Why You Should Shop Local This Christmas

Christmas Pop up at Sneinton Market

While I aspire to shop locally for gifts as much as I can I also struggle with time. I finish work around 2.45pm and then start carting kids around to various clubs – cheer, swimming, cubs, more cheer! Then there’s tea to make and the dog to walk. Then bedtime for the kids and invariably more work (I can’t run a business on part time hours – it’s just not do-able!).


So sometimes I get very tempted by that supermarket card or gift. Bish bash bosh job done. Then I remember all the lovely folk I know who make amazing stuff and I pop it back.

But maybe it takes a little bit more effort. And sometimes there is uncertainty. Can I trust this seller? Will I be charged postage? How long will it take for my goodies to arrive?

I know from experience that once I’ve shopped with the same person a few times and I’m happy with the service and product I’ll go back time and time again. Two people who I do this with are Daisycat cards and Rosie Made a Thing who both stock the most wonderful cards.

It makes me feel happy in lots of ways – I know I’m reducing my carbon footprint by buying in a sustainable way. I don’t have to worry about the baby orang-tangs. I know I’m supporting the local and UK economy. I know its cliche now but a small maker really does do a happy dance when you buy from them because it helps to pay the mortgage and the school dinners. No sales =  no small makers. And I don’t think I’d like to live in a world like that.

I like the sense of community too – small makers are not massive, faceless entities. There is a social element to buying like this. When did you last get a hand written note along with an Amazon order? There is something about that connection which I’ve talked about before, that makes it more the  purely transactional.

league of gentlemen


So this is going somewhere, right?! Yes it is!

This Saturday (1st December) Sneinton Market are holding a Christmas Fair and I’ll be opening the studio for my first ever pop up. Yes there will be things to buy and yes I really hope people do buy lots of things (everyone needs sales at the moment!). There will be bargain corner where you can clean up on your Christmas shopping for a fraction of the price and I’ll be doing a bit of free gift wrapping too if you need things making super easy!

But its more than selling things. I’d like people to come down and hang out. I’m going to make mince pies so grab a coffee from Blend Cafe and head in our directions.

I’ll be running my first ever Buy Local Surgery so bring ideas of people you want to buy for and I’ll do my best to write a prescription for you!

Along with the Christmas Market there will be street food and activities and a host of studios and shops open too such as the wonderful Watered Garden, The Shop at Sneinton and Luisa’s Handmade Chocolates.

It would be lovely to see you. And if you don’t live near Nottingham then please, please support your local makers and businesses. There is a wonderful campaign called “Just a card” that you can get involved in too – check them out on Instagram and look out for their stickers in shop windows!


Helena x


Footnote: I’ve had a bit of fun playing with the smudge brush in Photoshop to get rid of my massive forehead of wrinkles – just for fun! (Above). I don’t think I look any better so I’m sticking with the wrinkles 🙂


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