Feeling hot hot hot?!
What a summer it has been so far! Weeks and weeks of sunshine and it is still only July...
Embracing the season we have gone for colour, bold prints and tropical vibes in our summer collections.
These gorgeous tassel earrings
just arrived, handmade by Cotton Crowd. Perfect for festivals, beach days and barbecues, they add colour (and a bit of shade) to any ensemble!
These stunning animal print make-up bags
and ring dishes
are perfect gifts for a summer birthday. Designed by Fenella Smith, London, there are also canvas jewellery rolls in the collection - perfect for a taking your valuables somewhere exotic.
This panda design is has just arrived - so cute!...
We also have weekender bags
in vibrant cheeseplant print - complete with matching makeup bags. It is the perfect size for a couple of days away...hmmmm a spa somewhere wouldn't be too shabby...
We hope you are enjoying this weather as much as we are! We are open every day from 10 - 6 and are open longer hours on a Saturday for the summer - 9.30-6.30 - so there is plenty of time to go to the beach after a browse through the North Laine!
Bye for now! x
Last week I finished a personalised baby bunting commission. I cut small 'flags' out of glass, hand-painted each one with a letter and fired them before mounting each one in a frame with the new baby boy's birth details written underneath. My customer, whose grandchild it was, wrote to me to say how happy she was, and I was delighted with her feedback -
Your picture arrived safely this afternoon. Thank you so much. I am delighted with it. You have made it just how I had hoped it would be. I am looking forward to 'presenting' it in a few days time when I go down to babysit, safe in the knowledge that my gift will be almost unique. It will look great on Henry's bedroom wall and your creativity and expertise will be there for all to admire.
I will be buying more from you I know, either from your shop or even another commision one day. And hopefully I will be part of a workshop some time in the future, so you never know we may eventually meet.
Many thanks again for everything. You made finding a special gift for my baby grandson very easy.
Thank you Margaret!
"Every time you buy something from a small business, an actual person does a little happy dance"
This week was all about 'Just a Card' in Little Beach Boutique, as well lots of other independent shops in Brighton.
The idea of JUST A CARD came from artist and designer Sarah Hamilton, who had read a quote by shopkeepers who had recently closed their gallery, saying "If everyone who had complemented our beautiful gallery had bought just a card, we'd still be open".
This week was Just A Card week, bringing small, creative businesses together and celebrating what they do.
With daily challenges on Instagram, it gave small businesses a chance to come out from behind the counter or camera, introduce themselves, tell their story and champion their creative community. Day five concluded with encouraging everyone to film themselves doing a 'Happy Dance'!
But we don't need much encouragement to do that here in Little Beach Boutique - Pop over to our Facebook page to see us doing it!
It was a really positive week - we got to hear about lots of other creatives, designers, makers and shopkeepers running their own successful independent business in these- often challenging -times.
Last week we celebrated our fourth birthday here in the North Laine, Brighton. It has been four wonderful years and we have met so many lovely customers who have come back again and again. We thought we would say thank you to them by having a giveaway - we put together a collection of gifts, including our own coasters, felt slippers, a celebration give box, a seagull tea towel, a wooden vase, earrings, soap and more. People could enter by following us on Facebook or Instagram and tagging three of their friends.
We had hundreds of entires and had fun writing all the names on to small pieces of paper before putting them in a basket for choosing the winner.
The winner was one of our returning customers, Sara, who was delighted and came to collect her prize the next day!
If you look closely, you can see two of our own screen-printed glass pictures on the wall above her television!
This is her looking very happy with her goody bag! She chose some slippers for her nephew...
Thanks to all for entering - and thanks for all of your support over the last four years x
We had a great day in our fused glass workshop on Sunday - everybody made such a colourful variety of coasters, dishes, pendents and wall-hangings. I start the session showing people how to use different types of glass for different effects, before they practice cutting their own pieces to assemble.
Everyone began by using crushed glass and copper leaf to make a flower tile. some people want this to be 'slumped' into a dish after the first firing.
After making the first floral tile (and pausing for a nice cup of tea!) people can choose from our samples, books, pictures, or take inspiration from Pinterest about what to make next and each person seems to develop their own style really quickly. Some people who are drawn to cold colours and beach themes make beautiful coastal inspired pieces, or beach hut panels. Others want to create and abstract piece that they can frame, using crushed glass, baking soda and offcuts to make a textured, patterned design.
Others choose to use fuseable glass paints to illustrate their piece with their own design.
The kilns are busy firing...finished pictures to follow!
The next date with availability is Sunday 12th August - you can find out more and book here.
Bye for now! x
One of the best aspects of running a small business is meeting and working with other people who have turned their craft and passion into a full time pursuit, hearing the story behind what they do, and the process involved in their craft. We buy face-to-face from lots of independent businesses so that we can keep our prices affordable as well as directly support what they do.
Yesterday I met Kat, who has built her jewellery brand Misskukie
from home in Horsham, West Sussex. We met for a coffee and she showed me her latest collection, talking me through how each piece works together, and the process behind her creations. Her designs are stylish, feminine and minimalist and all gold-plated. Her necklaces layer beautifully together and her earrings can be dressed up with a bold print or worn to add shimmer on a white t-shirt shirt day.
We met in Bond Street Coffee, the best place in the North Laine for a frothy hit of the good stuff, and she laid the individual necklaces and earrings on the table. I was able to handpick the ones that I know our customers will absolutely love. They look perfect in our cabinet with other handmade jewellery by One & Eight and Esa Evans.
As they are such a new collection, these pieces are only available in store for now, while we await some product photos - pop in and see them if you're passing!
We have just had a work bench and drawer unit built in our workshop in the back of the shop and we love it! Made entirely from reclaimed wood, mainly scaffold board, it has been made to fit the irregular walls of our old building and there is plenty of space for extra stock and for organising the glass we use to make our collection. The carpenter came from Mid Sussex Wood
Recycling, in Haywards Heath, a not-for profit group who collect waste wood and reuse it wherever possible.
It is the perfect size for making our glass. Here is how is looks before going in the kiln; we cut it into squares and screen-print each piece with our illustrations.
We decorate each piece with flakes of gold and silver leaf, cover it with clear glass and fire it for 12 hours.
We fire glass in the kiln most days - if you are in Brighton, come by and see it being made. We also run fused glass workshops and keep the website up to date with our next sessions. Summer dates are now available!
Jennie recently painted Rottingdean Church for a couple who were having their god-daughter's christening there. It makes such a personal an unusual gift having a piece of glass commissioned specifically for the occasion, and makes a change from some of the usual suggestions on offer! The details of the stonework and the layout are beautifully captured, and the details of the day are hand-written on the mount underneath. It is a keepsake for little Ava to cherish long after her christening day. If you would like something commissioned, do get in touch to find out more.
Our March fused glass workshop was a day of dishes! As well as coasters, some small pendents and larger window hangings, everybody made a dish, each with its own distinct style, and I wanted to share a few of them with you here.
This grey dandelion dish is made with 'stringers', which are thin glass rods that can be broken into small pieces and assembled for a strong silhouette.
This shooting star dish is made from 'thinfire' paper, which is the only type of paper that can withstand the high temperatures of the kiln. It can be cut to shape, and holds that shape (rather than melting) when fired. It is finished with silver flakes for a really pretty effect.
This 'J' dish is made with Indigo glass and a base. It is layered with 'frit', which is crushed glass, into the shape of a letter and finished with a piece of clear glass to really make the colours pop.
These stunning grid dishes are made with 'stringers', which are thin rods of glass, positioned across each other. In the alternate gaps is a layer of silver or gold flakes. It is a really effective design.
This turquoise blue dish is more transparent than the others. It is made with silver flakes and broken pieces of stringers for an abstract effect.
Each piece is fired twice - the first time to 'fuse' the glass together and the second time to be 'slumped' into a dish shaped mould.
YOU can make these! Our Introduction to Fused Glass Workshop gives you all the tools and information you need to make these...and more...in our fun and creative day of crafting here in Little Beach Boutique.
View the next available dates here
Introducing yet another new arrival! These pebble art pictures are handmade locally by artist and all round craft queen Gill Snell.
Gill seives through foraged driftwood and pebbles looking for the shapes that she can use to create pictures full of character. Birds on branches, couples dancing, freinds, families, fishermen and cats are all captured in her collection.
Mounted in a deep set white box frame, her images have depth and detail.
Each picture is completely unique and made individually. We can also personalise the mount with words or family names, making each piece even more personal.
Gill uses her card-making skills to layer each piece with additional details, such as paper cut tree branches and deck chairs.
With so many to choose from, how do you decide?!
Browse the current collection here