This is a guest post from one of our lovely customers and friends, Imogen, who has all the bright lights of old London Town at her fingertips but who still chooses to support small business and buy handmade. She tells us why...
I love giving gifts. It's really a joy for me to find the perfect present for people I love.
My brother and I used to give my mum presents (mostly 'made in China' ceramics) from the local everything shop, and we were delighted when she always put them in prized place on the mantelpiece.
That feeling when a smile widens and you know you’ve hit on the right present or captured the ‘I was thinking about you when I bought this' emotion has never left me. Searching for the right gift has led me down all sorts of shopping routes: department stores, high streets, local boutiques and now the superhighway; as internet shopping has evolved, 9 out of 10 times I choose to shop at small independent sites.
Shopping small encourages me to be thoughtful and intentional about what I buy. I’ve experienced better customer service as customer satisfaction seems to be central to small businesses. Instead of receiving a purchase in an ugly, ubiquitous plastic bag, I know that a small shop owner has paid attention to the tiny details (packaging, handwritten labels..) which gratifies my love of eye candy and the thrill of something prettier than a brown envelope arriving in the post.
I had a little think about the small brands that I love and I wanted to share my top three:
Wolf & Moon - contemporary yet feminine jewellery, handmade in East London. I bought a cocktail ring for my bestie, and recently had a ring customised for myself. Their designs are really fun and unusual.
Borough 22 - doughnuts as gifts? How sweet! I ordered these for a friend who became a new mum and Ryan was accommodating in including a personalised message. You don't get that service from the big brands.
Shopping at Firain is like walking into a quiet boutique you can spend time looking at unique items, mail order is speedy and everything is lovingly wrapped (you nearly don’t want to give anything away).
I guess for me shopping small is not motivated by the price tag or the time it has taken to find the item; rather it's about that feeling that you have truly thought about someone and made them happy for a moment that remains long after your gift has been given.
What do you love about shopping small? Let us know in the comments, we would love to hear from you.
thank you Imogen for your guest post! We love hearing from our customers.