CHRISTMAS AT SCANDAFFÄREN.COM

Although I personally have an aversion to early Christmas advertising/decorating/promotion, there is snow on the ground this 14th of November so we might as well get ready. While there are some Autumn Tablecloths, Table Runners and Dish Towels still available, our Christmas inventory is in and available for your perusal and enjoyment.

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Mina Tablecloth

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Vinda table runner

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Autumn Garden Dish Towel

 

Things have been a bit quiet since the September Horse Shows but that has given us time to improve the shopping experience on our website, increase our visibility on the web and spend time looking for the perfect location to open a physical store. We may have found on in Devon, PA, where we would like to be and hope to open in the Spring! Check back for future updates. This store will feature all of the products you see here on the website and an expanded candy and food shopping environment for all the Scandinavian and Finnish goods you cannot find in your local grocery store, and that is not being sold any more in that BIG, blue and yellow, Swedish store- you know the one I’m talking about.

As mentioned at the start- Christmas is almost here and the shopping season is about to begin. We will be at the St. Lucia Festival at Old Swede Church (Gloria Dei Episcopal) in Philadelphia, PA on Dec. 5, 6 & 7 before and after all eight performances. This is a big event for the church and for all Swedes living on this side of the ocean. St. Lucia is celebrated heavily in Sweden and her day is Dec. 13. The services are particularly beautiful and you are all invited to join this joyous occasion. Reservations are encouraged as the church is small and this is a popular event. Please go to their website and order your tickets before Nov. 25th. www.old-swedes.org

Of Course, please do this after you finish shopping here. We are delighted to be accepted as a vendor at the Lucia Fest this year and expect that we will be quite busy. If there is something that you especially like you might want to purchase it before Dec. 5th to guarantee that you have the items you love the best. We can arrange for ‘pick up in store’ if you are planning to attend the Lucia Fest this year.

Here are some items that I think will be very popular this Christmas:

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Dish Cloths

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Throws

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Table Runners

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Dish Towels

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Placemats

There will also be a wide array of popular food items available such as Julmust (Christmas Soda), Marabou Chocolates, Knäckebröd (crispbread), Saft (juice concentrates), Marzipan confections and so much more. See you there!

FAQ: What makes Pappelina plastic rugs special?

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One of our suppliers, that I only just found 3 weeks before the Devon Fall Classic, is a Swedish company called Pappelina. They weave indoor/outdoor carpets of colored plastic ribbons on a loom in Sweden. Now, plastic rugs like these are common in Nordic countries and not what Americans are used to experiencing . When the rugs came in a day or two before Debut 1, my Swedish husband said, “ These are just like ones my Mormor (maternal grandmother) made for the summer house. They last for years!” I’ll take that as a good recommendation. These rugs are soft, pliable and beautiful. Most come in runner sizes that are 28 inches wide and 20 to 180 inches long to fit any hall, deck , laundry, mud room, kitchen, doorway or, as expressed at Dressage at Devon, “They would be GREAT in a tack room!”. Pappelina also has room-sized carpets, ranging from 56”x80” to 72”x104”. How wonderful for your deck, patio, deck, sunroom (again a tack room), and they come in many different styles and colors to fit any décor. When they get dirty or dusty just drag them outside, hose them off and let dry in the sun. If something like ketchup spills on a rug, wipe the excess up quickly and rinse with a hose as soon as your schedule will allow. Some things, like ketchup, will just stain everything, but with prompt care your carpet will stay looking like new.

Be sure to check out these rugs on our website, just search for ‘Pappelina’ at the top of the page. There are only a few styles listed at this time so if you are looking something specific or would like to shop the whole catalog, please send me a message at info@scandaffaren.com and we can work together to find the perfect match for your home.

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Now a word about plastic: it is the reason that Pappelina rugs are so successful. The colors stay true since the ribbons are the color. The design is not printed on top. Due to the weaving process this also means the rugs are reversible! Depending on the pattern you choose, the reverse image may be like a negative on film (for those who remember film). For example: a black field with a white star flips to a white field with a black star. Great if company is coming and you don’t have time to clean it, just flip it over for a refreshing change! Plastic also means easy to clean. Most of the time you will only need to hose it off and let dry in the sun. If your carpet is REALLY dirty, shake or hose off the excess and put in the washer. Yes, that’s right! These can go in your washing machine in cold water. (Note- do NOT put in the dryer) Most runners and small rugs will be fine in our big American washers when concerned with volume and weight. My humble opinion is, that if you want to wash a large room rug or very long runner- look for a commercial drum at a Laundromat. There is more specific information in their catalog.

For those concerned about recycling and using recycled materials- Pappelina only uses ‘fresh’ plastic. Pappelina states, “We use nothing but Swedish manufactured, environmentally certified plastic that meets the requirements by REACH.” Additionally, “our rugs do not contain hazardous metals or hazardous softeners. Our products have long life and also require minimal maintenance.”

I used to work in a factory that made plastic bottles when recycling was becoming popular. One of the things I learned was that plastic is not recyclable like glass, metal or even paper. There is a reason we do not see much, if any, products made from 100% recycled plastic. It does not return to its original form and is weaker with every recycle; if you melt glass it will purify and can be reused with any degradation. If I remember correctly, that company could only use up to 10% recycled plastic in any bottle or jar or it would begin to fall apart in a short time. That was a couple of decades ago and improvements have been made in the recycling process, but your most durable, cleanable and versatile indoor/outdoor carpet should be woven from ‘fresh’ plastic. That being said… when you are done with your carpet, if you did manage to wear it out 10-20 years from now, it is, of course, 100% recyclable.

Keep in mind that images and catalog pictures cannot produce a perfect representation of colors. If you are in the Philadelphia area we will be happy to meet with you and show you color swatches or you can send us a paint chip or fabric swatch for see how their colors will match/compliment or contrast to meet your needs.

I hope you have fun exploring this great product and finding the perfect place for one in your home or office.

First Month, Devon Horse Show and a Website!

Photodebut1Devon Fall Classic booth (Debut 1)

Even though I only posted the first blog a week ago, we’ve actually been doing business for over a month. The website was up and running just in time for our first event. The Devon horse Show and Country Fair graciously invited us to fill an empty booth of the Devon Fall Classic. It was a great debut weekend in mid-September. We met many wonderful people, both other vendors and our first customers! Some of the vendors encouraged us to contact Dressage at Devon to see if there might be a booth available there also. So, after cleaning up after the Fall Classic I did just that and a booth had become available, so a week and a half later we opened for ‘debut 2’! Dressage at Devon was another great opportunity to meet people and get our name, and the suppliers that we represent from Scandinavia and Finland, out to the general public. The weather was warm and clear almost every day for both shows and we appreciate both organizations and their willingness to let us in at the last minute. I am so thankful to God for this new venture and those who have been willing to help us get there- first, my husband, Sten, my parents and the families that cared for Annika. Then there are the family and friends on two continents who, not only encouraged us, but helped to design the logo and critique the website. I cannot forget to thank Shane DeVoe, of DeVoe Enterprises, who took time off of his business to move us in and out of the Devon Horse Show and even set up lighting (which was awesome)! Debut 1 at Devon Fall Classic would not have been so successful without Diana Walter. I really had no idea how to make the space look right and she is so talented! Everything was perfect, neat and inviting. When I asked her about helping with set-up she said, “I don’t do anything special I just play with it until it looks right.” My response was, “You play with it and it looks awesome, I play with it and things break”.

photoDebut2 Dressage at Devon (Debut 2)

While all the fun stuff was happening the web store was getting some visibility too, and we’ve been getting some great feed-back. Our friends at Svenska Skolan (Swedish School), which also happens to be in Devon, have been very supportive and our first customers on the web-store! It has been a pleasure packing up their orders to deliver on Wednesdays at class and a few extra things for others to purchase ‘on site’. One of the services we offer and plan to continue after a store front opens is a ‘Pick up in Store’ option so people who purchase locally can save on shipping costs. If you live in the area (or are passing through), let us know and, if possible, we will schedule a time and place for delivery.

Please enjoy our website, share what you like with friends and as always, we look forward your orders of the best that Scandinavia and Finland to offer.

We’re here!

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Hello everyone. Scandaffären Inc. has opened its virtual doors are we are ready to show you the best of Scandinavia and Finland!

We all know the traditional looks of Scandinavia and Finland- Dala Horses, little gnomes, St. Lucia festivals and, of course, modern design, but there is so much more. Amazing art glass, fine china, woven textiles, wood products, metal work are all part of the professionally produced goods coming out of the Nordic world. Scandaffären does not have all the items available right now, but every week we are expecting new shipments. Right now we have food items (confections/candy, cookies, crisp bread, drinks) , Art Glass by Mats Jonasson and Målerås Glasbruk (glass factory) and some modern coffee/tea services done in ceramic and wood by Tonfisk Design of Finland.

Just a quick word about the Art Glass we have on hand. It is gorgeous! Mats Jonasson and the other artists at Målerås are so talented. They have taken lead crystal and carved it and molded it into fantastic replicas of fauna or flora in varying sizes and subjects. Please enjoy browsing the gallery and adding a piece or two to your home.

We’d like to think that candy is candy, but the truth is that there is candy then there is something special we can call confections; something more special than the average candy bar selected in haste at a convenience store. The Nordic people love having delicious chocolates, licorice and salted licorice, and jams bursting with berry flavors not common in the US. Julmust is a Holiday soda, usually available around Christmas, but many enjoy its robust flavor year round; there is also saft- a juice concentrate in flavors such as Elderflower, Black Currant, Raspberry and Lingonberry (similar to cranberry). A great alternative to the traditional juice flavors of America. Have fun shopping!

You must see the Tonfisk Design items! “Bored of seeing more of the same, Tonfisk Design was established to produce objects which are not mere variations.” They have created award winning, modern, innovative and beautiful coffee/tea services for your table.

In order to serve you best we have partnered with PayPal, and you can choose whether to use your PayPal account or a credit card. Also we will be shipping via the Postal Service giving you the option to select First Class Parcel, Priority Mail Flat Rate or Priority by weight for shipping or Express mail. If you live in the Philadelphia area we may be able to offer ‘Pick Up in Store’ even though we don’t have a physical shop just yet. Please contact me at info@scandaffaren.com to arrange pick up or delivery.

We are excited to bring Scandinavian products to the US and hope you enjoy shopping in our online store.

See you soon!