I’m doing the 3o Day Blogging Challenge at the moment and it’s great as a) it’s given me the focus to do more Dimpsey blogging and b) I’m getting the chance to read some great blogs written by my fellow Challengers.  This morning I read one about the importance of values in your business and it really made sense to me – especially as part of my thinking about Dimpsey involved considering what values I wanted it to have and they were all based around old-fashioned country values – this is why…

What’s in a name?

People often ask where the name Dimpsey came from.  We live in Somerset, England and I was talking to one of our older neighbours one day and he said “Well, I’d best get on now, as it’s getting a bit dimpsey…”  I nodded as if I understood, and then quickly rushed inside and found a dictionary, which yielded precisely nothing.  Google was a bit more helpful – explaining that dimpsey (or dumpsey) was a Somerset (& Devon/Dorset) word for the half-light that comes at the end of day.

I just loved this word!  So, later when we were looking for a new brand name for our glamping business, Dimpsey popped back into my head.  A lovely, traditional country word, the domain was available and the meaning very relevant to campfires and candlelight as the night draws in. Perfect!

But what about the country values??

I really do believe that a business is the sum of its parts – people, what they do, how they do it and how they make people feel.  All too often we concentrate on the mechanics of making a business happen, but we forget about how we want people to feel.  For me, how they will feel is firmly based in the values you/your business have – as you will project your values and it will form part of the experience.

As Dimpsey is a country word, I decided to think about which country values mean something to us and then narrow it down to a list relevant to Dimpsey, which will help us with developing Dimpsey further.

Here’s the list I came up with:

Rustic, earthy, homely, traditional, trusting, welcoming.

So now the challenge is to live and breathe these country values as part of providing the Dimpsey glamping experience, testing ourselves and what we do against them as we go!

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Not that many years ago, the words luxury and camping didn’t really crop up in the same sentence, but the arrival of glamping (glamorous camping) on the scene has transformed the options available if you’re booking a short break holiday in the UK.

Yurt Farm
We stayed in this yurt at the Yurt Farm in Wales

Bell tents, safari tents and yurts were some of the first entrants to the scene – bringing that traditional under-canvas snooze space as well as all the facilities they have to offer. Nowadays you can choose from a real vintage Eco-experience through to all the bells and whistles with LED TV’s – the field really is going upmarket!

Then more elaborate affairs started to appear; tree houses with full en-suite facilities, horse-boxes converted into luxury accommodation and shepherd’s huts. The glamping revolution really was in full swing, so we went out and stayed in various places to see what might work for us.

We have a small farm in the Blackdown Hills and we wanted something we could use throughout the year, both for ourselves and for friends and paying guests. Having done our research, we decided on a Shepherd’s Hut as we felt it would settle into our landscape nicely and a well-structured one would probably outlast us, so it represented a good investment.

Glamping Relax
Curl up and read the history of Shepherd’s Huts in a book from our library.

In times gone by, shepherds spent many a long evening on the hills during lambing times and built themselves small shelters from whatever was available on the farm. Over time, these developed to become small huts on wheels, so they could be dragged around the land – and became known as Shepherd’s Huts. Usually simple affairs, they contained a log burner and a bed platform with space for weak lambs underneath – and maybe a table and chair. You can see many examples of these in the excellent book by David Morris about Shepherd’s Huts.

Taking their inspiration from the traditional shepherd hut, a number of companies now build a version which can be used as; a spare room in the garden, a playroom, an office or for holiday accommodation. We visited several manufacturers and eventually decided to buy from Blackdown Shepherd Huts as they were able to provide all the options we were looking for, with a high-quality build and, as a bonus, they’re just down the road from us. They’re also a great bunch of people and we’ve really enjoyed working with them on this project and hope to work more with them in the future.

The hut is 18 foot long and over 7 foot wide, so it’s much bigger than a traditional hut would have been, which gives us the space to provide a kitchen and bathroom facilities in the hut – and a lovely comfy double bed to snuggle down in. I have to admit that I like to have a bed that’s already made up for me, so wanted a bed that folded away into the wall. Unfortunately for the Blackdown guys, George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces programme convinced me it was possible 😉 – but they were great and came up with a fab solution for us.

Glamping Shepherd's Hut
Cosy in the Dimpsey Shepherd’s Hut with the log burner going.

So, I’ll share more about it all over the next few posts, but suffice it to say that we’re fairly confident that you’ll be happy to put the words glamping, shepherd hut and luxury in the same sentence in future!

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So welcome to 2015 and it’s finally time to fill in the gaps about what we’ve been doing – so I thought I would use the proverbial kick-up-the-bum” of the 30 Day Blog Challenge to unfold more details about Dimpsey – our luxury stay place.  So here goes with the first blog post…

 

Luxury…it’s a weighty word and drips with the promise of things to delight and amuse. When you bring it to mind, the immediate thought is that it’s about big things…flash cars, big houses, lots of money. It’s usually about having something more than the basic needs we all have.

But in reality, luxury isn’t a possession and it can’t be purchased…it’s a state of mind, a feeling, a memory that we are left with after we experience something.

We can all make someone feel luxurious by taking that extra little bit of time, caring just a little bit more and understanding that a basic need for us may be another person’s luxury.

So, there it is – and what an appropriate one for the 1st of January! We’ve spent time making sure that the Dimpsey Hut is fitted out with beautiful things, but we are the guardians of luxury for our guests – we need to challenge ourselves to always go one step further than they expected.

Actually, why limit it to Dimpsey guests?? It’s probably something we should look to do in all areas of our lives.

Happy New Year – have a good one!

 

Emma

 

PS If you want to find out more about the 30 Day Blogging Challenge, then you’ll find it here http://www.sarkemedia.com – have a read and if you’re inspired and looking for ways to improve your blogging – why not join me, the more the merrier!!

 

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The farm we’re based on has been here in its current form for over 500 years and as it was mentioned in the Domesday Book, it’s probably safe to assume that there have been people here for centuries.

I often get a sense of yesterday’s world as I wander around the fields – and every now and again we find interesting glimpses of past lives spent here and I find myself wondering about who they were and how they lived.

An apple tree unexpectedly in the middle of a field hedge leads me to wonder if a farm worker threw away the core of his apple and never dreamt that a long time in the future, we would be picking apples.

This time it was the remnants of a cider jar I found in one of the field banks when we were getting things ready for the hut to arrive. The jar was in pieces and caked with dirt, but I squirrelled it away into the house, with the hope of connecting this piece of history to our Dimpsey Hut.

Sure enough, when it was cleaned off, the jar revealed that it was from a few miles down the road and, given that farm workers were routinely paid in cider, was probably an everyday item on the farm in its day and had been thrown into the hedge when it broke and became useless…

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We gave it a scrub and a clean-up and then Becky had the brainwave of putting a candle in it and making it into a vintage candleholder. Given that Dimpsey is a Somerset word for twilight – I loved the idea of this relic lighting the corners of the hut as darkness falls.

I’ve taken a quick piccie to show you and I’ll get one taken in the hut asap – this must be about as eco as it gets – recycling rubbish from at least a hundred years ago!

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This morning I read the Saturday Telegraph magazine, and in it is an article about the Wilderness Reserve which is a lifelong passion and restoration project of entrepreneur Jon Hunt who sold Foxtons estate agency for a fortune in 2007.  It’s a really interesting article and you can read the full story here, but the thing which really struck me about the whole thing was his commitment to his vision.

In a nutshell, he purchased a large house and estate in Suffolk 20 years ago as a family home and gradually added the land surrounding his estate.  The upturn in his fortune in 2007 enabled him to put a master plan in place and ever since he has been creating the Wilderness Reserve – restoring the landscape to a master plan created by the renowned landscaper Capability Brown in the 18th century.  To achieve this he has buried miles of electricity cable, diverted rivers and dug up miles of concrete road – a gargantuan achievement.

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So back to the vision commitment, the interesting thing is that when he started out, he didn’t expect it to pay, the restoration of the estate was a hobby and he said “when you start looking at it commercially it becomes a nuisance”.  But he had an overriding vision of restoring the estate to the plan, and only now is an element of it becoming commercial in that he has restored the houses and is letting them for high end holidays and conferences.  His passion gave the path, and he was in the fortunate position of being able to fund his dream and let the commercial elements emerge organically.

However, back to the real world and realistically, most of us need the commercial element to work earlier in the plan!  However, we can learn from Jon’s story – it is great to have a passion for what you do, as it helps you plough on when times are tough.  When you combine that with a clarity of vision, it starts becoming really powerful as being very clear about where you are going can help prevent you from chasing down the commercial cul-de-sacs which we sometimes divert down, dragging us away from our vision and ultimately delaying our progress.  Keep the end in mind all the time!

 

Photo Copyright ©Wilderness Reserve

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Last week, I was up in the Bath area – with my hubby and the two boys in tow.  I had seen that Meticulous Inks were opening a new shop in Bath – along Walcot Street – and wanted to pop in and have a look at their fab letterpress printing.  Firstly we went to their new production shop at the top of Walcot Street and saw the printers all set up and ready to go.  They wanted people to be able to see it all in action and I think it’s a great idea.  There were some amazing invitations being prepared as we popped in, and they were lovely – I do love receiving a proper old-fashioned invitation, makes it all seem very special.

Then we hot-footed it down the street, past some great little delicatessens and curiosity shops, to the Meticulous Ink retail shops and design office.  Luckily, The Fine Cheese Co. is the shop next door, so the menfolk popped in there and selected a delicious array of very fine cheeses for our supper – they were like kids in the proverbial sweetshop, we do love our cheese!

Bath Cheese wrapped
Bath Cheese unwrapped

Whilst they were gainfully employed, I had a mooch around the store and loved the variety of items they had on display, lots of personalised print items (obviously) but also lots of traditional stationery delights – I’m probably a little bit sad but I love new pens and pencils, so I just had to treat myself to a few new pencils with funky replaceable erasers.  I also had a chat with them about the printing services they offer and now I’m trying to think of something I can justify having printed by them!

Meticulous Ink 2
By now, the menfolk were hovering and harrumphing outside, so I reluctantly tore myself away.  We picked up tortillas for lunch from a deli on the way back, and I popped into the Farrow and Ball shop to pick up a Mizzle tester pot…more on that later 😉

Then homeward for a cheese feast!

Em.

 

 

 

 

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Lots of people always ask me about running a business, having a smallholding and looking after our boys with my hubby – so I thought it would be nice to let you know what a day in Dimpsey world is like. So this is me first thing – with my posh shoes on, ready to meet with Rebecca Garrett Media about some promotions for the business. So far, so glam…

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Roll on to 11am – meeting’s over and it’s straight into wellies to assist hubby with getting our Dexter cows in for their annual foot trim – cue lots of running around in the hot sun, getting very red-faced and bitten to death by insects!

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I managed to fit a bit of lunch in and then it’s a shower and change into Mum mules for Sports Day at the school – I didn’t manage to get there for all of it but I did see quite a few of the races, brownie points on the Mum front for having ice cream money with me.

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Then home for dinner, boys bedtime and then back to work catching up on all the emails I missed during the day! I won’t post a pic of my slippers, they’re a bit past it and rather embarrassing! What does your day look like – I’d love to hear!

Em x

 

 

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As you know, ‘Dimpsey’ is a Somerset word for “the time in the evening just before dusk” and we absolutely adore it! Being from Somerset we knew we had to use a local word for our business, however we have found some more unusual dialect to show you thanks to the BBC website.

Click here for Somerset Lingo words A-M

Click here for Somerset Lingo words N-Z

Some of our favourites we have found are: Acker meaning friend, Aggy meaning off to gather eggs (we kid you not!) and Nottled meaning really cold!

There you go, you learn something new everyday!

somersetdialectmug

 

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Well…wow!  What can we say??  We launched Dimpsey quietly so that we could check we were happy with everything and we’ve been overwhelmed by the response!  Everybody who has seen it loves the site and we’ve already placed orders for bespoke bags – like this lovely little Kings clutch bag in Aubergine Leather and Suede, a special order for one of our customers.  Owen Barry have been really supportive and are excellent suppliers and we look forward to working with them more over the coming months.

So, it just remains to say thank you for a great start…we’ve got some great projects in the pipeline and can’t wait to share them with you!

Kings clutch bag in Aubergine Suede and Leather
Kings clutch bag in Aubergine Suede and Leather
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Here at Dimpsey, we’re delighted that to announce that we gave the go ahead to our web guys to press the big red button today, which unleashes us onto an unsuspecting world.  We hope that we will become one of your favourite haunts and would love to hear your ideas for new products and designs.

Here’s our press release for your delectation:

Dimpsey
the online collection of South West “Irrational Must-have” products

Why Dimpsey?

Every now and again, you hear a word that rouses your curiosity because you haven’t heard it before – and Dimpsey as our brand name started from an occasion just like that. We’d been toying with the idea of bringing together an edited collection of “must have” accessories and around the same time heard the word Dimpsey.  Cue a bit of google research and it turns out that it’s a West Country term for the half-light that comes at the end of the day, so twilight or dusk – we loved the word and so we had our brand name. Time to get on with making it all happen!

Who are we?

We’re a small team and are based on a farm in the Blackdown Hills in Somerset. We’ve been designing and retailing silver jewellery online, at Shows and on the High Street as Hiho Silver for around 20 years . During that time we’ve occasionally sold handbags, homewares, cushions and throws in our stores, and are often asked for pieces by our customers, so we decided to bring it all together onto one website for your delectation.

What are we about?

We’re all about loving what we do and bringing great products to our customers.  We pride ourselves on excellent customer service and we have a great network of contacts to find the unusual and the eye-catching. Our initial collection is our edit of the fabulous Owen Barry leather, suede and cowhide handbags.  Owen Barry is based in Street, Somerset and we’re delighted to be working with them.

We will also be designing our own Dimpsey products, using South West based made materials – the first of which will be a collection of cushions.

What will we be selling?

Our selection criteria is as follows –

  • South West designers – we are going to be concentrating on South West Designers/Manufacturers.
  • Irrational ‘Must Haves” – we all have those things we can’t say no to, so we’ve consulted our friends and have come up with a list of categories including…
    • Handbags
    • Scarves
    • Candles
    • Cushions
    • Throws

It only remains for us to thank you for enquiring about Dimpsey.  We hope that you like our new Brand and look forward to sharing more information with you in the future, we’d also love to hear suggestions you have for new products and designs.

Dimpsey Details

Website:  www.dimpsey.co.uk

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/dimpsey

Twitter: @dimpseyuk

Telephone: 01460 477774

Email: emma@dimpsey.co.uk

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If you would prefer to download the press release in PDF format, please click link below!

 Dimspey Press Release & Infomation – December 2013

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