Mad About . . .

Small Businesses for NHS

9th April 2020
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Now I don’t know about you but what with the change in weather and the realisation that most of my clothes are definitely meant for outside and not hours on sofas with slippers/indoor shoes, I have felt myself wandering towards shopping sites for the first time in weeks. Just for a look you understand. And the press releases of new stock keep dropping into my inbox and, with them, the realisation that some of these businesses really need you to keep shopping where you can if they are to survive this virus.

table lamp by laurie lamps

table lamp by laurie lamps

And so, having checked with the maker to see if he was still making, I decided it was time to post about this gorgeous lamp that was delivered to me for a photoshoot a few weeks ago and which I have been unable (sorry/not sorry) to return. And in the course of talking to him about his work I discovered that he has set up a brilliant initiative called Small Businesses 4 NHS and so it seemed like the perfect moment for us to perhaps have a tiny shop and do good at the same time.

Small Businesses 4 NHS is a weekly raffle – tickets cost £5 – and a group of small businesses donate the prizes with all profits going to the NHS Charity. Rob Laurie, founder of Laurie Lamps and his co-founder Kapara London have raised over £3,500 in two weeks with each Sunday night draw and you can buy as many tickets as you want.

table lamp by laurie lamps

table lamp by laurie lamps

That’s basically it. I have linked to the relevant pages – you can donate, buy tickets and check out the prizes on the instagram feed. And I thought I would tell you a little bit about some of the businesses taking part in case you want to buy from them anyway in the meantime.

First up Rob, who makes customised, small run and one off lamps in his south London studio. This one pictures is an old French copper garden sprayer. Others are made from thick glass, marbled porcelain or old wine vats and carbouys. He also has a selection of lamps you can choose to customise your base and lots of different coloured cord flex too. Rob was planning a series of collaborations before lockdown and only managed to get one up and running, with Francesca Gentilli, but he will also do commissions so if you wanted to commemorate a bottle of champagne drunk for a special occasion or you found your own base at a holiday market, then he’s yer man.

Keith by laurie lamps

Other businesses who have, or are, taking part include Ibbi, who sell ceramics, throws, tableware and all sorts of home accessories. You’ll need to check the Just Giving Page for the donation but I wanted to show you this gorgeous glass jug as an example of other things they sell.

Fabulous Hobnail water jugs. Blown by hand in Bohemia in The Czech Repbublic

Hobnail water jugs, blown by hand in Bohemia in The Czech Repbublic sold by Ibbi Direct

And also Jessica Osborne, who designs and sells fabric and wallpaper including this lovely star print below. Her fabric and wallpaper is printed in the North of England.

“The first wallpaper machine was invented in the North of England so it made sense to me to print there,” she says on her website.

night sky wallpaper by jessica osborne

night sky wallpaper by jessica osborne

Do keep an eye on the page to discover more small businesses you can buy from and if you are a small business then message Rob through the instagram page to see about taking part or donating a prize which, this week also includes a pair of earrings from Margot and Mila  and a veg box from boutique catering business Doggert & Squash and not forgetting Rob’s brother Charles Laurie who makes leather goods and is, apparently, working on a leather lampshade range who donated to leather card cases last week.

And if you’ve read this far – a link to a piece in The Standard about who’s still delivering paint at the moment.


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  • Deb 14th April 2020 at 9:34 am

    Whilst I appreciate this sounds like a good idea. Can we remember that are far more people than NHS staff putting their lives at risk. And not all NHS staff are in the front line, plus they are still being paid full wages. Please remember our shop workers, lorry drivers, warehouse staff, teachers, police etc. And also those living on the breadline, and now without any real income. Those families that rely on on food banks. I know this comment is controversial, but unfortunately its reality. Thank you.

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 14th April 2020 at 9:42 am

      I completely understand Deb and I’m sure many of us are conscious of this. At the moment most of the fundraising seems to be going towards the NHS but I will share any initiatives to help the other key workers on whom we rely so much and who never have been paid properly for the work they do. It’s not a controversial comment but a valid one.

      • Deb 14th April 2020 at 10:03 am

        Thank you Kate.

  • Gerald 12th April 2020 at 11:24 am

    stunning lamps! perfect for a dark style room or something who loves dark colour. I just want to suggest Philly Foundation Repair for a interiors and home improvement

  • Gude at Watermark Homes 9th April 2020 at 3:09 pm

    Oh what a great idea! I’m going to share this on our social media.
    Brilliant scheme.

  • Teresa 9th April 2020 at 10:16 am

    Regarding paint delivery: please remember your small local interiors businesses who could do with your support right now. Many of us are able to supply Little Greene, Farrow & Ball, and other paints by mail order, wallpaper & fabrics too in many cases. Our shops may be shut, but we are easilly contactable by phone, text or email. And we really apreciate your support!
    Loving those lamps….!

  • Rebecca at Florence Broadhurst 9th April 2020 at 9:45 am

    What a fantastic initiative! Thanks for making us aware of this. We’ll definitely be buying some tickets and offering to donate a prize.

  • Melanie clarke 9th April 2020 at 8:35 am

    Beautiful lamps, when I am earning something again I will have a look.
    Can I suggest #artistsupportpledge a network set up by @matthewburrowsstudio where artists can post a piece of work on instagram for less than £200 and when sold £1000 pledge to buy another Artist’s work for £200. So many visual artists have lost all streams of income, I am full of admiration for matthew for setting this up which is now huge, global in the space of 3 weeks or so. Anyone can buy and many are donating to charity with the proceeds of sale.
    Sorry if this is not the right place for this!

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