A Gift of Seeds Display Stand

We’re very excited to introduce our new Gift of Seeds display stand!

DisplayStandSownSow

We worked with the wonderful Jeremy at Prototype Laser who created & makes the stand locally in Melbourne using sustainably-sourced bamboo. The stand very cleverly packs flat and can be assembled without glue or tools.

  DisplayStand1DisplayStand2

Update: March 2014 – we now also have a more compact display stand! Here are some pics  Display_Small_webDisplay_Small_front_web

The Tree House Connection

My partner and I took a road trip to Sydney (from Melbourne) via the NSW south coast a few weeks ago which took us right past two of our regional NSW stockists. I was excited to visit The Tree House Connection in Ulladulla as I’d met the owners Emily and Rosie at Life Instyle and they had given my sister and I a detailed description of the shop they were just about to open. I recalled them mentioning live music, community mindedness, eco goodness, a cafe and of course beautiful products! We pulled up outside and as if on cue, a band was making beautiful music on the front verandah. People were sitting in the shade of a lovely big tree out the front and the cafe was buzzing on the inside. We got ourselves a coffee and sat down to listen to the The Kabinets – the very cool, delicate sounding band making the beautiful sounds on the deck!

It was a quick stop off but we left with a CD, overdue caffeine hit, some lovely photos and a smile. The Tree House Connection is a real gem! Then we continued north to Nowra in the hope of popping into Shady Fig, another stockist, gorgeous florist and gift shop, however unfortunately we were too late and it was closed. We did peek through the windows and the styling inside was stunning, shame we missed it!

 

Eco Made Fabulous

With a long weekend approaching I can’t help but dream of a get away and the place I want to be this weekend is Perth. We have a fabulous new stockist there, Foxes of Fancy in Mosman Park and I have a friend over there who I rarely get to see!

Foxes of Fancy looks SO nice. I especially love the grass pots in the window! It is the work of two lovely ladies, Stacey and Marianne who have not only set up this lovely store, but also have their own brands inuk designs and Tex & Joe respectively. Impressive! The shop showcases uniquely designed earth friendly products including homewares, fashion and skincare. They have a great online selection too so I guess I don’t need to be in Perth after all, but if only I could jump in the car and go for a sunday drive with Maude!  (Maude is our new puppy!)

Oh and we delivered our first e-newsletter on Monday. If you didn’t catch it in your inbox, check it out here.


This installation reminds me of Alice In Wonderland. A little cookoo yet fun and pretty at the same time.

String gardens display, ‘inspired by ‘(or copied!) Fedor’s String gardens.
A beautifully crafted tree trunk, one of the installations at the Flower and Garden show

These terrariums house ‘good bugs’!

With the three new Gifts of Seeds launched it has been a busy past few weeks and I’ve been quite slack on the blogging front! Of course here I am finally sitting down to write a blog post and I have way too many things to mention and too many photos to share! I think a lesson should be learnt here – keep the blog posts shorter and more regular. Discipline Michelle! Someone to prod me would be great, does anyone have a good prodding stick?

I had my annual visit to the Melbourne International Flower and Garden show last week which I like to think of as ‘work’ or ‘research’… it’s a tough job sometimes, especially when the sun is shining and Carlton Gardens are covered with flowers 🙂 The show is a great place for inspiration with oh so many colourful floral and garden installations! Photos of some of the more interesting bits from the show are above.

Last week I was in Brisbane where I visited some new stockists, caught up with beautiful old friends, soaked up the warmer weather and spent some quality time with Ma and Pa. Yep… more hard work. And I wonder why my friends sometimes assume I don’t work at all!?

I am excited to be the featured seller on Ethikl at the moment which is very exciting. Check out my interview and be in the draw to win some Gifts of Seeds here.

We’ve got some wonderful new stockists coming on board including Five Boroughs in East Brunswick, Nook in West End (Brisbane) and Just Plain Gorgeous in Bulimba (Brisbane).

An early heads up that I will have a stall at the North Melbourne Market on Sunday the 17th of April so I have lots of packets to make before then!

And I had a wonderful weekend just gone in Sutton Grange and Castlemaine with cousin Georgie and sister Phoebe, (Can I call you guys that?) sleeping in a Teepee! We weren’t cold because we had a fire in the middle to keep us warm. Cool huh!?  The Castlemaine Festival was on so there were lots of festivities happening in Castlemaine, including some cool dudes with all sorts of awesome bikes including that penny farthing replica in the picture below.

Ok can someone please prod me in a few days to write about my visit to the Healesville Glass Blowing Studio? please?!

Sow ‘n Sow Airiums at Spacecraft!

I am very excited to share some insight into the other things I’ve been working on as part of the Sow ‘n Sow product range.

Whilst the Gifts of Seeds are by no means done and dusted (three new ones will be available in just over a week!) I always had plans to develop other innovative plant based gifts and I’ve been playing around with Terrariums and Airiums for a while now. My poor friends have suffered birthday gifts of the ‘product development’ kind for the past few months in the form of notquitethereyet jars full of mosses and ferns.

Then I met Stewart Russell, the artist, designer and owner of Spacecraft who creates a beautiful range of screen printed bed linen, furniture, clothing and artwork at their awesome North Melbourne studio for the 2 Spacecraft stores on Gertrude Street Fitzroy and Malvern Road Hawksburn.

I met Stewart and his wife Donna to discuss ways we could ‘green up’ the Hawksburn store by incorporating more living plants which was a part of their vision for the store. Before long I was in-store making a big mess with bags of potting mix and plants, setting up some lovely planter boxes for a window display which complimented the Sow ‘n Sow Gifts of Seeds  (now stocked at both stores).

But we wanted to get a bit more creative than that and after talking about my air plant ideas I was given a good reason to fully develop the concept, as Donna and Stewart loved the sound of them and wanted me to make some up for the store.

So, I have just delivered a trial run of 7 Airiums to the Hawksburn store. They consist of Tillandsias (living air plants) with lichens and mosses collected on weekend walks in the bush. A little living world inside a glass globe to enchant and inspire those peeking through the glass.

At this stage they are only available at Spacecraft Hawksburn for so get in quickly if you want one, there are only 7 for the time being!

Many thanks to Stewart and Donna for making this happen, and Vicky the Hawksburn store manager for her beautiful displays and good chats!

Sowing seeds all over town

Sometimes I am so busy working away doing things that I hardly notice what I have achieved. That is until I open up a new blog post and start typing!

We have just donated one of each of our Gifts of Seeds to Craft Relief, a non-profit online store created to raise money for those in need. All profits are donated to a specified charity and it is run by the lovely Therese who keeps the site in order and the donations coming in! It is great to be positioned beside products by some of the most interesting, talented crafters, artists and designers from across Australia and it’s nice to be able to give back in some way.  I grew up in Brisbane so seeing all those familiar places under water and covered in mud was quite a shock. Hopefully this is one small way we can help those affected, with all proceeds of the sale of the Gifts of Seeds on Craft Relief going to the Premier’s Qld flood appeal. So if you are looking for a special gift, make it extra special by buying the gift through Craft Relief where you not only donate to good causes but also get something delightful in the process! http://craftrelief.bigcartel.com/

This weekend takes us to Sydney for a quick weekend visit. High on the agenda is visiting Joost’s Greenhouse! Very excited as we were overseas when Melbourne had its version at Federation Square. More info and pictures can be found thanks to The Design Files over here. I will also be scoping out Life Instyle, a trade show selectively showcasing the business of design. I am on the lookout for specific items which will tie into my product plans and I am excited about the prospect of being an exhibitor there in the near future.

You may have noticed that our product photography has improved, thanks to my cousin Duane who is a maestro behind the lens. Our online shop pictures look a lot more professional now and hopefully I can keep Duane busy with all my upcoming product shot needs. Being that he is based in the NT does complicate matters especially where plant arrangements are involved though, Duane can you come and visit more often please?!

All my energy has been coming from some interesting talks that I have been fortunate to attend recently!  On Saturday I attended my first Creative Womens Circle event featuring Ming-Zhu Hii, the wonderful business coach, artist, writer, retailer and entrepreneur behind Orlando and Ivy (who stock our Gifts of Seeds!). Ming-Zhu talked about her motivations, the highs and lows, inspirations and many other empowering, wonderful things. You can watch video snippets of the talk here.

And today, thanks to the City of Melbourne, I enjoyed the company of many interesting entrepreneurs at a business planning workshop in the Melbourne Town Hall. Starting with business finances, John Evers led gave us some easy to understand insight into the realities of finances in business  including financial projections and cash flow management. Then we spent the second half of the day with Marcus Powe who really blew the socks of me. A very insightful presentation with many valuable tidbits of information regarding business planning and marketing.

It was great to be in a room of like minded people and I discovered some very interesting businesses including Muesli Mixer (customised museli!) and Buro North (Multidisciplinary Design) Many thanks must go to the City of Melbourne for providing this great, free course (and lunch!) which I highly recommend!

That is the end of possibly my longest blog post to date. Thanks for getting to the bottom! I didn’t realise I had so much to shareuntil I started typing.

I’ve actually left quite a lot of happenings out as I am saving them for blog posts of their own when the timing is right… so there is more exciting news to come soon.

Michelle

Christmas wrap up

We would like to thank all our stockists and customers who made our ‘Gifts of Seeds’ a part of their festive season. A special thanks to hardtofind for featuring ‘My Basil’ in their gift guide for stocking fillers under $40, Mandrake and Willow for featuring us in their christmas gift guide and Susan Parsons for her write up of Sow ‘n Sow in the Canberra Times Food & Wine section. We had a great end to our first year with many stockists placing second orders in the lead up to Christmas and lots of online orders keeping us busy. We are now working on exciting new products and planning what we hope will be a busy, productive 2011. For those of you who have planted Sow ‘n Sow seeds, we would love to see pictures of the progress of your seedlings and plants so please don’t hesitate to email photos to michelle@sownsow.com.au. And one last thing, we are delighted to announce a new stockist in Penguin Tasmania, the gorgeous Nest pictured below.

The hardtofind. Stocking fillers guide

Mandrake and Willow’s Newsletter

The Canberra Times article

Nest in Penquin, Tasmania

Market Time!

We’ve just completed a mammoth custom order which has kept us very busy. ‘Us’ because I’ve had some wonderful helpers including Tossie who stayed up till 2am with me on a Saturday night!, Caja who glued the most basil packets in the most perfect way, sticker fingers packaging expert Mike and Bish who put up with me and helped through the whole process. I’m now preparing to launch the new seed variety (more on that soon!) and am organising things for the North Melbourne Market which I’ll be selling at this weekend. Please do come and visit me and check out all the other stall holders while you’re there! A great time to get your christmas shopping done. I’m going to have some gift sets as well as all three varieties of the ‘Gifts of Seeds’ so lots to get excited about.

Sow ‘n Sow is now available on hardtofind which is a great website full of unique gift ideas. We’re feeling pretty chuffed about getting picked as a worthy product and  am very excited to see how it goes.

And we’ve got a new stockist, the lovely Mandrake and Willow in Yarraville… a very good reason for me to be scheduling a visit to the area soon!

Here are some photos of the complete custom order including the towering wall of boxes! I will put up proper photos of the custom packets once they’ve been sent out to all the lucky one’s who’ll be receiving custom seed goodies.

Sprouting new things

Well I’ve been really busy! Which is awesome. I’m very excited to announce Sow ‘n Sow’s new (or soon to be) stockists:

Not forgetting our first stockist:

And the Gift of Seeds are now also available on Ethikl which is an online marketplace for buying and selling all things natural, organic, handmade and ethical. There are some great products on the site and it’s a very nice community to be a part of – I’m loving Peita the founders Twitter updates! www.ethikl.com.au

Sow ‘n Sow is also going to be holding its first market stall on December 5 at the North Melbourne Market which is organised by Thread Den and held at the Lithuanian club in North Melbourne – come and visit me there! I’ve got an exciting living display stand planned and my seedlings are performing very well for the occasion, as long as they don’t out grow the pots.

We’ve also got a new product in the pipe line – lips are sealed for now so you’ll have to check back!

Oh and the picture! Isn’t it magical? This is my newly discovered happy place – The Conservatory in Fitzroy Gardens. As you walk through there is classical music playing and mist in the air so you feel like you’re dreaming! I’m guessing it’s especially lovely now because it’s Spring, so if you’re in Melbourne make sure you get there before all those amazing pretty things go to sleep. It’s free!

Shops!

I am very excited to announce that the gorgeous boutique Orlando and Ivy are now stocking our seed packets! The lovely Ming-Zhu has taken us under her wing and added our lovelies to her shop which is full of local and sustainable art and design. Orlando and Ivy is one of the friendliest places around and Ming-Zhu  (who by the way writes a fantastic fortnightly newsletter which is a very inspiring read) is busy building a creative community at the Victoria St, North Melbourne premises. They have also started creative courses under ‘The Public Studio’ including ‘Life & Your Phenomenal Creative Practice’ which is for anyone, anywhere. Wow, how do they find the time?! Be sure to stop in, say hi and fill up with inspiration while you’re there.

In other news, our  online shop is now live after a few days of research into the world of e-commerce. I think it’s all working now… give it a go! And the photos from the photo shoot last weekend are up too which has made a big difference to the look of our website.  Only problem is that I can’t find a spot for all of them! Here’s some of the others.

0