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Now is the time that we should be supporting British makers and businesses. To spend our money wisely on goods and products that are made to last and say no to fast fashion.

I have been very fortunate to live in a rural area and have enjoyed the feeling of community, friendship and support for small businesses. The focus has always been on using what is available around you.

There are many benefits of supporting a small business. These businesses care about and are invested in the community and it’s future. They are more environmentally friendly as they have a smaller carbon footprint. They in turn will support other small businesses in the area too.

Why shop small?

When you use a small business you will usually experience a personal and unique service. These business owners have a true passion for their work and the products they sell. They will go above and beyond to provide a memorable service that you would never receive in a large retail store. The quality of the products are second to none , forget mass produced, these goods are often handmade by a single person.

As a small business owner I also try to support other British businesses by buying my supplies from them. The leather I use comes from J&FJ Bakers in Colyton, Devon who produce the last oak bark tanned leather in the UK. The quality is fantastic and the smell amazing. I use this particular leather for handbags and belts. There is no comparison between genuine vegetable tanned leather that has taken 14 months to produce and chrome tanned leather that is mass produced using chemicals. Veg tanned leather has a fantastic smell and a supple feel, it is hard wearing and made to last a lifetime. Chrome tanned leather only takes around a day to produce meaning that it can be made in vast quantities just like the products produced from it.

I buy my fittings and hardware from another British company called Abbey England. They are a small family run business and their products are excellent quality and will with stand years of use.

Ways to support small businesses.

  1. Follow them on social media. When you like, comment and share posts this helps to promote the business to all your followers, spreads the word and encourages others to do the same.
  2. Reviews. When you buy from a small business leave a review. This is a good way for other potential buyers to have the confidence to make a purchase.
  3. Recommendations. Tell everyone! Let all your friends and family know how much you love this business and encourage them to support it too.
  4. Send a message. Small business owners love to receive a personal message from a happy customer.
  5. Sign up to their newsletters. These are a great source of information about the business that you love and will often tell you about new products and competitions in advance
  6. Buy from them. Every purchase makes a difference to a small business. When you support a small business you are supporting a dream.

My favourite 5 British makers

1.The Tweed Boutique – www.thetweedboutique.co.uk British tweed clothing, accessories and gifts.

2. Hannah Dowding furniture – www.hannahdowdingfurniture.co.uk Contemporary bespoke furniture using age old techniques and materials.

3. Elby Brown Jewellery – www.elbybrown.co.uk Handmade jewellery inspired by the woods as a stage.

4. Tail End jewellery – www.tailendjewellery.co.uk Jewellery made using your horses hair.

5. Heather Everitt – www.heatheremb.co.uk Embroiderer mostly working in pure silk inspired by the natural world particularly butterflies and moths.

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