What a world we are now navigating, looking back to the first part of lockdown I would now acknowledge it as one of the hardest moments of my life, the shock, the disbelief and then struggle of surviving with the shop doors shut. Online became the lifeline for the shop and I will be forever grateful to those that supported us by buying online and being patient for the deliveries.

Reopening the shop felt so good, like lots of things after lockdown, the experience is more vivid and meaningful than before, and also a little frightening as the pandemic does rage on around the world. 

We have in fact not rushed to open the doors all day everyday but taken tentative steps to ensure the wellbeing of staff and customers with reduced hours, extra cleaning, mask wearing and generally giving time to adjust to the new (hopefully temporary) way of shopping. We are now closed again thanks to the flooding from the storm a couple of weeks back and hope to open this weekend!

Just before we had to close again, things were finally starting to pick up. The Grassmarket is finally awake and yesterday I did look on at the busy restaurants and bars and remind myself that only over a month before everything was boarded up, deserted and eerie.

One thing that has changed since lockdown is that customers seem to have become more conscious of supporting local businesses. Last week most shoppers expressed enthusiasm to want to buy, not only because they hadn’t been shopping  anywhere other than a supermarket or pharmacy, but more importantly stated their mission was to shop and support local businesses, the local economy and the bottom-line of this means people. Individuals like myself and the individuals who’s designs I sell. Its grassroots business and its fundamental to creativity and individualism of cities and shopping areas. I have really felt the love! I felt a shift in people’s mentality, an awaking to a message that Godiva has been trying to shout for years!

Unfortunately to road ahead is very unpredictable and uncertain. You have heard the buzz words ‘Shop Local’ for sometime now but what does it really mean to you?

Already this week there was sad news of our neighbour Hannah Zakari deciding to close her brick and mortar doors after August. I feel so sad and slightly apprehensive for my own future, that after 10 years a small business has been forced to close, even though the shop will still trade online it really isn’t the same.

I hear some of you say, most people shop online now, but what would life on the street look like without small independent shops? Do you want to sit at home shopping online with no human interaction, not being able to try things on and feel the fabric?

What does Shop Local mean to you?

 For me, a small independent shop is more than just a shop, it’s a reflection of someone’s creativity. It can be inspiring and it can be soothing to peruse rails of different things. Independent shops can be quirky and a fun experience, it can be comforting on a day when you maybe haven’t spoken to many people and that shop owner gives you some great conversation. Small shops are mini heartbeats to the veins of what makes a city great. A place where you meet local people, you can gain something unique and rich in experience, they are more than just a place to buy things.

That's why we're so proud to be part of the Edinburgh Shop Small Festival this week. Designed to encourage people to visit and support a collective of small local businesses around the city, the Festival is full of activities, product launches, giveaways and special offers. Here at Godiva we are offering 15% off orders over £25 (no code needed) to celebrate being part of such an amazing community of local businesses. Now, more than ever, these small businesses need your support.

We are hoping to get the shop reopened as soon as possible – follow us on social media for updates! We are also very excited to announce that when the shop does reopen we are holding our very first vintage Kilo sale! If you’d like to be the first there send us a message on social media or pop us an email at mail@godivaboutique.co.uk