Well, we are settling into our new online home and all systems are go! Feedback from customers and visitors has so far been overwhelmingly positive and the improved website navigation has been especially welcomed. An upgrade was long overdue, so we are pleased we put the lockdown to good use, stressful though it was.
Indeed the past four or five months have been among the most stressful we have ever experienced, although we were able to trade online with far less disruption than that experienced by bricks and mortar retailers with no online presence.
Hats off to those who diversified to survive and to all those key workers who kept vital services running, including our own Danny who is sadly no longer our 24/7 techie frocker and has been working throughout the crisis in the telecoms industry.
As life gets back to some vestige of normality – at varying rates, depending on which part of the UK you are in – it will be all the more important to support small independent businesses. They simply do not have the wherewithal to withstand the downturn brought about by the Covid crisis and many of them have also lost out on government support due to ‘small print’ exceptions. Although we are in the fortunate position of not having had to rely on such support, we have no idea what the future holds for small enterprises like ours and are already seeing local businesses laying off staff and closing permanently as they are simply no longer viable.
We have some great businesses here in Angus and the surrounding area and we like to promote their goods and services (as well as our own!) whenever we can. Behind every one of them is a dedicated entrepreneur who is passionate about their business and supports the local economy.
Owner Neil can usually be found on the cobbles outside his wee shop chatting to everyone who passes (including the chief frocker most days). Although the shop is bursting with treasures, he still enjoys regular fishing expeditions for collectables and, in ‘normal’ times, can be sighted at auctions, car boot sales, vintage extravaganzas and collectors’ fairs. His entertaining Facebook page draws customers from far and wide, including the chief frocker’s cousin from Birmingham, whose Pend purchases are being stored in her garage pending collection!
A special ‘supper’ is on offer every week which we find hard to resist. Ring your order through and the lovely ladies will have it ready for you in 10 minutes!
Zoe moved to larger premises at the beginning of the year and has just launched a new ecommerce website. She sells a wide range of designer and handcrafted jewellery and watches, as well as offering a repair service.
Carrie has the most amazing window displays, which have been showcasing her fabulous vintage and preloved consignment stock throughout the lockdown. A friend and colleague with a shared passion for vintage, she has an amazing selection of preloved clothing, accessories and homeware.
Jen’s colourful boutique is a veritable treasure trove of ethical clothing, fairtrade goods and gifts, bamboo socks, locally printed T-shirts, whole foods, greetings cards, tea and a lot more!
Janice sells a range of tweed products lovingly created in her craft studio, Notions of Brechin. Her pieces are unique, handmade and often one-offs – just like herself!
Of course, the above are just a few of the many wee businesses in our area that are determined to ride out the current storm. Please help us all survive and thrive: shop indy and shop local!
A great big shout-out is also due to our post office staff, posties and couriers who have worked tirelessly throughout the lockdown period to keep things moving and have remained cheerful in the face of adversity.
Finally, we want to put on record our sadness and shock at the recent passing of our neighbour Anne, whose Glenisla House holiday home has been such a popular destination for so many visitors to this area. We send our deepest condolences to Dave and the family.