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  • Why encouraging your tribe to bring their passions to work is critial to your brand success

    “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while” – Steve Jobs

    People connect with people

    Ever wondered where our unique designs come from.....? At Ulster Weavers we are proud to have a hub of super talented designers who produce creations which fit perfectly with our brand values.

    We understand that our people, and in particular our design team, are the face of our brand. We want their designs to reflect our brand promise but equally to reflect their own unique style. That is the very reason why we have cultivated a culture that encourages our designers to bring their own ideas and passions with them to work every day and transpire them into their designs.

    Creativity breeds success

    In 2012 LoveOlli was established by Ulster Weavers designer Olive (Olli) McCaughan. Olive had a passion for found objects and pretty patterns and her entrepreneurial spirit encouraged her to pursue this further and develop her own brand.  LoveOlli creates inspiring and unique gifts using a select group of trusted British and Irish suppliers and fits perfectly with the Ulster Weavers parent brand. Olive has created a range of candles, home fragrance and bath and body products inspired by all the things she loves.

     

     

    According to research conducted by Harvard Business Review, by allowing people to pursue their passions you are 'fanning the flames of motivation' and motivating people to perform at their peak is especially vital in creative work.

    Ulster Weavers thrive on a culture that is built on diversity and encourages collaboration. These strong foundations have allowed us to create traditional ranges such as our highly acclaimed Royal Wedding & Royal Baby collections to our more contemporary designs such as Bee Keeper and Bountiful Floral.

    Never underestimate the value of emotional connection 

    We ensure that the human touch is evident throughout the product journey. From taking the time to understand our customer needs; to our designers taking the concept and putting their individual mark on their artwork; which transpires into a beautiful hand-drawn design, to the process of transferring this onto a textile in our factory. Each item is then elegantly wrapped and packaged by hand.

    Show up every day as the best version of yourself

    One of the most disappointing traits in the world is wasted talent. Do not let that be you and do not let that be the people that you are leading.  Live up to your potential and encourage others to do the same. Love what you do and do what you love. That is when the magic happens.





  • Pay it forward - why collaboration with local business is key

    At Ulster Weavers we are always motivated to use our expertise in new product development, international manufacturing opportunities and bespoke product sourcing to help local businesses and entrepreneurs to grow their business and their brand.

    We are especially keen to work with likeminded passionate people. Hence our excitement when we were approached by the super talented guys at Skunkworks Surf Co.

    Akin to Ulster Weavers, Skunkworks Surf Co have a clear commitment to responsible business practices and reducing any detrimental impact to the environment.

    When big dreams become a big reality

    After years of spending time fixing surf boards from Ricky's surf school, Chris thought there must be a better way of making boards, so the brothers set out on the path to creating the most robust, high performance soft surfboards and stand up paddle boards in the world.........whilst minimising their impact on the environment.

    Click here to see their story… https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bzbxaj487Pk

    Riding on the crest of a wave

    Over the past few years Skunkworks Surf Co have moved from a small industrial unit, opened a 16000 square foot factory and trained up a strong work force. They are selling surfboards all over the UK and Ireland and have made positive steps into Europe with sales in France, Portugal Norway, The Netherlands and Spain.

    Skunkworks Surf Co were keen to grow their brand by offering their own clothing and accessory range, in particular the development of a changing robe type garment. To achieve this Ricky and Chris knew that they required support from an industry expert renowned for innovative and high-quality products and that is when the relationship with Ulster Weavers began.

    We love it when a plan comes together

    ‘Tim Paisley and his team at Ulster Weavers have been amazing to work with. They have designed a changing robe exactly to the spec we have asked for and are helping us make it an original Skunkworks Surf Co garment. We are tweaking our first garment sample and are really looking forward to seeing the finished product.

    As well as the changing robe we are also looking at changing mats and towel robes.

    Working with Ulster Weavers fits perfectly with our ethos of supporting local businesses and we hope to build a strong and lasting business relationship together’. (Ricky & Chris)

    Skunkworks Surf Co are currently doing a raise through Crowdcube. The target was originally £350K but this was raised when 200 investors promptly got involved. They are now over funding and aiming for £600K. So watch this space!

    Good luck guys from all the team at #UlsterWeavers! 

     

     

  • Add a touch of style to laundry day…

    Add a touch of style to laundry day…

    ‘Tis the season to line-dry washing! When the sun comes out, but the chores still need to be done, the perfect excuse to get out in the garden is to hang out the washing. Freshly sun-dried washing always smells and feels luxurious – infinitely more pleasurable than the machine-dried variety - plus it’s ecologically friendly, so your conscience can enjoy it too!

    To add a touch of style to your laundry day, Ulster Weavers’ range of gorgeous laundry bags look good around the house and help you to keep things nice and tidy. Part of the Designers Guild range, the Chinoiserie design features stunning watercolour blossom branches in vibrant inky tones, while Couture Rose depicts large-scale rose blooms reminiscent of Parisian haute couture in rich shades of pink and yellow.  https://www.ulsterweavers.com/couture-rose-laundry-bag.

    Practically speaking the bags have two strong handles, so they are easy to manoeuvre, and a PVC-lined inner and can easily be kept wiped clean with a damp cloth. Both of these Designers Guild fabrics come in a co-ordinating ironing board and peg bag. https://www.ulsterweavers.com/chinoiserie-ironing-board-cover

    As well as these beautiful prints, we like to bring a touch of fun to our homeware ranges and nothing shows this off more perfectly than our cute and quirky peg-bags. If you’re an animal-lover then there’s bound to be a character to suit whether you prefer cats or chickens, bumble bees or bears. These useful peg-bags are sure to bring a smile to wash days and have plenty of space to store your pegs, plus a handy hook so that it’s suspended within reach on the washing line when you most need it. https://www.ulsterweavers.com/laundry-cleaning/peg-bags  

    Once you’re equipped with the latest laundry accessories, you can get your wash on in style and take heed of our top tips for tip-top laundry:

    - It’s always frustrating to lose a favourite item of clothing to a stubborn stain, so make sure you tackle any likely lingering marks as soon as possible. Make sure you put it into soak with a stain remover straight away before washing.

    - Don’t overfill the machine! It may sound obvious, but it’s so important if you want to avoid excessive creasing and make sure everything is thoroughly washed.

    - Be environmentally friendly! Sometimes we wash things after a single wear or as a refresh if it’s been confined to a cupboard for too long. In this situation, choose a cool wash as it will still work perfectly well.

    - Clean your machine! It’s worth running a washing machine cleaning solution through it every few months to clear out excess dirt and soap residue. Do you really want to put your clothes in a dirty washer?

    - Wash and dry dark items inside out to avoid fading.

    For more inspiration on bringing a little sunshine into your home and garden this summer see our full range of products and gift ideas https://www.ulsterweavers.com/seasonal/summer.

  • Honey to the Bee

    Honey to the Bee

    Honey has a deserved reputation as a bit of a wonder-food, having been used not only for sustenance, but also for medicinal purposes over the years. In fact, it’s one of the many reasons we treasure our beautiful native bee population and why we are celebrating it through our gorgeous new Bee Keeper range.

    While honey is renowned for its health benefits, most of us don’t really know why it’s good for us, so we thought we’d spread the word with some fascinating facts about why honey makes life sweeter!

    Healing

    The ancient Egyptians put honey to work healing wounds and burns, and this is still a popular use today. This could be due to the fact that all honey is naturally anti-bacterial; in fact Manuka honey treats over 250 clinical strains of bacteria and has even been found to stimulate the production of immune cells.

    Coughs and sore throats

    Honey and lemon is a popular cough and cold remedy and evidence shows that honey is extremely effective at reducing symptoms by coating the throat, even rivalling popular medicinal remedies in effectiveness.

    Allergies

    The use of locally-made honey can be a fantastic natural antidote to hay fever, as it will contain elements of the local pollen that triggers your allergy. Eating local honey will help your body to build up an immunity to these particular pollens, even as little as a teaspoon a day. For the best results you need to start this regime around 2-3 months before your hay fever kicks in.

    Antioxidants

    High quality honey contains lots of antioxidants, which have been linked with reducing the risk of heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure and even some types of cancer. Some studies have also shown that honey can help to reduce bad cholesterol, while raising your ‘good’ cholesterol levels!

    Skincare

    Honey’s anti-bacterial qualities are especially good for your skin, which makes it a common ingredient in skin treatments and a must-have if you like to prepare homemade facemasks. For a soothing and refreshing facemask that’s easy to whip up at home, visit https://dontmesswithmama.com/diy-honey-facial-mask/

    Which honey?

    Raw honey is generally considered the best for health benefits as it contains vitamins, minerals and enzymes not present in refined honey. However, honey is not recommended for children under the age of 12 months.

    In the kitchen

    All of this is almost just a bonus when you consider how tasty honey is and how many ways it can be put to delicious use in the kitchen. Drizzled on cereal or pancakes, used as a glaze for meat or veg, or simply added to cakes or desserts as a sweetener, honey has countless culinary applications.

    In fact Delicious magazine has taken the time to collate a tantalising selection of some of the best recipes, which you can read here http://www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk/collections/honey-recipes/

    Honey is clearly a household staple, whether in the medicine cabinet or the kitchen cupboard, it’s an item that we just can’t do without!

    To read more about the health benefits of honey click here https://www.well-beingsecrets.com/health-benefits-of-honey-ultimate-guide/

    or to celebrate the busy, buzzy makers of honey in your kitchen, take a look at our BeeKeeper range by clicking here!

     

  • National Tea Day

    Here at Ulster Weavers, we have mugs at the ready to over-indulge in the favourite British drink for National Tea Day on 21st April. There’s no better excuse to invite friends and family, old and new over for a cuppa! Go on, put the kettle on, warm the teapot and enjoy our fun facts about this quintessentially British tipple; you can use them to impress friends and family at your next impromptu par-tea... 

    It may surprise you, but most of the leaves inside our sacred teabags are bought from an auction in Mombasa in Kenya.  Back in the 18th Century there were many discussions about the health benefits of tea and whether it was good or bad for you.  In the 21st Century, we know that tea has many health benefits, for example it can boost endurance; specifically, green tea extract has been found to increase metabolism and the body’s ability to burn fat. Drinking tea also reduces the risk of heart attacks and Parkinson’s disease, as well as degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, that are linked to dehydration. 

    There are all sorts of traditions attached to our trusty cup of tea; whether as a comforting hot beverage in times of crisis or a decadent treat as afternoon tea or a cream tea.

    Afternoon tea was born by Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford when she complained of feeling a little peckish during the late afternoon. A hot cup of tea and light snack was created and served between 3.30pm-5pm to fill the hunger between lunch and dinner and was very popular with the upper classes back in the 1840s. By the 19th Century it was established within the middle and upper classes and nowadays afternoon tea is served in hotels, at any time consisting of sandwiches, cakes, tea and sometimes a glass of bubbly. 

    The cream tea tradition ignited in the Westcountry in the 1850s when tourists flooded in thanks to the new railway opening. Visitors were looking to relax and indulge and so the, now famous, cream tea came to be; made with only the finest local ingredients. The tea always consisted of strawberry jam and clotted cream on a warm scone. The biggest debate still to this day is how do you make your scone? Cream then jam, or jam then cream? We say at Ulster Weavers, jam and then cream!

    Finally, nobody wants a cold tea so if like us, you like to keep your tea hot, our beautiful tea pots and tea cosies are perfect; the cosies come in all different shapes and sizes; simple, decorative or shaped there’s one for everyone.

    Find them here

     

     

  • Spring Refresh

    The long, cold winter is finally drawing to its conclusion, praise be! With the new shoots of spring, the lightening evenings and warming temperatures, it’s time to help your home step into the new season as well. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean you need to repaint and decorate; our homeware will do the trick nicely.

    For the trend-lovers

    Spring 2018 is all about indigo blue. This vibrant colour provides fantastic contrast on sunny days and is bright enough to bring life to your home on dull, rainy ones. We love the colour, which is why we’ve designed our new Cat Nap range around it.

    Taking advantage of traditional Japanese Ink and brush techniques, as well as the aforementioned indigo blue, it’s a perfect choice for those who want to be up to date with the latest, greatest homeware trends, or those who simply love cats.

    Find the new range here.

    For the gardeners

    Spring is the most exciting time for amateur gardeners. It’s a chance to give your pride and joy a proper refresh after helping it survive through winter. Bring that joy of the emerging new blooms into your kitchen with one of our gorgeous RHS ranges.

    Horticulture is all about celebrating the sheer variety of plant life, and our various RHS ranges do just that. From the green shoots of Foliage, through to Traditional Rose, Chrysanthemum, Passiflora or Strawberry, all our RHS products can take root successfully in your kitchen.

    See all the RHS ranges here.

    For the spring lambs

    Spring will always be associated with lambs. The arrival of these cute little balls of wool is a great way to mark the seasonal change, so why not welcome some into your home as well?

    Dotty Sheep was our most popular range of 2017, and with good reason! You loved the modern design, contrasting shades of mustard and grey, and the sense of fun imparted by the collection.

    Fall in love with a new set of lambs this year, check out the full set of Dotty Sheep products here.

    For the woodland walkers

    Spring is a particularly stunning time for the woodlands and forests of the world. Bluebells and blossoms burst into life painting the forest in shades of white and blue, while birds sing in the trees and new aromas waft in the breeze.

    How could you not love the woodlands at this time of the year? We certainly do and have aimed to immortalise the majesty of this time of the year with our Woodland range. Forest animals take centre stage in this collection of tea towels and mugs, with foxes, pheasants and owls the star attractions.

    Why not check the set out for yourself on our website?

    Are you spring ready? If you have any tips you’d like to share with us, get in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

  • Celebrate the year of the dog with Ulster Weavers

    Happy Chinese New Year! On Friday 16th February, the new year of the Dog will begin. A whole year dedicated to man’s best friend sounds like a fantastic idea to us, and something we’re more than happy to get involved in!

    As you probably know by now, we’re animal lovers at Ulster Weavers, always looking for new ways to honour the feline friends or canine companions in our homes. So, to celebrate the new year, check out some of our favourite dog designs!

    Walkies:

    It only seems right to start a new year with a new design! You can read all about the design process behind this new creation here, and for those interested in celebrating canines big and small, Walkies is a great way of doing so. From the Labrador to the Beagle, the French Bulldog to the Shiba Inu, if you’re happy seeing a large variety of dogs in your home, this is the kitchenware for you!

    See the whole range here.

    Wiscombe Dogs:

    Ralf, Jack, Cedric, Lucky and Angus are the dogs of the Wiscombe range. These four-legged legends are the models that adorn the ranges of homeware named after them. If you’re after a terrier like Angus, a Dachshund like Ralf, or a Jack Russel like…err…Jack, these beautiful, simple designs are the perfect thing to brighten up your kitchen’s character.

    Browse the Wiscombe family on our website.

    Hound Dog:

    Elvis Presley may have said that you ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog, but you won’t be crying all the time with this beautiful range in your kitchen. The simple blue and cream design draws your eye towards its numerous doggy adornments. 

    And unlike other dogs, these ones won’t try and steal your dinner!

    Check out the range here.

    Scottie Dog:

    Say hello to our Scottie twins. One is here to help keep your tea warm, the other to encourage a refreshing breeze into your home. Both feature a chequered pattern, as well as paw prints dotted across their fur, and both will become firm friends of any other dogs in your life!

    Want to welcome the twins into your home? You can find them here and here!

    Like any of our doggy friends? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And, of course, have a wonderful year of the dog!

  • Introducing our new range, in partnership with the Eden Project.

    Have you ever visited the Eden Project? This world-famous conservation centre in Cornwall is one of the most iconic tourist attractions in the UK and home to thousands of tropical, Mediterranean and indigenous plants, as well as birds and butterflies.

    At Ulster Weavers, we share this love of the natural world and wildlife and are very proud to show off the fruits of our new partnership with the Eden Project!

    Much like the tending of the Eden Project plants, the production of this new range has been a labour of love. It has taken time to develop a range that boasts the expected quality of all Ulster Weavers products, but also fits the environmental credentials of the Eden Project. After many months of labour, we’ve done just that.

    Our initial range, which includes tea towels, aprons, bags, oven gloves and mitts, has been manufactured by Ulster Weavers using unbleached cotton, as well as FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) approved card printed using vegetable inks for labels and packaging.

    Of course, ecological friendliness is extremely important, but so is design and style. The various designs in our new Eden Project range all contain simple, single colour plant designs and a beautiful, highly detailed bird at the centre. The range includes woodpeckers, robins and many more.

    We’re really excited about these beautiful homeware accessories, with ecological sustainability and intelligent design at their core. The new designs will be available in February, with many more additions to the range coming throughout 2018.

    Like what you see? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

  • Introducing our new designs for 2018.

    New Year, new ranges! A big positive about the start of 2018 is that we can finally share some of our new 2018 products with you!

    Over the last year, our design team has been hard at work researching, planning, producing and testing new ideas just for you, and the fruits of their hard work are now ready to be unveiled.

    Alongside fresh designs from our partners, new and old, which we’ll be able to introduce to you very soon, these are our very own designs, available to add a splash of colour into any home this year.

    Walkies

    Everyone at Ulster Weavers loves dogs, in fact many of us love nothing more than spending time with our four-legged friends. It’s this relationship that takes centre stage in the new Walkies design for 2018. Featuring a stylised depiction of a bustling dog park, the design showcases the many different walks of life and breeds of dog that accompany them.

    Predominantly soft grey, this dog homeware design is one of the most varied and colourful we offer; bringing in cherry red and apple green tones that are perfect for bringing joy and light-heartedness into your kitchen.

    Beekeeper

    Spring is right around the corner, and with it comes the return of the bees. These little guys bring so much life to the world by helping to pollinate and rejuvenate millions of plants with their buzzing around.

    We look to celebrate this with our new Beekeeper range! The bright oatmeal-coloured background features busy bees buzzing by beautiful buttercups (and other flowers not beginning with b).

    Cat Nap

    We’ve celebrated dogs and bees already, it’s only right that felines join the mix! Joining Cats in Waiting and Cat Walk in the Ulster Weavers’ cat homeware family is the new Cat Nap range.

    The striking design, created for cat lovers by a cat lover, uses traditional Japanese ink and brushes and captures the varying poses of our feline friends, relaxed, stylish and adorable. The charcoal coloured moggies sit on a soft blue floral background and their complimentary yellow collars give a flash of unexpected vibrant colour and cheer that will look at home in any classic or modern kitchen.

    Bountiful Floral

    Inspired by the William Morris wallpapers of the arts and crafts movement, as well as our love for everything beautiful and natural, the new Bountiful Floral print is a clean and colourful addition to our range. The design looks particularly at home in flat coloured kitchens, such as predominantly white or grey designs, as the bold modern colours, such as pinks and yellows, will really stand out and add a lot of vibrancy.

    Excited for 2018? We’re looking forward to sharing more with you throughout the year. And don’t forget to let us know on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram what you think of the new designs!

  • Your Top 10 Ulster Weavers favourites of 2017

    Everyone loves a top 10 at Christmas don’t they? Whether it’s movies, music or sports stars, the end of the year wouldn’t be quite the same without a listicle about favourites from the year gone by.

    We’re no different here! We’ve been looking at some of your most popular Ulster Weavers items from 2017.

    Now. Onto the top 10!

    10. Dotty Sheep Side Plate

    Kicking off the top 10 is the ever-popular Dotty Sheep range. Namely, our bone china side plate. Perfect for bringing a bit of colour to your table.

    Like what you see? Join the flock by checking out the Dotty Sheep range here.

    9. Dotty Sheep Tea Towel

    Two Dotty Sheep entries in the top 10? Clearly the range has fans! (Spoiler alert: more sheep show up on this list…)

    And why wouldn’t it have fans? How could you not love the mustard yellow and grey contrast? It’s perfect for brightening up any kitchen.

    Check them out here!

    8. Dotty Sheep Placemats

    Like the release of a new Ed Sheeran album, the top 10 is being overtaken by one artist! Protecting a table has never been so much fun. These bright, colourful cork placemats are easy to clean, and loved by adults and kids alike.

    Check them out here!

    7. Dotty Sheep Cup and Saucer

    So what goes well with your tea towels, placemats and plates? We wouldn’t be British if we didn’t offer perfectly styled cups and saucers, to make your tea look as good as it tastes!

    As with all our products, we’ve designed this cup and saucer to withstand everyday use, while remaining delicate to hold. As it should be.

    6. Royal Wedding Anniversary Tea Towel

    As a British company and bearers of the Royal Standard, we were very excited to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. Clearly, we weren’t the only ones as well!

    If you’re a fan of the royalty looking for something to commemorate historic dates and occasions, we’re here to help! You can order this one here:

    Rumour has it, there is a special event happening for the royal family next year, watch this space to see what we have planned…

    5. Dotty Sheep Straight Sided Mug

    Did you think we’d finished with Dotty Sheep on this list? Clearly you all love it very much, and the mug proves to be the best seller from the whole range!

    A perfect gift for yourself or a friend, this mug will serve you well, it’ll survive trips through the dishwasher, and everything you can throw at it (not literally).

    Find them here!

    4. Christmas Dove Tea Towel

    We all love Christmas, don’t we? It’s plain to see all of you do, because you’ve taken this beautifully simple dove design into your homes and embraced it. Thank you so much for that.

    If you’re planning ahead for Christmas next year, why not look to see what other special seasonal products we do? We’ve got a lot to offer!

    3. Penguin Doorstop

    Claiming the bronze medal is our wonderful Antarctic friend. He’s perfect for keeping your kitchen door open, entertaining your children and befriending your dog.

    He’s so proud to help, he’s even dressed in his finest, and who doesn’t love a good bow tie?

    Order your new home assistant bird here!

    2. RHS Traditional Rose Calendar Tea Towel 2018

    As for the silver medal? A timelessly designed tea towel, for those who like to keep track of the time! It’s nice to see our fans like to plan ahead, however you use this tea towel next year, we hope it brings you luck and happiness for 2018!

    There’s still time to order yours here.

    1. Elephant Parade Doorstop

    Ladies and gentlemen, your gold medallist for 2018 is our beautiful elephant doorstop! Filled with love (and sand), we even donate money to protect elephants every time we sell one of these little guys. So by brightening up your house with one of these little guys, you help to protect their big brothers and sisters around the world.

    Join the elephant parade here:

    So that’s that! Another year wrapped up, with exciting new ranges and products arriving next year, what will take the top spot in our 2018 top 10? Only you can decide!

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