Last Thursday, I treated myself to an evening off childcare in order to venture out to Bon Tot’s house party. Bon Tot has long been a favourite haunt and they had good cause to celebrate; the business was turning two and the shop one. They’ve had so much success that it’s only right they should party! If they weren’t winners already they definitely won the night with prosecco, a beer keg, and pizza!

Whilst the shop was packed out with people, I did have time to pick up a few things for the kid’s Christmas. I written about buying Birthday gifts for other people’s children before; but this was also a great opportunity to update my repertoire too.

As I was loitering in the corner admiring all the things Bon Tot had to offer, I pondered the importance of shopping ‘local.’ We are so lucky to have a range brilliant shops in Edinburgh and with that in mind – here’s my top 5 reasons that you should shop local too:

  1. You are supporting the ‘little’ guy

It seems logical to say that a local business will be owned by someone living locally. If the business appeals then the owners are probably people like you too. In Bon Tot’s case, Kris and Graham are beyond cooler than us – but they are parents too. Just one’s with amazing taste and a beautifully dressed child. They live in the same area, and no doubt have similar aims to the rest of us; to provide for their family, hopefully enjoy work, and to be successful. It’s nice to support people in that endeavour directly. Whilst buying on Amazon no doubt supports someone, somewhere; they are faceless and I’m pretty confident I’m just making someone rich, richer.

2. They sell more ‘unique’ items

I always look forward to Bon Tot’s seasonal launches because they are awesome at show casing different designers. You don’t find this range of designs in other shops, because it’s been carefully selected for this one shop.

For example, I absolutely fell in love with these Port culls Miner Pants by Mabli. Designed in Wales, and ethically produced in Europe.

I am 100% confident that I would never have discovered them if not for Bon Tot. I’m still a little bereft that they don’t produce them in Thomas’ size.

3. You get great advice

Whilst I’m a fan of the ‘ease’ of internet shopping, it can be a bit of a mine field. Clothing sizes vary hugely from shop to shop so buying for kids can be a bit of a gamble. A clear advantage of visiting somewhere like Bon Tot is the personal advice. Kris is great at saying if things are cut small or are maybe more generous. As a parent she fully understands how quickly kids grow and the importance of growing room! Loads of the clothing is designed to ‘cuff’ backwards so you get much longer out of it as well.

Last time I had popped into the store to say hi, I actually met Sarah from Toaty Adventures instead. She was quick to point me to this great nail varnish that actually washes off with soapy water!


Katie LOVES having her nails painted, but actually having to rub her wee toes and fingers with polish remover isn’t ideal. I’ve picked a bottle up for her Christmas stocking, but actually think it would make a great birthday gift too.

4. You ‘try’ before you buy

Aside from getting advice from the people who chose the stock to begin with. By shopping in person, you can also ‘feel’ the products yourself. If I was to look at Gray Label online, I’m not sure I would’ve fallen in love with it as much as I have. It is SO unbelievably soft. By going into the shop, you have the opportunity to handle items and really appreciate them for what they are.


I got Thomas these Gray Label salopettes partly because I imagine they must be incredibly comfortable to wear. But mostly, because I know it’s so great to cuddle too! When the kids finally do grow out of their kit, it’s going to be difficult not to just turn it all into a quilt.

5. You find that you make friends

Obviously, the Bon Tot House party was an opportunity to meet people. But it actually was a chance to see people I had already met through Bon Tot. Last Spring, I had joined together with local photographer Anna Moffat to showcase Bon Tot’s picks for Spring. Although I originally met Anna through Instagram, I’m pretty sure our mutual love for Bon Tot has helped maintain the relationship!

In the run up to Christmas, I’ll be sharing a few of my favourite business’ over on my Facebook and Instagram so please make sure you follow me there!

If you’re not from Edinburgh, please check out your own local businesses and support your community!

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5 Reasons you should support your local shop - Edinburgh Life with Kids





4 thoughts on “Design: 5 Reasons to Shop Local”

  1. I love the look of that Gray Label Salopettes 🙂 So adorable! We do try to support local businesses or small ones as much as we can, especially since a lot of our friends run them 🙂

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