‘This Christmas is going to be crucial for so many small retailers’ - Bristol independents launch directory

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There are 40 independents included in the directory, providing shoppers with a huge variety of shopping experiences in the run-up to Christmas

A new directory of independent Bristol shops has been launched in time for Christmas shoppers.

The Shop Bristol online directory is part of a campaign focused on showcasing locally-made, consciously-created products for customers who want to support small businesses in the city this festive season.

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The online directory is a collection of independents with a diverse range of giftable products for sale - from jewellery to plants, homewares to clothes.

Beck Prior, founder of the sustainable homewares and lifestyle gift-store Prior Shop in Cabot Circus, is spearheading the campaign.

After a challenging couple of years, she believes shopping local has never been more vital.

“It’s been so tough for retail over the last few years,” she says. “It’s so sad to see many small businesses closing or who are on the brink of shutting down, and we’re all exhausted from adapting and pivoting through Brexit, a pandemic and the cost of living crisis.

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“I think it’s incredibly important to stick together to make sure we collectively encourage customers to shop local and save our high streets.

“We are finding that customers really want to shop with businesses that they feel connected to; they want to buy unique one-of-a-kind consciously made gifts and want to support their neighbour shopkeeper, artist and small business.

“This campaign is just to signpost and slipstream people into a directory of 40 wonderful Bristol independents - because what could be better than gifting something beautiful, unique and supportive of the local economy?”

Beck Prior, founder of Prior in Cabot CircusBeck Prior, founder of Prior in Cabot Circus
Beck Prior, founder of Prior in Cabot Circus | Prior

The campaign includes 20 posters which have popped up around Bristol, all designed by local artist Luke Bains and printed by independent printers Out of Hand to help spread the word.

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There are 40 independents included in the directory, providing shoppers with a huge variety of shopping experiences in the run-up to Christmas and beyond.

Designer-maker Alice Rolfe from Paper Plane gift shop on Gloucester Road, says her customers are great supporters of independents.

“We feel so lucky to have such loyal customers. They love the products we stock and feel like they are really doing something good by supporting local designers / makers and keeping it local.”

Fran Harkness from BAM Store in Easton says: “We’re really looking forward to being a part of the Shop Bristol campaign again this year. The indie community in Bristol is so inspiring and these shops help shine a spotlight on so many other creative businesses. What an amazing thing to be a part of.”

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Kate Ashwell from Ashwell and Co, a vintage store and tearoom in Clifton, says: “This Christmas, more than any other, is going to be crucial for so many small retailers. We urge customers to shop small, buy with intention and really consider where they spend their money.”

The Shop Bristol online directory can be accessed here.

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