This year has been like no other for small businesses across the region, with the coronavirus pandemic and national lockdowns crippling even larger companies like Arcadia.
In these trying times, shopping locally and supporting independent businesses has arguably never been more important.
When you shop small not only are you choosing to buy great products but you are also supporting the livelihoods of real people across the region.
There is great value to be found in shopping at artisan shops both online and on the high street, with a range of handmade, high-end products with a personal touch.
Here are a few of the wonderful independent businesses in Hertfordshire that should be on your radar this Christmas and beyond:
Where: 16 The Parade, Watford, Hertfordshire. WD17 1AA
(Image – Jackson Jewellers).
Steeped in history this heritage jewellers dates back to 1876.
The founder came from a well-known family of West Country clock makers.It is now being run by Dan Jackson, the great, great grandson.
The business has been located in its timber premisis, dating back to c1480, on The Parade since 1954.
Selling a range of stunning bespoke jewellery as well as pre-owned and antique, Jackson Jewellers also offer a range of services including alteration.
If you’re looking to treat that special someone in your life, Jackson Jewellers is the ideal place to visit.
You can also shop online.
Local Market MK
Where: Shop online.
Amy and Jack (Image – courtesy of Local Market MK).
Want to shop for fresh, high quality local produce without having to leave the comfort of your own home?
Local Market MK are an innovative new business that works with local artisan food and drinks suppliers to bring the farmers market to you.
This business supports a wide range of Hertfordshire businesses who you can purchase from all in one place.
Founded by Amy Alt and Jack Whitby, the couple started the business as a result of lockdown.
Amy previously ran her own successful catering company and cafe but when Covid hit, every booking in her diary was cancelled.
Amy said: “Over a G&T in the garden one evening I shared my idea for Local Market with my partner Jack who works full time in sales. I convinced him to join me in co-founding Local Market and we got started the next day.”
The website unites a fantastic network of local suppliers all under one (virtual) roof.
The site offers twice weekly delivery, clear photos and descriptions and everything you order is delivered at once as Local Market MK hold their own stock.
The local luxury hamper – £83 (Image courtesy of Local Market MK).
They even share suppliers stories and favourite recipes to really bring that personal touch to each order.
Amy said: “There are small business owners all over the country now crossing their fingers and hoping Christmas sales come through, for some of them it might be their last chance for survival.
“These people have poured their heart and soul into their businesses and they now deserve us to support them through this extremely difficult time.”
A great gift idea for any foodie this Christmas are their hampers, you can even build your own.
Situls Gift Shop
Where: 55 The Parade, Watford WD17 1LJ
Situls is a family run business that has been established in Watford since 1976.
Ansu from Situls said: “This year has been one of our toughest trading years in our 44 years history, however we have overcome the current crisis and are ready to re-open for our Christmas trade.
“We are fortunate to have a loyal customer base and also attract a large number of new customers every year. ”
They provide an extensive range of gifts, china and crystal ornaments and homeware items.
Situls even offer a free local delivery service and will be staying open longer hours in the run up to Christmas. You can order online via their ebay account.
Where: 129-131, Lower High Street, Watford, WD17 2ER
Opening times: 10am-6pm Monday to Saturday, 11am – 4pm Sunday.
(Image courtesy of THE END)
Established in 1994 from small beginnings THE END Watford has become one of the leading independent fashion stores in the UK.
The business brings customers a range of high quality clothes from a range of brands including Pretty Lavish, Tfnc, Love and John Zack to name a few.
Located near the entrance of the Intu Center, THE END is the ideal place to buy a Chsitmas gift (or two) for your fashionable loved ones.
If you don’t fancy hitting the high street you can also order online.
Will you be shopping locally this Christmas? Let us know in the comments below.