Being a business owner has not been easy to navigate though this pandemic whether striving or barely surviving each has its own challenges, but the support of the local community has been so heart-warming to see over this period. I myself have been supporting as many local businesses as I can by purchasing or sharing their social pages, but I wanted to do something BIGGER, I wanted to give some real value to a local business. So I decided to run a competition on social media for a business to win a brand photography session.

Being visible online is so important

Especially now when it’s been the main way of communicating with our customers. It keeps you in the heart of your business and stops customers forgetting about your business. Did you know that engagement goes up by 77% when you use images of yourself in your social feed? Try it and you will be amazed at the engagement you get.

In total 29 businesses entered the competition

The winner was Paige Bird at Baby Bird Casting’s. Paige’s photo shoot was in her lovely “she shed” built especially for her business which is just gorgeous and she got to choose 40 images to use in all her marketing material, for updating her website and adding relevant consistent images into her online course. You can find her website here: https://babybirdscasting.co.uk

Although there could only be one main winner, there were so may entries that I then offered all the entrants the chance to come for a headshot for a small fee which is being donated to a local charity “Support Staffordshire” and to be featured in this very special shout out to local businesses blog.

Support Staffordshire provides vital support to over 1000 charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises (VCSE’s) across the whole of Staffordshire. Every year they provide over 700 hours of free support to their member charities and enable them to have access to over £3.5 million of funding, which they otherwise may not have known about or been able to receive.

“We enable our members to achieve their dreams, empowering them to be the best they can be and therefore provide greater support to our communities” – Lisa Carson, Fundraising Development Manager www.supportstaffordshiretogether.org.uk

So this blog is a special shout to these businesses and I would love to introduce you to the local businesses I’ve worked with on this, who all support my own business as well as each other. Their contributions to my headshot offer have allowed me to donate £120 to the Support Staffordshire Fund, so thank you so much all of you.


GE Copywriter – Gayle Edwards

This is Gayle getting ready to meet a client and understand their business before writing the copy they need.

What they do:

I write website content and blog posts that engage with your customers and really showcase your services and personality. Here’s what some of my customers said. “Bloody brilliant Gayle. I love them both. The 2nd option is definitely more me!” “You just get me and the tone perfectly. I think they are awesome. 😊

If this is the reaction you want to have when you hire a copywriter, then email me today. Let’s see how I can help your business – and you – speak directly to your customers!

What services they offer:

  • Monthly blogs
  • Case studies and articles
  • Website wording
  • Keeping your website working hard 24 hours a day

Contact details: 

www.gecopywriter.com
Gayle@gecopywriter.com


Primrose Cottage Art – Emma Cooper

This is Emma standing in front of just some of her amazing paintings.

What they do:
Primrose Cottage Art is the studio of Emma Cooper, a mixed media artist based in Lichfield. From small works on paper to large canvases, Emma’s joyful and versatile artworks are inspired by, and celebrate nature and the changing seasons. Emma has a strong belief that art can bring people together and have a really positive impact on people’s lives. She strives to make creativity fun and accessible to all through her colourful, uplifting style, community outreach and inspiring workshops. 

What services/products they offer: 

  • Original artworks and digital prints
  • Commissions available for bespoke and personalised artwork, including painted canvases and family / pet portraits
  • Inspiring creative workshops for all ages and abilities
  • Collaboration opportunities for businesses. Past projects have included handmade client gifts and thanks you notes, murals,  workshops and community projects. 

Contact details: 
emma@primrosecottageart.co.uk
Facebook @primrosecottageart
Instagram @primrosecottageart
Website www.primrosecottageart.co.uk
Shop www.etsy.com/uk/shop/PrimroseCottageArt


Hunnypot Cottage Bakery – Ruth Redgate

Ruth at her Bakery showing me her trusty recipe book.

What they do:
Award winning Hunnypot Cottage bakery is a real bread and slow food supporter. With a range in excess of 30 different types and styles of breads from a simply white loads to the more complex flavours etc such as the Borodinsky Rye and Danish Crown. We also offer courses ranging from our 1:1, 1:2, group or why not try one of our online ones. Fancy some different breads then sign up for one of our monthly subscription boxes.

What products/services they offer:

  • Courses and subscription boxes

Contact details: 
www.hunnypotcottagebakery.co.uk
Ruth Redgate 01827 383149
loaf@hunnypotcottagebakery.co.uk


Square Peg Promotions – Jessica Davanzo

Jess with some of her sustainable products.

What they do:
Square Peg Promotions supplies a wide range promotional products, luxury business gifts and branded clothing. We are passionate about sourcing innovative, environmentally friendly merchandise for our clients, including our ever increasing vegan range. Whether your next marketing campaign requires eco-friendly tote bags, branded eco coffee cups or perhaps even recycled pens, we have the perfect environmentally savvy product to help. From our A5 Recycled Paper Notebook to organic polos embroidered with your logo, we’ve got you covered. We’re a very eco-friendly and socially conscious team that likes to help other companies do their bit for the environment too! If you love our products but don’t need them branded for a business, check out our sister company, Earthy Stuff (earthystuff.co.uk) for individual gifts!

What products they offer:

  • promotional merchandise
  • branded workwear
  • corporate clothing
  • eco friendly business gifts
  • sustainable gifts

Contact details: 
hello@squarepegpromo.co.uk
01543 241003
squarepegpromo.co.uk


House of Colour – Linda Clark

What they do:
Enables men and women to look and feel their best by showing them how to dress in their most flattering colours and authentic style.

What services they offer:

  • Colour analysis sessions
  • Style sessions – both in person and online
  • Personal clothes shopping services – online and in store
  • Wardrobe decluttering

Contact Details:
Linda Clark – Colour and Image Consultant
07790 653669
Linda.clark@houseofcolour.co.uk
www.houseofcolour.co.uk/lindaclark


Mercia Food Hub – Ruth Redgate

What they do:
Mercia Food Hub is your local online award winning farmers market, think click and collect but from local/independent businesses. We have over 30 suppliers including bread, veg, meat, cheese, cakes, ferments, beer, gin crafts etc, you get the picture. We do deliveries and collection just choose what works for you.

Contact details: 
www.merciafoodhub.org.uk
Ruth Redgate
01827 383159
shop@merciafood.org.uk


A huge Thank you

So thats all six businesses that are sole traders and doing a job they love as well as helping the community in so many ways, so I’d love you to support these businesses if you can. There are plenty of ways you can support them:

  1. Buy from them if it’s something that interests you or is something you need
  2. Like, share or comment on the Facebook or Instagram pages, this really is a huge help for small businesses as it gives their pages a wider reach.

We all really do do a happy dance when we feel the love from the local community.