Black Friday Woes, Colour Friday Wins
I love a bargain, but I hate the pressure of time ltd offers, the FOMO, the mass panic buying.
I want to save money and I love a special offer. But I hate the consumerism and commercialism and the ethos of Black Friday.
Black Friday has us spending more as a way of spending less, and the temptation to browse, and to buy, and to buy more and bigger, is overwhelming.
I know people who ACE Black Friday. They make a list, they know what they need, they wait for those things to be reduced, they buy them at a decent price and their shopping is sorted, delivered, and wrapped before mid December.
I’m in awe of these people, but I’ll never be one of them. I’m the one putting all the things in my basket then freaking out about the cost and abandoning them. Or the one panic buying the stuff I really don’t want or need. Usually more leggings.
This year we’re all under additional financial pressure and I wonder if that will push us towards the big online discounts, and potentially further away from the small local businesses that need our support just now. The ones that really can’t afford to budge a huge amount on price without losing already decreasing margins. The ones that don’t hike up prices just to offer a discount.
Have you heard of Colour Friday? It’s a new initiative to drive people to shop local. Instead of putting your money into the massive retailers associated with Black Friday, support the colour and creativity that small businesses bring to your area instead.
We all know the importance of shopping local and I think massive gains have been made in this area, but we know this can cost more. Which of us can afford to be the ones who shop local and as a result are out of pocket at a time like this. Who am I to suggest that you do it?
But, did you know that if just 10% of the population bought one extra item locally this year for £10 that would be an extra £50 million back into the UK economy. On a local level it helps your neighbours keep going, it helps keep our town stay open off season when the tourists are gone, and it makes for a vibrant wee place to wander about on a Saturday afternoon.
It’s also less impactful on the environment - from overseas shipping to landfill waste from overconsumption and packaging.
We need to support our local towns and shops. It’s always important but now more than ever. A recent poll showed half of UK small business owners are genuinely concerned this will be their last Christmas trading. Like everyone else, they’re frightened right now (I’m frightened right now) - about the economy, the cost of living crisis, rising overheads and reduced consumer spending. This is true for me and, I know, for countless others.
If we don’t support these businesses more of them will be forced to close. Great, exciting local businesses helping to make our towns vibrant, colourful and interesting.
Don’t just do it because you should though. Do it because these businesses are awesome.
I don’t remember there ever being such an amazing selection of shops, bars and restaurants in Stornoway as there is now. I started making a list to add here and I was actually blown away by how many incredible options there are now.
But before I share that, one more suggestion. Vouchers are great for the planet and result in less stuff. We all know people who don’t need or want any more stuff, and we know so much of it ends up in landfill. So when you’re doing your Christmas shopping this year (hopefully at least some of it locally) don’t forget to consider vouchers and experiences (shameless plug coming up!). A surf lesson from Surf Lewis, or a month’s membership at Sandwickhill Studios might be just the ticket!
I thought I’d mention a few of my favourite places to shop, and before you know it I had made a big list and didn’t want to leave people out so the list got bigger. I’m just sitting at my kitchen table writing this when I should be doing something more useful - so if you’re not on the list or you see a huge omission please let me know and I’ll edit (no haters please - I Love all local businesses equally).
Here goes - my guide to gift giving in Stornoway.
(There are also craft fayres, local artists, local musicians, local bakers, restaurants, bars andcoffee shops selling vouchers and gifts! We are spoilt for choice!!!!)
- For thoughtful, unique, local and wonderful gifts - Sandwick bay Candles, Blue Lobster Salka, KJ Macdonald’s, Influence, Home Improvement Centre, Cards & Giftwrap, Island Darkroom, Artizan, Hebridean Tea Store, Nicolson's
- Things that smell awesome - Essence of Harris, Sandwick Bay Candles, Ishga
- For fashionistas and people who wear clothes - Influence, Sardars, Harris Tweed Hebrides, Active Hebrides, Big Blue Hebrides, Loom Graphics
- For readers and thinkers - Baltic Book Shop, an Lanntair, all the charity shops!
- For Jewellery lovers: IsleWear, Alice Catherine, Salka, an Lanntair, Wild Shores
- For Vintage kings and queens - Empty house Traders, Lewis Revival, The Chimney & Gable at No. 7, all the amazing chazza shops, Sea in Design, Grannie Annies, The Old Shop Bayble
- Something to drink? - Isle of Harris distillery, The Island Spirit Whisky Shop, Wild Eve, Hebridean Tea Store
- For Foodies - On Board Hebrides, Delights, Hebrides Good Food Boutique , Temple Harris, Flavour Harris
- For Green Fingers - Maybury Gardens, Willowglen
- For Techies: Tech Mobile
- For art lovers - An Lanntair, Holmasaig Gallery, Island Darkroom, Finsbay Gallery, Blue Pig Studios, Harbour View Gallery, The Mission House
- Out of town gifts - The Mission House, Blue Pig, Breakwater, Ness, Borve Pottery, Cross Stores
- Sporty / active types - Store 67, The Hub, No. 10 Stornoway, Immerse Hebrides, Active Hebrides, Sandwickhill Studios, Fitness Studio Stornoway, SurfLewis, Get Jacked
- Give the gift of wellbeing - Sandwickhill Studios, Holistic Hebrides,Hebridean Spa, 67 Massage and Yoga, Samsara Space, Apothecary 22, Being Heather, Hebrides Harmony
- Experiences - Immerse Hebrides, SurfLewis, Isle Wear, Sandwickhill Studios, Flavour Harris, Seatrek, Island Darkroom Workshop
Have I missed you? PLEASE ACCEPT MY SINCERE APOLOGIES AND DROP ME A KIND MESSAGE & I'LL RECTIFY!
HAPPY SHOPPING! XXXX (and for more self promotion don't forget you buy classes, vouchers, memberships, retreats, bolsters, gift boxes, yoga mats, accessories and more from our studio!)