I thought I would take a minute to talk about shopping small and local. I obviously have a vested interest in this what with selling my creations online. As a consumer though I think its something to consider and it usually pays off. I think the pre-conception of shopping at smaller business means you will get less for your money or a crapper product but really it’s the opposite.
When I say shop small I don’t mean buy less, I mean sometimes maybe give a smaller business a bit of your custom. It can be as little as instead of getting a coffee from Starbucks trying the newly opened locally ran coffee shop. Or if you are looking for gifts maybe consider stepping out of the high street and get buy something different.
I find when you buy local and small you usually get something a bit different or have a nicer experience. Using the Starbucks example again, the girl behind the counter can’t wait to clock off- not that I can blame her, so will rush through your order and that’s that. If you’re in the newly opened coffee shop they will probably chat to you, make sure they get your order right and put more effort into making it, as its their livelihood and they genuinely care. Same if you order some bits from Topshop, they don’t care if it arrives in time for you party or if the last dress in your size has foundation all over it, where as a growing company, would happily accommodate you, answering questions, posting it in plenty of time and wanting you to love the product. Also, when you get to the party you won’t be in the same outfit as everyone else, result!
Now I’m not saying you should buy badly smelling homemade soaps and the like you can sometimes envision when people say shop local. There are loads of amazing growing brands that are one day probably going to be stocked in the high street or that at least rival them. Search Instagram, look on etsy, or look at the independent shops in your city and see what they have to offer and you will be pleasantly surprised.
More than anything I find it a bit boring just going to the same places, and purchasing from the same shops, its nice to switch it up.
I thought I would share some of my personal fave independent and smaller brand items!!
First up is my dog ring. I got this from a local jeweller who had made a mini collection of English bull terrier pieces, my mum ended up buying a lovely necklace from the range and I got this bad boy, which I recall being around £250. Its solid silver and as you can see a bit of a statement. It was nice to get it from this specific jeweller as he was inspired by his own little bullys to make the collection. I know he only made a select few and so I am one of the lucky few to be donning one. Also buying it was a lovely experience, he came down into the jewellers (he normally works upstairs and doesn’t do sales) and was chatting away to us making sure our pieces fit and looked just right. He was made up to be selling them as he had put so much love into them, and I’m made up with it as it’s an amazing quality ring which is super rare and comes from a jeweller who handcrafted it with mutual love for one of my fave types of dogs!
Keeping with the jewellery theme, this is my Claudia Pink selenite Chrystal necklace.
Claudia Pink is an amazing jewellery maker and is pretty well known in my area. She’s also now making a name for herself worldwide, having celebs like Vanessa Hudgens rocking her boss jewel crop tops at Coachella! This necklace is made from selenite which has been mined by Claudia herself and carved into a triangle. It’s supposed to aid in meditation, chakra opening and all round good vibes, apparently they can be re charged on a full moon! I think the selenite is something crazy like one million years old too!!! I love the look of it as much as the positive effects its designed to have. I wear mine loads and specifically took it on my trip up Everest as I thought I could do with as many positive vibes I could get my hands on! I then bought my sister one for her birthday and she loves it! It was somewhere between £40/ £60
Next up is this little number. It’s what I call my Mrs Christmas top, as it’s the kind of thing I imagine Mrs clause to be wearing on a chilled-out Saturday up in the north pole!!! Its handmade and hand cross stitched/ embroided. I love the detail and think it’s really cute. It is fairly unusual and not exactly the most trendy piece in my wardrobe but I love it and totally appreciate the time gone into the detail and cross stitch. I got it from a vintage shop in Llandudno Wales which I cannot remember the name of for the life of me! I always visit it whenever I’m their and make a purchase, it’s an independent little shop dead cute and always has little treasures in there much like this! I think this was around £15- £20
Getting cheaper- I think it was around a tenner, is my scouse bird probs diary. If you haven’t heard of her she’s a funny made up scouse bird who has a blog and twitter account and is generally just a hoot! The gal behind scouse bird problems brings out different products including a diary each year. I got it in a lovely pale pink, its great as it’s got a page for each day and is amazing for writing lists!
Last up and on the cheaper end of the scale is a few cards from depop, Original paige is the shops name.I bought a fathers day one and two bday cards. There all handmade and are amazing, I got a deal of like 3 for a fiver and they have gone down really well so far. She always has new designs and does little deals too.
So there’s a roundup of some of my more local independent purchases I have made of late! As I have already said it’s better to line the pockets of hard working unique local people than to let the fat cats take all the profits! You will get a more special, probably ethically and better made product and help the people to trying to make it, instead of getting a generic boring mass produced item made in china, in shady work conditions so sir Phillip green or whoever can buy another boat!