Posted in gifts, independent retail, small businesses, support uk

Fiver fest

We are taking part in Fiver fest.

Choosing to shop with your local businesses instead of the larger chain stores has many benefits, some of which we are sure will surprise you. As this is the case, we thought we would put together 15 of the best reasons why you should choose your local independent business over a large, commercial supplier. We cover everything from how this decision can help improve the economy and environment to how it can also help to increase tourism and local jobs.

The local economy

Local businesses are the backbone of our economy, the epitome of the UK high street and often large tourist attractions. But what you may not know is that shopping at a local business, rather than a large chain, is actually better for the economy of your community. To ensure a strong and sustainable local economy foundation people need to buy locally. Research shows that £10 spent with a local independent shop means up to an additional £50 goes back into the local economy. This is simply because the nearby shop owners, who you are spending your money with, will then put that money back into your local community by going into local pubs and restaurants etc, thus circulating the money and allowing your community to thrive.

Shopping with and investing in local businesses means you can have a very strong and positive effect on the health of the local jobs in your area. Small, local businesses are surprisingly the largest employer of jobs nationally and provide the most local jobs to communities. Not only this, but local employers are more likely to pay a higher average wage than their commercial chain counterparts. Helping to grow the number of jobs in your area makes for a better place to live and work which then creates a healthy economy for the community.

Personality and character

The fantastic thing about independent businesses is that they are run by people, not by boards, stockholders or algorithms. As they are run by local people you will usually find that the business/shops building is in keeping with aesthetic of the area, adding character to the community and a touch of warm, welcoming personality. This natural authenticity will always be more popular than a chain, no matter where in the country.

Customer service and shopping experience

Although many chain businesses do have good customer service, you can’t beat the personal touch of a local owner who knows everyone in the neighbourhood. They can offer you a product that is suitable for you, your house and even your area. Building relationships between the local owner and the local customer goes further than just a purchase. It is also worth remembering that local shops stock an inventory based on their own customer’s choices rather than national fashion trends. This is so you can find what you want rather than finding what they want to sell you.

Healthier environment

This one might surprise you, but choosing a local company over a chain can actually have a positive impact on the environment. This is because the majority of local companies are found on the high street and are within walking distance, rather than a drive away to the nearest large shopping centre. If more people chose to pop to the local high street rather than driving to the superstores, this would considerably reduce air pollution, reduce traffic and improve the quality of the nation’s high streets.

Originality and individuality

In a world that is becoming increasingly dominated by chain stores, which have been designed to look the same, independent businesses bring much-needed originality and variety into communities. They can be a real breath of fresh air into an area populated by generic stores and companies.

Through supporting your local businesses, you are actually helping to support local entrepreneurs who once may not have had a chance of getting their company started. Through more people choosing the smaller, local option over the larger chain businesses it is allowing more entrepreneurs to get their foot in the door, thus making for a very healthy economy.

Help to create the identity

Some local businesses will actually help shape the identity of the area. A high street filled with unique, vibrant and colourful shops will attract more tourism and help to make the community a more popular and financially healthier area in which to live and work. There are many places around the UK that are known for exactly this. Places such as Camden, Manchester and Glasgow are all full of local companies thriving thanks to a healthy view of independent businesses.

Local business for local charities

Buying locally means that you are actually supporting your own community in more ways than you think. This is because many local businesses support local charities that are particularly relevant to that area, and by shopping locally you are helping to increase the number of local donations. Of course, large chain companies do support charities, and there is no right or wrong one to support, but if you would prefer to help support a local one then buying locally is a great way of doing this.
Healthy competition

The reason local companies have such great and competitive prices is purely thanks to healthy competition. This, of course, goes for all types of companies. A marketplace of thousands of small businesses is the most reliable way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term.

Tradition

Supporting your local business over their larger, international rivals is somewhat of a British tradition. Unlike other countries, who have allowed the chain stores and companies to completely take over their high streets, Britain has always tried to keep the focus on local businesses. We can be a stubborn country who like to keep their traditions going for as long as possible, and in this case we are right to do so.

Without the creativity and innovative nature of local businesses and entrepreneurs, industries wouldn’t advance at the rate that they are. Take for instance the coffee shop. Currently at the peak of popularity, chain coffee shops are actually following in the footsteps of independent coffee shops right now. They are doing what they can to blend more into the community and seem more authentic. This is happening all over Great Britain and is all thanks to the innovation of local businesses.

Local government incentives

Local governments often provide tax incentives to entice nationally-owned companies to their communities. However, if these corporations are paying less in taxes it means that local residents are paying more. But, when you buy from local companies it lessens individual tax burdens and creates up to 75 per cent more tax revenues for your community.

If things go wrong

It’s important to know that if anything was to go wrong you have a local company to go to, someone to talk face to face with. Large commercial companies will often provide you with a phone number for their customer service team, which is often not in the UK, and make you wait for what seems like an eternity until you get to speak to someone. This simply is not the case with a local business. They will often prefer to meet up face to face, rather than on the phone, and find out exactly how they can help fix the problem.

Posted in British gifts, British travel, gifts, support uk

Mary Quant

Inventive, opinionated and commercially minded, Mary Quant was the most iconic fashion designer of the 1960s. A design and retail pioneer, she popularised super-high hemlines and other irreverent looks that were critical to the development of the ‘Swinging Sixties’ scene. Our fashion collections include examples of her famous designs from across the 1960s and 1970s.

Mary Quant was born and brought up in Blackheath, London, the daughter of two Welsh schoolteachers. Following her parents’ refusal to let her attend a fashion course, Quant studied illustration at Goldsmiths, where she met her future husband, the aristocrat Alexander Plunket Greene. She graduated in 1953 with a diploma in art education, and began an apprenticeship at a high-end milliner, Erik of Brook Street. In 1955, Plunket Greene purchased Markham House on the King’s Road in Chelsea, London, an area frequented by the ‘Chelsea Set’ – a group of young artists, film directors and socialites interested in exploring new ways of living – and dressing.

Quant was a self-taught designer, attending evening classes on cutting and adjusting mass-market printed patterns to achieve the looks she was after. Once technically proficient, she initiated a hand-to-mouth production cycle: the day’s sales at Bazaar paid for the cloth that was then made up overnight into new stock for the following day. Although exhausting, this cottage-industry approach meant that the rails at Bazaar were continually refreshed with short runs of new designs, satisfying the customers’ hunger for fresh, unique looks at competitive prices.

From the late 1950s to the early 1960s, Bazaar was one of very few shops in London that offered an alternative to the ‘mature’ styles produced by other high-fashion designers. It also offered a radically different shopping experience than the couturiers, department stores and chain stores that made up the mainstream fashion market. At Bazaar, loud music, free drinks, witty window displays and extended opening hours created a ‘scene’ that often kept going late into the evening. Young women travelled to Bazaar to enjoy shopping for ‘something different’ in a much less formal environment.

Quant’s developing aesthetic was influenced by the dancers, musicians and Beatnik street chic of the Chelsea Set, and the Mods (short for ‘Modernists’), a powerful subculture that helped to define London’s youth culture in late-1950s Britain, with their love of Italian sportswear, sharp tailoring and clean outlines. Quant’s first collections were strikingly modern in their simplicity, and very wearable. Unlike the more structured clothes still popular with couturiers, Quant wanted “relaxed clothes suited to the actions of normal life”. Pairing short tunic dresses with tights in bright, stand-out colours – scarlet, ginger, prune and grape – she created a bold, high-fashion version of the practical outfits she’d worn as a child at school and at dance classes.

Mary Quant and Alexander Plunket Greene, 1963. © Mirrorpix/Robert Young
Left to right: dress design, Mary Quant, mid 1960s, UK. Museum no. E.525-1975. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Wool pinafore sleeveless dress with A-line skirt, Mary Quant for Bazaar, late 1950s, UK. Museum no. T.219-1995. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Havoc is classified as a gorgeous powdery mossy, green, aldehydic chypre with a floral that begins with a tantalizing floral creme broule. It gradually settles down to a really lovely retro mix of green floracy and a faint musk. It is a very rare and hard to find perfume. This Fragrance was originally produced back in the 1970’S by MARY QUANT.

Mary Quant today.

Posted in British gifts, British travel, countrylife, countryside, gifts, gifts for her, gifts for him, historic places uk, independent retail, interior design, jewellery, stationery, support uk, wedding

Liberty London

Libertys has to be one of my favourite shops in london. It optimises style , elegance resilience in an ever changing economic climate. It has stood the test of time

For me personally Liberty’s is more iconic than selfridges or harrods. Many might disagree , but whatever your views or preference it’s great to support British and the iconic brands which are recognised throughout the world and are synonymous with this country.

The shop opened during 1875 selling ornaments, fabric and objets d’artfrom Japan and the East. Within eighteen months, he had repaid the loan and acquired the second half of 218 Regent Street. As the business grew, neighbouring properties were bought and added.

InNovember 1885, Liberty brought forty-two villagers from India to stage a living village of Indian artisans. Liberty’s specialised in Oriental goods, in particular imported Indian silks, and the aim of the display was to generate both publicity and sales for the store.

During the 1890s, Liberty built strong relationships with many English designers. Many of these designers, including Archibald Knox, practised the artistic styles known as Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau, and Liberty helped develop Art Nouveau through his encouragement of such designers. The company became associated with this new style, to the extent that in Italy, Art Nouveau became known as the Stile Liberty, after the London shop.

Liberty, during the 1950s, continued its tradition for fashionable and eclectic design. All departments in the shop had a collection of both contemporary and traditional designs. New designers were promoted and often included those still representing the Liberty tradition for handcrafted work.

In 1955, Liberty began opening several regional stores in other UK cities; the first of these was in Manchester.[4] Subsequent shops opened in BathBrightonChesterYorkExeter and Norwich.

During the 1960s, extravagant and Eastern influences once again became fashionable, as well as the Art Deco style, and Liberty adapted its furnishing designs from its archive.

Liberty has a history of collaborative projects – from William Morris and Dante Gabriel Rossetti in the nineteenth century to Yves Saint Laurent and Dame Vivienne Westwood in the twentieth. Recent collaborations include brands such as Scott HenshallNikeDr. MartensHello KittyBarbourHouse of HackneyVansOniaManolo BlahnikUniqloSupergaT. M. Lewin, Drew Pritchard of Salvage Hunters and antique lighting specialist Fritz Fryer.

Perhaps the success of Liberty’s lies with it’s progressive ideas and more recently collaborations with other big brands. Liberty prints are still very popular today. Their designs are beautiful, intricate and timeless.

Posted in British gifts, British travel, gifts, gifts for her, small businesses, stationery, support uk

Caroline Gardner

West London based Caroline Gardner is best known as one of the UK’s leading stationery and gift designers. Her signature look is an ever evolving modern classic, set apart by a distinctive and playful blend of modern hues and scale. A portfolio drawn together by Caroline’s distinctive design handprint of quirky use of colour and placement.

Caroline Gardner is to moving towards ‘naked’ cards by using an InFold, invented by the company, that holds the card and envelope together while protecting the corner. The branded paper InFold is affixed to the envelope using a plastic-free peelable label.

Caroline Gardner

Caroline Gardner is to moving towards ‘naked’ cards by using an InFold, invented by the company, that holds the card and envelope together while protecting the corner. The branded paper InFold is affixed to the envelope using a plastic-free peelable label.

The InFold design, for which the publisher has applied for a patent on, also provides the opportunity for the company’s branding.

“We feel strongly about reducing the amount of single use cellobags and so set about creating a way of keeping the envelope with the card,” explained Luca Bridges, marketing and independent sales manager of Caroline Gardner.

Posted in British gifts, British travel, chickens, countrylife, countryside, dog lovers, gifts, gifts for him, independent retail, interior design, small businesses, stationery, support uk

Penny lindop designs

ABOUT PENNY LINDOP DESIGNS

A veritable Noah’s Ark of fluffy woolly animals. Quirky art to make you smile.

“Hello, I’m Penny, the artist behind Penny Lindop Designs.

We are a tiny team creating cards, stationery and art work in our rural garden studio on the Norfolk/Suffolk border. We love animals, and it would seem that you do too. Our animal designs are all hand finished with our signature finishing touch of real sheep’s wool. These are distinctive creations which simply make people smile.

We are passionate about our raw materials and where they come from. Handmade papers, made as part of a Water Aid project, are used for most of our artwork; we love these papers, and that their production is sustaining a whole community in India where they are made. Much of our wool comes from small holders across the UK, often from rare or ancient breeds of sheep.

Whether you are looking for a simple card, a special gift or a little treat for yourself, our work is full of joy and offers something just a little bit different.”

Posted in #tropic #skincare # natural #kindtoskin #beauty # madeintheuk, animal welfare, anti-aging, award winning skin care, bargain make up, box beauty, boxmakeup,boxsubscribe,Sshop, facemasks, sand and sky, makeup in a box, boxed subscriptions, boxclubs, freebie gifts, facial scrubber, benefits, bridal make up, British gifts, Christmas, Christmas gift ideas, gifts for her, gifts for him, great savings, independent retail, radiant skin, skin food, skincare, small businesses, support uk, Uncategorized

Gifts under £20

Looking for thoughtful tokens that make great stocking fillers or secret Santa gifts? From handbag heroes – such as a nourishing Lip Fudge or Nail Nectar – to deliciously scented Body Washes, Tropic has you covered! Feel free to contact me to discover more beauty treats.

Beautiful skincare gifts
https://tropicskincare.com/pages/vip-experience

https://tropicskincare.com/pages/ambassadors

Take the opportunity to have your own beauty business with a moral conscience.

Makeup and skincare gifts.

Posted in #tropic #skincare # natural #kindtoskin #beauty # madeintheuk, award winning skin care, bargain make up, bargains, box beauty, boxmakeup,boxsubscribe,Sshop, facemasks, sand and sky, makeup in a box, boxed subscriptions, boxclubs, freebie gifts, facial scrubber, benefits, bridal make up, British gifts, gifts for her, great savings, premium makeup brands, support uk, Uncategorized

Brilliant Travel Make up Ideas

Travelling light is always the best way. But when it comes to toiletries and makeup the baggage weight can creep up miraculously.

Here are some new discoveries of mine which will definitely be included in my case or hand luggage.

My first choice is eyeworks

I love this product. Take off the top, twist and it dispenses a rice grain size of serum. I hadn’t read the speal that comes with it but when I put the applicator to my skin it was soothingly cool. What a great idea! This handy little gadget has a ceramic tip. No mess no fuss. Just apply.

Corrects dark circles, and gives a bright youthful look.

This would be great when travelling, a long day at the office, before and after a night out. Easily fits in your handbag. No harmful chemicals near your eye area. Nourishing and anti-aging.

Men could use this as well as women. Discreet enough to fit in an inner jacket pocket or glove compartment.

Great gift for her approaching the cold winter months
Posted in #tropic #skincare # natural #kindtoskin #beauty # madeintheuk, box beauty, boxmakeup,boxsubscribe,Sshop, facemasks, sand and sky, makeup in a box, boxed subscriptions, boxclubs, freebie gifts, facial scrubber, benefits, bridal make up, British gifts, gifts, gifts for her, great savings, premium makeup brands, skincare, small businesses, support uk, Uncategorized, wedding

Review of Tropic Lipstick on Good Housekeeping

The Good Housekeeping team have put Tropic’s super-smooth, nourishing Kiss Me Quick Lipstick to the test and the results are in! They loved its hydrating formula and flattering finish, dubbing it perfect for day-to-day wear! Available in 10 versatile shades to suit any skin tone or style, this range of freshly made lipsticks are the key to your most luscious lips ever. Contact me to find out more and order your new favourite shade https://www.tropicskincare.co.uk/shop/cordeliavanbeek

Luxurious and moisturizing lipstick

No nasty chemicals or carcinogens which can be found in other brands.

Protect your lips from the elements

Beautiful shades for day and night wear. Subtle and bright shades to suit a variety of skin tones.

Lip glosses with a great reduction in price
Posted in #tropic #skincare # natural #kindtoskin #beauty # madeintheuk, bargain make up, bargains, box beauty, boxmakeup,boxsubscribe,Sshop, facemasks, sand and sky, makeup in a box, boxed subscriptions, boxclubs, freebie gifts, facial scrubber, benefits, bridal make up, British gifts, free, gifts, gifts for her, gifts for him, great savings, independent retail, premium makeup brands, skincare, support uk, Uncategorized

Hostess an e pamper party experience and get yourself some free skincare

If you invite your friends to a e pamper party experience with Tropic you have a chance to win lots of free products depending on what they buy.

Email me on cordeliavanbeek@hotmail.com. I will take your details and issue you with an e invitation for you to share with friends and family. As they spend you get free gifts of your choice within your alloted allowance.

If you would like hard copy catalogues with a few little samples when you book your e pamper just let me know.

The products are just divine. If you email me in the subject title quote e pamper invitation

Posted in bargains, British gifts, dog lovers, gifts, gifts for her, gifts for him, independent retail, interior design, small businesses, support uk

Painted mason jars, a great small gift

Crafting is a huge industry and I am impressed by the artisans and products sold on etsy.

Pretty mason jars.

These painted mason jars are a lovely example of what you might find on etsy. There are so many designs and themes that can be used for all ages and tastes.

All themes and colours.

They can be custom made for your own personalisation. You can mix and match. They can be seasonal for easter, Halloween, Christmas and they are so inexpensive.

They can have a multitude of uses.

These jars can go anywhere. Bedroom, kitchen, lounge, bathroom and office. For storage or just for show.

Emma Bridgewater
Well know designs like Emma bridgewater can be emulated.

If you cant afford to kit your kitchen out in Emma bridgewater, this is a possible alternative whilst also supporting your local artisan/seller.

Personalised gifts
The possibilities are endless.

They can be personalised with a name, significant occassion, like a wedding.

Chalk painted
Personalised with a personal message.

So do consider giving one of these chalk painted mason jars as a gift. They are personalised, inexpensive and can be versatile to a multitude of uses.