December 1, 2016
Shop Small in Aberdeen
Sponsored post in partnership with American Express®
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved shopping – a trait I owe to my mum. Looking at my childhood photo albums, I was dressed in the cutest pinafore dresses and coordinated skirt-top sets, my favourite one was a strawberry patterned pair of shirts and same tee, I loved it and I wish I could somehow still wear the outfit!
During teenage years and later throughout University, dressing up in new clothes made me feel special and it was then that I appreciated the feeling of making a habit of dressing up, rather than simply wearing anything that was in my closet. And so my passion for shopping began!
I love shopping in small shops for the thrill of finding new, unique products. It also has a great social aspect – I really enjoy talking to the shop owners, getting to know the story behind each store and current collection – which all adds up to make my shopping trips even more magical. Plus, for me, every shopping trip ends with a visit to a cafe, and who doesn’t love a slice of cake and hot chocolate after a day on your feet!
I’ve found that the owners of small shops in my area pay incredible attention to customer service and would rarely let any client leave their shop without making sure that they got exactly what they were looking for.Each small shop has their own signature product or service, making it unique, and helping to ensure repeat custom. You really get a sense that they choose their products with passion, while taking into consideration their clients’ needs.We’re coming up to Small Business Saturday this week, a day when people across the country are encouraged to get out support their local small business. That’s why I’m working with American Express – founder and ongoing supporter of the initiative – to bring you a few of my favourite independent businesses in Aberdeen.From unique products, such as wooden handcrafted toys, to signature services, such as interior design pairings, the small businesses in the granite city have everything covered!
Here are the signature products and services that keep me heading back to small shops and eateries in Aberdeen:
Dogrobes makes signature drying coats from a toweling fabric which is exclusive to the shop. What I love about Dogrobes is the owners’ enthusiasm and passion to get the best fitting coat for your dog. It fits like a glove and my pooch, Cruz, loves it!
Jane’s Design Studio
Jane’s Design Studio is an interior design store that provides a signature service from the small town of Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire. Jane and her husband provide a free consultation to anyone who would like to change their personal space or work area and they always make sure to get an understanding of your personality prior to transforming your place. I love Jane’s attention to detail!
My Beautiful Caravan
My Beautiful Caravan has a quirky retro vibe, offering a carefully chosen range of gifts along with selected vintage items. My favourite products are the wooden jewellery pieces which are designed and hand crafted using reclaimed British and sustainably sourced wood.
Eighty7 Design + Living
Eighty7 Design + Living is a design store which offers a number of unique, signature products. ‘IdeaLamp’ lights are designed and handmade in Denmark by Bang&Vejborg. Because they are handmade, each light is a little bit different to the next, meaning some are waving, some are pointing and others look as though they’re about to take a bow.
Jack Taylor is a family run fish merchant which only sources fish from boats that are part of the Responsible Fishing Scheme. During the production process the staff use all possible parts of the fish. Jack Taylor provides recipes including its signature, Cullen Skink, a traditional Scottish soup made of smoked haddock. It’s based on a traditional recipe and makes the ideal, hearty food for the cold winter months.
Castleton Farm Shop
Castleton Farm Shop stocks jams, chutneys, syrups and vinegars which are all made on site using berries grown and picked from the farm. My personal favourite from the shop is the ‘Best of Aberdeenshire’ hamper, which contains a selection of its delicious products.
No.27, is a fun and friendly shop ran by sisters, Louise and Lisa. The gift and homeware boutique is based in the heart of Aberdeenshire, stocking a large selection of paints. It also offers signature paint workshops, sharing the owners’ passion for upcycling preloved items, making this place so special. I have already booked myself a place in the next workshop and I cannot wait to be inspired.
The coffee here is freshly ground for each individual cup bursting with aroma. This is helped by the fact that the beans are roasted locally by a supplier who is just a two-minute walk away. Oh and did I mention its cakes are all gluten free?
Sirene Boutique is a beautiful clothing store on Union Street. Amanda, the ultra-stylish owner, is always happy to help you choose something to suit you and your style. Amanda loves versatile pieces, different colours and textures. My favourite item is the khaki, velvet, kimono that I think will look great all year round!
Hopefully this post has encouraged you to find out more about some of the Signature products and services offered in your local area, I can safely say that my Christmas wish list for this year has already been sorted!
To find out more about ‘shopping small’, and to get inspiration and ideas for your Christmas shopping, visit amexshopsmall.co.uk
*pictures taken by myself and American Express.
Promoter: American Express Services Europe Limited has its registered office at Belgrave House, 76 Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1W 9AX, United Kingdom. It is registered in England and Wales with Company Number 1833139 and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.