2019 has been a trying time for us here at Bats HQ, but it
doesn’t do well to dwell on the past so we’re looking towards the future! This
month we relaunched our website, and we couldn’t be happier with it. There are
new features such as the ability to leave reviews and make your own wishlist, you
can shop our Instagram feed, and checkout is quicker and easier than ever
We still have the House Of Bats products you know and love,
and have added hoop earrings too – perfect for stretched ears or just for something
a bit different.
As a small business getting the new site up and running has
been a massive undertaking, and now it is done we are putting all our energy
into exciting new product lines so watch this space!
Thank you all for your support, we love our batty family
Hi! Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and love it or hate it it’s hard to avoid it. So whether you’re a loved up romantic or a die-hard cynic, we want you to know how much we appreciate each and every one of you. And so, from now until 14th February 2019, we will include a free anatomical heart necklace with every order! [while stocks last. 1 free necklace per household.]
Yuletide is over, the chocolates are all gone, the weather is cold and the days dark. Let’s face it, January kind of sucks. So we figured we’d spread some joy and have a big sale so you can cheer yourselves up without breaking the bank! Every single thing in our store is HALF PRICE throughout the entire month of January, so go ahead and treat yourself!
It’s that time of year again, everyone is running a sale and while we’re not usually ones to follow the crowd we wouldn’t want our lovely batty fans to miss out on a bargain! So we’ve got massive discounts across our ranges, from prints to jewellery to Alchemy home and giftware – there’s something for everybody.
Now’s the perfect time to start the dreaded Christmas shopping, so get a head start and save yourself some money in the process! Fair warning though, our sale ends on Tuesday 27th November and is only available while stocks last, so don’t miss out!
Introducing our latest product drops! We’ve been busy working behind the scenes on designing and making our biggest launch yet – 35 brand new products that we hope you’ll love as much as we do.
Themed around witchcraft, mysticism and the occult these designs are very special to us, not just for what they represent but also because they bring in a new chapter at House Of Bats. These designs are the very first to be made using our 100% recycled acrylic! We’re so proud to be taking this next step in our efforts to reduce our impact on the environment, and to be able to do so while staying true to our style is a dream come true.
One of the great things about owning and running your own small business is that you can ensure that your ethics and values are reflected in your brand. This is something I feel strongly about, having integrity in all that you do. I want House Of Bats to be something I am proud of (which it is), and so I am not willing to compromise my values just to chase higher profits.
This is why all House Of Bats products are vegan friendly. As a vegan myself, I would not purchase animal products and so I will never use them in House Of Bats designs. As primarily a jewellery designer most materials are naturally vegan, however many chokers on the market are made from leather or suede. Clearly this is not something I would want in my own designs, and so all House Of Bats chokers are made from faux suede, all synthetic with no cruelty in sight.
We also use recycled packaging wherever possible – the paper we print on is 100% recycled, and we are currently making the switch to 100% recycled boxes, tissue paper, stickers, thank you slips and business cards. Stay tuned for an announcement about the acrylic we use too! We’re far from perfect, but we’re doing what we can to reduce our environmental footprint. All while keeping costs down as low as possible for you, our customers. We’re not passing any of our increased costs onto you – we know that too often when the choice is between paying more for a ‘greener’ item or saving money then budget wins the argument. I have to make those same choices myself in my personal life, and while I would love to always pay extra to be more green it’s simply not always possible.
Our commitment to you is this: we will strive to be as environmentally friendly as we can be. We will always use vegan materials, and we will use recycled materials wherever possible. We will do this without using it as an excuse to bump up our prices. To House Of Bats, being vegan and environmentally friendly is a necessity of business and we will bear that cost.
If you have any ideas on other ways we can reduce our environmental impact please get in touch, we would love to hear from you.
If you have been following us for a while you’ve probably noticed some changes to our store over the years, including our recent product overhaul. We’ve received a few questions about it, so have decided to take this opportunity to explain what we have done and why, and to hopefully clear up any confusion!
As you may know, House Of Bats is run by a very small team – mainly myself (Anna Bat) with technical support from my husband. I design and make the products, make all purchasing and aesthetic decisions and essentially House Of Bats is my dream. What this means for the business is that my emotions can have a notable impact on the products we sell.
What does this have to do with all the recent changes? Well, to be frank a lot of the products previously on this site were not wholly designed by me. They used ready made, commercially available, charms and pendants. This is perfectly fine, nothing dodgy about this technically, but it isn’t what I wanted to sell. So why was I selling it then? It all comes down to confidence. I had lost confidence in myself, in my abilities and in my own designs. I hid behind using these charms and pendants as it was easier than putting myself out there and facing possible rejection. I became accepted as a stockist of Alchemy and Banned Apparel, something I am still proud of, because I could then rely on their amazing reputations without having to really build one of my own. It wasn’t through laziness though, as any business owner can tell you! It was fear that was holding me back from following my heart.
So what changed? I was speaking to a good friend of mine one day, and many cups of tea and more than a couple of tears later she had inspired me to bite the bullet and have faith in myself. I cleared the site of everything bar my own designs and the branded products, and set to work creating more designs of my own. The branded products will not be being restocked – once they are gone, they are gone. I will be sad to see them go as we have only ever stocked products I truly love, but if House Of Bats is to become what I want it to be, then they have to go.
You might be wondering what happened to the old stock, did we throw it away? No, not at all! All our old products are still available on our Etsy and Amazon stores, just until all existing stocks are sold out.
What does the future look like for House Of Bats? Who can say! For now though we are really excited about the direction we’re going in – we have our biggest product launch to date coming soon with a brand new collection of over 30 jewellery products that we are sure you will love. Behind the scenes we’re not resting either as we work on a redesign of the website and explore new possibilities for designs. It’s all a bit hush-hush for now but if you want to be the first to know about news at House Of Bats then be sure to join our mailing list (where you’ll also get a sweet discount code!).
So, taphophilia – what’s that then? An unhealthy attraction to taps? No, nothing of the sort. Taphophilia means an interest in cemeteries, gravestones and funerary art. Nothing dodgy, just an enjoyment and appreciation of often forgotten artistic expression.
I love visiting cemeteries. A strange hobby for sure, but it’s really a very soothing experience. There is often a calmness in the atmosphere, a feeling of serenity as you wander down the paths often lined with trees and flowers with only birdsong breaking the silence.
When you first start visiting cemeteries it can feel a little uncomfortable, almost as if you shouldn’t be there unless you are visiting the grave of a friend or family member.
However, provided you are respectful of your surroundings, I like to think that visiting a cemetery is in some small way keeping alive the memories of those who are gone. With that in mind, I have some common-sense guidelines to ensure that your visit will not cause upset or offense:
Don’t run around or shout out loud – people may be there mourning the loss of a loved one
Don’t stand or sit on graves
Don’t take or disturb flowers, ornaments etc
Cemeteries have featured in gothic culture for so long that it’s almost a cliché now. Finding beauty in the darkness is, for me, the definition of goth aesthetics. The elaborate memorials carved in stone to people who once made such an impression on this earth and now lay under it are endless sources of inspiration for me.
Most of the time when you wander a graveyard you know nothing about the people who were laid to rest there. Sometimes, however, they live on in infamy. Ethel Preston is one of those people.
At Lawnswood Cemetery in Leeds, not far from Bats HQ, is the grave of Ethel Preston (known as Ethel at the Gate). This unique memorial depicts a life size statue of Ethel, stood by an open door awaiting the return of her husband Walter. Officially she is depicted this way as her husband used to wait long hours and so she would spend her days stood by the door in a show of true romance. Speak to locals, however, and there is a different story to be told. It was well known at the time of Ethel’s death in 1911 that her husband Walter was a serial womaniser who often left her for days at a time to have his affairs. The story goes that this is why she would be stood by the door. Whatever the reason behind this choice of memorial, it’s really fascinating – and the image of a ghostly white woman stood in the cemetery is truly creepy!
If you enjoy visiting cemeteries and have any cool stories to share with us why not contact us on our social media channels?
Warning: this blog post talks about depression, including suicide. I am not a mental health professional, experiences described in this blog are my own.
I have depression. I can’t tell you when it started, though honestly I think it has been with me my entire life. It first became problematic when I was around 14 years old and has reared its ugly head every few years since. . It has led me to numerous suicide attempts. It has cost me friendships, relationships and jobs. It has robbed me of whole periods of time.
It’s a cliché, but honestly depression really is like a big dark cloud smothering me. It removes all joy and all hope. At its worst it removes all emotion full stop – I feel nothing, not even sadness.
Five years ago I entered my lowest period and had a complete breakdown. I was working as a secretary, and one day I just walked out of the office in the middle of the day. I have very scant memories of the year that followed. I understand that I called my boss and told them I couldn’t cope, that I called my husband who came and found me in a café and brought me home, and that I then spent a whole summer in bed, barely speaking. I was put on medication and on a waiting list for therapy. I again attempted suicide at least twice. Gradually I improved, I took voluntary redundancy at my job and started House Of Bats. Aside from the occasional blip I have been much healthier these past few years, with better coping mechanisms and ways of recognising when that cloud is gathering above me.
But no matter how much better I am now, depression is always there lurking. It’s something I rarely talk about, struggling to express how I feel about it. A few years ago I attended a photography exhibit on the theme or abandoned buildings and inspiration grabbed me as it so often does. These buildings were beautiful in their decay, empty shells which had so much potential but lay desolate. They reminded me of my mind in the throes of depression. I knew then that from the shapes and shadows of these abandoned buildings I could express my depression and start to make sense of it.
I did some sketches, and then let my anxieties keep me hostage for 2 years. The designs sat in the sketchbook, hidden. Until now.
So here it is: the Abandoned Spaces Collection. A series of 4 talismans, each representing a different aspect of depression: fear, despair, solitude and sorrow.
These talismans are not here to celebrate these feelings, but more to accept them, own them and let them guide you. Or, just as pieces of jewellery that fit your aesthetic. It’s up to you. For me, they have a cathartic effect – helping to release me from that which holds me back and reminding me of how far I have come.
If you are struggling with mental health please seek help. Some resources are listed below.