Shopping in Essex: I went shopping on Maldon High Street and found these amazing independent shops – Hope Woolston

Shopping local is really important, now more than ever. After the devastating impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, many small businesses were forced to shut down for good or are still recovering from months of being shut.

Many people took to shopping online instead, which put a devastating blow on many independent shops on our high streets. And as the economy began to again, many local shops were unable to reopen like some of the larger chain stores as a result of the financial implications of the pandemic.

I, like many people, enjoy a bit of retail therapy, however, I do find it’s very easy to turn to all of the big chains as you know what to expect. Through doing this, there is a lot I could be missing out on smaller, independent shops, particularly on our high streets.

Read more: We tried Essex’s new indoor obstacle course

In a bid to discover the best small businesses in Essex, I have decided to make a conscious effort to visit independents in every town I go to. Recently, I went to Maldon for the day and checked out the independent shops on the high street.

Here are the shops I found that I thought were the best:

Willow & Fox



Willow & Fox

Found at the High Street entrance of Edwards Walk, Willow & Fox is a women’s fashion store. The tiny shop was filled with gorgeous dresses, skirts, jumpers and more.

There were also plenty of accessories such as handbags with interchangeable straps, sunglasses and chunky headbands. It wasn’t all clothes and accessories, there was also some small homeware and gifts including a ‘boob’ range of vases, bowls and more.

Although only in a very small unit, Willow & Fox does have a changing room if you want to try anything on. I did just that with a beautiful pink wrap dress that I knew I needed to buy as soon as I saw it.

Crystal Shack



Crystal Shack
Crystal Shack

Crystal Shack, in Edwards Walk is full to the brim with crystals, incense, aromatherapy oils, tarot cards, candles, jewelry and more. It’s a one-stop shop for anyone interested in the use of crystals as well as those keen to learn more about witchcraft, spirituality and holistic treatments.

You can buy salt lamps, carvings, homeware, sage, spell pouches, magic candles and so much more. Something I really liked was that all of the crystals were labelled with what their benefits are.

As well as being a retail unit, Crystal Shack also hosts workshops on a variety of subjects such as tarot reading, chakras and fossils. If you or someone you know is into crystals you have to visit this shop.

Woof & Co



Woof & Co
Woof & Co

Sadly, I no longer have a dog, however, one day when I do again I will be rushing to Woof & Co. This shop is all about dogs with food, accessories and plenty of treats on offer.

There are lots of ‘natural’ treat options such as deer legs, buffalo horns and cow ears. You can also get doggy cupcakes, popcorn and even pick’n’mix to help them celebrate birthdays and other occasions in style.

Woof & Co also sell a selection of dog foods, toys and other essentials like shampoo and bowls. On the shelves, you’re also able to shop for leads, harnesses, coats and some other fashionable accessories. Dogs are also welcome in the store so they can help to pick what they want.

Danielle Styles



Danielle Styles
Danielle Styles

If you are looking for a new outfit for a night out you need to go and take a look in Danielle Styles. This uber-pink and girly shop has plenty of gorgeous outfits perfect for clubs, brunches and more.

There is plenty of color in this shop with bright pinks, oranges and greens really catching my eye as potential summer outfits. Danielle Styles also has an adorable range of girls’ clothes so that you can style up your mini-mes.

As well as your new outfit you can also get your hands on accessories, including some killer sunglasses, jewelry and handbags. The shoes on sale in-store include sandals, trainers and boots.

SILO



SILO
SILO

SILO is Maldon’s first ever zero waste shop selling refillable goods, loose foods and ethical products. Behind the counter, you will find rows of pasta, nuts, grains, spices and more all ready to be used to fill reusable containers.

You can also get cleaning products like toilet fizzers, fabric conditioners and washing up liquid. Plastic-free toiletries like deodorant, toothbrushes, razors and more are also on offer. Silo also stocks plenty of useful household items which cut common waste. You can even find toys and gifts too.

Just The Thing



Just The Thing
Just The Thing

If you are in Maldon and on the hunt for a gift, I would really recommend paying a visit to Just The Thing. In this shop, in Edwards Walk, you will find so many perfect presents for birthdays, Christmas, weddings and more.

You can get handbags, signs, wax melts, milestone presents and plenty of cards. There are also lots of lovely home accessories to get your house looking stylish.

I know that I will definitely return when I have someone to get a gift for as there is just so much choice. It is clear that a lot of effort has been put into making sure there’s something for everyone in the store.

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