If you are anything like me, you still haven’t done your christmas shopping. And even if you have, I don’t think one can ever do enough shopping.
This christmas I promise to shop local and not step into the giant shopping complex that ruin the prospects of our local businesses. I think shopping from independent local shops provides an exclusivity to the gifts (how many people do you spot wearing the same primark christmas jumpers? or jackets from H&M on sale?).
I like my presents to have a story and warmth, and it comes from local business owners as they are small and can give you personal attention while sharing the story of their journey with you. I have never met a superstore owner walking up to me to ask if I needed help and displayed a curiosity to know about me or share their amazing story?
Like I prefer to know my food and what goes into my body (Where it comes from, how was it produces etc), I prefer to treat my gifts the same. I’d like to tell my friends and family, something about the present they will be owning.
Here are some of the shops I went into and found some interesting stuff. Now there are many more, but I shall leave that up to you to explore :
The Secret Wardrobe (High Street):
Lisa Parsons is one of the most soft spoken and warm hearted person I have met. She loves her shop and is so proud of her products. Her products range from jackets, hats, scarves to jewellery and more. There is something for everyone. They are sourced from all over the world although mostly England, and picked and chosen from Lisa’s travels. It looks fancy but is very affordable. Do not fear to enter because you are on a budget. Lisa will help you out, mark my word!
Comics & Sci – Fi World (Market Place):
We have had a surge of new independent shops in Margate’s Old Town and on the high street, most by female entrepreneurs meaning a lot of shops cater to women. So this shop was perfect to find something for the “HIM (s)” that also need presents. Some amazing old comics to rare movie figures and collectables. Toys, books and magazines for the big babies of the family can also be found. The owner is very friendly, although not particularly chatty. But his face did lit-up when I told him that I am trying to inspire people to shop local through this blogpost.
No:60 (High Street):
This is a small little shop based on the high street with an assortment of handmade products made by the owner and some supplied by local people. They have handmade soaps, bags, purses, jewellery and some other decoratives like candle holders, essential oils etc.
The owners also run workshops from time to time on various interests like making loom band lampshades to cupcake decorations.
Find them on twitter: https://twitter.com/No60Margate
Doggie Apparel (Old Town):
This is my favourite place. Every one gets a present on christmas, so why not your pooch? Here’s an exclusive shop just for doggies. They have everything handmade for your dog from beds to jumpers and jackets, leads, harnesses that are made to order and custom sized apparel, toys, treats etc. We had a great time just hanging out in the shop as it has such a lovely vibe and environment. Rustle, my dog loved trying a couple of things and we can’t wait to go back to shop for his size from the new stock coming in just before christmas. A must visit!
Twitter: https://twitter.com/doggieapparel (They are all over the place including Facebook and everybody is talking about them, easy to find)
Pop Up Margate (High Street):
This is a place full of surprises as shops come in and out. Everytime I visit, there is a new little stall selling some new things. I have taken a few pictures but this is a place for each one to explore and find what they like. I would especially like to give a shout out to Faith, who makes cushions and is also a seamstress, who plans to take her pop up stall to the next level by opening her own independent shop soon, hopefully in 2015. She is quick and very very reasonable. She is here to stay and very local!
Hooked On Books (High Street):
This is heaven for all those reading aficionados. There is a wealth of rare, old, classic hardcopies/paperback for just a few pounds. It is big and nicely organised. Gary is helpful, personable and non intrusive. You can sit and spend hours without being pushed to purchase. Even my kids were nice and quietly occupied while I did my work.
I hope some of you will visit these shops and show your support. Here’s wishing everyone a very merry and prosperous christmas.