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Christmas message: Clare Honeyfield, Made In Stroud

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What a year it has been, and how blessed I feel to live in Stroud.

It’s delightful to see the town growing as a destination for independent shopping, the arts, great food markets and community enterprise. 

Highlights of my year include dancing at some incredible gigs at The Subs, enjoying the opening night of The Stroud Hotel and of Rococo Gardens Enchanted Garden by Night, some wonderful times at The Long Table, where we launched our first “Small Talk” event with Will and Tom, being at Mary Portas ‘Desert Island Books’ event at Stroud Book Festival, Wild Swim Club’s lakeside sauna overlooking the lake. And a personal highlight, finding someone who can tame my crazy hair (thanks Lucy) 

I’ve heard “there are good years and learning years”. This has definitely been a “learning year” for me. I’d add to that “a learning year is a great year.”

If I had to sum up 2023 in a word, the word would be ‘growth’. It was an incredible year for The Made in Stroud Shop, a great year for community and a year of learning to do things differently. We’ve met hundreds of new customers, made new friends and attended some dazzling awards events.

We celebrated out 23rd anniversary of the shop by welcoming some incredible new suppliers to our shop, collaborating more and learning so much about working smarter not harder. We could not be more grateful to our makers and customers for helping us to create something so unique and special. 

2023 has also marked the first year of my Together Community for women. This has been a truly humbling path and an honour for me to be able to facilitate, and to witness women working on their dreams whilst creating more brilliant community businesses. 

In 2024 I’m looking forward to a return to Yoga teaching and helping more women to create awesome businesses. 

Wishing everyone a contented, joyful and nourishing solstice, yule tide, and a very happy new year. 

And here’s to community, growth and abundance. 

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