Wednesday, April 1, 2020

12 Small Businesses I Love and How to Support Them During Lockdown

It's a tough time for all businesses at the moment, but I'm guessing it's even tougher for the little guys. I probably don't patronise small businesses as much as I should, but there are a few I really love so I thought I'd share them and how they're operating at the moment in case you might be interested in checking them out while you're staying at home. I have relied on these unique businesses at one time or another over the years and for many of them, nearly daily if not weekly, so I can attest that they're pretty amazing. This list covers lots of bases, from dancing to fashion, fitness to home decor, food, flowers, cakes and of course, wine... Check em out and if they look good to you, place an order. You deserve a treat and if it helps a small business right now, you deserve two. *wink*

1. The Dance Lab
I've been taking Latin & Ballroom classes and dancing lessons for about 3 years now and I love my dance studio. It's my happy place and I really miss going there right now. Luckily The Dance Lab team have decided to take some of their classes online, so if you've ever fancied trying the dances you see on Strictly Come Dancing or Dancing With the Stars, you can do it from the comfort of your own home! There are also children's classes available if you want to entertain the kiddos for a bit. Click here to view the classes on offer and to book.

2. Blåbär Nordic Living
I was really sad to see my favourite coffee shop/concept store temporarily close. I go there at least 3 times a week most of the time, so I've missed the coffee and the atmosphere, however it's totally possible to bring that Nordic vibe home since they have a super chic online shop featuring everything you see in the cafe. From candles and hand soaps to home decor, it's all Nordic to help you achieve as much hygge as possible while you're cozying up at home. Click here to shop Blåbär.

3. Parson's Nose Butchers
I don't always get time to walk down to our local butcher, but when I do it's always a pleasure and I know I'm going to have a delicious dinner that evening. It's taken a lockdown situation for me to discover that Parson's Nose actually delivers and they're still doing it now. Not only meat, they also offer a wide range of pastas, charcuterie, condiments and more, so it's a great place to check out, especially if your local grocery stores are either empty or the queue is unbearably long. Parson's Nose has locations in Putney, Fulham and South Kensington. Click here to shop.

4. Bootcamp Pilates
Under normal circumstances I probably go to Bootcamp Pilates in Fulham about 5 or 6 days a week, so I obviously miss it. Bootcamp isn't just in Fulham, but has locations all over London as well and another in Windsor. While regular reformer classes aren't possible at the moment, the Bootcamp team has taken things online with mat Pilates classes for all levels that you can do at home. Prices are one class for £8, 3 for £18, 5 for £25 or £70 per month for unlimited online classes. For more information or to book your class, click here to visit the Bootcamp Pilates website.

5. Bloom & Wild
Bloom & Wild is a letterbox delivery florist, meaning you order it and they pack it up in a flat box that fits through the post slot on your door. It's contactless delivery at it's finest and flowers are a real treat, whether you're stuck in doors, you want to send your love to someone else or you know someone who's ill, self-isolating and could use a pick-me-up that shows you care. Flowers may seem extravagant at times like these, but actually I find them to be one of the simple joys we can really hang on to while everything else is changing and scary. I've been keeping flowers in my flat throughout  the last two weeks and I'm sure there's going to be a day when I need to send some to someone else to let them know I'm still here and thinking about them. There's also a subscription option available if you want your blooms refreshed as needed or want to send bouquets to someone regularly. Click here to shop Bloom & Wild.

6. Flying Fantastic
I recently went to Flying Fantastic, trying aerial silks and aerial sling for the first time and I loved it! I haven't had the opportunity to go back yet, but it's so great. The venues are great, the instructors are great and the locations I've been to have such a cool vibe... In the wake of Covid-19 closures, Flying Fantastic is offering donations-based classes online for conditioning. A £5 donation is suggested, but if you've lost your job or some of your earnings from the recent crisis, you can still join anyway. If you haven't and you want to donate more, you can do that too. Click here to check out @FlyingFantastic on Instagram for more information on the classes they're currently offering online.

7. Pilates Circuit 
I went to Pilates Circuit a while ago for a blog review opportunity because the owner is my favourite Pilates teacher at Bootcamp. I loved it! It's a fresh new take on Pilates and so much fun, but also a great workout. While the studio is closed, Pilates Circuit is offering online classes, but you can also show your support by buying credits that you can use later. For just £120 you can get 10 classes (that's only £12 per class, which is a super good deal!) that won't expire until 12 months after the studio reopens. Click here for more information about online classes and buying credits.
* Disclaimer - I've collaborated with Pilates Circuit before. *

8. Floatworks
I love floating and I've only ever done it at Floatworks. They're closed at the moment, but you can still hop onto the site and buy a gift card. It would make a great Christmas gift or a present for yourself. While you're there, leave your email address on the homepage so they can send you deals and offers when they reopen. Click here to check out the Floatworks gift cards.
* Disclaimer - I've collaborated with Pilates Circuit before. *

9. Rose Mae Jewellery
I get it, you're not going anywhere, so it doesn't matter what you wear. I feel the same, but ya know what? I also like a new treat sometimes and I love supporting a great small business! I've featured pieces I ordered from Rose Mae Jewellery here a fair few times and they're among my favourite accessories, but there's so much more available. At the very least, if you're only allowed outside for exercise walks and grocery runs, you could at least treat yourself to a new pair of sunnies and you'd be helping one of the little guys stay afloat for a bit longer. Click here to shop Rose Mae Jewellery.

10. Flavourtown Bakery
Flavourtown is my go-to for cakes or cupcakes anytime there's an excuse to have them. The bake beautiful creations that taste even better than they look with uniquely indulgent flavours. While popping into my local isn't possible right now, they're still taking online orders for contactless delivery. Whether you love something simple and traditional like a red velvet cupcake or you're looking for a rainbow unicorn cake with glittery sprinkles to celebrate a quarantine birthday, I'm sure you'll love their cakes and the prices are fairly reasonable for such exquisite creations in London. Click here to shop for Flavourtown cakes.

11. Glug Wines
Glug is our local wine shop and we always find some really interesting and delicious bottles of wine there. For mainland UK deliveries to most post codes, you can now order wines from Glug straight to your door. Pick out your own selection or try one of their mixed cases. There's no such thing as too much wine when you're in quarantine. Click here to check out Glug Wines.

12. Appleyard London
My husband likes to send me flowers from Appleyard London for special occasions and they're always so beautiful. Appleyard is still taking delivery orders and they also have a subscription service. As a small business, they rely on people buying flowers to keep going, so why not treat yourself to some beautiful blooms for your quarantine quarters... Click here to shop Appleyard.
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