You might have heard something about today being Black Friday. In these parts we've absolutely denied Black Friday exists and are throwing all of our weight behind supporting Indie Friday!
Indie Friday is the invention of the wonderful Just a Card campaign, set up to help small businesses promote themselves and encourage people to shop indie. Of course we ourselves are a small business, and if you'd like to check out our pre-loved bookshop, our past boxes or get yourselves tickets to any of our London Bookshop Crawl events we definitely won't stop you, but we thought we'd take this opportunity to share 10 of the wonderful small businesses we love to support.
Salt Publishing - celebrating their 20th year in 2019, Salt began as poetry publishers and now publish all things weird and wonderful. We've included their titles in our past boxes (Dead of Winter by Gerri Brightwell) and as book club picks (The Clocks in this House All Tell Different Times by Xan Brooks, How to be a Kosovan Bride by Naomi Hamill, and Death and the Seaside by Alison Moore) and they are always different, brilliantly written, and generally wonderful.
Newton & the Apple - I love the quirkiness of Newton and the Apple, a small business creating all sorts of gorgeous things from stationery to homewares and much more. They combine science such as soundwaves and constellations into beautiful gifts with the tagline 'cleve gifts for curious people'.
Geeky Clean - You've heard me talk about Geeky Clean before I'm sure because I've loved them for a long time. They make amazing home and bath products inspired by all kinds of geekery, from D&D to Harry Potter and everything in between. Their bath bombs are particularly great, and products have the added advantage of being vegan and plastic free!
Seren Books - Seren Books were included in our first box (Star-Shot by Mary-Ann Constantine) and continue to be firm favourites. They are publishers of all sorts of wonderful things from retellings of mythology to poetry and their Discoveries series, which translates books by authors writing in 'minority' languages or in 'peripheral' cultures into English.
Amelia's Kitchen Candles - Amelia has just made us the most gorgeous lavender candle for The Little Box of Calm, and her shop is absolutely packed full of book inspired candle goodness. Scents include Hobbiton, Le Cirques des Reves, Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster and many, many more. She also offers a candle subscription, which is just the perfect thing for the cold, dark winter months.
The Happy Wrappy Co. - I love this wrapping paper. It's both recyclable and 100% recycled, and produced in the UK using really good quality paper and vegetable inks. The designs are very simple and elegant with important messages on them, and they do a beautiful range of Christmas paper along with designs for other occasions. It also has the added bonus of looking beautiful and very classy under your Christmas tree!
Handmade by Haggy - A linocut artist making cards and prints primarily inspired by nature and occasionally by books too. Haggy's items are also particularly inspiring if you are (like us) Kent based, as a lot of her inspiration comes from the local landscape and landmarks.
Good Book Hunting - Yes, a second candle maker, but bear with me here because I couldn't not include Good Book Hunting. Not only did they make us the most amazing Magical Library candle for our Magical Lands box back in 2017, but I've personally bought several candles from them since which have all been incredible. We're currently burning 221B Baker Street and it smells incredible. In fact, I may have got sucked into buying one of their Christmas boxes while visiting their website to write this post...
Rosie Lea Tea - Rosie Lea Tea are a local company to us and used to have a teeny tiny shop in Broadstairs when we lived there years ago. They're now operating online but I still adore them and shout about them to everyone who gets near enough. I've never had a bad blend of tea from them, and particular favourites are The Sherlock Tea Collection and their chocolate tea. You should check out their website but make sure you've just been paid and have several hours...
Tilted Axis Press - I've bought myself a subscription to Tilted Axis Press for the past two years, since just after they started, and although I have a lot of their books that I haven't yet read, the ones I have have been phenomenal. They publish books that might not otherwise make it into English, and pay their translators properly! Also their books have numbers on the spines, which will just make you need them all...
That's 10, but I'd like to just add an extra shout out to all the small publishers who offer subscriptions. I buy them for myself (and really advocate for it, as it's amazing to receive random book post at various points during the year when you've forgotten about it...) but they also make amazing gifts and you can get all sorts, depending on the tastes of the person you're buying for. As I mentioned, Tilted Axis Press do one for translated fiction. You can also get them for And Other Stories (literary fiction, often translated), Persephone Books (forgotten classics by women authors. Also gorgeous books), Peirene Press (European fiction, again often translated), Galley Beggar Press (all sorts of things, really. Generally fiction. Publishers of one of our favourite books We That Are Young by Preti Taneja), Charco Press (books from parts of the world that don't usually get books translated into English) and many, many others...
We'd love to hear about the small businesses you love and the one's you've supported for #IndieFriday! You can find loads more amazing designers, makers and small businesses by scrolling through the #indiefriday, #indieweek and #justacard hashtags on twitter and Instagram.