We live in a world where getting what you need and receiving information fast has become the norm. However, this same world is one of on-hold calls, live chats, forms, generic FAQs, standard procedures and scripts. But when you’re shopping, as in life – it’s not ‘one size fits all’. These services have their place and can make life much more convenient, but there are times when you just can’t beat the personal and caring service of local small businesses – such as those in The Collective at Darwin.

Great Communication


One of the reasons small businesses give us such fantastic service is that they provide a personal touch and no customer feels like a number. For example, the service provided by iRehab who carry out mobile phone and other technical repairs, is second to none. iRehab’s owner Ben and his team know the importance of treating every customer as an individual – as no two repairs are the same. They pride themselves in same day mobile phone repairs where possible and when it takes a little longer, they’re diligent about keeping their customers in the loop.


Creating Communities and Friendship


It’s often said that when you buy from a small business, the owner does a ‘happy dance’. Every customer counts and if they leave a shop having found what they were looking for (and enjoyed the experience), then that gives the shop owner real joy. In some cases, what the customer is looking for is more than a purchase. DVD Megastore owner Estaban, who also owns Buttercup Bookshop and Darwin’s Barbers, is passionate about the community of regular customers that his stores have built over the years.


“We want to go back to the old days of pride of ownership in shops, where businesses enjoy the customer interaction. We’re not there to just sell, we’re there to get to know the customers. There’s no forced service, it’s personal – and that makes a big difference.”


This is also true for Tubeway Records, which has become quite the destination for music lovers in Shrewsbury.


We love seeing regular smiling faces, building friendships and communities. The ladies at Sydneys Café have enjoyed turning the café into a favourite with locals and visitors alike. Likewise, there is so much value and trust built by being consistency served well by the same member of staff.


Finding What’s Right for You


The store owners at The Collective, like many others in Shrewsbury, are often on the shop floor and on hand to help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Sometimes that may mean looking further afield on your behalf (depending on the store) or making suggestions you may not have considered before. At Portofolio, owner Georgia has a natural flare for styling… often knowing what will suit a shopper before they’ve even tried it.


Suzanne of Heavenly Brides of Shrewsbury (and also Bethany’s Boutique) knows the importance of personal, high-quality service in providing brides with the wedding dress of their dreams and feeling looked after at every stage of the journey;


“Really good customer service is paramount, regardless of what you do.  I don’t rely on repeat clientele so for me it’s really important that I build rapport with my clients, making them feel at ease and letting them have a lovely experience that they want to tell other people about.”


Allie, the barber at Darwin’s Barbers is passionate about making her clients look great and really listening to what they want. She also provides a wonderful service for little ones having their first haircut – which can feel a little daunting for toddlers (and parents alike!). It’s so much easier when you feel at ease and in the hands of someone who really cares.


Theodore Roosevelt once said of customer service: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” – and the small businesses in The Collective really care about their customers and the service they receive.


Discover for yourself by visiting them on the lower ground floor of The Darwin Centre and don’t forget to connect with them online:


Facebook: The Collective at Darwin

Instagram – @thecollectiveatdarwin