Sheffield has long been known for its independent business, most famously with Forgemasters (still the only independent steel works in the world), Hendersons Relish and Pollards – but also for its quirky little shops all over the city.
However, on Ecclesall Road alone, one of the most popular boutique shop areas, there are now four of the largest supermarket names present, with a fifth planned in the new year.
Statistics from the New Economic Foundations show that every £1 spent with local suppliers is worth £1.76 to the local economy in comparison to 36p when spent in a chain store. This, along with a number of other factors, including rising rental rates and parking restrictions, has led owner of Squirts Designer Childrenswear shop, Helen Connelly, to spring into action – by creating ‘Independents Day’.
“I wanted to organise a really fun and positive event to remind people that S11 continues to provide a vibrant, unique shopping experience,” said Helen. “I also wanted to do something to raise money for The Cavendish Centre and for Cash 4 Kids and this event should do both.”
“I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer 11 years ago. In 2009, I felt like my world came crashing down, when I suffered a reoccurrence. The people at the Cavendish centre were so supportive. I feel incredibly fortunate to live in Sheffield where I have received the very best of medical care and support throughout my cancer journey and this event is my way of giving something back.”
On the night, 150 ladies will be treated to a champagne reception, followed by catwalk presentations from a selection of the top independent businesses in Sheffield -including high-end ladies fashion and jewellery from Sister, Ivory, Charlie and Kuji, children’s designerwear by Squirts, hair demonstrations by House of W and a master class in flower arranging from Flora. Not forgetting the interval where a selection of irresistible canapés will be served.
There’ll also be a raffle with unique prizes from independent shops, restaurants and boutiques from the S11 area and a free booklet filled with exclusive Sheffield offers.
Tickets are just £12 available to buy from Squirts (812 Ecclesall Road), Choola (778-780 Ecclesall Road), Sister (409 Ecclesall Road) and Ivory (374 Sharrowvale Road), alternatively call event co-ordinator, Laura, on 0114 2676766.
Updates on the fashion show are available here.