Autumn News 2018

Autumn News 2018

The clocks have gone back, British Summertime is now officially over and there have been a few flurrys of snow up North. This is true Country Innovation time of year!

So, what has been going on in Country Innovation HQ over the past few months? The year has been shaping up quite nicely, despite the doom and gloom over the ‘B’ word (Brexit), which we won’t talk about. The heat of this year’s Summer may have unsurprisingly hit sales of our waterproof range, but it allows us to take stock, step back and really look at how we may be able to improve our offering.

The Birdfair in August proved to be another successful show, and it was nice to be back in our spiritual home in Marquee 6. It is always lovely to meet many of our customers, some of whom we have now known for over 20 years and who we are lucky to be able to call friends. It is a testament to our products, service and team of staff here at Country Innovation that we are constantly receiving positive comments, and it really warms my heart. My main priority when I started the business some 22 years ago, was customer satisfaction and I am truly delighted that we have such a loyal customer base. It is very difficult for a small business such as Country Innovation to be able to make much profit in todays world, but as long as we still have satisfied customers, I will still be happy.

At the Birdfair we launched our brand new RSPB Avocet jacket. I had been working on this with the RSPB for almost 2 years, and we were both delighted with the end product. It is a great all-round waterproof, breathable jacket with all the essential features and made from a really good quality fabric. It retails for £195, which is really good value for a jacket of this quality, and for every one sold, we have pledged to donate £10 to the RSPB. My only problem now is that sales have been so good, we are likely to run out of stock before the next order comes in. We are damned by our own success!

We also launched our Lady Venture Waistcoat and almost sold out. It was something that my more petite ladies had been asking me for for ages, and it’s all about the fit, which I think I have got right. We’re using the same high quality fabric as in our Venture Waistcoat, and I’ve tried to keep as many big useful pockets as I can whilst keeping an element of style (shock, horror!).

The other thing that we have recently introduced, by way of a thank you, is that for any order over £150, you will get a FREE Beebomb (worth £8). It’s a little hessian bag containing wild flower seeds in dirt/clay nuggets, that you simply throw on the ground and wait for your wild flowers to grow. They are handmade in Dorset and contain 18 wild flower species, all perfect for pollinators, so you’ll be encouraging bees (hence the name!) into your garden as well. It’s a lovely little gift from us to say thank you for your business, but you can also buy them, which will make great Christmas presents.

We’re currently having a bit of a warehouse clearance, as we’ve got some really exciting new products coming in this Winter and we need to make the space for them. First up is our brand new Woodlark range, consisting of jackets and smock. The Woodlark and Lady Woodlark Jackets are the same style as our very popular Linnet Jackets, but are made using a tough cotton outer fabric. This has a water repellency built into it, but it is the lining that is completely waterproof and breathable. The combination of these fabrics makes the jacket highly waterproof, windproof and breathable whilst at the same time being tough and rustle free. Ideal for anyone doing bird/wildlife watching, outdoor photography, country/hill walking or who works in the great outdoors. The jackets will retail from £295 and the Woodlark smock from £245, so I have tried to bring you an excellent outdoor product at a good price point.

We will also be launching our Traveller II and Aperture Jackets. Due to the success of our award winning Traveller Jacket in the photography market, we have tweaked it’s design and made the upper and lower patch pockets slightly elasticated to accommodate bigger camera lenses. I’ve also changed the lining, tweaked the inner pockets and added a waist drawcord.

The Aperture is the same design as the Traveller II, but uses the same roughty, toughty cotton outer fabric as the Woodlarks, so it will be a heavier duty, tougher, more wintry version of the Traveller II. This will retail from £275, so there’ll be something for everyone!

Stock of all the new products should be with us towards the end of the year but register your interest by dropping us an email or by pre-ordering.

We will be exhibiting at the North West Birdfair at WWT Martin Mere, which is only in a few weeks time, on 24/25 Nov. Please do come along and see us if you are in the Lancashire area. Helen and Carol are on duty for the weekend and would love to see you. We’ll have plenty to show you and there will be many show offers to tempt you.

We are also exhibiting for the first time at the Photography Show at the NEC on 16 – 19 March 2019. I know it’s a long way off, but pop the date into your diary. Apparently it’s a really good show for anyone into photography and we are going to have a small stand G29/A near the Landscape stage (no less!). We will obviously be showcasing all of our specific photography products, and, as the 16th March is my Birthday, there may well be something bubbly flying around that day!

It just leaves me to say make sure that you wrap up warm if you’re going to be out and about this Winter. Give your faithful waterproof jacket a bit of a service by using our Storm wash in cleaner and waterproofer, or alternatively treat your self to a new one!

Maria Chilvers
Owner of Country Innovation

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