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Just a Card (and a giant wicker horse)

In English class yesterday we talked briefly about the American shopping phenomenon Black Friday, which has now become a regular event in the UK - generating upwards of five billion pounds in sales over one weekend, whipping potential shoppers into a spending frenzy by promising unbeatable discounts. We asked how real are those savings?

Language learner Elsa told us that in Sweden, there’s an alternative movement entitled Black Friday - I Don’t Buy It.

We then looked an alternative shopping movement that we (Blue Noun) love, called Just a Card...

The JUST A CARD campaign aims to encourage people to support, value and buy from artists, designers, independent shops and small businesses by reinforcing the message that all purchases, however small, even 'just a card' are so vital to their prosperity and survival.

The campaign came about when Artist & Designer Sarah Hamilton saw the quote "If everyone who'd complimented our beautiful gallery had bought 'just a card' we'd still be open" by store keepers who'd recently closed their gallery. This prompted a call to action! Designer/Makers, independent shops, galleries and small businesses need a voice. People seldom realise the considerable costs involved in exhibiting at design shows or keeping a shop open. Stand fees, power, materials, wages etc need to be met before even a penny of profit can be realised. Running a shop is often a labour of love. Without dedication and passion, and crucially sales, it would be another boarded up eyesore”*.

We looked though Instagram at the numerous crafts people and designers taking part in Just a Card Week, and shared the profiles of designers and makers whose work we enjoyed - explaining why we were attracted to certain works.

That evening, here in Crieff, many Strathearn’s own makers were previewing their own Pop Up Christmas Market.

We enjoyed their generous hospitality, and the chance to meet many of the makers in person.

If you are local, the Crieff Arts Festival Pop Up Shop is open from 10am - 5pm daily until 22nd Dec.

There is a lot of amazing artworks from local artists (King Street opposite, Spence Gallery).

It is full of amazing quality arts and crafts, with original, handmade artworks selling for as low as £3, and a few in the high hundreds.

Support local makers, by popping in and taking a look - and remember, don’t be shy: buy something - even if it’s Just a Card!

Congratulations Crieff Arts Festival (you fabulous beasts!), great show!

Further information:

There’s a link to the British Council’s English Learning resource sheet on Black Friday here.

Find out more about Just a Card and Indie-Week here.

And find out about the fabulous Crieff Arts Festival here.

* Just a Card website

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