How you can help support your local businesses
Core values – supporting local
Being a local cake and craft maker in Milton Keynes, I know the importance of supporting local businesses. I’ve always tried to support local, even before starting my own business and that’s why it’s a big part of my ethos for Marie Makes too. From the bakers and butchers on Stony Stratford high street, to local independent coffee and cakes, I love local produce because of the passion and effort that goes into it.
How you can help local makers
There are so many free ways you can help support local businesses. It’s not just about buying from them (although that always helps too!). A big challenge for small businesses is just getting their name out there and there are four simple ways that you can help them do this.
- Social media – follow the social media pages of your favourite local businesses. Like, comment on and share their posts, so that your friends can see what a lovely business they are too.
- Reviews – leaving a review takes a couple of minutes, but has a huge impact for a small business. If you like the service of products you received then take a minute to tell others about it too. Google, Facebook, TripAdvisor, TrustPilot are all great places to leave a quick review. Or simply ask the local business where they’d like the review left.
- Word of Mouth – next time you’re chatting with your friends, just mention that lovely new product or service you found. As much as our world has gone digital, nothing beats a recommendation from a friend over a cuppa. No matter how much effort I put into my ‘online presence’ for Marie Makes, I’m always amazed at how many customers come to me after a friend has mentioned my cakes or crafts.
- Sign up to newsletters – it’s a great way to be able to find out all of the cool stuff your favourite local businesses are doing without having to constantly check in on their website or social media. You’ll often find interesting content you didn’t know about as well. How many of your favourite local businesses have a fun or informative blog that you didn’t know about? If you sign up to the Marie Makes blog newsletter then you’ll always be the first to know about cool baking tips, recipes and even discounts that I share on here.
Being part of the local community
I’m now lucky to be a part of the local business community in Stony Stratford and Milton Keynes. It’s amazing how much support there is for small businesses. From associations and groups who give advice and support, to local events organisers and venues it’s all happening right on our doorstep.
I’m a proud member of Made In Stony. This group supports local artisans who make their products in and around Stony Stratford.
I’ve recently joined the wonderful Stony Stratford Business Association, who not only support local businesses like Marie Makes, but also run community initiatives like the Christmas lights and hanging baskets on the high street.
I take part in local events and fairs as I love bringing my cakes, bakes and felt decorations to you directly. It’s great to be able to chat to people interested in my products. I love getting feedback directly from you on what you like and want to see more of. I’ll be at the Made In Stony Christmas shopping events hosted by the wonderful York House Centre in Stony Stratford over the coming months.
On The High Street is a fantastic local business, hosting small craft makers like Marie Makes and giving us a platform to sell our handmade items in a high street store. My felt decorations, including Christmas ornaments and gift tags, are available to buy in the shop from Friday 25th September. I’m so excited to be part of this amazing space! As much as I love the convenience of shopping online, it’s always lovely to see handmade items up close. Having a look and feel of the wonderful craftsmanship and love that’s gone into them is always a pleasure.
How Marie Makes supports local businesses
It’s not just about talking the talk, but actually shopping with small, local shops. I work with the following local makers and shops and would love if you checked them out too! They’re all run by wonderful people who have a passion for what they do and it really shows.
Bags By Carmen is run by a lovely friend of mine who has supported me on this new journey to running my own craft and cake business. She has years of experience that she’s shared with me and her knowledge and expertise in sewing is second to none! Her unique designs (no two bags are the same) are stunningly hand-crafted and I am lucky enough to own a few myself! So, if you’re looking for a gorgeous hand-made bag then check her out.
My happy place and cake-makers haven is SugarSmiths in Newport Pagnell where I love to buy my cake supplies form. It’s owned by a wonderful lady who loves to talk all-things-cake and I go there for the amazing advice as well as her huge range of cake products. If you’re ever in need of cake making stocks or are just passing through Newport Pagnell, pop in for a browse.
I love to use Uniquely Mine any time I need a cake topper. It’s run by an amazing young lady who designs and creates all of the toppers and labels herself. They’re great value and always stunning!
Supporting Marie Makes
If all of this has inspired you and you’d like to support Marie Makes, you can:
- Sign up to the Marie Makes newsletter
- Follow me on Facebook
- Follow me on Instagram
- Check out my shelf in On The High Street
- Come along to my latest craft fair