This Christmas my wife and I have decided to support independent businesses, particularly small home run affairs, who network on Facebook in what seems to be a thriving small business community. I like the online shops who create their own things to sell, whether it be painters, carpenters or anything crafty, I have discovered a wealth of talent online and a strong sense that people are trying to do more things by themselves so they don’t have to rely on the system, a system that is rapidly letting us all down. I am going to try and buy all my Christmas gifts from independents to try and stay away from the big brands and my blog will chart the success or otherwise of this venture. I plan to list all the people I deal with to give them support and try to encourage others to buy from them as well.
My wife has recently started her own business and the idea for this was created by my redundancy and the whole experience inspired me to start this blog. When I found myself in need of new employment we had to look seriously at our options and we didn’t want to neccessarily follow conventional wisdom, we wanted to be in control of our own destiny for a change, after ten years in an industry I was dubious about, all I got was a dear John letter, a statutory redundancy pay out and shabby treatment from the kind people at the amusingly titled jobcentreplus (is it a job centre plus an opportunity to see and smell lots of people with personal hygience issues and that was just the staff?) So we decided to take a risk and try to create a business out of something we were good at utilising the real creative skills that we have.
This has led to us to encounter the independent online community and the people we have met have been friendly, talented and passionate and often their reasons for starting their own businesses have been born out of simliar circumstances to our own. People are turning to their own talent and tenacity to create a space and name for themselves because it is an alternative to the perceived normal routes, people are fed up and it is satisfying to see so much spirit and drive when all is doom and gloom elsewhere.
It is hard work setting up on your own and it is frightening and stressful but also it is fun and hopefully there will be rewards once you are established. Another reason we looked to do something different is that it is really important that we actually bring up our children in a hands on way and with my new work and my wife’s business we are able to put time into doing the creative things we love for a living as well as spending better quality time with those closest to us.
My first recommendation then for your Independent Christmas gift ideas is Rebecca Park, Fanciful fox www.rebeccapark.co.uk or www.facebook.com/fancifulfoxs. I think Rebecca’s artwork and creations are beautiful and she is a very imaginative lady, we have asked her to custom an original piece of hers for my newly born niece and will certainly be on the look out for more of her designs to send to people for Christmas. So check her out and see you in a few days time for another recommendation for Christmas.
Peace and Love from The World Outside The Window
Great idea to document this. I’m buying all handmade this year – mostly from facebook. It’s been so enjoyable. I’ve had to think ahead a bit more than normal though as handmade things need to be ordered in advance. x