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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 πŸ™‚

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.

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Flinders Island handmade goes online!

Purple Swamphen Flinders Island handmade online shop

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!

Mel x

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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!

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