Tuesday, May 27, 2008

We only charge you what it costs us ....

... one of the biggest problems I've encountered since starting Twice has been the issue of Post & Packing charges. When Twice started I did alot of research on other websites and plumped for a flat fee of £4.50, which seemed just about average. But then, because people are often just buying something small from us, it started to cause a problem on smaller orders and so it went down to £3.95 - but that caused a huge problem because things like our cork bath mats, which we sell alot of, cost us £4.30 in post alone, and if someone orders 2 (which often happens) the post is £8.00. Anyway, I've been hoping to find a solution to this that will keep everyone happy and finally we've cracked it. The whole of our Post & Packing has been updated so that all our P&P charges are at cost - it's been a time consuming project but it means is that every order we receive now only pays what it costs us for post and packing. We charge the actual postage or courier cost based on weight and then add £1 or £1.50 for our time and the packing materials, which I think is pretty fair. At the same time, we've made sure that we can send orders anywhere in the world on the same basis - which is a breakthrough.

One of the things that spurred me on to get this organised was receiving an email from a lady in the US called Laurie Crouch who runs the US Lucas Terrier Club - those of you who follow my blog will know that we have a Lucas called Pebble - and Laurie somehow found Twice through the wonders of the interweb. She kindly mailed and said that she would love to tell people about the company and did I mail to the US? Nothing like that to put a rocket under the proverbial and so now I can tell her that the answer is 'Yes'! This also gives me a chance to put another photo of Pebble on the blog!

Monday, May 12, 2008

I think we've hit a vein ...

The flyers for the new courses went out last week and I am delighted to say that the response has been fantastic. We have got bookings across the three courses and limited numbers left now on the Foraging and Cutting Flowers days. We're not so restricted with numbers on the "Using Colour in the Home" day with Joa Studholme, so there are quite a few places left there, which is good. Joa works with Farrow & Ball developing colours and advising their top clients, so we are very lucky that she is coming to Inchyra to talk for us.

I am so encouraged by the response that I have now booked some of the autumn workshops/courses. Of our current speakers, Jane Lindsey is coming back to do Christmas flowers and wreaths and the Forage Rangers should be taking us mushrooming (yummy!). We're adding a great new course, which will be called something like Winetasting for Beginners, with Nicola Arcedeckne-Butler, who is one of the few female Master of Wines in the country. I'm sure this will be a great day - Nicola will point people in the right direction with 8 or 10 different types of wine. And I'm also talking to Jeremy Gow of Gow Antiques who gives talks around the country on recognising and restoring antiques - the Fraud Squad go to Jeremy's talks! This will be great for anyone like me who walks into an auction house and is just not quite sure whether what they're looking at is what it says it is! I don't think we can teach people everything in a day, but we can certainly add to their understanding.

Just need to get cookery covered and then we've got another fantastic line-up!

If you think you're not on our mailing list for the courses, do email me with your name and address at info@thetwiceshop.co.uk and I'll make sure you get details - and if you want to book a place on any of the courses click here.

Friday, May 02, 2008

New Twice Summer Courses

I have been thinking for some time that it would be great to organise some courses around subjects that would interest me - on the basis that if I'm interested others might be too. I'm always thinking of new things that Twice can do. Many of them stay as thoughts but this idea had wings and I've just sent out flyers to our mailing list with information on the first series of one day courses that we will be running here in June.

The courses are all on subjects that I'd like to know more about - we've got Xa Milne and Fiona Houston who write a column for Telegraph Weekend and have just had a wonderful book called "Seaweed and Eat It" published. They are coming to take people foraging, show them what's good to pick and then do a cookery demonstration with what they've found. Nettle gnocchi appeals to me!

Then we've got what promises to be a really inspiring day when Jane Lindsey, from Snapdragon, is going to teach everyone which are the best cutting flowers to grow in Scotland, how to get flowers to last longers once inside (I, for one, will be very interested in that bit!) and how to arrange and wrap them to produce a really professional bouquet. I always prefer to give flowers from my garden if I can - but I can never get them looking really good, so this will be invaluable. I may have to reserve a place on this course for myself!

And I'm really thrilled about the last day we've organised in this first series. Joa Studholme is the colour consultant that Farrow & Ball call on when their clients need advice on which colours to use in their homes. She has years of experience putting colours into every conceivable type of building (the photo shows her in the Long Room at Lords cricket ground) and lectures on the subject around the world. I am so pleased that she has agreed to come and talk for us - it will be brilliant for anyone who is a little bit nervous about how to get colours right. Colour is one of those things that is often really hard to get right - but when you do get it right the results can be spectacular.

I have lots of plans for more courses - so, I'm on tenterhooks to see if people are receptive to these first three so that I can go ahead with a series in the autumn.