There’s a saying we all know ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. It’s an African proverb meaning it takes a whole community of different people to interact with a child for them to grow and safely experience their environment. So very true.
It also, it turns out, takes a community of small independent business owners and makers to save a Santa! In early summer up popped a post on Instagram of a weary looking, worn and tired vintage Santa and we knew we had to save him. This Santa, after much TLC, has been proudly standing in our window all Christmas, waving at passers-by. He looked a whole lot different when he arrived!
We spied him on @butlerandgeorge, it was love at first sight and we bought him there and then. The guys at Butler and George kindly offered to drop him off on a trip West and the deal was done.
He arrived on my day-off and was stored ‘out back’ so as not to scare the customers! I attach some photos of him as he arrived, a little grubby, a tad creepy, in need of a scrub, a beard deep clean and a trip to the dry cleaners.
‘Out back’ he stayed but Christmas was coming. Before tackling his ‘looks’ I sent him off to Andy of Cassidy Gregory Electricians who checked him out, rewired and gave him a clean electrical bill of health! I knew he needed more love and attention and my first thought of who could possibly help was the lovely and very clever Kate of The Makery, Bath. She was bound to know someone who could re-beard a Santa and of course she did, her neighbour!
Georgina Brown is a local doll maker extraordinaire, Kate recommended her to tackle Santa’s beard, hair and complexion! She was eager to help. I delivered him to her and the transformation began. In the mean time I bought some new mohair trim and his suit went off the Italian ladies at the tailors, XO Tailoring on the corner of our street.
A few days later Georgina sent me photos of a thoroughly rejuvenated Santa, like he’d been to a spa and knocked years off! His beard and hair had been cleaned, eyebrows re-shaped and his face most definitely received ‘some work’. All had been done with great thought and care to keep him as true to original as possible. He was now ready for his washed and newly fur trimmed suit and the window was cleared for his debut!
And there he has stood, in our window, a cheeky pink face beneath a now snowy white beard. I've pinned to his coat my accidentally machine washed (!) Boom Bolt Pin by Sparklechild London, I think he needed a little extra something! I hope you have enjoyed him! Huge thanks to all involved in ‘saving Santa’, many of you generously offering your help and services free of charge. Isn’t that brilliant. We hope he’ll be with us for years to come.
Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to all our customers, suppliers, fellow shop-keepers, makers, shakers, tradesmen and coffee baristas! Happy Holidays!!
Ps… he’s off to ‘the body-shop’ in the New Year, one of our favourite customers knows just how to rebuild his tired physique ‘oh that’s easy, send him to me, I’ll sort him!’. Fantastic.
Spotty Herberts will be closed from 1pm on December 24th until January 5th.
Butler and George, Antique and Curiosity Shop, George St, Hastings
Cassidy Gregory Electrical Contractors Ltd., Bath
The Makery, Bath and John Lewis, Oxford St, London
Corner of Queen St, Bath