Willow Leaf Gifts -2020 Round Up

Willow Leaf Gifts 2020 round up 

In September of 2019 I incorporated my company, Willow Leaf Gifts. My aim was to bring a range of unique, high quality, and hand-selected gifts to the market and I wanted to make all the wooden products myself. 

I first found my love of woodwork when I studied bespoke furniture making at Herefordshire and Ludlow college after leaving school at 16. I was lucky enough to have a very inspiring lecturer, Richard Mackley. After college I moved onto the Peter Sefton Furniture school.  Here I honed my skills and developed an eye for detail to produce high quality wooden items. After setting up my workshop at the start of 2020 I started to experiment with different ideas and different woods and eventually I developed a small range of products that I thought my customers would like.

I then decided to attend the Autumn and Spring retail fair held at the NEC. I thought it would be interesting to see what specialist wholesalers had to offer and I also thought I may be able to find some inspiration as to where I could develop the business further. I wanted to broaden my range but not at the expense of quality, I also wanted to find products that complimented my handmade wooden items. It was extremely important to me that any additional products of Willow Leaf Gifts were handmade in the UK.  Although some of the wholesalers are geared towards large retail stores and outlets there were some smaller specialist companies who offered unique handmade items.  I discovered a beautiful range of aprons and tea towels which I thought would work well with my wooden chopping boards.  I also sourced our bumble wrap  which I thought was a brilliant idea and knew that we had to have them in our product range.  After discovering our product range we divided it up into ‘Willow Home’ ‘ Willow Garden’ and ‘Willow You’ to make it easy for people to shop. 

Just after 5 months of Willow Leaf I was lucky enough to get a contract with the national trust supplying my chopping boards into the beautiful Powys Castle, which was amazing! Unfortunately COVID has put a delay on new orders for the time being. 

Throughout the lockdown I didn't stop. I continued to make products, develop the website and get ready to do the markets. When the lockdown finally came to an end we managed to get booked on to the Chorlton Makers Makers which went so much better than I could have ever imagined! And Chorlton still remains one of our regular markets. We are continuing to do markets all around and we are enjoying connecting to customers. This year we hope it is safe enough for us to do county shows and food festivals! 

Thank you everyone for there support in Willow Leaf Gifts in 2020 

Until next year … 

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