'Real human connection' brings big smiles for owner of Sheffield's sustainable children's shop Small Stuff

Little bears are welcome once again at Small Stuff, Sheffield’s award-winning eco-conscious children’s lifestyle store – and owner Hellen couldn’t be happier.

By Rochelle Barrand
Friday, 26th June 2020, 6:00 am

She said: “The thing I missed most during lockdown was real life human connection. I opened a shop to be able to talk to people about the products and items that I am passionate about. I sell the finest design-led, ethical, sustainable and eco-friendly products for (you and) your little bears both online and in-store.”

Small Stuff, based in Crookes, provides everything children might need or want – from swaddle blankets for the smallest bears to books to help growing bears learn.

During lockdown, Hellen Stirling-Baker had to sell her products solely online, but now she has re-opened her doors – much to the delight of herself and her customers.

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Small Stuff owner Hellen Stirling-Baker, who has been delighted to welcome customers back to her Crookes shop

“Our first day back was so lovely. It was an all round fantastic day, so many lovely regular customers visited to be part of the opening and there were lots of new faces too. People really wanted real life human connection too.

“f anything this pandemic has made me more passionate about the products I sell.”

Hellen, who won the Sheffield Star New Business Award 2019 within one year of her opening her permanent shop, said she was ‘lucky’ to be able to continue trading during lockdown.

“I have been really lucky as my shop already had an online presence, with a website and social media, so I’ve been able to continue working and, although it’s been really hard work, I’ve been able to grow the shop and brand nationally.

She does, however, know that independent shops like hers face a challenging future and need support from customers.

She said: “No-one knew what was around the corner and like so many independent businesses I’ve been able to adapt and pivot to what the customer needs are, unlike the bigger brands. I’ve tried to give as many options as possible; click and collect, local delivery, phone orders and personal shopping times.

“It’s so important for independents that we can keep going and pay our bills and Sheffield has such a great indie following - so I just know that people will really try to shop with us indie brands where they can.”

Please go online and visit www.smallstuff.co.uk for more information, including opening times and how to book a personal shopping appointment.

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