At Feather and Nest, supporting British designers is really really important to us, as is seeing our local customers’ smiles when they pop into our Wallingford shop. For these reasons, we’ve put together a series on the Best of British. First up, we’re sharing five reasons to shop locally, highlighting the importance of community and giving a platform to home-grown British talent. Then, we’ll be sharing some of the fantastic British designers we stock at Feather and Nest, to show you first hand the benefits of shopping independent. And finally, we’ll be doing a Q&A with our local kitchen-table textile designer, Mrs B, to talk about what her work means to her.
#1 Finding something quirky
One of the things we love most is watching customers’ eyes light up as they explore our shop and discover wonderful brands they may never have heard of before. We put a lot of effort into hand-selecting the right products and collections at Feather and Nest, and we love giving smaller British brands a platform and exposure. Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift, or something to treat yourself with, shopping independently means you’re picking something up that few other people own. It’s a nod towards uniqueness and quality, in other words, the perfect antidote to our mass-produced culture.
#2 Supporting the local community
It’s nothing new to say that the high street is in decline, with smaller businesses being priced out by larger, household names. However, research shows that it’s important to think about where you choose to spend your pounds. For every £1 spent in small or medium sized businesses, 63p remains in the local community. In contrast, when spending in larger businesses, only 40p stays local. In addition, a study has shown that successful small businesses have a positive knock-on effect for local house prices. Helping to keep local businesses thriving also contributes to the character of your town, which in turn makes it more attractive for visitors and tourists to come and visit (and spend!)
#3 Reducing environmental impact
Especially when it comes to food, shopping local greatly reduces environmental impact. Rather than investing in highly-packaged, exotic fruit that has flown miles to reach your plate, you’re opting for seasonal produce that comes from down the road. You know the journey your food has been on, just how fresh it is, and chances are, who produced it personally! Products that are designed and made in Britain also have fewer miles under their belt, too.
#4 Giving British talent a platform
With so much competition, it’s difficult for British bred designers to get their name out there. Supporting local brands not only ensures you’re leaving with something unique, but also means you’re fostering innovation and talent. In other words, you’re boosting the next generation of creative entrepreneurs.
#5 Becoming a valued customer
And finally, shopping local also means you’re more likely to receive a personalised service. Larger stores have impressive customer loyalty schemes, but we love the real insight and advice gained from chatting to local business owners. Also, by taking the time to get to know you, local businesses often take into account your preferences, meaning you know you’re going to find something you love when you pay them a visit.
Shopping independently helps you support British talent, eat fresh and buy unique. It boosts the local community both economically and socially. And we love being a part of it! Look out for the next instalments of this series on the Best of British to discover our favourite British designers.