Whoop-whoop and wowsers, I can’t really believe it. November 2020 marks my 6th anniversary of my Etsy shop and also my 800th sale. I’ve now sold to every continent, and almost every country (west of the Black Sea, that is!). My World Map Of Domination is looking smart
As usual, with a milestone I like to do something to mark it, and as this year is particularly challenging for just about everyone I know* I want to offer a way for us all to feel a little more empowered – I think the lack of autonomy is where most people I know feel hit the hardest.
Bear with me, this is likely to be a long and rambling post, and there are fewer photos – please stick with it 😉
Rather than offer a piece of my jewellery to win, I’m going to ask everyone to give a shout out to a small business / artist / craftsperson / independent that they love who they know could do with some support so that we can all go and visit their social media pages and see what we can do to give them a boost at this time.
Not all of us will have any money to spend on gifts this year and most of us will have less cash and fewer spending opportunities – but the upside for many is that reduced socialising often comes with a small saving of time and money, so perhaps you could utilise that for good and feel as though you are being supportive in the process.
Look though my suggestions, and those of the comments made by everyone else. Look at the pages / accounts I follow for ideas and inspiration, I can’t put everyone I love into this post, because it would be far too long. Visit my Facebook and Instagram accounts to see other creatives I love who are amazing artists and allow yourself some fabulous glass / ceramics / art / embroidery / jewellery on your screens
Visit the websites and social media pages of the people and small businesses mentioned. If you see something that you love, or that resonates – you don’t have to buy it, you could just put a comment on the page / post so that the person running it feels a little bit of support. I promise you it will give them a lift and will really cheer them. If you’ve used them in the past and have been meaning to get around to leaving a review – now is the time to do it. Go on, you know you want to 😉
If you can share their shops / blogs / businesses online with your friends, even better. Bookmarking them for when you do have occasion to make a purchase? Awesome. Making a purchase? Outstanding. Thank you
Think laterally about your gifts this year – perhaps your favourite therapist can’t open for treatments, but they offer gift vouchers (Tola Health is mine).
My hairdresser (Fika Salon) had only just opened for business on her own, after having cut my hair for years (AshSalon). I’ll be asking if she’d like me to prepay for my next cut that was due during November
Have you thought about what you are planning to do about Christmas and birthday cards? Here are some of my go to sellers (some of you may have received a #CheeryUppy card made by them over the past year)
Local delis and favourite suppliers will be offering deliveries, as will many florists (I haven’t forgotten the surprise and delight of a bottle of Northmoor gin that appeared at my door earlier in the year) Here are some of my locals: Bon Gout Deli in Magdalen Road, Daisy Cafe Fore Street, Heavitree
Is someone you love self isolating? Perhaps they’d like a craft kit or course, or a book to read or listen to – here are some suggestions
Perhaps you could you give something similar to someone you love, or perhaps they could organise one for you.
If you feel you need to shop with one of the larger chain stores, that’s fine, don’t beat yourself up – after all, they have staff employed too and will be paying business rates, tax etc, which we need, but do, please, choose wisely. Are they an organisation you feel cares for their staff, paying them properly, with decent working conditions, or are they only interested in their bottom line?
Finally – Please, Please, Please share your favourites and your recommendations in the comments below. I’ve only listed UK small businesses, but don’t let that stop you doing this for your local favourites. At a later date (after this current UK lockdown) I’ll put the names of everyone who commented into a draw, and I’ll send them a virtual gift voucher they can spend in any of my shops – on something shiny for them, or if they want to regift the voucher they can do so.
In the meantime, stay cheery and stay safe.
*I’m particularly thinking of those working in the NHS many of whom are close to collapse, physically and emotionally; teachers finding it close to impossible to balance the demands placed upon them; people home-schooling; furloughed staff no longer with employment or wages; small business having to close, with minimal or no support and that’s before I even think about those people who are finding the enforced isolation beyond challenging. Hugs to you all, I hope that this helps you find a way of creating some positivity