As promised last week, Here’s my small business special. I always like to support small brands where I can and now it is needed more than ever. As the world is ever changing, I don’t know if all of these guys are still able to send items out, but as of now (Saturday) most of them are still trading. Even if they are not, then worth bearing them in mind for the future when you’re in the market for something other than food and soap.
Some of these are literally one women businesses (most are run by women, in fact I think ALL of these are), which actually means a lot of them can still sell as they don’t have to come into contact with anyone other than the delivery person. The boutique owners are going into their stores alone, picking and packing any online orders just to keep going. The brands are able to collect their stock and send via the Post Office.
We’ve got a lot to get through, so we’d better crack on. This is a lengthy one because I wanted to include so many brands and shops. I still didn’t get them all in, but I will have part 2 ready soon, probably mid-week, for accessories and jewellery. I got to over 3000 words so I’ve had to chop it up as no-one needs an essay on a Sunday, although to be fair, what else do have on? Taking in a show? Heading out for Brunch? Sunday Lunch at the Pub? Nope… I also really wanted to include homewares and furniture, but I need to do a bit more research and I fear your attention may wander if I went on even longer.
Talking of furniture, special mention to Love Your Home. I have a sofa on order with them that’s obviously been delayed now and they even offered to try and get me something from the showroom to sit on as they were worried we had an empty room while we’re stuck at home for who knows how long. How kind is that? Luckily I never got around to giving away the old cat-ruined sofa, so I do have place to sit and watch The Tiger King from. More on that once I’ve finished it, no spoilers please, but it’s insane!
SMALL BUSINESS BOUTIQUES
Where to start? There are so many great Independent Boutiques out there. I’m sure you all have your personal favourites. I’ve had to stick to the ones I have personally shopped in before, be that online or in person, but if you know of anymore that are still able to trade, let me know and I will either do another post or add to my Instagram Stories.
I’ve chosen six boutiques, and here’s a little bit about each of them:
BLACK WHITE DENIM: Even though based in Wilmslow, I’ve shopped with Jo more than most! Her shop runs almost like a friendly little social club, but one where you can pick up a whole new outfit on the way out. She’s been my ‘Bing Dealer’ for a few years now, she’d message me to say she’s got something new in that she knows I will like and i pay over the phone! Plus I bought my all time best leather jacket from her. As Featured below.
FEATHER & STITCH: Fi runs a perfect little boutique in Richmond On Thames. A place I feel I should be living one day. I’ll let the small fact that I cannot afford to live there slide for now. But I can afford to visit, the number 65 bus is only £1.50 after all and that leaves more money for buying a great dress.
QUATTRO RISH: I haven’t got to the actual store yet, but I fully intend to once this is all over. and it WILL be over. We just don’t know exactly when yet. This store is based in Reigate and run by Ivy who has the best eye for colour. Gorgeous pastels, bright pinks, olive greens, all perfectly picked to go so well with each other. An eye for new and interesting brands too. My ‘lucky’ football coat by Oof Wear came from her. Well it ‘was’ lucky. Maybe I should wear it everyday around the house and hope that luck comes back! at least the last match we went to, our beloved Brentford won 5-0 so a nice memory.
STUDIO B: Studio B is an online only shop run by Bethany (Hence the B). Her ethos is buy less, buy better and discover new and interesting brands. She has such an eye for new labels and things you didn’t think you needed until you saw them on her site. The dresses on offer are particularly amazing. I bought a fruit and veg print silk shirt by Karen Mabon from her 2 years ago that I look forward to wearing every summer.
THE DRESSING ROOM: Based in St Albans and run by Deryanne since 2005. They champion a lot of great new UK brands and make great styling videos to help you work out what would be good for you. I hope they’ll be back open soon so they get to celebrate their 15th birthday in style.
1. Wild Swans Sibin Linnebjerg Stripe Jumper
2. The Dressing Room Rails Collins Jacket
3. Black White Denim Rails Grey Star Joggers
4. Quattrorish American Vintage Green Joggers
5. Wild Swans Philip Hog Trainers
32 THE GUILD: Another one I’ve not visited as yet, but am an avid follower on Instagram. based in Northampton this was the store I bought my very first pair of Grensons from. When they were as scarce as toilet roll is now back in 2018. I found them via Trouva which is an excellent online resource for independent shops. Always worth checking them if you’re looking for something.
WILD SWANS: Based in both Chiswick and Islington, Wild Swans sells 95% Danish brands. Ahead of the game as Copenhagen is now the unofficial capital of cool girl style. If you want some of that, you know where to go.
SMALL BUSINESS FASHION BRANDS
Once again, so so many I could pick and I will do another one I promise, but for now here’s 4 brands I love, have bought from more than once and will continue to do so in the future. All of these brands I discovered via Instagram. I know social media can be a pain, but it’s not all filters and fake lips, there are many great things to discover.
KEMI TELFORD: Kemi Telford is run by Yvonne who is quite possibly the most positive person I have ever encountered. She is currently going to her warehouse every day to personally pack up any orders. She is always there with a wise word to brighten your day and she make THE MOST wonderful dresses mainly out of deadstock fabric. Packed in fabric bags and most of them have POCKETS! all in all, an absolute delight.
HADES WOOL: I was drawn to this brand a few years ago when they made wool sweaters with band names on. I missed the boat on that collection but have since bought an Alphabet Jumper, you know I can’t resist a monogram in any form, and a Joy Division one from their new band collection.
JUSTINE TABAK: Justine makes classic dresses that I feel will never date. Tablecloth gingham or Liberty Print loveliness. I long to go on holiday to Italy again one day and waft around amongst the Olive groves in one of her dresses. That WILL happen again.
GENEVIEVE SWEENEY: Genevieve makes THE best socks known to man. I know, I have a pair in almost every colour, she also does a monthly sock subscription, which would be a wonderful gift for anyone. You can even have them monogrammed. Her knitwear is also most excellent.
SMALL BUSINESS SWEATSHIRTS
Again, I could have doubled this list, I could have added T Shirts too, and I will do one day, I promise, but here are some of my favourites:
WILD HEARTS WONDER: Make super cute kids clothes, and the most amazing wallpaper and cushion covers, but for me it’s the super soft Tiger Sweatshirt that defines them. Made to come up super slouchy so if you don’t want too oversized then size down a bit. Wear it while discussing the disappearance of Carol Baskin’s first husband.
BOB THE BRAND: Another company that specialises in cool T shirts and sweats for kids, but also do some for adults too. If you were that way inclined you could dress your whole family exactly the same. I hope you don’t though. That’s a bit creepy.
BY POLLYANNA: Lovely Polly makes excellent sweatshirts. My favourite is the Military star one, I wear mine when I want to feel in charge. It doesn’t actually make me feel in charge at all, but that’s irrelevant.
LISA MARICO: Lisa makes embroidered sweatshirts to order. She can stitch whatever you want on the front (within reason obviously, not sure you could have ALL the lyrics to I Will Survive on there, but you could start with ‘Do you think I’d crumble’…) I’m not sure how many she can do right now, but worth asking.
DISKO KIDS: Run by Helen, Disko Kids make kids and adults clothing and accessories with a music theme. I was lucky enough to do a collaboration with her last year, which I loved doing, and showcased my somewhat unhealthy obsession with Phil Collins songs
KEEPER TEES: Sally’s business might not be up and running right now as her printers are not producing, but someone to keep in mind once we can back to a sense of normality. Maybe she has a few left, check in with her if you love her Leopard Tees as much as I do
1. Wild Hearts Wonder Tiger Sweatshirt
2. Bob The Brand Sisterhood Sweatshirt
3. By Pollyanna Keep On Rolling Sweatshirt
4. Diskokids 1970 Sweatshirt
5. Lisa Marico Difficult Woman Embroidered Sweat
6. Keeper Tees Two Leopards Sweatshirt
So, next week I’ll continue with the small businesses. After that, we shall see. I think maybe, how to use your existing wardrobe might be useful, or even a whole post about dressing like Joe Exotic. Many of us have a bit of time on our hands, maybe we can try our hand at cutting our hair into a mullet. I pretty much already have the moustache, and I own a LOT of leopard print, so that’s a start.
Stay safe friends.