Is everything in your shop made on Flinders Island?
Oh how I wish it could be! Unfortunately we are a tiny community of incredibly busy people (very low unemployment, very high level of volunteerism), so there just aren't enough hours in anyone's days for them to make all the cool things. About 70% of our instore stock is locally made, 10% has a local connection (someone's mum / aunt / best mate), and 20% is sourced from wonderful creatives on the big island (Tasmania) or beyond. The online shop has a higher focus on Flinders Island made; I'll generally only list "offshore" items if they strongly capture an essence relevant to the island.
Do you offer gift wrapping?
Yepperoony. Online orders automatically come wrapped, but generally all as one parcel. If you'd like certain combinations of items wrapped for specific recipients let us know at checkout and we can divvy up the goods into little presents. In store it's a free service we offer, although a gold coin donation in our Island Causes pot doesn't go astray ;)
I love that cool thing you posted on Facebook the other day; can I buy that? It's not on your website.
Generally, yes! With over 600 items on my shelves there's no way I can list everything in the online store. If you see something you like on our social media, or forgot to get something when you were here on holiday last week, let me know and I can do a custom listing for you (assuming that the little treasure hasn't sold already, which does sometimes happen).
What shipping company do you use?
We ship via Australia Post as that's what we have available on Flinders Island. We find that it's the fastest and most reliable way to send items to and from the island. Plus we like supporting the little local post office business.
Where is The Purple Swamphen located?
We're at 7 Lagoon Rd, Whitemark, Flinders Island. We're in the same building as Pepper Berry Cove cafe (which used to be called Freckles Cafe, and Sweet Surprises before that). Our other neighbour is Killiecrankie Enterprises, and we're across the road from Roberts Ltd (rural supplies) and the Bakery. You'll find your way around town in a jiffy ;)
I'm coming to Flinders Island; on what days is the Whitemark shop open?
For most of the year the Whitemark shop is open on these days:
Wednesdays, Fridays 10am- 4pm
Saturdays 10am - 1pm
During December and January I usually add in Mondays 10am - 4pm, with some extra hours as required in the lead-up to Christmas.
Why isn't the Whitemark shop open every day?
Oh boy, I'd love to. Hanging out among the beautiful things, listening to vinyl vibes. It'd be great. The reality is, though, that I'm a creative person (which is part of the reason I opened the shop) and I need time to make stuff too! Plus, like many Flinders Islanders, I have more than one job. It all needs careful balancing, and while I may let it tilt towards customer convenience during the Christmas / summer season I'm very mindful of keeping enough time for myself and my family during the rest of the year. Considering Flinders Island (and particularly Whitemark) has a weekly heartbeat based around the freight boat schedule it makes sense to be open on the days when most people are in town.
If you're really on a tight schedule and would like to have a browse on a day I'm not usually open please contact me and I'll try work something out for you. It may be that I'm coming to town anyway and can meet you there :)
Artists & creators
I make stuff; can I sell it through you?
I love welcoming new artists to the Swampy nest! Preference is given to creators from Flinders & Cape Barren Islands, but if you make beautiful things that fit an unfilled niche then I'll definitely be interested in hearing from you. I do have some guidelines though, to make sure your products are a good fit for our customers:
- Great design and quality workmanship. If you've poured your heart and soul into something, it shows. Some flaws are a beautifully inevitable part of the handmade process, but if you have brush hairs stuck in your varnish or loose crimps on your necklaces then things are going to come unstuck for us all pretty quickly. I don't mind if you're learning new skills and techniques (hey, I love it when someone decides to try something new!) but where possible please use quality parts and strong techniques.
- Packaging & labels. I know we're all trying to be environmentally friendly and to minimise our packaging, but a little bit of branding goes a long way. At the very least it gives me something to stick the price tag on. But considering many of our products are bought as gifts it makes sense to promote the "made on Flinders Island / Tasmania" detail. The buyer may know where your item came from but will the recipient know how to find you if they decide they love your stuff?