Fashion-followers, lipstick-lovers and furniture-fanatics, this week I encourage you to visit your local stores to support of a business campaign.
It may be Independence Day across the pond, but here in Sheffield, (and the rest of the country), it is Independents’ Day - a grassroots movement that unique retailers across the sectors can use to promote their own businesses online and in their own communities.
The best thing that you and I can do, as shoppers, to back the campaign is visit the shops that are in your local area - whether that’s on the street next to the one that you live on or just round the corner from your workplace - and show your support by making a purchase. It really is that simple.
Sheffield-based independent retailer Sophie Gibson, who runs a penguin gift shop called The Penguin Patrol, will be showing her support for the campaign by showcasing and selling indie products made by UK makers and artists on her website.
She is also going to include artist biographies so people can learn more about who made the products, which I think is a fantastic idea as the makers I have met always have interesting stories to tell and it would be great to see them shared.
Sophie Cooke, a team leader for the Sheffield Sellers on Etsy, milliner and owner of Imogen’s Imagination, is also supporting the campaign.
She said: “In Sheffield we are really lucky and you don’t have to go far to find places to buy from your local makers. There are some real treasure troves to be found both through shops in the city centre and the various craft fairs that are held regularly.
“A lot of our team members are micro-businesses; one person working around their paid employment and or family commitments to build their business. Some start as a hobby that becomes a passion, for some it’s a creative itch that needs to be scratched. These are businesses built from a desire to make fantastic and unique products.”
Laura Smith, director at not-for-profit gallery shop All Good Stuff and maker at Life Is Better in Colour, said: “Every sale is important and lots of small purchases really do add up and help keep small businesses like ours running - especially during the quieter summer months. So whether you’re looking to spend a few pennies or want to splurge on something amazing and unique, shopping with All Good Stuff helps us to directly support nearly seventy different sellers from Sheffield and South Yorkshire, and every single one of us does a happy dance when we find out one of our items have gone to a new home.”
For more information, visit independentsdayuk.org. You can also follow @ukindieday on Twitter. To visit the Penguin Patrol, please visit www.thepenguinpatrol.co.uk. You can also follow @PenguinPatrolUK on Twitter.
The campaign is also supported by BIRA the British Independent Retailers Association.