We had always planned to take some time off once our gallery closed and we relocated from Derbyshire to Cumbria. It’s been a huge move for us, moving further away from our family & friends but to a place we had always dreamed of living. We couldn’t have possibly have predicted how strange this period of our lives would be however, moving house one week before lockdown began.
What was to be a time of exploring our new county and hosting friends & family in our new home just couldn’t happen. We had planned to pack so much into this time before we opened our website again, instead we stayed safe, unpacked slowly and felt blessed to have (after a 5 years hiatus) a garden again.
Now, in what we will no doubt reflect upon in years to come as the strangest period of our lives, we begin to rebuild our business in a new location and under cloud of Covid-19 (and whatever the aftermath of this will be). Having had the time to really slow down, stop in fact and just consider how we want our business to be shaped in the future has been valuable time. So much of the last five years have been a whirlwind with days/weeks blurring into one another its has been a real luxury to have time to think.
So as we get ready to reopen our website on May 4th, we have made some changes, refined what we do, to make way for some exciting new developments to share in the pipeline for 2020.
When we had the bricks and mortar gallery & store it made sense to have a growing range of products over the years. Our range grew from lampshades & cushions to include fabrics, roller blinds, china mugs, table mats, coasters, kitchen textiles, candles & diffusers, and most recently handwash & body lotion.
After my Psoriatic Arthritis diagnosis at the end of last year I knew I could no longer work such long hours, manage the commitment of the gallery and have the time to look after myself properly. Having chosen not to take the medication route in favour of a more holistic approach, I needed time to focus on my health, diet and fitness . Our move to the Lake District has given us this precious time and a chance to regroup our lives & businesses to find a new way forward that works for us.
In the 5+ years we’ve been designing our fabrics and making our products two ranges have stood tall above all the others. With sales steadily growing year after year, fantastic feedback and repeat customers our best selling products have always been lampshades and candles. Now if you didn’t know our story, without all the other products, a company selling lampshades and candles might seem a little strange.
So we’ve made the decision to simplify our offering and separate our ranges in 2020.
Lomas & Lomas will be now be focusing on lampshades only and our new standalone candle brand will be launched in September. This helps us achieve our slower, simpler work/life balance whilst being able to really focus on our two core best-selling products.
Our nature inspired handmade lampshades will still be available in 3 sizes 25cm, 30m and 45cm diameter. Our cushions will remain on sale while current stocks last, so if you've been thinking about buying one now is the time. We will no longer be taking orders for fabric and roller blinds.
Our new candle brand, FERN+FELL, will take everything we have learned over 10 years of making candles and push our green credentials forward a pace or two. If you’ve been a fan of our candles for a while, or we’ve chatted in store about the direction we’ve moved the candles in you, will know we keep striving to make improvements all the time. We removed any unnecessary packaging, swapped metal/plastic lids for sustainable timber ones, we print our own labels using water based eco-friendly inks. We recycle and re-use postal packaging. We’ve always used the highest quality waxes and fragrances but have been moving towards using more pure essential oil fragrances and moving away from perfumes & soy wax for the last year.
We still want to make a small batch product, with sustainable ingredients that literally don’t cost the earth it's resources. Whilst we have loved using non GM soy wax for its performance it’s still a by-product of a wider industry that is responsible for a huge amount of deforestation, is grown on an industrial worldwide scale requiring a huge amount of water, has a negative impact on soil erosion and it’s shipped from the USA. Monoculture crops can have such a negative ecological impact on the regions they grow in. The US, Brazil & Argentina produces 80% of the world’s Soy crops with many plantations within the Amazon regions. The more we have learned about Soy, the less it feels right to keep using it.
FERN+FELL will be 100% natural. Our wax will be a special blend of coconut & rapeseed, our fragrances will be 100% essential oils and we continue to use cotton/linen wicks for the cleanest burn.
Why use rapeseed & coconut wax?
• Produced in Europe, less air miles
• Produced from sustainable crop
• No GM crop
• Not intensively farmed, does not cause deforestation
• Rapeseed is a high nectar crop which supports our bee population
• Vegan, cruelty free and NOT tested on animals
• Excellent hot & cold scent throw
• Burn time exceeds 40 hours + on 275g candles
We will be busy this summer perfecting our fragrances. From September we will have a new separate website and will be offering a made to order candle service which means you get the freshest possible candle handmade for you. To keep up with our launch preparations follow us on Instagram at @fern_and_Fell
Garry continues to sell his photography through his online gallery and will be updating his portfolio with new work all the time.
Towards the end of the year I will have a new project launching too called A Story of Home which will be an interiors & lifestyle journal - but more of that another time.
That was a lot to read, if you made it this far *HIGH 5*
Thanks for reading, you can stay up to date with our latest news on our Instagram feed.
Bye for now