Earlier this year, we asked the people of Skipton to vote for their favourite independent shop and the shop which received the highest number of votes by far, was The Geek Side! Located in Skipton’s Craven Court Shopping Centre, it’s a treasure trove of all things ‘geeky’. Known both locally and online for their exceptionally large range of official Harry Potter merchandise, the shop also stocks a diverse selection of other branded and themed merchandise and gifts. Here, you’ll find the perfect Christmas stocking fillers for a F.R.I.E.N.D.S fan, Disney devotee, DC Comics collector and much, much more.
Owner, Zoe, is a strong believer in shopping local and can often be found promoting the benefits in various community focused social media groups. As part of our We Love Skipton campaign, we spoke to her to find out more about The Geek Side and why she believes locals should spend their money with businesses like hers…
Could you tell us a little bit about when and why you opened your lovely shop?
We’ve been in Skipton for just over 3 years now. We opened the shop on 27th July 2017 where we showcased our award-winning wedding stationery, graphic design and other types of party invitations and greeting cards. We also sold items that complemented this as well as our previous business partner’s handmade items at the time.
The shop has now grown and evolved and we decided to expand our ground floor shop with a Harry Potter shop on the first floor in the Summer of 2018 after our partner at the time decided to part ways. This has proved to be very popular with the locals and we have visitors from all over the country which is absolutely amazing. We also now host a Harry Potter party every Summer on our birthday (which coincides with Harry Potter’s birthday weekend!) which is always great fun!
You are passionate about promoting the importance of shopping locally. Could you tell our readers why it is so important to make that effort to support local, independent businesses?
We believe that shopping locally with independents gives customers a more personal service that you simply don’t get with chain stores or online shopping. You are also able to physically see and feel the quality of what you are buying.
The local businesses in Skipton give our community a uniqueness that won’t be found anywhere else, helping to attract both local residents and tourists, which keeps the town vibrant and valuable which is ultimately beneficial to the people who live and work here. The independent businesses in Skipton are working closely together to create a better ‘community’ feel to shoppers so that if one shop doesn’t sell something you’re after, we can recommend another in town that does.
We have also managed to bring lots of amazing licenced gifts and homeware items into Skipton which otherwise you’d have to travel to the city or further afield for – which can only be a good thing for the environment too! When you buy from a small business you are also supporting a person just like yourself, you’re helping to feed a family and keep a roof over their heads, rather than supporting multi-million pound online empires.
Your shop is Harry Potter heaven but what other merchandise do you stock?
As well as our huge Harry Potter range, we also offer lots of other licensed merchandise including, Rick and Morty, Stranger Things, Doctor Who, Beano, The Walking Dead, Star Wars, many movies from the Disney franchise, Friends, a big gaming range, including Nintendo, Crash Bandicoot and Sonic. We also stock Marvel and DC Comics merchandise, Pusheen and a big range of games for all the family.
We are constantly adding to our ranges and encourage customers to give us feedback on what they would like to see in store. We will soon be stocking The Nightmare Before Christmas and Star Trek due to high demand from our regulars!
Apart from your own shop, where will you be doing your Christmas shopping this year?
We love Skipton and the variety our independents have to offer! We will be shopping with our fellow small businesses this year including Eshoes, Out of the ORDinary, Gemology, Present Planners and Chocolates and Truffles this year as well as a few others.
This article is part of our We Love Skipton campaign, launched to support and promote some of the excellent independent businesses in Skipton. If you own a business in Skipton and would like to find out more about our affordable advertising packages for local businesses, please email Advertise@theyorkshirepress.co.uk