We spoke to Louise, founder of And So To Shop, for our Thursday Live last week! Today we’re getting to know And So To Shop better, talking all about their values, aspirations and what’s coming up next. We’re collaborating with And So To Shop for our next Online Market on 27th June, so we hope we’ll see you there!
Nicki at Pedddle: Tell us a little bit more about who you are…
Louise from And So To Shop: And So To Shop is similar to Etsy but much smaller; they are UK based and all of their partners (some of which are our stallholders) are UK based too. They drive traffic to their partner’s shops and offer forums full of resources to help you run a small business, be part of a community and communicate and idea-share with other stallholders.
Nicki: What are your passions, and your vision for your business?
Louise says: Our ultimate vision is to challenge everybody, and get everybody to shop much more mindfully!
Rather than habitually shopping & shopping mindlessly, shop purposefully – find out how the products are made, where they are made, where materials are sourced and where your money is actually going.
Big businesses often don’t even pay tax in our country or pay their staff fairly, so it’s important to keep money within the local community and make the economy strong, with businesses that pay their employees fairly – especially in these uncertain and economically turbulent times.
Environment & sustainability is also vital – shopping small reduces carbon footprint too.
Working together causes ripple effect nationally, and shopping small does real good.
Our long term goal is to make a real difference – by shopping small initially, it causes a big impact on the future outcome.
Nicki says: At Pedddle we share similar values – we also welcome shopping small, and know that together our impact is much stronger, both for the environment, the British economy and the creative community.
It was recently World Ocean’s Day. Many of our stallholders sell eco-friendly products, such as these fabulous tote bags from the aptly named Whale Tail Art.
Nicki: What are the 3 things you love most about running your business?
Louise: It really does vary day to day, depending on what I’m doing that day!
My all-time favourite thing is getting to work with the people that I do – it’s so inspirational working with creative people, because it’s so contagious!
All of our partners, new and old, as passionate about what they do, super creative and talented, so even when I’m having a bad day, I can just look at all of the new products our partners have coming up and I’m always cheered up.
I’m incredibly lucky to work with such amazing people, and that really is my number one thing.
I also love when our customers get in touch and have found a hard-to-find or totally unique piece. I love providing a platform for people to find things, and to be able to put a smile on people’s faces.
I also really love learning. From running a business and working with everyone we do, there’s no day that’s ever the same. Each day has new challenges and I love constantly learning.
Nicki: Customers often reach out to makers and make requests for commissions, which is so lovely. We all bounce off each other all the time, and that’s lovely.
What are your values, and the guiding principles of what you do?
Louise: Ultimately, we always come back to that core principle of trying to do some good.
Every decision that we make, even things that don’t seem to be related to business values (such as the branding you use on an email) always relate back to our core value of doing good and bringing happiness. Whether that’s in terms on the environment, mental health and wellbeing, or helping small businesses to grow, every single decision relates back to creating good, even if it’s just small.
We look at everything from a small business perspective, and we all own small businesses ourselves, so we know how to relate and what will really benefit small businesses and raise awareness for them.
Nicki: Many small businesses are constantly looking for a platform that echoes their values too, so values are really important. Asking ‘does it do good’ is lovely.
You’ve currently got applications open for small creative businesses, could you tell us more?
Louise: We open for applications 3 times a year; usually January, the month of May (we’ve extended this to June because of lockdown) and September (in readiness for Christmas), so you’ve got until the end of June to apply to work with us.
You can pay either monthly, which is £10 a month, or a one-off joining fee of £75, and then we charge 12% commission on your sales. Other platforms charge commission for shipping, making listings and so on, but we only charge commission on the sales you make. Again, this is something we’ve considered as small business owners.
Look out for the And So To Shop Online Market on Saturday 27th June, 10am ‘til 10pm!
Watch the full interview on our Instagram IGTV! below (@pedddleuk) – and give us a cheeky follow too if you want!