Small Business Saturday
Shop Small This Christmas
It’s that time of year again. There’s a chill in the air, the Christmas ads are on TV, songs are on the radio and we all wonder how it’s December already! If you’re anything like me, you’ll already be thinking about what to give your family and friends this Christmas and adding festive events to your calendar for the next month.
If you read my latest blog post, you’ll know that today is #smallbusinesssaturday. A day for championing small businesses, shouting about your favourite local haunts and supporting all of the indie businesses out there. I for one know that it can be easy to hit the high street shops at this time of year but if you are planning on buying to do, I urge you to step away from the high street and into your local indie shops, cafes, bars and markets.
HEAD OFF THE BEATEN TRACK
Here are some tips to help you shop small this #smallbusinesssaturday (and any other day of the year for that matter!)
Step out of the shopping centre and get to know your local community, try shopping in smaller independent shops rather than big retailers. Chances are you’ll find a lot more unique and individual gifts, the shops will have a lovely atmosphere rather than feeling busy and hectic and you’ll probably receive a higher quality of customer service. Independent shop owner KNOW their shop and their products, it is likely that the have personally made, designed or handpicked the lovely gift you are about to buy. So if you have a question or aren't sure about something, they will be more than happy to help. You will have great service and often with a personal touch and great service means less stress for you! I promise it will be a much nicer shopping experience than going to the bigger retailers.
If you are in Dundee check out Dock Street Studios, Quirky Coo, Bella, Maisie & Mac and Pretty Fly Workshop - for homeware, gifts and accessories, J.A Braithwaite - for coffee lovers, Abandon Ship, Cartocon, Haylay Scanlan, Little Lies and Oh Hello Vintage - for all your fashion needs. These are just a few of the amazing independent businesses based in Dundee, take a look at Creative Dundee’s 99 Things to See and Do in Dundee for more.
Keep an eye out for markets and pop-up events
Whether you're searching for a last-minute decoration or desperately seeking inspiration for the perfect gift, local Christmas markets and pop-up shops will have you covered! Forget getting stressed while traipsing through the same old shops, head to a market or pop-up, grab yourself a mulled wine and opt for something a little more laid back. These kind of shopping events offer a unique experience to buy directly from a variety of independent makers and designers. Meaning you can meet and talk to the actual person who made the gifts you are going to buy! Imagine waking up on Christmas morning and being able to tell a little story about meeting and talking to the makers who handmade the gifts your family are opening. Buying from independent makers often means you can get things personalised, maybe add initials to a pair of cufflinks or commission a design using your loved one's favourite colours. You may also be surprised by what you can find at the markets; giving you new ideas that you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.
You’ll end up with gifts that can’t be found elsewhere and I guarantee your friends and family will be impressed.
You can find Kirsten Manzi Jewellery as well as a number of other wonderful makers at the following events this year:
TODAY - Etsy Made Local Dundee - WASPS Studios - 11am- pm
8th & 9th December - Tea Green Festive Market - Bowhouse, Fife - 10am-4pm
You can also take a look at my previous blog to find out what else is going on in Dundee today.
SHOP WITH INDEPENDENT DESIGNERS, MAKERS AND BRANDS ONLINE
If you prefer to shop within the comfort of your own home why not look for independent makers. Almost everyone has their own website. If you're not aware of many independent makers at the moment you can explore Craft Scotland’s Makers Directory or browse sites like etsy, Folksy, Not On The High Street, Made By Hand Online and shop through ASOS Marketplace rather than the main site. Take a look at the makers who are exhibiting at markets and pop-up, or stocked in the shops in your local area and look them up online.
Hopefully you find this helpful and might find some lovely unique gifts this year.