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  • Writer's pictureKiera McLaughlin

A chat with Keep It Local

Welcome to our first chat of 2023!


This week, we caught up with Andy from Keep It Local. Andy gave us an insight into all things shopping locally and spoke to us about the importance of supporting small businesses and why Keep It Local was set up.


Without further ado, let's crack on....


Hi Andy, thanks for taking the time to speak to us today! So firstly tell us a bit about Keep it Local... How does it work and why did you decide to set it up?

"My wife and I started an Instagram page late 2021. Our kids were approaching adulthood and we had a little more time to ourselves. We loved local beer and food and my wife loved craft fairs and local indie shops. Our insta page highlighted all of the places that we ate, drank and shopped locally. Our followers grew quickly and we realised that there were people out there passionate about shopping local."

What was your first ever event?


"Easter last year we launched our first collaboration product, a candle named Six after the 6 Towns of Stoke-on-Trent. Highlighting our home creativity, throughout 2022 we launched products and held networking meetings bringing creative small businesses together. Then Q4 last year we dipped our toe in the water and launched our Journey Travelling Markets and we trialed our first retail event in The Potteries Ctr – with you guys.

It was a huge success and the business idea to bring small businesses together in a retail setting was born."


As well as hosting retail events to spread the message of supporting and shopping locally. What other services do you offer for communities and business owners?


"We run:

  • A subscription based Community

  • Network Meetings

  • Markets

  • Retail Pop up Events

  • On-line web store

  • Social Media promotion"

How important is it to spread the message of shopping locally?


"Our love of shopping local is so important to us.

It supports the local economy

It increases chances of local investment

It increases local recruitment

It reduces carbon footprint

It allows local people the chance to fulfil a dream

We always say in a world full of choices - choose local"


And finally...any exciting plans in the pipeline for 2023/2024?



"The business is very much in its infancy and something tells me 2024 will see us take on bigger opportunities.

This year we have another 7 retail events with an average of 38 makers involved in each.

We like to give opportunity to as many makers as possible – we don’t look at what will make us the most commission we look at how that maker will benefit from the opportunity – this sets us apart.

We believe in Collaboration and Opportunity and we will try most things – if there is a chance it will work we give it a go!"

 

That rounds up our chat with Keep It Local! Don't forget that you can catch Keep It Local back in our Potteries Pop Up in May so, make sure you pop on down!


Fancy hosting one of our spaces? Then we want to hear from you! Drop Kiera (kiera@barkerproudlove.co.uk) or Jess (jessica@barkerproudlove.co.uk) an email for more information.


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