Why support small businesses this Christmas? Because every single sale, no matter how big or small, matters. Every single thing you purchase from an independent shop will make a difference not just to the business but to you and your community. Also I do a very fetching happy dance every time someone buys from me and who wouldn’t want to see that?
‘Just a card’
I have been spurred on to write this post as we near the end of the Just a Card Indie Week. I have been tagged in quite a few posts on Instagram. There’s a lot I want to say on the subject and a caption just isn’t going to cut it. To give you a bit of background, the campaign aims to encourage people to shop from designers, makers and small businesses.
I don’t want this to be a preachy blogpost although I fear it might sound that way. Put simply, I am a small business owner and Christmas is my window to help me make ends meet for the next 3 months. It won’t make me rich or pay dividends, it will simply help to keep the lights on in the stark winter months that lay ahead when nothing much is going on.
So without further ado, here’s a few reasons to shop local, not just at Christmas but all year round!
A few reasons why
It’s less stressful – yes really. You can probably to walk to your local shops and save yourself a stressful parking experience throughout the month of December. You won’t have 5 floors of overwhelming merchandise to navigate and if you come to my shop I promise that Noddy Holder won’t be blaring from the sound system.
Unique gifts – generally speaking small business owners will have carefully selected a range of gifts with you, the customer in mind. If they’ve done their homework, they’ll have an idea of your budget and of the sort of gifts you’d like to buy. If you are very lucky, they will source gifts from other independent brands meaning that you WIN at gifting this Christmas.
Did you know that about 85% of the brands stocked at Tinker Tailor are independent and incidentally run by women? Don’t worry we have a few male suppliers as well!
Service with a smile – I often find that small shops offer the best service. The staff are invested in the business, they care about it and they think nothing of going the extra mile. The links between management, staff, product and customer are so close that you get a real sense of accountability and pride from the staff that is often absent in large retail stores.
Then there are small touches that a large retailer just can’t give you, like knowing your name for example or gift wrapping. At Tinker Tailor we gift wrap free of charge. Presentation is such a huge part of gifting and we want to make sure that we give our lovingly sourced stock the best send off, plus it takes a load of you and that matters to us.
A boost to the local economy – spending money in small businesses creates employment opportunities and stimulates growth but you know that already! The point is that if we want a vibrant and diverse high street we need to make sure we keep them going. Yes, rates and rents are high and there’s a lot of work to do in that area but the simple fact is that if more money were being spent in small shops and less in retail parks, small business would stand a better chance.
Don’t always assume independent shops are more expensive – this is a huge misconception and one that I come up against time and time again. I obviously don’t have the same buying power of Tesco nor would I want to. I can’t sell you a handbag for £5 because quite frankly I couldn’t buy it wholesale for that much. However, I can offer you good quality items priced fairly and made with integrity.
Apologies if you felt my finger wagging in the couple of paragraphs, it’s not my intention to judge or tell anyone how or where to spend their hard earned cash. I’m human too and I shop from big high street retailers. I also have an Amazon Prime account, it’s part and parcel of modern life. However, I think that if we all shopped mindfully, making say every 1 in 3 purchases from an independent business we would soon see the benefits within our communities.
Thank you for reading and happy shopping!