The Swamphen Goes Analogue (Again)

Purple Swamphen Flinders Island beach

Well, it was amazing while it lasted (thank you, wonderful supportive people!), but the time has come to officially turn off my increasingly-neglected online store 🙁  I can’t believe how busy it’s been in-store since July! The shop move coincided with Tasmanians being encouraged to explore their own state, so it’s been wonderfully bonkers busy adjusting to a new space and chatting with lovely visitors.

Anyone who’s ever sold something online will know how long it can take to snap a photo of something, upload it, write the guff to go with it, promote it to potential buyers, then arrange to send it to the new owner. Imagine doing that for many multiples of items… most of them one-off unique treasures… well, you get the idea. I need twice as many hours in my days. I’d much rather focus on greeting people in store and chatting about our wonderful items and island.

I’m still happy to post items off Flinders: if you think I might stock that doover you’ve been looking for, do get in touch via Instagram or email (hello AT Unfortunately the complicated nature of Facebook means that Messenger is awkward and slow for me… if that’s your preferred message app then use it, but it might take a day or two for me to get back to you (compared to a couple of hours for insta or email).

Anyway, I like to think that the slower gentler nature of the in-store experience suits Flinders Island better… it certainly suits me to take a day off and head to the beach instead of feeling tied to a computer! 🙂

The Swamphen finds a new nest!

Purple Swamphen Flinders Island sunset

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.

Just A Card

“If everyone who’d complimented our beautiful gallery had bought ‘just a card’, we’d still be open”

Have you heard of the Just A Card campaign? I hadn’t until recently, but it really resonates with me!

Just A Card was founded by Sarah Hamilton, who read the above comment from a shop owner who had recently closed doors. Sarah decided something needed to be changed, so started encouraging small purchases from local businesses and makers.

Often we visit handmade shops & market stalls, and feel awkward that we can’t afford the big things, or perhaps the items aren’t really to our tastes. A graciously simple way to give support is to buy a card!


Continue reading “Just A Card”