Elsie & Fleur

Three of the best wedding accessories

Are you planning your nuptials for next year? Here are three of the best wedding accessories. 

Countdown to wedding sign
H20cm x W7.5cm. £18
For more information about the product, please click here.

Countdown to wedding sign

To Mum and Dad and bridesmaid wedding heart
H11.5cm. £6 each
For more information about the product, please click here.

To Mum and Dad wedding heartWith love and thanks for a bridesmaid heart

White wedding fabric heart
H13cm. £12
For more information about the product, please click here.

White wedding fabric heart

Pow Wow with Producers

On Thursday, September 19 we are hosting a Pow Wow with Producers event to find potential artisan food suppliers.

We are keen to meet with people who would like to supply us with Westcountry-made food products for the site.

We’re looking to have a price ceiling on products of around £30 or £40 per item ensuring the shopper can buy often exclusive or rare items without a hefty price tag and we’ll be looking at new ranges each season.

There are no upfront payments, percentages or annual fees like many other websites charge, we’re purely after suppliers like any traditional shop might. We’re looking to stock items that could possibly be exclusive to us and are not available at lots of other online or high street retailers.

The Pow Wow with Producers event takes place on Thursday, September 19 at our PR agency, Porcupine PR on Bristol Road in Bridgwater, Somerset from 10am until 6pm.

Anyone interested in attending the event is asked to call us on 01278 440 500 or email hello@elsieandfleur.co.uk to book a slot.

Knatter with Knitters

Calling all knitters! We are hosting a ‘Knatter with Knitters’ event on Wednesday, August 14 to find potential suppliers.

We have products from card makers, crafters who make things from driftwood, designers and glass workers. However, we are still looking for products from knitters.

We’re looking to have a price ceiling on products of around £30 or £40 per item ensuring the shopper can buy often exclusive or rare items without a hefty price tag and we’ll be looking at new ranges each season.

There are no upfront payments, percentages or annual fees like many other websites charge, we’re purely after suppliers like any traditional shop might. We’re looking to stock items that could possibly be exclusive to us and are not available at lots of other online or high street retailers.

The Knatter with Knitters event takes place on Wednesday, August 14 at our PR agency, Porcupine PR on Bristol Road in Bridgwater from 10am until 6pm.

Anyone interested in attending the event is asked to call us on 01278 440 500 or email hello@elsieandfleur.co.uk to book a slot.

 

So here it is merry Christmas...

We’re on a Christmas roll at the mo taking thousands of Christmas product photo shots this week at various locations all over the Westcountry and the festive fun looks set to continue throughout July.

We’ve taken some great festive snaps at a beautiful cottage at Kingsbury Episcopi in deepest, darkest Somerset and also at a lovely country house in Castle Cary.

We’ve been munching mince pies, hanging holly and ivy, titivating pressies, arranging decorations, talking about reindeer and much, much more.

A huge thanks to Alan at Bailey Ridge Garden Plants in Dorset for providing us with a real Christmas tree in June. It’s a wonderful place near Sherborne. Got to go now as the reindeer need feeding...

Elsie’s story continued…

If you've been following our progress at Elsie & Fleur you will have already read all about one of our namesakes Elsie and her life.

She has been the partial inspiration for our forthcoming retail website as she was a keen crafter in the days when it was essential to be able to make your own clothes, gifts and housewares.

As we’ve started to develop the business and gain momentum we’ve been able to do more research about Elsie’s background and have found out lots of interesting new information about her.

We’ve been able to get hold of Elsie’s birth certificate, which says she was born in the November the year before we thought she was and that her arrival wasn’t registered until the following January.

Surprisingly there is a name for her father on the birth certificate, so the family story about her being illegitimate may not have been true after all. But as we have no close living relatives to chat to about all this we’re just going by gut instincts.

The name they have put down for her father is the brother of the man who eventually became her stepfather. This man, as far as we’re aware did not have anything to do with Elsie and died when she was fairly young. He never married her mother and her mother also did not look after her when she was a child.

She was brought up by a lady called Mrs Eaves, who wasn’t related to her as far as we’re aware. Elsie then went to live with her mother and her stepfather after they married.

The man on her birth certificate was never mentioned by Elsie in her lifetime. Also she was the one who said her father was an Italian chef and she definitely had dark, Latin colouring and looks.

Her birth certificate was a closely guarded secret. But was it because Elsie was a year older than she told everyone or that her mother wanted people to know. Or was it to do with the name they used for her father?

Without someone living and known to ask it’s tricky to work it all out, Elsie did have a half brother who she fell out and lost touch with, so it would be interesting to see if we can find his son and any grandchildren. That’s where we’re headed next…

What is Elsie & Fleur – ethos behind the business

Elise & Fleur is a new online boutique for food, garden, home and lifestyle products that have been made with love by artisan crafters and creators in the Westcountry. Although our sales will be made nationally, products will be sourced purely from the Westcountry – ‘the best of the West’. 

We aim to offer people the chance to buy unusual, handmade yet affordable items. We appreciate people may source the components of what they make elsewhere but all the items featured will be handmade in the Westcountry.

We are currently sourcing products to populate the site for a summer range, an autumn range and then a Christmas range (there may be some overlap in products as they may be featured in all three ranges depending on what they are). 

We want to provide a ‘happiness guarantee’ to suppliers and customers alike so we have a good working/customer relationship that is mutually beneficial and enjoyable to all. There will be a no quibble returns policy for customers for example. Suppliers will be offered fair terms and fair prices.

What are we looking for supplier wise?

We’re looking for people who would like to supply us with Westcountry-made products for our website. We’re keen to hear from anyone who makes their own home, garden, food and lifestyle items. We are also looking at a ‘Little Fleur & Elsie’ children’s range of clothing and toys etc.

We’d like to showcase some of the best of Westcountry crafts and to offer people the chance to buy unusual yet affordable items online.

We’re keen to meet with food producers with mail order-able products, card makers, illustrators, sewing geniuses, knitters, designers, crafters who make things from driftwood, glass workers, potters and anyone who is crafty really.

We’re looking to have a price ceiling on products of around £40 per item, ensuring the shopper can buy often exclusive or rare items without a hefty price tag and we’ll be looking at new ranges each season.

Why are we doing it?

  • Because we all deserve to buy things made with love. We’re not fans of the mass market items made overseas, but appreciate in this country we have lost our manufacturing capacity. We’d like to keep money circulating in Great Britain, to support the lifeblood of the country – small businesses.
  • We want to buy things that we know our next door neighbour doesn’t have. We’re looking for a gentle start and something that will build gradually.
  • We believe there’s a market for unique, handcrafted items that are the best of the West/British but don’t carry a hefty price tag. We’re in a recession and people want value for money.

Who was Elsie?

Elsie represents the inspiration for the vintage side of our online boutique. She was a real person. 

Her exact birthday and age still remains a bit of a mystery. For years her birthday was celebrated by her family in January, when in fact it was in November, and the year she was born was hazy too. 

Elsie was born around 1906 in Woodbridge, Suffolk but as she was illegitimate, and her father was unknown to all but her mother, in later life she lied about her date of birth to avoid the shame she felt.

In those days being born outside of marriage and of ‘dubious parentage’ was a massive social stigma. It had a significant impact on her life and as a child she felt like an outsider.

To this day, no one knows who Elsie’s father was, but family legend has it that he was an Italian chef, hence her definite, dark, Latin looks.