“Small businesses seem to thrive here” Humans of Brighton – Meet Suzanne
When wandering through the North Laine this week, we spotted Suzanne working hard making glass behind the counter of her beautiful shop, Little Beach Boutique. We chatted to her about living and working in the city for this week’s edition of Humans of Brighton.
Hi Suzanne! Tell me more about Little Beach Boutique.
We’ve been open for about four years now, based in the North Laines. We make all of our glass here, and sell lots of work by local makers and designers. Most of the artists we stock are from Brighton, but some things come from across the country.
Why did you decide Brighton was the best place for your business?
At university I worked at a shop on Bond Street and really enjoyed being part of such an interesting community, so there wasn’t much of a conscious decision about where my shop would eventually be! I think Brighton is a unique place because it is so creative – small businesses seem to thrive here and there are lots of people who actively support independent shops and consciously buy local.
Do you think the amount of shops that all sell beautiful, unique items like yours in Brighton makes it more difficult for individual businesses to thrive, or is there a sense of community?
My shop is in the North Laine and there is a concentration of independent boutiques there. However, rather than this making it harder to run a business, we try work together as a community to attract visitors to the area as a whole. About thirty shop-keepers met up recently to discuss our Christmas shopping event on 6th December, and to organise ‘trails’ throughout the year, and it is a really positive aspect of being so close to other similar businesses.
What is your favourite, and your least favourite thing about Brighton?
The people are definitely my favourite. I’d say the litter is my least favourite. It is quite grubby unfortunately, it’s such a shame.
If you had one last day to spend in Brighton, what would you do?
I would start with a coffee in V & H cafe in Palmeira Square then walk my dog down to the beach huts. I would drop him home (he is very old) then stroll along to the West Pier and then stop for a pastry in the Flour Pot cafe looking out to the sea. I would hire a bike and ride the under cliff path towards Saltdean, then get the bus back into town. I would have lunch at La Choza before going for a walk around the North Laine shops and galleries and I’d go to the Pavilion Gardens, which is where I got engaged. Then I would head towards the seafront, via a cocktail in the Plotting Parlour, to watch the murmurations at sunset before seeing if there was any live music and dancing at the Mesmerist.