6 ways you can support independent businesses

I love the small, independent shops in my local town; I do 99% of my clothes shopping in Faversham's Market Square! To learn how else I could support them, I asked some indie business owners how customers can do more than just purchase... 

1. Follow them on social media. Not only will you stay up to date with what they're up to, you'll be showing your support, which can go a long way. 
2. Post on your social media. Don't be pompous about it being free advertising for them (@ bloggers especially). If you like something, share it online and mention where you got it. As well as it obviously spreading the word about their business online, I'm sure they would like to see you enjoying it.
3. Check out local craft fairs and markets. Small businesses often use them, so it's a good chance to check out who's local. 
4. Give them feedback on what else you'd like to see them selling. Many shops will source their wares from elsewhere and so it's helpful to them if you give them some suggestions on what else they should get in stock. Similarly, if you see an independent shop stocking a certain brand you love, tell them you love it - they may stock more of it in the future based on your feedback. 
5. Nearly all of the independent business owners I spoke to said that leaving a review is an incredibly helpful thing to do. There's lots of ways to do it: on their website, Facebook's recommendation feature, and of course Tripadvisor if it's somewhere you eat/drink. 
Below: Katie Cole Design 
6. Unlike big companies, you will not be bombarded with advertisements for smaller independent businesses. This can mean sometimes they're harder to remember and find again, especially if you've found them offline like at a craft fair. Make a note of smaller independent businesses you find, revisit them for Christmas shopping, birthdays - and when people ask what gifts you'd like, suggest a voucher or a product from an independent retailer you've found and liked.

Speaking of independent businesses, here's some of my favourites: 

SpottyDog Company - Homewares for dog lovers, and accessories for the dog! 
Untamed - a recent start-up with a unique nozzle for a hair dryer that works wonders for frizzy hair.  
Molle Collection - unique gifts made from recycled fabrics. 
Barley Mow - they stock everything from kitchenware, to wrapping paper and kids toys - all beautiful and unique (Faversham, Kent)
Bra Boss of Kent - Jo has opened up her own HQ in her garden to offer bra fittings in a relaxed (and, if I do say so myself, a rather chic) environment. She specialises in post surgery, nursing and sports bras. 
Boho and Bloom Prop Hire - Leah hires out one-of-a-kind props that are perfect for unique and stylish weddings. 
Picadilly Pooches - Justine makes functional and adorable made to measure clothing for dogs. I bought a onesie for each of my pugs from her! 
Katie Cole Design - my friend Katie is an incredibly creative soul and she creates amazing artwork, and hides a signature penis in it (which is optional!) - take a look at the photo of the framed illustration above - there is a willy in it!

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  1. Such a lovely, and interesting post! Those tips are helpful too. I really want to support more independent businesses, this has motivated me to look out for them! We have a good independent market not far from where I live, it’s been a while since I’ve paid it a visit, maybe I should revisit soon! :-) xx

    Helen | Helen’s Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

  2. These are some lovely ways to help out small businesses.