Just days away from the grand reopening of non-essential retailers, card retailers the length and breadth of the UK are finalising their own plans to making their shops as inviting as possible. Retailer and publisher, Heidi Early, co-owner of Earlybird Designs (which has a greeting card shop in London’s Stoke Newington) is leaving nothing to chance, and together with fellow traders in the street has made an emotionally uplifting film to mark the reopening and nurture the love for supporting local shops.
The film, entitled Local Shop Local Hope is a follow on from Heidi’s recent collaborative project, Signs of Hope, which saw local retailers and businesses create window displays to inspire hope in the community during lockdown 3. (https://www.pgbuzz.net/earlybird-opens-the-window-of-hope-among-the-card-retailers-community/)
“The idea behind the film is that if a community is to be alive, vibrant and colourful it needs local shops and local customers to support them. It all works hand in hand,” explains Heidi. “I passionately feel that we have all pulled together during the last year – the local shops have kept serving the community in whatever way they can, and the local community has repaid that by supporting us. And if we are going to continue to get through what will undoubtedly be a rocky road for a while then we have to all keep the hope and keep supporting one another,” adds Heidi.
Working with the talented digital content creator of local estate agent business Location Location, Heidi invited local retailers and businesses to appear in the film, which acknowledges that while it’s been a tough 12 months with many suffering hardship, loss and isolation and sacrifices made for the greater good, things are now finally looking up.
“We are coming back” exclaims the film’s narrator highlighting that soon people will be able to sit in their favourite café, find a great new read in their local bookshop, get that much needed haircut and hand select great cards in their local card shop. “There’s no place better to do this than in your local community,” extols the film.
It reinforces that how the Stoke Newington community is made up of small businesses, families and individuals who serve to make it the vibrant place that it is. “From the smallest purchases to the largest investments, where you choose to spend your money makes a difference…we hope that the love for local shops can give us the hope we need for a brighter future together…we cannot wait to see you again.”
In addition to the film now having gone live on YouTube and through the traders’ social media channels, Earlybird is putting the final touches to its reopening activities. This Sunday (April 11) the Earlybird team is going to hit the local streets to give out balloons, stickers and goodie bags to remind customers about Monday’s reopening. “And then on Monday we’ll be giving our first 10 customers a free I Love Stokey Fairtrade cotton tote bag with a copy of The Happy Newspaper, which we are now stocking, as we thought it’s the perfect time to spread some happy news,” says Heidi, who firmly believes that the support for independent retailers and the shop local rally call will continue to chime with the public.
“The high street is most definitely not dead, it’s been reinvented. This is the time of the Independent Revolution!” enthuses Heidi.
Top: Heidi Early who runs and owns Earlybird Designs with her husband Dominic.