To explain: Some months ago now, on the networking circuit, Pink&Green met Sali Green, owner of the Iwork4UGlocs business directory. As they got to know Sali, they and their Pink&Green products, helped her with a skin condition.
Sali was so super delighted by the results that she felt inspired to start her own skincare range – with a little help from our friends at Pink&Green. In the end though, Sali decided she simply had not the time to give it the promotion it needed so decided instead to promote her skin rescuers.
Out of that promotion and support arose this exciting opportunity with Molton Brown to have a pop-up shop in their store on Cheltenham’s swish Promenade shopping area.
Molton Brown and their Pop-Up Shop Policy
Molton Brown – or this store at least – have a strategy of creating points of interest each week to draw people into the store. So, instead of being more or less unchanging week in and week out they create a sense of ‘Ooooh. What’s all that then?’ to shoppers rather than ‘Yep-seen that. Got that.’ Which is, if think about, rather insightful and enlightened.
They offer a generous amount of space in their store for local and/or artisan companies to display and promote their products. They’ve found this to be an arrangement of mutual benefit both to them and to the pop-up businesses.
So, since Molton Brown don’t do facial skincare Sali suggested her friends at Pink&Green. Molton Brown then did what you’d expect them to do and checked them out on social media and the rest. Satisfied with what they found they decided they’d be happy to have the brand in their store.
The next stage then was for Pink&Green to meet up with their manager and assistant manager – Alison and Megan respectively – to discuss the idea.
On 28th September 11 am to 4pm there’s a Pink and Green Pop-up Shop event in the Cheltenham Branch of Molton Brown.
Visit the store and enjoy an express facial with Lisa Maria, an ambassador for the brand. Enjoy a glass of fizz and enter a free raffle to win a Mandarin Cleanser and Frankincense moisturiser in a cotton drawstring bag. Plus, you’ll have the chance to sample their latest product: Hydrate and Renew Gel.
In this post though I’m delighted to feature the lovely Carol Aplin, a Swindon-based maker of hand-made, organic and vegan-friendly skincare that goes under the brand of Pink&Green.
I’ve known Carol for a few years now. We met when we were both at the start of our business journeys and have gone on to become friends and mutual clients. By which I mean, Carol avails herself of my editorial services and I buy her stuff!
They are gorgeous products – and I’m really not ‘just’ saying that.
Pictured below are a couple of my all time fave Pink&Green products.
Carol began her organic skincare company, back in 2014, after many years working as an holistic therapist. She explains on her website how, during time as a practising therapist, she taught her clients how important it is that they make time for themselves. To pay attention to their skin – to what it was telling them – and then to act upon that message.
Having run salons in the past, P&G are super aware of the challenges faced by salon owners. Which is why they don’t now, and will not, impose onerous conditions on you. Nor do they dictate to you how you should run your business. It is after all your business. As Carol says:
‘Every business is different. We listen to YOU and help YOU in a way that best suits YOU.’
Continuing the theme of using historic timbers, Simon’s lathe has been well-exercised making pens and cufflinks out of an oak plinth from Bath Abbey. Those products are available both in the Bath Abbey Shop and from Simon himself.
Simon is working with them to make: pens, cufflinks, sterling silver pendants and lapel pins with wood from this world famous apple tree. It’s now over 400 years old and still fruiting.
The rhodium plated fountain pen is finished with a gold plated, sterling silver finial with a unique Newton logo. The pen comes in a presentation case with leather carrying case, Diamine ink cartridges, piston adaptor and certificate of authenticity. This will also be available in a rollerball version.
The pen will only be available from Woolsthorpe Manor. They’ll announce price and availability shortly. Says Simon ‘I have been privileged to work with Woolsthorpe Manor on this project. This has to be my “holy grail” of wood.’
Gifts with a difference
Simon has crafted with care, pens from beams in houses, trees from people’s gardens, the staves of a whisky barrel (complete with certificate of authenticity from the distillery) and from old tools. A wonderful example of the latter being the pen you see in the images below.
Simon made this pen made from an old woodworking plane that belonged to the customer’s grandfather. A nice feature is the stamping o the plane with the owner’s name. Simon incorporated that piece in with the presentation box, giving the new owner of the pen a useful and lasting reminder of his grandfather.
Yet, 3D Printing isn’t as new as you think – being first developed in 1983, when Charles Hullcreated the first printer capable of printing an actual part. Back then, they called it ‘Rapid Prototyping’ -catchy huh? Rapid prototyping was a machine used to create prototypes of tools for machines used in manufacturing. Rapid Prototyping sped up the prototype process, taking it from 6-8 weeks to mere hours. Inspired, Charles set about marketing and selling his Rapid Prototyping machines. And today? 3D printers are becoming more commonplace. If you can buy one in Argos, then it’s a sure sign that 3D printers will become an essential bit of domestic kit.
The Future with 3D Printing
At the moment, 3D printing is being used to create organic materials. Using cellular material, the first human organs are looking a real possibility. Already, the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, are in the middle of developing a process to 3D print replacement skin for burns patients.
We can already 3d Print metal, creating 3D printed seats in planes – and that makes a plane up to 50% lighter. And 3D printing a house for a mere £8000 is reality. Which leads one to wonder why it’s not happening?!
In the future customisation will become a key part of 3D printing. Shoes that actually fit you and only you! 3D printing food in your kitchen? The company Chocedgealready 3D print in chocolate, creating unique gifts and solutions to confectioners around the world.
So you’re excited by all this? You’re feeling you want to rush out and buy a 3D printer? Well before you do, space considerations aside, would you know what to do with one if you got it? Do you, for instance, have the CAD skills to create the designs to print? No? Fear not! There’s someone who does.
Meet SED Developments
Swindon based Jo and Richard Rigden,together are SED Developments –and they’re immersed in the adventurous world of 3D Printing, design and baking. Yes, you heard that right – baking!
They created their company in 2017, and since then have printed all manner of stuff. In the main, cookie cutters of all shapes and sizes are what come off their printer. But they’re not limited to that. They also design and print bespoke, individual 3D printed items. To that end they’ve worked with vintage car enthusiasts, ceramic artists, model airplane builders and artists, to name but a few. The range of items they’ve developed includes: miniature Lewis gun cartridge for model airplane, bone zippers for washbags, missing vintage car insignia badges, customised fondant and cookie cutters and jewellery.
While they don’t 3D print the cookies – yet – they do have six 3D printers. That gives them the capacity and the knowledge, to design and print, in collaboration with you.
I mentioned baking earlier? SED Developments hold over 300 cookie cutter designs, and develop new ones every day, because there’s always a new shape to bake! Their range runs from the bog-standard rectangle or heart to the unusual, but top selling, cow face. Which is moos to me! They also have a great range of icing/coffee stencils with which to lift up your latte or decorate your cake.
They’re a clever pair for sure. Last year, when I released my book Secret Swindon, I set them the task of creating biscuit cutters in the shape of some of Swindon’s iconic buildings. This is what they came up with. Aren’t they great?
As you can see – if you can imagine it then they can print it. If you’d like a cookie cutter created, email them over a picture and discuss with them what you’re looking for. Or contact them for a chat about your design.
Flog it!, may be no more – in terms or recommissioning at least. But fans and antique lovers need not fret, for Wiltshire resident and Swindon enthusiast will soon be back on your screens with his new show: Curiosity.
Curiosity is a competitive format which puts contestants’ knowledge of antiques and collectables to the test. In each episode two teams of two will move from room to room, using their skills, expertise and intuition to take on different tasks and challenges – all against the clock.
Paul and his wife Charlotte dreamed up the initial idea.
Paul, who lives in Wiltshire with Charlotte and their children Dylan and Meredith, said: ‘This show is the culmination of an idea Charlotte and I came up with at home at our kitchen table.’
‘I always loved any kind of treasure hunt,’ Charlotte Martin said. “Then working on various series myself in television, meeting Paul and being immersed in the world of antiques and collectables I began to think about how we could bring an element of a ‘searching’ together with our mutual love of vintage, quirky and social history into one programme. Gradually the idea of Curiosity took shape and it’s been amazing to see it become a reality.
The pair teamed up with Pete Lawrence, the boss of Bristol-based independent company Hungry Gap Productions to develop the format and bring Curiosity to life.
The programme is set in a series of distinctive rooms including The Den of Antiquity and So Last Century and combines vintage and social history in an entertaining way.
‘Our teams are tasked with finding fakes, spotting links between objects and discovering the fascinating stories behind the kind of trinkets and treasures that cram collectable emporiums and second-hand shops throughout the land,’ Pete said.
‘Paul is a fountain of knowledge and he brings the stories of the objects to life explaining their provenance and unique attributes.’
Paul’s ‘co-presenter’ in the series is a four-legged actor – a Bassett hound named after his own dog: Baxter.
‘Baxter is my mate and my side kick at home. The programme is a bit quirky like him. He’s a proper character and this is his five minutes of fame – sort of. In real life the specially trained stage dog is actually called Maggie! That’s Curiosity for you!’
Curiosity comes to our screens on Monday April 1 at 2.15pm on BBC One and will run weekdays for three weeks.
Where many creatives that I speak to have a shared tale of, if not parental antagonism to them pursuing art, then at least apathy and lack of support. But not so for Marilyn Trew artist. For her dad was a creative chap – so it’s in the blood as it were. A sign-writer, for a pastime, Marilyn’s dad cut shapes from linoleum to frame and Marilyn would help him with that.
Failing her 11+, aged 13 Marilyn got the chance of a grammar scholarship studying art. Twenty-eight places were available and Marilyn’s painting of Hull fish wives won her one of them. So off to study art she went. She had one English lesson and one maths lesson per week – the rest of her school hours she spent studying all the artistic disciplines. Through all this Marilyn had her parent’s support and encouragement. Marilyn says she had the great good fortune to have parents that only wanted for her to be happy so gave her their blessing.
Since making a full-time return to art five years ago, Marilyn has been super active in Swindon’s super active art scene.
Asked to start an art group by by Stratton Parish council at Grange leisure centre, the group is now thirty people strong. Marilyn told me how she loves working with this group because it uses so much of her experience. Well – maybe not designing floors. With a grant to get it off the ground, this group is now self-funding.
Savernake Street Hall – Eastcott Community
Together with fellow artist Ruth Wintle, another super lady, Marilyn runs a further art group at Savernake Street Hall – a great community centre run by a bunch of gorgeous community minded people for whom Marilyn is full of praise. And quite right too. They’re great. Marilyn explains that many people come to the group purely for the companionship. They learn about art, go on trips and they make friends. And that’s what it’s all about.
Being the wonderful community minded individual that she is, a year or so back Marilyn drew the most beautiful map for the Peatmoor Community woodland.
In the image below you see the gorgeous Marilyn, her husband Chris and the map.
I happened to see that map on social media. #Obvs And a bell clanged in my head. ‘Ooh’ I thought, ‘I could ask Marilyn if she’d do a map of the Richard https://swindonian.me/2015/03/29/richard-jefferies-old-town-walk-part-1/Jefferies Old Town walk for a project I’m trying to get to!’ She did – and it’s amazing. And since then the whole map painting malarkey has grown like topsy, with maps of the garden at the Richard Jefferies museum, the Twigs garden that you see above and more. I’d really love for her to do one of the railway village conservation area. She has produced one for me to go in Swindon in 50 Buildings – hitting bookshelves near you in a few weeks’ time.
When not running art groups and mapping Swindon she’s busy with her own thing – mostly nature and wildlife.
Marilyn is a wonderful person. She’s warm and kind and community minded. And, she not only draws maps for me but she brings me sweeties. So y’know … 😉 Long may she continue mapping Swindon and painting in it.