Heading twitter-logo Find_Us_On_Facebook_Logo_06 insta

Blog

Welcome to this blog...

 

It's about running a small buisness; the trials and errors and challenges. And about life and environmental issues, coz that's a lot of what we're about. So, go on, have a read and leave us feedback...

Thanks...

 

By gardnerandhill123, Feb 27 2017 02:35PM

So, thinking of starting your own on-line business? Get fired up and do it…learn as you go and, oh boy, will there be learning?! I’ve learned so much since starting G&H but I still feel like I have so, so much more to learn! I’ve got pretty up to scratch with Twitter, Face book & Instagram and run 6 accounts on these but I still haven’t got to grips with Facebook Ads or Facebook Pixel (annoyingly, the site we use to build our website Webeden doesn’t support Facebook Pixel). I’ve delved a little into Pinterest but this needs a whole new look and there just aren’t enough hours in my day to get my head round this one too! Then there’s building the website, who do you use? Where do you sell? Etsy, Shopify, your own website or somewhere else? How do you keep up your SEO (search engine optimization)? Do you need to write a blog? Do email campaigns? Do you use Hootsuite or Mailchimp? Use both! But, you’ll quickly find that all this takes time, but it is a necessity as it gets your name out there and the more you use these tools, the more you’ll speed up with using them. Alongside all of this, you need to keep up to date with stock, getting orders out, maybe doing fairs, designing new products etc. You do really need to be a jack of all trades and prepared to muck in and learn, learn, learn….

By gardnerandhill123, Feb 20 2017 02:18PM

As our customers are hopefully aware, we are an environmentally conscious business and do our best to make decisions over packaging etc that isn’t detrimental to our natural world. The feedback that we get from our customers is that they appreciate our ethics in this regard so I’m going to base this post around little things that we can all do, that collectively, could make a real difference if we spread the word…


One of my biggest bug bears is SUP’s – that’s Single Use Plastics – everything from plastic cutlery to drinking straws to balloons to cotton buds to takeaway coffee cup lids and everything in between. When you realise that it can take up to 4 years just for a ‘biodegradable’ latex balloon to break down and that it will be floating about in the natural environment until it does break down completely, it’s still rubbish and can have considerable impact on animals if they ingest it, which frequently they do – marine and land based animals. Helium balloons are another problem. Helium is running out from easy-to-access sources and it’s used for a lot more important stuff than just balloons such as MRI scanners & LCD screens and that’s before the actual balloon itself. Often the balloons break up high in the atmosphere and sends hundreds of tiny pieces of plastic and metallic balloon material back down on to the earth where they can, again, become ingested by animals. So, when you’re planning the next party or wedding, seriously stop and think about the environmental impact your decisions will have – an amusement for a couple of hours will result in hundreds of years of rubbish, literally. Perhaps you could consider alternatives? Paper streamers, homemade lanterns, paper chains, floral centrepieces etc.


Coffee cups are another major SUP that can so easily be reduced. We’ve all seen the insulated travel cups that are all the rage. Buy one – keep it in your car. Fancy a coffee, take your own cup. That means no waste at all. 25 billion cups are thrown away each year in the UK alone and they’ll still be in landfill in 500 years time. There really are so many alternatives out there now that with just a little research you can find an alternative to the plastic versions. There’s bamboo and wooden cutlery, paper plates instead of plastic. Paper tablecloths or a cheap sheet instead of plastic throw away cloths.

And if you think that you on your own can have no impact then think again. A recent campaign has had major manufacturers of cotton buds changing from plastic handles to paper handles. These are a common marine litter issue and with campaigns and petitions even the big brands have been forced to change to paper. So next time you’re throwing a party for your child, seriously think about the environmental impact that your choices are going to have; 100 – 200 years for a drinking straw to biodegrade. Could you buy paper ones instead?


If we can get more people to wake up to the SUP’s in the world around us and start to vote with their pockets and hearts then we can make this world a better place to leave for our children rather than one drowning in plastic which we’re currently heading for…rant over!


Check out these websites for further information...

https://www.sas.org.uk/

http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/blue_planet/problems/pollution/

https://lessplastic.co.uk/9-reasons-refuse-single-use-plastic/


And...sign any petition that comes your way that can help protect this precious planet we call home, for our future generations...




By gardnerandhill123, Feb 6 2017 06:32PM


Vicki’s first Gardner & Hill Blog Post


Gardner & Hill is run by two mums: Vicki, who is mum to 3 girls (aged 14, 11 & 6) and Jane, who is mum of two. It’s hard getting a business off the ground at the best of times, let alone when you’re juggling the role of mum too. I can’t speak for all mums but I’m sure that a lot of us are responsible for pretty much all the cleaning, the shopping, the washing & the cooking. Then there’s the school letters and forms, dinner money payments, social lives, birthday presents, parties, taxi driving to after school clubs and weekend liaisons (you need a PA just to manage all those without mucking up). My working day doesn’t start till at least 8.30am after I’ve got the girls out of the door and it finishes at 3.45pm when I have to meet them off the school bus. Often in that time dinner has to be cooked as there’s more than likely an after school club for at least one of them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. We chose this life, we chose to have kids and we chose our life style. I’m just saying that it’s hard being a mum and it’s a constant juggling act to keep everyone and everything happy and moving forward. We find it very difficult to have stalls at fairs because our husbands both work full time (mine is often away for at least 2 days a week too) and we don’t have parents on tap to have our children for us so we’re very restricted to what fairs (if any) we can manage to attend, leaving us dependent on our website for sales.

On the other side of the coin is the choice (sometimes there is no choice – it’s getting harder and harder to live off one wage these days) to stay at home and be a homemaker. I’ve done this too off and on, and I end up feeling worthless. The government want us to work and pay taxes, there’s no incentives to stay at home and dedicate your life to your children, something that actually should be lauded, so you end up feeling a bit useless. Times have changed and I think it takes a strong person to stay at home and not go mad or feel insignificant (I have friends who don’t work and they struggle with this feeling, so I know it’s not just me).

Then there’s the question, what job do you get? There are very few term time only 9-3 jobs out there – perhaps just Teaching Assistants and I know that those jobs are pretty sought after for that very reason. Otherwise, what? You can start your own business, like we have. Or of course, there’s breakfast, after school and holiday clubs, but you’ve got be earning a decent wage to make these a viable option. Perhaps there’s something to be said for us mums supporting other mums businesses. Are you a mum in business? Tweet me at Gardner&Hill and I’ll retweet you…come and find us on Facebook, send us a link to your website and we’ll share it. If you’ve got any other ideas for mutually supporting each other, let me know.

So, where am I going with this blog post? I’m not sure…I guess I’m just trying to say it’s hard being a mum and juggling all the responsibilities that go with it, whether you work or not. So mums, keep up the good work…you all rock…and multi task while you rock!



By gardnerandhill123, Nov 21 2016 01:37PM

Just finished the successful and fun Rural Living Christmas Show at the lovely Kings Hall School at Taunton. It's always lovely to meet new customers and we had a couple of return customers who we'd seen at fairs elsewhere. One new customer send us this lovely message on Facebook...'loved seeing your fabulous products at the Rural Living Show on Saturday. Your floral photography is stunning!!'

By gardnerandhill123, Sep 13 2016 09:12AM

Come down to Bishopsteignton to see Vicki and friends and Gardner and hill to get some early Christmas presents.