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2020 has been a challenging year for so many people and in varying ways. Treating ourselves and each other with some kindness is having a bigger and more profound effect this year. It’s been tough. I was searching for ways to shop small in Birmingham during lockdown to support independent businesses I love. Here’s a list of ways to be kind to yourself or a loved one, and support small local businesses all at once.
Spice up all those meals at home with some delicious, tongue-tingling Pip’s Hot Sauce. I always get so excited when I see Pip’s Hot Sauce in restaurants and cafes in the Birmingham area. So having a bottle or two at home to slather over my food makes me very happy. Buying from Pip’s Hot Sauce is supporting a tiny independent business so please consider a purchase for the hot sauce lover in your life (there’s international delivery). If you check out their social media pages, there are often alerts to discount codes and occasionally, you’ll find free local delivery available.
Get yourself a beer delivery from Stirchley -based Attic Brew Co to brighten up a weekend. Attic Brew Co change up their beers regularly so once you find a brew you adore, I suggest stocking up whilst it’s available. Buy individual cans or mixed cases depending on your taste. From experience, I have to say that delivery is excellent and the beers are even better. One day we will make it to their awesome tap room for a lovely drink and natter with local friends. For now, this is a great way to shop small in Birmingham during lockdown.
We are all spending more time in our own homes so now is a great moment to have a little refresh. Liv’s is my go-to store for a few stylish home items. From pretty candles to chic lighting and comfy furniture, there’s a beautifully curated collection of homeware for the house proud. This is a lovely shop to visit but for those of us not venturing outside, Liv’s has an online store. The team are also super helpful if you telephone or message with queries. If you do go in then look out for Betty, the store dog, who is super cute.
If you want to brighten someone’s day then a beautiful display of flowers from Blossom by Kayleigh will be perfect. Kayleigh creates beautiful floral arrangements on request and has been offering contact-free deliveries in her local area during lockdown. Some pretty blooms would be a kind way to let someone know that you’re thinking of them. I heard a rumour that Kayleigh will be offering wreath kits ahead of the festive season so stay tuned to her social media for any updates to snap one up.
For a really uplifting gift, the You Got This Club* is an adorable online gift store based out of Stirchley, Birmingham. Shop from cards, key rings, bath bombs and letter box gifts brimming with happiness. You can build your own letterbox gift or buy individual items that catch your eye. Everything curated by You Got This Club is from small creators and independents so this is truly shopping small. Not only that but these are really cheering parcels to receive, which is even more welcome during lockdown.
We all need a good selection of face coverings to stay safe during the pandemic. I have been wearing these awesome face coverings from Birmingham based stitcher, River Crafter*. This face covering is a gift but I’ve purchased from this store too.
There are some lovely fabrics available for these triple layer face coverings with a filter pocket. The face coverings are available with or without a nose wire pocket depending on your preference. This is handy for replacing the nose wire when worn out or removing it for washing. Even better is that River Crafter also offer special sizing for any of their face coverings.
A hair cut, manicure or massage feels so much more rejuvenating than ever before given the months of lockdown stress. My long time favourites Aesthetics have made huge efforts to make both their Solihull and Henley-in-Arden salons covid-safe.
For those not ready to head to the salon, vouchers are available for a future pamper. I know the pandemic-related-stress knots in my shoulders could really do with proper attention. I can’t wait until I can go back to monthly back massages and adventurous hair colours.
If you want to shop small in Birmingham and support local hospitality then there are a few things I recommend. Stay within the guidelines and visit covid-safe venues sensibly (I recommend BA-HA for a wings and pommes combo box) or if you’re not going out then buy vouchers for a future treat to look forward to. When it’s safe to take my parents out, we’ve promised a visit to Harborne Kitchen. It’s going to be the perfect place for a post lockdown meal.
Or, if it suits you better, make use of delivery and take away offerings from you local independent restaurant or coffee shop. Chung Ying has a delicious vegan menu and delivers within 15 miles of the restaurant. Plus there is currently. 25% discount for all take aways and deliveries, which helps take the sting out of the delivery charge. Worth noting that Chung Ying also has one of the best outdoor spaces for dining in Birmingham (reviewed here).
Whether you’re looking to shop small in Birmingham as a lockdown pick-me-up or for the upcoming festive season, there are plenty of ways to do so. I have felt some guilt for not being able to support my favourite local venues as much as usual. Lockdown has led to job insecurity for me and for a while, I had zero income. Now things are looking up, I’m still staying safe at home but I’m able to help out a bit. I’m really looking forward to the days when we can enjoy a thriving Birmingham with more freedom.
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