I am Barbara, founder of Love Our Shops UK, and I love independent online shops. They are the best shops to shop with.
They are one of a kind, with lots of personality and a special passion for what they sell.
Every day I am determined to do all my shopping with independent shops. Both on my local high street and online in the UK.
I care about not just what I buy but also where I buy it from. It is so important to support small businesses and independently owned businesses. They are not only amazing shops but I know I am supporting their local economy and not lining the pockets of the faceless big boys.
But independent shops online are so difficult to find. I know because one Christmas I set myself the challenge to shop only with them. I spent so long trying to find them I decided they needed a place online where they could all be together and easily browsed.
I dream of the day when every kind of shop is on my shopping directory. So I can find all my shopping needs. Whether it be dog food, supplies for my hobbies, a wedding gift, home decor, food & drink, new jeans etc etc.
There are lots of fabulous, independent, online shops being run in the UK. I find lots of new ones every day and share them via my website and on social media.
Small, friendly, personable and all-round lovely little shops, owned by very passionate shop keepers. Shopping with them is a very enjoyable shopping experience and the best bit is you are supporting someones dream (they do a happy dance every time an order comes in!).
Love Our Shops UK is a directory and a blog, it is not a market place. So I don’t charge a commission every time a sale is made which benefits the shop keeper. This in turn goes into their local economy, whether that be a pretty village, a lovely town or a vibrant city.
The money goes into the UK and goes into the local communities of the UK. That is definitely a good thing. You would be surprised how many of these shops are being run from someone’s converted garage or belong to a lovely independent store being run on a local high street.
Love Our Shops UK includes a wide range of shop categories; food, hobbies, sports, gifts, homeware, fashion, beauty and lots more. And I am continually adding new shops and categories all the time. I am always (I am a bit obsessive) on the lookout for more and more shops. There are so many brilliant ones out there. I have found some real gems.
I hope you enjoy Love Our Shops UK, I made it for you (and selfishly for me too!).
Love Our Shops UK has been created by Barbara Steadman following the failure of a Christmas shopping mission. She set herself the challenge of doing all her online Christmas gift shopping at only independently owned online stores. She wanted to shop local i.e. in the UK, but online. This meant no giving money to the big market places who cream off a big percentage before the seller gets what’s left. Or buying from any big online store whose income may or may not stay in the UK.
Sadly, apart from a few purchases, Barbara failed. Not because the shops aren’t out there but because she could not easily find them. After many searches online and no other easy way to find them she gave up.
This led to the idea of creating an online directory which will showcase these wonderful stores, and so Love Our Shops UK was born.
Barbara ran her own successful online store for 9 years . So looking from the shop owner’s perspective, she thought a directory would be a fabulous idea. Developing a community of online store shop keepers is a key element of Love Our Shops UK. One that is sharing advice and being supportive. Bringing them all together benefits both the shoppers and the shops.
Barbara lives in a small village in Shropshire, a beautiful part of the country.
She is a qualified accountant working in the business world. She lived a number of years in London having spent the majority of her working career in senior roles in the corporate and exciting world of Gillette. Her last role in a “proper job” was as a Finance Director and left there to pursue her love of online retail.
Her family, and very big doggy (he is always being featured on her instagram stories), keep her company and she is often heard saying “That is so lovely” about pretty much most things. She is always busy (aren’t we all) and dreams of having a place by the sea one day!!
She can’t wait to share her passion for the independent online shopping world.