Little thoughts and comments from us!*
*disclaimer this started off as a monthly blog but we're horrible bloggers sorry bare with us!
2019. pt 2
2019. pt 2
Two blogs in one year? Bad form from us we know and can only apologise! This year has been some what of a whirlwind of ups and downs. This year we WON best gift boutique in Edinburgh and we were finalist for the whole of Scotland which is a massive achievement for us. To be recognised in both a city wide AND national competition is huge for us not being city centre. Thanks to everybody who voted! Since then we've had a pretty rubbish summer. Between horrendous weather ( even for Scotland), road works, gas works, cruise ships and the impending doom that is Brexit our little shops been kinda quiet. Looking on the bright side, we have some gorgeous new stock that has been going down well with you guys! A couple that stand out for us is our brand new skin care range from Betty Hula. Its vegan friendly, cruelty free antibacterial and smells AMAZING! The hand creams and lip balms have been particular best sellers for us but look out for their bath salts and moisturisers too, perfect little stocking fillers. Our Scottish range has doubled in size thanks to some gorgeous new additions from JustSlate, jock and brand new for us Gillian Kyle. We love a bridge gift (obviously) and these guys have more than done our view proud. We've just had the first of three autumn/winter deliveries in from both Katie Loxton and Pom which are simply stunning. Katies new matte clutches are perfect colours to match autumn wedding outfits and just when we though POM scarves couldn't get better or softer than last year they released some of thee cosiest scarves we've ever had here at Maisies. Look out for them this season because there really is a colour to suit everyone
Christmas (sorry!) stock has started to dribble in and we will be topped up on all things glittery come October, look out for a Christmas preview weekend once its all here and displayed and another date for you diary will be the first Thursday night of December for our annual festive ferry late night shopping night! We've 100% over ordered Christmas cards this year but look out for South Queensferry ones from Tracey Russel and possibly thee most gorgeous cards we've ever seen in from Counting Stars. We're going to sign off with this, small business are hard work and retail in particular is really hard, We really do depend on and are so so thankful for every customer that walks through the door, for our local customers and our regulars for not only supporting us by shopping with us (most importantly) but also for liking sharing and commenting on all our social media. We have a fight on our hands against online shopping, retail giants and Edinburgh council forever digging up roads around us but its nice to know we're not fighting alone
Love Julia and Caley
The Maisies gals
so it turns out we're really bad at remembering to blog...
... So it's the end of February and since we last spoke to you we made it through Christmas. Christmas is a pretty crazy time for us, we're bust which is amazing, we make sure we have LOADS of new and exciting stock in and love hoe glittery and glam the shop is. However between late night shopping nights, long days, us trying to sort out our own Christmas shopping as well as spending time with our friends and family it can be very emotionally draining. This year we decided that we'd close for the first week of January. It isn't a decision we made lightly but for our own mental health we needed a week to collect our thoughts and recharge away from our lovely shop. Mental health is something we talk about a lot between ourselves but not overly something we share with customers however we feel its important to keep on top of whilst running a business. We get so caught in the shop, running the business and making sure were on top of our game that some times we forget to stop and check in with ourselves so our week of was perfect for that. 2019 has been a bit a slow starter but with the sunshine coming out, new producst coming in and a bit of a freshen up we're feeling optimistic about the year ahead.
March 15, 2018
We always get a bit over excited about spring in February. Sure it’s still freezing and dark outside, but inside we’re sitting pouring over the new spring/summer brochures and phoning agents to get them to drag in their suitcases and trunks full of new shiny things.
Next up we have to decide where all the new shiny things will get to live which means that in classic Caley and Julia style we start trying to get creative with the furniture. It’s unfortunate that this month due to our lack of physics knowledge and a firm belief in the mantra ‘what’s the worst that can happen’ we had a bit of an...incident.
So the unglamorous part of our shop is the stock room which is around a tight corner and down a very steep flight of concrete stairs which we thought one of our extremely large white units, that we weren’t using, could stay down until we needed it again. The plan was, we would just ease it down at an angle until we got it to the bottom, can’t be that hard right? Wrong. So. So. Wrong. So off we went looking like a bad Chuckle brothers sketch ( at 10 o’clock at night may we add) on either side of this unit, all going ‘fairly’ well until Caley took a step down a bit to fast, the unit lurched forward, jammed into the wall and then just stayed there...right there...as in we couldn’t move it out or in either way. Twenty minutes of futile wiggling, shoving, pulling and pushing later we accepted defeat. The only issue with that was that Caley was now stuck in the cellar like some creature from the deep, with no way out while Julia was basking in her freedom at the top. It was then that Julia embarked on a quest of DIY knowledge and to find tools we didn’t own to rescue her friend. She ran from place to place looking for her excalabor (well it was a multi tool but you know what we mean) and an hour later had finally succeeded in pulling the unit apart and freeing her business partner (massive thanks to orocco pier for lending us various Allen keys for this) A victory that resulted in both of us knowing as we sat on the floor, bruised, battered and covered in bits of wall, that that unit will live down there forever.
As some of you have noticed we’re getting work done through the back, the old building doesn’t do well in winter so we need to get electrics fixed and some damp patches looked at. We have a good and handy friend called Micheal who is our go to DIY guy and he sends us in the right direction of who to call on for help. The snow did delay some of the work but we hope to have the back open soon.
Another fun thing we found out about our shop this month is that instead of only having one passage to the back room, there’s two! One of our repairs was to put a door where on one of our old cupboards used to be for a little bit of extra storage but when we pulled out the old cupboard to have the door frame fitted we were amazed to discover it was a smooth walk way to the centre of the shop that had just been boarded up! We’re now in two minds as to what to do with this information, do we leave it as a cupboard and just keep they layout of the shop normal or do we open it up and go for a change? Let us know what you guys think next time you’re in.
This months window displays have come with some great feedback, we’ve been wanting a pretty bike for our window display for YEARS now and Caleys Mum, Donna, after hours of internet searching found just the thing we had in mind. Our beautiful purple bike with a cute little basket on the front was just what we needed for the first of our spring windows and it meant we could pop some flowers on to brighten the place up again...
A few weeks later Julia was chatting to a friend and regular punter at the pub she works in who happened to mention he had peacock blue coloured 1920’s vespa sitting in his garage doing nothing (as you do). We knew that would look AMAZING in our other window and after a discussing back and forth and him finally agreeing to lending it to us in the name of creative spring window displays we now have two very colourful and very complimentary of our new spring stock window displays.
Then came the snow…
Although we tried our hardest not to, we had to shut for a couple of days during the bad snow days. The high street was dead, everyone else had shut and due to the old building drafts the shop was freezing. Its at this point we’d like to thank everyone who came out in the freezing cold when we reopened and popped in. Your support honestly means so much to us.
As we sign of this (little bit late) months post we’d like you to take a peek at our Facebook and instagram to see what new stock we’ve had in and check back with us next month as were expecting quite a lot in march!
Julia & Caley.
March 15, 2018
So, we can only apologise. our march blog didn't go up in time and we got so busy we kind of forgot all about it (yay for organisation) so we'll fill you in on the last 2 months now! At this point we'd like to invite you all to our birthday party on Friday the 4th of may! We're opening late 5-9:30 and having a bit of a celebration! There will be discounts through-out the shop as well as plenty of prosecco to drink and prizes to be won!
Anyway... If you guys can cast your minds back march was pretty rubbish wether wise and also had a week of pretty heavy snow and ice. This caused us, for the first time in Maisies history, to shut the shop for a couple of days. The high street was dead and it was pretty unsafe for anyone to go out in the blizzards so we stayed safe in our houses while the worst of it passed. It did however give us some time to find some new stock and think about the redecorating we had planned so it was still productive! We also found out that we were nominated for an Edinburgh business award! This came as a total shock and a very pleasant surprise for us! Having never been nominated for anything like this before we are pretty excited about it. The awards night takes place on the 29th of April and we'll find out then if we won or not! At the end of march we had a little spring clean and redecorate. When we first took over the shop (nearly a year ago!!!) we spent a couple of weeks re-painting and did a little bit of fixing up and we decided the shop was due its MOT again. This time we decided to knock through another walk way to 'through the back' and try our hand at wallpapering, which by the way is A LOT harder than it looks. We were pretty happy with the outcome and were really excited to have all parts of the shop back open and filled with stock...
And then we had a fire.
April started off pretty lovely with some promise of some sunshine but on the second week we were hit with one of the worst things that could have happened. One morning we opened up as normal and after about an hour we started smelling smoke. After frantically running about trying to figure out where it was coming from we opened the door to our stock room and were hit with a wall of smoke. We ran into the stock room and although the thick black smoke was pretty bad we couldn't see any flames, We quickly phoned the fire brigade who instructed us to shut all the doors and get out. As we waited for the fire brigade to turn up all we could do is sit and watch the shop floor start to fill up with smoke. the fire brigade turned up and done their job pretty quickly and put out the flames in the stock room but unfortunately by that time the majority of the damage was done. It took us a week to throw the majority of our stock, all our spare shop furniture and downstairs spare stock and any other fire/water or smoke damaged things in the bin, scrub and the clean the whole shop to get the smell out and frantically phone round our agents and stockist to try and get the shop filled again. It was by far the worst week we've ever had but with the help of our family, high street friends, friends, customers and community we can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel. It does however mean that we're a little later with opening the back room but we will get there!
So to conclude this late march and april blog we have some lovely new stock in, check our insta for pictures, and have decorated and moved everything around. Hope to see you all on the 4th of may!
Julia & Caley
So as it turns out we're worse at monthly blogs than first anticipated so apparently this is more of a bi-monthly Maisie's? We are so sorry and hope you don't mind.
In other news after winning the Edinburgh business award (WHAAAAAT) we can now officially tell everybody we own the best gift boutique in Edinburgh! We had such a brilliant time at the awards ceremony and winning the award really was the icing on a very big, very complicated but very lovely first year of business cake. Maisies 2.0 is now over 1 year old and we can't quite believe how quickly it happened. We're in summer mode and the weather, for once, as joined us! We've got some gorgeous new companies on our shelves and a couple of lovely local ladies making bespoke children's blankets and vintage head scarves too. In other news if you've been in, or planning to pop in you might notice its not us behind the counter, we've had actual out side of work plans! Caley's Mum Donna, Julia's mum Annemarie, and our friends Mel and Jasmine have been manning the fort while we've been off seeing arctic monkeys in Glasgow, at friends weddings and attempting to not spent 7 days a week in the shop!
Back in this month is the very popular Bee jewellery from Lisa Angel and the return of the gorgeous 'Jo Malone-like' Wonderwick candles which smell AMAZING. We also got all booked up for Top Drawer in London again in September so very much looking forward to falling out with each other whilst attempting to work out the London underground again.
Just as the sun decided to shine 25'C+ rays on Scotland for the first time in approximately 1000000 years, we started ordering for Christmas! Which annoyingly makes you want to put on the Elton john classic, step into Christmas, arguably the best Christmas song ever written, full volume at the start of July but our Christmas stock looks AMAZING, hint hint to any Katie Loxton fans reading this, her autumn/winter range is GORGEOUS!!!!, and we're really excited for you guys to see what Maisie's will look like this winter. If any of you guys have any suggestions for Christmas stock let us know and in the mean time we'll try our hardest to not play Christmas songs in the shop until December, well, November, and try our hardest to remember to upload this blog! thanks for sticking with us.
Julia & Caley
Welcome back to another episode of we're really bad bloggers ft its currently September and i've only just got round to writing this. Anyway, Summer was fun wasn't it? Scotland was actually hot for the first time in i assume 100 years? This meant there was a hustly bustly (they are words right?) high street that we loved. It was so lovely to see so many new faces visiting the ferry for the first time and to catch up with so many of our regulars out on a wander for an ice cream. However, with so many people on the high street inevitably we had a few people pop in that hadn't been in the shop for a while and with them came some comments and questions id quite like to address...
Maisie's has changed a bit since it opened 11 years ago, we started off selling children's clothes which is something we don't really do anymore. The demand for this stock went down and the demand for fashion items and gift was far higher, This was a decision the previous owner made and one we 100% supported. We have done and still do a lot off different company's and different kind of stock and we really do try to stock something for everyone. We however don't always get it right and, the biggest thing about this business and something we find really hard to deal with is, we cant keep everyone happy, however hard we try. Recently we've had a lot of conversations with a large variety of people about owning a shop in south Queensferry and what its like. Now, don't get us wrong we love it, we love our customers and the stock we sell but sometimes we find it really difficult to deal with people complaining about the stock we sell, or they compare us to what we were 5 years ago or to other shops in south Queensferry. We quite often get comments from strangers about the shop and how it looks and what we stock and 9.5 times out of 10 its really positive and helpful but sometimes we get a negative comment that can really put us down. What i'm trying to say is we need all the help we can get, we love when people tell us about products they've found that they think would suit us or if they love something we've done but sometimes negative comments can ruin our day so we're making a bit more of an effort to be nicer and more positive about things and are recognising other peoples hard work because we know what effect a nice comment or compliment can do to people. We also, as always, encourage anyone reading this to try and shop small and shop independent , keeping little shops like our alive is something so important for not only us, for obvious reasons, but for small communities like ours and high streets to stay busy and bustling, and to offer something different to people.
Our autumn/winter stock is slowly put surely creeping in and we're very excited for it we've got some STUNNING new scarves, hats and gloves en route as well as some of thee most beautiful hand warmers and mittens you've ever seen currently getting hand made as we speak in South Queensferry. Our winter (and Christmas!!!) candles are started to show face too and smell amazing! Katie Loxton's new ranges are beautiful and keep an eye out for some new products such as purses and eye masks from her too! Our Christmas items will be in store next month and you guys should expect to see them and our Christmas windows in October too! We have got the first of our Christmas cards deliveries in and they are currently in stock, including some gorgeous cards specifically from South Queensferry that are sure to be a favourite for sending abroad this year. A big date for your diary is THURSDAY THE 6TH OF DECEMBER which is South Queensferry high streets annual ' Festive Ferry' late night shopping event. We, along with our neighbouring shops, cafes and studios will be open late with many of us offering discounts, exclusive offers and of course a glass or 2 of fizz. This is exactly a week after 'Christmas in Queensferry's' annual Christmas light turn on which is always a nice evening on the high street too!
Keep an eye our on our Facebook and Instagram feeds for this new stock and as always if you're down on south Queensferry high street do pop in and say hi.
Lots of Love
Julia & Caley
January 30. 2018
We wanted to start this blog to let you guys get a sort of ‘peek behind the curtain’ of the running of Maisies. We often get so many questions about how we do it and we figured this would be a fun way to keep you guys up to date! We also think it will be good for us to hear advice and feedback as, incase you guys didn’t know, we’re pretty new to this owning a small business thing.
January is always a bit of a funny one for us, the Christmas excitement is over, we’re impatiently awaiting the new spring/summer stock that won’t be with us for a few weeks and the weather can’t seem to make up its mind apart from the fact it wants to be miserable #scottishliving . HOWEVER, We do have a pretty big silver lining this month in the form of Top Drawer, one of the big trade shows at the London Olympia. Early (very, very early) one saturday morning we packed our bags, accidentally spent £30 in M&S food section (Percy pigs are a firm favourite of ours) and we were off to Kings Cross on an extremely comfy train, only made better by the lovely Dan, who in exchange for a handful of Percy Pig gave us a lovely free upgrade (apparently Percy pigs are a firm favourite of his too). We had a table and some more room, specifically for Julia to fit her ridiculously long legs in to.
Now, we LOVE trade fairs, they are an amazing opportunity to see the latest new products from companies we already love, find brand new companies, attend panel chats from well established men and women in the industry and meet incredible like minded people that share our passion. It’s easy to get carried away with all the beautiful stalls with their glittering, shiny and colourful goodies but we have got good at reining it in and reminding ourselves that we don’t have LOADS of money floating around in our bank accounts or LOADS of room to hold new and display new stock. So ,we stick to the rules of no impulse ordering there and then AND we both have to 100% agree on it. Although we disagree on just about everything (anyone who knows us will know this) ,the shop is pretty much the only thing we never have different opinions on. And, last but not least we think of you guys! You are all truly the little voices in our heads, we picture your reactions to the products in front of us, can we see you using it? Would it make a good gift? Would you buy it for yourself? Would we buy it if we saw it in another shop? Above anything else these are our deciding factors for what you guys see on our shelves.
Our few days in London were over pretty quickly and it was back to normality. While we were away our lovely ’stock room fairies’ Annemarie and Andrea were in scrubbing and gutting the stockroom so its ready for spring/summer stock. The rest of January is all about preparing. Preparing future window displays (valentines day being our next ‘big one’), preparing shelves and furniture for summer and preparing this, our first ever blog post which we hope you’ve enjoyed. We end it with our favourite customer comment, which by the way we could fill the blog post with because we love having a laugh with you guys..
December customer: “Girls your shop is like a jack ’n’ a box, things just keep unexpectedly jumping out at you”
Love The Maisie’s Girls.