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Welcome to ASTW - the place for bespoke brides looking for unique handmade items, ideas & inspiration

Help Us Grow!

Help Us Grow!

Good morning you lovely people. Today we're sharing something super exciting with you. We have just launched our Crowdfunder page and would love for you to get involved. We're offering amazing treats to everyone who contributes. You can be part of the action from as little as £5, so what are you waiting for? See what it's all about here.

What are we trying to achieve?

Our aim is to give small British indie business owners the confidence, resources and tools they need to compete with the big boys. We are a country of amazingly talented and creative people, let's celebrate that! Alongside this, we want to educate the public about the benefits of shopping independent and bring back the love for small indie businesses.

Help us get the indie message out there and spread the love for small British independent businesses!

What makes our project great?

We bring together independent business owners in a supportive online community and give them the belief and tools they need to succeed. There has been a huge growth in people choosing to set up their own business in recent years,  increasing by 23% since 2010 to over 5.5 million, according to government data.  We love that there are so many go-getters out there in the UK right now. But it is a difficult world that they are entering. Building a business is not easy, especially on your own. Many entrepreneurs are not business experts, they don't know the in's and out's of how to run a successful business. Like most difficult things, it takes time, support, confidence, learning and a bit of luck. In the beginning it can often lead to new business owners feeling frustrated, isolated and anxious. We want to change that, supporting these go-getters throughout their journey to make a success of their dream. 

Who are we and what’s our experience?

We're a tribe of busy women who love supporting British indie businesses in every way we can. We love and value the people we work with and want to shout about how wonderful they are.

The #ShopIndie project started three years ago when a trio of 'L's: Louise, Laura and Ellie got together and decided to change the world. A group of dreamers and doers, we joined forces when Louise, owner of her own indie card shop, decided there was a need for some sort of community to bring together indie business owners in the UK. She wanted to create a hub where creatives could be supported as well as showcase their wares. 

Enter Ellie, fabulously creative individual and writer extraordinaire who came on board as Editor for the first project; the And so to Wed blog featuring British indie wedding suppliers.  Our aim was to inspire wedding couples to shop indie for their wedding, ditching big business and supporting small instead. This has become a huge success. We now have a readership of over 32,000 people a month and a very loyal band of lovely social media followers. 

The final piece to our trio is the lovely Laura. Admin super girl and social media expert, she loves a spreadsheet and anything pretty. She keeps us all moving forward in the right direction and doing the right things. 

After three years of hard work, no sleep and meeting so many amazing people, our team has now grown to include fantastic writers, contributors, social media experts and desginers as well as hundreds of fabulously talented and creative indie suppliers with whom we work. We have recently launched And so to Shop, the final piece in our mission to spread support for indie businesses across the UK. It is a marketplace style platform in which indie suppliers can list their services and items (most of which are handmade or have a bespoke element to them). Providing shoppers with a way of getting unique items and services, whilst doing some good by supporting small British businesses, helping them to grow and thrive. 

How is your investment being spent?

We have put a huge amount of our own time, effort and money to get to this point. We now have a great base of indie suppliers as well as a lovely loyal following of fans. What we now need to do is spread the word and get everyone excited about shopping indie. We want to take our #shopindie ethos across the UK and get everyone doing some happy shopping. 

  • Key to this is our marketing strategy. We propose to spend around £1,600 of the money raised on marketing via Facebook ads and other media outlets to spread the #shopindie message. 
  • Treats! As you've hopefully gathered, we love and value everyone we work with, both suppliers and shoppers. To let them know just how much they are valued we send them little treats in the post every now and again. From cute inspirational mugs to hold the fuel Britain (tea) to hygge in a box, our treats our unique to us and all handmade by our indie suppliers. This means we're putting our investment of around £900 back into the heart of our business whilst making people smile. 
  • Community. We currently have an online community of nearly 800 people, all of whom run their own indie business. We'd really love to use £500 to start with, to arrange some local meet ups so that our suppliers can benefit from all the goodness that comes with meeting inspirational people face to face. We're not a stuffy bunch so don't think that we're planning the typical networking event with name tags, beige chairs in a motorway hotel with a hideous carpet. No, we want to make it as special and as unique as every one of our suppliers. Think colour, think friendliness, think positivity and think community. Joy and love will be at the very heart of our meets.

What impact will your money have? 

It will allow us to shout about and support more small independent businesses across the UK. In contributing you are supporting the mum who is trying to grow a business to allow her to spend time with her kids, you are supporting the dreamer who has had enough of working in a soulless job and wants to do something special, you are supporting the talent and creativity that every one of our suppliers has in abundance and you are supporting the lovely wonderful people who are striving to do more. 

And in return...

We love that you're choosing to support our mission and want to give something back. As you know we love an indie treat and so have chosen some of our favourites just for you!

  • For £5.00 grow your own, lovely reminder of how you helped to grow our business. We'll send you your very own seasonal pack of seeds. (Either grow your own Christmas tree or grow your own wildflowers).
  • For £5.00 you can stock up on cheeky and cute handmade cards, we'll send you 2!
  • For £8.00 we'll send you a perfectly pretty A5 inspirational print.
  • For £8.00 you can get your hands on an inspirational coaster to pretty up your desk.
  • For £10.00 we'd love to send you a super cute mug with a cute and quirky saying.
  • For £20 you'll receive your very own box of hygge (pronounced hue-guh). Hygge is the Danish word acknowledging a feeling or moment as cosy, charming or special. You'll love how we bring this to you in a box.
  • For £20.00 we'll send you your very own 'Totes got this' tote bag and pack of inspirational pencils. 
  • For £25.00 you can have our 'Girl Boss Essentials' pack, containing a cute mug, inspirational print, coaster and pack of pencils.
  • For £30.00 get your very own made with love, large concrete succulent desk terrarium housing baby succulents. Each Ovo' terrarium is handmade and each will look completely unique. You will receive; concrete base, pre-planted terrarium pod, soil, stones, succulent and care instructions.
  • For £50.00 we'll send you our 'Cosy Up' pack, including candles, coaster, mug, print and sweet treats. 
  • For £50.00 you can join our Community of indie suppliers and advertise in our Directory as well as have unlimited listings in our Shop
  • For £65.00 we'll send you an indie treat every month for 6 months.
  • For £100.00 you can get your very own hamper of indie treats including everything above, plus a few extras.
  • For £120.00 we'll send you an indie treat every month for a year.

**All our rewards include the cost of postage. Rewards created especially for you by Savon ClaireLoveliMy Little Shop of WonderThe Whimsical Cake CompanyOvo Bloom

Lastly, we would love to say a huge, glitter covered thank you for taking the time to get to know our business and hopefully for choosing to help us spread the love of shopping indie. 

Lots of love, 

Louise, Laura, Ellie and all the And so to Team x

Support us get your hands on a gorgeous indie reward at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/help-us-bring-indie-businesses-to-more-people, by shopping indie at www.andsotoshop.com or follow us on Facebook

#ShopIndie

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