Kelsey Wilson

ForestHunt

Kelsey Wilson is an artist from Orleans, Ontario.  She is now based out of Montreal where she recently completed a Bachelor of Fibres at Concordia University.  She works mainly in sculpture and illustration, getting inspiration from plants, old medical photos, reflections on city buildings, people’s hands, animals and her dreams.

Last week, she collaborated with Jennifer Glasgow to make the window display for General 54, using concrete.  Go check it out!

Kelsey:  For my sculptures, I like to work with different yarns and fabrics with crazy textures.   Anything with glitter or funky bobbles usually comes home with me.  I am drawn to material contrasts; so I tend to incorporate some steel or wood or anything rough or gloopy to offset the fuzzy craft-like element found in my sculptures.  For my illustrations, I don’t stray too far from my microns, copic markers, and watercolours. […]  

I am always very open to working with new mediums because it forces my work to transform into something unexpected.  I have always been curious about how things are made so learning to quilt and knit led to my interest in textiles.  I was pretty broke and bored during university so I started doing some experimental knitting with elastic bands, plants, and other random fibrous things around me….Curiosity is beautiful and definitely one of the most important aspects of art and life.

Compulsion no. 1

Hanging 
Assorted hand-knit yarns, twine, chain, elastic bands
54″ x 84″
2014

When I asked Kelsey what’s up next, she told me she wants to get back in to sculpture again.  She’s been doing a lot of drawing and misses the ‘slow, tactile process of building’.

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Greta 
Assorted hand-knit yarns, tinsel, raffia, glitter fabrics, teddy bear parts, steel frame
2.5; x 3.5′
2013

Kelsey has also started to use photoshop, and we look forward to seeing what she does with that!

You can see some of her work here:

www.sortofkinda.tumblr.com/artwork

-on instagram: @sumwut

-Kelsey did the costume and set design for this short dance film by Rock Bottom Movement: https://vimeo.com/119110984

She is also working on getting a website and Etsy page up over the holidays.

BigGuy

 Untitled

Micron pens and markers on paper

8″x 11″

Ariane Fairlie

Red Coat - 2014 - 22 x 30

Red Coat, 2014

Ariane Fairlie is a visual artist and free-lance writer living in Montreal.  She recently completed a Fine Arts degree at Concordia University.

Artist Statement: “Ariane is concerned with concepts of observation and realism. She enjoys the inconsistencies that are the result of translating three dimensions into two. They create a beautiful and dynamic realism, different from what can be accomplished with a two-dimensional reference image. She’s interested in the technical challenges of textures, colours, light, and form. She tries to evoke emotion and character in her ‘Clothing Portraiture’, and believes clothing as a subject is a universally relatable theme, unless you’re a very dedicated nudist.  Her aim is to create artwork that is honest and vulnerable, bold and fun, and have the viewer recognize something of themselves and the human experience in each piece.”

Here is part of a series she did last year, in 2014.

Green Lightning, 2014

Green Lightning - 2014 - 22 x 30

Green Mountain, 2014
Green Mountain - 2014 - 22 x 30

Rainbow Net, 2014
Rainbow Net - 2014 - 22 x 30

(For all images)

Dimensions: 22″X30″

Material: coloured pencil on paper

If you’d like to see more of her work, check out these websites:

cargocollective.com/arianefairlie

https://www.instagram.com/a_fairlie

If you’d like to read some of her writing, look these up:

Kolaj Magazine, Art Voices, Illusion.Scene360, Rover Arts, and Beautiful/Decay

Tereza Tacic, on Textiles and Robotics

IMG_0583(photo by T. Tacic)

Tereza Tacic is a Serbian artist from Vancouver.  She is currently living in Mile End, in Montreal, and completing a BFA in Studio Arts with a minor in Art History at Concordia University.

Artist Statement: “Her work evolves around a conceptual acronym she entitled “@” (A.A.T.).  She explores the conversation that exists between the organic human individual and art history, architecture, and technology.”

Her latest piece, Neither, combines textiles and robotics.

Tereza : “Neither explores the conversation between two materials that are commonly and unfairly gendered by combining traditionally feminine craft materials such as felt and yarn, with pneumatic pistons that are regarded as masculine machinery.  The piece creates a sense of confusion for the viewer due to its gender ambiguity/androgyny.  The felt is no longer “cute” due to the noise and movement of the pistons, and the mechanical structure is no longer as cold or frightening due to the fibre material.  It forces the viewer to think past a binary system of either one or the other.  The rhythmic nature of the pistons together with the movement of the felt makes the work seem like an autonomous being.  Something that is neither here nor there, but still fully present.”

Materials:
Pneumatic pistons, handmade felt (wool), yarn, wood, mechanical components
Dimensions Variable (aprx 5ft x 5ft x 5ft)

If you’d like to see more of her work,

visit her website www.terezatacic.com .

 

Mérida Anderson, A Versatile Artist

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“…I just moved into a studio on my own for ceramics and I am hoping to be able to experiment more, which ultimately means learning more, and pushing my ceramic work to a new level,” says Mérida.

 

Mérida Anderson is a multidisciplinary queer artist from Vancouver.  They primarily work in ceramics, but explore many other mediums such as illustration, animation, music and fashion design.  In 2004, they completed a fashion arts certificate program at VVC.  Mérida – Since I was a kid I have always been creating one thing or another, be it a barn for my model horses out of chop sticks when i was 8 to sewing a shape I cut out of fabric that I thought “looked” like it could turn into pants.  Currently, the artist has a line of clothing and porcelain jewelry that they have just launched, entitled YYY (www.yyycollection.com).  They also orchestrate the Vegan Secret Supper Club, which has been running since 2007.

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Mérida has always been drawn to clay because their grandparents were potters.  However, it was not until the artist moved to New York that they started to immerse themself in the medium.  Mérida – I don’t do much research and learn things with my experimentation.  So inspiration usually comes from the organic process of doing.  I just start doing from one idea, of texture or colour or one shape and it evolves from that.  The direction of wearable pieces was an easy transition from my background in fashion arts and running my own clothing line. 

Though they work in many different mediums, the pieces will often take on similar themes as they reflect the artists’ inspiration and interests at the time.  Mérida – Sometimes I find that my plating of dishes when I cook for my supper club Vegan Secret Supper look a bit like the paintings I might be doing or the designs I’m painting on my ceramics at the time, for example.  I make jewelry from ceramics that I will make clothing to fit for a photoshoot, then make dishes that I serve with at supper club, along with photos I take of the food that go in the book of recipes I wrote for VSS (Vegan Secret Supper : Bold and Elegant Menus from a Rogue Kitchen from Arsenal Pulp Press).  All connected in a long string (that sometimes has knots).

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The Vegan Secret Supper Club was started in Vancouver and has since followed Mérida to New York, and Montreal.  Mérida – It started as an experiment in community eating and environment.  Usually, these suppers take place in Mérida’s home, other people’s homes or in other small spaces.  Mérida makes these all-vegan meals in house, where they have curated their space specifically for VSS.

“I would also like to expand my house ware line and push into clothing as well since designing the clothing for the YYY jewelry collection photoshoot,” says Mérida. 

All photos courtesy of Mérida Anderson.

front

Meet the studio team!

Jennifer Glasgow Design was founded in 2003, here in Montreal.  In the now twelve years (yay!) we’ve been running- at full speed, might I add- our team of employees has grown, as well as our production.  Jennifer Glasgow has formed a tight family of talented and devoted people to cater to Montreal’s (and the rest of Canada’s) desire for equitable clothing.  Her locally-made line is sophisticated and striking: perfect for a professional woman of any age looking to stand out.  Below, you can read a bit about the amazing team she has assembled, a true testament to her exceptional character.  But first!  Here’s her story:

Jennifer Glasgow, Designer

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She was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  In 1995, Jennifer moved to Montreal “for a boy,” she says.

She first became interested in fashion because of a Madonna video she saw when she was 13, “Like a Virgin, and she (Madonna) had a black dress with cut out sides,” Jennifer told me, “I told my mom I wanted to make that dress and she bought me a Simplicity pattern and said go for it, try to make that dress.  It looked nothing like the dress but from that point on, I was hooked.”

Her first job in the fashion industry was sewing hockey gloves, here in Montreal.  She worked for a small company who re-palmed NHL gloves, and repaired jockstraps.  Jennifer – …which they made me do, while laughing and snickering at me.  It was …hilarious (cue sarcasm).  She also had a couple of partnerships in art/fashion companies that were short lived but lots of fun.

Jennifer Glasgow Design was established in 2003 when she opened Local 23.  Jennifer – Back then, it was VERY DIY.  Everything was made in the back store where piles of fabric would droop over my head and the smell of a musty basement would almost permeate the clothing.  Not the best environment to work in.  However, it was a start.  In 2006, she opened General 54 and JGD started to sell across Canada.  They needed to grow into a more productive company, which is when they started to hire and outsource some of their work.  Now, she says, “I have a great team in the studio and wonderful people working outside our office helping to produce the line.”

When she’s not designing and running her multiple businesses, Jennifer’s favourite thing in the whole world is to go to Timmins with Dan, her partner.  Jennifer – We go to forests where you can go for miles and never see another human.  We go fishing and lie on rocks in the sun, summer or winter.  She also loves painting, meeting cats in the back lane ( or anywhere) and digging through vintage sales.

Her style: “When I have time to think about what I am wearing, I would say my style is boyish with a love of print.  I like to mix colours and prints.  I like to laugh at myself so I try to play with my comfort zone,” Jen says. “I wear dark colours because I can’t stay clean, I wear lots of scarves because Dan has a great collection.  I wear thick eyeliner because I can’t keep my hand still to apply a thin line.  I like wedges because I am short and I feel safer than if I were to wear a heel.”

Jennifer Glasgow Design would not be possible without Jennifer’s right-hand-man, Dan:

Dan Lacroix, Accountant

dan photo(photo by J. Glasgow)

Dan is from Timmins, Ontario, or as he calls it: “city with a heart of gold and home of Shania Twain”.

He moved to Montreal in the summer of 2004, practically in front of Olimpico and has been in the mile end ever since.
He manages the finances, accounting and cashflow for JGD.  He also helps with the long term planning and everything on the business side of the company.  Dan – I keep the talent train on the right track and make sure the wheels don’t burn off.  On the design side of things, I pick the wrong colours and like the wrong fabrics.
His first job in Montreal was in the fashion industry.  He was an “assistant comptroller” (his fancy title for assistant to the main accountant that was working there at the time).  He worked there for about a year, and didn’t think he would end up in fashion again.  Dan – You think I would have learned my lesson the first time.  He says it gave him a head start on understanding how the business worked and helped him figure out some of the places they needed to take JGD.
In his spare time, Dan likes fishing with whoever, golf with his boys, camping with Jen, playing records solo and anytime while partying, biking around with his friend Louise, and getting out and being active at anyone’s cottage around.  Dan – I like to make things happen.
His style: Dan says: “I used to wear a lot of blues and browns.  Still do.  Most days my style is kinda simple.  Jeans and a dress shirt.  I’ve bounced around with the blazers\hoodies in the fall, I’ve also been seen with a skinny tie from time to time.  I like to find one thing to make my outfit stick out a bit.  I always try to be just a bit different but sometimes I get lazy.  When I do try though, it’s almost more fun because it’s less often.  Given the right occasion and the right mood, steez can get pretty funky with a old vintage suit,  weird stuff I found or a classy hat.”

In our studio, we also have four lovely ladies working alongside Jennifer Glasgow.  From the first sketch that is drawn to the final distribution of a garment, our team works together to keep everything running smoothly.

Michelle, Assistant Designer

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Michelle is from Aylmer, Québec.  She’s been with JGD for 4 months.  She likes thrift-shopping; hunting for treasures and giving pre-loved clothes a second life.  She also likes cats.

“I’ve always been attracted by the artistic/creative side of fashion, and as a means of self-expression.  Once I got into this side of the industry, I discovered a lot about the values attached to small-scale local design.  I now feel that I find myself in a meaningful place inside the big world of fashion”, says Michelle.

Her style:  “It changes a lot depending on my thrift-store discoveries,”she says.  “Currently: casual businesswoman from the 90s mixed with sporty & punk elements.  Colour palette: Black, charcoal, heather grey, navy, wine red, forest green”

Hannah, Seamstress

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Hannah is from Halifax, Nova Scotia.  She’s been with us for just over a year.  In her spare time, she works on her own line Isolde (www.hannahgoodman.ca), sold at Général 54.  She also takes photos and is currently trying to keep several plants alive.

“After graduating in 2013 from NSCAD University with a BFA majoring in Textiles/Fashion, I moved to Montreal for an internship with JGD. I have since continued working there as well as with several other locally based fashion designers”, says Hannah.

Her style: “Monochromatic.  Red lipstick.”

Dana, Warehouse Manager

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Dana is from Montréal, Québec.  She has been at JGD for 5 years.  When she’s not working in the studio, she’s working on her music.  She plays guitar and sings, and tries to write a few songs now and then.  But, most of her time, she says, is spent consuming music.

Dana has always been interested in the confection of clothing: she’s made costumes for various theatre and dance shows, and likes taking old garments apart and turning them into something new…  Before joining us, she completed an internship in the costume department of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, assisting the director.  Now, at JGD, she takes care of the inventory and makes sure all of our stock stays organized.

Her style: “Fickle.  I switch it up as often as possible.  The only recurring theme: weird patterns.”

Victoria, Marketing Intern

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Victoria is from Gatineau, Québec.  She has just finished a five-week internship at JGD but will soon be joining our Général 54 team.  Being new to Montréal, she likes to walk around and explore the city.  Victoria is in her last year in fashion marketing at Marie-Victorin college.  Soon, she will be jumping into the industry, full-time!

Her style:  “Cute but sassy.”

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Photos and interviews by Dana Babineau Burns

MEET THE CONTRACTORS!

Working in fashion design, you realize quickly that an infrastructure of seamstresses, cutters and patternmakers is essential to your business.  We have finally convinced these pillars of our industry to come out from behind the curtains and allow us to introduce them to you!  A series of photographs featuring all the wonderful people who make Jennifer Glasgow Design possible, taken by our own Hannah Goodman, is currently on display at our boutique.

Chenda

seamstress

chenda
Chenda is from Cambodia.
She single-handedly sews many of our styles in her home studio!

Miu

seamstress

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Miu is from China.
Her and her staff help us produce many of our styles in their studio
just downstairs from Jennifer Glasgow Design!

Sina

seamstress

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Sina is from Cambodia.
Like Chenda and Miu, she sews many of the styles for our collection.

Manon

gradation

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Manon is from Quebec.
She does the gradation for our collection:
using the dress patterns that we make, she calculates
how many meters of fabric we need for each style.  And in preparation for the cutting,
she decides on the best placement of each piece of the pattern that will allow for the least waste of fabric.

Richard

coupeur

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Richard (left) is Manon’s husband and is also from Quebec.
He cuts out each pattern piece from the rolls of fabric we send him.
These pieces will then be sent to the seamstresses to be assembled!

Meet our team at the boutique! Rencontrez notre équipe à la boutique!


We are happy to introduce you to our wonderful team at the boutique!

Nous sommes heureux de vous présenter notre formidable équipe à la boutique!

 

Meet Alex, our manager.

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She’s been with us for 1 year!

Alex is from Ottawa, Ontario.

She recently finished a graphic design program

and is currently working on her portfolio!

Her style: “Comfortable Minimalism”

Voici Alex, notre gérante.

Elle est avec nous depuis 1 an!

Alex vient d’Ottawa, en Ontario.

Elle vient de finir un programme de graphisme et travaille maintenant sur son portfolio!

Son style: Minimalisme Confortable

 

 

Meet Meghan.  

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She has been with us just shy of one year!

Meghan is from Peterborough, Ontario.

Right now, she is researching, writing and learning about political ecology and feminist geographies.

She also writes poems!

Her style: “a witch who woke up in a town she’s never been in

and isn’t sure about the weather”

Voici Meghan.

Elle est avec nous depuis presque 1 an!

Meghan vient de Peterborough, en Ontario.

En ce moment, elle fait de la recherche, de l’écriture, et s’informe sur l’écologie politique et les géographies féministes.

Elle écrit aussi des poèmes!

Son style: “une sorcière qui s’est levée dans une ville où elle n’a jamais été et n’est pas sûre du temps qu’il fait”

Meet Kate.  

IMG_1440(photo by M. Gagliardi)

She’s been with us for about 4 months!

Kate is from Montreal, Quebec.

She is studying jazz voice and likes dancing and food.

Her style:  “Classic with a twist”

Voici Kate.

Elle est avec nous depuis environ 4 mois!

Kate vient de Montréal, Québec.

Elle étudie la voix jazz et aime danser et la bouffe!

Son style: Classique avec un twist

 

 

Meet Vanessa.  

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(photo from Nightlife)

She’s been with us for about 3 months!

Vanessa was born in Cochrane, in northern Ontario, but grew up in Ottawa.

She’s in her last year of university at McGill in education.  This semester, she’s doing an internship at FACE elementary school.  Besides that, she occasionally bartends and dabbles in a bit of everything: “I write, read, sing, dance, cook, run, hang, travel, sneeze, bike, do bendy yoga moves and sleep.”
Her style: “a mix of vintage, punk, comfortable, and black.  I wear ALOT of black. Moreso in the winter than any other season. Don’t get me wrong, I love a splash of colour or a funky pattern here n there, but a comfortable black garment is what I slide into best.”

Voici Vanessa.

Elle est avec nous depuis presque 3 mois!

Vanessa est née à Cochrane, dans le nord de l’Ontario, mais elle a grandit à Ottawa.

Elle finit sa dernière année à l’université en education.  Cette session, elle fait un stage à l’école primaire FACE. Occasionnellement, elle travaille comme barmaid, et aime écrire, lire, chanter, danser, cuisiner, courir, voyager, éternuer, faire de la bicyclette, faire des mouvements articulés de yoga et dormir.

Son style:  un mélange de vintage, punk, confortable, et noir.  Elle porte BEAUCOUP de noir.  Plus en hiver que les autres saisons.  Elle adore un éclat de couleur ou un motif funky ici et là, mais un vêtement confortable noir est ce qu’elle préfère.

by

Dana Babineau Burns

A LETTER TO MONTREAL

A Letter to Montreal

Montreal in the springtime is one of the most amazing seasons anywhere!

I know we all feel it, right? That pivotal point where the temperature starts to rise and the light hovers a little higher and longer. It reenergizes us and we can hardly wait to wear our favorite running shoes or dig out that little jacket that is so loved.

This week we excitedly trimmed the threads and meticulously groomed our new styles. Packing boxes and making invoices seem to take precedence in these springtime months. Luckily, our studio at Jennifer Glasgow Design, is colourful and bright again. Full of prints and bright cotton poplins. It almost smells like flowers, it is so bright.

While this is happening in my studio, I almost forgot to smell the real flowers. To take a breath and look around at the long awaited leaves, the burgeoning buds and simply allowing the rain to hit my face.

I found these dreamy few moments inspiring and hopeful. I wanted to share some of this hope with you. The photos below represent a small number of the inspired pieces our favorite Canadian designers are selling at General 54 this season.

I hope you enjoy. Take a moment and don’t forget to take that deep breath of fresh spring air. – Feel beautiful and enjoy.

ALLISON WONDERLAND
ALLISON WONDERLAND
ALLISON WONDERLAND
ALLISON WONDERLAND
JENNIFER GLASGOW
JENNIFER GLASGOW
JENNIFER GLASGOW
JENNIFER GLASGOW
HEIDI MARTENS
HEIDI MARTENS
MEEMOZA
MEEMOZA
BIRDS OF NORTH AMERICA
BIRDS OF NORTH AMERICA

 

OSEI DURO
OSEI DURO

Kazak Club

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 By Alex Coupar

Over the past few decades, fur clothing and accessories have become difficult to wear for many people. The ever-rising cost of what is now considered a luxury item often puts it out of reach for budget-conscious consumers; and in addition to being expensive, the use of fur in fashion has become a controversial choice.

While the fur trade was a cornerstone of Canada’s development, fur has since become a huge industry in Canada. Massive-scale fur production facilities, otherwise known as “fur farms”, have become common. Concern for the welfare of the animals being raised to make these products has led to harsh criticism from animal rights groups like PETA, as well as designers and celebrity animal welfare advocates. With large-scale, automated production, the quality of the garments made using fur has also been in a decline over the years. The care that was once taken in the construction and detailed finishing of fur pieces has, in many cases, been sacrificed for an increase in output and profits.

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With all that said, let’s be honest: the Montreal winter experience is one of the harshest and snowiest in the world, and sometimes high-tech synthetic textiles just don’t cut it when you need to stay warm and frostbite-free for as long as it takes to walk to the nearest café. Fur has been a beautiful and highly effective way of keeping Canadians warm for centuries, and its charm isn’t likely to fade anytime soon. Thankfully, there is a solution for animal-respecting lovers of furs!

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The furs and leathers used by Montreal-based designer Kazak to create their unique winter accessories is recycled, which means that it offers up several benefits: no animals had to be harmed to create new fur garments, so the industry is not being supported by consumers; and extremely outdated fur pieces that may otherwise have slowly faded on the thrift store shelf are given a new and improved purpose. Another excellent thing about using these repurposed materials is that each of the finished hoods, mittens and collars is unique: the furs come in a variety of lengths, natural patterns, and textures, and are paired with complimentary cozy fabrics and textured leathers that you won’t see on everyone else this winter.

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Kazak’s designs add a bit of wild beauty to a sleek cold-weather look when you’re in an urban environment. Their combination of functionality and style is right at home in this city, where the conditions are extreme, yet visual drama and flair are rarely sacrificed. As with the vast majority of the designers and artisans whose work is carried at General 54, Kazak’s luxurious mittens, collars, hoods and bags are made with care, love and attention right here in Montreal.

If you’re looking for winter accessories that are as tough and striking as the Montrealers who wear them, come by and take a look at this season’s collection from Kazak!

Ode to a Gift Guide…under 40$

General 54’s Fabulous Holiday Gift Guide: Part One

Text and photos by Alex Coupar

The carefree debauchery of Thanksgiving and Halloween is a fond and distant memory. This next month, for many of us, will be a whirlwind of planning and gift hunting, culminating in a colourful maelstrom of holiday presents, parties and goodwill. Basically, it’s time to start talking gift guides! Boutique General 54 has been putting together a thoughtfully curated selection of locally and Canadian-made artisanal jewelry and accessories, in addition to its regular lineup of beautiful clothes, so you too can have a handmade holiday this year (even if you’re all thumbs).

This week, we’re focusing on the type of gift that has universal appeal and is easy to give to just about anyone on your list. Whether you have to ship it across the country, are on a holiday budget, or aren’t yet exactly sure who the lucky recipient will be, we’ve got a lot of options.

upstate

If you’re anticipating an anonymous office gift exchange with your cool colleagues, you want to convey that you care, without getting too specific. The beanies, watch caps and gloves from Upstate Stock have both practicality (they are made in a factory that has been creating affordable and warm wool knits for working Americans for years) and a style that can fit in with just about any of your other winter gear. These pieces’ rugged good looks make them very popular with both ladies and gentlemen; and you can feel satisfied in the knowledge that you’re supporting the re-emergence of quality North American manufacturing.

Montreal-based leather artisan Marc Simard offers a stylish collection of notebook covers, pouches, belts and card holders that he has handcrafted with care using recycled full-grain leather and off-cuts left over by the boot industry. Many of his beautifully polished leather items feature unique embossed designs. Like all high-quality leatherwork, these pieces will continue to look better and gain character as they age. They are an excellent choice for anyone in your life who would appreciate a useful gift that also boasts ethically handcrafted appeal.

marc

 

If you have loved ones who live far away, sometimes the best thing is to simply mail them a card that conveys your best wishes for the holidays, the old-fashioned way. Popolo Press uses traditional printing methods to create colourful and meticulously detailed works of art that go way beyond anything you’ll find at an ordinary greeting card store. Factory Central has several cards that feature cozy and Christmasy scenes. Whether you’re searching for a specifically holiday-themed card or one that depicts a natural wintry landscape or whimsical imagery, these cards will likely remain displayed on the recipient’s mantelpiece well into the New Year. Pick one, or six, and fill them with your thoughts of peace and love!

popolo

 

Hopefully these ideas have given you a bit of inspiration on the hunt to find the perfect thing for all the lovely people in your life! Have you honed a selection of go-to gifts like notebooks or wallets over the years, or is it a fresh new search every season?

Thank you for reading

General 54 xx