We live in a world full of mass production, a fast-fashion climate that’s not only bad for the economy but the environment also. As a small business we’re constantly feeling the effects of our current climate and this is why we’re always advocating that people should choose to shop more ethically and sustainably.
The UK economy is constantly fluctuating and after the terrible things we’ve had to deal with over the last few years, it’s not surprising that it’s once again in decline. But by supporting even one small business you enable that business to thrive and grow. This could then snowball into a domino effect as that business then supports other growing companies who support other growing companies and so on. Here at For The Love of The North, our growth helps us to support more and more local creatives. With our immense customer support, we’ve been able to support a number of North East based artists and as our growth continues, so does our list of artists.
Not to mention that small, indie businesses are usually at the heart of the community. Small independent shops and retailers are constantly going above and beyond to ensure their customers receive the best service - as, let’s remember, individual customers are far more important to small businesses than they are to big name brands. We strive to give our customers the best experience when shopping with us which often makes it more personal. For example, all of our orders are carefully hand wrapped by our team, with brown paper and tied up with string, each order also includes a tourist tip.
We’ve noticed that indie businesses, like ourselves, always have a certain uniqueness about them that we just absolutely adore - it makes shopping with them far more pleasurable. Big brands tend to mass produce items which really takes away their individuality whereas, with independent shops, a lot of our items tend to be handmade to order - it means each product is specially made and unique, cherished by a skilled creative. Not to mention, in order to survive, small businesses must stock the best of the best, the things that we know will sell, if not we risk losing a profit. A lot of bigger chains stock their shops piled high with products which can sometimes leave you feeling a little bombarded and overwhelmed. However, it’s our job to ensure that all of our products are unique and of the highest quality, especially for our brilliant customers.
We’ve always been very environmentally conscious here within For The Love of The North, especially when compared to big companies. All of our products are local and ethically produced, nothing is imported or mass produced and we tend to order smaller quantities of products. This is all to make sure that the manufacturer to customer journey is as short as possible, therefore more sustainable. Not to mention that all of our packaging is reusable and recyclable!
Not only is shopping at a smaller business better, but we like to believe that working at an independent shop is better too. As mentioned earlier, we are a National Living Wage employer meaning we don’t just pay our employees minimum wage but enough to cover the standard cost of living - this is something we’re extremely proud of. We aren’t like bigshot CEO’s, we’re personally involved with every decision within our business and every process is overlooked carefully by us to ensure that everything is just how we expect. Our customers mean the world to us and we, of course, feel like we owe them the very best which is why we always go that extra mile.
Starting your own business is a tough journey, but an exciting one! And we’ve built ourselves up purely through hard work and good spirit which I think speaks volumes for what we represent. Many small business owners are the same and so we definitely encourage you to branch out, especially this Christmas, and show some love to your local community. It’s time to #ShopSmall.