How You Can Help Your Friends With Small Businesses

You know I’m passionate about supporting small and/or local businesses in as many categories as I can manage. It’s not easy when there’s so much choice and the easy option is to hit the high street or the big internet companies and pick the cheapest or most convenient choice at any moment 24/7. Since the start of having our purchases and service choices influenced by social media and the internet, the dynamic has changed extremely quickly and is still changing now. Once upon a time it was simple to start a new business, pop it online and share it among your network and you’d probably make ends meet, it’s still easy to set up a new business but to have it successfully continue to pay your bills is a bit more challenging in a modern day, social media driven world. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for small business to stand out from the crowd, the ones with the biggest marketing budgets continue to win and the small ones are struggling to keep up. Changes in the economy and politics alongside all this add other pressures to the mix and is causing many small businesses to have to close down or find a chunk of money from somewhere to keep things going.

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Artwork by me. More on Instagram @JayneKitsch

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#IndieLove: 17 Small Brands to Support this #IndieFriday

Did you hear? It’s Black Friday this week, a sale day that we stole off the Americans and is kinda having a wobble this year. Whatever you think of sales, I wanted to pull together another alternative list in support of indie business instead of the big high street chains that really don’t need your money. When you shop with a small or indie creator or maker, you’re making it easier for them to continue with their dreams and therefore you’re supporting creativity and art as an industry.

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Artwork by me, please credit @JayneKitsch on social media or link to my site if you re-post it. Thank you. 

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#IndieLove: 10 Pokemon Themed Handmade & Indie Gift Ideas

Time for another geeky gift guide from the wonderful indie designers and makers of Etsy. This time it’s a blast of 90s nostalgia packed full of cuteness that still captures our hearts today, Pokemon!

As one to never follow trends, I was the only one at school that didn’t buy into Pokemon cards at the peak of their UK based popularity. Being the odd one out, I claimed to love Digimon more and put myself in the socially awkward position of having no one to swap cards or play with, classic me. Anyway, I helped my sister swap her cards a few times and definitely spent a lot of time watching Pokemon cartoons as a kid. Anyway, if you’ve got some Pokemon loving lovelies in your life that you need to shop for or just fancy catching a cute treat for yourself, read on to find out where to find my edit of Etsy Pokemon pretties.

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#IndieLove: 8 Stunning Spirited Away Fan Art Creations on Etsy

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I’ve always been a fan of animation and the types of stories generally told via cartoons. I collected manga when I was at school, favouring kawaii creations like Chobits and Fruit Baskets. Whilst my mother collected horror manga and nasty Asian revenge films (you know the types!) and Neil Gaiman graphic novels. I dipped into anime via the Animatrix and Yoshitako Amano’s artwork for Vampire Hunter D, but it wasn’t until Spirited Away was first released in cinemas that I discovered Studio Ghibli. I’ll no doubt do these lists for the other films from this legendary Japanese animation studio, but I thought considering my back story this was a good place to start.

Here are my picks of some of my favourite Spirited Away fan art items that you can buy on Etsy. Remember, when you shop with an indie maker or creator, you’re helping dreams come true rather than funding a massive corporation that wouldn’t even notice if you stopped buying from them. Right now is probably the worst time to be a creative business it is hard to survive, so if you value art, music, fashion or anything else that requires artists or creator to function (so nearly everything) consider shopping with independent businesses or directly with local (or international) artisans instead next time you shop.

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#IndieLove: 9 Overwatch Inspired Gaming Gifts

I’d like to write more often about gaming, although I’m far from an expert. What I do know is that I find video games an awesome form of relaxation and a well needed distraction from reality from time to time. I’m not a hardcore gaming, but I definitely enjoy a gaming break over a Netflix break on a regular basis. Having to switch off from everything else, focusing on the hand eye coordination and the puzzle solving skills you need to play can often be far more rewarding that a combo of scrolling Twitter and watching something mediocre in the background. Don’t diss it until you’ve tried it, gaming geeks get a bad rap. The game I’ve logged the most hours on so far this year is Overwatch, mainly playing as Torbjörn or D.va. So in the spirit of this post series, I’ve scoured Etsy for some awesome merch that you might dig.

Mini Tracer Amigurumi by GeekGurumis £19, Tracer Art Nouveau Style T-Shirt by SuperCuteAwesomeStuff £17, Overwatch Movie Theatre Posters by BabbittsBoutique £20, Overwatch Pachimari Arcade Motift T-Shirt by 8BitJapan £12, Bastion Head Plant Pot by Cyber9Design from £19.87, Mei Cosplay Slippers by LisaTinyWorkshop £37, D.va Bunny Earrings by LootCaveCo £7.80,

On another note, if you’re looking to do an Overwatch cosplay there’s some flipping brilliant costumes and accessories for sale on Etsy which if you didn’t know already is a treasure trove for cosplayers. Let me know what you think of these posts, if you buy something via one of my links, I earn commission (from Etsy not the small biz) and it helps me pay my bills, allowing me to continue to create various stuff for myself and others.

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