That is what it means to me.
There are lots of sayings around using a small business. “Supporting a small business is making someone’s dream come true” and “when you support a small business an actual person does a happy dance.” Both of these are so true.
So, in honour of the wonderful day, Small Business Saturday, I am sharing with you 9 fabulous independent shops. All based right here in the UK. All of which, absolutely definitely, do a happy dance when a lovely customer shops with them. I really must make a video of that one day!!
Nestling in the foothills of the North Cotswolds, this gorgeous shop, has one aim in life. “Our aim is quite simply to make pure, natural soap accessible to everyone” says founder Emma. Their range is gorgeous. Starting in 2008 in her kitchen, Emma wanted to make the purest organic soap possible. She has achieved this and a lot more.
The Little Soap Company range includes handcrafted artisan soaps, traditional everyday soap range, liquid bath and body products, Little Beast pet range, Eco-soy Candles and lovely organic lip balm kits. All can be bought individually or as lovely gift sets.
The sole aim of Hoobynoo is to live a colourful life. Starting life in 2012 as a children’s jewellery range, this shop has now added lots more to it’s highly colourful and creative store. Everything is designed by founder Chiara, and lots can be personalised.
From their lovely new studio in Kent they create pet tags, mugs, jewellery, cushions, decorations, bags, pin badges, nail transfers and so much more. In fact, they are creating new products all the time, so already this list is probably out of date!
This shop is all about capturing cherished moments and enriching lives. Through all the lovely journals and books they create. Thoughtfully designed journals, which are designed to capture every stage of life and create precious ways to hold on to memories.
From their Head Office in Bradford-on-Avon, they are always busy creating new products. They really are special and such a thoughtful gift. Their first products were family memory journals – Journals of a Lifetime. Now they have a wide range of journals, books and stationery. All designed to cover every stage of life from birth to all ages. I love them.
This gorgeous shop, design and create all their wonderfully unique textile accessories in beautiful Cornwall. Using creative machine embroidery technigues and gorgeous fabrics, they make a wide range of accessories for you and your home. With designs to suit many different tastes. Coffee lovers, dog lovers, cat lovers, seaside lovers, cycle lovers…and more.
Poppy, the founder of this shop, is queen of freehand embroidery. Her quirky products come from her sketches of everyday life in Cornwall. Back in 2004, when she started, Poppy made everything herself. Now her unique products are made by a team of ladies throughout Cornwall. They cut and sew everything into her lovely range.
I love the name! This wonderful shop is all about natural gardening, British grown bird seed, composting supplies, live and dried worms, beautiful British flowers and so much more. Heather founded Wiggly Wigglers from her kitchen table at her wonderfully named Lower Blakemere Farm in Herefordshire, back in 1990. “We’re here to enhance your time at home and in the garden by delivering a little bit of country living to wherever you live” explains Heather “a country life delivered”.
Championing the #grownnotflown campaign, the Wiggly Wigglers range predominantly sells products sourced from British Farms. Including comfortable goat socks, beautiful British Flower posies, traditional festive wreaths, composting supplies, bird feed, wildflower plants and so much more.
Do you love a good planner? If so, this is the perfect shop as they sell a wide range of personalised planners. Life planners, wedding planners, teachers planners, notebooks, calendars and academic diaries. All can be personalised inside and out, right down to the ribbon and wire! How brilliant is that? You can even choose your start date.
Based in sunny Devon, this lovely family company (Pirongs) have been publishing diaries and planners since 1961. Venturing online in the mid 90’s. More recently, they decided it was time to let people start designing their own planners, and so Unique Planners was born. With so many choices of both design and content these planners really are perfect for everyone.
This gorgeous shop based in Scotland was created by Scottish Aromatherapist Gail Bryden. “I create a range of purely natural products designed to balance emotions and enhance a sense of wellbeing” explains Gail, whose products have won many awards.
Such a lovely range. Natural products for the face and body. Plus candles, chocolate, tea and my favourite, aromatherapy rollerballs. All gorgeous.
Sarah Kelly is the extremely talented jewellery designer behind Saloukee. Authentically British, the Saloukee ranges are a little unconventional and unusually oversized. All use tactile materials. “My passion is to create unique, innovative jewellery collections which offer wearers simplicity with a refreshing edge” explains Sarah.
Saloukee currently has four collections. Lost and Found, White // Wood, Strands and Cherish. All gorgeous and all made by hand in the Saloukee studio in lovely Shropshire.
Inspired by a couple of gorgeous dogs, Poppy the Cocker Spaniel and Rufus the Jack Russell cross, this fantastic shop sells beautifully designed, yet highly functional products for dogs. Sue and Louise created this shop back in 2011. “We have been friends since university” explains Sue, “and share a mutual love of gorgeous colour combinations, creative designs and inspirational interiors”.
Sue and Louise have created a gorgeous and functional range of dog beds, dog bowls, treat jars, bags and other accessories. All with inspiration from Scandinavian chic designs. They fit beautifully into any home. I really love the Dog Travel Bag and the Welly Bag.
All of these shops started life as a dream. All have become a beautiful reality. It may have taken a lot of hard work to get to where they are now but they have all done such an amazing job. Each shop is completely different but all have one thing in common, their desire to make their customer very happy.
So many reasons why it is good to shop at independent shops, I share 8 of these in Shop Independent this Christmas. I really love number 8.
I wish all Small Businesses the best of fortune, not just on Small Business Saturday, but all year.
Make someone smile, add to a dream and above all make them dance like crazy around their studio, store room or shop.
I would love to hear about your favourite independent shops. Why not share them in the comments or join our Facebook shopping group and share them with others.
As always happy browsing, happy shopping!
There are lots more Shopping Inspiration posts to come. For future inspiration I will be happy to send you a little note to let you know when the next one has been created.
Please be aware. All opinions in this blog post are mine. At the time of writing, all shops mentioned are members of Love Our Shops UK. Though I mention lots of shops here, you must form your own opinion as to whether their products are for you.
I aim to include only independently owned shops. Sometimes it is tricky to work out if they are. So, as far as I can tell, they are independently owned, but apologies if the odd one that is not slips into my blog post….they hide it well!Tags: Accessories, Christmas Shopping, Gifts, online shop, Shop Independent this Christmas, Shopping Inspiration, Shops, Stationery