Posts

Spotlight: Creature Company

Wimbledon is home to a number of small and independent businesses which help to add a sense of character and diversity to our town centre. Lockdown has made us all pay closer attention to our local surroundings, whether it be parks and local hidden gems, or getting to know local business owners and discovering the brilliant products/services that they offer!

We are shining a spotlight on these businesses and giving you an insight into who our local business owners are, what their stories are, what makes them special and why shopping local in Wimbledon Town Centre is vital to community spirit.

And this time it’s Creature Company! The dog groomers and pet shop is run by an eclectic all-female team of local dog lovers, including General Manager Anna de Brito. We caught up with Anna to find out more…

Who are Creature Company and what do you offer?
We are an independent pet shop and dog grooming salon right in the middle of Wimbledon Broadway. Half of the business is our complete dog grooming service, from the full groom and spa treatment, to if a pup just pops in for a quick nail clip. The other side is the store, where we also sell a huge variety of products for dogs including favourite wet, dry and raw foods, popular toy brands, clothing, training and grooming. We also have a large range of products for cats, small animals, fish and both wild and domesticated birds.

How long has Creature Company been based in Wimbledon?
We opened our doors in Wimbledon in 2001 and have been here ever since. We’ve developed a great loyal customer base who regularly bring their dogs in for some grooming, pampering and TLC.

Tell us why it’s important to regularly groom your dog?
It’s important to groom your dog regularly to prevent matting, which leads to tightened skin and discomfort, and to help with de-shedding to get rid of dead hair. Much like with humans at the hairdresser, regular trims and grooming will maintain a healthy coat! When regularly grooming you will also be able to spot any blemishes, hot spots or sore patches, well before your dog is in too much pain. You should also be brushing your dog daily in between grooms, to avoid knots and matting, – this also to help them get used to the grooming experience in a comfortable environment with people they know.

Can you recommend one product from your store, that is a must-have for a dog owner?
The KONG classic is just that – a nifty rubber chew toy with a hollow centre, which you can fill with treats or KONG peanut butter to keep your pet occupied and stimulated.

Name a product that the dogs just can’t get enough of…
Lily’s Kitchen Duck & Venison Sausages – these are a favourite with all our clients, from tiny terriers to Bernese mountain dogs!

We know that you have hundreds of friendly, furry creatures coming through your doors… what’s been your funniest experience with a pooch?
Once I was looking after a dog, who was waiting to be picked up and he slipped on his harness, but every time I tried to get it back on comfortably he inched away so his legs were splayed out as he ran.

How has Creature Company been affected by Covid-19?

As I’m sure is the case for many other local businesses, the pandemic has presented huge difficulty, both for the business and our team. From staff members being furloughed and a huge decrease in customers coming through our doors, to the changing levels of restrictions, this has been a tough year. We have, however, been fortunate enough to be able to continue our grooming services through lockdown and want to thank all of our regular customers who have continued to support us. We would love to remind the people of Wimbledon that we are open and ready to treat your dog’s lockdown locks!

So #LoveLocal and visit Creature Company at 54 The Broadway in Wimbledon Town Centre (between Oddonos Gelati and VPZ).

Shopping local helps support local business and local jobs. Plus you’re shopping greener – less packaging than online purchases and less transport miles. So pop round the corner, find something new in Wimbledon, and support your local independent businesses – including the brilliant Creature Company!

 

Shop Green, Shop Local

The global frenzy of Black Friday will be returning this year on November 27th, why not think and act sustainably by opting for a Green Friday instead?

Green Friday aims to help raise awareness around the environmental impact of Black Friday, especially from online sales delivered through national distribution centres.

This year, Covid-19 has massively affected shopping habits so that more consumers are purchasing products online for delivery, so the environmental cost of online Black Friday shopping is elevated.

With the festive season fast-approaching and many of us beginning to rack our brains for gift ideas for our loved ones, let’s shop smart, shop green and shop local this Christmas.

Why Shop Local

 

When you shop local, your money also stays local and goes into the community – including the pockets of our small and independent businesses. VISA reports that for every £10 we spend with a local business, more than a third (£3.80) stays within the area, showing the true value of shopping locally.

Local businesses also tend to be smaller and produce less waste, less air pollution and less traffic than their enormous counterparts. Choosing to buy locally rather than online, leads to less deliveries and delivery vans on our roads, thus less CO2 emissions – plus less packaging!

Many of our small businesses have shown great resilience to the constantly changing times through this pandemic, including offering click and collect/takeaway/delivery services during lockdown. So before clicking on that internet basket, remember that within a 15 minute walk or cycle, there are several businesses in Wimbledon still offering great services/products, providing local jobs and supporting our community.

Lockdown has made us all appreciate the outdoors more and embrace the need for daily exercise. Shopping locally is a great way to incorporate exercise into our daily lives. Opt to walk or cycle into Wimbledon, taking advantage of the many cycle racks available in town and enjoying the brilliant cultural sites on offer.

Shop Green

 

Looking to tick off items on your Christmas gift shopping list? Shop green instead with the wealth of sustainable ranges offered by our stores in Wimbledon and give a gift that goes a long way.

Get some inspiration here including Lush’s ‘Naked Skin Care’ collection and JoJo Maman Bebe’s ‘Polarfleece’ children’s clothing, made entirely from recycled plastic bottles!

Zero, Wimbledon’s first zero-waste shop will be opening in Centre Court Shopping Centre this Saturday, offering a simple alternative to excessive single-use packaging consumption with a wide range of ready-to-go bulk items. Their Zero Waste Kits make the perfect gift for the eco-conscious!

Shop local this Christmas for the future of our town.

#LoveLocal #ShopLocal #GreenFriday

Help Your Local Arts

Covid-19 and lockdown has had a significant impact on businesses, especially those within the creative industries, and may continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Art organisations are particularly struggling as there is limited funding sources available for them to fall back on. 

Keeping art and culture alive, is more important now than ever before, as it often aspects of these industries which help us connect with one another, lift our spirits, give us hope, celebrate creativity and diversity, and lots more.

Please consider donating to support our local arts and cultural organisations. If you can’t donate, then there are many other ways in which you can show your support including via volunteering or fundraising.

Wimbledon BookFest

Wimbledon BookFest is not-for-profit arts and education charity and depends on its supporters. Like many other arts organisations and festivals we are now deeply concerned about our future. Much of the arts industry is falling through the gaps on Government support and so they need your help. We need to raise £25k from our supporters to keep going beyond Covid-19. Donate here to help secure the future of Wimbledon Bookfest.

Polka Theatre

Polka Theatre are a registered charity who provide creative activities and support for families, teachers and vulnerable children. Now more than ever children need access to creative experiences which help them to combat loneliness, and navigate their ever changing world. Covid-19 has dealt Polka a significant blow. They need your help to continue supporting children, their teachers and families at a time when they need it most. Visit their Just Giving page here to support.

 

 

Wimbledon Is Opening Its Doors To You

With more shops and eateries re-opening every day, Wimbledon Town Centre is springing back to life and is ready to welcome you back!

The time has come to truly #LoveLocal. Love Wimbledon has been working hard to ensure that you can safely shop again around town, with many of Wimbledon’s fabulous stores and eateries ready to re-open, serving you with great products and dishes once again!

We have:

  • Set up ‘What’s Open’ pages for a one-stop overview of the shops and restaurants open in town
  • Undertaken a deep clean of the town centre
  • Installed contactless public hand sanitiser stations on The Piazza and outside Wimbledon Station
  • Provided funky pavement vinyls to help you keep socially-distanced in queues
  • Brightened up the streets with floral hanging baskets and giant planters (kindly donated by the All England Lawn and Tennis Club)
  • Installed colourful lamppost and railing banners
  • Created vibrant concrete barriers outside the New Wimbledon Theatre (with help of Firecrackers Works and Merton Council)
  • Hosted the successful return of the Monthly Local Market on The Piazza (adapted for Covid-19) with delectable delights being offered by local traders. The perfect place to pick up fresh bead, delicious bakes or hot treats. You can also order and collect from many of the stalls in advance, to help make your trip into Wimbledon even easier.

Both Centre Court and Elys will be opening their doors again on Monday 15th June with advanced measures to ensure you have a safe shopping experience. Many other shops and restaurants are set to re-open to so look out for our ‘We’re Open’ sign in their shop windows.

The last few months have been difficult for many, particularly owners of small, independent businesses in our town. This is the time to #LoveLocal, so we encourage you to pop in and visit these businesses, remembering that this is a greener option than shopping and ordering online!

Several local businesses have adapted incredibly well to the current pandemic, developing unique ideas to continue to provide you with their products/services via delivery, click and collect, and more (all contactless of course).

You can travel into Wimbledon safely, by walking or cycling in, and making use of the 250+ cycle racks available in the town centre.

Here at Love Wimbledon, we will continue to keep you up-to-date with what’s re-opening in the town centre, so that you can plan and prepare your visit accordingly:

Please remember to maintain your social distance when visiting the Town Centre.

#LoveLocal

Tips To Manage Your Teenagers Mental Health

Wimbledon based, award winning charity Stem4 have issued tips to help parents manage their teenager’s mental health during the COVID-19 outbreak. The CEO of the charity, which focuses on supporting teenage mental health, Dr Nihara Krause (Consultant Clinical Psychologist) has provided the following tips for parents and carers amidst the pandemic:

Feeling safe is essential in the effective management of anxiety. The current, everchanging global health situation can therefore contribute to increasing anxiety symptoms in all of the family. The teen years in particular, need special focus since adolescence can be a time when emotions are experienced intensely.

  • Explain the nature of anxiety to your teen. Anxiety is an essential emotion we all feel in response to threat. It will bring about a response which affects all parts of our body, our thinking and our behaviour. When anxiety is managed it can be helpful – allowing us to harness it’s protective nature to spur us into positive health management.
  • Help them to develop positive self-care behaviours to maintain health and hygiene. This will build their confidence in their ability to protect themselves and learn to take responsible action.
  • Help them to challenge negative thoughts that may make them overestimate dangers, leading to difficulties such as over thinking and over worrying. This means providing them with facts to minimise fear. Make sure these facts are from a trusted, scientific source.
  • Help them regulate the amount of information they have access to through the news, social media and online. Misinformation spreads fast and an ‘infodemic’ is as unhealthy to the mind as a pandemic may be to a nation.
  • Practicing social distancing does not come easily to teenagers. Risking becoming what may be perceived as an ‘outcast’ is probably one of the biggest punishments a teen may feel. Provide a benefit to social distancing such as, for example, being able to do a task they highly value. This will provide an incentive to follow through with distancing rather than make it a punishment to try and avoid.
  • Social media can provide a safe alternative to keeping up with friends, despite it not always helping a young person’s mental health. Help your child or young person to place boundaries on their use and keep communication open as to what discussions might be happening on line.
  • Shift the focus to helping others. Providing social support not only increases empathy and helps avoid negative or stereotypic attributions but also helps build confidence in their ability to face difficulties.
  • Challenge compulsive behaviour. Constant checking, contrary to belief, does not help reduce anxiety, instead it fans it. Suggest they scale back on checking phones and the internet for information updates since they can become digital intrusions. Suggest instead that they limit screen time, trusting the adults in their lives to share significant information instead.
  • Encourage searching for positive bits of news and provide feedback on what’s going right rather than fixating on what may be wrong. Enhance the development of a balanced perspective.
  • A frightened captain will make a frightened crew so anxious adults should take steps to manage their own tense thoughts and behaviours and counterbalance negative ideas and actions with positive, uplifting ones.

For a full list of resources visit the following page: https://stem4.org.uk/resources/

#LoveLocalDay in Wimbledon

As well as showing your partner, friends and family some love this Valentine’s Day, remember to show your local community some love too.

Current road closures on Merton Road towards South Wimbledon, expected to last until April 2020, have affected many of our independent shops, cafes and restaurants located in this area.

Today is #LoveLocalDay and Love Wimbledon is urging the people of Wimbledon to think of these businesses and make a special effort to take a few extra steps, travel further along The Broadway and support our range of fantastic local and independent stores during this time.

Ideas for how you can support these businesses:

And remember, it’s even easier to get to these businesses now, as there is very little traffic (but an even nicer walk/cycle ride!) and you can still park easily in this area.

Aside from the effects of these lengthy roadworks, there are a number of reasons why you should opt to shop local. The environmental impact of shopping local is considerably lower when compared to shopping online, which is becoming increasingly relevant given the current state of climate change. When you shop online, you often receive separate packages within multiple deliveries, delivered by large trucks or vans, which typically omit higher carbon emissions. Additional packaging which includes single-use plastic, is also used in excess to protect the products delivered in these parcels. Compare this to shopping locally, where consumers tend to use their one trip to their local town centre to combine tasks, e.g. purchase presents, grab some groceries and browse through a bookstore. Local businesses are usually also smaller, produce less waste than their enormous counterparts, and buy or live locally, therefore creating less air pollution and traffic.

When you shop local, your money also stays local. In other words, rather than adding to the profits of multi-national chains, your money goes into the pockets of your neighbours in the community. By supporting your small local and independent businesses, you are strengthening the local economy.

Without the presence of these types of stores on our high streets, which often add a sense of character and diversity through their unique and artisan offering, there is the ever-growing fear that all UK high streets will eventually look and feel the same.

Wimbledon is home to a number of other small and independent businesses which you can also show your love to today, including Fayre & SquareFieldersAubergine Art galleryHealth ZonePhokas Barbers and Gina Conway’s Aveda salon. And don’t forget, the Love Wimbledon monthly markets return in March, with a great range of local vendors offering up handcrafted gifts and flavourful international street food.

So show your community spirit by supporting your local business owners at this challenging time, helping the local economy and spreading the word about our brilliant town centre!
#LoveLocal