Friday, 18 August 2017

Memories Of Those Near and Dear

Do you have a favourite memory of you and your dad? With Father's Day just around the corner, it is nice to reminisce about the good 'ol days.

Michelle Tupy, a writer and dear friend of mine, wrote this about her dad many years ago. It resonated with me then, as it still does now.

"As a young girl, I remember the excitement felt whenever I had the chance to spend time with my father on the farm. Whilst he was probably not doing anything more than just going about his regular duties, being with him was what mattered most to me. I can remember my father whistling commands to the dogs as they corralled the sheep into the pens. I held tightly onto his rough and calloused hands as we crossed the paddock to close the gate behind the last of the sheep.

I watched with wide-eyed fascination as my dad wrestled sheep after sheep to get them into just the right position for shearing. I remember the sweat pouring down his forehead as he worked tirelessly shearing one sheep after another pausing occasionally to have a drink of water and give me a smile.

Later we would go back to the house in our old battered ute. I rode in the front, feeling like a princess, with my dad next to me and the dogs barking in the back."

It wasn't a particularly special moment. As a country girl growing up in New South Wales back in the late 70s and 80s, riding around in the ute was probably a daily, if not a weekly, occurrence. But the thing that struck me the most was the fact that such a simple moment could be captured and frozen in time.

We all have those special moments - with our dads, our mums, our siblings, or our friends, and we hold onto them for as long as we can. It is those moments that get us through the tough times. It is those moments that we hold close to our chests as we lie in our beds willing sleep to come. It is those moments we escape to when we are tired, stressed or angry. 

They are the moments that we live for; they are the moments that make life worth living. 

Do you have a special memory that makes your heart sing?

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Popular Australian Lollies

Australians love their lollies!

We recently did a mini-survey on our Rainbow Designs Facebook page asking people to list their favourite lollies, and we weren't too surprised by what we saw.

Chocolate Aniseed Rings, Chicos, Snakes, Green Frogs, Raspberries, Cobbers, Minties and Freckles were listed as some of our fan's favourites. We agree wholeheartedly - they all sound pretty yummy to us!

Australians have always had their favourites - Fantales, Jaffas, Redskins, Freddo Frogs, Caramello Koalas - and there is always a loud uproar when our favourites are taken off the shelves. Remember when Nestle discontinued the Spearmint Leaves and Green Frogs from our shelves. Aussies were not happy. While they did bring them back for a limited edition in late November to Christmas Eve in 2016, Nestle said that their customers will have to 'watch this space' to see if they will ever return. We personally are still in mourning over the disappearance of our beloved green frogs, a firm favourite on the Rainbow Designs' shelves.

And then there are our beloved chocolate bars. Foreigners may not understand our love for the Pollywaffle, Mint Patties or the Cherry Ripe - but we cannot get enough! Images of musk sticks, jersey caramels and chocolate bullets inhabit our childhood dreams. And no weekend was complete without a trip to the milk bar to sample the Milko Chews and Sherbies.

Aah the memories. What was your favourite?

Friday, 4 August 2017

Did Someone Say Coffee?

Coffee hampers and gifts are well received for any occasion. They work perfectly for those over the coffee drinking age, are great for either men or women and are suitable as Christmas gifts, Australia Day gifts, Father's Day presents, birthday presents or thank you gifts. They are decadent, yet practical; classic, but trendy! All in all, they are a win-win - well, unless your recipient likes to drink tea.

Coffee has been around since it was accidentally discovered in Ethiopia. Most of the world's coffee currently comes from Brazil, followed by Colombia and Vietnam. While it has been banned and lauded many times over, there is no denying its popularity.

While Australians go through their fair share of coffee every year, they are actually ranked number 42 on the coffee consumption list at 3kg per capita. The top ten countries for consumption of coffee are:

1. Finland: 9.6 kg per capita (consumption of 2.64 cups/day)
2. Norway: 7.2 kg (1.98 cups/day)
3. Netherlands: 6.7 kg (1.84 cups/day)
4. Slovenia: 6.1 kg (1.68 cups/day)
5. Austria: 5.5 kg (1.51 cups/day)
6. Serbia: 5.4 kg (1.49 cups/day)
7. Denmark: 5.3 kg (1.46 cups/day)
8. Germany: 5.2 kg (1.43 cups/day)
9. Belgium: 4.9 kg (1.35 cups/day)
10. Brazil: 4.8kg (1.32 cups/day)

Now, that's a lot of coffee!

Let's run through the coffee gifts we currently have on the Rainbow Designs' shelves.

This impressive coffee hamper features a Bodum French-press 'Brazil' three cup coffee maker for true taste extraction. It also comes with three packs of quality Arabica ground coffee, packed and sealed in vacuum bags for freshness. Pair with two Bodum double walled coffee mugs and a box of HK Anderson Honey Wheat Braids and you have a gift that all coffee lovers would love to receive.

The delightful Coffee and Cookies Hampers includes a classic French press coffee plunger, one bag of Gourmet Explorer Coffee and two glass walled coffee mugs. And, of course, let's not the forget a decadent pack of cookies. Delicious!

Monday, 29 May 2017

Gifts for Coffee Lovers and Hot Chocolate Drinkers

Now that it is coming into the cooler weather our hot drinks hampers are starting to pick up the pace. They've generally been pretty popular but when winter hits they become rock stars and everyone wants a piece of them! We love it and we can definitely understand why they're so loved.

Most of us need a coffee first thing in the morning before we can properly start our day and then a lovely, rich chocolatey hot chocolate at midday really hits the spot. These three hampers were designed by coffee lovers and hot chocolate connoisseurs for coffee lovers and hot chocolate connoisseurs!

For the Hot Chocolate fiends we have:

Gourmet Hot Chocolate Hamper - $90 (although it's currently on special for just $80). There's milk chocolate, white chocolate and dark chocolate mixes plus marshmallows (seriously what's a hot chocolate without marshmallows??) and a fabulous hand crafted hot chocolate mug.

Gourmet Hot Chocolate Hamper
Now for the coffee lovers we have two fabulous hampers:

Barista Coffee Hamper - $130. It comes with everything you need to make the perfect coffee. Coffee, obviously, a three cup coffee maker and two double walled coffee mugs also a box of honey wheat braids to enjoy with your cuppa.

Barista Coffee Hamper
Coffee and Cookies Hamper - $85. This hamper is the perfect gift for staff, favourite customers, your best friend, it makes a wonderful gift for dad or nan (or grandpa if he's the coffee drinker of the house). There's a box of delectable Ovenly cookies to help you enjoy your coffee even more, a coffee maker and two double walled coffee mugs so you can drink your coffee in style.

Coffee and Cookies Gift Hamper
These gifts are delivered free, right across Australia and come beautifully gift packed including a gift tag with your personal message on it. Our website is so easy to use even my dad can use it (and that's saying something, sorry dad but it's true!) and we'll keep you updated on the progress of your order from start to delivery. 

Cheers to a winter filled with coffee, chocolate, marshmallows and someone else doing the washing up.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Hampers for groups and BIG events

A few years ago we were asked to provide hampers that would be suitable for a large group, where everyone could share and there would be something for everyone. Like a big party in a fabulous hamper. Instead of having individual little gifts they wanted to have one giant gift and be able to make a true celebration of it.

This is were we came up with a few of our large gift hampers - aimed at turning just another hamper into an event!

These hampers have everything! They've got the makings of a true special occasions, just add people. We've found they have been popular for businesses, a celebration for being part of a team, but also for larger family gatherings - especially family reunions and 'milestone' birthdays.

Our All You Can Eat Hamper is our grand daddy of hampers and is certainly a statement gift if ever there were one! It's $490 and suitable for 10-15 people with a truck load of gourmet sweet and savoury nibbles as well as wine, bubbly, beer and gin. It is so impressive, your staff will think you're the best boss ever!

For All To Share is another magical hamper and does exactly what the name says :-) It's $200 and suitable for a group of 5-8 people.

Four Seasons Luxury Hamper is a super impressive and extra 'fancy' hamper perfect for a very special occasion, maybe that milestone birthday or anniversary or a fabulous hens night in. It's $299 and suitable for 5-10 people.

Deluxe Boutique Beers and Snacks at $200 makes a sensational gift for the groom or new dad and helps fancy up a footy grand final like you would not believe :-)

Our Wine Appreciation Hamper has made many a Book Club get together worth reading a book for and as the night wears on who's going to remember which book it was you were meant to read anyway ;-) $170 turns your night into a monthly event or maybe a book club into a wine club as the hamper even comes with tasting sheets!

There are plenty more gift hampers to choose from that we just know your family, friends and staff will love. Whether it be a bucket load of beer or a box full of chocolates or even a picnic basket even winnie the pooh would love we just know we can help you with your BIG gifting needs :-)

Order 30 or more gifts and you'll get a 5% discount! You can order 30 of the same or 30 different gifts all going to different places or all to the same address. Gifts for groups, we've got you covered.

I better not forget our Just To Say gift - great for individual gifts for conferences, staff pressies or a family birthday party. Half kilo lolly and/or chocolate mix in a funky and fabulous gift pack - $18 each with a minimum order of just 20 includes gift tag and delivery to a single address.

When's your next BIG event?

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

(Turkish) Delight in the Positive

Focusing on the 'not happening' has been doing my head in and, to be very honest, is not productive at all. I'm turning my focus on to 'what's happening', noticing the positive and blocking out (as best I can) the not so positive.

  • people taking the time to interact on our facebook page, whether it's a like or a comment, it is so very much appreciated
  • our instagram posts that get liked even if we don't post very often
  • polite and respectful friends of the kids 
  • parents who help out no matter what
  • sister who pops in on her way to work for a cuppa
  • friends dealing with their own dramas taking the time to help others (I'm looking directly at you Michelle)
  • helpful phone service from my bank
  • books from the library, I'll never having nothing to read
  • family who check in every few weeks to catch up on gossip (or pass it on)
  • changing to a cheaper phone provider (and it was easy)
  • stocking up on tuna when the supermarket has a 'reduced for quick sale' sale
  • finding a turkish delight at the back of the crisper (where else would it be)
  • understanding suppliers who offer assistance
  • fiddling around with the website and not breaking it
  • new Doctor Who
  • enjoying my TV shows without ads thanks to my recorder
  • photo albums
  • wearing perfume even if I'm not leaving the house
  • new roofing and guttering finally being installed after coming down in the recent floods
  • my snuggly pj jumper from a couple of years back still going strong
  • my niece shouting me lunch at Betty's Burgers (the southern style chicken burger was amazing)
What's been happening in your neck of the woods that you might have missed or not thought much about but has helped you get through the week?

Who likes Doctor Who, NCIS, This Is Us and Madam Secretary? Me, me, me and me.

Monday, 15 May 2017

2003 - the year it began

2003 - planning, thinking, dreaming, working, researching

I've been working at the ATO for about 8 or 9 months now and quite enjoying it. Processing tax returns and the like isn't as boring as it sounds, well to me any way. I've always loved computer work and processing information, data entry, that sort of thing. It's nice to get myself organised at the start of the day and then head down bum up until I leave. Love being busy!

During this time I'd also been toying with the idea of starting up an online business and I was leaning towards some sort of gift business. To start I had an idea of an type of concierge style gift shop where by people would fill out an online form I had prepared on the likes and dislikes of the person they were wanting to get a gift for and then I would shop for a gift. It sounded good in theory but I just could get my head around the whole logistics of it so ended up scrapping that idea. I decided on doing a type of hamper business but trying to base it on confectionery. I had seen a gift on a website where it was just a box of lolly bananas and thought, ooh that could be something I could work with! (not that I like lolly bananas!).

I went to a Trade Fair in Sydney to see what that was all about and to try and find some suppliers. I was mainly after boxes and packaging stuff as well as possible 'add ons' to the lollies and chocolates. I had found a local confectionery wholesaler close to where I lived, handy, but being that I was still in the start up stages I didn't want to make a big investment and buy a truck load of lollies before I was semi confident I could make the business work.

After tinkering around with a website, coming up with a name*, and organising bank merchant facilities and business names, set ups etc I started listing the gifts I had come up with. This was a fairly long process, deciding on what to sell as I had written just about every type of lolly and chocolate down including biscuits and chips, anything classed as a 'treat' really. I did gradually whittle it down and decided to start with a variety of lollies and chocolates. Working out pricing was hard! I had to try and 'guesstimate' delivery costs as I wanted to have an all inclusive price, this was very much a work in progress and took my sometime to get this sorted out. I had quite a few gifts at the very beginning where I lost money as the delivery was way more than I had expected!

I was still working at the ATO while setting up my business and didn't plan on leaving until I thought my business was actually working and I could make a living from it ie it would pay my bills!


* Rainbow Designs had been registered by my sister for a business she was thinking of starting up but she changed her mind so I just took it over! At least it went with the rainbow colours of lollies. So there was no deep thinking that went into the name :-)