Most of us want to buy local these days, but the challenge we face is how. How do you buy locally when time is against most of us, and when we don’t want to drive long distances between our favourite shops and brands? The petrol consumption alone slightly defeats the purpose of trying to live more sustainably and locally.
But one of the things I have learnt over the course of the last couple of years is that Sussex has some amazing artisans and producers and we really have to do all that we can to support them. They’re part of what makes Sussex great. So I was more than delighted to come across Resident Artisan, the brainchild of Eastbourne couple Lydia and Matt, with the simple aim of making buying from small local businesses and artisans easier. And this is done by bringing together some of the county’s best artisans in an online community and store – a place where it’s easy to find local brands and which shines a spotlight on the individual stories.
Wondering what inspired this simple but important idea, I caught up with Lydia, who explained, “We moved to Sussex two years ago, and although we love all the local produce, buying our favourite brands just wasn’t that easy as they were spread all over Sussex. With a background in digital marketing and e-commerce, I thought we could use our skills to help local producers, and, so as they say, the idea was born.”
A quick look at their website shows a stellar line-up. Some of these are familiar faces and brands I know and love already. Hello Harley House Distillery, and Noble and Stace Chocolatiers. But some are new to me and I can already feel myself falling for them. I’m a sucker for an artisan after all.
The artisans seem pretty happy too. Artist, Gill Bustamante, explains, “My artwork is inspired by the landscapes and wildlife seen in Sussex and so it was exciting for me to realise there was a uniquely Sussex-based market I could promote with. I also enjoy seeing the artwork of fellow artists and artisans lucky enough to live in this beautiful area.”
And Julia Gash, Founder of Julia Gash Enterprises Ltd, said, “To belong to a local community of fellow creatives is hugely significant for many artists and artisans, many of whom work in isolation. Resident Artisan brings together a curated portfolio of talented individuals, offering them not only a fantastic commercial opportunity for their work, but also a sense of connection with other creatives.”
For my part, this presents me with a challenge. So many of my favourite brands in one place. Such temptation. How will I ever resist?
You can find out more here: Resident Artisan
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