REFRESH : RENEW : REBOOT – a new shop story

Stepping away from work and my Isle of Wight shop over the weeks, as uncertain and anxious as it has been, has given many of us time to pause. My days at home are spent with my teenage sons and two needy dogs, doing DIY, baking and eating patisserie and planning a new shop story for when Whistle and Hound begins again.

Loving and embracing creative change, I’m out of kilter with uncertainty. But somewhere along the way the two seem to have met at a proper distance and are now good friends. With the shop door opening in just a few weeks I’m now incredibly excited to share the next part of my shop story with you.

PART 1: REFRESH

Did you stand outside at night at some point during the past weeks and stop to listen? Nature definitely embraced its new environment, and when the birds nodded off the silence became rather peaceful. It made me think about all the big stuff. You know, the planet, life, our co-existence and all that. With such a big mind refresh going on a natural step was to look at how my small business, the shop, would benefit from a refresh too. From its layout and product stories, to curating new and expanding collections, and how I could make the switch to conscious shopping easier for each customer.

The ethos of Whistle and Hound remains the same since day one. Curating a collection of goods sourced from independent makers and British businesses, alongside fairly traded global products. All of whom have transparent ethical accountability. So the refresh has not been a  ‘new season’ or ‘new design’ approach. Rather the flow of the shop has been adapted to create a cleaner and more open space, organically developing into a mini ‘department store’ feel. 

Customers start at the beginning of the story. All-natural baby products and new mother gifts lead into the UK made organic body & wellbeing section; including skin and hair products for teenagers, women and men. This naturally shifts towards sustainable day to day household products – natural soaps and hand sanitisers, bamboo toothbrushes, eco-friendly kitchen cleaning cloths etc. Always present in the shop, the collection has now been extended to include sustainable and renewable beauty and bathroom accessories.

Next comes a fun pet gifts and accessories section. I know my mental health would not be quite so robust without having two dogs for cuddles during the downtimes, so anything pet or owner focussed is a must. Not without irony we then have natural home fragrance with a large Island maker presence, jewellery, gifts for all the family and greetings cards.

Finally, before you reach the ‘sreen safe’ till point where I shall be hanging out, with the dogs on occasion, is a perfectly compact and bijoux homewares section. The definitive department store Lower Ground level if you like, just without the adjacent food hall.

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PART 2: RENEW

Sourcing products which are made in the UK has always been a priority, and this decision will always be renewed. As will sourcing products from companies who choose ethical and sustainable production, and supporting local Isle of Wight micro-business makers. With this in mind the biggest renewal of stock is a brand new section of clean and green beauty products, all of which are made in the UK. Everything is chemical, paraben and SLS free, largely organic and often vegan. This means you can easily renew your beauty and bathroom products when they run out by choosing something which works with your body and the planet, not against them. 

A select few British brands have been chosen, including Green People and Faith in Nature who have been at the forefront of the green beauty revolution for decades. Alongside these, you will discover smaller businesses who create and make their own products in the UK. Renewing Whistle and Hound with new collections has been an exciting journey. It is so easy to find good things to put into our body but not always the same story with beauty and body products.  The skin is the largest organ we have and is continually regenerating and renewing so I’m thrilled to be able to make it easier for customers to shop clean and green.

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PART 3. REBOOT

It definitely feels like CTRL+ALT+DEL has been hit for those of us lucky enough to temporarily halt the pace of our lives. Rebooting our lifestyle is about making a fresh start in areas which may have become out of sync or off track. For example, making the switch from unhealthy eating by following a detox plan to kickstart a cleaner lifestyle. Lovingly refreshing and renewing Whistle and Hound with a focus on clean and green living will hopefully make it easier for you to reboot your shopping choices too. 

Headon Warren

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