Collaborating with micro businesses reaps rewards
I am a firm believer in 'strength in numbers'. As a small ... even a micro business ... it can be hard work constantly promoting yourself on the social networks. If you don't have a physical shop with regular footfall you may be relying on selling at markets and online.
Online it can be hard to get noticed and takes time to develop a following, regular customers and devotees. You can't depend on people recommending you. You need to make sure you're as visible as possible all the time. It can be pretty relentless.
I am still discovering the best venues for Trash Chic and finding my tribe. It's ups and downs, but what I've noticed is that if I have input into the organisation of an event or collaborate with others to provide a 'shopping experience' I have more chance of success.
Caroline Biggs (founder of EAT Cambridge and all round powerhouse) and I teamed up this year and organised a Spring Pop Up Market at Grantchester Village Hall. We had some incredible makers, creators and artisans and a theme of home decor, food and preloved. It was so successful that we've decided to do it again. The Autumn Pop Up Market is on Saturday 30 September at the historic Grantchester Village Hall again between 10.30 am and 3.30 pm.
We will be showcasing some wonderful independent traders local to Cambridge. It is a handpicked and thoughtfully curated collection of some of the best, all brought together in line place. Traders include:
The Bicycle Collective
The Bicycle Collective is an independent company on a mission to encourage everyone to cycle. Founder Emma Morton is a keen cyclist who promotes cycling products which are stylish and functional. They are a collective because everything they stock is handpicked, only working with producers and designers who share their passion for quality and originality.
Birgitte Brunn Jewellery
Contemporary silver and gold jewellery inspired by Scandinavian design. Birgitte's jewellery is created using recycled precious metal and ethically sourced gemstones where possible. She also remodels unworn, sentimental pieces to give them a contemporary, wearable new lease of life.
Bubbly Bandits are passionate about their Italian wines and in particular their sparking wines. All are selected from small and medium sized wineries, biodiversity friendly, organic, vegan and some natural. They have, in common, a great taste.
Cambridge Honey Bees
Here is local pure honey – simple as that. Their hives are all within Cambridge and wider Cambridgeshire in pristine areas to allow their bees to forage for a wide and healthy mix of food.
Chocolate Chocolat have built a dedicated following of chocolate lovers in Cambridge and beyond. Their passion for their product shines through the glossy exterior of their perfectly tempered chocolates. They use only the best ingredients and also have a vegan and gluten-free range. Wonderful for gifting but great to indulge yourself.
Founded in 2013, The Coffee Officina is a workshop and speciality coffee roastery committed to working with high quality, ethically sourced coffee. Their ambition is to inspire and educate people on the world of coffee and make the process more transparent for everyone. They are passionate about the people they work with, and the diverse styles and flavours of the coffee beans they supply.
Francesca Brown photographs
Francesca is a nature love and is constantly photographing the beauty around her on her walks. She has now produced a stunning range of cards featuring close-up images of local flora and fauna.
HK Hit Wrap
HitWrap serves healthy, groaningly tasty, Hong Kong Style street food all wrapped up in equally healthy home made wraps. They wax lyrical about the importance of low salt, low sugar and fat. So it’s just the freshest ingredients, the right pinch of this and that. A winner.
Kettle Leaf Tea
A small artisan tea company started by a husband and wife team passionate about sourcing ethically farmed tea and creating their own tasty blends. The use 100% natural ingredients and the end result is truly delicious.
Established for nearly 19 years in the Cambridge area Moonshine have won numerous national and regional awards. Their beers are characterised by their clean, fresh taste which is thanks in no small part to the natural spring water used to make them.
Based in Exning. Oliver’s Muesli is a delicious blend of healthy and sustainable muesli using 100% British grans and seeds, sourced directly from organic and regenerative farms, most of whom are in East Anglia. Not only does it taste incredible, but it also allows consumers to directly support sustainable farming.
Qhere are passionate about reusing and recycling materials, so they don’t end up in landfill. In Cambridge there are lots of punctured bicycle inner tubes and outdated festival and exhibition banners. All these items are transformed into lovely new bags and other items.
SMJ Floral Design
Sally Nott runs a small home based floristry business based in Haslingfield' and offers a bespoke service for all occasions. Driven by a passion for scent Sally combines colour, texture and shape, using seasonal blooms, to create beautiful flowers for your (maybe ‘every occasion’) occasion.
Simply Sensitive Soap
Emily started making soap because she couldn’t find any that did not irritate her eczema-prone, ultrasensitive skin. HSimply Sensitive Soap bars are entirely handmade, made of only all natural ingredients, with no synthetic fragrances, colours or additives. They never contain palm oil, and she wraps each bar in biodegradable jute and a recycled and recyclable tag.
Small and Green
A small houseplant and accessory business based on Mill Road, Cambridge. Small and Green are passionate about plants and try to give their customers great advice about how to care for them so they can be the best plant parent.
Jennifer Marshall is a self-taught sourdough baker. Her bakery is based at the Cambridge Newmarket Polo Club but she pops up all over Cambridge with her delicious baked goods and often sells out so if you want to sample her wares make sure you're an early bird.
Sunday Life Style
Built around the idea that Sunday is the day of rest, family, friends and food. Whatever Sunday looks like to our customers, rolling in from the night before, long hazy BBQs or cosy mornings, our homes and the things we surround ourselves with are an important part. Sunday Life Style offers curated items that can be used, loved, and add personality to a home.
Sweet Pea Market Garden
Sweetpea Market Garden is a small-scale vegetable farm producing salads, microgreen and edible flowers. The business aims to provide local people with access to fresh, organic produce while improving biodiversity and the environment.
Trash Chic is all about exploring your own style in an affordable way. It’s not label driven which means you can find high street and designer brands on the rails. I am passionate about reclaiming, recycling and reusing, and that really is the ethos of Trash Chic. Buy less and buy better … quality over quantity.
I'm definitely looking forward to bringing my rails of preloved clothing to Grantchester in September and hope to see lots of regulars as well as new faces.
See you then!