Friday, 24 June 2016

Independence

Let me start this post by saying that I voted to remain in the EU.  But the deed is done and while the politicians sort out what happens next I just want to air a few positive thoughts, entirely, I might add, related to my business sector of crafts.

I did during the lead up to the referendum think about voting to leave because I felt that the UK being independent could bring about a change in attitude, in being more proud of the good things in Britain, being more proud of what we do produce here and lead to a bigger focus on independent businesses as a way of taking our country forward.  So now I think we should see this as an opportunity to shout about these things more.

My sector is full of small independent businesses, producing excellent quality work.  We are individuals, often working alone or with a partner, in our craft rooms or sheds or studios.  We work with precision, care and love.  It may sound like hype when designers, makers and crafters say that on their websites or in their bios.  But it's true.

This morning I had a chat with a fellow crafter who sells some of her product to European buyers. Would this result stop that?  I said I don't see why because they are buying from you as a person, buying your product which they love, neither of those things is going to change.  In fact while big business rants and raves maybe this is the opportunity for those of us working at the micro end of the business scale to up our game and persuade more people both here and in the rest of the world that British is best, because we make quality.

So this weekend instead of either moaning about the result or celebrating with Nigel or Boris go out and support a real British business.  Talk to makers, find out what makes them tick, buy or commission something.  Organisers I exhibit with who have events running this weekend include:

Craft in Focus 3 day event at Henley Meadows near Fawley Court starting today, details here http://www.craftexperience.co.uk/

Keep it Local Craft Shows on Sunday 26th June at The Llama Park in Sussex, details here https://www.facebook.com/KeepitLocalCraftShows/?fref=ts

Find a shop that stocks handmade products.  Here are three I know:

The Gift Boutique in Petersfield, Hampshire, details here https://www.facebook.com/thegiftboutiquepetersfield/?fref=ts

Little Thatch Florist (gifts too) in South Petherton, Somerset, details here https://www.facebook.com/LittleThatchFlorist/?fref=ts

Gorgeous Gerties (cafe too) in Dorking, Surrey, details here https://www.facebook.com/GorgeousGerties/?fref=ts

Finally, even if you're not able to spend much remember that you can support many small craft related business by just buying a card.  Take a look at this campaign and you'll see why. http://www.justacard.org/

Well, that's my message.  This weekend I'm finishing some making, visiting Henley and planning more Christmas makes.  Keep smiling!

Lots of love,
Alison

Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/LavenderHeartUK
Twitter: @LavenderHeartUK

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