Black Friday, Just A Card & Indie Week.

by Susan Green November 27, 2019

Black Friday, IndieWeek and supporting local independent businesses

What's Black Friday good for, anyway?

I was shocked (but shouldn't have been surprised) to learn that only 1 in 20 Black Friday deals offer a genuine discount, according to a recent Which? report.

95% of the Black Friday deal items we investigated - which included popular tech, home and personal care products - were available for the same price or cheaper in the six months after...

And, while you might expect some products to fall in price over time, we also found that 61% of the items had also been the same price or cheaper in the six months before Black Friday.

In fact, just four of the 83 products we tracked were at their very cheapest price on Black Friday. 

That would be reason enough to raise a skeptical eyebrow at the onslaught of Black Friday deals, discounts, promotions and marketing strategies.

Black Friday deals at any cost?

The other reason is more existential. Ethical, even. Hell, environmental. If there's something we need, we've researched prices and we know we can get a useful discount, well, that's great. But aren't we weary of the constant persuasion to own (and store, and organise, and clean) more stuff? Will that discount truly satisfy our needs and wants and support us in living a life we value?

And does that discounted product support other people in living a life where their needs are met? Who made it, what were they paid to make it? What of the earth was spent in order to make it? At what cost? And what happens when we're done with it?

Create the world you want to live in.

I believe we must - and we have the power to - actively create the kind of world we want to live in. How we spend our money is where a large part of our power lies. 

I want a world full of diversity, of originality, of well-made items bought from a person with a name and a face, a dream, a family and a business that I can support.

I want towns with small independent businesses and a network of mutually supportive creatives.

I want to be valued for what I do as a maker. I want to earn a living that fairly remunerates the value of my skills, expertise and time, not to mention the cost and value of the materials I use to make my books.

Just A Card Indie Week
#IndieWeek & Small Business Saturday

So, at any time of year, but especially around the run up to Christmas and the Black Friday discounting period, if you have money to spend, shop local, shop independent, support small businesses, choose handmade and sustainable wherever possible. 

Small Business Saturday falls on the 7th December this year (it takes place on the first Saturday in December) and their website can help you find small businesses to support in your area. 

'Just A Card'

A small purchase makes all the difference. That's the premise of the Just A Card campaign created by Sarah Hamilton, and JAC's #IndieWeek. Spending a relatively small amount - say £5, £10 or £15 - makes a difference to your local community.

When you buy 'just a card' from a gallery, a bookshop, a lifestyle store or similar, you help it stay open. That doesn't just mean there's a nice place to browse and buy a vase, or that the owner has a place to work, or that the makers and artists and writers might earn enough to pay their bills that month.

Build communities.

Shopping independent also means that your town is a nicer place to live. It means your high street has one less Costa (other coffee chains are available), one less charity shop (we all love a Chazza Challenge, but how many charity shops does one town need?), one less boarded-up, sad little eyesore representing downturn, lost opportunities and absence.

And even more than that, shopping indie means you voted with your pennies and pounds for originality, diversity, genuine human connection and perhaps a little wonder, too. 

Choosing to spend your money with a local business helps to build sustainable, thriving, financially viable communities. When you make a purchase from a local business, around 68% of that money stays in the community. This compares to 43% when you shop at a national chain (Independent We Stand, USA statistics likely to be similar in the UK and similar countries). 

Support without shopping.

If you don't have money to spend, I hear you! Let's face it, very few creatives are rolling in it. But we can still make an invaluable contribution to creating the world we want to live in by supporting indie, local, handmade and sustainable makers and small businesses in other ways.  

If you've bought an item from an indie business in the past, take two minutes to write a glowing review on their Google page (search for their business then click 'write a review' on the right hand of the page). You can write a review for my business here, for example. You could share a picture of that lovely thing you've enjoyed using or wearing for years, too!

If you haven't bought anything from them at all, you can be of enormous support by simply telling all your friends, family, colleagues, neighbours and dogs (not really) about their work. Like and comment on their social media posts (it helps them get seen) and then share their posts to your own accounts.

Recommended Independent Makers, Artists & Shops

That's exactly what I'm doing. Take a look at my recommendations below; I hope you'll visit their websites and find some wonderful Christmas gifts. All these independents offer delivery by post and I can vouch for a lot of them as I have given many of their beautifully made items as gifts over the years (marked with an asterisk). 

I should say that my Ready to Ship collection is also a good place to buy a Christmas gift! I run a genuine sale once a year in January, which is often how my longstanding customers are able to continue shopping with me year on year. If you sign up to my newsletter you'll be the first to hear about it. I also offer 'seconds' for sale where appropriate.

I am truly grateful for everyone's decision to shop with me. And thank you for reading this blog post. Scroll down to sort out your Christmas shopping and help create the kind of world you can love.


+44 (0)7748 759371

Image credits:
Sale by Dan Burton on Unsplash

IndieWeek from JustACard

Recommended independent makers, artists and shops:
Muka Studio UK* jewellery
Caaria* Scandinavian linen clothing
Chloe Breen printing with nature
The Botanical Candle Co* incredible candles, often in vintage containers
The Hambledon Gallery* Dorset's original lifestyle shop 
Jules Hogan knitwear
Daisy Lullaby contemporary hoop embroidery
Quintessence France* women's linen clothing
The Mending Space poetry, visible mending, textiles
Striped Pear Studio notecards, prints & books
Esther Connon detailed illustrations of nature, cards & prints
Newtown In The Wood cards & prints
Planked Dorset wooden homewares
Shaston Boxes* Shaker boxes plus workshops

Debby Kirby* woven silk items

And a few of my favourite local independent bricks and mortar shops:
Wimborne Minster
Gullivers Books (not just books, also cards & stationery) 
Walford Mill Crafts, the home to local printmakers, jewellers, artists, embroiders, weavers who all sell their work, plus many creative workshops for adults and children. 
Spill the Beans (organic food, eco-friendly toiletries)
Square Records (plus books & band t-shirts)
Dean's Court (lifestyle, clothing & a cafe)

Toad Hall  (vintage clothing & furniture)

Blandford Forum
The Hambledon Gallery (see link above)
Papyrus (clothing, cards gifts)
David Reale jeweller
The Dorset Bookshop
Box Vintage & Modern (furniture)

Susan Green
Susan Green


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Size Guide

Use this Size Guide to check the dimensions of the books you're considering purchasing (dimensions are external and refer to the closed book unless otherwise indicated). If you'd like some guidance with selecting the correct size, feel free to contact Susan the bookbinder: email or call +44 (0)7748 759371

Leather Memory Books, Wedding Guest Books, Journals and Sketchbooks
A4 Large Portrait 12 inches or 305 mm 8.5 inches or 215 mm 1.5 inches or 38 mm
A4 Large Landscape 8.5 inches or 215 mm 12 inches or 305 mm 1.5 inches or 38 mm
A5 Medium Landscape 6 inches or 155 mm 8.5 inches or 215 mm 1.5 inches or 38 mm
A5 Medium Portrait 8.5 inches or 215 mm 6 inches or 155 mm 1.5 inches or 35 mm
A6 Small Landscape 4.5 inches or 114 mm 6 inches or 155 mm 1 inch or 25 mm
A6 Small Portrait 6 inches or 155 mm 4.5 inches or 114 mm 1 inch or 25 mm


Miniature Journals
 One Size 3 inches or 76 mm 2.25 inches or 60 mm 20 mm or 0.75 inches


Marbled Notebooks
 A4 Large 297 mm or 11.5 inches approx. 205 mm or 8 inches approx. 64 pages
A5 Medium 210 mm or 8.25 inches approx. 145 mm or 5.75 inches approx. 56 pages
A6 Small  150 mm or 6 inches approx. 100 mm or 4 inches approx. 48 pages
A7 Pocket 106 mm or 4.25 inches approx. 72 mm or 2.75 inches approx. 40 pages