Two innovative, independent retailers from the heart of Brighton were featured in the 25 shortlisted finalists of the Best Small Shops competition 2018. Kellie Miller Arts and Whirligig Toys stood out from the 600 entries with unique stories of their own and ascended upon the Houses Parliament on November 13th to receive their certificates.
“In this year’s Best Small Shops competition, we have been able to celebrate the diversity, choice and quality of specialist independent retailers around the country and the contribution that they make to their local communities,” explains Mark Walmsley, Chairman of the Independent Retailers Confederation.
“We hope that in the run-up to Christmas it helps shine a light on some of the gems of our high streets and town centres and encourage more people to explore the independents in their areas.”
Ruth George MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Small Shops, told those attending that she was delighted to “celebrate the creativity you bring to your businesses and the contribution you make to your communities. Strong independent retailers bring people into town centres.”
Kellie Miller Arts Gallery is an artist owned gallery situated in the historical heart of the Brighton Lanes, housing local, national and international art work. Kellie’s passion lies within sculptures, textured paintings, mixed media and ceramics and by marrying the different art forms presenting art that is engaging and enjoyable. Kellie gained her degree in a mixed media arts’ course in 1994 and her MA in Arts Criticism in 2001. Kellie’s story is unique and inspiring, having established Biscuit Studio, an artist workspace, in 1996. She is a founding member of Hove Arts, the winner of the Brighton and Hove Business Awards in 2018 and has work displayed in Museums around the world including Taiwan, Japan and the UK.
Whirligig Toys has taken children’s toys to another level specialising in creative toys that get children involved. Whirligig Toys started out in Brighton just 6 years ago, and has since grown across the South East and sells toys worldwide. Founder Peter Allinson was a primary school teacher with a passion and drive for crafting and building and finding that most toy shops only catered for children under the age of 5 Peter created Whirligig – a toyshop with creative toys for children of all ages who love to make things and get involved. The name Whirligig came about from Brighton in the 1970s. Peter and his dad always called the Brighton Sputnik that lived on the seafront between the piers the Whirligig.
The Best Small Shops competition, managed by indieretail.uk sponsored by booost, the brand new loyalty, gift and promotions app for independent retailers and their customers, celebrates the commitment and creativity of independent retailers on the UK’s High Streets and the central role they play in their local communities. The winner of the competition was announced at an event at the Houses of Parliament on November 13th.
The winner of the competition was The Mainstreet Trading Company a specialist Bookshop & Café in St Boswells.
You can read more and view images of the Best Small Shops competition 2018 reception here.
All independent retailers can add their shops to the Indie retail website for free showing customers who they are, where they are and what they do… online promotion for ALL consumer facing indie businesses.
Or to find out more about our two fabulous finalists follow the links below: