There’s no doubt that the pandemic has been devastating for so many people. But in times of adversity, we have to try and focus on the positives. We have had to slow down and learn how to be patient again, waiting in hope for the situation to improve. I personally have learned to look for small things every day that I am grateful for and to deeply appreciate them. Many small businesses have been forced to close, and for those that are able to stay open, it has not been an easy ride. The result however has been new-found support for small businesses around the nation – helping them to thrive and stay afloat. 

The small business happy dance

Small businesses are generally thought to be the backbone of a healthy economy. By spending money at a privately owned local store, or online store, that money directly helps the people who own the business and when an order comes in, we small business owners genuinely do a happy dance! So many small businesses have had to pivot quickly, change their tactics and adapt which is pretty admirable. Giving up for many is not an option, we just need to find a new way through. I wanted to highlight some amazing small businesses and individuals that have brought me joy over the past year. 

Harriet’s of Hove 

Harriets has a special place in my heart, as it was the first ever zero waste shop to stock my plantable cards. Plant-based and plastic-free, it’s the home to all manner of sustainable goodies. Harriet’s of Hove had been up and running for over a year and a half when the pandemic hit and turned their small business as they knew it upside down. But they pivoted, they remained open with new measures in place and recently set up an online shop to continue to serve the local community. They are an absolute small business gem.

Barnaby Edgley 

Barnaby is my partner and also happens to be a very talented photographer. Given we weren’t able to leave Brighton for the majority of last year and this year, he has needed to be rather inventive to seek out new and interesting perspectives. His light painting shots are like nothing I had ever come across before, as he uses long exposure to create ethereal and unique scenes. We are also very fortunate to witness Murmurations in Brighton, which locals will be very familiar with and he recently captured their sunset dance in the form of a heart! What a moment to get on film. I’ve been very lucky to get creative alongside him over the last year. Check out his work here. 


Elena and Fiona have run Charleston courses and lessons for the last few years and they have built an amazing community of people who love dancing and all things 1920s. With all the classes usually being held in person, this created a huge problem for them and they had to adapt and put all their courses online when the pandemic hit. Despite taking part from their living rooms, these weekly dance classes were a life-line for a lot of people. Elena held free morning stretching sessions for her community as well as themed Friday Night Lockdown dance parties to spread more joy during the week. They have diversified into street jazz, solo jazz and musicals. I took part in one of the street jazz courses last year and laughed so much…mostly because I realised I have two left feet, but it’s the taking part that counts!


Myshrooms is a fellow zero waste small business that I came across a few years ago. I met the founder, Ayelen at a Zero Waste Christmas Market in 2019 and loved her whole ethos; healthy and delicious snacks packed with medicinal mushrooms. By incorporating mushrooms into the recipes, we’re able to improve and maintain good health. Egyptians, Shamans, and Chinese Emperors used medicinal mushrooms in ancient times, to consume their healing properties. Ayelen started doing deliveries in London at the start of Lockdown and I sent a few friends some boxes of their brownies to bring them some joy. Ayelen has all sorts of sweet treats available for delivery in London so check them out for a treat to yourself or to send to friends. 

Rat Betty 

Millie Hand is the designer behind Rat Betty, an independent jewellery brand from Brighton. She designs and makes all the pieces herself and they are all made from 100% certified recycled silver and Fair Trade Gold and uses all recycled packaging too. She’s created such head-turning designs and statement pieces. I’ve loved following Rat Betty and seeing what she comes up with next. 

Making dreams come true

Running a small business myself, I understand and appreciate the rollercoaster ride that every small business owner experiences. Your day can start extremely well but can quickly transcend into something very different by the afternoon, or vice versa. One day I received a stockist inquiry from Selfridges in the morning and then 5,000 plantable cards arrived at the wrong address by 2 pm in the afternoon. Check out our latest range of art prints here. It’s hard work, and for many people, it’s a labour of love and is a result of them not wanting to give up their passion. By purchasing something from a small business, you are literally supporting someone’s dream. We can’t do much at the moment, but knowing we can help support people in those small ways is a wonderful thing.