We are very excited to now be stocked in a wonderful lifestyle store, Little Smiths, in our local market town of Fakenham. Fakenham is about 15 minutes away from the farm, so we are really excited that our products are now being stocked there as we love being a part of local shops and business'.
Hi Mikey, thank you so much for joining us and taking your time to chat to us about your wonderful NEW shop.
SO first of all please tell us a little bit about Little Smiths...
Little Smiths is a independent lifestyle store. We source out local products from some very talented individuals. The store is a platform for local makers and for customers to find something unique. We also try to be eco friendly by finding reusable products.
What a fantastic concept, definitely a shop that we are so happy to be a part of. Where did the idea come from to start Little Smiths?
The idea came out of the blue! I have always wanted my own store but I didn’t know what I wanted in it.
My husband was the one who pushed me into opening he always drives me and supports me. I wanted to help others in the process so supporting local makers really means a lot to me.
What a wonderful way to do it, it always fantastic as a local producer to have such wonderful platforms to showcase your work. Had you always dreamt of opening your own shop?
Yes originally I wanted a vintage clothing store and almost opened one but i didn’t have the confidence in the idea. I worked previously as a gift buyer for a very big company, I had a passion for gifts and homeware so set my idea on that sector instead.
As you know all of our products are designed by Izzi and manufactured in the UK, is this something you feel passionate about?
Very much so! There’s so much talented that’s not being shown in the uk it’s so nice to find unique items instead of a generic import that’s made in a factory.
We completely agree! As you said you source locally for your products, how much of the shop is from local designers?
90% of the stock in the shop is made by local makers. Stocking Norfolk based products was always my aim and show off what the local talent has to offer.
You have a wonderful selection of products in your shop- where do you tend to source a lot of these from?
As above most of our products are sourced from the Norfolk area but I do outsource selected items from different areas of the country if I find unique handmade items.
What first drew your attention to IzziRainey products?
The bold patterns are definitely eye catching and for me that’s what sold them. But I also love the background story of how you started and the fact you are a local maker.
What is your favourite IzziRainey product?
Ooo this is a hard one! It would have to be the black dandelion designon a cushion! I will definitely be having them in my home!
Ah that is one of our favourites too! Please tell us a little bit about Fakenham where the shop is...are other independent shops popping up there too?
My store stands alone on one of the main streets into Fakenham (Oak Street) it use to be a fruit and veg shop and I just instantly fell in love with the building!
There is me and one other independent store which is Through the looking glass. She specialises in shabby chic furniture and is definitely worth a visit for something unique!
How fantastic, it is always great to see new independent shops opening. And finally...if you had to describe your perfect day in Norfolk...what would it be doing?
My perfect day sounds boring but I would spend it in the garden with my husband and my 9 tortoises! I’m a bit of a tortoise addict!
Sounds perfect, especially in this wonderful weather. Thank you so much Mikey for joining us. Please make sure you pop into Little Smiths if you are ever nearby, they just have the most fantastic selection of British made products and IzziRainey products too of course...what more could you want! https://www.facebook.com/Littlesmithsfakenham/?ref=br_rs
We would like to introduce Alison to you all from one of our stockists Osokozi in the lovely town of Holt in Norfolk. Osokozi is absolutely wonderful shop selling the most fantastic selection of cards, gift wrap, jewellery, gift items and lots more. It is an Aladdin's cave and we just love it. Alison has kindly agreed to tell us all about her shop but also more about Holt where the shop is and lots of things you can get up to in Holt.
Hello Alison! SO first of all tell us a little bit about Osokozi. Osokoi is situated just down the road from us in the lovely town of Holt in Norfolk. Can you tell us about Holt as a town...what is there there and is there lots to do apart from come to Osokozi of course?
We have had our shop The Osokozi Gallery in Albert Street, Holt for 28 years and have seen many changes in retail but Holt retains it’s charm and diversity.
Holt is a small town, well known for it’s many lovely independent shops, cafes, restaurants, antiques and galleries. Here you will always find something out of the ordinary.
We are still lucky to also have traditional greengrocers, butchers, fishmongers and bakers.
Wow you have been there for such a long time- it is amazing! For someone who is coming to visit Holt- can you give us an example of what you would describe as a perfect day out in Holt to be?
A perfect day in Holt could start with breakfast at Byfords with best ever croissants.
A browse through Bakers and Larners department store and food hall. Search out some great clothing at Old Town, Morston, Gun Hill, Ruby’s or Decorum.
Great coffee at the Black Apollo or in Adrian Hill at Picturecraft.
Lunch at the Owl Tea Rooms, afternoon tea at the Folly Tea Rooms in Hoppers Yard.
It’s easy to spend a day discovering the shops and galleries. Find out more about Holt and it’s history by following The Owl Trail, (leaflets are found in many shops) and search out all the hidden yards.
There are antiques centres and antique shops (favourite is Richard Scotts), vintage clothing , and art galleries - Red Dot on Fish Hill, and Adrian Hill at Picturecraft.
We agree there is so much to do in Holt and would encourage anyone to go to all these places. What sort of items sell well for you...do you feel your sales change during the summer season?
At Osokozi all our greetings cards and wrap sell well, and almost all of it is designed and printed in the UK. We tend to sell well for these things all year around. Our silver jewellery is unusual and affordable and always popular. We are also very lucky to have such a local following now which is fantastic.
Do the British brands you sell tend to sell well for you as people do seem drawn to buying British at the moment?
Yes definitely, especially our local brands. Our IzziRainey cards and wrap are often asked for and have a loyal local following. We stock lots of British brands including Cambridge Imprint cards, paper and notebooks, Bath House fragranced products - super lip balms, soaps etc. from Cumbria, and for 26 years we have sold Rye Pottery - hand painted and proudly made in Sussex.
Ah we love Cambridge Imprints designs they are fantastic. What is your favourite thing you sell in the shop?
We love to sell our ethnic jewellery and artefacts - we often have decorative and unusual one off pieces.
I bet it is so interesting finding items like that. Which is your favourite card that you stock of ours?
The Beehive card is our favourite. We look forward to stocking their new mugs very soon too.
Oh yes how exciting. And lastly...is Norfolk the most fantastic place to live?
Norfolk IS a fantastic place to live - with unspoilt coastlines, pretty villages and towns, great places to walk and visit, all in close proximity to Holt.
We completely agree! Thank you so much Alison for taking the time to chat to us. If you are ever in Holt make you pop in to Oskozi and say hello! https://osokozi.co.uk
We are a textile company, based on a farm in Norfolk, designing and manufacturing high quality homeware and interior products within Norfolk and the UK.