Next week you’ll see horses, cows, sheep, goats, donkeys and Wonky’s at the Border Union Show!
The show starts on Friday 27th with competitions and event judging followed by entertainment in the main ring on Saturday.
We’re bringing some popular bobble hats with us as well as our new range of products which we’re launching online later in the year. You’ll find us in the exhibition hall keen to hear your feedback on the fresh hat designs, new scarf varieties and our twisted and folded headbands.
The variety of animals, food, clothing, crafts, furniture and agricultural vehicles are fun for all ages to see. Last year the kids loved sitting on the mowers and gazing up at the huge tractors. They were also welcome to get into a tiny air cadet plane and pretend to be part of the corps. We watched the Sheep Show and all had a good laugh at the dancing sheep on the stage, a firm favourite among regular visitors. Then we hit the craft and exhibition halls where we had a good shop and enjoyed tasting the yummy sweet and savory delights.
Show me the way
The Border Union, aka The Kelso Show, is the biggest agricultural and equestrian event in the South East of Scotland. Typically it attracts 20,000 visitors over 2 days at Springwood Park in Kelso. Click here to book advance tickets at £9 per adult on Friday and £14 on Saturday, kids under 16 go free! There’s parking on site and a you can stroll easily into town to visit the shops, bars and cafes. If you’re looking for a fun weekend with lots to do, the Border Union is the place for you!
On Saturday I will be back at the Farmers Market in Kelso town square from 0930-1330.
Last month was the first time I had set up a stall at a market in quite a while, my aim for the day was to talk to as many people as possible and ask them to try on some of our new products. When you predominantly sell online and work from a contained space its really important to be able to get face to face feedback on colours, sizing and styles. The weather was glorious and I was really pleased the market was busy with a steady stream of people from the start. There was a good mix of visitors from the local area and tourists from much further afield, all coming to see the variety of local artisan products.
My first sale of the day came quickly with our new twist style headband being snapped up by a very happy fisherman. He told me he has a huge collection of hats as he’s always outdoors so the headband was a perfect addition. This one was made in a mix of yellow, black, red and royal blue, so you’ll now be able to spot him easily in the river.
Throughout the morning I spoke to lots of people, some who had bought from us before and some who had never heard of us but were interested to find out more. I was really pleased to meet Ruth from Galashiels, in 2014 she fell in love with the cute Snow Fairy design from our Christmas competition. We later released the snow fairy for a limited time and Ruth snapped one up which she wore every time she went hill walking with her dog Ollie. She even sent us a really cool picture of herself and Ollie at the top of a mountain in her beloved hat. Having chatted online and shared her story on our Facebook page, it was really lovely to meet her in person.
For me, the most rewarding aspect of being a maker is when you meet people who are really happy to have found you. It’s fantastic to know that they love what you’ve made, whatever it is, and that this item will have, or has already had, a positive impact on them. We use #hatsforallreasons and that is so true, yes everyone has a head and anyone can wear a hat but everyone has their own reason for buying a hat and it’s always interesting for me to find out what that is.
So, I’m really looking forward to setting up our stall at the market again this weekend. I’ve been working on some new colourways and styles in the wonky range and it would be great to get some feedback if you are in the area!
Thanks, Alison 🙂
Fashion Revolution Week 23-29th April
On the 5th anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, which caused 1138 deaths and injured many more people, we are supporting the Fashion Revolution. This campaign highlights the importance for customers to be responsible for their purchases by asking the question, who made my clothes?
As consumers, we should insist on transparency in the fashion industry which will help to highlight factory standards around the world and stop people being forced to work in dangerous environments. The Rana Plaza disaster could have been avoided if the advice of the architects had been acknowledged and the building, which was showing signs of disrepair, had been evacuated. However, to stop production in a large factory would have had a big impact on the operating costs which would mean the consumer wouldn’t be able to save a few quid on their t-shirt. Wow. Everyone needs to make a living and everyone has the right to do so in a safe and secure environment.
We are proud to say ‘I made your hat’ as we love working with textiles and we want to uphold the reputation of the Scottish manufacturing industry. We are a small team and we are passionate about knitwear. Our products are priced at a premium as it is important that we can provide a nice place for our team to work, we can afford to offer a fair wage and we can continue to grow to ensure the sustainability of our business.
Next time you are thinking about a purchase, why not spend a minute to think about where it came from, who made it and would you like to spend time in their factory?!
Our move to the Scottish Borders has opened some exciting opportunities to join our team in Kelso. We are a family run business with combined skills in design, manufacturing, customer service and business development. We’re aiming to recruit people with a passion for design and knitwear who would like to be part of our growing business.
We currently have a job vacancy for someone with supervisory level experience within the textile industry. This person should be comfortable managing a small team, be able to integrate easily and be happy to speak with customers. They will take responsibility for their role as the workshop supervisor and communicate effectively with the rest of the team at all times. We would like to work with someone who can adapt easily to the various tasks in the workshop. We make all of our products in house using a combination of knitting machinery and hand stitching techniques, therefore a high level of skill is an advantage though full training will be provided.
If this is you, or sounds like someone you know please contact me to discuss the details further.
01573 228676 – firstname.lastname@example.org
T’only way is (ey up!) then, down. Team Wonky and friends are just back from a great weekend on the bikes down in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales!
The 2017 Ard Rock Mountain Bike Festival was held in Swaledale, between the villages of Grinton, Fremington & Reeth where we had a fantastic time on two wheels! We also visited various local hostelries sampling the food and meeting up with some of our customers and friends in the mountain bike scene.
- Alison lines up one of the steep chutes on the trail, there was a great atmosphere amongst all the riders and visitors – credit goes to the Ard Rock crew for creating such a friendly vibe.
It’s been a such a hectic year here at Wonky Woolies so our preparation for this particular event wasn’t the best. Not much biking has been on the calendar in the last month but we surprised ourselves fitness-wise in both the race category on the Sunday and by squeezing in a ride at a local favourite of the guys at Hope Technology – Gisburn Forest – on the Friday. No bother!
Thanks to a quick turnaround in production from The Cycle Jersey in Falkirk, we were able to kit ourselves out in new redesigned custom enduro long sleeve jerseys, based on our Ultra Wonky hat design. These guys are real pro’s at what they do so check them out if you’re looking for any custom cycle gear.
Close to 3000 riders were competing in various categories over the three days, the course involved some really challenging terrain and the reward once this had been negotiated (at speed!) was the fantastic event village in the valley below.
- Fast grassy descents, with drops & rocks galore and loose technical chutes through an old copper mine kept everyone alert.
- Lots to see, hear, eat and drink in the sunny event village.
The main arena was complete with live music, a pump track and lots of stall holders displaying their goodies (and competing race teams) including some customers of ours – Stanton Bikes, Vyking Energy & Hope Technology. Great to see you all enjoying the weekend!
If you haven’t visited the Yorkshire Dales, it’s a place where the true meaning of the saying ‘country mile’ comes from! We’ve done a fair bit of driving around the area over our five day visit and now know it can take a long time to travel relatively short distances. However, this is not a slight! The scenery is a variety of serene, lush green hills, rustic & historic buildings and at times, barren and foreboding countryside up high on the top of the fells.
Travelling around the lovely villages and narrow lanes left us yearning for a nice country ale and a good meal, we weren’t disappointed after visits in particular to the Wensleydale Heifer – a superb seafood restaurant and boutique hotel in charming West Witton and the dinner we had at the Aysgarth Falls Hotel in Aysgarth was also a real standout. Give them both a try if you’re in the area.
- Sugar, ahem..equals ENERGY for pedalling! Exquisite desserts at the Aysgarth Falls Hotel.
In the words of a famous and popular TV Show, Winter is Coming – which is naturally our busiest time of year in the UK. We’re almost all set to go here in our new surroundings in Kelso, Scottish Borders. Lots of exciting projects are on the horizon with various commissions from customers, along with our own ideas for new Wonky Woolies to show you!
How many hours of walking does it take to tire out a Border terrier? Hmm, I’m not sure it’s possible but if we’d tried to walk the 85 miles in 28 hours from Glasgow to Kelso as Google suggests, we’d soon be emulating Ashleigh and Pudsey’s amazing dance routines to stun passers by for a lift!
Yes, we’ve moved! Not just along the corridor again but to the other side of Scotland, to the bonnie borders town of Kelso. Having lived in Glasgow for 14 years, it was a big decision to move but one we’re excited to embrace. But, why the borders? This is where I grew up and where we frequently return to visit Maw Wonky, go biking and get a good Sunday dinner. You’ll often see and hear us with our bark machine enjoying the trails around the Tweed Valley, which is now only 30 minutes away! Adding to the excitement of our move is having the beautiful River Tweed once again in the back garden, which is a great place for an interesting afternoon walk and a constant source of inspiration as the seasons change.
We’ve found a lovely workshop in the town of Kelso, which is starting to come together nicely. It’s a great space to work from and will be an exciting hub of activity when our new signs go up and our knitting machines arrive! We’re enjoying getting acquainted with the wealth of local businesses and we’re pleased to say that there is an abundance of craft beer and great food here, woohoo! We’ve also found some really cute boutiques, sourced an essential hardware store and had great service from local joiners and electricians. The borders is an area synonymous with fine quality textiles and we’re already feeling the support from other local designers and manufacturers upon our arrival.
Wonky Woolies was born in Glasgow and grew for 5 years with a collection of talented creatives, working together to make beautiful bespoke knitted hats. Our knitting hub in the heart of Glasgow was full of energy, stupid banter, cakes and prosecco (from tea cups). It was a place of learning, sharing skills and working together. It was a great time together and we can all look back with fondness as our collective lives evolve. Wonky Woolies has brought lots of amazing people together and it will carry on doing so as it continues to grow. THANK YOU to Glasgow for the great times and HELLO to Kelso, lets bring them on! 😀