Supporting UK small businesses in 2022
One of the great things 2022 has brought us is the opening of another small business, and this one holds a place dear to my heart because it is run by one of my best friends!
Degravia Creations is a UK based small art business run by Zackary Green, an independent artist living in Staffordshire. He creates bespoke watercolour sketchbooks by hand, going as far as to hand bind them himself. His works are absolutely gorgeous and I’m lucky enough to have one of my very own! My sketchbook is patterned with bees, so of course the very first painting I did had to be bee themed. Take a look below to see what my gorgeous sketchbook looks like, and to see more of Zack’s incredible work.
Above: A bee by me!
So why is supporting small businesses so important?
In todays society we are so used to hard and fast merchandise. If we want something, we can simply nip to the shops and get it, or if its a little more niche we can just hop onto Amazon and there it is at low cost. In the advent of convenience we have forsaken personality, opting for clones of the same thing made with cheap materials for even cheaper delivery. But there’s no personalisation with these mass produced items. Where’s the love and care that goes into mass printing one image that was could have been stolen from an artist? It’s so difficult to be able to tell if art we purchase online from Amazon for example, is being sold by the original artist themself or if it was lifted, and now being copyright used as a product for someone else to benefit from.
Small businesses and small artists such as myself and Zack face this fear everytime we produce something new. Our work could be copied, stolen, mimicked or worse. “You could always watermark your pieces!” I hear your say. Did you know that there are now apps available on the market that will reove any watermark from the original image? So how do we know if a product is safe to buy? Because nobody wants to support thieves and liars.
Step 1 is to try and source the original artist always. If you see a picture you like, try tracing it back to where the image was first posted. Using reverse image search functions such as tineye or google image reverse search allows you to see where this image has been posted before, and hopefully that can lead back to where your product was originally posted.
Step 2 is to make sure that you trust the site you’re buying from. Places like etsy may seem legit but there’s always the possibility of a sellers shop and items being cloned. How many sales does this seller have? Do they have credible social medias linked with regular updates? What are their reviews like?
And step 3 when purchasing from a small business is to always show your love. Post about the product you bought on social media, tell your friends and family about it and explain why shopping small business is better than shopping mass produced. Small businesses are more likely to be eco conscious, to not exploit people in the production of their products, and are most of the time just trying to make a living for themselves. Small businesses like mine aren’t out there trying to earn 1 mill per year. We just want to survive and do what we love at the same time. We put our hearts and our souls into what we do, providing the best customer care and experience we possibly can.
So shout about your small businesses from the roof tops! Get your nan’s birthday present from a small seller, treat yourself to something from a local artist, and spread the word about their products. Our experiences shape our worlds, so the more good coming from your mouth means our small businesses are likely to grow.
Simple steps for helping support your favourite small businesses!
- Follow all their social media accounts
- Like/reblog/comment/repost/retweet/share any content of theirs you like or relate to
- Recommend them to family and friends
- Buy from them when you can/if you can
- Leave a review on trustpilot or google if you purchase, these reviews drive algorithms and can increase potential sales
- Encourage your favourite seller. Send them a message saying how cool their work is or how well they’re doing. We all need the encouragement sometimes.
And to round off I just want to highlight some small businesses that I absolutely adore! Check out these guys below if you want to experience some unique pieces of arts and crafts.
Above: Watercolour sketchbook handmade by Zackary Green
Degravia Creations By Zackary Green
Facebook: Degravia Creations
Youtube: Degravia Creations
Above: The Sun from the Tarot Deck designed by Witchin
Witchin By Charlotte
Above: Painting by Nikolas Wereszczyński
Above: Lesbian Price sticker sheet available at Katchee Gifts
Kern and Bond Graphic design