The message for Christmas 2022 has come across loud and clear. Buy less, buy better quality, and shop locally. 

With ever-increasing pressures on families to deliver festive joy against a backdrop of financial misery, experts (including Martin Lewis) are pleading with shoppers to think carefully before spending a single penny. 

And your hard-earned cash is put to its best use when it helps to line the pockets of small, independent businesses, who need to feel the power of our spend now more than ever. 

East Anglian Daily Times:

Emily Hicks, who runs Pink Cactus & Co in Woodbridge resonates strongly with this sentiment, so has brought her pop-up shop, The Cactus Club, back to the town for a six-week run, shining a light on nearly 30 traders based in and around Suffolk. 

“It’s all about supporting independents right now,” she says. “This has been a really difficult year for retailers to get going, with energy prices on the rise, and people shopping online more and more. I feel we have to support the ‘little guys’ who can’t afford a shop window on the high street, to give them the best chance possible.  

“I’m really proud we can bring them here and get them in front of customers!” 

Emily says the response to her second pop-up (she ran one successfully in what is now the Two Magpies Bakery last year) has been fantastic and that people have been very positive about what’s on offer at 28 Thoroughfare. 

East Anglian Daily Times:

What’s on the shelves? 

Smith & Co: “She makes the most amazing hand-poured soy candles and wax melts. They honestly smell divine. And they’re reasonably-priced too – we offered them last year and they were so popular. The scents include a winter one which is perfect for this time of year, and another called Coast – that one is so fresh and beautiful. I love it. It really does transport you to the seaside. Then there’s one that has a really delicious linen smell. She’s collaborated with local artists so all the labels are beautifully hand-painted. It’s a nice touch.” 

East Anglian Daily Times:

Anya-Lee Art: “This is such a talented artist from Norwich. Her brand is all about body positivity – with prints, keyrings, tote bags and T-shirts. Her stuff’s going down really really well.” 

Minus Cloud Nine: “She’s an Essex brand whose message is all about mental health awareness. So 10% of her profits go to a mental health charity. She does really nice clothing, sustainable scrunchies and cards with lovely messages on.” 

Chip Jewellery: “This is all handmade wooden jewellery. She was a big hit in the shop last year. The pieces are reasonably-priced.” 

Alex Westcott: “Alex forages and makes papier mache items out of everything she dries, like flowers and leaves. They are some really cool lanterns. If you put fake tealights in them at night they are gorgeous. She makes great Christmas decorations and wreaths as well.” 

East Anglian Daily Times:

Ajora: “This couple started up in the pandemic. They make candles and wax melts, but started with mists you can spray on your pillow to help you sleep. They’ve just branched out into dog sprays too and have some little gift sets that are perfect for stockings. I also like their shaped candles. We’ve got Christmas trees, pears and shells.” 

Newday Originals: “This designer gets all her products sustainably made in India. She does beautifully printed dresses, kimonos and bomber jackets. This year she has wash and tote bags too. They are wonderful patterns – nice and bright. 

East Anglian Daily Times:

The Copper Cacti: “Chloe makes terrariums you can hang from your tree with dried flowers and things in. There are bigger terrariums as well, And she has these dried Japanese moss balls, which are meant to be good luck.” 

Little Ones Play: “We stock their sensory dough, little stamps and wooden toys. They’re all sustainably made and are so cute. Like the good old toys people used to have.” 

Lorna Hill: “I adore her illustrations, which are available as prints and cards.” 

Discover more in store. The shop is open seven days a week (not Christmas Day) until December 31. From 9.30am to 5pm Monday to Saturday, and 11am to 3pm Sunday.