I love this sign at the entrance to Durham Indoor Market – and not just for the lettering!
The sentiment behind it is really important – shop local, act like a tourist in your own town, get to know the business owners.
Since starting out in business myself, I’ve definitely become more aware of the need to support small, local, independent traders.
I set myself the task of shopping local as much as possible in the run-up to Christmas, and I think I did quite well.
Durham Indoor Market is one of my favourite places to shop for quirky toys – and Bear Bottom didn’t disappoint.
I picked up some Frozen Fever figures made by Bullyland and the magic wands my kids have been pining for since Halloween, to put in their stockings.
Their other stocking fillers included some dreamcatchers I bought from The Keeper’s Café in Consett and some goodies from Tilda and Tom, run by a fellow South Shields mum, who must have seen me coming when she handed her catalogue out at a networking meeting!
While in Durham, I also picked up some Durham Gin for those festive celebrations – well, it would be rude not to!
I always like to put a package of lovely things from the north east together for my best friend, who emigrated to Canada from Middlesbrough eight years ago.
If I couldn’t shop independent, I would at least visit a store rather than shop online, because let’s face it, we still need the likes of Toys R Us, Smyths, The Disney Store and, in the case of our family, Forbidden Planet! (Superhero geeks, the lot of us.)
One of my new year’s resolutions is to carry this on. The hubby and I discovered Whosit & Whatsit on Newcastle’s quayside recently and he’s vowed to go there for funky gifts in the future.
We’ve also invested in some art by Joanne Wishart for our living room. (The back wall has been bare for five years now – it was about time!)
I think I’ve mentioned everyone – I’d just like to thank those who decided to shop local by using me to help create unique gifts this year. There were a few, as you can see here!