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Thursday, 13 December 2018

Stunning Minimalist Initial Prints


L O V E  A T  F I R S T  S I G H T  N Z


With a very huge thank you to Alisha from Love at First Sight NZ, I was gifted these beautiful initial prints for ALL of my 4 children!! 
They are A3 and absolutely stunning. I adore the minimalist style of them. They include your child's initial, their date of birth, time of birth and weight. 

*video & photos by @focusbybecky





You can choose to either order your print framed or unframed.

UNFRAMED: $20
​FRAMED: $30


Initial Print


Here they are hanging in our home. Thank you Alisha, we love them! 





To find out more you can pop over to the links below x

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Why should you #shopsmall this Christmas? - Abi Copley, Scribed by Abi


Why should you #shopsmall this Christmas? 









I’ve been waiting to craft this piece until after I visited my first Christmas market of the year. I wanted to see if what I thought about shopping small, shopping local, was true. 

For a long time, I've had the intention of moving away from the ‘Big’ shops at Christmas. Until now, being on the other side of the world to my family, I’ve been guilty of using the postage and time excuse! 






So there we were, my friend and I with our kids in tow as we set out yesterday morning on our #shopsmall adventure. I was not disappointed. Everything I presumed when I began to map out this article was easy to see as we wandered and marveled from stall to stall. 



So...be you a first-timer or a seasoned small shopper, here are my top five reasons to #shopsmall this festive season. 


1/Thriving Community-
The first thing to hit me was the wave of noise and excitable energy in the room. Some had come with friends, others had made it a family affair, and some were enjoying the experience alone. The one thing we all shared? The joy of celebrating and reveling in the, albeit temporary, community feel. 

I can’t say I’ve ever had that feeling racing around department stores or battling the hoards in the mall! It isn’t just, ‘In Real Life’ as they say, where this sense of community warms our hearts and gets the festive feeling flowing. When I joined Liked by Becky, I hadn’t just discovered a brilliant guide to shopping small. but happily stumbled into a thriving digital community. Markets are now a regular feature online. The ease of sites like this one you’re on right now means you can indulge in that festive shop small community from the comfort of your sofa; eggnog in hand. 




2/“When you buy from a small business, an actual person does a little happy dance.”
I’ve seen this quote a lot lately, and it is so true! Every time someone asks me to write a piece, no matter how big or small, it makes my heart soar. It was the same in my previous life with MammaKnows. Anytime an order was placed, it meant so much more to me than it would to any CEO of a giant High Street store. 

Sales and figures are not just numbers to us small business owners. They are a reflection of our hopes and dreams. They are validation that the brave steps we took to launch ourselves from the ground were the right ones. 

Anytime you click ‘add to basket’, you are paying it forward. Not only do you get a gorgeous gift, a service that will make your life easier or a special treat for yourself. You are supporting another person or family. Maybe your sale was the first one that person had wished for; the one for which confirmation for is printed out and hung with pride on the office wall. Each time I've bought from a business through this directory. I've received a beautiful thank you, and every purchase yesterday was met with a beaming smile. This isn’t just fake flattery to get you to return. It’s raw, honest gratitude. 


3/Global footprint
Last year, Kiwis spent $6 billion in card transactions in December alone (NZ Herald). That averaged out, according to stuff.co.nz, at 178 transactions per second! That is an unimaginable amount of money in a time frame that makes my head spin. We are all becoming more aware of our Global Footprint when it comes to food, travel and the content of our goods. However, how much do we really consider the effect of Christmas shopping on our resources and poor old Mother Earth? 

The enormous amount of plastic that we order from goodness knows where comes in a laughable amount of packaging! It's already travelled more miles than we could count before it comes to rest under our trees. When you shop small, you become truly accountable for the impact that your festive buying makes. You can talk to the creator and learn about the provenance of their items. More importantly, often these owners are making ethically conscious choices that can only be of benefit to our rapidly depleting resources. 




4/Discovering Creativity
Now we are engaging with each other on issues such as our footprints and making ethical choices, we are seeing an inspiring diversity in what’s being created. The rise in organic fabrics or reusable items has shed new light on products that would once have been passed over as gifts. 

However, it isn’t just new items that are coming through the #shopsmall movement. I come across so many spins on the old favourites that the choice is like nothing before. The creative talent I see in the online small business community and at markets is stunning. By shopping small, you are actively fostering these discoveries and helping to create the space for other fledging ideas to take shape. 


5/Bringing back the essence of Christmas
Reason number five is a bit of a squish of all the points above with a little bit of extra festive love thrown in for good measure! 

Christmas is a crazy time of year, and it seems to be becoming more extreme year on year. Alongside writing I teach in a Primary School. Santa lists are a hot topic from October, with more and more extravagant things asked for. I also hear in the new term that the once longed for toys are now broken or lying unused in the bedroom. It’s not hard to find a harried, frantic parent in the mall. You have to ask yourself, 'what’s it all for?' 


What is Christmas really all about? 


Is it about buying the most expensive gift or having the largest pile under the tree? Don’t get me wrong, I love gift giving and I love receiving. For people like me, it’s my Love Language apparently, and that’s not going to change. In saying that, a well-chosen gift with a personal touch means more to me than anything grabbed off a department shelf store. 




That’s what you get when you shop small. 

You find those unique pieces. You find gifts with a story behind them, the people behind them. Christmas shopping, as I said, becomes about the whole festive experience; not simply something to endure on a crazy Saturday. 

Whether you browse a boutique online or make your way to a market, you are making a step towards bringing Christmas back to what it’s all about; people, community, family. 





So there you have it. My five reasons to #shopsmall this Christmas. 
I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling a mince pie and the hundredth rewatch of ‘Elf’ coming on! 

Before you do, head over to the Directory page here at Liked by Becky and see what gems you uncover for your loved ones. 


Merry Christmas! 

Abi x

Scribed by Abi
Instagram @scribedbyabi




Thursday, 8 November 2018

Paper Heart Design - Beautiful Hand Lettering




I took a Calligraphy night course while I was in High School and I remember spending hours on perfecting my letters. So when I find someone like Nicky from Paper Heart Design, I can see how much time and practice she must have put in to get her hand lettering like this!!

I was lucky enough to be sent two of her prints and they are just perfect! All of Nicky's prints are drawn by hand, then scanned and digitised. They are printed on 250gsm card and are $20.

You can see a couple of photos below of the ones I was sent. I LOVE them!

Enjoy your read,
Becky x


Tell us a little bit about Paper Heart Design

I’m a Graphic Designer by trade. I have a Bachelor of Design degree specialising in Visual Communication from Ara In Christchurch. I’ve always loved typography and my eye was always drawn to artworks where words were the dominant feature. I’d long admired hand lettered art and calligraphy so a few years ago I decided to give it a whirl. I brought some brush pens and got hooked. 
When I became pregnant with my son (now 5 months old) I started to design my milestone books and cards as there were no NZ made products that I loved. They were all too cutesey, or cluttered, or just badly designed! 


Paper Heart Design Baby Milestone Cards


What is your favourite part of running your own business?

I can choose what I want to do, so only work on things I love. This makes a huge difference in creativity. I also love getting custom commissions and seeing and hearing my customers reactions to my work.



Photo by Focus by Becky - Paper Heart Design Hand Lettered Print


What is your favourite product that you design?

My milestone books! 
I take great pleasure in filling mine out each month. I have got a milestone book at the printers for ages one to five, and am working on a school years one now.



Paper Heart Design Baby Milestone Book


What is one thing you do daily to make your business work?

Write a to do list!! 


Photo by Focus by Becky


Where to from here with Paper Heart Design?

I want to keep expanding my range and ideally get my books, cards and prints into more shops.


Paper Heart Design Hand Lettered Print


How can we find out more?

Email: paperheartdesign@yahoo.co.nz


Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Ruby and Bear Handcrafted Kid's Gear



'Through Ruby and Bear, I hope to encourage kids to have fun with fashion, to celebrate and develop their own unique sense of style. Each piece is made by hand with love'. - Fi



I met up with Fi a few months ago for coffee and she bought along some of her products. 
They were adorable and you could clearly see her love for what she does and her care and attention to detail!

Fi lives on the outskirts of Christchurch with her hubby and young daughter.

They have an ever growing number of animals including their dog Ruby, and a flock of sheep led by Bear. It's after these pets that Ruby and Bear // Handcrafted Kid's Gear was named.






Ruby and Bear launched in August 2017 and offers handcrafted hair accessories, jewelry and other accessories made especially with kids in mind.


New - Coming soon!


After seeing the joy her daughter and her cousin found in some jewellery they'd been given, Fi thought "I can do that". She started making jewellery and some clothing, then hair accessories for kids.



Fi is constantly inspired by the creativity and passion of the small business community. One of her favorite aspects of her job is discovering the wonderful things made by other small business owners and introducing them to others through her social media pages.


NEW - Coming soon!


While she doesn't have a favourite item to make, she does get very excited when fabric orders arrive and finds waiting to cut new bows hard! 
It is always an honour for Fi to make items for special occasions such as weddings and christenings and she loves receiving pics of her wee customers wearing their pretties.


A variety of fun and beautiful new products are coming soon, including Ruby and Bear // Fur Kid's Gear!



Hi Vis Neon Glitter Bows


Fi will be a lots of Markets in the next couple of months including the very popular Encraftment Market in Lincoln.
If you are in the area it is a lovely way to view (& buy!) her products!







You can find out more and follow Ruby and Bear here:

Website: www.rubyandbear.nz
Facebook: www.facebook.com/rubyandbearnz
Instagram: www.instagram.com/rubyandbearnz
Email: hello@rubyandbear.nz


The Night Garden Floral Bows

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Busy Bee Playdough - A Natural Alternative!



'A Natural Alternative'




I am always excited about supporting small businesses and Busy Bee Playdough is a brand NEW business! 
Sarah-Rose has obviously put so much time and effort into her business idea and I love all the little extras she has thought about.

Enjoy your read,
Becky x

*All photos @focusbybecky



Green Apple & Coconut Splash Duo


Sarah-Rose is an Early Childhood Teacher and Mum based in Wellington, New Zealand. She is passionate about sensory play experiences for little ones (especially playdough!). 
Her little boy has sensitive skin and since becoming a Mum she noticed a gap in the market when it comes to finding a safer more natural version of playdough!

Busy Bee Playdough is made from all natural colours, scents and ingredients which means it is great for people with skin sensitivities or allergies. There are no harsh chemicals, colours or preservatives. This also means it’s no big deal if it gets eaten and it’s even compostable!
Sarah-Rose also makes a gluten free version for little ones with a wheat sensitivity which means everyone can enjoy Busy Bee Play dough. 



When your Nan's table and plate matches your playdough ;)


The playdough is scented with dried herbs and essential oils. The colours are derived from vegetables, fruits or spices.

Colour Options:

Yellow - You Are My Sunshine (Yellow lemon)
 Green - Flying Saucer (Green apple) 
Orange - Orange Fizz (Orange) 
Purple - Purple Pixie (Jasmine) 
Brown - Chocolate Pudding (Cocoa) 
Blue - Under The Sea (Coconut) 
Pink - Pink Panther (Strawberry)
Red - Fairy Toadstool Red (Vanilla)
Speckled - Little Speckled Frog (Speckled mint green)
Natural - Nudie Rudie (Unscented/natural)





Prices:

Natural Playdough in your choice of colour (200g tin) $7
Natural Playdough Duo in your choice of two colours (200g tin) $8
Playdough Christmas Gift Set $25
Halloween Twin Pack $13

Gluten Free playdough is $1 extra
Add pixie dust (biodegradable glitter) for 50c extra




Our Thoughts:

The Busy Bee Playdough is beautifully soft and fresh as it is made to order. The vibrant colours are immediately attractive to kids. It is scented nicely and everything in this playdough is natural which is the best part!
I love that it is handmade and there are no harsh chemicals, colours or preservatives used, so it is great for our kids!

My daughter and I give this product a huge thumbs up x


Email: busybee.playdough@gmail.com

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Safety Spot Car Decals - Melrose Paper Designs






Safety Spot Car Decals
'Designed to keep children safe'


I found this new product from Melrose Paper Designs and HAD to share it with you all. 
What a fabulous visual way of helping our kids to stay safe!

Enjoy the read and a heads up, with thanks to Mel, I am giving away two on my Facebook page so pop over to enter :)

Becky x

*All photos by @focusbybecky




The Safety Spots have been designed with keeping children safe in mind. They are vinyl decals which can easily be applied to the side of your car. 
Your child is taught how to place their hand on top of it as their safety spot when you are out and about.

We chose to put a white one on our car and it is the large size. With the many school runs, kindy drop offs and outings we have with my 4 kids, I was so keen to give this a go!

My daughter is just over 3 years old. She quickly understood the idea of standing with her hand on the hand :)





Here it is on our car :) I love Mel's design.




My little one is pretty happy about this idea!




The Safety Spot Vinyl Decals are available in lots of different colours including 
Black, White, Hot Pink, Purple, Blue, Yellow, Lime Green, and Aqua.

They come in a size small (approx 9cm x 9cm) and large (approx 13.5cm x 13.5cm)

You can choose to have your Safety Spot personalised with your child's name!

They are easy to apply and last through all kinds of weather.

They are $7.50 – $8.50 depending on the size you choose.

Mel is a NZ mum of one and has such a beautiful business designing greeting cards, tags, personalised frames, cake and cupcake toppers, vinyl decals and more!




You can order online or find out more here:

Email: admin@melrosepaper.co.nz

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

My Happy Crayons




Hand poured, fun shaped crayons!


The crayons from My Happy Crayons are beautifully handmade and so very cute! Sea hand pours them and makes them into different shapes. She very kindly sent me some for my daughter to try.

Enjoy reading my thoughts,

Becky x

* Photos by @focusbybecky






The My Happy Crayons are 100% non-toxic fun shaped crayons. There are so many shapes available including dinosaurs, cars, robots, pineapples, unicorns, hearts, ice creams, stars, garden bugs and many more! You can even be in touch with Sea if you have a specific shape in mind for a custom order.







They would make perfect party bag fillers, stocking stuffers and lovely presents for birthday parties.
They are really great quality and my daughter loves drawing with them :)






My Happy Crayons are available from Sea on her Facebook page .  Some are $1 each and some $2 each, depending on what you choose.





You can find out more here:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/myhappycrayons
Instagram: www.instagram.com/myhappycrayons
Email: myhappycrayons@gmail.com








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