Archive: September 2014

Spreading Smiles: Introducing Thinking of You Week

Next week sees the launch of a brand new greeting card event – National Thinking of You Week. To get involved all you need to do is send 7 greeting cards to friends and family. For the cynical, another reason to send a greeting card may not go down well but this is all about making people happy so I’m more than happy to get involved.

The idea behind National Thinking of You week is to create a wave of  happiness across the UK. Here at Piccadilly Lane HQ we like this idea, we like it a lot. With so much unhappiness in the world sending out a few good wishes and positive thoughts gets our seal of approval; even if you do have to spend a few quid on greeting cards. If you need convincing, think of all the good karma coming your way if you spend your spare cash on making someone else smile. Good huh?!

Thinking-of-You-Cards

To make you feel even better there is a special way to super charge National Thinking of You week. Simply spend your greeting card pounds with an independent designer or publisher. By shopping direst with indies (like the ones showcased here on Piccadilly Lane) you’re supporting small businesses. A true win-win situation, you’re making a friend or loved one happy with a nice card and helping a card designer fulfill their small business dreams.

Now I have to admit here at Piccadilly Lane we love greetings cards but that is for a very good reason. There’s scientific evidence to show that receiving handwritten letters and cards creates a positive emotional response. You can make your friends and family feel better with something as simple as a greetings card.

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The variety of greetings cards on the market means there’s huge potential for National Thinking of You week. You could tell someone you love them, wish them a wonderful day, pick a personalised card or simply say thank you. To get a little more inspiration browse greeting cards featured on Piccadilly Lane.

I’m also happy to report that we’re not the only ones leaping towards the Thinking of You bandwagon; our lovely Piccadilly Lane recommended shops are getting involved too! Pop on over to Love From Lemonade to pick out 7 cards and get free postage & packing on orders over £10. Alternatively head towards the team at Always Sparkle who have hand-picked 7 Thinking of You designs, which they are offering at the very special price of £7.00.

That’s the lowdown on National Thinking of You week. I hope you’ll consider getting involved. Tweet us @piccadillylane #ThinkingOfYou for more updates and offers 22nd-28th September. Explore cards now.

GCA National Thinking of You Week

Posted by Charlotte 14:44 16/09/14
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Crowdwish is the Best Way to Support Good Deeds

My latest recommendation for ‘Best of the Web’ is the Crowdwish website. A simple but genius idea to link together people’s hopes, dreams, ambitions and desires. The site is also available as an app from the apple store.

The website allows people to submit personal wishes and vote on the community’s ideas. Every day the Crowdwish team take the most popular wish and do whatever they can to action it on behalf of the people who submitted and voted for the wish.

Crowdwish is described by its founders as “the accidental consequence of lots of late nights, people talking over each other and doses of Adderall”. The London-based team are Ben Bilboul, Chris Michaels, Anna Agapiou, Nick Fulford, Paul Robinson, Massimo Palmieri, Iszak Bryan and Bill Griffin.

The project is based on 3 observations (I’ve simplified these and you’ll find an explanation of greater eloquence on the Crowdwish website):

1. Everyone on earth has a wish.

2. Most wishes will be shared by more than one person.

3. The more people that want a thing, the more likely that thing will come to pass.

As a member of the Crowdwish community you can have ten active wishes at any one time. The more people ‘re-wish’ your hopes, the more likely it will hit the top spot and be the chosen wish of the day. The wish solutions come in many forms from discounts and special offers to the creation of briefing packs; the most recent of which was sent to Prime Minister David Cameron. Whatever the favourite wish is the Crowdwish team negotiate, lobby and pull strings to turn that wish into real action.

By uniting people together and working as a crowd the Crowdwish founders have shown that there’s a greater success of making these wishes into a reality. To date they’ve actioned 250 wises from ‘clear action on climate change’ to ‘finding nail polish that wouldn’t chip after a day’.

I love websites like this that aim to do some genuine good for the world. In case you were wondering the most popular wishes are usually positive or funny requests. The Crowdwish founders politely discourage wishes that are lame, greedy, crude, vague, selfish or unlawful.

The best bit is that it’s not just an idea. 250 completed wish missions prove they’re making the project hugely successful. I hope that Crowdwish goes from strength to strength and that you like the site. If you’re inspired, why not make a wish yourself.

Posted by Charlotte 15:41 12/09/14
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Fantastic Reasons to Love Nancy & Betty

A Closer Look at ‘Inspiring Indie’ Nancy & Betty.

Today I’d like to add a new feature to the Piccadilly Lane blog. ‘Inspiring Independents’ will highlight amazing designers, makers and retailers. Today is the turn of Nancy & Betty.

As you can gather from the title, all of these inspiring shops will be hand-picked from the independent world.

Whether you’re choosing for kids going back to school, or students starting a new university terms stationery is always an essential buy, so I think it’s only fitting that our first ‘Inspiring Independent’ should have a stationery connection. This week’s pick for Inspiring Independents is Nancy & Betty; designers and purveyors of high quality, stylish stationery.

Nancy & Betty is an independent stationery brand created by Artist and Designer Hannah Bidmead. The company was formed after Hannah completed a degree in Fine Art. Following her graduation Hannah launched and grew the company to a small team of five. (P.S. if like us you wondered about the name, well Hannah’s grandma was Nancy and her twin sister Betty).

Nancy & Betty Stationery Collection

The Range

On the Nancy & Betty website you will find a gorgeous selection of designer paper goods. Stylish greeting cards, funky cards finished with badges. You can even pick up the individual badges if you need a cute stocking filler. The stationery collection has notebooks, journals and notepads with sharp and sweet graphics. The range even has the gift wrap, gift tags and sticky tape so you can give all of these items as a beautifully wrapped present.

Inspiration

The greeting card and stationery ranges are inspired from visits to Scandinavia. The designs have an emphasis on whimsical messages and stylish patterns. Each item in the collection shares signature bright colours and bold graphics. Touches of metallic foiling across the range provide an on-trend luxury finish. With simple, elegant design the Nancy & Betty collection can be the perfect addition to any stationery box.

Nancy & Betty Sent with Love Card

Values: Quality – Environmentally Responsible – British Made.

Alongside the sharp design I think it’s also good to know the hard work that goes on behind the scenes. Nancy & Betty are committed to creating products that are high quality, environmentally friendly and British made.

The team hand-pick only the best materials for each product. They spend hours choosing the best quality FSC-approved or recycled card and paper stock. All of the paper goods are then printed with vegetable-based inks to be environmentally-responsible. Finally all of the cards, stationery, envelopes and presentation boxes are made in Britain and assembled at the Nancy & Betty studio.

Combining great design, high quality and good values I hope you’ll agree that Nancy & Betty is a good pick for an ‘Inspiring Independent’ company.

Find out more about Nancy & Betty on their website.

You can also find more exciting stationery gifts right here in the Piccadilly Lane directory and find gift ideas for stationery fans on the blog.

Posted by Charlotte 12:13 10/09/14
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The Best New Way to Support Independent Bookshops

Help Save Independent Bookshops with Shopping.

Knowing my love of all things indie a friend recently pointed my towards a new website called My Independent Bookshop. A social network for book lovers who can’t resist independent bookshops, created by the folks at Penguin Random House.

The video below sums it up beautifully, take a quick look before I share a few more details.

Backed by the world’s largest publisher, My Independent Bookshop aims to support and unite small, high street book shops. Keeping alive the quirky gems of the retail and literary worlds. The beloved independent bookshops.

Launched a few months ago the site gives an online space where anyone can review their favourite books. Providing personal recommendations to fellow book lovers via their own virtual bookshelf.

The good bit for independents is that as well as browsing readers can also buy books from the site. When they do a percentage of the sale is shared with a local, independent book store of their choice.

Like much of the indie community, small bookshops have been hit hard by big corporate retailers so it’s great to see an avenue for them to get a little love and support.

Both online and in the ‘real word’ it’s important that we keep finding new ways to support our independents; especially high quality independent bookshops, which are sadly a dying breed.

With Piccadilly Lane my aim is to unite together a community of independent, online card and gift shops. Alongside sites like My Independent Bookshop I hope we can shine a light on all of the fabulous independent shops and studios that make our towns, cities and the Internet a great place to explore.

Keen to catch the indie shopping bug? Why not start exploring right here with the indie shops of the Piccadilly Lane community.

Posted by Charlotte 14:47 2/09/14
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