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Just a Card?
Last week I took part in an online campaign, along with hundreds of other makers, shops and galleries to start spreading the 'Just a Card' message.
The JUST A CARD campaign aims to encourage people to buy from Designer/Makers and Independent Galleries and Shops by reinforcing the message that all purchases, however small, even 'just a card' are so vital to the prosperity and survival of small businesses.
The campaign came about when Artist & Designer Sarah Hamilton saw the quote "If everyone who'd complimented our beautiful gallery had bought 'just a card' we'd still be open" by store keepers who'd recently closed their gallery. This prompted a call to action! Designer/Makers and independent shops and galleries need a voice. People seldom realise the considerable costs involved in exhibiting at design shows or keeping a shop open. Stand fees, power, materials, wages etc need to be met before even a penny of profit can be realised. Running a shop is often a labour of love. Without dedication and passion, and crucially sales, it would be another boarded up eyesore.
As a maker, I am very passionate about this campaign, as without the support of shops and galleries, my work may not ever be seen. Small shops are at the heart of a diverse local economy - and are crucial to keeping our high streets alive. In Cornwall we are really lucky to have lots of exciting creative independent shops, many that are very supportive of Cornish designers and makers. Unfortunately there are still shops closing down. Rents are high and people like to window shop.…...I can see why they have to close the doors. Independent shops and galleries showcase creativity and keep many Designers and makers in business. They generate tourist traffic and make our towns and villages interesting places we want to visit and enjoy. It is so important to keep supporting the creatives and the independents AND to try and shop local if you can….Buy from your creative favs when its time to send a family member or friend a birthday gift. It's whats keeps us doing what we are doing…...trying to make beautiful things for you. Things that last. It's not your 3 tea towels for £3 from ASDA. It is buying in to the time that a creative has imagined, designed, created and finished a product. It's about valuing a product for what it is, and most of the time its not 3 for £3!
So the next time you are in an independent shop, buying just a card, just a cup, just a tea towel, just a brooch, it will more of a difference than you can ever know!