I don’t know about you but I was completely overwhelmed by my inbox yesterday. Never have I seen so many emojis used in a subject line and it wasn’t the fun ones either, it was the red sign ones that no one ever even uses and when they do you go into panic mode. “OMG what’s happened, why is my screen currently filled with a million giant red exclamation marks, warning signs and siren symbols?!” Oh it’s just an extra 20% off here or a BOGOF there. I quite honestly did not click on any of the emails that were screaming at me in all their aggressive emoji-ness because I didn’t want or need any of it. As self-righteous as that may sound, I would have been buying for the sake of buying and as someone who has a new mortgage to pay I quite simply can’t entertain these so called “deals”. I also caught a headline yesterday that declared that according to Which? “Nearly nine out of 10 ‘deals’ in 2017 were cheaper at other times of the year” so we’re clearly all falling victim to the hype. But the ones who are really suffering the most at the hands of this US- born tradition are the independent brands and businesses that can’t compete- times are tough already without this murky additional discounting.
So at WSd we’re joining forces with our fellow indies and are taking a stand to promote a more thoughtful way of consuming. By no means are we on a guilt-tripping mission, we’re just standing by our principles to shop less and invest more- sentiment that is shared by Nicola Eyres, founder of indie brand Cissy Wears. She took to Instagram yesterday morning and eloquently voiced the thoughts of pretty much every other indie, “I don’t ask you to shop independent to make you feel guilty, to make you feel if you don’t spend money at our stores then our kids won’t eat or our businesses will close down, to make us do “happy dances”. I ask you to shop independent businesses because of the unique finds, the great choice, the sustainability, the eco-friendliness, the local community, the customer service and those extra little touches that benefit YOU”.
WSd is a proud stockist of a whole host of wonderful independent brands, some of which are local to our lovely Hitchin and others from further afield. We feel privileged to be able to know and share the stories behind these brands and their creators. In our last blog we shared the story of SVP jewellery and its founder’s mission to change the gemstone industry and ensure traceability at all stages.
Georgina and Emma, founder of Our Apparel, are also a mission, theirs is to promote equality through their LGBTQ clothing line that specialises in simplistic, embroidered designs.
Then of course there’s Little Shop of Pots, beautiful ceramics hand thrown by local Ashwell resident Alice Sparkes.
Not forgetting the purveyor of winter scarves Miss Pompom, all designed by Bronwyn and Emily.
Our infamous card and prints wall is made up of independent brands, from new kid on the block the League of Mothers to Letterbox Lane, Oh Squirrel and This Mama Does. These are our makers, our movers and our shakers and we’ve got their backs.
Our very own Samantha King, WSd angel, graphic designer, mum and all around extraordinaire behind Samantha King Designs is also boycotting Black Friday, “I won’t be doing any black Friday deals. My prices are the lowest they could possibly be being a small business. It’s just me and my computer and my printer. I am not in this to rip people off and I appreciate every single order throughout the entire year. Please continue to support small businesses. They need you more than ever”.
From homeware to clothing and accessories, Sarah is a champion for the grafters and the believers and promoting these wonderful brands is also part of WSd’s responsibility to reduce waste by encouraging shoppers to rethink shopping habits. Do you really want a mass produced item or do you want something that you know has been made with love and with you in mind?
So that’s why we’re behind the campaign of Holly Tucker, co-founder of Not on the High Street, to “Vote with your money and shop independent” as she aims to raise awareness of the beauty of the independents. Here’s why Sarah is on board with #campaignshopindependent, “We are all fighting our little corner, this week more than ever. Holly Tucker is driving something with a voice we all aim for. Please, before you react to the relentless email and marketing for this thing they call Black Friday, please think about what you really need to buy, the gifts you want to give and the money you may or may not have to spend. Shop the independents and you will receive something made with a passion, with love and something unique. We are fighting to stay afloat in an uncertain social media driven world. We love what we do, we want you to love it too. Big love to all my amazing independent brands that I have the absolute honour to showcase and sell in my independent store, We love you”.
Forget Friday, indie is the new black.