Blog post: fOUR reasons to shop with independent designer makers

In recent years, we've seen a shift in how we shop. More and more of us are shunning the high street, and annual acknowledgments such as Small Business Saturday are a welcomed nod to the growing popularity of small, independently run creative businesses. We know it can be hard to break away from the familiarity (and competitive pricing) of big chains, but it is so worth it. Here are four reasons to shop with independent designer makers.

Unique pieces
Perhaps the most obvious reason is that you're buying something that you're unlikely to find anywhere else. Indies are doing what they do because they feel they create something completely different to everyone else - perhaps even one off pieces. If you'd quite like to hear 'oh my god that's gorgeous, where did you get it?!' regularly, buying from an independent retailer usually does the trick. That includes gifts that your friends and family would never have expected. From punny slogan mugs to Stranger Things pins, independents know how to do different.

Let’s be honest, who wants to live in a world where big chains are your only option? Without independent designer makers, we would all own similar clothes, homewares and artwork. Indie's provide choice, allowing you to move away from the giant retailers of this world, and purchase something unique and created with passion. This leads me on to...

Made with love
Independent designer makers are doing what they do because they love it. It's as simple as that. It's likely that they started with little to no funds, sporadically making sales, and screaming every time they peeked at their online banking, but persevered because they want to make beautiful things for people that appreciate them. This means care and attention goes into each piece, and I'm willing to bet that each product has a story behind it.

You're literally supporting dreams
Starting a business is ballsy, and without enough people supporting it, it struggles to get anywhere, no matter how wonderful the products are. As a creative, it's so hard to keep up with the prices of mass produced items on sale at huge retailers, especially when you're using quality (and therefore expensive) materials and investing lots of time. Each sale is a reminder that their dream of doing what they love is worth pursuing and that eating own brand soup for dinner every night for that week was worth it. You'll usually find that most of the money made goes straight back into making more products, paying bills, and y'know, buying solid food. 

So put aside your store cards and ignore those marketing emails - whatever it is you need, from socks to lampshades, necklaces to bedding, there's an independent out there hoping hard that you'll click 'buy'. And having read all of the above, you'd be more than justified in doing so.