Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Progress report

The new website for Anna Macneil is now well underway. We are creating an on-line shop which will make it very much easier for you to make purchases. However - it is much more work for us, in terms of setting it up - lots of "buy it now" buttons to make, pictures to edit, links to create, but we are getting there.

So far we have got all the hat pages ready and on these you will be able to select a hat from stock or order one in the colour of your choice. At the moment this is still not accessible for you to view, but "watch this space"! There are 8 styles to choose from, all designed to keep out the Scottish weather - and we are getting plenty of that! Actually, today is lovely and sunny, but bitingly cold. Perhaps once the sun is properly up in the sky (it's just after dawn just now) it will be a bit warmer but for all those who need to go out to walk the dog before heading off to work, these hats come highly recommended. Or perhaps you walk to work? Or perhaps you should walk to work but don't like arriving with a cold head? Choose between our different designs to combine warmth and comfort with style and colour.

Today it is the turn of the scarves section to get the on-line shop treatment. I made a start by organising my collection of scarf photographs to make it easier to select the ones I need for the shop - only 1027 to choose from! These have certainly proved popular over the 5 years that we have been making them. As with the hats, they are designed for comfort and warmth. They are made from Harris Tweed and we can offer a choice of embroidered scarves or plain tweed.

Actually, plain tweed is a bit of a misnomer - Harris Tweed is far from plain - even in the single colour versions. The wool is dyed before carding and spinning to make the yarn from which the tweed is woven. As different fibres in the fleece take up the dye to greater or lesser extents, there is always some variation of shade, but in addition, most mixes for carding include small quantities of extra colour, so you will get green, red, yellow and blue all rubbing shoulders with a main brown fibre - see the centre square of the swatches on the left. These swatches are all the tweeds that we have in stock in reasonably quantity - we have at least four times that in smaller quantities, so we should always be able to make something in the colour of your choice.

So - keep checking our website. I think at most another two weeks should see it fully up and running - though there may be the odd little glitch to start with. When Len was creating the page for our hat style "Angus" he was doing it straight after working on the "Anna" page. To save time (!!!!!) he did a "find and replace" for all the times that "Anna" was used - not taking account of the name of the business - so suddenly we had "Angus Macneil" - oops! However, we spotted it and it was easily remedied. Len (my husband) does web design and management for small businesses, individuals and charities. That is one of the reasons why I have had to wait so long to get the Anna Macneil site overhauled - a case of the shoe-maker's children going barefoot! His charges are very reasonable, but the paying customer gets priority.

In the meantime, you can still access our catalogue through the website and see details of our full range of products. Besides the hats and scarves we make bags & purses, belts and wraps, phone pouches & specs cases, cushions and wallhangings and a range of Christmas decorations - something for everyone.

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