The Independent Awards 2020

Community Brand Award

The future of business lies beyond the product. Consumers are seeking out businesses that offer them something that remains long after the swipe of their credit card. They crave connection, a sense of belonging and community – now more than ever.

Consumers want to buy into you and your business, to become part of a flock with like-minded others. These nominees have built their business around their community, never losing sight of why they’re doing what they’re doing, but most importantly who they’re doing it for.

The Winner

One Million Lovely Letters

Jodi began writing letters after being poorly and bed-bound and put a call out on social media asking if anyone needed a handwritten letter to remind them of their wonder. She received over 200 messages overnight and the One Million Lovely Letters project began. Her community has been built through kindness and taken on a life of its own.

The Runner Up


At home with her first child, Claire found she had lost her sense of identity so began sharing the simple ways she was entertaining her baby on social media. Her expertise as an early years specialist led to playHOORAY! being born and a community of over 150K like minded parents, carers and educators supporting and cheering each other on.

The Judges

Emily Coxhead

Creator of The Happy News

Emily amassed a community worldwide when she launched “The Happy News” in 2015, a newspaper sharing only happiness and positivity.

Joe Wicks MBE

Founder of The Body Coach

British fitness coach, TV presenter and author. Throughout lockdown, Joe galvanised the nation into changing the way people think about food and exercise.

Finalists & Nominees

Below you will find all of the businesses nominated for the Community Brand Award including the finalists. Huge congratulations to all the nominees for this fantastic achievement.

A South London Makers Market

Changing the face of retail by championing and supporting the most exciting indie businesses and connecting them with a global community of like-minded people.


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Jamii is on a mission to make shopping at Black British brands as easy and convenient as possible, doing so through their online marketplace, discount card and pop up shops.

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It’s more than just a slogan tee; it’s a way of thinking, a tool for confidence building and a message to support everyone who is a part of it.

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A storytelling platform, podcast, book & community to inspire and celebrate kids’ voices – Fabled helps families raise the most imaginative generation ever. The future is make believe, so imagine better!

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For the Love of the North

Proudly supporting North East creatives. Showcasing the work of local artists whilst working together to instill a sense of pride and community in their wonderful region.

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Good Store Studio

A community hub for local businesses, stocked with independent makers. Housing a textile studio, workshop, event and desk spaces, fostering a creative environment for Bristol’s independents is at our heart.

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Isabella and Us

The home of the Positive Wellbeing Zine for Mums – an independent magazine which brings mums together as part of a community where they feel supported and nourished

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Joanne Hawker

A designer and maker, who also runs Instagram challenges to help small businesses tell their business story, reach a wider audience and show the world what they’re capable of!

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Nicola Rowlands

Providing a much needed sense of human connection during lockdown – cards for care workers and thank you stickers for our amazing posties.

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Find and connect with independent, creative markets, organisers and their stallholders. Pedddle loves bringing the market community together.

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Rebecca Strickson Illustration

Fiercely independent, passionate prints and workshops, led by design and people power. Beautiful art with community spirit & love at it’s heart.

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Round Table Books CIC

Originally a pop-up to highlight poor representation in children’s books, #ReadTheOnePercent became a national campaign, which successfully made the store permanent.

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The Blurt Foundation

Dedicated to helping those affected by depression – providing information and resources about living, managing, and supporting others with depression.

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The Mamahood

A community of independent creative mum-run brands working to raise the profile and opportunities for entrepreneurial mothers up and down the country.

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The Pop Up Club

Using empty High Street shops to provide affordable, low-risk retail opportunities for artists, makers, and emerging brands.

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A thriving community that financially empowers women and changes the conversation about money. Providing the tools to make great financial choices.

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With thanks to our small business supporters