Customer service

Customer service should be at the heart of every business, but particularly a small one. Having exceptional customer service that helps to support customers and makes them feel special can be a defining factor in whether someone decides to shop with you or not. There are some things that you won’t be able to compete with the big boys on, but customer service is an area you can ace!

The great thing about this is that it doesn’t have to cost you money. Time, patience and a willingness to really help your customer and make sure you’ve done your best is all that’s required. You don’t need a huge budget to do this.

But customer service shouldn’t be overlooked. It shouldn’t be a ‘nice to have’. Looking after your customers can be an incredible PR and marketing tool too. In today’s social media fuelled world, getting positive feedback matters, and it matters on your website too. Having someone leave a review and sing your praises can win you fans and give people that final nudge to help them feel reassured that you’re a good fit for them.

In this section of the blog, you’ll see lots of examples of great customer service and tips too, to help you outperform the competition.

Hiho Silver #styleskillsandsilver Instameet at The Fish Hotel, Broadway

The Fish Hotel BroadwayThere are going to be a few blogs about Hiho Silver’s amazing Style, Skills & Silver event, because I’m still buzzing from it. Last Thursday (6th September) was the day of the event we’d been working towards for a while. And I say we because it really was a we. The event was the brainchild of Hiho’s Queen Bee, Emma Warren, but the two workshops that were held were a huge team effort, that I will tell you about in more detail soon. Today, we’re focusing on the beautiful venue – The Fish Hotel, Broadway.

The Fish Hotel, Broadway

Based on the Farncombe Estate, The Fish Hotel is a real hidden gem. And it is properly hidden too! You clamber up a hill called Fish Hill (and it’s a serious hill with some quite surprising bends!), before taking a left down a long drive. The Estate is massive and contains three amazing venues/hotels – there’s The Fish Hotel, Dormy House and Foxhill Manor. As you turn off the main road, you are taken down an incredibly long drive. It would have been useful if I’d measured the length of the drive but this thought only dawned on me as I started to write the paragraph. The thing is, the length of the drive isn’t the thing you remember. It’s the view. I headed to the venue with Ruth (Dressage Anywhere) and as I’d been there before, I wittered on about the view for most of the drive down the drive. I’ve seen the view before but it was no less impressive second time around. Worcestershire stretches out beneath you and it’s just a sight to behold. I took a picture when I went for a recce, but it doesn’t do it justice. The scale can’t be appreciated in a picture. The entrance is impressive and sets the tone for everything else.

Springfield House

The Fish is made up of a few different areas. The Hook is the restaurant were we had a very nice pizza for dinner the night before, Springfield House is where we held Style, Skills & Silver, we stayed in the Coach House (I think). They also have a number of other buildings in the grounds, including some stunning shepherd huts by Blackdown Shepherd Huts that people can stay in too. It’s clearly a big place, but the careful design of it all means it all feels rather private and lovely. There’s also a lot of greenery – when we walked up from the restaurant the night before (we didn’t stop setting up until gone 9pm so dinner was quite late), it was lovely – tree lined, beautifully lit… heavenly.

Springfield House has quite a different vibe to the restaurant but it’s absolutely lovely too. It manages to strike the mix of modern, cosy, funky, quirky and practical. And that’s quite a combination! We had four rooms in total on two different floors. The first floor was where we held the workshops – the space and the light were lovely and worked so well with the practical workshops. Up a level we had a lovely lounge where we met at the beginning and end of the day, and the room next door where we had lunch and chatted too. The rooms were lovely and having the space over the two floors worked so well with the way the day ran.

Where we stayed

The night before I stayed in the Coach House. I shared a twin room with Ruth and it was the most beautiful room. Lovely fresh white bed linen, Galaxy hot chocolate (yes, I’m very easily bought!), a huge bathroom with lovely toiletries. Everything was beautiful. But like with Springfield House, it was beautiful but very cosy and comfy too. There was a handwritten welcome note, really lovely blankets on the bed, a wooden book with ‘All you need to know’ written on it including all the important things you needed to know, like how the wifi worked. The decor was so pretty, but so comfy. I couldn’t fault it.

Breakfast was included but as I made my way down I got summoned by Sophie and Harriet, who were also staying in the same building, to have a look at their room and give opinions on what to wear. I say summoned. Sophie shouted out the window and I decided I’d rather spend time with them than eating. I felt a little nervous anyway and the last thing I need when feeling a bit nervous is food! Their room was as lovely as ours. It was a slightly different design. It had a little hall and a gorgeous outside terrace space with a glimpse of the stunning view I have spent a lot of this blog wittering on about.

This isn’t a TripAdvisor review – I mean, why be conventional?! But I wanted to explain a bit about the venue as it was really special. It’s not your average hotel, or conference room, or meeting place. It’s way more special than that. I’m looking for an excuse to return as soon as I can!

Find out more about The Fish Hotel here…

To see more about the event, see Karen & Clan and Sophie Callahan’s vlogs.

When Instagram Face Filters changed the game – Kylie Jenner

As I was looking through Instagram Stories on Friday night, something caught my eye. I was watching Jasmine Star’s Insta Stories and under her name it said the filter she was using. The Face Filter to be precise. What was strange was that I hadn’t noticed she was using a filter. And that was kind of the point. This was no ordinary Instagram Face Filter. This was an Instagram Face Filter by Kylie Jenner. And, for me, it’s really changed the game on filters.

What’s an Instagram Face Filter?

First things first, if you’re not sure what I mean by Instagram Face Filter, let me explain. Have you seen people on Instagram Stories with dog ears and rainbows and other craziness on their faces? Yep? Instagram Kylie Jenner Face Filter - augmented reality (1)That’s a Face Filter. They’re usually comical in some way and it’s very, very obvious that one’s in use. But this was different. It wasn’t like that at all.

Kylie Jenner

I am sure you don’t need me to tell you who Kylie Jenner is… but I’m going to because if you don’t know then the next bit of this blog is going to make very little sense to you! Kylie is part of the Kardashian clan, and she has her own make up collection. As you’ll know if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, I have no idea about make up. It’s more luck than judgement that I know about her make up range, but I digress…

So what’s the Kylie Face Filter?

It’s a form of augmented reality and an absolute stroke of marketing genius in my opinion. I had a jaw dropping moment when I realised what the filter did and how it worked. So, unlike comical filters, the Kylie Face Filter makes you look, well, really quite good. But it’s more than that. Inside the Kylie filter you can chose from one of eight different looks with the central focus being the lip colour. These eight different options show a range of colours and are, wait for it, based on her lip colour collection. This sounds good – I mean, when I discovered it I was pretty tired and I was not looking my best…. and this filter definitely improved things, put it that way. But it’s SO much more than this. I really believe that this is part of the future of marketing. Want to know how make up is going to look on your with your colouring? Easy. How about furniture in your house? Clothes? All from your phone. Even through on of your favourite apps?

The one obstacle in the way of shopping online has always been that you can’t really see the products and how they’ll look on you through a computer screen. With this kind of technology being used, can you imagine the scope? Can you imagine the potential?

Blummin well done Instagram. Another absolute triumph in my eyes. And I for one can not wait to see how augmented reality grows in this accesible way.

Stands to see at The Game Fair – Tom Lane

It’s Game Fair week! So, this week, there will be a blog each day about a fabulous stand to see, and today it’s all about Tom Lane! I’ve been aware of Tom Lane for a little while now and have really loved seeing the product range they produce grow. I also have heard nothing but great things from my friend Harriet Edwards – aka A Girl About Country. She absolutely adores Tom Lane’s Lambswool Jumpers, so I was keen to find out what further delights will be at The Game Fair!

So, without further ado, it’s over to Jayne Ireland from Tom Lane.

Stands to see at The Game Fair – Tom Lane

How long have you been exhibiting at The Game Fair?

Our first Game Fair was in 2016 at Ragley Hall (as we only launched in 2015). I am really excited to be going back there this year!

Which product are you most excited to show the people visiting The Game Fair?

I will be launching my new collection of shooting socks this year at the Game Fair, which I can’t wait to share with everyone. The collection has a huge variety of styles and colours. I have also created a larger range for ladies (starting in a size 3) for the ever growing ladies shooting market. We specialise in Merino and Alpaca for our shooting socks and they are all made in the UK.

What’s your newest product? What makes it special?

My newest products are my ladies zip neck jumpers. I have chosen some pastel blues and pinks for this range and they have had a great reception so far.

If you could sum up Tom Lane in a sentence, what would it be?

Tom Lane is a lifestyle brand proudly designing and manufacturing clothing, luxury socks & accessories in Britain.

Do you have a typical customer? Or do you find your products have a broad appeal for all ages?

I find that we don’t really have a typical customer. We certainly have a broad range of customer ages – I like to think we have something for everyone.

What are you most excited about for this year’s event?

We have taken a bigger stand for the Game Fair this year, my business has grown so much from our last visit to Ragley and it’s exciting to be able to showcase all of our new collections.

Where can visitors find Tom Lane at the event? Are there any special offers they should know about?

Our stand number is D325. I am putting on lots of show offers across the ranges to celebrate the Game Fair. See you there!

To find out more about Tom Lane, see the website here. And to find out more about The Game Fair, see the website.

Do I really need web hosting? | Rhea Freeman

Do I really need web hosting?You’ve probably heard of web hosting, along with all the other techy terms associated with websites… but do you really understand what it means? And do you know what to look for when choosing a web host? Well, today we are well and truly lifting the lid on web hosting with the help of the lovely team at Black Nova Designs. Kyle and Danielle, the people behind Black Nova, are members of my Small & Supercharged Facebook group and I was d-flipping-lighted when they said that they would write a blog about the ins and outs of web hosting as a guest post. Are you ready? It’s a good one… over to Danielle…

Do I really need web hosting?

Do I really need web hosting? The quick and easy answer to this question is yes if you have a website.

If you’ve gone to the effort of building an awesome website for your business, chances are you’ll want everyone to see your stunning creation, and so for it to go live and be visible, you need web hosting.

Web hosting is simply a service that allows you to post a website to the internet so users can see it. It’s a bit like finding your site a home, where others can visit freely, and where it will be stored securely.

There are of course plenty of providers out there who offer free or budget web hosting, and for those starting out in business and keen to keep costs to an absolute minimum, this option can seem like the perfect solution. It is however worth considering the differences when it comes to free or budget and paid professional web hosting, and the implications for your business.

Here are 7 simple lessons about professional web hosting, to help you make the right decision when it comes to picking a web hosting company, and a cost-effective plan that not only suits your business needs, but one your wallet will appreciate too.

Reliability

It goes without saying you as the business owner want your website to be visible and accessible around the clock. Therefore it’s important when considering who you choose to host your website that their percentage of up-time (uninterrupted service) is high.   Professional web-hosting companies offer a much higher rate of up-time i.e. 99%, and this is what puts them streets ahead of their free and low cost competitors.

Customer Service

In the event of any technical or other problem related to your website, having the reassurance that your issue will be resolved efficiently and without fuss or detrimental impact to your business is critical. With professional web hosting your business can benefit from immediate technical support, through means of live chat, email and UK based telephone assistance. Again something that free or budget providers are simply not in a position to offer. 

Control of Data & Content

When it comes to data, rest assured that with a professional web hosting company, data backup and restoration features are provided as part of a hosting package.

In terms of what content you choose to publish on your site, when you pay for web hosting you will have total access to what you post and what it looks like. Which means there are no restrictions for you as the website owner with regards to the amount of data or the number of web pages that your website can have. This is in contrast to free or budget hosting services where there maybe aspects of your website that you are unable to control.

Domain & Email

Free web hosting accounts usually require users to use a subdomain that advertises the website of the free service, sadly robbing your brand of its own unique identity. Whereas professional web hosting will provide you with at least one domain name, allowing you the business owner to build your brand from the get go. With a private domain name your website can create personalized emails, making it easier to introduce to your online business.

Design

A professionally hosted website allows the owner unrestricted access to design the website and its supporting technologies (such as server to server communication.) Affording complete freedom when it comes to both graphic and infrastructure design, means you can experiment with different layouts, and use different platforms for your business.

Space

With the advent of cloud computing, professional web hosting allows users access to more storage space and dynamic bandwidth that is adjustable for growth in traffic in real time. When using free or budget services, such flexibility is not always available and the user only gets a fixed amount of space and bandwidth for their installation.

It is also worth noting that some website builders restrict you to only using their hosting and their platform. They therefore own the rights to the website, and can restrict views per month, server size and other capabilities.

SEO

Interestingly, all the benefits of professional web hosting such as performance load speed, reliable up time, and secure connections with SSL certificates, are all believed to be factors that search engines are looking for when grading a website.

Although many free or budget web hosting providers promise to deliver SEO services, few provide the same level of progress up the search engine rankings as many businesses would demand.

Having the control over the SEO process is easier for professional web hosting and gives the business owner the ability and access to keep optimizing its practices over time.

 

The amount of third party integration that some websites may require is not easy or even possible on free or budget web hosting services. Services such as using an e-commerce platform are easier to install on platforms owned by professional web hosting companies.

As a key component to your business, having piece of mind that your website is in trusted and safe hands can be priceless, and one less thing to worry about.

How do you decide which web hosting provider to pick?

When making your decision, reading reviews can be helpful, or you may want to ask for recommendations from trusted sources in your network, as they are more likely to offer you a balanced view, having had first-hand experience of using professional web hosting.

 

Here at Black Nova Designs Ltd we have businesses move to us almost daily, as our hosting offers increased web traffic, optimised images, and impressive load speed to name only a few of the benefits.

If you are in a dilemma about your web hosting and would like to discover what options are available to you whatever the size of your business, contact Black Nova Designs Ltd and we can answer your questions for you.

Behind… Hiho Silver’s Thelwell Collection

Thelwell CollectionI’ve had the privilege of working with Hiho Silver for a number of years and have the joy of writing about all the jewellery, including the Thelwell Collection. I adore the company, the ethos behind the pieces created, and the exclusive designs are out of this world. I see many other pieces of jewellery on my travels and, call me biased if you like, but the pieces are a cut above the rest. Before I started working for them I was a huge fan… and the more I’ve got under the skin of the brand, the designs and the pieces, the more I love them.

Hiho Silver’s Thelwell Collection

A little while ago Emma Warren, Hiho’s MD, told me about an exciting new collection. That’s something that makes a PR’s heart sing… then she told me what it was. It was Thelwell. But Thelwell the Hiho way. Hiho Silver has full permission from the Thelwell Estate to create and sell these pieces, and works very closely with the team there too. But what Hiho has done, what it always does, is create beautiful pieces that are practical but still have that authenticity… and I’ll tell you how.

Initially, the Thelwell Collection was made up of three pieces: two charms and a pendant on a necklace. The charms took me back to my childhood, when I would read and be able to relate to those amazing cartoons that see Penelope and her pony tackling all sorts of activities. I found myself smiling thinking back to those cartoons that mirrored equestrian life so closely… and that was from simply looking at a teeny sterling silver cup charm!

The two charms were designed with clips to make them easy to attach to pretty much anything. The cup was designed with the right proportions and the handles were totally ‘Thelwell’, and the rosette was the same. The pendant was designed differently as it showed a complete Penelope and pony celebrating a win.

The range has now grown to include three necklaces (featuring a boot, saddle, and horseshoe, all with those instantly recognisable details) and two pairs of earrings that match the charms. The Thelwell Collection is lovely and although great for children and younger riders, the pieces are ‘grown up’ enough for anyone to wear. They’re beautiful in their own right and give that nod to well spent childhoods on opinionated ponies!

Why did Hiho Silver decide to create a Thelwell Collection?

Hiho Silver in an iconic equestrian brand in its own right, and teaming up with brand that is such an integral part of the equestrian scene was an obvious choice. Hiho’s customers spans generations, meaning that Thelwell and its broad appeal fitted perfectly.

“The Thelwell Collection is such a fun one for us,” said Emma Warren, Managing Director of Hiho Silver. “We just love it and adore the feedback we get from our customers. We love that a piece of well designed jewellery can transport people back in time and relive amazing memories; that’s so special.”

To see the full Thelwell Collection, just trot on over to Hiho’s site.

Haynet Saddlecloth and Mug – Advent Calendar Competition

HaynetToday’s gorgeous advent calendar competition giveaway comes courtesy of Haynet. Sam Hobden, the lady behind Haynet, has very, very kindly donated a stunning green saddlecloth with Haynet embroidery and a branded mug too.

Why am I giving away a Haynet Mug and Saddlecloth

I’ve had the absolute pleasure of knowing Sam for a number of years and, this year, have had the joy of working with her on the Haynet podcast. Now, if that sounds a bit OTT, you’ve no idea just how incredible Sam is. She’s a really lovely lady with a heart of gold, and does a huge amount for the equestrian community, particularly bloggers. She created the Haynet platform to support the blogging efforts of equestrian bloggers, by giving them a voice and a place to be. The platform has evolved over time, and Sam also runs two blogging awards (for country and equestrian bloggers) and is the person behind the #horsebloggers hashtag on Twitter. Again, this was created to help further the reach of equestrian blogs. And there’s the podcast too. I am really privileged to work with Sam on this. We do alternate episodes and have covered quite a few topics (you’ll hear from me again very soon too!). From what the #horsebloggers hashtag means to which social media platform people should be on, from Christmas promotion through to the best blogging platforms, it’s a great podcast. I might be a teeny bit biased as I work with Sam on it, but I really do think it’s a great listen (Sam’s are particularly great). The Haynet Podcast can be found here.

Why do I like the Haynet Saddlecloth and Mug?

Not all that long ago, Haynet got a rebrand to show the website’s links to the country community as well as the equestrian one. A new logo was designed and Sam commissioned the creation of some lovely promotional pieces to promote this. Actually, I got one of the mugs too. Anyway, you can probably guess that I’m a big fan of Haynet, so when Sam said she was happy to donate a couple of the lovely items she’d had made, I was thrilled. And I do love a bit of green!

Would you like to win the Haynet Saddlecloth and Mug?

You should – they’re both lovely! The competition will run until midnight the day that this blog is published. If you’re in time, all you need to do it pop on over to my Rhea Freeman PR Facebook page, watch the video that will be pinned to the top today and enter. That’s it! Of course, I’d love it if you’d tell your friends by sharing the post.

I hope you enjoy my advent calendar competition – best of luck!

The Equestrian and Country Advent Calendar Competition… starting on 1st December

Robin Roadnight Hanging HeartI can’t contain my advent calendar based excitement any longer… because my Equestrian and Country Advent Calendar Competition launches on Friday, 1st December. And yes, I’m pretty flipping excited. As with a lot of what I do, I wanted to explain why I’ve done it the way I have, as well as the kind of things you’re likely to find in there.

What’s the idea behind the Equestrian and Country Advent Calendar Competition?

There are a few reasons why I decided to do an Equestrian and Country Advent Calendar Competition. The first reason is that by creating video content around some great products from my clients and friends, I get to introduce them to you in a more personal way. Every product I am giving away I genuinely love and have a connection with in some way. I’m very, very lucky in that I’ve had a lot of the prizes donated, but I have also bought some too. The ones I have bought are generally connected to the business side of what I do, so books I rate and have talked about, a bit of stationery and the like. I have also bought some of the other products, and I will explain this aspect in the blog that accompanies each day of the calendar. Because I like to give people credit when they go above and beyond. And it’s only fair that people who have been kind enough to gift prizes to you, my lovely followers, get that recognition.

Sophie Callahan Equestrian CalendarHow will the Equestrian and Country Advent Calendar Competition work?

Each day I will be giving away one lovely prize over on my Facebook page. I did think a lot about the best way to do this and keeping it on one platform just seemed a lot more clean cut and a lot easier to manage. So, each day, a short video will appear on my Facebook page with the prize I’m giving for that day, and the entry mechanism will be a simple ‘Like & Comment’. Of course, I’d be very grateful for any shares, but that’s not part of the entry criteria. Each video will also have an accompanying blog that will explain more about the prize. It’s a simple competition, because I like to keep things simple… especially at this time of year!!

What kind of things can you expect to find in the Equestrian Advent Calendar Competition?

You’re in for a treat! There are books from some people I find hugely inspiring, products from Hiho Silver, Annabel Brocks, Sophie Callahan Photography, Sweet Images Photography, Hoofprints, Noble Outfitters, Robin Roadnight… the list goes on. I hope you love taking part as much as I have enjoyed putting it together. The first one launches on Friday!

How to promote your equestrian and country business this Christmas

How to promote your equestrian and country business this ChristmasToday’s #wisdomwednesday post is all about how to promote your equestrian and country business this Christmas. Now, not only will you see some top tips written below, there’s also a podcast, created in conjunction with Haynet, that I put together about it. Now, one point to note, when I recorded this I did have a cold, so the husky voice isn’t here to stay, but I needed to get this podcast and these tips out into the world. So please excuse that!!

How to promote your equestrian and country business this Christmas – the podcast

The actual podcast is called How Can You Make Your Rural Business Standout This Christmas – and you can listen to the Haynet Podcast on their website. If you’re reading this and thinking ‘God no, I’ve left it too late – all is lost’. Just breathe. It’s fine. I’m going to help you. Ok? 

How to promote your equestrian and country business this ChristmasNow you’ve had a listen to the podcast, I wanted to just cover a few key points here, so you can crack on NOW and get started in promoting your business and your products on the run up to Christmas. Are you ready? Well we will begin…

  • Make sure you know your last posting days – these are your real deadlines. It’s not over until it’s over – by which I mean don’t throw in the towel until it’s time to stop. When you can do no more. If you sell a physical product, get your last posting dates sorted and have that as your new deadline. That’s not to say leave everything until then. DO NOT DO THIS. Get cracking straight away. I’m just saying that all is not lost until the end.
  • Use your social media… and use it well. If you have a promotion or a visual or a competition, make sure it is native to the platform. These always do better. So don’t ask people to share on Instagram. You can’t. You can repost, but you share on Facebook.
  • If an idea you have will work really well on one platform and not any others THAT IS FINE. Use the other platforms to promote what’s going on on the one platform. Not everything needs to work everywhere. That’s fine.
  • Put time into your visuals. Put energy into your images. While Instagram is all about the visual, Facebook and Twitter posts perform better too when accompanied by a good pic.
  • You can advertise – yep – on social media. The targeting is incredible. Make sure your content is good first though, and your visual and message are strong, otherwise it’s a waste of money.
  • Make sure you tell your database about what you’re doing. These people have engaged with your before, so why not give them the chance to engage with you again? Don’t SPAM them, but do keep them informed. It helps.
  • Get on video. Get on video. So that would be GET ON VIDEO. Talk people through your products and get this content on your social media, on your website, in you newsletters.
  • Add value. Write a note. Offer gift wrap. Add value and help your customers out. This will help your user generated content and is also something nice you can talk about.
  • Collaborate. Look to collaborate with brands that could help you. I’m currently working on a mega equestrian prize collaboration, and I can see how well it’s working. You can find out how collaborations work here.

So there you go, some additional information about how to promote your equestrian and country business this Christmas.

And don’t forget to have a listen to the other Haynet podcasts. I alternate these with Sam, founder of this fab platform, and there’s LOADS of information there you can tap in to. Enjoy!

 

Equestrian and country gift guide – for her – part 1

equestrian and country gift guideThis year, I’ve decided to embrace the Christmas spirit full on, and share with you some of my top finds in a series of equestrian and country gift guides. First up, I’m addressing gifts for her… and I’m doing this in a series of videos (along with for him and for children…) so stay tuned.

How have I put the equestrian and country gift guide together?

Well, let’s be clear, I know there will be a LOT of gift guides online this year, but I wanted to tell you how I’ve put mine together. I specifically asked the brands who I am featuring to be involved and picked the products I wanted to feature too. In order to be involved, I needed the product, which I said I was happy to return. Some brands very (very) kindly said I could keep the product they sent, some I have bought for gifts and some I already owned, but the vast majority are being returned… and some you’ll see in the not too distant future… but I’ll tell you more about that soon. I don’t have any issues with people who do it differently at all, but I wanted to tell you how I’ve done it. In the equestrian and country guides you’ll see lots of products from brands I work with, and some from brands I have the pleasure of networking with via my groups on social media. I’m not saying this is a definitive guide, and I am looking forward to getting inspired by lots of other equestrian and country gift guides as Christmas approaches. These are products that I know extremely well and adore, or ones that have caught my eye online and I like how the company operates.

I love supporting small businesses, and I think showcasing products in this way (as well as buying them as gifts!) can help. I’d love it if you’d consider giving this video a thumbs up on Youtube (the video below is on Youtube) and even a channel subscribe – that would be brilliant. But it’s completely up to you. So, without further ado…

 

In this equestrian and country gift guide, you will find…

Annabel Brocks’ reversible faux fur head warmer and neck warmer in bubblegum pink tweed, and her wool Bugsy Hat in navy.

Hiho Silver’s Exclusive Foxtail Bracelet, Exclusive Cherry Roller Bangle (find out about the Cherry Roller Bangle’s iconic design), and a number of CZ Roller Beads (find out why I love the CZ Roller Bead).

Fairfax & Favor’s Henley Drivers in navy (find out about the wow factor your friend/relative will get from Fairfax & Favor’s packaging here).

Evemy & Evemy’s Alpaca Socks (read about Evemy & Evemy founder, Sophie Carroll here).

 

You’ll find links to all the products underneath the equestrian and country gift guide – for her – Youtube video.

Why I love… Liquiproof on my Fairfax & Favor Boots

LiquiproofToday’s blog is all about why I love Liquiproof on my Fairfax & Favor boots.. and if you’re on the fence about buying suede boots, you might just love this blog too!

A while ago, a pair of Fairfax & Favor Reginas entered my life. I had been admiring these for a while but I was definitely concerned about how these would fit in with my life. I have two toddlers, a crazy trailhound, horses, and general madness is very much the order of the day. I do go out occasionally (!) and would wear the boots then. But the suede. The fact that they were made from suede bothered me a lot.

How could suede Reginas bother anyone?

Well, the short answer is, I didn’t want to ruin them. They aren’t cheap to replace and although I loved them, and had loved them for a while, I felt that my lifestyle was incompatible with suede. Suede is BEAUTIFUL when cared for properly, but it can stain easily, it’s not known for its water repellent qualities, and I would be really cross if something got dropped on them, or they got rained on when I was out. And I really, really didn’t want to turned into one of those people that shrieks when it starts to rain and panics that their attire or look will be ruined (we’ve all seen them… it’s like they’re melting when it rains!). As much as I don’t enjoy getting wet (and God knows my hair hates it), I’ve never needed to worry about my footwear getting wet. And I didn’t want to start. I have enough quirks.

Enter Liquiproof

I was talking to Felix (he’s the ‘Favor’ part of the Fairfax & Favor brand!) about my concerns. I wasn’t quite as quirky as above, but he got the idea. And he suggested Liquiproof as the answer to all my suede based problems. I Googled Liquiproof and looked at some of the videos showing the kind of abuse products can take after application… I mean beer, ketchup, milk… all manner of suede hating liquids… and it looked incredible. I mean. It looked a bit too good. How could something do that? It must be full of all sorts of witchcraft, but anyway, I agreed. I mean. I did really want the boots and Liquiproof seemed like the answer to my boot based prayers.

So did it Liquiproof work?

Yes. A million times yes. Fairfax & Favor sell little Liquiproof kits with all you need in them, and clear instructions that even I could follow. I didn’t do much with the boots before applying the Liquiproof as I was worried about them getting damaged, but I think that actually helped as I was applying the Liquiproof to a properly clean surface, so I only needed to do minimal prep. It really was very, very easy to apply (I can do it… and I filmed it as proof – video here or below!) and it’s also eco-friendly and non-toxic. I do genuinely worry that some of the liquids and lotions used around the house, and on products like this, do more harm than good, but according to everything I’ve read on Liquiproof, it’s the exception.

And I found the courage to put my new suede Fairfax & Favor Reginas under the tap when the Liquiproof had dried. And there was no screaming or crying. See the full results here.

 

Have you tried Liquiproof? What have you used it on?