Design Essentials in Saffron Walden named one of the UK’s top businesses

Wendy Howell's business, Design Essentials, has been named in the top 100 small businesses in the UK

Wendy Howell's business, Design Essentials, has been named in the top 100 small businesses in the UK. - Credit: Archant

Design Essentials in Saffron Walden has been honoured among the top 100 small business in the UK.

Wendy Howell's business, Design Essentials, has been named in the top 100 small businesses in the UK

Wendy Howell's business, Design Essentials, has been named in the top 100 small businesses in the UK. - Credit: Archant

The shop, in Market Row, specialises in affordable home accessories, lighting and gifts.

It also has a platform for up-and-coming artists and interior designers to showcase their work within the store.

Small Business Saturday, who chose Design Essentials for the list, is a campaign that aims to get people to support independents by dedicating a day to it – which this year Saturday, December 3.

Every day for 100 days leading up to Small Business Saturday, one business will be featured as part of a campaign, including Design Essentials, which will be featured in early October.


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Wendy Howell, shop owner, said: “I was renovating my home and had become increasingly frustrated about the lack of interesting and affordable home interiors and accessories.

“During this time, whilst away on holiday, I saw some interesting pieces that I liked and the idea for the business was born.

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“I started with a series of events and pop-up shop evenings, inviting local artists and artisans to showcase their products at the events.

“I launched a web site to create a catalogue and forthcoming events for my customers, before embarking on longer term pop-up shops and then moving into permanent premises last year.”

The Small Business Saturday campaign started in 2010 and is now backed by the Federation of Small Businesses and Enterprise Nation.

Last year customers spent £623million with small businesses on the day, up 24 per cent on the 2014 figure.

#SmallBizSatUK also trended at number one all day, reaching 25 million people with more than 100,000 tweets.

Wendy has also been nominated for best store manager for the Great British High Street, which she had “no idea” about until last week.

Campaign director Michelle Ovens said: “Although the campaign focuses on one day, the goal is to have a lasting impact on small businesses by changing mind-sets, so that people make it their mission to support small businesses all year round.

“Most people in this country own a small business, work for a small business or know somebody who does, so supporting a small business on Small Business Saturday is absolutely personal.”

For more information, visit www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com.

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