Image: @alicelou_artwork

With all the doom and gloom 2020 has brought, the majority of us have missed out on family birthdays, seeing friends and date nights that do not involve Netflix and a cheap bottle of wine. 

The closure of non-essential shops has meant online shopping for customers and quick adaptions for business owners, with many switching off their lights and shutting their doors for good. 

So how did other businesses bloom despite the restrictions? 

We spoke to 5 small businesses that are thinking smart and still safely delivering your life luxuries so you don’t need to miss out on the little things. 

The Party Edit – all the decoration you will need for any occasion. 

Image: @thepartyedituk

Need to spice up a lockdown celebration? 

Rachel Tank, 29, founder of The Party Edit, offers bespoke, personalised balloons and bouquets for all occasions, no matter the theme, with contactless delivery services. 

The recently new mum based in West Bridgford says she started her business in July earlier this year after she felt she had lost her identity and creativity. 

Rachael says: “It was important for me to do something for myself on maternity leave…I just needed some escapism at night once my daughter had gone to bed. 

The full time senior account manager explains the inspiration came from making her husband a ‘Happy 1st Father’s Day’ balloon after not being able to find one.

She says: “I felt such joy when celebrating at home with families and this year especially, parties have meant so much more, even though they are in small numbers.

She continues: “Just being with my family, safe and well, was a cause for celebration.”

Rachael, who is utilising social media to promote her business, is currently offering personalised Christmas balloons for all the households looking to lift their spirits this Christmas.

Drop her a DM on her Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/CH6BFKfFkAK/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link or email hello@thepartyedit.co.uk for more information on her services. 

The Little Fudge Co – who needs chocolate when you can have both?

Image: @thelittlefudgeco

Lucy Wright, 22, founder of The Little Fudge Co started her business just before the second lockdown in late October, where she currently offers five, mouth-watering flavours of fudge, including: Traditional, Irish cream, Oreo, Biscoff, Terry’s Chocolate Orange, and the special edition of Christmas Pudding. 

The bar supervisor at Nottingham Pryzm and support worker for adults at her mother’s company says COVID, unlike many, gave her the opportunity to start her business. 

Lucy, who is based in Bulwell, Nottingham, says: “I wouldn’t have had the time or the opportunity for starting this up had I been working two jobs.

“Since I was on furlough from one job and reduced hours on the other…I set up my own business and to my surprise, it took off quickly!”

Customers can affordably choose from a range of products including bags of fudge, bars, hot chocolate stirrers and novelty Christmas gifts. 

The business owner has quickly become inundated with orders and has just received her biggest order of fifty bags for a large company’s Christmas gifts. 

Order your sweet treats from her Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/CH0pdKrFZ7Q/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link or Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/thelittlefudgeconotts, where you can receive via post or through COVID-19 safe collection. 

Oak Tree Farm – the fun countryside walk that doesn’t involve your back garden.

Image: @oaktreealpacas

Director Samantha Masters, 35, set up the family business, Oak Tree Farm, with her husband, Jack Masters, and mother-in-law, Jane Masters, in 2017 but has used lockdown to adapt their business ideas. 

Samantha, of Woodborough, says they chose to offer a service that was “good for the planet” as well as COVID safe. 

She explains: “This is our first year selling Christmas trees.

“You pick your tree, pay us for the year to look after it, and then after the customer is finished with it, we take trees back in to replant them.

“I think people have realised that other companies tend to cut trees and that’s it – they’re just discarded. 

“But with our business, you can keep replanting the trees so they can keep growing and you can still have them every year.”

Oak Tree Farm is well known for its friendly alpacas and offers a range of services including alpaca walks and experiences; fresh vegetables, poultry, herbs and flowers; livestock, animal feed; and much more. 

The business, which has featured on Radio Nottingham for its alpaca poo song, is looking forward to running its COVID safe Christmas outdoor experiences after being closed twice due to lockdowns.

Samantha says: “I just want to create a nice walk and friendly atmosphere that’s affordable for everyone with little extras.

“It takes your mind off things being out in the countryside, especially with everything that’s been bad this year.”

For more information on their services and how to contact, visit their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/oaktreealpacas

Daisie Cakes – for all the cake lovers out there.

Image: @daisiecakes_

Amber Maskell, 20, launched her business at the end of May earlier this year after COVID gave her the opportunity to showcase her hobby.

The psychology student and primary school assistant, based in North Sherwood Street, is cupcake focused but also offers a range of services including layered cakes and cookies. 

Amber says: “I thought it wouldn’t take off because of COVID but I’ve had many orders and have safely delivered to families who can’t see each other so it’s been nice.

“It’s nice knowing people are enjoying something they’re spending their money on, especially during COVID where it has affected so many people’s finances.”

The young business owner currently offers a range of cake flavours including chocolate, classic vanilla, red velvet and carrot cake, and has impressively made over five-hundred cupcakes throughout lockdown.

Amber says: “I bake all the time and my mum hates it because I make an absolute mess…It looks like a bomb has hit the kitchen!”

Visit https://www.instagram.com/p/CH_K2PQFEfB/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link on Instagram to check out her creations.

Alicelou Artwork – the perfect gift for all you pet lovers.

Image: @alicelou_artwork

Alice White, 21, owner of Alicelou Artwork, started her business during lockdown after her part time catering job went under, leaving her with no income. 

The artistic graphic designer, who offers sketched pet portraits, says she, like many others during lockdown, had to find another way to earn. 

The Nottingham Trent Student says: “I wasn’t going to earn anything over the summer as I had no job…so I decided to put my own skills to use and it has really grown which I’m pleased about…I never thought that people would actually pay money for my drawings!

“The only way that COVID has affected my business is with delivery times…Hopefully I will keep it going in the future and keep building on it.”

To check out Alice’s artwork, visit https://www.facebook.com/alicelouartwork on Facebook or https://www.instagram.com/p/CH-PVrwBZY8/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link on Instagram.