Winter 2022

8 9 Aug22153 Timeless Designs in Sheepskin and Leather Online and events retailer, Nordvek, works with the best tanneries and factories to provide top-quality clothing, homewares and accessories. The Leeds-based company, that favours classic designs over fast fashion trends, is our Best Leather & Sheepskin Clothing Company 2022 (UK). We speak to Nordvek’s Managing Director, Danny Whitaker-Leach, to find out more. Nordvek was founded in 1983, in the West Yorkshire town of Skipton, by Danny Whitaker-Leach’s friend’s father, who ran a successful market stall. This was before an online store was set up – and before events were taken on. It was this branching out that truly sparked the roaring flame that Nordvek is today. Danny worked for the market stall in 2009-2010, until he took over and started to run the business himself in 2018 – after his friend’s father took retirement. Being located in prime sheep farming country, Danny decided to sell sheepskin products. The business thrived. And Danny, seeking out the very best materials around, began to offer leather and cowhide products too. The days of being out on the market stall may be far behind him but Danny’s passion for bringing the very best products to his customers still endures. He explains, “Our customers are at the heart of everything we do. Our priority is to fulfil their desires, that’s what drives the business. From sourcing the best products and original designs to making, ordering, and after-sales service as simple as possible.” To this day the company specialises in sheepskin products. Nordvek also partners with other brands that fit with its ethos to offer a comprehensive range of products to its customers. Staying with classic designs and styles that have stood the test of time doesn’t mean Nordvek doesn’t review its range. Danny says, “Each season we aim to improve our products as much as we can. Another thing we’re working on is sustainability. It’s a challenge but we’re improving year after year.” Viewed as an expert in the sheepskin trade, Nordvek stands out for its high level of experience and customer-oriented approach. And where possible the company will help its customers by fulfilling custom orders. Danny tells us, “If it's possible with sheepskin we can make it. It’s one of our joys to create a customer's vision for them. We can’t accept everything though. Occasionally we have to pass customers on to competitors if we feel an alternative option would be better for them. Making sure that every customer is happy is our first priority. Using our contacts and experience in the industry means we can make that happen.” Despite the growth of Nordvek, Danny still runs the business on his own. His wife and father help out at very busy times. So he was thrilled to be recognised for this award. We ask about the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on business. He says, “COVID was a funny one, on one side there were no events for nearly 2 years. But e-commerce boomed for a while. Demand online has now dipped. It’s been a challenge managing the sudden boom and decline.” But it was in the winter of 2021 that the business was almost forced to close. Stock was stuck in containers that couldn’t be reached. As a result, Nordvek lost almost 50% of its forecasted trade. That’s now far behind and Nordvek is looking forward to getting out to a series of winter events in 2022. Danny says, “It’s always nice to get out and about to see our customers. Styles we were missing in winter 2021 will be back in stock. We’re also launching some new colours of our women's sheepskin gloves and mittens range.” You’ll be able to see Nordvek exhibiting at Living North York, Country Living Glasgow, Henley-on-Thames Gift Fair, Country Living Harrogate and the Harrogate Christmas Market. Contact: Danny Whitaker-Leach Company: Nordvek Web Address: Jul22422 VacationingWithVineyards The 19th century saw a wave of settlers to the Barossa Valley region of South Australia. Though that time has long since passed, holidaymakers can indulge in a blast from the past in the Most Relaxing Rural Retreat in Barossa Valley with the 1858 Barossa Accommodation, a lovingly restored property of the 1850s transformed into a beautiful holiday home. 1858 Barossa Accommodation is a heritage farmhouse which has been lovingly restored to appreciate its historical significance and provide unique and luxury accommodation. Situated on seventeen acres and nestled amongst rural landscapes and surrounding vineyards, the fourbed, two-bath property offers an authentic and inviting experience of the Australian countryside. Its guests enjoy the wide-open space, spectacular starry skies and stunning sunsets of this striking slice of the country. 1858 prides itself on this private and tranquil setting, perfect for those who want to escape, relax, and unwind. Perfect for a weekend stay, or longer, to explore Barossa and Eden Valley's wine, food, and cultural region. 1858 Barossa is also an ideal location for groups of friends or families, catering for up to eight people. It has a fully equipped kitchen – including a Nespresso coffeemaker – with the historic baker’s oven both a salient feature to enjoy and a trip back in time. Complimentary tea, coffee and Barossa Valley Jersey Fresh milk are provided as well as two bottles of premium handcrafted Gumpara Wine from its seventh-generation vineyard. These extras alone make this an enticing trip. However, the homely feeling of the 1858 property brings the entire trip together. From the outside in, the farmhouse is a gorgeous location that’s modern touches do not detract from its ‘home of the past’ aesthetic. The farmhouse’s antique furniture and setting make the interior immediately welcoming. From the chandeliers to the wood-fired stove to the old-styled rooms that overlook the garden and paddocks, there is a definitive air of quality and heritage. Then you move to the verandas, to the outdoor area for barbeque and dining, which allows guests to indulge in the picturesque days and evenings with the plush seating. The entire building has an unmistakable ‘family home’ aesthetic, down to the very last detail. It is a small family business; therefore, the family is the face of the business. Thus, it isn’t just the image of the business and its services that it works to delight guests with, but themselves also. Guests are welcomed and gifted experiences they treasure. In line with that, the 1858 family is in the process of adding a nature walk for guests to explore its property. Additionally, a bocce court will soon be added, and bikes so guests can indulge in the picturesque country roads. The Australian countryside and its beauty are open to the enjoyment of 1858’s guests, but the specific beauty of the vineyards of Barossa Valley from a rustic, picturesque home – that has been meticulously and lovingly restored – is an experience above all. Contact: Melissa-Jane Lee Company: 1858 Barossa Accommodation Web Address: