Vivienne Ross - small ceramic bowl. We’ve been hearing a lot on the news recently about profits and turnover being down in the run up to Christmas for high street retailers like John Lewis and M&S.

Well we’d like to give you a bit of good news - that’s not the case here at the Mulberry Tree! In fact it is quite the opposite! Our turnover for Nov and Dec was up by 13% on the previous year and our profits were pretty healthy too!  

For us indies it can get quite disheartening when we continually hear about the demise of the British High Street - in most cases it only reflects the big high street names and isn't what is happening in indie retail world.  Now I'm not saying it's easy, in fact it's bloomin' hard work but it would be nice to have a bit more balanced reporting!

We now just need to hold our nerve in January when it all goes very quiet (cue The Mulberry Tree Gallerytumbleweed) and try not to panic when on some days we only take £20 and you wonder whether you’d be better off at home with your feet up!

Now we could take all the credit and say it’s because we’re so amazing but let’s face it that ain’t the truth! It’s a joint effort between us all - our artists and makers, our suppliers and you our customers. The message of supporting indie retailers is loud and proud and you are responding, so thank you very much - because of you all we have a thriving high street here in Swanage full of wonderful indies and family businesses.  

Independent retailing is without a doubt having a resurgance with many new shops opening up and they are leading the way in creating innovative spaces, ideas and what we think the high street needs to look like and how it can best serve its community.  As we've said before it also means that as an indie retailer we are rooted in our community – not just by the physical presence of the bricks and mortar that make up the building but by the fact that we employ local people, helping them earn a living, supporting their families and being part of their lives.    For our customers, we are often part of the happiest and sometimes the saddest moments Thank Youin their lives whether it be through the purchase of a greetings card, a birthday present or the framing of artwork, photographs, cross-stitches, certificates or memorabilia – it can be really humbling and an aspect of our work that can easily be forgotten.

So finally because you choose to show your work here, because you choose to give us an account to sell your products and because you choose to spend your hard earned pennies with us we’re still here after more than 30 years! Not bad for a small gallery and framers in a little seaside resort on the south coast of England!