Monday, 28 July 2014

The Godiva Guide to... looking after leather

We always treat our leather products as an investment. Whether it's a pre-loved pair of vintage leather cowboy boots, a brightly-coloured recycled leather bag or a swoon-worthy leather jacket, we want you to be able to love it and wear it forever!

And the best way to ensure that your new leather purchase will last a lifetime is to spend an extra few minutes every now and then looking after it.

Leather Bags

At Godiva we stock three different kinds of leather bags: Yoshi satchels and wallets are made from leather; Paperthinks shoppers, totes and purses are made from recycled leather (leather offcuts that have been ground down and moulded into a new material); Rebecca Jane bags are handmade from reclaimed leather and vintage fabrics. These different kinds of leather all have their different merits, but their care and maintenance is essentially the same.

Care & maintenance

When you first get your leather bag, you should treat it with a beeswax cream or a spray protectant to act as a barrier against water, such as spillages or rain. These products can sometimes alter the colour of leather, so make sure you test it on a small, inconspicuous area first.

Lightly brush over the bag with a soft dry cloth (microfibre ones work great) to keep it looking bright and shiny. Every month or so you can use a leather conditioner to help prevent the leather from drying out.


Store your bag in a dustbag whenever you're not using it, and fill it with stuffing to help keep its shape. Otherwise, make sure you keep it in a cool, dry place and away from direct sunlight. 

We always advise rotating your bags in the same way that you should rotate your favourite shoes and coats - wearing the same one every day will wear it out much quicker!

Leather Jackets

We stock Nonchalant's beautiful leather jackets in store, in classic black and dusty pink colours. At £375 they're an investment piece, but with a little care and attention a Nonchalant jacket will last you a lifetime!

Care & Maintenance

Leather jackets are very hardwearing (that's why motorcyclists wear them!) but you should still look after them properly to make sure they keep looking their best for as long as possible. Before you wear it for the first time, treat your leather jacket with a leather guard, usually a simple spray, to help protect against spillages and dirt.

We wouldn't advise wearing a leather jacket in a torrential downpour, but you should be able to remove rain spots with a dry cloth, or a spot of leather conditioner. If your jacket does get wet, let it dry on a hanger at room temperature, away from direct heat like radiators or airing cupboards that will dry out the leather.


Whenever you're not wearing it, hang your leather jacket on a decent wooden hanger in a cool, dry place. Leather tends to stretch, so try to avoid hanging it on a hook or with clothes pegs. If you're storing away your leather jacket during the warmer months, keep it hung up in a clothes bag to protect it from dust.

Vintage Leather Boots

We always have a good selection of leather boots in our vintage room, whether that's cowboy boots, ankle boots or knee-high boots! Sometimes people can be a little turned off by the thought of wearing second-hand shoes, but remember that a good cobbler will be able to mend any heel or sole damage, and a sprinkling of baking soda inside the boots and left overnight will get rid of any nasty odours!

Cleaning & maintenance

First of all, use a clean dry cloth to remove any dust from the boots. You might always want to remove and replace the laces, if there are any. Then use a saddle soap to clean the vintage boots thoroughly and get rid of any dirt or stains. You can then condition them to get that supple leather texture back again. 

If there are any stubborn stains you could try cleaning the boots with a mixture of one part rubbing alcohol and one part water, then let dry overnight at room temperature.


Always clean your leather boots thoroughly and condition them before storing them away for a long period of time, such as over the summer. Store boots upright, using either shoe trees or stuffing them with acid-free paper to help keep their shape. As with all leather products, store boots in a cool, dry place and away from direct sunlight.

Where to buy

There are a number of cobblers in Edinburgh who can clean and repair your leather products for you, as well as selling a range of leather care and maintenance products, such as H Robertson in the city centre and Gorgie Cobblers in Gorgie.

Monday, 21 July 2014

New in at Godiva this fortnight

The weeks seem to fly by so quickly at Godiva and I'm here already with another update on all the new things that have hit the shop floor!

Queenie Browne and Runaway Fox are keeping us well-stocked in woodland animals. Queenie Browne's adorable lavender-scented fox and badger faces are always greeted with smiles, and I can't get enough of Runaway Fox's quirky 'Animal-Friendly Taxidermy' jewellery collection either. We've also had a new delivery of super-soft tees from Naromode, too: the Bee, Duck and Koi are flying (or swimming!) out fast!

Rowanjoy's been busy in her studio below the shop making so many lovely new things for us. How amazing is this cape?! It's been gracing our shop window all week, and never fails to bring a smile to my face!

There are also Rowanjoy's tartan dresses in the universally-flattering 'Jessie' style, and bold and beautiful skirts in two different styles, using some of her most popular fabrics! Which is your favourite?

Sunday, 13 July 2014

5 Ways to Wear a Naromode Scarf

We're huge fans of Scottish design duo Naromode here at Godiva (check our Q&A with Anna and Iain to find out more about the brand!), especially their beautiful illustrated scarves. We've noticed that our customers often ask for advice on how to tie or how to style Naromode scarves, so we thought we'd pull together five different ways you can wear one. That's one for each day of the work week! Don't forget to leave us a wee comment if you have any other tips!

1. Neck Bow

Instead of just draping your scarf around your neck, tie it into a loose bow and slide it round to the side: instant Parisian chic! Naromode Moth scarf, £50.

2. Hair Bow

Add instant vintage-style glamour and a pop of colour to any outfit by adding a hair bow: tuck in the ends of the bow for a neater look. Naromode Duck scarf, £50.

3. Hippy headscarf

I call this one the 'Hippy Headscarf' because it reminds me of those images of carefree girls having fun at Woodstock! Simply tie the scarf at the nape of your neck, beneath your hair, and let the loose end of the scarf trail over your shoulder. You could even plait it through your hair if it's long enough! Naromode Fly scarf, £50.

4. The Turban
I've seen a few glamorous ladies rocking a turban over the past couple of months, and I was amazed to find out how simple it is to do! Fold your scarf into a triangle, and drape the middle corner over your forehead. Bring the two longer corners over onto the top of your head, and twist them around each other. Bring them back down and tie them in a knot at the nape of your neck. Finally, tuck the corner over your forehead into the twist at the top of your head. It's super easy after a couple of goes, you could try it out on a friend until you get the hang of it - or a glamorous assistant like ours!

5. The Half-Turban

I called this one the 'Half-turban', because it's essentially a cross between wearing a headband and a turban. Roll the scarf up, then place the middle at the nape of your neck and bring the two sides up to the top of your head. Twist them around each other, like you would to make a turban, them bring them back to the nape of your neck and tie into a knot. Easy! Naromode Apples scarf, £50.

Friday, 11 July 2014

The Godiva Guide to... the Best Cafés in Edinburgh

Living in Edinburgh, we're lucky to have so many wonderful cafés and coffee shops right on our doorstep. And obviously we like to avoid the big name chains (ahem, Starbucks...) whenever we can, and get our caffeine-and-cake fix from an independent instead. Here are our favourites (seems Lovecrumbs is a definite hit!):

(picture from Graham Pow, flickr)

My favourite cafe is Lovecrumbs, not only because it's great to have such a fabulous business open on the West Port making the street more of a destination street, but their excellent baking skills and stylish decor has made it my favourite place to indulge in cake. If you're going to indulge you should always do it in the most stylish and distinguished way. Lovecrumbs most definitely caters for this with their vintage café style and unusual flavour combinations like chocolate and lavender or a peanut butter cake. If you haven't been, then go today!

155 West Port

My favourite cafe - the Fruitmarket Gallery Café. I'm not a coffee or tea drinker so a cafe that also sells wine and cakes is top of my list and the Fruitmarket Gallery does both of those. After having a wander round whichever exhibition is on (currently Jim Lambie, definitely worth a visit to be hypnotised by the floor alone) it's a great spot to sit and watch people go by on Market Street.

The Fruitmarket Gallery
45 Market Street

My favourite cafe is Lovecrumbs. It's close to the shop, independent (which we always support!) and has the most fabulous selection of cakes, teas and coffees. The atmosphere is relaxed, with its eclectic selection of tables, chairs and sofas. The artworks and many cacti give a homey but arty feel that isn't pretentious.

I can't stand coffee but I could drink tea by the bucketload. They don't advise drinking from buckets at Anteaques; instead, they serve up the biggest range of tea I've ever seen in beautiful antique china tea sets. I always think there's something special about drinking from a delicate tea set, and being in Anteaques is like stepping back in time. Plus the green tea cake is to die for!

17 Clerk Street

My favourite coffee house is Filament Coffee on Victoria Street. Robbie who runs it is incredibly friendly and extremely passionate about coffee. It's all about the coffee for me and every week his coffee blends are from somewhere new.

Filament Coffee
5 India Buildings, Victoria Street

Sunday, 6 July 2014

New in at Godiva this fortnight

Has it really been a fortnight since our last update? The summer is flying past! It's been a busy couple of weeks here at Godiva: Mollie Brown's summery vest tops have gone down a storm, we've had Poppy's cute-as-a-button 'Boats and Floats' skirts back in stock, Rowanjoy's treated us to some gorgeous new pieces and we've brought in a brand new local designer, By Jove, who turns old stamps and maps into quirky jewellery!

Mollie Brown's new lightweight vest tops come in sizes 8-10 and 12-14 in a range of patterns, some with cute collars and some scoop necked. Perfect for pairing with a summery skirt, or with jeans or denim cut-offs!

Poppy's Boats and Floats skirts come in sizes 8 to 14, in both red and indigo colourways - and they come with a little storybook inspired by the illustrations at the bottom of the skirts! This is one of only two of these Rowanjoy skirts made (there's also a dress made in that brilliant metallic material at the bottom of the skirt) so snap it up quick!

And last but not least... By Jove! As you can see, the stamps and maps have all been treated in different ways: some kept as they are, some cut down, some folded into fan shapes or that sweet little aeroplane. The dainty Queen's head earrings have been a big hit so far, but there's also treats for the guys with the cufflinks - spot the JFK ones at the back?

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Win £250 by shopping #IndieGrassmarket!

Throughout July we're joining up with all the other independent businesses in the Greater Grassmarket area in celebration of Independent Retailer Month!

Independent Retailer Month is a campaign that aims to get more people to shop at local independent businesses; they say that for every £1 spent in local businesses, around 50-70p finds its way back into the local economy. But for the same £1 spent out of town or online, only 5p goes back to the local economy!

The Greater Grassmarket area is full of brilliant businesses (including Godiva!), so hopefully we can count on your support throughout Independent Retailer Month. All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning that £250 shopping spree is tweet with the hashtag #IndieGrassmarket and the name of the local business whenever you shop locally on the Greater Grassmarket during July. Visit the Greater Grassmarket website for full terms and conditions.

But why should you shop locally?

We can't speak for everyone, but here at Godiva we're passionate about the local and independent designers that we stock. They've all been handpicked and selected to be part of our store for a reason: whether they're local designers we love to support, new designers with innovative products, or because they use Fairtrade and responsibly-sourced materials. We can tell you why and where our designers made their products, what their inspirations were and how they made them. We can give you personalised advice, whether you're looking for something for yourself or a friend.

And most importantly, buying locally doesn't just support those individual shops: it also supports the independent designers and makers that many of us stock. It allows them to grow their businesses and continue doing what they love - and what they're good at!

In case you need even more motivation, here's a selection of items you could purchase from Godiva if you won that coveted £250:

So get shopping, get tweeting, and good luck!