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Small Businesses Clockwise from the top left: Helen Steel Lavendar Bird, £17.00, Spotty Dog Shop Party Charm Bracelet, £13.00, CeeCee Bags Pink Paisley Shoulder Bag, £24.50, The Soapy Cauldron Banoffee Soap Bun, £2.49, Gilly’s Handmade Cards ‘You Rock My World’, £3.25 and Munch Cushions “Springtime’, £30.00.

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Images: All websites maentioned in the text,

This weeks spotlight is on small businesses run through the internet. It is an innovative way to sell goods in the current economic climate as a large amount of the UK population are able to browse the internet and may be wanting unique items.

CRAFT Gilly’s Handmade Cards

Recently there has been a boom in the craft industry, with more people than ever jumping on the bandwagon to sell their homemade goods such as jewellery, cushions, clothes, toys, you name it. You can buy so many of their crafts online now that shopping for one off, hand made items has never been so easy. The market is bursting at the seams with new products, as long as you know where to find them. The Internet offers so many craftsmen and women to sell their wares, so we thought we would fish out some gift ideas for her, or for you.

The Spotty Dog Shop This has the cutest jewellery and is perfect for when you want to find a loved one a beautiful gift. The ‘party’ charm bracelet to the left is adorable, and so colourful that it can be worn with anything. The prices are relatively cheap compared with big brands such as Topshop and Accessorize.

Munch Cushions. A selection of adorable and wonderful looking cards, they wouldn’t look out of place in your local Paperchase. The shop includes everything from wedding invitations to get well soon cards.

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bath bombs, moisturisers, pumices, body scrubs, bath salts, baby products, the list goes on. We particularly like the gifts section, where you can find some great deals, as well as the pretty soap cakes. The prices are cheap and they include various oils and scents to make your bath time as relaxing as possible

Collections include; Rocks, Pebbles and Beans. These particular cards have amusing phrases and collages that make scenes to go with them. Such phrases include; “I’m Nuts About You’ and ‘Just Bean Married’. All the designs are hand made and inexpensive, with most being under £4.00.

Helen Steel Designs.


We particularly like the lavender birds as they not only smell nice, but they look good too. Any of these products would be a perfect present for your mother, grandmother, or even your sister. A collection of handbags made from vintage and retro fabrics. Prints range from the downright garish to simple pastel florals, but all are well made and look lovely. All the bags are one of a kind due to being made form the vintage fabrics, and are also hand made. Some have bows while others have buttons; each one is never the same. These are unique and stylish, and even though they are made from the old, they are very modern and perfect for the style conscious among us.

Authentic Harris Tweed cushions come in adorable designs. This cushion maker wants to make tweed a fashionable fabric again by using the material in bright hues like oranges, pinks, reds and yellows.

Prices vary, but are between £20 - £50.

There are a number of designs, including striped, checked and characters like ‘Oscar Owl the Outlaw’. For the children All the designs are hand made to order and range from £25 to £30.

The Soapy Cauldron.

These handmade wonders certainly put Lush into shame. They have a huge range of beautiful smelling bath items, including Helen Steel is a textile designer who makes cushions, tea towels, brooches, cushion covers, purses and lavender sachets in cute designs.

There are many online shops and societies that showcase hand made goods from small businesses. Supporting them will boost our economy and ensure that more people get interested in crafting their own goods. Small businesses are becoming more common now, but they need to stay afloat. They provide us with an alternative to the money-sucking high street chains like Primark and Debenhams and allow people to work from home, doing what they love. To find more hand made goods, go to: By Kyra O’Reilly

2011 It’s Business <<< 31

It's Business  
It's Business  

A double page spread on small craft businesses; what they do and where to find them.