This post was written in collaboration with Stephanie Stevens Jewellery.
Now more so than ever before, we must work together to the support small businesses and independent makers around us.
Here in Cornwall, we have so many wonderfully talented artists and creatives doing amazing things, and sole traders / small businesses make up a higher proportion of the economy than in most areas of the UK. I’m so happy to be a part of it, although my work is mainly based online, so I have so much respect for businesses who work with real, crafted products or have physical spaces for their brands.
Why is it important to support local & independent small businesses?
Every time you buy something locally, you’re putting money into your local economy which will be put back into the area. In places like Cornwall in particular, part of the magic is in the small, quirky brands and businesses you stumble upon in our towns’ cobbled streets. If we stopped supporting these places, high streets would lose their charm and be overrun with big corporations and chains.
As well as this, remember that each time you buy something from a small or solo-run business, you are supporting an individual’s dream and passion – and quite literally helping them to pay their bills each month. Each purchase means so much more to a small business, and you could be making someone’s day!
What can we do to support small independent businesses and brands around us?
Supporting your local makers and businesses doesn’t always have to look like buying something, because I know that’s not always possible, especially right now! Of course this is the best way to support them, but there are other options too.
- Engage with and share their posts on social media
Every time you like, comment on or share a post on social media, it can dramatically improve the ‘reach’ of that post, allowing it to be seen by a larger audience. This is essentially helping your favourite businesses with their marketing activities!
- Recommend them to friends and family (and ‘rep’ them online!)
If you love a product or brand, don’t be afraid to shout about it. Recommend to friends and family, and if you have a following online, share and rave about them on there too.
- Give feedback and leave reviews and testimonials
Feedback is so valuable for small businesses, especially those just starting up, and if you can leave public reviews on places like Facebook or Google Business this is a fantastic way to support them too.
- Attend local fairs and events
Obviously at the moment in COVID-19 lockdown, we can’t do this right now. But once things get back to normal, remember to support your local events as these have a huge impact on local businesses and makers.
- Send supportive messages to keep them motivated
Going self employed or running your own business can be exhausting, but kind words can go a long way. Especially at the moment, when everything is so uncertain for so many small businesses, keeping your business owner friends motivated is just what they need.
- Buy gifts and gift cards
Even if you can’t afford to buy something for yourself, if you have any birthday or Christmas presents to buy, why not support small here too!
Featured Maker: Stephanie Stevens Jewellery
Stephanie approached me about collaborating on an article together a couple of months ago to share the importance of supporting small and of course I wanted to share about her stunning creations here too. Based in St. Ives, Cornwall, Stephanie creates bespoke Cornish wedding and engagement rings, as well as sells gorgeous handmade jewellery from her online shop.
This particular necklace featured on me here is from her recent ‘Semple’ range of geometric sterling silver and rose gold necklaces, and I love how delicate it is. I am always drawn to simple, minimalistic jewellery so this is a perfect fit for my style! In these pictures, I’ve paired it with a floaty white blouse for a summery feel, but it can equally work with a modern, sleek black look too.
These make perfect gifts, but if you’re looking for a truly unique piece for a special occasion, engagement or wedding, Stephanie specialises in bespoke rings. This is always something I’ve been interested in doing some day, as it feels so much more personal and meaningful than a shop-bought one, and being a part of the creative process with an artist like Stephanie means you know where the materials come from, the quality, and it just feels more impactful.
If you’d like to find out more about Stephanie’s products and services, head to https://www.stephaniestevensjewellery.co.uk/.
How will you be supporting local businesses?
* Stephanie kindly sent me one of her necklaces as part of this collaboration, but all opinions are my own. Her jewellery is beautiful and I of course wanted to feature her!