Don’t believe the Instahype

Any small business owner will tell you, that social media and Instagram especially, play a huge role in advertising their business. For some businesses, like mine, Instagram is all-consuming. My day has become measured out by whether something is Instagram worthy. Whether it be my first cup of coffee in the morning, the new product I’ve released, or even the ‘work threads’ I’m wearing. To be honest, I hate it. But it has become a necessary evil, to show the world the inner (and outer) workings of DUKKI.

Trying to keep our brand personal, and appealing to the masses is exhausting. Most of the time, I’m sure you boggers* aren’t even interested. I try to keep what I post as close to the reality of how our business runs, but Instagram is great for allowing you to hide the messy reality of what is actually happening day-to-day.

Instagram is also a thief of time, and a means of prying into the daily life of other small businesses. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading about what other people are up to, and filling my head with inspiration, but it doesn’t half make you feel completely ill-equipped to compete. Being a creative professional plate spinner, it also makes me want to do ALL the things. Which eventually sends me to breaking point.  When I look at other people’s Instagram feeds, I can’t help thinking “what am I going wrong? How can they have such a perfect work life balance? Will I ever be able to achieve that?”

Of course, they’re probably all thinking exactly the same thing as me, which is partly why Instagram is such a powerful visual aid. It taps into the anxious part of our brain, and fuels the fire to post more and more. It’s a self-perpetuating torrent of colour and influence, and it’s totally addictive.

This morning, I’m sat at my laptop, at the patio door to our house, attempting to work in the sun, whilst Ian mows the lawn. I posted this picture to Instagram:

“Cup of coffeh and a sausage cob, then I’m going to smash the duck out of Monday”

What this photo doesn’t show you, is the mountain of crap on the rest of  the table, the fact that it’s already midday, and I’ve not achieved anything yet, or the fact that I can’t smash the ‘Duck’ out of Monday, because I’m so far behind on everything, that I feel like my head is going to burst.

I’ve been wanting to write this Blog for about three months, but I have never found the time to be able to prioritise it. I’m supposed to write one a month, (a silly goal that I’ve set myself) but then that’s yet another platform, by which to portion another piece of my life out, and there isn’t enough of me to go round.

Running a small business is hard, exhausting, rewarding, pleasurable, and time-consuming in equal measure, and sometimes, I really do wonder if it’s all worth the bother.

Not my real desk.

One thing is for sure, without social media, our presence as a business would be far less than it is now. People must read what I post about, because they come into our shop, and tell me they’ve seen stuff on Instagram. I just think I need to get the balance right, and stop obsessing about what others are posting about. It’s time to stop fixating on what I could be doing, and start finishing what I’m already doing!

Ta, for all your continued support, both on here, and bloody Instagram.

Heidi, Designer & Owner of Dukki Ltd, 18 St. James’s Street, Nottingham

*Bogger is an affectionate term for anything or anyone from Nottingham.

A Brief History of Dukki

AY UP, yo boggers!

You might alreadeh follow us on Facebook, twitter or Instagram, and know a bit abaht us boggers, or you might ‘av just chanced upon our blog on your travels through tinterweb. Warrever the circumstances, we thought we’d introduce ussens, and tell you all abaht how Dukki wuz formed. (No, we ‘aven’t spelled the words wrong, it’s colloquial writing. If yer don’t like it, yowl soon geroverit, me duck!)

The history of Dukki, is also kind of a love story!

Way back in 2014, I was made redundant, from a job that I’d slogged at for 4 years, with little recognition. you know the type, you put everything into it, thinking that you’ll make something of yourself from it one day, but that day never arrives…

Shurrup---mousematAfter 100s of job applications, and the realisation that I didn’t like ‘working for the man’ I decided to set up my own business. It was later that month, that I went on a blind date with a slightly quirky, bald man, and on a very sunny afternoon in #Beeston in the beer garden at The Crown, we discussed art, illustration, Nottingham and everything in between…. We discovered that we were both artists, and talked about how he could sell some of his work on my website, and we got on so well. In the July, we hosted our first stall with the @bibfmarket at the vintage warehouse, which was a quiet event, but we had such good feedback, that we pursued more. With no money for a car, we would load stock into suitcases and wheel it to events, like @bartonsplc monthly craft markets, and the @craftinthecityevents.

In December 2014, we won the Inspiring retail awards, and had 3 weeks to open our shop! It was a whirlwind from start to finish, but the rest is history. This photo was taken on the first day, right before we opened. 


We had hardly any stock, and hadn’t got a clue what would happen. We now get to live and work together every day, and we’re so proud of how things have gone. All we want to do is celebrate Nottingham, and the beautiful things it has to offer, and we’re so glad that you all want to support us whilst we do it. Getting to work with a slightly quirky bald man, isn’t half bad either 🙂

Introducing Katie Abey Design

Introducing Katie Abey Design.
This year has been a whirlwind here at DUKKI. But we’re very pleased to announce that our DUKKI SHOWCASE 2015 is ending with a big rainbow coloured bang, probably containing jelly beans, or unicorn droppings if that’s what you like to call them….

This year has been a whirlwind here at DUKKI. But we’re very pleased to announce that our DUKKI SHOWCASE 2015 is ending with a big rainbow coloured bang, probably containing jelly beans, or unicorn droppings if that’s what you like to call them……ahem.

We introduce Katie Abey to our shop, although she needs very little introduction, because she is already a well known bogger on the Nottingham Illustration scene.

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A big load of Katie’s goodies, currently on display in our shop, Broadmarsh Centre, Nottingham.

Katie lives and works in a crazy little house in Derbyshire, with her fiancé, Jeff, and their cat, Frank. She works from home and has her work area carefully positioned next to the kitchen (and therefore the fridge and the kettle!)

She is inspired by anything weird and wonderful and aims to create colourful and happy illustrations by combining humour and puns with a touch of attitude and sweetness. Her aim is to create statements that are relate-able and will make people smile.

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It certainly did!

Every single day starts with with a fun illustration to get the cogs whirring. She enjoys drawing her illustrations using pencil and fine-liners and then adding colours and textures digitally.

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Her work has appeared in all sorts of places, from the walls inside Spanky Van Dyke’s, the hoarding for the redevelopment campaign in Sneinton Market, and even a range of Stationary for WH Smiths! (oo-er!)

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Cotton tote bags on sale in our shop.

When she’s not drawing she enjoys music, reading, going on adventures and frequently changing her hair colour to match its surroundings!

You can follow Katie on Facebook here and twitter here, and, of course, pop in and see what she has for sale in DUKKI!

DUKKI SHOWCASE 2015 – Introducing Dominic Murray, Illustrator

Living in Sherwood, paired with a long time love of the legend of Robin Hood, seemed like an obvious opportunity to do something unique and local.”

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It’s that time of year when the kids go back to school, and retailers see fit to start advertising Christmas, so we thought we’d introduce our latest Guest Artist and Illustrator, Dominic Murray. (Because he has some perfect Christmas gift items for any discerning Nottingham bogger!)

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We are very excited to feature his Sherwood Forest themed illustrations, and when we asked Dominic what made him embark on this series of illustrations, he told us:

“I’ve always had a love of art and have drawn for as long as I can remember. Since having children I’ve started to draw things that I think they would like which led to participating in Sherwood Art week in 2013, and everything escalated from there. Living in Sherwood, paired with a long time love of the legend of Robin Hood, seemed like an obvious opportunity to do something unique and local.”

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His default style is inspired by a childhood love of Tintin and Asterix, and is created through traditional methods: lots of initial pencil sketches, finally deciding what he should ink, and then finishing by painting on water colours. Recently he has taken his first steps into the realms of digital art, but he says we’ll have to see how far into the matrix he descends.

Dominic’s Exhibition will be on until 30th September 2015
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Dominic can be contacted via: Email: sinistersnowmen@gmail.com

 Or you can follow him on Twitter: sinistersnowmen & Tumblr: dominicmurray

DUKKI SHOWCASE 2015 – Introducing Mel Graham Artist

Mel will be featuring some larger pieces of work, alongside smaller prints and cards.
Driven by her passion to paint, new work is always available.

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We are very proud to announce that our next artist to exhibit at DUKKI will be the Internationally selling and self taught artist Mel Graham!

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Mel’s endless landscapes and dramatic seascapes focus on the sheer and raw beauty of space and nature. Her colours are vibrant and brush strokes vivid, with colours chosen entirely by mood.
Her studio and adjoining gallery, are located in Nottingham, UK.  The light and space provides the opportunity for large and striking work to be produced.  Inspiration is drawn from the sea, and the empty expanse of natures finest. 

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Mel will be featuring some larger pieces of work, alongside smaller prints and cards.
Driven by her passion to paint, new work is always available.  Work often takes weeks to complete, or sometimes only hours.  Mel generally works on about four pieces at once, leaves them, and then works again,
re-defining and re-energising her work.

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She has sold hundreds of paintings from the UK to Australia, The Falkland Islands to San Francisco.  She received a “Highly Commended” status in the Artist category in the Patchings 2015 Competition for Squall of Teal.

More examples of her work can be found on Artfinder.com and her website which can be found by clicking here. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Help us to give a big welcome to Mel, by sharing this blog, and supporting local artists. You can keep up to date with all things DUKKI on our Facebook page.

Ta, me owds!

Burning Sensations Pyrography are now exhibiting at DUKKI

Please help to support our local artists, by popping into the shop, but if you can’t make it to Nottingham, you can follow Burning Sensations Pyrography on Facebook by clicking here

Ay up!

Our July exhibition has started. Its a pyrography takeover, her at DUKKI, and here are some of the highlights. Make sure you pop down to see it all. 24 hours in, and some of the items in these photographs have already been sold!

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  The exhibition will run until the 31st July11758840_10153226116587182_2035818164_n Beautiful home sweet home hanging pieces, and mini trinket boxes.

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Steam Punk Style wooden trunk £65 (detail shown below)

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More burnt offerings!11774406_10153226116197182_449120725_nThe tree of life Plaque.

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Eye of Horus plate,

Please help to support our local artists, by popping into the shop, but if you can’t make it to Nottingham, you can follow Burning Sensations Pyrography on Facebook by clicking here

Ta for now, me duck!

DUKKISHOWCASE2015 – Introducing Burning Sensations Pyrography

Liz has been a pyrography Artist for 17 years. She concentrates mainly on cartoon and tattoo style art, hand burning pictures and words onto wooden items, like keepsake boxes, plaques and bookmarks.

Good Morning everybody! It’s time to introduce the forthcoming exhibition we are having here at DUKKI. The next bogger to come and exhibit is Liz from

                                      Burning Sensations Pyrography                                          17-31 July 2015

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Liz has been a pyrography Artist for 17 years. She concentrates mainly on cartoon and tattoo style art, hand burning pictures and words onto wooden items, like keepsake boxes, plaques and bookmarks.

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She also carries out commissions in a variety of different styles, providing personalised unique gifts.

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Burning Sensations Pyrography is based in Gedling, Nottinghamshire and you will also find them at various craft stalls, festivals, tattoo conventions and comic conventions. They cover a wide range of steam-punk/alternative fairs all over the UK, selling their burnt wooden offerings; in fact, you can find them tomorrow at Dubdayz Summerfest tomorrow 11th July.

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you can follow Burning Sensations Pyrography on Facebook by clicking here

Come down and show your support for her creations from 17 July, DUKKI, Upper level, Broadmarsh Shopping Centre, Nottingham, NG1 7LN