On the day itself, I took a trip to Afflecks in Manchester and spend almost £150 on some amazing things. For everyone who doesn't know, Afflecks is the alternative dream in the heart on Manchester city centre. A huge market place with 3 levels and so many independent retailers. I bought everything from handmade earrings to a vintage military jacket to patches for my denim vest. There are a range of shops that sell good food, band merch and even roller derby kit (I was in heaven). Kickflip Boards have their own little corner of Afflecks, and yes I was slightly shocked when the guy behind the counter told me who has was! He was Matt, the actual owner of Kicklip Boards. This may not mean much to most of you, but he's awesome!
After my shopping spree in Afflecks, I did put some money back into bigger businesses because I was in the city and I needed some things that I couldn't buy in Afflecks such as Nandos' chicken and Iron Fist shoes. But yes, most of the money I spent yesterday went to independent retailers and it felt good.
Both last night after I came home and this afternoon were spent going around the Christmas markets in my home town. Lots of unknown makers and bakers come together every month to sell their wares and get their name out as high quality retailers. I personally adore these markets. The streets get closed (usually just for the Sunday, but this one lasted the whole weekend) and people come together and form relationships with sellers and buy some incredible, unique products. This month, I mainly bought food. Good homemade cheeses, macaroons and breads were far too tempting and the people who sell them are much more friendly than walking into a large supermarket, after all, this is what they love to do and have made a business out of it!
This month I saw some very interesting stalls and sampled some amazing goodies. The highlight of this afternoon's shopping has to be my tub of Prossecco sorbet from the artisan ice cream parlour that is situated in Knutsford, Cheshire. It makes incredible ice creams such as pistachio (another one of my favourites) and rum & raisin.
Supporting local businesses doesn't just have to mean once a year, or even once a month. I am a frequent shopper at The Candy Warehouse, again based in Knutsford. The staff are amazing and the concept behind the shop is great. There is a great mix of old favourites and fascinating new discoveries from all over the world (they have a major love for Japanese sweets). The best thing is, not only do they have the best shop front ever, they also ship deliveries all across the UK!
If you don't do anything else to support local businesses, go and support my friends at The Candy Warehouse and Kickflip Boards.