In Support of Independents

Seeking out independent shops is something I love to do.

Don’t get me wrong, I do shop online too, but there is something very special (even old-fashioned) in visiting an actual shop, owned and run by actual humans. The personal service, for one thing, owners will get to know you by name.

I find the individual tastes of the shop owners are so vividly executed too. Through stock and merchandising, the independent owner creates their vision. So much so, that when going back into a regular high street chain, it can feel dull, dreary and despite their best efforts, and bigger budgets, boring.

Today I’m sharing three independents in the North West that are carving out their own places on the high street.

In a world where there are so many Goliath’s, I’m all for supporting the David’s. The Underdogs, the dreamers. The black sheep.

These shops that have been created with the hope and vision that we all don’t have to (or want to) buy from the same place, wear the same things or follow the same crowd.

Championing the maker, supporting the local economy and keeping the high street alive. There are so many high streets littered with betting shops and charity shops now. Indie’s will, if we let them, save us.

Featured indie shops

  • 49 Hilton Street/Beaumont Organic

Situated in the thriving Northern Quarter in Manchester (on 49 Hilton Street no less!) is the new home of Beaumont Organic. Before opening at number 49 this ethical womenswear brand was based online. Now they continue to sell their products internationally via the website and have a beautiful 3-storey shop too. Beaumont Organic create “contemporary conscious clothing”, the shop also stocks smaller products such as ceramics, candles and some gorgeous leather handbags. Because the shop is spread across three floors it is the ideal spot for workshops and events too, jewellery making and macrame are just a couple of the recent workshops they’ve facilitated with local makers.

49 Hilton Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M1 2EF and at

organic and ethical leather goods in MAnchester

  • Lomas & Lomas

Further afield but well worth a day trip is Lomas and Lomas in the beautiful village of Hayfield, Derbyshire. This is the brainchild of husband and wife team Sharon and Garry Lomas. Previously working in an office Sharon developed different side hustles to enable her to be more creative. Gary is a photographer and eventually, they came up with this idea that they could combine their creative talents in a photography gallery and homeware shop. All the homeware is developed from ideas, imagery and themes from Garry’s photography. They also sell ranges from local makers too.

The Old Butchers Shop, Market Street, Hayfield, Derbyshire SK22 2EW and at

independent shop hayfield

  • Form Lifestyle Store

Back in the Northern Quarter again, and into Form which is housed in the sweetest building that feels so unexpected from where it is situated. It actually has a special heritage plaque outside on this row. It is the last surviving building of the one up one down type, built in 1787.  Again, this is the creation of a visionary couple. I love the holistic and artisan feel of this shop. There are loads of plants around the place and the most beautiful wrought iron spiral staircase leading to a workshop area upstairs. It feels like a real treat visiting Form, like a special secret place, but one that I actually think you should all visit!

6 Bradley Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M1 1EH and at

form lifestyle plant shelf pretty planters exposed brick

What are the local independent shops where you live like?

Do you share my views on the future of our high streets? Let me know in the comments!

in support of indie's

Sign up for my Creative Notes Letters, a personal letter to my readers. I want to keep in touch without depending on social media as I'm trying to use it less, and I know many of you are too CLICK HERE


  1. Kirsty
    November 15, 2017 / 8:17 am

    Ah susie! This is such a beautiful post and I hope people do shop local this year!

    • Susie
      November 15, 2017 / 9:32 am

      Thanks so much Kirsty! I bet there are some great shops in Margate!

  2. kate
    November 15, 2017 / 8:26 am

    You know I love Beaumont and Form already but omg, I need to get myself across to Lomas & Lomas soon! So happy there are so many fab independents popping up in and around Mcr x

    • Susie
      November 15, 2017 / 9:33 am

      Yeah! I’d combine a visit to Lomas and Lomas with a pub lunch and a walk. Such a beautiful part of the world

    • November 15, 2017 / 2:57 pm

      Hi Kate, come and visit us anytime 🙂

  3. November 15, 2017 / 8:40 am

    I’m a big fan of supporting small business! I live in a village which still has a really popular local greengrocer/butcher/fishmonger and it’s so nice that they’ve been around so long!

    • Susie
      November 15, 2017 / 9:34 am

      Yes! We’ve sadly lost a greengrocer near us. It’d been there for years!

  4. November 15, 2017 / 8:56 am

    I really need to check out these places when I’m up north next weekend. We have some great independents near us in Worcester. I always much prefer supporting locals.

    • Susie
      November 15, 2017 / 9:31 am

      Yes!! Do check them out< thanks for stopping by x

  5. November 15, 2017 / 12:13 pm

    I totally share your view! We need all independent stores. I’m so envious of your shops there. Some great taste going on! X

    • Susie
      November 16, 2017 / 12:07 pm

      Oh, you’d love it, Lucy! If you ever get the chance to visit, do let me know x

  6. November 15, 2017 / 7:57 pm

    I love browsing an independent shop, they’re so much more personable and personalised. In Herne Hill where I live we have a lovely little one called Lowie, you’d love the clothes and homeware! x

    • Susie
      November 16, 2017 / 12:02 pm

      Ah that’s great you’ve somewhere close!

  7. November 15, 2017 / 11:02 pm

    Ooh such fab little shops. There’s a place in Skipton called Maud’s House that i really want to check out too. Great post xx

    • Susie
      November 16, 2017 / 12:01 pm

      That sounds cute! Thanks for stopping by!

  8. freshdesignblog
    November 16, 2017 / 1:28 pm

    This is such a good thing to do! As much as I enjoy popular high street stores, it’s so important to shop at and support independents as well.

    • Susie
      November 21, 2017 / 1:36 pm

      Glad you agree! Thanks for stopping by!

  9. November 16, 2017 / 2:04 pm

    I’ve been thinking about doing some travelling around the beautiful UK. I think I may have found 3 destinations that are a “must-visit” thanks for sharing!

    • Susie
      November 21, 2017 / 1:38 pm

      Ah thanks! Let me know if you need any more suggestions

    • November 21, 2017 / 2:09 pm

      Hi Sophie, You will be most welcome anytime you want to visit us 🙂

  10. November 16, 2017 / 3:40 pm

    Hear, hear Susie. I love a small independent shop and these three all look lovely. Wish I was up north. x

    • Susie
      November 21, 2017 / 1:41 pm

      You should come and visit!

  11. November 17, 2017 / 6:30 pm

    Little independent shops are so much more interesting and fun and there is normally a great story behind them. These three look great.

    • Susie
      November 21, 2017 / 1:35 pm

      That is so true Stacey!

  12. November 22, 2017 / 9:06 pm

    Thanks for the suggestions Susie – it’s reminded me to visit these places. Not been to Hayfield for ages either. One of the places I visit regularly is Rose and Bumble in Urmston – lots of beautiful homewares and she has lots of lovely Christmas decorations. Love bec xx

    • Susie
      November 23, 2017 / 9:57 am

      Urmston has so much great stuff going on at the moment. Will have a look next time I’m there. Thanks