Best of the Web

Crowdwish is the Best Way to Support Good Deeds

My latest recommendation for ‘Best of the Web’ is the Crowdwish website. A simple but genius idea to link together people’s hopes, dreams, ambitions and desires. The site is also available as an app from the apple store.

The website allows people to submit personal wishes and vote on the community’s ideas. Every day the Crowdwish team take the most popular wish and do whatever they can to action it on behalf of the people who submitted and voted for the wish.

Crowdwish is described by its founders as “the accidental consequence of lots of late nights, people talking over each other and doses of Adderall”. The London-based team are Ben Bilboul, Chris Michaels, Anna Agapiou, Nick Fulford, Paul Robinson, Massimo Palmieri, Iszak Bryan and Bill Griffin.

The project is based on 3 observations (I’ve simplified these and you’ll find an explanation of greater eloquence on the Crowdwish website):

1. Everyone on earth has a wish.

2. Most wishes will be shared by more than one person.

3. The more people that want a thing, the more likely that thing will come to pass.

As a member of the Crowdwish community you can have ten active wishes at any one time. The more people ‘re-wish’ your hopes, the more likely it will hit the top spot and be the chosen wish of the day. The wish solutions come in many forms from discounts and special offers to the creation of briefing packs; the most recent of which was sent to Prime Minister David Cameron. Whatever the favourite wish is the Crowdwish team negotiate, lobby and pull strings to turn that wish into real action.

By uniting people together and working as a crowd the Crowdwish founders have shown that there’s a greater success of making these wishes into a reality. To date they’ve actioned 250 wises from ‘clear action on climate change’ to ‘finding nail polish that wouldn’t chip after a day’.

I love websites like this that aim to do some genuine good for the world. In case you were wondering the most popular wishes are usually positive or funny requests. The Crowdwish founders politely discourage wishes that are lame, greedy, crude, vague, selfish or unlawful.

The best bit is that it’s not just an idea. 250 completed wish missions prove they’re making the project hugely successful. I hope that Crowdwish goes from strength to strength and that you like the site. If you’re inspired, why not make a wish yourself.

Posted by Charlotte 15:41 12/09/14

The Best New Way to Support Independent Bookshops

Help Save Independent Bookshops with Shopping.

Knowing my love of all things indie a friend recently pointed my towards a new website called My Independent Bookshop. A social network for book lovers who can’t resist independent bookshops, created by the folks at Penguin Random House.

The video below sums it up beautifully, take a quick look before I share a few more details.

Backed by the world’s largest publisher, My Independent Bookshop aims to support and unite small, high street book shops. Keeping alive the quirky gems of the retail and literary worlds. The beloved independent bookshops.

Launched a few months ago the site gives an online space where anyone can review their favourite books. Providing personal recommendations to fellow book lovers via their own virtual bookshelf.

The good bit for independents is that as well as browsing readers can also buy books from the site. When they do a percentage of the sale is shared with a local, independent book store of their choice.

Like much of the indie community, small bookshops have been hit hard by big corporate retailers so it’s great to see an avenue for them to get a little love and support.

Both online and in the ‘real word’ it’s important that we keep finding new ways to support our independents; especially high quality independent bookshops, which are sadly a dying breed.

With Piccadilly Lane my aim is to unite together a community of independent, online card and gift shops. Alongside sites like My Independent Bookshop I hope we can shine a light on all of the fabulous independent shops and studios that make our towns, cities and the Internet a great place to explore.

Keen to catch the indie shopping bug? Why not start exploring right here with the indie shops of the Piccadilly Lane community.

Posted by Charlotte 14:47 2/09/14

10 of the Best Websites for Stylish Stationery

Discover the Best Websites for Stylish Stationery.

Whether it’s a first term at a new primary school or you’re off to university in a far away city good stationery is a must. With this in mind we’ve compiled a list of the best websites for stylish stationery.

Luckily independent designers and makers have a whole host of wonderful notebooks, pens and planners for this very occasion. As always, we want you to ditch the boring supermarkets and chains and get your stationery from some lovely independents. So here’s our pick of 10 Top Online Shops for all of your stationery needs.

1. Belle & Boo

best wesbites for stylish stationery - belle and boo

For those of you interested in illustration we couldn’t resist recommending Belle & Boo. Their truly charming stationery collection is full of gorgeous items from notebooks and writing sets to a best-selling backpack. Our highlight is the nostalgic wooden pencil box, complete with whimsical Belle & Boo decoration.

2. Always Sparkle


websites for stationery - always sparkle

New to the Always Sparkle gift collection is a fab collection of spiral bound notebooks. Each jotter is decorated with cool phrases in bold, striking typography. With simple, sleek design these stationery finds are a great pick no matter what your age. Our favourite design is the ‘Geeky Genius Things’ notebook; a great gift find for genius stationery lovers.

3. Luckies of London

stationery websites luckies

Any list of the best websites for stylish stationery wouldn’t be complete without Luckies. Jam-packed with amazing gadgets and genius gifts Luckies is a must-see site for adventurous stationery addicts. Here you’ll find lots of imaginative and inspiring gizmos that will brighten up any desk. Our favourite pick is the Dry Wipe Wheelie Bin. Not simply a desk tidy for your pens and pencils, its dry wipe surface lets you doodle and decorate it any way you want.

4. Doodlelove UK


best websites for stylish stationery - doodlelove

Uniting paper with personality Doodlelove is the home of independent designer, Lela Cribbin. The Doodlelove collection has a whole heap of cards and notecards for all of your writing needs, but above all we love their ‘Awesome Set’; a great collection of social stationery perfect to have on stand-by when only a good, old-fashioned notecard will do.

5. Orla Kiely

websites for stationery - orla kiely

If like us you love a bit of pattern to brighten up your days then the Orla Kiely shop is the place for you. Their eye-popping stationery in beautiful, bright colours is great pick for stylish students. The stationery collection has a wonderful set of notebooks, each decorated with an iconic Orla Kiely print. Our favourites are the Scribble Pear bound notebook and matching memo block.

6. Night Owl Paper Goods

night owl paper goods - best stationery websites

If you’re a fan of cute then Night Owl Paper Goods is the online shop for you. Their onlien shop has a huge range of notebooks, jotters, pencils and much more. Each decorated with trademark touches of ‘folksy’ design and cute critters. A great pick if you’re looking for Eco-Friendly designs, keep your eyes peeled for the mini spiral bound notebooks; an essential item for your to-do list.

7. Liz and Pip

liz and pip - stylish stationery


Mixing bright colours, pattern and super sweet characters the Liz and Pip range has stationery for every age. We love the fabulous notebook designs. With cute characters the paper notebooks are ideal for younger ones. While the embossed notebooks with stylish patterns are perfect for the notes and jottings of those off to college or university.


best websites for stylish stationery - suck uk

The ideal webstore for those interested in innovative design is SUCK UK. Like all of the designs on offer, their stationery collection stands out from the crowd. From a ‘Dead Fred’ Pen Holder to a diary that lasts your entire life the SUCK UK designers have an ingenious idea for every stationery emergency. A very good reason why they made it on to the list of the best websites for stylish stationery.

9. Jan Constantine

jan constantine

Although usually known for their hand-embroidered homeware, the Jan Constantine website also offers some great options for those of you off to college or university. Browsing their latest ranges we couldn’t help but be drawn to the messenger bags and tech cases (available for laptop or iPad). The mix of modern life use and classic textile styling makes them really stand out against the dull, everyday alternatives.

10. Caroline Gardner


best websites for stylish stationery - caroline gardner

Caroline Gardner’s extensive collection of stationery is a must-see for design fans and those of you who love to be organised. What we love about the Caroline Gardner webshop is the diversity of the stationery. The collection has several unique ranges perfect for all. The cute characters of the ‘Muchly Lovely’ range is great for little ones, while the ditsy weekly planner (shown above) is ideal for older, style-seeking students. A must have stationery item to manage a hectic timetable.

Explore more shopping guides from the best of the independent web!

Posted by Charlotte 16:11 26/08/14

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