Supporting Small Businesses in Lockdown
Posted on 25 November 2020
This month I wanted to dedicate my blog to supporting small businesses as we endure another national lockdown. Times are so tough for those of us building our empires. People are worried about their jobs and there might not be as much in the budget to spend with independents as in previous years.
That is why, when I was thinking of ways to support small businesses, I decided to showcase three brilliant stores that stock my Afrotouch Design cards and gifts. These are three businesses that are each run by enterprising women, carving out their space in the market and doing great things. I hope you can help support them through these tricky times.
Sam's Scents & Aromas
Sam’s Scents & Aromas is a beautiful store in Thornton Heath, Croydon that stocks home fragrance and scented cosmetics, gift sets, seasonal items and more. The owner Samantha Collins opened her business in August of this year. She has shown such courage to forge ahead with her dream whilst the country was in the middle of a pandemic and she is absolutely bossing it.
Samantha loves the quality of our cards and accessories, and that they reflect a heritage that you don’t often see represented in the stationery world. “I wanted to also include some cultural items for the shop,” says Samantha, “I came across Afrotouch Design, and it is perfect! My customers love the great range of greeting cards and I get many comments on how much they love the designs and how unique they are.”
She reports that our pouch bags are one of the most popular Afrotouch Design items in store.
Thank you, Samantha, for supporting my business, and I hope you go from strength to strength combining your shop with your weight loss consultant work and family life too! Find her website here, with details of the click and collect service she is running.
Ivy Nat is another store to open during this crazy year, and Ogechi Enemuo is doing a great job of her aim to create a “space for small business and brands within the BAME community, showcasing their products and talent, and connecting them to new audiences.” She is based on Acre Lane in Brixton and sells all kinds of goodies such as the best books by black authors, vivid African prints, jewellery, notebooks, natural hair and skincare products and, of course, cards from Afrotouch Design.
Former accountant Ogechi picked our products because they really stand out on the shelves. “We love the Afrotouch Design brand because the cards are eye-catching and vibrant,” she says, “it's a pleasure to see the smiles on our customer's faces whenever they pick up Afrotouch Design cards.” At Ivy Nat, the Afro Lips range is our top seller.
If you want to help with supporting small businesses, visit the Ivy Nat website to find out more about this very special new shop that is doing great things and providing an amazing must-visit destination in Brixton.
It is not just brand-new shops that need our help during this pandemic, though. We also need to support those established independents that have lit up our high streets for years. One of those businesses is the fantastic Diverse Gifts of Brixton. Anita Thorpe has been selling gifts, prints, jewellery and cards on Coldharbour Lane in Brixton for 21 years.
In that time, she has built an amazing and well-loved shop, which was a deserved finalist for Best Independent Card Retailer (London) last year. Anita says the USP of this long-established, design-led lifestyle store is “the inclusiveness of what we sell - that's where we get our name from!”
As one of our first wholesale customers, we have a special relationship with Anita. She loves stocking our items too. “We love Afrotouch because of the quality of the design, including the consistently good finish. We also love the efficiency in how the business is run. It is always reliable, with prompt delivery. Also, the commitment to innovation - regularly bringing out new designs and products.”
Her current Afrotouch best sellers are Chinyere and Nkeiruka.
You can find Diverse Gifts online here and spending money with them is helping out a real Brixton institution.
How Are You Supporting Small Businesses?
Are you doing anything to support small businesses in the pandemic? Let me know who you are supporting, why and how!