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Showing posts from 2018

It’s now time to choose ethical gifts that show you care about the environment.

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I get very angry, when I’m out walking my two little pooches along the local beach, and find items of plastic that have been washed up on the shoreline. So much so, that I now carry a box with me, to collect discarded plastic items and take them to the recycling centre. I know this gesture isn’t as impressive as Rob Thomas, who recycles the plastic he finds on his beach to make kayaks for fellow kayakers to collect more plastic, but every little helps as they say.

Over the past 12 months TV programmes, like the BBC & David Attenborough’s excellent Blue Planet IIseries, have raised our awareness of the harm that single-use plastics are doing to the environment. Here at Redside, I make sure that all members of the Hartley tribe recycle the packaging we bring into our abode. And our beautiful home town of North Berwick is currently running initiatives for everyone to replace as much plastic as they can.

Thankfully manufacturers are now waking up to the public swell of unpopularity tow…

Why meeting in person to discuss branded gifts is SO important

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Let me share a little story with you, about a prospective new client that I met recently. This recruitment consultancy, who work in the science sector, were contacting branding and marketing companies asking for their help. They needed to come up with giveaway ideas for an imminent trade show. To date, not a single organisation had offered them any assistance. Shameful! 
Those who know me, know that I love to brainstorm gift ideas with clients. So I grabbed my coat, hopped in the car, and braved the drifting snow from East Lothian through to Glasgow. It would be an understatement to say that the recruitment consultancy were literally blown away by the extra mile that I was prepared to go, in order to meet them. Especially as companies they’d contacted, and who were within their immediate vicinity, hadn’t even returned their calls!

Our meeting went on longer than scheduled. I know what you’re thinking here, and no, it wasn’t because I was talking too much! It was because we suddenly fou…

Bespoke gifts, handmade with love

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When I’m not looking for exciting promotional gifts to brand for my clients, I adore getting all creative. And with Valentine’s Day almost upon us, that creativity is currently being channelled into my Heart Chunks. These are a little gift idea that I developed a few years ago, when I took a sabbatical to work with an up-cycling business and kickstart my artistic interests again.


I start by finding an appropriate piece of wood – it can be any size or type – which I then lovingly sand down. Next I paint a heart or two directly on the wood, before applying wax as a protective layer. Recently I’ve modified the design by adding wee cowrie shells, that I collect during walks on my local beach, to the heart shape. I love the different colours that their exteriors provide and the variation in texture they add. 

Thanks to the materials and colours that I choose, each handmade Heart Chunk I create is unique. I guess that’s why they've proved to be such popular gifts with friends. A couple…

Making sure your branded merchandise is fit for 2018

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I adore working with clients from the hospitality and leisure sector, they’re always such fun! Like Hastings Hotels for example. My association with them stretches back over a number of years.

For those not in the know, Hastings Hotels is Northern Ireland’s premier hotel group. Established by Sir William Hastings more than 50 years ago, their portfolio now consists of six luxurious properties across the province. Two of their five star hotels - Culloden Estate and Slieve Donald – include wellness therapy and health facilities called The Spa.

January, and the start of a new year, is traditionally the time when people decide to embark on a new fitness regime. So it’s not surprising to learn that the The Spa, in both locations, are super-busy. Hotel guests and non-residents are enjoying the excellent facilities and wonderful array of therapeutic treatments, that they provide. It’s also not unusual to find the odd visiting celebrity enjoying these havens of tranquility too.

Originally Ha…