An average day in lockdown involved switching my work laptop to my “pleasure” laptop (minds out of the gutter, please). Not being able to leave the house, I was left having to find some way to fill the void in my heart. What else could a “pleasure” laptop be used for, except mindless online shopping.
Online shopping is great for a quick high. The thrill of spending is great, until you realise that you’ve bought dollhouse furniture- and it’s not even decent quality.
More than ever, we appreciate leaving the house and living life. Being able to interact with people in person is something we just didn’t appreciate enough before. Our staff in our shops are good at what they do. Whether it’s a quick inquiry about where an item is kept, or a more elaborate question about a purchase, there is a lot to be said about talking to a member of staff- opposed to a customer service online chat.
While touching has been, to say the least, controversial during a pandemic, being able to touch and feel objects before you buy them is the fun of shopping. Being surrounded by objects can bring so much inspiration: colours, fabrics, shapes are all just better when you see them up close. I think a lot of us have been guilty of buying throws, pillows and dressing gowns just because they look soft.
Look, we’ve all been a little guilty of looking or being attracted to mass-produced minimalist scandinavian furniture (any ikea who I’m on about). But conformity is boring. Finding bits and pieces chosen by the Island’s tastemakers is what makes our homes stand out. And if you go treasure hunting in our Island’s antiques shops, you’ll be sure to find something special. Sustainable and stylish? What could be better?
The last year might have also made you enjoy your outdoor space a little more. If you found the prospect of deck chairing a nightmare, it might have been because your garden needed a little love. With many of us turning our gardens into little pieces of paradise, our garden centres have been a godsend. With just a few carefully placed plants, some little nick-nacks and some furniture, our garden centres are the key to making our outdoor spaces look like they could be on the Chelsea Flower Show.
Our businesses consist of more than just shops, however. Over the lockdowns, many of us have missed our gyms. Home workouts, while sufficient in the short term, can never quite replicate the feeling of getting on a big old machine and feeling powerful. Gyms often get a bad rep for being non-inclusive, but step into the gyms on-Island and you’ll find gym owners that are happy to make a community, regardless of ability. I can personally attest to this: never have I once felt uncomfortable, and I have the run of Phoebe Buffay. I think even I’d have a little giggle if I saw myself running. Being around a load of other people while listening to techno music is such a fantastic feeling: a similar buzz to being surrounded by people in a bar, except it’s a LOT better for your liver. If you’re a fiend for a class, you’ll know that specific buzz you get when you’ve absolutely smashed it.
Perhaps one of the most significant businesses we’ve missed is our beauty, hairdressing and lifestyle businesses. I, personally, campaigned that these should be classified as essential businesses, and I feel like anyone who witnessed my lockdown monobrow would be in agreement. I’m certainly not alone in loving these businesses: getting a hairdressing appointment after the lockdowns was like trying to buy glasto tickets. And honestly? I’d rather have good roots than be covered in mud for a weekend.
Our businesses are central to the way we live life on the Island. We’re blessed to have so many business owners and employees who are passionate about providing incredible services on-Island. And from the most sincere part of this spendaholics heart, I’d like to thank our Manx businesses for letting me spend my money on goods and services that are truly worth the spend.