This weekend, from Friday 26th - Sunday 28th, we will be donating 10% of all sales to St Martin’s Housing in Norwich, my home city.
Black Friday has never sat very comfortably with me and here is why;
We have offered discounts in previous years, attempting to compete in a massively crowded marketplace. The truth is, Black Friday purely exists for huge retailers to buy and shift vast amounts of stock which will ultimately end up in land fill.
Black Friday hurts small, independent artisans like us and devalues what we do. We cannot compete with the huge discounts on offer because we source our gemstones from Fairtrade sources and do not have an “economies of scale model,” where the more we buy, the cheaper we get it. We pay fair rates of pay to our team who bring you the stunning jewels we create and they have balanced working hours.
Homelessness is something that really strikes a chord with me. As an ex police officer, it still hurts my heart thinking of all the men and women I used to speak to who were sleeping rough - especially at this time of year. There is no reason why homelessness should even be an issue. I always carried cash when I was “on the beat” and would try to help whenever I could with hot drinks & food but I was always frustrated at not being able to do enough.
Rough sleepers need a roof over their heads. They need a warm bed. And St Martin’s provide that. St Martins helps homeless people, and those at risk, by offering them a hand up. They nurture self esteem and trust in other people. They empower individuals to make positive choices. To some, they are a lifelong solution. To others, they are a stepping stone to rebuilding lives. St Martins is a local charity who have supported people in Norwich and Norfolk for over 40 years.
St Martins works as a part of the broader movement in Norwich and the surrounding area. They work with other voluntary organisations, housing associations, community and church groups to raise awareness of homelessness as one of the principal contributors to social exclusion. They are a progressive and developing charity, adjusting to the needs of homeless people that are often very complex.
With the proceeds from your sales, I will be purchasing lots of items that are much needed at this time of year. We will take these items directly to their donation centre so your help will be greatly appreciated. I have attached a link to their page if you’d like to support them or find out more. If you’ve got this far, thank you for reading - you know I like to keep it brief normally!
Wishing you all a wonderful wintery weekend & sending love and light!
Artwork credit: Jean-Philippe Berger