Dovedale Road independent Sunderland businesses to host Christmas shopping night

From locally-made chutneys and gins to craft kits and clothes you won’t find on the high street, shoppers will be able to bag some independent treats at a Christmas shopping night.

Dovedale Road in Seaburn Dene is home to a string of quality, independent stores, many of which are female-owned businesses.

Now, three of the businesses, Carmichael’s, Lucy Locket Land and Dog and Daisy, are teaming up for a Christmas shopping night to showcase their products with fizz and nibbles for regulars, as well as giving new faces the chance to discover their offer.

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Donna Carmichael is one of the newest businesses on the local high street after she opened her Carmichael’s deli 18 months ago, selling a whole range of farmhouse cheeses, cured meats, tray bakes, sausage rolls, sauces, snacks, pastas, locally-brewed and distilled alcohol, kitchen gifts and much more.

Dovedale Road shops are hosting a Christmas shopping night.

As part of the Christmas shopping night, which takes place on Thursday, November 24 until 9pm, they’ll be serving mulled wine, cheese samples and homemade chocolate samples.

Donna said they’ve been really welcomed by the community since opening their doors.

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"We have a great local customer base, but there’s still a lot of people who don’t know we’re here, so we’re hoping the Christmas shopping night will be a great way to introduce us to new customers,” she said.

"We sell a huge range of local brands, as well as imported goods. We like people to feel like they can get luxury on their doorstep, without paying the prices of the big food halls and department stores.”

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(Left to right) Andrew and Kerry Davison, Lucy McKelvey and Donna Carmichael. Picture by FRANK REID'

Speaking about the row of shops, she said: “People are really familiar with Sea Road round the corner, but a lot of people still don’t know these shops are here. There are so many great independents here, many of which are female owned, which also includes Alfie’s barbershop and Classy Lady beauticians. We also have plenty of free parking.”

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Lucy McKelvey set up Lucy Locket Land in 2017 after crafting helped her with her mental health.

She opened her shop to share the joy of crafting and knitting with others and it’s proved hugely popular, attracting people from across the country with its kits, natural-fibre yarns and workshops, as well as selling ceramics by local artists such as Isla McKelvey, PA Contemporary Ceramics and Aly Hall.

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"It’s a craft shop with a really strong community essence as well,” she said. “It was really important to me to create that social hub for crafters. I’m very driven by creativity being good for mental health and well-being, it helped me out so much. Being able to immerse yourself in a safe space is so important.”

Donna Carmichael owner of Carmichael's Picture by FRANK REID'
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Lucy Locket Land will be hosting gift stalls on the night, offering drinks and nibbles and there will be a raffle for My Sisters’ Kitchen CIC as well as donations taken for Sunderland Foodbank.

Further up the street, Dog and Daisy was set up by Kerry Davison in 2016 and has proved popular with its clothing and accessories. So much so, husband Andrew came on board last September to open an extension to the shop, specialising in home and gardens.

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"It’s been going brilliantly,” said Kerry. “I started selling in Tynemouth Market before looking for premises and I’ve been so well supported here. I’ve been very fortunate, I’ve never even had to advertise.

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Carmichael's Dovedale Road, Sunderland Picture by FRANK REID'

"It’s really evolved and is constantly growing. There’s a great community spirit here and the Christmas shopping night is a great way to say thank you to our customers.”

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Lucy McKelvey from Lucy Locket Land.
Inside Lucy Locket Land
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Dog and Daisy in Dovedale Road
Dog and Daisy sells a wide range of ladies' clothing, homewares and gifts