Across the UK, July is becoming known as independent retailers month, an annual push for shopping local. Last week was Shopping in Birmingham‘s ‘Celebration of Independents’ in Birmingham City Centre – they did a few things in celebration of this, including producing a guide to independent retailers in the city centre which is available here.
Handmade Boutique opened on a permanent basis in the Great Western Arcade last week to coincide with this too. “Handmade Boutique is a collective of 18 Midlands based independent designers that make beautiful home styling and lifestyle products and gifts for all ages.”
There were also some unique grassroots style events taking place: a ‘swopshop’ was organised by Le Truc. This involved a series of collaborations between 13 independent businesses. There were some great collaborations including Provide and Yorks Bakery Café, The Diskery at 6/8 Kafé and Anderson & Hill Cheese at the Post Office Vaults. Provide covered it nicely on their blog, and there are some great photos of the Provide/Yorks Bakery Café swap by our very own Craig Bush.
Meanwhile in Kings Heath, they are celebrating the fact that every month is independent month, as the town is awash with an eclectic mix of successful independent businesses that really shape what Kings Heath is all about.
One business in particular has shown what it really means to be an ‘independent retail business’- as People Shop on Poplar Road is not just any other independent business, they make all their own stock themselves – from dresses, to homeware, gifts and jewellery – it is all created on site, in the studio at the rear of the store. “We are so proud to be an independent and to be based in the heart of Kings Heath, which is just a vibrant and buzzing corner of the West Midlands. I don’t think there is a place like it, with so much going on – and yet for those who don’t live on the doorstep it always seems to come as such a pleasant surprise that Kings Heath has got so much to offer.” explains Allison, one of the three owners of People Shop.
Photo thanks to @roblangleyswain