We want to tell you about something important to the thousands of small businesses out there in the various reaches of the UK. Sorry for the long post.
Many businesses handmake products to order, for each individual customer. Some make a few products in advance. Some operate little shops selling products made by these makers.
It takes time to create every product: Often someone working in a little workshop or studio or office or dining table or spare bedroom. Some small businesses are just one person or a couple of friends and some are like us with a husband and wife team. But we have one thing in common: we love what we do and we relish making high quality and unique products. Products that make special, thoughtful gifts and really show the recipient that you care. But we can only do it with the support of our customers.
We keep hearing reports of how retail sales are down, that people are waiting for Black Friday before shopping for Christmas. Which is absolutely great.........for those big international businesses out there who can buy up masses of last year's stock to sell it heavily discounted. Those international businesses that are household names. The ones whom we repeatedly hear don't pay their taxes properly here in the UK and keep their vast wealth 'offshore'. Offshore so that during quiet times they can rely on their cash reserves to survive. Whilst other businesses - who pay their UK tax and who don't have massive automated warehouses but who need time to loving and carefully make thoughtful gifts for their customers - struggle.
Every penny you spend with a small business, those like ours and many of our friends, supports not only us but the businesses we buy from and use daily. For us, here at Lindleywood, we use only UK suppliers for everything - our wood, our paint, our packaging. So every penny that you spend with us means we can spend some of our pennies with our suppliers as well as other businesses (both large and small). Those businesses can then pay their staff. Their staff can spend their money with yet more businesses. Those businesses can then pay their staff and those staff get to spend etc etc etc - you get the picture. It's a great system. We all benefit. Even the little ordinary people working for the big 'naughty' offshore companies benefit. The big guys and the little guys. And everyone gets a slice of the pie. Or a piece of Christmas pudding if you prefer, given the time of year!
So this Christmas please remember to support our UK small businesses. When times are tough they are the first to suffer.
Don't leave all your Christmas shopping until the last minute as the little guys can't always do 'last minute'.
Thank you, wonderful people, for supporting us all.
Helen and Simon,