The Mella Journal

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  1. Hello......I'm back......

    Yeah, I sort of disappeared off the email radar for a while there…..sorry about that! Like most folk I was trying to be upbeat and positive but the last few months have been tough. The second lockdown really took its toll and I didn’t seem to have much news to tell. To be fair I haven’t got a lot to say now but I have been busy here at Soapy HQ and I‘m working on lots of new things.

    Soapy HQ News

    I guess the biggest news for me was in March I got a new job! I now work part-time for, for those of you who don’t know it’s like an island Etsy. It’s an online shop for Scottish island businesses. I’m doing the social media marketing and vendor support and I am absolutely loving it! Such a brilliant project and I’m getting to ‘meet’ lots of really amazing creative people from all over the islands. I’m not very familiar with the Inner and Outer Hebrides so I’m looking forward to when I can go on a trip! Check it out, there's a lot on there, it's a social enterprise too so all profits are put back into Isle20 to help promote island businesses, creatives, makers and designers. I bought myself a bottle of Tyree Gin with my first pay packet and I can highly recommend it! (that's not what's in the mug by the way!)


    I have some new products in the pipeline and a few new stockists on board. Now that things are beginning to open up it has been great getting some wholesale orders on the go again. I’m working on the website so check over the next few days for details of where you can find Mella soaps and candles near you if you are keen to support the amazing little shops I supply! 

    Mental Health Awareness Week


    This week has been Mental Health Awareness Week, personally I    think every week should be. The pandemic has highlighted the        need for more mental health awareness and there is now a much brighter spotlight on these issues, which is great however, more and more people have found themselves struggling. I don't know about  you but I have had some really tough days, especially during the last lockdown.


    I've been so lucky to have friends and family near and to be in Unst too. What a place to be!

    2025D334-717A-4E66-8732-290DDD72CDE2I really am so lucky. I hope that by sharing some of the images of Unst on Instagram and Facebook it has helped some of you to escape from the covid world, even just for a moment.

    It's the little things that help balance your mood

    I got a lovely email from a customer in Northern Ireland who told me that using my soaps felt therapeutic and had been a joy to use during the pandemic, with all the extra hand-washing. They had felt so nice and had been so gentle on her skin. It is such a lovely thing to hear and cheered me up so much. It really is the little things that can be a mood booster......some kind words, a nice soap, a lovely candle or a nourishing hand salve, it can make all the difference, it can be a gift to yourself or for someone else.

    If you have ordered before you know that you get a postcard with a 10% off on your next order, why not pass that on to a friend for them to try a Mella Soap? It doesn't have to be you who uses it! 


    So, thank you for reading and signing up to the Mella newsletter. The plan is to write the journal every month and to have a quick update every two weeks on a Friday showcasing a product, having special offers for subscribers and letting you all know what’s happening in the far north.

    So, as a MASSIVE THANK YOU signing up and if you have been here a while wondering if you'd ever get a Soapy HQ newsletter, let's face it if you signed up ages ago not a lot has been going on to keep you here! There was a discount code in the email, just for subscribers (yes, you're special). If you're a bit late to the party and only just reading this now, no worries here's a tiny peerie discount code for a £1 off your next order! Use Code: POUNDOFF at the checkout.


    Both codes are only available until midnight on Thursday 20th May 2021, so you'd better get in there quick!

    In June's Mella Journal there will be PUFFINS, a visit to another awesome small business in Unst plus lots more…….take care out there and WASH YOUR HANDS!


    Mel x

  2. Mella Journal January 2021

    Happy New Year! Well….not sure about happy……Lockdown 2021. We are still living with restrictions and looks like we will be for a while. I have tried being optimistic and for the most part I think I have managed it but like everyone I have off days, times when I am finding everything a little bit too much. I’m grateful that my friends and family have managed to stay safe so far but still worry as things can change in an instant.

    Normally I would be just heading home from the trade fair in Glasgow, full of energy, and enthusiasm for the year ahead with a bunch of orders and some new friends but this year it’s a bit different. I’m still trying to muster up some enthusiasm, there are not so many orders but it will be okay. All the lovely shops I supply, with the exception of those on the islands, are all closed and even then those shops are really struggling as people, quite sensibly, are limiting their trips out and about.


    By now Shetland is usually buzzing with the thought of the Up Helly Aas that will take place all over the islands, sadly not this year. I think we will get the fire pit out when it’s our turn and have a little fire celebration of our own.  I’m guessing mostly everyone reading this will know what Up Helly Aa is, if you don’t, well it’s a Viking fire festival with lots of Vikings, burning boats, parades in the streets, all night fiestas and much more. I have to admit that I don’t really get involved, if it’s a nice night I will try and go and see the procession and galley burning at the festivals we have here in Unst (there are two in Unst in Uyeas

    ound and Norwick) but I don’t take part really. There are 12 festivals which take place from January to March. The largest festival takes place in Lerwick on the last Tuesday in January and really is an amazing thing to see.  The two festivals in Unst take place two weeks apart in February.

    Okay that’s enough about Up Helly Aa but it is an important part of Shetland life and is seen as the light which gets us through the dark winter. This lockdown is proving to be so much more difficult for so many people this time round. The wild winter weather, the shorter days (although I see a difference in the length of the days already) and not being able to socialise and to have something as bright and warm as Up Helly Aa to look forward to is making things see extra bleak. After all the whole idea of Up Helly Aa is heralding the return of the sun… will come back and things will get better.

    I am a great believer in writing down your thoughts and ideas and even though I don’t know when life will return to normal I have been busy writing lists with plans and ideas for the year ahead. I asked on Instagram a few weeks ago what you all thought about the idea of a soap and candle subscription. I had some great feedback and I am busy working away in the background trying to put it all together. If you are reading this and have some ideas you’d like to share let me know or if you’d like to be the first to know about it when it starts to finally come together, follow Mella Handmade Soap on Facebook and Instagram and sign up for Mella updates on the website. I promise not to spam you with lots of emails and your details are completely safe and won’t be shared with anyone. It’s all very exciting and I think you are going to LOVE it.

    Anyway…….to help us to get into the new year and to plan for the year ahead I have put together a mini mindfulness gift kit, to gift yourself or for a friend. It includes a lovely notebook from Cairney Ivy, a small one-woman

    20210121_162811business based here in Shetland, the all important Muji pen (it's a writing game changer), a delicious COCO Chocolatier chocolate bar, a Mella soap (with serious virus busting properties) and a Mella candle to create the perfect relaxed and coorie atmosphere. You can add a gorgeous card designed by Juniper Press, another one-woman business, from Aberdeen. Write down your plans, ideas, ambitions and dreams for 2021…….it’s good to dream, it will get better. They are just £20 for the kit and the card can be added for just an extra £3. There’s only a limited number available so get in there!

    Right, I will go for now………….stay safe, keep washing your hands and thank you for reading and keep dreaming…….we’re nearly at the end of this.