This year has been a toughie on small businesses and with the recent announcement of a month long lockdown (grr!) in what is often small business’ busiest month of the year it’s only going to be ever more challenging. That’s why this Christmas I am determined to shop with smaller independent businesses and have wrote a Christmas list of lovely items I’ve got my eye on from these absolute local gems in my current hometown of Stone, Staffordshire.
1. Rogue Boutique
ON MY CHRISTMAS LIST: RITA LET’S DANCE JUMPER
I’m so lucky to have this gorgeous shop on my doorstep. If I feel like a bit of retail therapy going here feels like a real treat! Lexi, the owner also has a new furry friend which makes the whole experience extra lovely. I brought myself a little pick-me-up dress in the last Lockdown to wear whilst, well, watching the telly really. Being local it arrived on my doorstep the next day… what service!!! Thanks Lexi!!! I’ll be back in to say hello as soon as we’re allowed!
ON MY CHRISTMAS LIST: EMMA JOUSTRA JIGSAW, GREETNG CARD AND NEW SUNGLASSES
I love this shop for a mooch around. I brought my sunglasses from here and love them so much have popped another pair on my Christmas list because it’s only a matter of time before I sit on the ones I have; this seems to be the fate of all my sunglasses.
I love that online there is a section for ‘Locally Made’ and I will be popping the Emma Joustra Jigsaw for when (if) me and hubby finish the one we’re currently doing. It’s a toughie, even struggled with the edge pieces. Doh!! I also have my eye on the Emma Joustra Weatherspoon Christmas cards as a little in joke for some friends. Don’t you love that feeling when you find a card that’s just perfect for someone you know!?
3. Coffee Break at Bear
I love Bear for a little in between shopping break. I would describe myself as the opposite of cool but going in there makes me feel a little bit hip. The decor is trendy but not intimidating and it has a nice social vibe, YUUSSSSS!!! Give me social in a world where we’re being told not to be please!! All the food, coffees and cocktails have been yummy and it’s my favourite spot in Stone for brunch! Hoping I’ll still be able to pop in for takeaway treats over the next month.
ON MY CHRISTMAS LIST: ORANGE HANDBAG
Hands down the best smelling shop in Stone. It’s such a cute little boutique full of beautiful gifts. It’s my go to for birthday cards and I brought my Mum some lovely earrings and diffuser from there for Mother’s Day last year. I see on their Facebook page that they are in the process of setting up a brand new website too so keep an eye on there Facebook page and let’s help their website launch go off with a bang!
5. Refuelling at 800 Degrees
This was mine and my hubby’s treat during Lockdown. Their pizzas are A-MAZ-ZING!!! They make it so easy to pick up giving us a time slot to rock up and collect our dinner! For anyone we’ve been lucky enough to see in between Lockdowns we have taken them here and they have all felt the same. Just for some context my most favourite pizza I have ever had was in Naples, the birthplace of pizza, and this comes a close second! Writing this has made me want to order one for dinner tonight [confession: we ordered one Friday; thinking of changing our names to Donatello and Raphael :-)]
6. Yellowstone Art Boutique
ON MY CHRISTMAS LIST: NEW PRINT FOR MY OFFICE, RE-WASHABLE FACE WIPES AND SOAP DISH (ALL OF THE COLOURS – I can’t choose. They’re so nice and as we need to wash our hands more than ever at the moment I figured you can’t have too many.)
I have got to know Hannah, the owner of this gorgeous shop, over the years and boy is she a wonderful artist and hardworking honest lady of joy! Her friendly Instagram stories are a giggle if you want a pick-me-up during this time and she sells the most lovely of things. She’s also recently updated her website and it is FAB!!! Go take a look for a welcoming virtual shop! Stuck for a gift? she’s always on hand to recommend some treats. Also keep an eye out for her Christmas gift bundles. She offered these earlier in the year and they’re sooooo cool! Happy Shopping!
Thanks for reading this. If it leads to just one more sale for any of the above businesses I will be as chuffed as pie and I know how much it means to them as it means so much when people buy from me. These are just a handful of small businesses I am lucky to have on my doorstep and I’d also love to hear about independent businesses from further afield so do drop me a line with any goodies so I can continue my mission to shop small!