Natural events inspire indies’ efforts

Greetings retailers step up to help earthquake relief and animal charities

 

Two natural events have inspired indie retailers to put their charity thinking caps on and come up with ways to help others.

At Swagger Unique in Chipping Sodbury, owner Alice Crowley has stepped up to help following the devastation caused by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria and enlisted help from suppliers and agents to make up goodie bags to raise money for the Disaster Earthquakes Committee.

Above: Some of the cards in the goodie bags raising money for DEC
Above: Some of the cards in the goodie bags raising money for DEC

Meanwhile Austin & Co’s Sean Austin has been inspired by the current snowy weather in Malvern and across the country to revive his Snowdogs photo competition to get ready for his in-house Christmas charity cards later in the year.

Alice explained it’s taken her around three weeks to pull the plan together as it’s an expansion of her six-monthly stock room clear-out to create charity bags that the local community can use for raffles and tombolas.

Above & top: If there was a pooch in this pic of Swagger, taken by @richmcd1234 in the early hours yesterday, owner Alice could have entered Austin & Co’s Snowdogs comp!
Above & top: If there was a pooch in this pic of Swagger, taken by @richmcd1234 in the early hours yesterday, owner Alice could have entered Austin & Co’s Snowdogs comp!

“This time, the contents are worth so much more than the £10 we’re charging,” Alice said, “each bag has at least four greeting cards which are worth that alone!

“Normally, we post on social media we have say 10 available and, usually, within a few hours they’re gone. This gave me the idea to do a goody bag and charge for it but, to do the scale I wanted to, I needed to ask for help. Originally I was thinking if I could sell 20 at £10 then we’d raise £200 for the Disaster Emergency committee.

“I asked my lovely sales agents and suppliers if anyone would be happy to donate anything and I’ve been overwhelmed with the donations of support – put it this way, we’ve been able to make more than 20 bags!”

Above: The Narnia-like scenes that greeted Sean Austin and Lucy over the past couple of mornings
Above: The Narnia-like scenes that greeted Sean Austin and Lucy over the past couple of mornings

Alice and her team have included a mix of gifts as they’ve had donated chocolate, bath and body items, notebooks, hair accessories, sunglasses, sun hats, scarves, shopping bags, purses, and jewellery, and they’ve also made up a small selection of Christmas bags, plus a few with lots of greeting cards ideal to cover children’s parties.

Among the generous suppliers who have helped out with the project are publishers Rosie Made A Thing, Stop The Clock, Louise Mulgrew, and Rachel Ellen Designs, along with gift companies Choco Loco, Powder Designs, Gecko Jewellery, Pandora Clay Box, Hot Tomato, and Space Masks. Agents John Collins, Mark from Power Agencies, and Neil Matthews have also helped out, alongside Alan Harwood, sales executive with Cardgains buying group.

Above: Sean’s Snowdogs cards from 2018 and winner Piper
Above: Sean’s Snowdogs cards from 2018 and winner Piper

Over in Malvern, Sean and Lucy the Labrador were greeted by unseasonal snow yesterday morning, 8 March, and he said: “We did our Snowdog charity Christmas cards in 2018 and, looking out the window, it seems the ideal opportunity to run the competition again for 2023.

“It’s not certain how long the snow will hang around this time so best be quick and take the opportunity over the next day or so to get pictures of your pooch in the snow. Then in a couple of months, I’ll post details of how you can enter – happy snapping!”

Back in 2018, Sean and his then much-loved companions Nessa and Max raised £100 each for Team Edward Labrador Rescue and Worcestershire Animal Shelter Rescue, with 25% of the sales price of the Christmas card packs going to the charities, and they also had a vote to pick the public’s favourite out of the six designs, with Piper from Malvern and his woolly hat taking the honours.

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