Happy Small Business Saturday!

This weekend is Small business Saturday, a non-commercial campaign running throughout the UK to celebrate small business success and encourage consumers to support independents by shopping locally! To celebrate we asked our Founder and Director Maria to answer a few questions on what being a small business means to her.

Q1. What is your favourite thing about owning your own business?
A: One of my favourite parts of running the business is developing new products. Over the last few years we have expanded into accessories, gifts and homeware as well as the jewellery that I started with. It is so exciting taking it from an idea that I have, to a physical product and I love seeing all of the personalisations that customers choose, which make it so special to them. I am also proud to have built a team around me in the studio over the last few years, they are brilliant - so supportive, hard working and really inspiring to work with each day! It is lovely working with my Mum Irina (in the photo below!) as well, and being able to see her at work daily. 

Q2. Why is Small Business Saturday important?
A: Small business Saturday is a great way to celebrate all the small businesses across the country. It highlights the success of these businesses and encourages consumers to buy locally and from smaller companies than they may usually. For us it's a great way to celebrate what we love doing! We love designing, personalising and making each of our customer orders, we love hearing the stories behind orders and knowing that our hard work makes others happy. For anyone considering shopping this weekend I encourage you to shop small, you will be amazed by the good-deed feeling you get from buying from a small business!

Q3. Lastly, what is your favourite Christmas gift of the collection this year? 
A: I love our new hexagon mirrors - especially the Polar Bear design - I have one in my house! I think they are a great way to make the house look festive (and are subtle enough to keep up all year round!)
Communities all over the UK are getting involved with local markets and celebrations and Brighton is no different. Here's how to get in on the #SmallBizSatUK action this weekend. 
1. Brighton Etsy Made Local Market
Saturday 3rd Dec at The Brighton Dome, 11am -5pm.
From November 26th - December 11th, local artists and makers open their doors to provide an alternative Christmas shopping experience. Take a break from the high street and visit their homes and studios, eat a mince pie, chat to the artists and pick up a unique gift for someone special. 

3. Brighton's Alt Open House
Pick up a map and follow the trail for an exciting shopping and exhibition experience. Open for four weekends including Dec 3rd/4th, 10th/11th and 17th/18th, the trail exhibits local artists work as well as events and workshops.
4. Head to the North Laines!
The North Laines are full of small business's, check out our list of favourite Brighton independents for inspiration.

Get involved and show your support for #SmallBizSatUK 
Looking for a unique Christmas gift? Shop our full range of products here


Top 5 Independent Shops in Brighton

As a small business ourselves we know all about the importance of supporting independents and shopping local where possible. Brighton is a hub of creative talent, the city is a treasure trove of beautiful quirky shops selling a huge variety of wares. Next time your in town make sure you treat yourself to some retail therapy! Here are 5 of our favourites... 
1. Little Beach Boutique
74 North Road, Brighton, BN1 1YD
This little gem offers a great selection of gifts, accessories and home ware alongside their own collection of handmade glass products. As well as running regular glass workshops, customers can also request a personalised piece of art. 
2. Edited
17-19 Brighton Square, Brighton BN1 1HD
Edited specialise in design-led products, from home furnishings and stationary to quirky lighting - the staff are all extremely helpful and always on hand to explain light socket fittings! Pop in for a browse and a coffee from The Plant Room, a neighbouring cafe serving great vegan/vegetarian snacks. 
3. Dowse Design
133 Western Rd, Hove BN3 1DA
Dowse is a small studio and shop showcasing talent from independent and emerging designers around Britain and Europe, as well as themselves. Selling a great array of stationary, home accessories, art and books there nothing not to love. The Studio Arhoj collection is a particular favourite of ours. 

4. Magazine Brighton 
22 Trafalgar Street, Brighton BN1
This beautiful magazine shop specialises in well-made independent print, stocking over 4,000 titles spanning a huge variety of genres including tech, fashion, travel, sport, art, culture, photography, music and film. Pop in for a browse - you won't want to leave empty handed!
5. Flock & Spiderplant 
46 Sydney St, Brighton BN1 4EP
Specialising in vintage and handmade items, Flock brings together local labels selling everything from vintage dresses and men's tailored blazers to handcrafted jewellery and home ware. If that didn't already sound great, hidden inside of Flock is Spiderplant, a tiny plant paradise. Here you'll find a multitude of houseplants ranging from tiny cacti to full ferns, the staff are full of knowledge and will happily help you find a plant to suit your home.  

Six Sussex Visits to Make your Bank Holiday Weekend

Getting outside is beautiful whatever the season here in Sussex, but during the summer months it's especially glorious, even if we are a bit biased. While the local towns and villages are usually buzzing with excited tourists, why not take yourself, some friends or your family on one of the amazing walks our local Sussex surroundings have to offer...

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1.) Birling Gap to Beachy Head

Hailed as one of the most beautiful places on earth, beachy head truly is breathtaking. Meander along this cliff top walk and take in the iconic beachy head cliff face along with the equally iconic seven sisters cliffs (just don't stand too close to the edge)

2.) The Devil's Dyke

The 100m deep v-shaped valley in the South Downs, perched between Brighton and Hove, was described by Constable as 'the grandest view in the world'. Local folklore and legend explains the valley as the work of the devil. The legend describes that the devil was digging a trench to allow the sea to flood the many churches in Sussex. The digging disturbed an old woman who lit a candle, and in doing so angered a rooster causing it to crow, making the devil believe that the morning was fast approaching. The devil then fled, leaving his trench unfinished. The last shovel of earth he threw over his shoulder fell into the sea, forming the Isle of Wight. Whether formed by the devil or not this walk is a must see this summer.

3.) Ashdown Forest

This forest is an ancient area of tranquil open heathland occupying the highest sandy ridge-top of the High Weald. Situated just some 30 miles south of London in East Sussex, it's the perfect weekend escape for the family. Ashdown Forest is also the famous setting for the Winnie-the-Pooh stories, written by A. A. Milne, who lived on the northern edge of the forest and took his son, Christopher Robin, walking there- making this the ideal magical experience for children!

(photo: Colin Michaelis)

4.) Lavender Walk 

The glorious lavender fields at Lordington lavender farm in Chichester, West Sussex, are only open for a select few weekends a year, but during the summer months make sure you take yourself there for a visit. The combination of the vivid hues of the bright lavender flowers along with the intoxicating smells of the fresh plants makes for a truly memorable experience. 

5.) Arundel

You would be forgiven for thinking Arundel is some far off fairytale land, or a setting for a fantasy  novel, but this little village tucked away in the deep vale of the South Downs in West Sussex actually is real. The market town is just 49 miles from London and 10 miles from Brighton. Take a walk around the scenic town, peruse the local markets and explore the fairy tale castle looking over the river Arun. 

6.) Stanmer Park & House

Stanmer house and it's surrounding woodland is a great day out for all in East Sussex. The 18th century manor house is nestled in between the South Downs and the sea, just ten minutes from the bustling centre of Brighton- although you'll feel like you've escaped to a different land entirely. 

Go on, get out there and plan your next adventure in the fabulous land of Sussex!