There has been a lot of buzz in the press about large corporations taking more than their fair share of the retail market and smaller enterprises and more local, as opposed to national companies feeling the squeeze. This trend is in part caused by the way in which we, as consumers, choose to spend our money.
I am the first one to put my hand up and say that I am guilty of shopping online at big recognised stores purely because it is quicker, easier and one would assume (not always correctly) cheaper. What I really want to do is source my gifts, household items and more from local retailers however to be honest I’m not sure I have the time or the energy to do this when with just a few clicks elsewhere and what I want comes from wherever it comes from.
Made Closer is the brain-child of John Palaguta-Iles who, like many of us wanted to shop locally when buying items for a new house. John found the time it took to source such items excessive and this spawned an idea which could potentially revolutionise the way we shop. Sensing a gap in the market for those want to support the local economy, to buy items which have a significantly lower carbon footprint having not been shipped from thousands of miles away and to help support the UK job market John launched MadeCloser.
Made Closer enables shoppers to search for and buy a wide range of items from electronics to gifts and toys within the UK or even with the region they live in. Giving the site a bit of a road test I was surprised by how easy it was to use. Entering my postcode and then browsing the items merchants have on offer allowed me to see clearly where they would come from.
I could easily see as I browsed which items were very local to me (within 50 miles) and where everything else came from without scrolling through pages of information or even having to contact individual sellers.
This is the convenient way to enjoy guilt-free shopping. The range of items available is wide and growing weekly which is why I have bookmarked MadeCloser and will check it first when shopping before automatically visiting one of the larger and faceless international brands. Clearly John Palaguta-Iles has his finger on the button as not only does he care about boosting the local economy; he understands the pressures on the consumer when it comes to simply not having time to shop around ourselves. MadeCloser offers a real, practical and progressive option for changing your shopping habits in future and I for one am pleased to see it.
If you want to know more about John’s vision and the ideals behind MadeCloser this article may well be of interest. Do have a look at the website and keep in touch via either Facebook or Twitter as mark my works, MadeCloser is going places!
*This post has been written in association with MadeCloser and yet remains true to my own thoughts, feeling and experiences
Everywhere I look at the moment someone seems to be pregnant. In fact I’m switching to bottled water because I’m half convinced that there is something in the tap water and my two little darlings are just enough for us.
The great thing though about all of these new babies, those that have arrived and those who will be introducing themselves in the coming months is that as well as cute cuddles there are also some brilliant parties to go to! Christenings are primarily about introducing a child into the church however they are also a wonderful family occasion which enables the proud parents to show off their new arrival. These really are special events and special events deserve special gifts.
It is traditional to bring a gift when coming to a christening however that does not mean that anyone should bankrupt themselves in order to keep up with the Joneses. Gifting a new-born infant with a horse or a set of fifty genuine silver antique spoons could be considered a little too much nowadays as most people look to more practical or smaller yet equally lovely gift ideas.
These days everything seems to cost so much and so it is refreshing to see that there are option for christening gifts which are imaginative as well as budget friendly. The most important part of the christening is that family are able to attend, not that they bring a gift and if extravagant gifts were still the “norm”, on top of accommodation for those coming from out of town, travel costs, outfits and what not, I expect a few people might find themselves bowing out and missing this wonderful occasion.
Christenings for parents are expensive too. There are the outfits, flowers, gifts, food, a photographer or videographer, a hall or venue for the reception; the list never seems to end. Christeningideas.co.uk do have a handy PDF on their site which enables parents looking to plan their child’s christening to break down the costs and work out a budget they can afford and save towards the christening rather than using costly credit.
Welcoming a child into the world is about family, introducing the child into the church and celebrating their birth and fortunately this is now much more affordable with budget planners and beautiful yet affordable keepsakes to choose from.
We didn’t christen either of our boys however if we had we would also have been looking at a budget christening and hoping no-one spent ridiculous amounts on gifts. Cuddles are much lovelier than a £300 first tooth jar, and much less breakable!
*This post was written in collaboration with the mentioned business.
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