The term was first used in the US as the day after Thanksgiving, when factory owners would find that large numbers of workers would phone in sick in order to get a four-day weekend! Though into the 1960’s it began to describe the start of Stateside Christmas shopping and the period when retailers’ finances would begin to head into the ‘black’ rather than the ’red’ of leaner Summer months.
In recent times, Black Friday has crossed the pond to the UK and is largely about big brands and retailers shifting huge volumes of electrical goods and clothes. Although we’ve offered Black Friday discounts in the past, it’s began to feel like the wrong place for us. Our limited quantities of handmade ceramics just don’t fit the Black Friday bill!
We also, as a company, want to encourage a more thoughtful way of buying. We love to promote sustainable business and ethical giving. We hope our designs will be carefully chosen and the twice fired stoneware durable enough to last generations.
So, this year, we are trying a fresh approach. We elected not to offer a Black Friday sale on our website last weekend and instead, we’ve chosen to focus on next weekend’s Small Business Saturday events. And yes, we will be rewarding our subscribers and website visitors with discounts for SBS!
We only run these offers once a year, and for a very limited time, as the margins on our products are really very small. We chose to have most of our ceramic designs handmade for us by a family run pottery in Sri Lanka – and that makes our cost price much higher than machine made items made in large factories in eg China. We chose the Sri Lankan company very carefully and were instantly impressed by the inclusive and caring ethos by which they work. We also get the advantage of being able to order in much smaller numbers from our pottery, allowing us to have a greater range of designs on offer to our customers. Win win!
Small Business Saturday is a not-for-profit, grassroots campaign, which was started in order to support, inspire and promote small business, especially on the first Saturday in December each year. The first UK event took place in 2013 and it’s been growing ever since! The campaign encourages shoppers to ‘shop local’ and support small, independent businesses, both online and in their communities. Small businesses are the heartbeat of our local economies and high streets, they give back in tax, work with local charities, provide flexible working and support the dreams and skills of the ‘little guy’. It’s who we are and who we want to support.
So look out on our social media, emails and website for the offers that we have coming up for the weekend, and be part of something that is all about supporting small British businesses through these difficult retail times.