‘Buy local to help your community thrive’
- Credit: Doghead Designs
A small business owner in Clevedon who threw open the doors to his studio in the midst of a pandemic is encouraging people to continue to shop local to help their communities thrive.
Tristan Merriam of Doghead Designs at Clevedon Craft Centre specialises in upcycling antique furniture and launched his business venture working from home in September 2019.
The former Tickenham Primary School headteacher opened his studio at the craft centre a year after launching his business, which sells vintage products ranging from one-of-a-kind chairs, chests of draws, cabinets and more.
Tristen said: “Working from home came as a shock and I needed a studio to call my own. I explored lots of options, and I had driven past the craft centre every day for nine years and decided it was the perfect place to start up shop.
“Lockdown has not been ideal, we opened in September and traded into October, which was fantastic. Then lockdown came in November and I was self-isolating, which means I lost the whole of that month’s trade.
“More than ever this year, the importance of supporting local is paramount. So many people have come into my studio to support local this year for Christmas and the pandemic has sparked a positive national trend that’s taken off.”
Clevedon Craft Centre is a hub of contemporary art, craft and design which comprises small, impendent traders selling handmade products and Tristen says he and the other businesses are doing ‘everything they can’ to stay connected to the community.
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He added: “Most people want to come in the studio and see the quality of our products, especially handmade and the level of detail and craftsmanship which goes into them.
“At the moment, I take each day as it comes. Doghead Designs has grown to a level that I wasn't really expecting and, if anything, I’m more inspired now to do whatever it takes to make the business successful.
“When someone buys something in a local shop, or sharing an independent's post on social media, they are supporting local and networking that business to the community.
“People love to love where they live and by buying local they are helping that community thrive.”