shop independent this christmas 2016

So, I'm giving in and accepting that it's that time of year again!

Two years ago, I created this graphic that seemed to resonate with a lot of you all around the world. I didn’t do it because I thought it would be an 'easy' way to get my brand out there, or that it would get a lot of shares, that wasn’t my intention.

My intention was to raise awareness on how important it is to shop independent, especially at Christmas where it can really mean make or break for the little guys. We’re competing against these huge department stores and high street chains who don’t really fret if they lose a couple of hundred quid, but for us, it’s incredibly damaging. I’m sure the CEO’s of these companies aren’t struggling to pay their rent, or are eating beans on toast every single meal because they can’t afford anything else. They’re not up all night with worry, wondering if going down this career path was the right thing (well actually, maybe they are, but that’s probably a tax-dodging anxiety rather than on-the-poverty-line anxiety!).

By supporting independents at Christmas, you are not only pumping money into that business, but you're also helping that maker live. Pay rent, pay all of those bills (maybe even on time). Eat. It really is a big deal. Much bigger than giving that CEO of a large corporation some play money for their boat.

You're funding someone's livelihood. That's why this Christmas, and every one after that, I will only be buying gifts from small, independent retailers. I'd love it if you could set yourself the same challenge. Buying local, independent and small makes your hard-earned money go a lot further than it would if you just went to a certain large online low-priced store.

If your mate makes greeting cards (hellooooo!) then buy some from them, rather going to a well-known high street stationers. Even if you just buy everyone socks for the holidays, get them from an indie! It may require a little bit more effort but it's nothing compared to how superb the result is.

It's a brave thing to start your own business in this world full of pound shops and online outlets, applaud those who are going against the grain and making something of themselves by supporting them.

The graphic above is available for download again, here is the link (just please remember to cred in captions as well as tag, and look up #createorcredit if you think it's ok to do it any other way). You can also buy the 'shop independent' bag to show your support on the streets, and there is a print for retailers who want to show their customers just how important it is to shop local, or for anyone who wants to show some support.