Support Small Businesses This Christmas
5 Reasons You Should Shop Small For Christmas 2020
‘Shop Small’. It’s become a bit of a buzzword, a popular catchphrase, something we’re all trying to do a little bit more of when we go about our Christmas shopping. But what does it actually mean?
I suppose the clue is in the name – it means choosing to spend your money with a small business over the larger corporations such as Amazon, Apple and ASOS. It looks like walking into your local greengrocer for your veggies, rather than the nearest supermarket.
Or, now that Christmas is fast approaching, it's hopping online and shopping with Bristol Independents Online or browsing Bristol Pop-Up Shop which stocks products from over 100 small business owners from Bristol and the South-West, rather than jumping straight on Amazon to start ticking off your Christmas gift list.
They might be small in name, but small businesses are big in nature
Think of your local high street or town centre without them. How much would you be left with? Say goodbye to your favourite bakery, or the hairdresser across the road. The delicatessen will no longer be, the handful of lovely restaurants, the little bookshop on the corner or the computer repair guy you know you can rely on.
When I think of several popular Bristol destinations; Church Road, North Street, Gloucester Road, Old Market, Clifton Village, it’s incredibly difficult to imagine them minus their small creative outlets.
With everything that is happening in the world right now, I don’t think I am the only one who is realising the importance of small businesses. What would you have done without your local corner shop when the world and its mother were fighting over toilet paper at the height of lockdown?
How useful was the home delivery service of your local bakery or deli when there was a 6 week waiting list for a slot at Tesco? And I betcha bottom dollar that countless people realised how important those ‘non essential’ services such as hairdressers, nail salons, or beauty rooms were when they didn’t have access to them for 3 months(!)
Those small businesses have more of an impact then we first think, which is why I am encouraging you to do your Christmas shopping with them. So here's my:
5 Reasons Why You Should Shop Small This Christmas.
Small businesses are original
In fact, they are the epitome of the word. Our high streets and city centres are full of stores churning out the same identical products. The world of fast fashion means that designs are heading from the catwalk to the rails at breakneck speed and retailers have new designs coming out every week just to stay on trend.
It’s made to be created quickly and available cheaply to the masses. A small business can provide a breath of fresh air and imagination into an industry that can rapidly become suffocating.
With independent makers and designers, you don’t have that fear of walking into a room and seeing another wearing the same earrings as you. Staying away from high street retailers pretty much guarantees that you’ll be rockin’ something that no one else has, unless of course you’re at an event like Creatival where you can run out of fingers counting the number of Dakota Rae Dust Oversized Tassel Earrings adorning the ears of the creative crowd(!!).
The same goes for gifting too. We’ve all had birthdays where we’ve received the same card 2 or 3 times, right? And I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty much guaranteed to receive at LEAST three Dove sets each Christmas. Well, when you shop small for your Christmas gifts, you can rest assured that your offerings will stand out from the rest.
One-of-a-kind gifts mean there’s no worry about your recipient receiving duplicates. There are so many imaginative makers with incredible gift ideas which mean you can find a Christmas gift for even the most difficult of family members. They might have everything, but can they find cheeky swear words whilst drinking their coffee in the morning with a Dixon Does Doodles Wordsearch Mug? Or enjoy the beauty and comfort of a Bohobo Aromatherapies Rose Quartz Gua Sha ritual?
Small Businesses Provide Better Customer Service
And I’d say that’s an absolute fact. As a small business owner, we are involved with every step of the process when you place an order with us. We have worked hard to design it, then actually made it before personally packing your item and popping it in the post. We do it all so you can rest assured it’s been quality checked again and again so that you receive something of the highest quality.
Not to mention the little added extras. Customers are important to us so we go the extra mile. We have the power to be able to offer bespoke custom-made pieces, or personalise your item to suit you and oftentimes, there’s usually an option to request for a gift message to be included if you are purchasing as a Christmas gift to be delivered directly to the recipient.
It is beneficial to our economy
We rely on small, local businesses more than you might think. Shopping locally is actually better for the local economy. Take the idea of the Bristol Pound, for instance - £10 spent with a local shop means £50 back in the local economy. Shop owners have more money to spend in the area, circulates the money and allows the community to thrive.
Small businesses are also more likely to shop with other small businesses for a lot of their business needs (think I can say business one more time?!). Whether that be choosing a local Bristol printer for a print run, investing in the lovely local marketing agency for expert website building or even those trivial necessities such as that crucial oat milk flattie that they buy regularly from one of Bristol's top notch coffee shops en route to the office.
Shopping small is more sustainable
In a similar theme to this, shopping local helps reduce the impact we can have on the environment. Take Bristol based Kate Blandford who sells ‘contemporary cross stitch for modern makers’. She proudly states in her Etsy Shop that she uses “the best quality products with the lowest carbon footprint as possible. Almost everything is made right here in the UK”. That includes: wooden hoops made less than an hour away from her home, tapestry needles made in Worcestershire and printed goods printed with FSC certified stock in the UK.
It is a human experience
Finally, and perhaps this is the most important reason of all, a purchase from a small business is human. There’s a person behind the brand and products plus a story to go with it. People love buying from people and not some soulless entity.
Our Winter Pop-Up Shop in The Galleries, Bristol, for instance, is ran by the makers and artists themselves which gives shoppers the opportunity to speak to the experts who have created the items they are buying directly. We love that we can offer the faces behind the brands to inject personality and spirit to make your Christmas shopping experience more human.
Make your Christmas a meaningful one this year and help keep our independent businesses alive.