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The story of Happydashery

Next up in my series featuring some of our lovely independent shops, is Happydashery in Leighton Buzzard, not far from where I live.

The story behind Happydashery

Happydashery is owned and run by friends Sarah Arkle and Carrie Wainer.

We opened our store in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, in 2019 with an aim to be a bright and colourful beacon on our local High Street. Our shelves are full to the brim with 'little bits of happy' - gifts, accessories, homewares and lots of other joyful surprises to discover, carefully sourced from independent makers and small brands in the UK and further afield.

We opened our doors, after taking over the lease from Creighton’s Chocolaterie. We were given an amazing opportunity by @imlucyelliott for a pop-up within their shop, and then when they decided to come off the High Street, we decided to go full in with the shop!

What do you love about running a shop?

So many things!!! We just love being a part of the local community on our High Street and meeting all of our lovely customers, a lot of who have become friends. We also run workshops and events around the retail side of things and just love being a part of the creative community that lives in and around Leighton Buzzard.

We love curating what we buy in for the shop, finding brilliant new designers and makers and then having people come in who totally get what we are trying to do and find their new favourite thing that they didn’t even know they needed.

Three small brands you adore stocking and why?

We love all the brands that we buy in from as they are all amazing makers and designers, but three that we would love to showcase here are:

  • Gem Pang Illustration for her beautiful and inspiring prints.

  • Sakina Sahidi for her stunning designs and wording on her cards.

  • Afro Pop Socks for their striking use of colour in their designs, their socks are beautiful!

Your top tip for brands wanting to be stocked by you.

We love to research who we want to buy in from on Instagram and also some of the wholesale platforms that are available, but we also love to see products too, so like to go to trade shows, like Top Drawer, and curated markets, like Paper Dolls. We like to work with creative businesses who are different and think outside the box, but those who understand the numbers side of things too, which is why we tell a lot of people to follow @small_business_collaborative.

You can find Sarah and Carrie's colourful shop, Happydashery on 21 High Street, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, LU7 1DN. And if you're not local, you can shop on, and follow along over on Instagram @happydashery.


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