What’s Been Hot at In Heaven at Home, Market Harborough?

Anne Barber, owner of In Heaven at Home, Market Harborough ‘celebrated’ the store’s 7thanniversary by closing its doors due to lockdown. “It was entirely the right thing to do, but so sad,” Anne told PG Buzz. But far from ‘closing down’, Anne’s life has been a whirlwind of setting up virtual shopping services for customers as well as putting her calligraphic skills to good use in handwriting hundreds and hundreds of cards.

Above: Just one of the many batches of cards that Anne Barber has handwritten for customers during lockdown.
Above: Just one of the many batches of cards that Anne Barber has handwritten for customers during lockdown.

“Talking to customers, helping them choose cards then writing messages for them has been the best thing about lockdown,” Anne told PG Buzz. Of her calligraphy card writing service, she has found this “just a wonderfully happy thing to do. It has been my personal saviour.”

She has been planning the shop’s re-opening ever since it was forced to closed for lockdown. Anne says she has used this period “as an opportunity to re-think and re-merchandise the store so that it is fresh and new when the doors re-open”.

In preparation Anne has installed a one-way system utilising the shop’s back door as an exit and created bespoke 2m social distancing floor stickers to ensure customer safety.

Above: The social distancing stickers that Anne has devised in readiness for re-opening.
Above: The social distancing stickers that Anne has devised in readiness for re-opening.

“We will be asking all customers to utilise our anti-bacterial hand-washing station before entering the shop and we will be wearing masks and, where appropriate, gloves. At our till point I have installed a wide Perspex protective screen. A contactless thermometer will be used by myself and anyone working in the shop to check that our own temperature is normal each day before the shop opens.”

As well as the calligraphy card writing service being continued, Anne is also launching a special VIP customer appointment booking service for individual out-of-hours shopping.

Above: With the shop having 6,000 organically grown Facebook friends, Anne has seen this as a ‘shop window’ to promote the 2,500 different card designs as well as the gifts it stocks to customers.
Above: With the shop having 6,000 organically grown Facebook friends, Anne has seen this as a ‘shop window’ to promote the 2,500 different card designs as well as the gifts it stocks to customers.

Revealing the ‘guilty pleasures’ that have helped to get her through lockdown, Anne admits to: “Normal People on TV and double salted caramel Magnum ice cream!”

Here, as Anne prepares to open up her physical shop, she shares some of the top selling products which she has sold via Facebook and telephone during lockdown…

Humorous Cards

Janice & Jeffrey from Bold and Bright 

“The Isolation cards, especially the Quarantini designs have done well. It seems as though a number of us have been enjoying a few more drinks than usual and starting to drink a bit earlier in the day. Not me obviously!!!”

Above: Two topical designs from Bold and Bright’s Janice & Jeffrey range.
Above: Two topical designs from Bold and Bright’s Janice & Jeffrey range.

Thinking of You/Stay Safe Cards

Pots of Love/Spot The Birdie from Laura Sherratt and general range from GBCC

“Thinking of You cards is actually one of our best-selling categories all year round but throughout lockdown we have sold probably three times as many of these cards. Great British Card Company has a very good selection.

Laura Sherratt’s Stay Safe, Thinking of You & Be Happy cards with rainbows, little wooden birds and gems have been perfect to send wishes to loved ones people haven’t been able to see to let them know that you love and miss them.”

Above: One of the topical designs from Laura Sherratt that has been very popular with In Heaven at Home customers.
Above: One of the topical designs from Laura Sherratt that has been very popular with In Heaven at Home customers.

Friendship Cards

More Glitter from Counting Stars 

Charlotte Mason from The Proper Mail Company

“It seems as though lots of people have been sending special birthday cards to their friends who have had birthdays during lockdown. The witty editorial in the More Glitter range from Counting Stars) and the diamante-gemmed Charlotte Mason cards from The Proper Mail Company, have both done well. Everyone loves sparkle and ‘diamonds’.”

Contemporary Cards

Gold Foil from Sarah Kelleher 

“Our whole team and customers absolutely love Sarah Kelleher’s gold foil cards for all occasions – they deliver a happy shiny glow.”

Above: Anne Barber (left) with Sarah Kelleher at last year’s PG Live
Above: Anne Barber (left) with Sarah Kelleher at last year’s PG Live

Children’s Cards   

Emma Bridgewater from Woodmansterne and Alex Willmore from Ohh Deer

“Families have wanted to make sure children have family birthdays at home with lots of cards, with these two ranges scoring highly.”

Hit Gifts For Lockdown 

Betty Hula body products

Marmalade of London candles and diffusers

“Betty Hula’s range of vegan-friendly natural body products, especially the anti-bacterial hand creams in gorgeous fragrances Rum & Blackcurrant, Lime & Mango, Champagne & Spice has been an absolute standout range. Marmalade of London Luxury Candles and Diffusers have also been real winners, with the favourite fragrances being Tuscan Lime & Basil and Prosecco & Juniper.”

Above: A delicious rum & blackcurrant anti-bacterial hand cream from Betty Hula.
Above: A delicious rum & blackcurrant anti-bacterial hand cream from Betty Hula.

Top: The rainbow window at In Heaven at Home. 

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