Jacwicks founder Ruth Jacobs talks to Melanie Cant of Elm Marketing
When you are running a business its always important to connect with a network that's on your wave length and contains other members that help and support each other. Its never been so important as it is now and I'm proud to be a member of the Do Business Network (DBN or Derwentside Business Network).
The team there have worked tirelessly to provide help, support and training during lockdown. They continuously engage with their members and find new ways to promote their businesses to the network and beyond.
Part of this process involves members Podcasts and I was lucky enough to be asked to speak to Melanie Cant from Elm Marketing, about how and why I set up Jacwicks Designs. Hear how the name Jacwicks came about, how I work with a local charity Just for Women and the way that the 'Finding your Tribe' moment happened.
You can listen to my story by clicking on this link (There's also a bit about how I met the legend John Craven and how he reacted to his Perch).
It's been a great project to be part of, I've loved telling my story and receiving listeners feedback.
Pull up a Perch and a coffee and have a listen, I hope you enjoy it.
September already? Where has the year gone.
September always seems to me the start of the slowing down of the year. The hot sunny summer days are behind us and it’s the slow procession into cooler days and chilly nights. Leaves begin to fade and feed the trees for over wintering.
It’s also the main season for County Shows and oh how I LOVE a County Show!
Unfortunately these are all cancelled this year due to the current situation. Some shows have been produced for over 100 years and only cancelled due to wars ,or animal diseases. It reminds us just how different this year really is.
2019 was the first year for Jacwicks to showcase their range of products and they went down really well. Pocket and Poly Perch’s are perfect for sitting on a hay bale to watch the various shows and animal judging.
The shows are always full of dogs of all sizes and the Pet Perch’s are snapped up by happy dog lovers for their favourite pooch. Pixy Perch’s for children are ideal for keeping the little ones in one place for a few minutes and the large Picnic Perch rugs are perfect for the whole family to enjoy.
Fingers crossed we can return to the show field again in 2021 for bigger and better celebrations, until then enjoy some images from previous years.
Until next time, stay safe and Happy Perching!
Summer is finally here, at least for now. It's time to head off on socially distanced days out, or summer holidays with a difference.
It's certainly been a strange year so far and now face masks are with us to add to the mix. They are another item to add to the check list before you leave the house. I have forgotten mine once or twice, so now have them stashed everywhere, handbags, rucksacks, car, husbands car, pockets you name it there's some there. They are going to be with us for the foreseeable future so its best to have a few.
I find it quite interesting to see the different designs and shapes people wear.
As I started to design the Jacwicks range, I tried them out on family and soon realised one size or shape does not fit all. I set about trying to fix this by modifying the shapes, added pleats to the nose and chin areas for a tighter fit and made the elastic adjustable so you can fit it to your face for comfort and fit.
To adjust the elastic: Loop the elastic through the small loop on the mask, tie in a loose knot. Next, loop the elastic over your ears, adjust to fit by gently pulling on the elastic until snug and secure. Tighten by pulling the knot tie additional knots to secure once happy with the fit. I recommend you tuck the loose ends under the chin to hide as you may like to readjust. Once happy with the fit cut off the excess elastic.
Please follow Government Guidelines, wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your face in public and stay safe. For more information regarding the wearing of face masks check out the information from the UK Government's website.
The Jacwicks face masks are triple layered for that little bit of extra piece of mind . There are a few patterns to chose from and you can even match some to Perches to have a totally coordinated look.
Where every you go and what every you do this summer, stay safe and enjoy that perfect place to Perch!
July has been labelled National Picnic Month. I love a picnic. I think there’s nothing better than finding a space in the country or at the beach where you can sit and enjoy a beautiful view whilst eating. Food tastes better and it’s so relaxing.
Did you know the origins of the word ‘Picnic’ can be traced back to the seventeenth century French word ‘pique-nique’ which described a group of people dining in restaurants who brought their own wine. This then lead to a picnic being a meal where everyone brought something to share.
Is wasn't until the mid 1800’s that the picnic became a common English word. Poems were written romanticising them, they became fashionable. Fortnum and Mason claim to have invented the Scotch Egg, specifically for picnics, something that is still taken to this day. Pasties and pork pies had been around before then, but they were ideal to take.
The Victorian era saw a surge in picnicking. With the social season revolving around events which were made for long lunches outdoors: Henley Regatta, Glynebourne, Epson, Goodwood, and garden parties. Picnic blankets were placed on the ground to protect from the damp grass and picnic baskets were brimming delicious food and drinks. It was as boom time for Fortnum and Mason with their now famous luxury hampers being the accessory to be seen with.
Now a picnic can be as simple as a snack bar taken during a short break on a walk. Or a long lazy sunny afternoon with friends and family all chipping in and playing games. Bliss.
Let's hope the weather has got the memo that July is National Picnic month and it sends the sun out to play.
The Perch range is made for picnicking, from the Pixy and Pocket for one, to the Poly for two sharing and the larger Picnic mats for families. There’s a perch for all occasions.
Whatever you do and wherever you go for your picnic, stay safe and Happy Perching!
Here at Jacwicks we like to be helpful.
With all these new social distancing (SD) rules which seem to change on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis it's not surprising to be a bit confused. Just for fun, I'm going to share ways of measuring safe social distancing when you're out and about without a tape measure.
When you're out and about with your trusty Perch and you need to practice SD, remember each perch is a certain size which can be used to measure distance.
Take the Pocket Perch this is 40cm wide, if the SD rule is 2m just take the Pocket, mark your starting point flip the Pocket over 5 times and you have 2m. If the SD goes down to 1m that 2.5 flips. The handy quilting marks help with .5 measuring.
If you have a PIxy Perch at 30cm wide, the flip rate is 7 for a just over 2m distance. Or 3.5 for a 1m distance.
The Poly and Pet Perch’s are 80cm in length,so that’s only a 2.5 flip rate.
We had a day on the moors taking photos to illustrate this, (you may have seen the photos on the Jacwicks Facebook page). We were getting on quite nicely with the sheep and lambs, when out of the corner of my eye I could see a large black cow coming towards me. Cows are fairly intelligent and communicate with each other and I think she wanted to see what all the fuss was about to report back to the others. I was half way through the photo shoot but duly retreated, in the hope she would lose interest and mooove on. No such luck, she decided we were so interesting she called all her mates over to see. Photo shoot was quickly abandoned and we left them to their munching on the lush grass.
Note to self, always check for wildlife.
For some it’s so lovely to be able to see loved ones and friends again in the bubble environment and its times like these it can really bring home what's truly important. My deepest sympathy goes out to those who have lost someone to this and many other dreadful diseases, for you these are the most testing of times. Through dark days I find a walk in the country really does heal the soul and can be an item in the toolkit to better times.
In the meantime hug those you can and dream of the day when you will eventually be able to hug those further away. I can't wait until the day I can hug my gorgeous sons again.
Until the next time, stay safe and happy perching,
Have you heard the advert ‘What did you do during lockdown?’ It got me thinking. My answer is I completely indulge in my love of sewing. From sit-mats to scrubs, blouses to laundry bags and items in between, I sewed my way to sanity.
I have always loved sewing and when I began my business I was concerned it may become a chore. There's always a danger that if you have to do the hobby you love as a job you will become bored. Happily this has not been the case, if there is a danger of stagnating I just change the item I'm sewing, which then stimulates the brain cells, the joy you have when you complete a new item reignites the joy of sewing.
Like many other businesses it's been tough, all planned shows and fairs have been cancelled. It will certainly be interesting when shows and fairs do get up and running again. How will they look and how will we social distance in a fair/show setting, only time will tell.
In times of adversity it is crucial that businesses adapt and pivot and you may be interested to know that the Jacwicks Etsy shop now offers a haberdashery. It offers a range of products from fabric, interfacing, trims and tape for a whole host of sewing and crafting projects, which has seen an increase in interest during these stay at home times.
Networking and business meetings have gone online, which once you’ve got used to the etiquette, I find a great way of communicating and have met some lovely people along the way.
Much like everyone else holidays and get together's have been postponed, anniversary and birthday celebrations put on hold, but these can be rescheduled, the main thing is we all come out the other side together.
It's great that we can spend more time outdoors and perch in a socially distant way. How many perches does it take to social distance? I hear you ask, well, I will show you over the next week. Check out the Jacwicks Facebook page for updates.
Until next time ,stay safe and happy perching!
With business severely affected by the lockdown and like so many others sewing businesses I have diverted my sewing skills to helping those on the front line.
I have joined the ever-growing team of sewers and machinist via the Northeast England Sewing for the Front Line group on Facebook. Set up by Zoe Worrall and Alison Matthews, the aim of the group is to: 'share patterns and discuss making headbands, scrubs, wash bags and anything else we can sew to help out the NHS and the staff on our front line helping to fight covid-19.'
If you live in the North East, we are currently in need of fabric to make these items, so if you have had a clear out and have spare items such as cotton/polyester bedding that can be washed at 60 degrees please let me know and we can arrange for it to be collected posted or dropped off.
If you know a nurse or have any contact with a hospital in the region that needs any items, or can distribute items, please let me know.
If you can sew or knit, or even if not and you would just like to help, please join the group here: Northeast England Sewing for the Front Line or help with funding material at the Go Fund Me page.
Having a history of a life saved by the NHS and a son seconded to a Nightingale Hospital, it was time to do something to help.
We are all in this together, stay safe, stay home and help the NHS x
What a difference a weekend makes.
In this interchanging new world we are living in, the advice for outdoor activities is changing on a daily basis.
As a business that has outdoor activities at its heart, has a belief that nothing makes you feel better than a walk in the country.
As someone who has been helped by walking and exploring the countryside, who's son is now on the front line of the NHS, I'm putting up a plea for you to STAY INDOORS, or if you have to go outside ensure you stay 2metres from those around you.
Please help the NHS by staying safe and help those around you who are keeping things moving in essential services.
There will be light at the end of this path if we all work together, the countryside will still be there when we are through this, do your bit so we are all still here to enjoy it.
Stay safe and Perch another day.
I am aware of the rapidly changing situation with regards to Covid-19 and would like to let you know how the business is complying with Government advice.
Here at Jacwicks I am l keeping calm and carrying on business as usual. Apart from the fact that the early year events and shows have been either cancelled, or postponed to next year. All products are handmade in house, there's no contact with the outside environment. For those worried about contaminated parcels, please visit the Royal Mails website for reassurance.
Whilst so many major and minor events have been cancelled, on the bright side the National Trust are offering free access to their parklands and gardens. Just ensure you keep a safe distance from those around you. Keep up to date with the latest news from the National trust on their website. As we know things change daily.
The Jacwicks website is still open for business with gorgeous new lines coming soon. Keep up to date with the products on our product pages.
It's been lovely to see so many acts of kindness that have been happening throughout these difficult times. From looking after vulnerable neighbours, having random conversations with strangers, to just keeping spirits up, there so much positivity out there. Yes, it’s difficult and there’s a great deal of miss information, do all you can to stay safe and try not to get caught up in the hysteria (easier said than done sometimes).
When things get too much, I like to take a walk in the country, just in the open air and away from the crowds, you can clear your head and readjust your wellbeing. Whilst we can still enjoy the countryside take a walk, find a special spot, take a seat and take a deep breath, it will do you the world of good.
Say safe and happy perching.
We're into March already?! What happened to February?
How the time flies and whats been happening, I hear you cry?
A lot has happened in the past month, with an exciting new customer and taking Jacwicks on the road again in April.
I am delighted to announce the Pocket and Poly Perches are now stocked in the Kielder Waterside shop, right in the heart of the Kielder forest. It as a perfect place to get away from it all and just sit and enjoy listening to nature, after an exhilarating walk around the beautiful forest. It's a place I have walked on many occasions and it never fails to lift your spirits and re energise your wellbeing.
Looking towards Easter, I can now announce Jacwicks Designs will be exhibiting at the Sandringham, Craft and Wood Festival, over the Easter holidays: April 11-13. I'm so excited to be part of this prestigious event for the first time.
Also in April I will be at Sudeley Castle Spring Homes and Garden Fair 23-26 April, Winchcombe, nr Cheltenham, Glos, GL54 5JD. Set in the beautiful gardens that surround the castle.
I will also be exhibiting closer to home in May, at the Northumberland County Show, more information to follow soon.
Its Mothers Day on the 22nd March, don't forget to give the gift of comfort with a gorgeous Pocket Perch !
Make the most of the unseasonably warm weather, until next time, happy perching!
After a very event filled 2019, what is in store for Jacwicks in 2020?
January is a time to reflect on the past year and take a look at where to concentrate the business this year? A HUGE question! I’ve had some amazing adventures in the past year with a whole host of shows and fairs to exhibit at and brilliant publicity in Country Walking magazine. New products launched and competitions entered. Celebrate these on the Lets Celebrate page of the website, small wins need to be celebrated!
Looking at 2020 I am taking Jacwicks on the road again, this time both locally and further afield including an exciting show at Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire. More to be announced soon. It was great to meet the lovely customers at the shows and I look forward to meeting more this year.
One thing I did start in 21019 was the Walk a 1000 mile challenge by Country Walking magazine, total for 2019 was 667, so not quite there but over half way, time to sign up for 1000 mile 2020.
The unusually mild January has been great for getting out and about so make the most of it and don’t forget to take a moment to enjoy a beautiful view. Happy Perching.
The final date for ordering to ensure your purchase arrives before Christmas is:
Wednesday 18 December 2019
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all Jacwicks customers, happy perching!
Fabwrap by Jacwicks
Beautiful, reusable, sustainable, gift wrapping.
Jacwicks Designs is pleased to announce the launch of Fabwrap a new form of beautiful sustainable gift wrapping, that’s environmentally friendly and reduces landfill waste. Made from luxury fabrics in a range of colours, Fabwrap is the easy way to make your gifts look fabulous in no time, for years to come.
The art of wrapping gifts in fabric has been around for hundreds of years, Fabwrap is based on the Japanese practice of Furoshiki. With the increasing need to reduce waste and find an environmentally friendly way to live, Fabwrap can be reused again and again and still look amazing. Forget messy sticky tape and mounds of wasted paper, just gather the fabric, tie a knot, add ribbons and decorations, then sit back and admire your gorgeously wrapped gifts.
Each gift can be tied with a knot, which makes the unwrapping experience a gentle, easy process with that extra touch of luxury. No messy mounds of waste to go to landfill, just fold and reuse, pass on, or keep.
Available in three sizes: small, medium and large, in a range of colours and styles, you can mix and match, or theme for a special occasion.
Get fabulous results every time!
Check out the range today.
The Christmas fair season is nearly upon us and you can catch us at the following shows:
7-10 November 2019
Living North Christmas Fair, Kingston Park, Newcastle
Opening times: Thursday, Friday and Sunday: 10am–4pm, Saturday: 10am–5pm
14-17 November 2019
Living North Christmas Fair, York Racecourse
Opening Hours: Thursday, Friday and Sunday: 10am–4pm, Saturday: 10am–5pm
21-24 November 2019
Ripley Castle Christmas Fair, Ripley Castle, near Harrogate, North Yorkshire HG3 3AY
Opening hours:9.30am-5 weekdays, 9.30am-5.30pm Saturday, 9.30-4pm Sunday
30 November 2019
Middleton Mart Christmas Fair, Middleton-in-Teesdale Farmers Market, Station Road, Co Durham DL12 0PG
Opening hours: 10am - 2pm, followed by the Christmas Lights switch on.
After an amazing summer we go into Autumn with visits to two County Shows here in beautiful County Durham.
Starting at the beginning of the month with a show stand at the celebrated 240th Wolsingham Show, followed swiftly by a stand at the 178th Stanhope Show.
I love a County Show and look forward to seeing you for fun packed weekends, pop along and say hello you can find me in the Shopping Marquees:
Saturday 7 & Sunday 8 September 2019
Wolsingham Show ground, Scotch Isle Park, Durham Road, Wolsingham, Bishop Aukland, Co Durham, DL13 3JG
Saturday & Sunday: 9am – 5pm
Saturday 14 & Sunday 15 September 2019
Unthank Park, Stanhope, Co Durham, DL13 2PQ
Saturday & Sunday: 9am – 5pm
John Craven thrilled with his Pocket Perch!
August 15-18 saw Jacwicks Designs at BBC Countryfile Live at Castle Howard.
WOW what a show!
There was so much to see and do 4 days just didn't seem enough.
The highlight for me was to meet national treasure and stalwart of Countryfile, John Craven. I presented him with a Pocket Perch to take with him on filming assignments out in the cold wet countryside. John was so delighted with the Perch, he went on the main stage at the event to tell the Countryfile Live audience how he would now be able to keep his bottom dry when out and about!
Thank you to all the Jacwicks customers, and attendees who just stopped for a chat, it was lovely to speak to you.
Looking forward to next year, see you there!
August is a busy month for Country Shows and this month you can finds us at:
Saturday 10 August, Robert Brown Showfield, West Park, Sedgefield
Gates open: 10am
Find us in the Shopping Marquee
For more details please visit the shows website: http://www.sedgefieldshow.co.uk/
15-18 August 2019
BBC Countryfile Live Castle Howard, Yorkshire
We are very excited for our first visit to the BBC Countryfile Live Castle Howard show, theres so much to see and do and you may even bump into your favorite BBC Countryfile presenter.
Find us in the Shopping Village.
For more details and tickets please visit the BBC Countryfile Live website: https://www.countryfilelive.com/castle-howard
Monday 26 August 2019
Glendale Show at Wooler
Join in the fun on the August bank holiday! Find us in the Shopping Marquee
For more information please visit the Glendale Show's website:http://www.glendaleshow.com/
Here at Jacwicks HQ we are delighted and thrilled to receive a glowing review from Country Walking Magazine which declares the Pocket perch a classy product!
Up against two competitors in the sit mat market the Pocket Perch came out on top. The Pocket Perch is loved by the tester for its versatility for being able to be used out and about and in the home. Use it out and about on a walk, or during the week at work or home to enjoy an alfresco lunch.
The Pocket Perch is larger than its competitors but also rolls up very quickly to pop back in a bag or pocket, or attach to a strap on belts or bags. The tester also points out the Pocket Perches unique feature of being able to roll either way so if the waterproof side gets damp you can roll it on the inside so your bag or pocket stays dry.
But dont just take my word for it read the full review below and shop the Pocket Perch range by clicking here
Catch us at the Great Yorkshire Show Tuesday 9 - Thursday 11 July 2019, at the Great Yorkshire Showground Harrogate.
We are very excited to be exhibiting for the first time at this prestigious show.
Find us in the Great Yorkshire Home and Gift Hall stand 611, where we will have the full Perch range some fabulous new designs and the new showerproof pocket totes.
The show is open from 7.30am - 7.30pm Tuesday and Wednesday and 7.30am - 6.30pm Thursday.
Pop along and say hello, its going to be a a grand day out!
Thursday 15- Sunday 19 August 2019
Jacwicks Designs and the Perch Range will be exhibiting at BBC Countryfile Live, Castle Howard, Nr York
Make a day of it and pop along to meet all your favourite BBC Countryfile presenters, enjoy The Wildlife Zone, display teams in The Arena and TV chefs in the Countryfile Kitchen.
Its set to be a fantastic day out for all the family!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.