A friend told me something that really riled me the other day, I’ll try not to rant, but feel it needs saying. A woman came into her store and started looking round – she picked up a beautiful little antique children’s chair, that had been lovingly restored and painted using heritage paints – it cost £45 – reasonably priced for a piece with so much character and had so much time, effort and love poured into it. Sadly the woman who looked at this piece of British history asked for the price, she was told and then she felt the need to broadcast her disgust by saying “Well!! With prices like these, no wonder there are hardly any customers!!” – her comment was and is unfounded, they have lots of customers because the shop is full of beautiful British made vintage and retro furniture.
It makes me sad that this is quite a common reaction towards quality, British made products – the prices are usually higher as are customer service and quality, but these prices cannot compete with the mass-produced product shipped in from China or Hong Kong, and so the consumer expects super cheap prices all the time. It’s ingrained that we must buy more at knocked down prices.
Surely it’s time to change this habit, start saving money by investing in high quality, British made products, buy less and create a future antique that generations to come will enjoy. Emma Bridgewater and Original BTC Lighting have both saved factories in Stoke on Trent by investing in British Manufacturing, saving jobs and using a town with a heritage steeped in pottery history – it’s madness that most of Stoke’s great pottery brands now make most of their products abroad!!
I think there are some fantastic British brands, we’re very lucky to have them and they need our support to keep them going – too many amazing brands have disappeared and we have to cherish and support the ones we still have. I really hope Mary Portas is successful in her quest to bring back British Manufacturing and make us all aware of how essential it really is to our communities.