During this pandemic, I think many of us have seen the importance of supporting small or local businesses. For weeks, my flatmate and I have been receiving many packages ranging from prints and photos to earrings and sauces – all from small businesses. And can I just say, there is something special about receiving a package that you know was wrapped with care and love, just for you. Ordering and supporting small businesses has shown me how nice it is to take a step away from multi-million, international companies and purchase things that are much more unique. If you buy a hand-made top from a small business, what are the chances that someone else will be wearing that exact same top at a party? Now, what if that top was bought in Primark or H&M? You see my point.
Supporting small businesses (I promise I will not write this phrase again) is also a way to help people pursue their dreams. Many start as a side hustle. If we support them, either by buying their products/services or sharing their social media profiles, they will be able to make what they are passionate about their job and main income source. Isn’t allowing people to follow their dreams a much nicer thought than adding a few pounds into a CEO’s 9-figure bank account? So this week I decided to share 10 of my favourite small businesses that you can follow and support if you want to – and if you’ve got your own small business, share it in the comments down below. Enjoy!
Rose and Julien Ltd
Photography – Working with Julien and Kat has been a dream. They are honestly two of the nicest people I have ever met. They were also very receptive of what I needed and were able to create exactly what I wanted – without me even knowing what that was exactly. Their work is beautiful and they are very versatile – from doing outdoor couple photoshoots to doorstep ones during the pandemic to creating beautiful product photos for many brands in the Scottish Borders and Edinburgh area. We worked together online (due to the lockdown) so you don’t need to be living in Scotland to work with them. I will definitely keep them in mind for any future projects I have.
Fashion (knitwear) – Yasmin is lovely and bubbly. She graduated with a degree in textiles from Heriot-Watt University this year. And although the semester ended abruptly, she was able to pull through with incredible work. Her final collection was warm, friendly and professional – and I would love having it in my house! Recently, Yasmin decided to use her skills to create made-to-measure knitted tops in different styles. They are gorgeous and, as I mentioned, made to your size – a service that can cost a lot of money nowadays. But Yasmin’s prices are more than affordable and her service is very personal. She showcases the creation of each top on her Instagram and it’s amazing to see how she makes the tops – especially when it’s yours!
The Big Bloomers Company
Fashion (undergarments) – If you have suffered from thigh chafing in your life, look no further. The Big Bloomers Company have different kinds of anti-chafing shorts and they have seriously changed my life. You will be able to wear a dress in the summer without having to walk like a duck to relieve some of the pain from your inner thighs. It’s not a nice feeling and, quite frankly, not a problem that we should be dealing with in 2020. So head over to their website and get yourself a pair, or two, or three… Saying that they are comfortable is an understatement and they are also really affordable!
Stubbs Design Studio
Prints – Stubbs Design Studio is an amazing graphic designer. She creates beautiful prints and commission work. Whether you need a new logo or business card, she can help you out. She also makes beautiful zodiac star sign prints which you can buy on her Etsy shop. I bought one recently and it is so breathtaking. It’s stunning, printed on great quality paper and I cannot wait to put it up in my room!
Helena Coman Designs
Prints – Helena is currently studying knit at Heriot-Watt University and has just finished her third year. She is very talented and has recently started creating gorgeous prints. She donates half of the proceeds to the chosen charity of the month, which I think is an incredible gesture. She has now started taking commissions and can turn one of your photos (with up to three people in it) into a stunning print in her own style. I’ve just ordered mine and cannot wait to see what it looks like. This month’s charity is to support victims of domestic abuse, which have risen due to the lockdown. Go support Helena and this month’s charity!
You’ve Gut This
Gut health – You’ve Gut This was created by Lottie from The Tummy Diaries, which you may have come across if you are in the IBS community on Instagram – she’s a legend there. She recently started You’ve Gut This which is focused on helping people achieve their best gut health. For this, she created a beautiful journal/diary to help you track what you eat, your mood, your symptoms and more. All this is to help you find out what your triggers are. She has also added loads of useful information in this journal which was created with different healthcare professionals. If you want to get on top of your gut health, I would recommend following You’ve Gut This and The Tummy Diaries. Her diaries are currently available for pre-order and should be back in stock soon! Lottie is also incredibly kind and funny, so she’s sure to make your Instagram feed more positive.
Gut health – I recently discovered Bay’s Kitchen on Instagram (if memory serves, thanks to The Tummy Diaries). They make IBS-friendly, low-FODMAP and gluten-free sauces! Finding sauces that I can eat and cook with has become a near-impossible task because most of them contain onion for example, which I react badly to. So finding a store that focuses on making affordable, IBS-friendly sauces was like a dream come true. I have ordered 3 and the one I have tried so far tasted delicious. The entire ordering experience was very professional and I will most definitely be ordering from Bay’s Kitchen again in the future. If you struggle with food intolerances or IBS, do check them out.
The Self Care Kit
Mental health – Vanessa, the founder of The Self Care Kit, was one of the first people to reach out to me on Instagram when I first created an account for Relatable Sunday. We’ve since been sending each other support and advice, and I consider her one of my friends. The Self Care Kit has been doing amazing. She now has over 76k followers on Instagram to whom she offers advice on self-care and mental health. Vanessa creates lovely and inspiring visuals covering many different subjects around mental health and self-care. She has also created a variety of self-care books (including a colouring book) and most recently launched a self-care bundle which includes a top, a “self-care for bad days” book and her colouring book. This is the perfect pick-me-up for yourself or a friend. Vanessa also has a YouTube Channel on which she creates lovely short videos on different mental health themes. She is an incredibly kind person and you should definitely follow Vanessa because we all need some self-care in our lives.
The Positivity Package
Wellbeing – I recently found The Positivity Package on Instagram and had to try it out. As their name suggests, they create packages that are filled with positivity. They can include biscuits, tea, body scrubs, puzzles, colouring books, gemstones, positive affirmations, calendars and much more. You can buy them one-off or subscribe to receive one every month. I have chosen the latter and just received my second box a few days ago and I love it. There is no nicer feeling than receiving such a personal and beautiful box filled with love. If you want some positivity in your life, you want to take better care of yourself or you want to send someone you love a nice gift, I suggest you order yourself one. You won’t be disappointed.
Community – Advancing Eve is all about women supporting women to achieve their goals and aspirations. They aim to engage, educate, entertain, empower and enterprise females with the help of blog posts, book reviews, videos and much more. This membership community’s website is in the works but will be live soon. Until then, you should follow Advancing Eve on Instagram and Facebook for motivational and inspiring posts. I am also interning with them, so you might find me in a few posts if you look closely!
Bonus: Relatable Sunday (coming soon)
Yes, my dear friend, you have read correctly. I am turning Relatable Sunday into a business! It’s still very early days, however, I have big plans. Be aware that nothing is changing with the Relatable Sunday blog. It started as a blog so this will remain a huge and unchanged part of the new business. That being said, it will be improved. To give you a sneak peek, Relatable Sunday will be offering templates, e-guides and, down the line, even an e-book! It’s all very exciting, but it’s also time-consuming so bear with me while I set everything up. Subscribe and follow me on Instagram to get the latest news on this project! Thank you for making this a possibility.