East End Independents’ Day and Small Business Saturday

by Elisa Freeling

As Christmas approaches and many of us put our shopping into high gear, you may be keen to find lovely, quirky gifts that can’t be picked up at a major chain. Here’s one solution: this coming weekend, on the 3rd of December 2016, is Small Business Saturday across the UK, or as they’ve styled it in the East End, Independents’ Day. Including Columbia Road, Hackney, Roman Road, Shoreditch and Spitalfields, the festivities will offer a wide range of activities—from talks and workshops to tours and tasting sessions—to amuse all the family.

From 10am to 6pm on Columbia Road, performers of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland will be entertaining families, and Alternative London will run a series of special tours and workshops, where you can create your own spray-paint Christmas cards.

Should your taste run to the musical, how about a ukulele workshop with Duke of Uke at Newspeak House? Or get some creative inspiration at a talk on wood-carving and green wood culture with Barn the Spoon.

In Hackney, stop by the Fount London Christmas market for food, ceramics, prints and homewares, or check out a jewellery talk with Tatty Devine at their Brick Lane shop.

Don’t live in the East End and no plans to visit there? Just go to Small Business Saturday’s Small Business Finder. By putting in your postcode, you’ll find a map with loads of local shops located conveniently near you.

We all love the unique character independent shops bring to our neighbourhoods, but there are many other reasons to spend your money with local traders—from getting better service to boosting the local economy to helping to build your community.

For more information, visit the websites of East End Independents’ Day or Small Business Saturday.

Elisa Freeling
Author

Elisa moved to London a decade ago from San Francisco, where, in pre-children days, she was the managing editor at Sierra magazine. She lived in Brook Green, Notting Hill and Chiswick before settling in Northfields, where she lives with her book-loving daughter, architecture-loving son, and thickly moustachioed husband.

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