I just heard today some very sad news. A delightful gallery in Derbyshire, The Beetroot Tree, is closing at the end of July. The gallery has been open since 1999 but the last few years have been difficult as customers have not been doing their jobs – buying – in enough numbers. You can follow this link http://www.designfactory.org.uk/newsitem.php?id=6380 to find out more directly from the gallery itself. And of course there will be an ‘Everything Must Go’ sale… So sad.
It’s heartbreaking for the owners but tough for the many, many makers who rely on little galleries around the country to sell their work. The closure of the Beetroot Tree could mean the end for several other makers’ businesses. Let’s not forget the customers who will mourn the gallery’s passing. Independent businesses often treat their customers are friends.
So I feel that I must do some tough talking. Small, independent businesses are really struggling at the moment. People like visiting them but just not frequently enough to allow the business owners to keep going. Now cashflow is really important. It costs a lot to run a gallery (and I should know); its a labour of love. So, what can you do? Spread the word? Yes, please. Pop in regularly? Yes, please. Spend a little regularly with us? Yes, please.