Yes, the Flinders Island rumour is true: the Swamphen is expanding!
This time of year is a signigicant one for the Swampy: on 29th June 2014 the doors opened for the first time. Two years later Mel took over the business solo, freeing Helen up for coffee roasting & other important tasks. Now, as the Swamphen turns 6, we’re moving next door into the larger, lighter premises of 9 Lagoon Rd!
This move means the Swamphen can take in larger items (eg locally made furniture), expand the range of handmade gifts & plastic-free homewares, and hopefully offer workshops & classes. I have some big dreams!
I’m very conscious of keeping the growth slow & organic though, so I can keep it sustainable long-term. I can’t support my local makers & customers if I burn out! So bear with me as I learn how far I can fly 🙂
The move takes place during the July school holidays (Mon 6th onwards). I’ll be trying to stay open the whole time… we’ll see how well that goes!
Thank you so much to my amazing makers & customers for giving me the confidence to take this next step.
April 2020: It was always my intention to have part of the Swamphen online, but it took a global pandemic to finally push me down the rabbithole! It’s going to be pretty rough for a while, as I’m trying to throw products at it as fast as I can. This means I’m not overthinking the photography and the descriptions. Hopefully they’ll be upgraded once I get the online shop stocked to a decent point.
Postage days are the same as Swamphen opening days (check our instagram or facebook for updates). I’ll aim to get parcels there by 2pm to catch the afternoon mail plane.
If you’re familiar with the Swamphen nest in Whitemark, you’ll have a rough idea of the items I stock. It’s going to be impossible for me to put every item online with pics and descriptions. If you think something exists but you don’t see it here online please contact me. Chances are it’s on the shelf but not online yet.
I’m more than happy to put together packages, and to suggest items. Need something for that niece who’s turning 11? For your cousin who was supposed to be getting married? A little something for yourself? Give me your budget and some guidelines and I can help out.
Yep, it’s the same Swamphen service as always, including free gift wrapping. You’ll have to provide the soundtrack yourself, but know that I’m playing random vinyl while packing your order!
And obvs I’m obsessively washing my hands constantly, usually to Cottleston Pie.
Update July 2020: the excitement of moving the Swamphen nest next door has stalled the online shop…
I currently don’t have time to keep up with adding items, especially since so many islanders have discovered their creative streaks! This one-woman show is flat out adding new things to the shelves and greeting the in-store customers. You’re still welcome to contact me if you’re looking for something specific or would like some ideas, but unfortunately I can’t focus on the virtual store at the moment. The Flinders Island wilderness claims whatever spare time I find!
Like all of us, The Purple Swamphen continually grows & changes. The past four years have seen lots of tweaks and adjustments to the Swamphen’s look, both in store and online. This new website is a great example of that! Massive thanks to Sammi Gowthorp at WhirldWeb for her tech help and encouragement in getting to this point.
Like most islanders, I have several jobs and roles that I need to balance, which means that everything I do needs to be streamlined and scheduled. However, my creative nature means I love spontaneity as well. I love lists and diaries, but hate social media calendars!
You may notice that there is no longer an online shop attached to the site. At this stage I simply don’t have enough hours in my day to maintain it the way I would like. I’m more than happy to chat if you see something you like on my facebook or instagram though. Just send an email via the contact form 🙂
What hasn’t changed is the Swamphen’s twin cores of supporting the island’s creative people, and providing eco-friendly products for home and body. It’s all still delivered in-store with great retro tunes, personalised service, free gift wrapping, and the chance of meeting a baby wombat.