This week I have been at the NEC in Birmingham attending the Spring Fair. This is essentially the place where shops go shopping! There is a vast amount of stalls all featuring different suppliers, as well as talks and seminars. The event lasts five days and sees about 56,000 attend.This year I was delighted to have been asked by the event organisers to speak at one of the seminars on the Inspiring Retail Stage. I was asked to join the Embedding Your Business In The Community Panel, because of our links and strong community ethos.

This is something that Magpie’s Nest work hard to do, because its something that matters to everyone who works here – not just me. The girls all do voluntary work in various roles which as a company we pay them for their time. We have worked with loads of charities over the years to raise awareness and funds as well as launching things like our handmade shop which gives us another dimension in the local community.  To talk about what we do, alongside the other amazing retailers who I met on the day was brill. The other businesses who took part were inspiring with their ethos, ideas and projects (check out these shops Marple Stationery Supplies, Moo Like a Monkey in Folkstone and Joco Gifts in Nuneaton)  The thing that really shone through for me though, was that despite the challenges on the high street these shop owners were going the extra mile to be a part of their communities. They were involved in their high street and the passion they had for their communities was evident. The beauty of this for me was that none of us were doing these “extras” to tick a corporate box, we all do it because we care and I think its businesses that really care about their communities that will help to bring new life into their town centres. As a side note the lovely floaty skirt I wore on the day was from Aspinalls Boutique in Stalybridge. ( they are a newish shop on Melbourne Street, just down the road from us next door to quality save. Well worth a visit when your next in town 🙂