and wrapping paper designed by Freya Hartas, one time Bunyip employee who has now moved on to Bristol.

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We also have a big selection of cards from The Strawberry Card Company, designed by Sian O’Donnell, a friend of Mattie’s and firm believer in the joy of receiving post. We love Sian’s work and keep expanding our card area to fit in all our favourites (if it has a swear word in it, it’s our favourite).

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Never one to turn down a good button – and we know you aren’t either – we love having these gorgeous sea glass buttons in the shop, made by Sally Villa. Each set is unique, making them perfect as a gift for a button aficionado or even to be made into jewellery. They’re so precious and delicate that I think they’d be beautiful mixed in with other natural buttons on a necklace…

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As part of our handmade jewellery selection we love these pieces made by Daisy Manson, all made from off cuts from the wood her brother uses to make guitars! Some of them are even inset with gorgeous mother of pearl shapes, making super special and one off necklaces and earrings.

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We love stocking these makers and their awesome products, but we’d love even more! If you know of any fabulous designs or artists selling their crafty makes then pleased put them in touch with us – we’re always keen to have a look and expand our selection so that we keep bringing you wonderful stock that makes us all pretty happy. The best ways to get in touch are on info@bunyipbeads.com or 01392 437377, we’d love to hear about the products that have got you all excited!