The beginning of our story
I’m not sure what you want to know? Where do I begin? How much do I even tell you?
I yearn for the Northern wilds, the Highlands, Norway, Alaska, Canada, I need to immerse myself, mind, body, spirit, soul. I need to experience all the senses that are offered to me in these Lands I call Home. These Lands are my Temple, I don’t know what I would be classed as, I suppose Pagan? I don't know, all I know is I feel like I am at one with the land, I feel so claustrophobic in a town, or in a city, too many buildings, not enough trees and mountains. It is hard to leave the comforts and convenience of town/city life, but if you have a heart like mine then you yearn for something greater than the life we have been led to believe is the ‘norm’. For me, I can’t imagine anywhere else I would rather be than in the wilds, I feel at peace there, at home.
Myself and my Wife Louise have always loved the stories, myths, legends and folklore of the Vikings, Scandinavia, Pagan, Scottish, Irish, Celtic etc, they are all full of such magic and wonder to fill the minds and hearts of all. We love the teachings they offer, much more basic teachings of life, family values, honour and courage, karma, the love and care of nature and how it can care for you too with the right knowledge. We love the magic and the lore in the old stories, ways they made sense of the world, through the eyes of someone not clouded by the factual evidence of why such things occur. The imaginations of these story makers have lived on through time, to bless us with the magic they created, in a culture so different from our own.
This started us on a journey to find a way to be able to support our family and still be immersed in something we love.
After many years of working hard for big businesses, just being a thankless number in a system designed to keep you down, we decided to take the leap, enough was enough. I was working long hours starting a lot of the time in the middle of the night and finishing late in the day, as a family we were suffering because I wasn’t at home enough and when I was at home I was so tired that I found it very challenging to be a full time father, full time husband and still work full time, after a long period to decide, my wife and I decided that there were far more important things in life than working for a thankless company.
Family was the main reason we decided to pursue this business venture, and it all started with a two day course in Blacksmithing.
I loved it and picked it up very quickly, having always had a huge love for the heat of a fire and having always been able to learn fast with crafts that involve my hands. After a couple of months planning the business to see if it was viable, it was done, I left my job and went full force into Smithing, never looked back, best decision we ever made. It meant I could choose my hours, work from my forge at home and spent so much more time being the best husband and father I could be. Blacksmithing was also a great trade to take up to the Highlands of Scotland where we are going to live.
Our love for Heathen Myths/legends and life grew deeper and deeper as time went on, as we slowly moved away from the christian values we were both raised with, we realized we felt much more at home following a more pagan heathen lifestyle and belief. We also felt it was a much more magical way to raise our two girls (although at the time we only had one).
The next bit...
After doing some research and talking together about ways to express ourselves further we decided to go for it and start our clothing brand Asgard Clothing. We then launched the website asgardclothing.com (soon to be allthingsheathen.com but ill talk about that later). My Wife handles the majority of social media and I handle the website and the business side of things, it works very well as a team and we have had a great time building the business. The Clothing Brand was established in July 2018 and since then we have been growing steadily through social media and through the online store.
I was doing some subcontracted welding and fabrication work to make enough money to run the ad campaigns through Facebook, because unfortunately it takes money to make money, however that work has now ceased and our advertising has fallen behind due to lack of funds. So now we are trying to figure out the best routes to take so that we can still provide a great service to others like us that love the Heathen/Pagan life. Its now late August 2018 and due to a lack of advertising our sales and traffic have dropped, its been a tight month. We also introduced A small range of watches, wallets and phone cases which will be expanded on as our store grows.
We are still discovering the best things to sell and still learning how to do a lot of things throughout the store to deliver the best online experience we can, we have expanded our jewelry range further, with hundreds more items to still add, introduced our high quality branded clothing range and done a couple new t-shirt designs . We have a little girl due in the middle of the month and we are so excited to bring another daughter into our very loving family, our other daughter now Three and a half is really looking forward to becoming a big sister too which is wonderful to see. I have been hard at work with the help from my 2 mums doing the house up ready to sell and move to Scotland, I have also been hard at work designing and planning the launch of our new ranges and new domain name.
This is the name of our new website, it will be officially used on social media over the month of October 2018, so if you’ve read this before that date then you have early access to that knowledge (and thanks for reading this). With the new domain name we are bringing together a lot of Handmade items, Blacksmithing and the Asgard clothing Brand, with more things to be included in the near future, these will include Handmade Viking shields, Handmade Viking axes, Heathen/Pagan Hand forged accessories, furs, antler home decor, Handmade fairy doors, Handcarved Viking furniture (chairs, chests, thrones etc), Handmade wands, Handcarved drinking horns and many more things will be introduced as the store grows.
Lets see where October 2018 takes us and if all goes to plan then the new store will be in place for the start of November. We are so excited to launch the new ranges and to bring another daughter into our Beautiful Family.
Its now October 8th
After having a few weeks off for the birth of our new daughter I am now going back into work and looking forward to bringing a new range of forged/handmade items into the store. All made by myself, this is going be a really exciting range to include under the All Things Heathen Brand. For all those interested, the birth went very well, we had a freebirth at home with the aide of a birthpool and it was a beautiful and magical experience for us, baby and mother are very healthy and now our wee one is 2 weeks old today. We couldnt have done it without the support of my sister, my mother in law and our already awesome 3 and a half year old daughter, they were all very supportive during the birth process.
Now Being December the 3rd we are in our 5th month of being open. Wee one is 10 weeks old today, it has gone so fast, she is adorable and getting more so everyday, but I must admit I forgot how much babies poop, haha. I was all fired up with the forge to start adding inventory to the website and then a part of my forge broke. I am currently waiting for the replacement to arrive, but unfortunately missed the opportunity to add all the Hand made Yule Items that I had waiting to be made, nevermind, there is always next Yule. Wanted to say thankyou to everyone who made a purchase over Black Friday weekend, it was a great success and we really do appreciate the support of our wee family run business.
The move to Scotland (WOOOHOOOO) is getting ever nearer and we are aiming to be up there by the end of the summer 2019. We are so excited to have the opportunity to move to the beautiful highlands and every day brings us closer and closer. We still have a tonne of renovation to do in the house we are currently in but we will get there in time, it has been a challenge to keep on top of everything, with the birth of a new wee one, the online business, the forge business, the renovation of our current house and still being a full time Dad to my girls and the Best husband I can be for my beautiful wife.
I have and still am busy making all I can, working really hard building up more hand made inventory to introduce at the start of the January sales, got some hand turned and carved bowls with beautiful designs burned and carved around them, some hand made wands are on the way, I have recently purchased some bog oak to work with which is a gorgeous 4000 year old oak that undergoes a process inside a bog over thousands of years, this process turns in black/very dark brown, the result is beautiful. I will be using this wood in my wand making, some keyrings, pendants, also a full 24pc rune set, a bowl made out of this would be awesome too, maybe a bog oak, copper and wych elm bowl, i’ll have a play, see what works together well. Got some great stuff coming in the spring, can’t wait to add it into the From The Forge collection. Also have loads of new jewellery from our suppliers coming in the spring with some awesome designs, I have had the pleasure of seeing these and they are really nice.
So Loads of new stock coming in the Spring....2019 here we come
So we are currently in the process of only having our products up that we make ourselves here in the UK, all hand made and high quality, we also have our clothing up which is now all branded with the All Things Heathen Logo and much higher quality than before because we changed to a new manufacturer, they look awesome and this year we are releasing a lot more designs (and not just gimmicky quotes). The shipping times will be a lot better as all the non clothing items are shipping direct from us here in the UK and all the clothing either gets sent out from a warehouse in the EU or the USA depending on where you live, this means shipping times will be reduced massively, which is AWESOME.
Although our range will be slashed dramatically, we will be increasing it very soon, with artwork and photography prints becoming available, Hand made: horn mugs, drinking horns, horn jewellery and other hand made horn and bone products are all on the way. Along with an ever growing collection of hand made and forged jewellery, we are also working on different casting methods for silver, bronze, copper, brass etc. Our high quality and unique hand made wand collection is always being added to, with each one being one of a kind.
AXES AND KNIVES, are finally in the process of being perfected, these will be for sale very soon on our Etsy store, due to the nature of the product we are finding it difficult to legally sell them on our own website without it costing a tonne of money, so they will be sold on our Etsy store for now. Also, we have an Etsy store, here you will find nearly all of the same items you would on the website, we have different sales running on Etsy so be sure to check them both out.
We will be bringing back other products in time, we have a huge selection of new items from our suppliers, but instead of dropshipping them we will be buying them in wholesale, this way they will all come from us here in the UK, with all our branded packaging
We are highly considering using patreon, we really want to be able to create more of our own content, from content on social media to YouTube videos of all the craft work we do, art work, and in Scotland even the farm work will peak its head for a few videos. However its difficult to find the funds for equipment, stock photos for content, for the software for editing all our content etc... it costs a lot to run a business, and beleive it or not we dont really make that much money doing what we do here at All Thing Heathen. Please dont confuse us with a large high earning company, we are a small family of heathens who want to help strengthen and honour the roots of our ancestors and lay new roots for all those to come.
We love what we do, and would love to be able to do more for the community of heathens like you that already support us through social media and our website.
We thought a great way for this would be to introduce patreon, so you can become a patron of All Thing Heathen, giving a small amount each month as a way of support for the Brand you love (the lowest tier being $1) or a one off pledge, this will then enable us to be able to commit to produce more content that you love. Along with becoming a patron you will get access to a bunch of benefits that non patrons will not, such as a forum/group chat for All Things Heathen Fans, early access to YouTube videos and sneak peaks, exclusive discounts on the store, exclusive behind the scenes content etc. if you have any suggestions I would love to hear them
Keep an eye on this Blog to stay updated with all the latest news and thanks for reading.