I was recently invited to take part in a challenged set by Barclaycard Freedom Rewards to spend £50 in my favourite local independent retailer. With big chain stores dominating the high street, its important that we support our local businesses, because that’s often the place you find hidden little treasures AND you get that glowy feeling of goodwill that buying local brings.
The store I chose is Gravity, a small independent shop based in Newcastle-under-Lyme, and despite the recession seeing some of our much loved smaller shops closing the doors, Gravity have been trading almost 19 years.
The original shop (which was based across the road from the current one) was opened by the owner, Nuana after she finished University and decided that she wanted to be a boss (put that in your pipe, Tulisa, there’s more than one female boss!) The shop was inspired by the types of shops her and her husband would visit in Brighton when they were teenagers. As well as shops like Lee Louise in Chester, CGBS in Sheffield, and many other when her partner worked for a company called Disaster Designs. Because the couple have quite eclectic tastes the shop has a lot of different types of items and in itself is almost like a compact department store.
The range of items stocked centre around a few core companies like Disaster Designs, Sass and Belle, ReallyGood, local pottery firm Moorland, and Pop and warrior but they’re always on the lookout for something new and interesting……. otherwise we’d get bored looking at the same stuff everyday! As well as homeware, trinkets, jewellery, the owners also like to find new fashion brands so they can offer something different to what the High Street are offering, but still compete when it comes to price.
I wanted to spend my £50 here as it was a store I always used to walk past on my way to college and would spend my lunchtimes with my noses press against the glass peering in at their beautiful window displays and perusing the shelves while surrounded by the lovely scent of incense. Based on the decor of my house and my fondness for trinkets and quotes, Gravity is a small treasure trove of goodness for me (think Aerial in The Little Mermaid).
I had a hard time deciding what I wanted to buy, because quite simply, I could buy everything but after some deliberation I settled on this little haul:
Stitched wall art. This quote is one that I’ve always loved and so when I saw this framed handstitched version I instantly fell in love and knew that I had to have it. They had a handful of these framed quotes and I just find them so adorable.
Money box. Everybody wants to save money for something nice, right? I’m awful at it. I always tell myself I’ll start to collect £1 & £2 coins and never do but start January I’m going to fill this cute little money box up and buy myself something fun at the end of it. Like shoes, or a lipstick or lots and lots of chocolate.
Heart Chalk Board. Everybody loves a good chalk board and this cute heart shaped one will look perfect in my kitchen to remind me to buy bread, milk or toilet roll… who am I kidding? More like wine, cheese and chocolate.
Light Shade. This caught my eye straight away. It’s bright, its girly, its probably a little more childlike than should be acceptable for a 26 year old but it was made for my bedroom.
….to steer away from the homeware vibe, I saw this heart necklace and loved it. It’s a mixed metals chain of gold silver and rose gold with a heart pendant. The chain is longer than I would usually wear and thought it would be a simple but pretty addition to any outfit. I also just have a bit of an addiction to mixed metals because it means I don’t have to plan my entire jewellery selection around one colour (I know, I know, but mixed metals usually brings me out in hives).
Who’s your favourite independent retailer?