If three years ago you'd have told me the Oh Squirrel Hen Party sash would become a 'must-have' accessory for Hen and Bachelorette Parties all over the world, I wouldn't have believed you. I thought I'd write a little blog about why it's such an awesome and unique gift, and tell you a little of the story behind it too.
1. It is unique.
Seriously! You can also make it totally unique by selecting your choice of wording, and choosing from dozens of different fabrics. There are plenty of ribbon sashes on the market, but this it totally different. The idea behind the sash was always to provide choice, so you could select the perfect product for the Bride and suit her tastes. I've seen a few people try and replicate it, but I'm not worried... a latter point in this will explain why!
2. It comes highly recommended!
If in doubt when buying something, read the reviews! The etsy reviews are pretty lovely! I get so many gorgeous messages after the event telling me the Bride didn't want to take it off, and often there are tears of joy from not having to wear shiny pink tat! When the new website is launched I'll be featuring feedback on there too.
3. It's well made
Ok, want to know the processes? Take a deep breath! 3 months of product development to get the pattern right, years of sourcing fabrics and negotiating to get a good price, to be able to pass on the saving to the customer, cutting out (with incredibly sharp scissors!), preparing the print, stitching, pressing, more stitching, more pressing, more stitching, turning through, lots of pressing, printing, QA checking, hand sewing, making a handmade fabric badge, stamping a tag, attaching the both, final QA checking and then beautifully wrapping. About 5% of sashes don't make the cut as I'm very strict on QA check. I take so much pride in everything I assign the Oh Squirrel name to! I only use 100% Cotton Fabrics, and sew on a snazzy computerised machine. All in all, QUALITY! This does back to the point I made earlier, good luck copycats!!
4. It has a history
I'll tell you the short version of a long story! Six years ago my friend got married. There was NOTHING nice on the market, so I made her a sash. I then continued getting on with my life, and had a career in fashion buying. When I came to make Oh Squirrel my full time job back in 2013, I popped up a photo of the sash, and started to get enquiries. Back then, an awful blog post I wrote with terrible photos (which I took) was the top hit for 'Vintage Hen Party', if you googled it, so it all happened very randomly. The product was born out of a need for quirky, original and personal items for hen parties - I'm proud to have been a trend setter for this! It was totally meant to be.
5. You can all match!
I get lots of requests for full parties wearing sashes, which is amazing!! So much nicer than a tacky tee which will only be worn for painting after, right? However, if your budget doesn't stretch to that then there are plenty of options in the range with badges and decorative flags. Oh Squirrel is an inclusive brand in every element, and I'm totally aware that budgets vary so I'm happy to accommodate. Struggling to find a package? Please just drop an email, I'm very friendly!
7. So much attention to detail!
Even the little badges that fasten the sashes are hand pressed in the studio. Sashes are packed beautifully with a hand stamped tag on. The end is hand stitched, and they're pressed immaculately before posting. The pattern for the sashes was developed over a long time with lots of trial and error to get the perfect fit, including shaping around the neck to fit comfortably. I hope you find the service you get from me very personal too! I'm always on hand to offer advice and updates - it's part of the job!
8. Say no to disposable tat!
Ok, phallic nonsense can be funny, I agree! But the whole point of Oh Squirrel goodies is that they're made to last - whether they go in a memory box or as a decoration - they're not just rubbish to throw away at the end of the night.
9. You can see how they're made!
Within this beautiful video by May I Say you can see behind the scenes!
10. You're Supporting a Small Handmade Business
I may have big dreams, but Oh Squirrel is a Small Business. To cut a long story short (again!), I cannot believe I made my hobby into my living. I work incredibly hard to develop unique products at accessible price points, market them and continue to make them. The last couple of years have been made up of endless days, and months without even a day off. Worth it? Hell yeah! Every single order, whether for a few badges, a stockist order or one for a lovely sash is appreciated. It's been this that's turned Oh Squirrel from a hobby into a Business.
Long may Oh Squirrel sashes continue! HOORAY!
Photos from Lisa Jane Photography / Holly Booth Photography / May I Say productions