Many of you know the main reason Heart Gallery was born but if this is something you missed you can read the blog post about me and my leap of faith here.
I can’t pretend it has all been plain sailing as there have been a few curve balls thrown my way over the years but I still feel so blessed and so excited when I turn the key in that big black door!
Buying handmade or handcrafted I feel, teaches you a lot of things … a lot of different things. Buying British is also really important in making a difference and my journey to educate others and change how people shop began over 10 years ago and I’ve never looked back.
These are the changes I have seen in Hebden Bridge, and in other places I visit regularly, and I hope that if you are reading this you can proudly say you have ticked some of these yourself as conscious efforts on your part to shop wisely.
- People don’t instinctively jump in their car and drive to a big concrete jungle any more to buy something that has been mass produced and made somewhere other than Great Britain. Yes, I know this still happens don’t get me wrong, but I do feel that lots more of you think twice before doing this these days and that makes my heart sing.
- More and more people are choosing to shop locally where possible and supporting those small businesses on their own doorstep or in a neighbouring town or village. A thriving local community makes a town a better place to live and shop and spending with a small independent keeps that cash circulating. I personally visit as many local shops for my provisions as I can; I love the interaction with both those that work there and those that shop there. Leading up to Christmas I manage to buy nearly all my presents in Hebden Bridge…the few that I have to buy elsewhere are generally for my lovely but very fussy Dad who always gives me his list of ‘things he doesn’t want’!
- People are increasingly thinking about what they are buying; they are making that informed purchase knowing that they are spending their pennies and pounds on a quality piece. This may cost them more initially but they are buying something that will last. I don’t want to live in a throw away society of short-lived disposable items.
- People are also increasingly thinking about who they are buying from and carefully considering where they shop. I see so many more customers returning time and time again to Heart Gallery which shows that they really understand and trust who they are buying from; don’t forget small independents have a great story to tell.
- Quality lasts! More and more of my customers save their money and wait until they can buy what they really want rather than impatiently impulse buying a cheaper version somewhere and settling for second or third best. They quite often put a deposit down on something and come back to pay the balance when they can. Seeing the joy on their face when they can take their purchase home is priceless.
Great lessons to live by and by doing so you are rewarded with a quality, unique, handmade item that will last you a lifetime. Whether this is something for you to wear, something for your home to enjoy or a gift for another your purchase matters to you, to the small shop you bought it from and to those artists/makers who designed it, made it, painted it, sculpted it, weaved it, soldered it, polished it, fired it, glazed it, framed it ….. I think you get the picture!
Heart Gallery has a lovely presence on the web; we have a website, a blog and you can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest too. Our website doesn’t have a selling section though! Many of you might find that odd and I did too (for over 7 years) but I finally made the decision this last New Year not to go down that route. Why you may ask? Every year that has flown by since I opened Heart Gallery in 2006 I have put on my January list SORT OUT WEBSITE and every following January I have beaten myself up that I have not got round to doing it! This January, I had that light bulb moment and didn’t have to beat myself up for once.
The reason? Simple really, I don’t buy online unless it’s something practical such as a water filter for the fridge that I simply cannot get to the shops to buy. I certainly wouldn’t buy art, jewellery or craft on line preferring to shop the way I have always loved, in person. The whole experience of shopping is wonderful, it makes me happy. I like to touch it, smell it, feel it, try it on, taste it … whatever it is I am buying it always appeals to one or more of my senses and that makes me so happy.
I know my customers are happy too when they visit Heart Gallery with many of them spending a long time mooching round and indulging their senses by seeing, feeling, smelling, trying on etc so why not continue with this marvelous way of shopping and stop trying to change.
So I’m not changing, I’m not adding a shopping section to the website for all the reasons mentioned above and for another very simple reason, I don’t need to. I don’t need to do any more than I am doing already, I love things just the way they are at Heart Gallery. I have cried tears of joy and tears of sadness with so many of my customers over the years and you can’t find that online now can you?
Heart Gallery is open 7 days a week and if you really cannot get to enjoy the experience of a visit don’t worry we can facilitate payments over the phone and guarantee that we will post out your purchase with love x