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#OutdoorPeople, Christmas, Diary, Exhale, newsletter, Online Shop, Shop, snowdon, sustainability -

Phew. What a  year 2014 was. I can't believe Outdoor People is now over seven months old! I must admit on stepping down from Play England back in March, and leaving the NCB in May, setting up my own company was a very scary step to take. And to try to build it as a 'social enterprise' an even scarier one. Most people don't even know what a social enterprise is, and frankly even those that do have many different definitions! Could I cope with the drastic change in income? Could my husband? Could I cope without a great team around me? Where on earth would I get stuff to sell and could I cope with not just giving stuff away??? How could I keep ensuring what I do benefits children? So anyway  after a very blustery launch in May I set out with a clear mission:

To Make the Outdoors Easy - especially for families and children
IMG_0618 And with a lot of hard work, building on existing networks and backing from friends and family, and the many fabulous customers, it does indeed seem to be working! So I want to use this first blog of 2015 to say Thank you To so many folks...
  • Everyone we've worked with over the last year:
    • The lovely people who have commissioned work from us;
    • all the wonderful customers and folks that have come to the stall;
    • the folks behind Exhale festival;
    • and most definitely the families that came camping!
Big thanks too to the great folks at the Tornado Boiler Company (the Storm Kettles), Kairaasi (the tiffins), Cake Club Clothing (the hats) and Whitby & Co (who distribute Klean Kanteen and Niteize) for being the first to back the rather weird idea of a high-end design-led outdoor gear market stall! So what next? The Board of the 'social' bit of the 'Social Enterprise has just expanded and I'll be introducing you to the new board members soon. Fingers crossed we'll have some projects to make a practical difference locally and further afield soon. Nationally I'll continue to be supporting The Wild Network as a board member, to lobby, campaign and shout about the critical importance of kids being outdoors, not just for their own sake (and the sanity of their parents/teachers/families!) but for the future of the planet... I'll also be doing what I can to support the London wide campaign to get us named 'Greater London National Park', as well as continuing to help other locally based organisations that get kids outdoors. We've just completed the first phase of Hackney Wild Walks and I'll be discussing with the new board - and the council - where to next on that. And what about the 'Shop'? IMG_6047 I'll be spending part of the next four weeks revamping the website a bit and thinking about where the 'shop' will go as the seriously 'enterprise' bit of the social enterprise. We'll be back in the Schoolyard of Broadway Market on Saturday January 17th, and folks can order online, first post out will be Monday 5th. The 'shop' has really done as well as I could have hoped - and far, far better than my mum expected!! - so what next?? Do I just consolidate and build up the stall and online? Or do I look for a concession or a shop? Or do some pop up shops? Thoughts from you as Outdoor Peeps are very welcome! So here's wishing you many fantastic Outdoors Adventures for 2015, and hoping they are good ones!
Happy New Year 2015 original
Happy Outdoors New Year 2015!

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black friday, Diary, newsletter, Shop, social enterprise -

Just write "MakeBlackFridayGoOutdoors" at the checkout and for this weekend only you can get a whopping 15% discount... Click on through to the online shop Even if you aren't looking to buy anything just now I'd really appreciate feedback - the shop is an integral foundation for the social enterprise, and a great way to connect with folk about the message. But it only works if it works!! So constructive feedback on any aspect very welcomed. Not everything is up yet, but rest assured it's built on a trusted platform - Shopify - and trusted customers have fully tested all the integral 'shop' bits so payment etc is all sorted. I've a pile of recycled brown paper, string and recycled Jiffy bags for postage, and biodegradable bubble wrap on the way... Keeping it green and as sustainable as I can isn't cheap, but not much point being a social enterprise and undermining my principles in the postage! And as an added incentive - and to help me practise! - I'll gift wrap your parcels if you ask me to and say you saw it on the blog, Fb, Insta or Twitter! Make it easy to get outdoors, and lay down some memories this weekend! IMG_5794.JPG

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Alite, Atlasware Flasks, Boreas, East London Design Show, ELDS, Event, EzyStove, kairaasi, Klean Kanteen, LuminAID, rucksacks, Scrubba, Shop, Storm Kettles, Ticket To The Moon, tiffins, Truman Brewery, Wild Woodgas -

I've been going to the East London Design Show for, oh, twelve years as a punter, and I'm now going to get to go as a trader! I love it because I've picked up reasonably priced, beautiful presents - jewelry, homewares, toys, knitware and the like - that just aren't available on the high street. And every year you see things that two years later you see in John Lewis or Liberty for five times the price! There is a great mix of local and international designers, with small businesses like mine that hand select the best products for a niche market. Pretty things, practical things and stuff that is just beautifully designed. There are also good food traders, and of course it's at Truman Brewery, so round the corner from Spitalfields Market and Brick Lane. You can take a look at all the exhibitors here and check out my page on the ELDS website here. I'll be taking along most of our market range, with a few new Scandinavian, US and British products on special offer. You can use the 2 for 1 voucher below, or if you'd like a VIP pass then email me quick - I've a very few to give out to valued customers! ELDS_2for1_voucher I'll be figuring out how to display the best of Outdoor People on a stall a third the size of the one at Broadway Market, but hey ho, nothing beats a challenge! And don't forget, we'll be ploughing profits back into projects getting kids outdoors, so please tell your friends and relatives and ask them to come on down! Here's just some of the stuff we'll have there... IMG_7329 IMG_4470 IMG_4748 IMG_5253 IMG_3252 IMG_2499 IMG_3473 IMG_4442 IMG_4774 IMG_4953 IMG_4972 IMG_5150 IMG_5250 IMG_5276  IMG_5417 IMG_5450 IMG_5460 IMG_5345 And lots more stuff to make it easy to get outdoors... PS if there is anything you specifically want do let me know, so I can deliver or put it aside for you!

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Diary, Hackney Today, hammocks, newsletter, Shop, update -

In this week's update:

  • Outdoor People make the papers!
  • Shiny new gorgeous kit on sale!
  • Pop up shop on Saturday with intern Phoebe!
Been a very busy week, especially trying to get the website tidied up as I knew we'd be getting some press coverage. OP in the paper 2 It was great to see ourselves in the local paper, especially in the 'green' bit as we are all about the #reuse #reduce #recycle and of course #savingtheplanetonecupatatime! For those of you less familiar with the sometimes ridiculously long hashtags, I use them to join communities on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr. I went to a great seminar on communicating business the other week (thanks Ezri!) and one nugget was 'a tweet without a hashtag is lonely'. The community has certainly been growing faster since I started using them! So shiny new kit! This weekend we are premiering the Ticket To The Moon hammocks and I can tell you they are GORGEOUS! Soft and cool to the touch, they are beautifully made in Bali by a bunch of travellers who were looking for the perfect travel hammock. They've also set up a foundation in Indonesia to support education and health of communities You can check out their ethical credentials and production values here. They aren't easy to get in the UK so do let me know if you have requests! Hammock 1 We are also going to start properly selling what many think is the best festival/park/camping chair on the market - the Ergolife Stol portable chair. Designed in Sweden, it is ultra comfortable, looks good and weighs almost nothing to carry round.ergolife chair 2 Pop up shop on Saturday with intern Phoebe! So this Saturday we'll be doing not one but TWO stalls as our fantastic intern Phoebe takes a mini pop up stall to the All Nations House Car Boot Sale! She'll be specialising in gorgeous kids clothing from the Cake Clothing Company, a youth-led Hackney based enterprise, and yummy (organic, local and lovingly made) Lickalix lollies. She'll also have various outdoors related good second-hand stuff and there will be lots of other great stalls. A proportion of the profits, and all of the Lickalix income, will go to the Resident's Association to keep improving the children's 'Play Priority Area' and communal area that used to be car parking spaces. 20140711-032636-am-12396316.jpgcakey Lickalix 10358551_10152088013410443_6227274599799336306_n Do check out the website and let me know what you think. Wordpress is a funny space as it all updates live, but means we are always fresh! Make it easy to get outdoors and have a wonderful weekend Cath  

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