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zacfirstconcept

By Zac Allen, Zac Allen Interiors

We were very impressed by Zac Allen's article on this subject, especially now that essential item shops are closed. We are convinced that no-one apart from Zac has heard of all these amazing furniture and home decoration shops with delivery within Switzerland were available! We counted 28 sites and really are impressed with all the work he has put into this research. We asked Zac if we could republish this here and he has kindly given us permission:

Finding furniture and home decor in Switzerland is HARD, particularly online. My husband, cat, and I moved to Lausanne just about one year ago, each with what we could bring on the plane (Phineas, my cat, counted as a carry-on), so essentially we brought nothing. We were lucky to find a flat right before the pandemic hit, but that meant we had four rooms to design and fill with furniture. A real-life dream come true for me, but I don’t think my husband shared that same sentiment… Anyway, not really knowing where to even begin to find furniture and to follow COVID-19 guidelines, we decided to do all our home decor shopping completely online. It’s extremely intimidating to start when you don’t have the same access to the hoards of online retailers like in the US, but where there is a will, there’s a way!

I enjoy sourcing special items that feel personal, which can be tricky online and on a budget. I can spend hours drooling over the stunning catalog of home decor at 1st Dibs and Charish, but a single vase from those sites can equal the cost of a car - not very practical when trying to design an empty home from scratch. Every single blog and forum on the Suisse Interwebs that I could find pointed me in the direction of Ikea… great to quickly find affordable furniture, but not really my idea of elevated interior design. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a bargain shopper at heart and we made purchases at Ikea, but what if you want a more layered home? Where are the online furniture shops in Switzerland to find special pieces that can withstand a “trend” and bring personality into your interiors that won’t cost you 3 months’ salary?

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Exciting and unusual Christmas present ideas from nearly 50 different local creators!

Despite the Covid-19 restrictions, Know-it-all passport® was able to open the 5th edition of our pop-up shop, Know-it-all Marketplace, this past Monday 30 November and will be open through 24 December 2020. 

Located in the popular Planète Charmilles shopping center, Know-it-all Marketplace will showcase the work of local creative people who have a passion for creating things and love to share this passion in a large surface of 250m2!

With unusual products ranging from hard-to-find gifts and luxury accessories, handmade soaps, jewelry that you won't find anywhere else, and delicious food for the entire family, you won’t need to go anywhere else for your Christmas gifts this year! Chances are you will want to treat yourself to a few items too! Come along to browse, chat, meet up with friends, and buy!

Nearly 50 local creators

Each of the 47 creators has had to go through a rigorous selection process to avoid imported products with no local creative input.

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Every year, Swiss Post’s Christmas special stamps prove highly popular – and, in 2020, they come with an extra special treat. You can add an extra touch of festivity to your Christmas mail this year. Every sheet of stamps comes with numerous stickers that match the stamp and can be affixed to letters or parcels. What could be better than adding some special decorative flair to your mail at Christmas? The special stamps themselves are dedicated to wintry moments. They are the result of a competition that requested charming illustrations full of atmosphere. They depict situations that are familiar to us all during the winter months. With their warm and welcoming designs, you can almost smell the mulled wine and Christmas biscuits and see the flickering lanterns in front of you. But the motifs are broad enough to be used through the whole of winter and not just at Christmas. Link to Christmas stamps

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50 years ago, homosexual and transgender people in New York made a stand against the police for the first time, in a series of demonstrations that would become known as the Stonewall riots.

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Whether you are a lover of designer brands and need to find almost-new items, or are interested in renting a piece of jewelry or evening wear, this is the place to go! The online website has photos of each item and there is a QR code you can scan to visually "try on" certain necklaces! We caught up with Giji Gya Obradovic from Downtown Uptown Geneva.

Why did you start?
My husband, Christophe, and I created DOWNTOWN UPTOWN 7 years ago. Our aim is to offer a space in Geneva with a range of men and women's fashion that promotes better buying, greater awareness of slow fashion, avoidance of fast fashion and protection of garment workers and our environment. In addition, we give a second life to clothes and we enact sustainable fashion for our customers. How? If you purchase from us, you leave the boutique being a responsible consumer! You can walk the talk.

We enact our principles not just in the merchandise we provide (recycled or ethically sourced), but in every step of our day-today business and supply chains, by minimising our impact and promoting good practices. All our furniture is second-hand, we reuse paper & cotton price tickets and shopping bags, use sustainable hangers, have recycled and forest-friendly shop bags and paper, sort and recycle our waste, use ecological cleaning products & use fairtrade organic coffee grains for our customers (no capsules nor throw away cups). We only source ethical brands for new stock and we attend the UN Business and Human Rights forum each year.

What has been the inspiration?
Have you been working on this idea forever, or was it something that came to you recently?

Our inspiration is our principle of ethical fashion, value and sustainability. By value, we mean quality, attitude and method, also behaviour, that is, bringing back the importance of enacting responsibly in fashion. Responsibility to reduce consumerism, to stop fast fashion, to ensure the rights of garment & accessory workers and to minimise impact on the environment.

Kathryn Adams Summer Shadows in Grondère

Kathryn Adams proudly shows off her latest novel

We are not a stranger to Kathryn Adams as we published an article about her first novel in 2019 at this link. The first in the series, Death in Grondère, is so well written but she had already planted the seed to the second one, Summer Shadows in Grondère. It has just been released and is available at many Swiss outlets; see links at bottom of article. Kathryn has very generously offered 5 lucky knowitall.ch readers the chance to win a copy! We asked Kathryn to answer a few questions to set the backdrop...

Is this a sequel to Death in Grondère?
Summer Shadows in Grondère follows directly on from Death in Grondère and ties up some loose ends. The same characters (and a few new ones) return for another adventure in the Swiss Alps where they find themselves enveloped in murder and intrigue once again

What is the inspiration behind this new book?
Switzerland! My intention with this book was to showcase my adopted country in its summer colors. I enjoyed writing it over the summer, walking in the mountains to make sure I was accurate to the season as it progressed. I had some wonderful ‘research days’ hiking with friends, including Lindsay, who continues to inspire my character Poppy.

Have you been working on this idea forever, or was it something that came to you recently?
Death in Grondère was with me for a very long time but Summer Shadows in Grondère took shape very quickly: the plot emerged as I was writing Death in Grondère which allowed me to plant some clues.

What is the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome?
Covid-19 lockdown was a bit of a hiccup. I had planned an Easter launch but I just had to let it go and tell myself the world had more important things to worry about. Like everyone else, I have had to adapt to this strange situation we find ourselves in: I ditched the idea of a decent review or marketing period and any sort of formal launch because if I wait I’ll miss the summer market. So it’s all happening in one go.