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The thoughtful potter, shopping indie & shining bright!

Love shopping small? Love indie makers? Want to help them shine bright? Well, Happy Shop Independent Day (and month) to you!

June 25th has been set aside to champion the amazing small businesses across the UK, and as part of the celebrations (and our own commitment to shop small and indie), we’ve been catching up with Somerset maker and potter, Deborah Sparks.

Deborah has been telling us more about her own gorgeous indie business, what Shop Independent Day is all about and why it really matters. So, sit back, grab yourself a cuppa (or something a little bit stronger) and discover the four thoughts of The Thoughtful Potter! :)

1. How did your small business get started and what sort of things do you create?

I've been a small business owner for the last 14 years. I founded Sparks and Daughters, a successful gifting company that I ran for 13 years, and last year (during the pandemic!) I founded The Thoughtful Potter, fulfilling a dream I'd had since leaving college.

I create pottery with thoughtful words to help through tough times, and pieces that can be sent as a gift to show someone you're thinking of them. I print my pots with words that mean something to me and phrases that help my own mental health journey - and connect with my customers too.

Each piece is thrown in my log cabin studio near Taunton.

2. What influences your work?

My work is influenced by my love and obsession with nature, my garden and the beautiful Somerset countryside. I hand press flowers and leaves into the clay and hand paint to get a natural watercolour look that is as close to nature as possible. I have created a lifestyle business where I am doing what I love every day and I feel so very blessed.

3. Tell us a little bit about the 'Shop Independent Day' campaign and why it’s so important to you.

Campaign Shop Independent Day is on the 25th June. It's brand new this year, and will now be firmly fixed in the calendar so that we have a dedicated day where we can champion the amazing small businesses in the UK.

Many small businesses saw a boost during the pandemic, when everyone turned to online and shopped with their local businesses, but we need to continue to do this and not go back to old habits. Our wonderful small businesses still need us, to not only survive but thrive, so they can continue to be a key part of our community.

On June 25th I, along with thousands of small business founders, will be joining Holly Tucker (the founder of Campaign Shop Independent Day), to shout loud and proud to encourage everyone to support small. If every adult in the UK spent just one pound every single day with small businesses, it would add £12 billion to our local economies.

Personally speaking, I'm also really passionate about supporting my fellow small businesses because they really do bring creativity and colour to our world.

4. Tell us a secret about you or your pottery that no-one else knows

I used to be a Morris Dancer... and this is probably not much of a secret, but my pottery has definitely taught me the art of patience!

Ahh.. I think I need to head over to The Thoughtful Potter's log cabin for a lesson in that! ;)

Anyway, I'm absolutely head over heels for Deborah's pottery - it's so beautiful and her passion for the Shop Independent Campaign clearly shines brightly too.

If you'd like to discover more about what's happing at the pottery, just follow Deborah's Instagram here and here's to our small, indie businesses. Let's show them some love today and every day!


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