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.

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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 🙂

Halloween and happy outcomes

The last few days have been rather hectic since I pitched to the ‘dragons’ at Inspiring Retail.
There have been Halloween parties,

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a whole lot of cakes,

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and a successful days trading at Barton’s PLC on Sunday. 

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But by far the most exciting thing to happen was the awards ceremony for the Inspiring retail awards 2014.
The morning of that day didn’t start too well. After hosting a party at the Lace Market Theatre for Halloween,  I had been vacuuming the club room at 1 am on sunday, dressed as Morticia Adams. Followed by a busy market on the Sunday. So when it came to being bright eyed and bushy tailed the next day, it was a bit of a challenge.

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Firstly, we had an ordeal getting Little Aud’s ‘cone of shame’ back on, that she had pulled off in the night. She then proceeded to do a Tazmanian devil impression around the house in retaliation. Knocking several items of stock over that we had prepared to take.
I then discovered that the heel had come off the pair of shoes I was going to wear, so there was a mad dash to buy the cheapest black shoes available. 
When we finally arrived at the Council House in Market Square,  it was magnificent.  I had never been inside before and seen the city from that perspective.

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We set up the table for display, and mingled with the other delegates. The previous winners were there, and several local business owners.
I had brought an entourage with me, consisting of family and friends.of course, Ian Jones was there in partnership with me, showing off some of the amazing pieces he had produced for me to sell.
David Hargreaves from Fisher Hargreaves Proctor started the ball rolling with the speeches, and a little bit was shown about each of the 8 candidates,  myself included.  I felt strangely nonplussed by the whole experience prior to the announcements,  perhaps because I didn’t want to get my hopes up. But when David got to announce the winners, of which there would be two; I began to feel a bit sick.
I had worked so hard for this moment and the reality of it was all just sinking in.
My name was called. Stunned silence from me and cheering from my Mum and Dad! Ian pushed me to stand up, because I was still in stock. I’ve never even won a raffle before…

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I am so proud of my achievements.  I’ve only been trading since April,  but I wasn’t going to let my redundancy back then, turn into complacency now. I know the idea I have fits a gap in the market and this competition will be the turning point in making a success story of it.
I’d like to thank the dragons (whom weren’t really dragons) for believing in me, and Inspiring Retail for giving me this opportunity.  I will be appearing in the Nottingham Post today, and featured on Notts TV last night. All this is so surreal. As I sit here writing this, with a cup of tea and Little Aud (whom has pulled off her collar again) I am so grateful for everyone that has helped me on this journey. This is proof that you should never give up, even when you’re feeling like it’s not worth getting up in the morning. Just keep going. Never give up. It’s taken me 31 years to realise what I am supposed to be doing with my life. Now I’m going to ‘gerron wee it, duck!’

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‘Dukki’ will be opening for business on 1st December 2014, but you can currently buy our stock via http://www.dukkidesign.co.uk/shop
Follow us @dukkigifts and @dukkidesign

Ta ra for now!

Pitch Day

So, those of you who are following us on Facebook will know that we’ve been shortlisted for the inspiring retail awards 2014. If we win, then we will be opening a shop in the Broadmarsh Shopping Centre! We’re just on the way to pitch our brand, and hopefully put Dukki on the map.
I shall keep you posted about our progress, but for now it’s ta – ra from us, duck!

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