I have recently moved up to the North East with my fiancé (who’s a County Durham native) and I am slowly getting to know the area and the wonderful people and businesses that are now local to me.

In this blog post I’d like to celebrate the independent businesses and create a directory of small enterprises that we can support during this lockdown and onwards. Small businesses can sometimes become a little bit insular when times make it difficult for us to meet new people and I am as guilty of that as anyone. But the North of England in general has given me the confidence to write this as there is an honesty and friendliness about everyone I’ve met up here that is so refreshing. We all know of the North/South divide clichés but it’s a humbling truth that friendliness is a wonderful attribute that I have experienced so much of in my limited experience of living here so far. The Yorkshire honesty is one that everyone is aware of in the South but less is known of the other Counties in the North unless we have had first-hand experience.

This list is a directory of small enterprises that are located in my area – County Durham and Tyne and Wear, some of whom I’ve worked with, but most are those that I am just inspired to list. The list is small at the moment, but it’s just a start. I hope to build it up over time.

There are some excellent brands included, some of which will keep you stocked up over the course of this lockdown, some will make for excellent Christmas gifts, and most importantly – all will appreciate your support during this troubling time and beyond. I have been fortunate to work with many independent businesses throughout my 25-year career, capturing unique brand personalities and I know how difficult it can be to juggle life with a small business and keep your business in the forefront of people’s minds.

I would love it if you can recommend your own favourite small business. So If you know of any more small businesses in the County Durham and Tyne and Wear area and beyond that should be included on this list, be sure to let me know – either in the comments of this post or tweet me – @stephen_perry. If the business isn’t in these Counties but an adjoining County and you can heartily recommend them, please suggest them as well. 

I love the close professional and personal creativity of working with small businesses so, if you are looking to update your imagery in any way (photographs of yourself, your employees, your premises or products) or just curious about the services I offer please feel free to have a look at my website http://www.stephenperry.com and get in touch to find out how I can help  – admin@stephenperry.com. I’d love to talk to you.

I recently photographed a prominent physiotherapist Gordon Ellis who is based in Willington in County Durham. This was before deciding on a property that my partner and I want to renovate to live in, also in Willington.

Gordon, who is now a neighbour, has given me some well needed physio and is a good example of someone I would heartily recommend if you are in the need of a fine physiotherapist.  

Info Physio: Gordon Ellis

Facebook – Info Physio / Gordon Ellis

Diana Kaye Florist

Instagram – @dianakayeflorist

More Than Swim

Instagram – @morethanswim_

The Pottery Experience

Instagram – @thepotteryexperience

House of Botanics

Instagram – @houseofbotanics

Catharine Ball Photography

Facebook – Catharine Ball Photography

Seaham Waves

Instagram – @seahamwaves

Souvenirs Upon Tyne

Instagram – @souvenirsupontyne

Black Penny Design

Instagram – @blackpennydesign

Bellwoods Lifestyle Store

Instagram – @shopbellwoods

Claire Ackworth Interior Designer

Instagram – @claire_ackworth

Poplar Tree Garden Centre

Instagram – @poplartreedurham

La Chocolatrice

Instagram – @la.chocolatrice

Geordie Bangers

Instagram – @GeordieBangers

Drama Tots

Instagram – @dramatotsdurhamnorthwest

Bellaphiya Bakes

Instagram – @bellaphiya_bakes

Graze and Gorge

Instagram – @grazeandgorge

Clarence Spirits

Instagram – @stmarysginvodkaandrum

Lee and The Sweet Life

Instagram – @leeandthesweetlife

Dani’s Party Extras

Instagram – @danispartyextras

Autumn Days Design

Instagram – @autumndaysdesigns

Breloqué Bijoux

Instagram – @breloquebijoux

Botanic Buddies

Instagram – @botanicbuddies.co.uk


If you know of any more small businesses in the County Durham, Tyne and Wear area or beyond that should be included on this list, be sure to let me know – either in the comments of this post or tweet me – @stephen_perry

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