Well here I am sat in my office looking out of the window at my extremely dreary looking garden, its dull and damp here today. Even the trees look like they are sulking! (Maybe my teenagers have been giving them a few pointers?)
Remember when you were little and the trees were losing their leaves everywhere and you could kick them everywhere and fall in them giggling? Well that’s what Autumn should be … but no it is quite simply just yuk!
As some of you will know, who follow me on Twitter and FB, I have been getting ready for the festive season for sometime. The wonderful Karen http://www.karenappleyard.com/ is responsible for some of the fab Festive images on the website homepage (see the image above) I gave her a very unhelpful brief “Karen, please can you take some festive pics for me?” and as usual she comes back with exactly what I was looking for!
So the website is looking all festive, with lots of gorgeous items to make your home feel warm and welcoming. From our range of wonderful UK Handmade Christmas decorations and cards to some great stocking filler gifts and of course the range of larger gifts for loved ones.
I asked a question earlier on twitter and FB to see whether people have even started thinking about their C word shopping yet? And I was surprised to find that Yes most people have! Suprised, because although I am prepared business wise, on a personal level I have not even started thinking about it! Which I guess isn’t too scary, excpet for the fact that Mr W&W and I have 6 children (5 of whom are teenagers!)
Should I be panicking yet? … Yes I think I probably should! But as I say, it seems I am in the minority, and a few of the lovely people (businesses and people) I follow on twitter are doing a C word challenge, to buy a % of their gifts from independant British businesses. This of course is great for businesses like me. So I asked one of my lovely followers Bee @LifeAfterLondon http://lifeafterlondon.com/ if she would write a guest post and she very kindly agreed to! So Bee over to you…
It was ages ago I had this brilliant idea about buying my Christmas presents from Twitter. It seemed like a good idea at the time but the months have passed and now it’s October and not a single present has been purchased. I realise that the down side of buying from an independent is they aren’t likely to be delighted by an order on 22nd December for a personalised picture frame to be delivered ready to be wrapped by 24th December. Therefore it’s time to get into gear and realise it isn’t summer any more….my woollens might have been a giveaway but I’m so slow I haven’t worked that out!
Anyway – more on why I want to buy from UK based Independents. I’m not knocking the service provided by big boys and don’t believe I’m some too good to be true ‘won’t shop in a multinational’. I’m a supermarket shopper through and through and you’ll often find me late at night in a panic, buying a book on line to be delivered for an almost forgotten birthday but that’s not my point!
Since being on Twitter I have been astounded by how many small businesses there are and I want to celebrate them all. No amount of retweeting and commenting on their blogs can really impact their work like a sale and it seems like a fun way to shop – a more interesting way to do it. Although I’m not actually walking through my local town, popping in with a basket to make my purchases it does feel a bit like that. I can look at their website, drop them a tweet and ask advice and thoughts and I feel I am getting a truly personal service.
Now, I’m not pretending these ‘virtual friends’ hold all the answers and let’s be honest they need a sale but it doesn’t feel pushy – it feels helpful, it feels chatty, friendly – old fashioned perhaps! And added to which I love knowing where my gifts began life….it doesn’t have to be handmade and homemade to fit the bill for me. It just has to be a small business – be they stockists of other people’s goods or makers of their own things. I made the rules for my little challenge so I’ll pick and choose as it suits me but it is just helping me to think outside the box. Lots of my family members make specific requests for Christmas – it saves being disappointed I guess but even so I’ll still do all I can to buy from my world wide web friends but critically I’ll be keeping it British, and small. Effectively I’m just shopping from a village high street – the joy is the village covers the whole country, has an unbelievable choice and I can still do it sitting at my desk! Would you like to join me in making this a Very British Christmas?
So with Bee’s wise words in mind, maybe we could all challenge ourselves to buy a % of gifts from small, British independants like me!
Oh and in case you haven’t noticed, I have not used the C word for all those of you who, like me haven’t started yet and would morph into red faced, crazy, panic stricken people at the sound of it!!