Here at Nutmeg Studio, shopping independent and small is in our DNA. As a small, independent retailer ourselves, we know how crucial shopping indie is to our local and national economy, and to the people involved. July is Independent Retailer Month, following on from Shop Independent Day at the end of June.
To celebrate Independent Retailer Month, we're sharing our top ten easy ways to make a big impact by shopping small.
But First, Why is Shopping Independent so Important?
Shopping independent is an easy, fulfilling way to support 'real' people instead of the multimillionaires and chains. When you shop independent, the money you spend is much more likely to stay in the local economy, where it will benefit your local area.
Supporting small independent businesses will help make sure they not only survive, but thrive. And after the past 18 months, small businesses need your support more than ever.
During lockdown, a lot of people realised just how much we need our local shops and independent businesses. Whether it was deliveries from a local greengrocer, or ordering paint from a local DIY shop, our independent businesses were invaluable. And they still are!
We think it's so important not to abandon them now that things are on their way back to 'normal'. They were here for us, so we think we need to be there for them too!
How Shopping Independent Makes a Big Impact
Holly Tucker, small business champion and founder of Not On The High Street says that if every adult in the UK spent just £1 a day with small businesses, it would add £19 billion to the UK economy. And £12 billion of that will stay in local economies! Your money makes sure small businesses thrive. Then they can continue to be a key part of your community, bringing a much-needed burst of creativity to your high street!
It also makes the world of difference to us little guys. By shopping small and indie you are doing so much more than you know. Because behind every indie business, there's a story. All the corner shops, gift shops, hardware shops, restaurants, cafes, and hairdressers in our towns have an army of real people, doing great things behind them.
How To Shop Independent and Make a Big Impact
The thing is, shopping independent is not just about 'doing the right thing'. It's also about buying something that gives you joy. When you enjoy a delicious cup of ethically sourced coffee at your local independent coffee shop, doesn't it taste better, knowing you're supporting that small business? And when you pick up a up a beautiful, handcrafted cushion for your home, you'll enjoy it so much more, knowing it's unique and not mass-produced and shipped in from miles away.
Here are our Top Ten Easy Ways to Shop Independent
- Swap your chain coffee for an indie coffee. It'll be more ethical and oh so delicious.
- Visit your local indie garden centre instead of a national chain. It's an easy and fun way to get your garden ready for summer and support your local economy.
- Buy bread from your local bakery instead of at the supermarket. It will be freshly baked and give the baker a real boost.
- Got a little indie hardware shop in your town? Support that instead of a big DIY chain. We bet they give the best advice too!
- Need pet food or pet toys? Maybe you have an independent pet shop nearby. They'd love your support.
- Shop online for independent makers. With websites like Etsy and Not On The High Street, it's never been easier to shop indie, from the comfort of your own home. (We have our own shops on both NOTHS and Etsy and love the community they create.) And scroll down for another way to shop indie online.
- Going out for dinner? Why not skip the big chains and try a local indie restaurant for a more personal taste sensation?
- Buy a card or gift from an indie retailer. It's so much more personal and your friend is sure to be as delighted as the shop owner.
- Share the love on social! You can support small businesses for free by sharing their products on your social media feeds. Please always give full credit of course! It might just get seen by someone needing a special gift. Leaving a review on their own site, Facebook page and Google listing is also a brilliant free way to support indie businesses.
- Follow and interact with indie brands online. Did you know the Instagram, Twitter and Facebook gods boost posts that are liked, commented on, saved and shared? So, by getting social, you're helping your favourite brands get seen by more people online. For free.
Introducing The Indie Collective - Your One Stop Shop for Shopping Independent!
If you follow us on Instagram, you may have noticed that we are one of three founders of The Indie Collective, a collective of local artisans, designers and small businesses. Here I am in between screen printer extraordinaire Steph from Flat102 and Carly from Art On My Sleeve, who hand paints the most beautiful bespoke jackets.
We started a temporary pop up in Milton Keynes Shopping Centre. The great news is that it's gone so well, we're staying open until December! You can also shop online here if you aren't near Milton Keynes.
You'll find all sorts of gorgeous gift ideas, homewares, clothing, self-care, and gifts for teachers (great timing hey?) all created with love by unique, local, independent businesses.
You can shop online, or head to our real-life shop in Milton Keynes Shopping Centre at 59 Midsummer Blvd, Central, Milton Keynes MK9 3GB. There are plenty of gorgeous ways to shop independent with us this July and beyond!
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