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 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.

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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!

Just one example of the many fabulous products local merchants offer on MadeCloser. This lovely starfish pendant is both affordable and clearly marked as being sourced from Cornwall.

 

*This post has been written in association with MadeCloser and yet  remains true to my own thoughts, feeling and experiences

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We’ve had a fantastic half term holiday as you can see! It was great to just kick back for a few days, enjoy some walks, do a load of art and craft, play games, enjoy movies snuggled under blankets and have no deadlines to worry about.  There might have been more than one day in the last week which found us still in our PJs at tea-time and I don’t feel even a little bit guilty!

Today however is back to school, back to pre-school and back to work day. Being a clever and organised Mum *cough* I found Kieran’s PE kit hanging under heavy school coats and needing attention after 4pm yesterday. No drama one would think (thankful for the modern conveniences of the washing machine and tumble dryer) until opening the bag. It contained one plimsoll and a school fleece. No shorts, no outdoor sports trainers, no jogging bottoms, spare socks or t-shirt.

We scrambled around and gathered together a motley arrangement of replacements and Kieran has had a flea in his ear about looking after his things and has been sent off to school today to find his original kit in school lost property (much to his disgust!).

That carry-on overcome I cleared my desk, made sure that I had a fresh notepad, sharpened pencils and filled Kieran’s pencil case, made up packed lunches, laid out uniform and clothes for Taylor and made sure everything was ok before going to bed.

This morning…. Everyone was showered and changed in good time. Taylor dropped juice down his clothes and needed a complete change, I realised I’d forgotten dinner money and had to shoot off at the crack of dawn to go to the cashpoint and then…  two minutes before we were due to set off Kieran tells me he only has one school shoe.

One.

In my hallway we have a small bookcase with a basket for gloves and hats, hooks for school bags and bits and pieces and shelves for shoes and boots worn regularly. Kieran’s school shoes have been sat in their allotted space for the whole week yet this morning one is missing (I suspect 3yr old led foul play).  Running out of time we ran around looking for the missing shoe and in the end I’ve sent his nibs out wearing trainers (his good trainers which we’d stuffed into his gym bag to replace the ones that are missing).

I’m ready for another holiday already and have spent time Googling late deals from the UK to a wide range of destinations worldwide and dreaming of a restful Easter break after which we may come home rejuvenated and find everything where we left it and ready for going back to school!

I’m now at my desk, have had two caffeine laden coffees and am ready to get started on sorting out the 403 emails sat waiting for me (madness!) and organise my diary /to-do list into some sort of calm, grown-up and gym-bag free order.

I do love half term with the kids but the transition from holiday to back to work and school doesn’t always run so smoothly! Is it just me?

 

*This post was written in collaboration will the mentioned business however is true to my own thoughts, feelings and experiences

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