Sutton business owner explains why we should #SupportLocal

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After spending ten years bringing up her children in Sutton, Nerissa Buckell realised her CV was looking a bit empty. With four boys to look after, returning to work full-time was all but impossible (without the help of Supernanny!).
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So, inspired by a line in the poem The Paint Box by EV Rieu, Nerissa set up online gift company Crimson Tiger, along with her friend Annie Harvey. As well as a range of specially curated gifts, Crimson Tiger also sells personalised gifts that the duo make themselves.
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I caught up with Nerissa to talk about doughnuts, dogs and the importance of supporting your local community.

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Can you tell me a little about yourself? Hi, I am Nerissa, I was born and grew up in Cheam and Sutton. I have four sons between the ages of 16 and nine, a dog that snorts like a pig, two rescue guinea pigs and a husband!
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What inspired you to set up Crimson Tiger? I was originally a full-time mum, involved with a local pre-school and helping set up and run a toddler group in Belmont.
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Unfortunately my husband became ill and, although he recovered quickly, it was a bit of a reality slap in the face. After ten years of raising children and volunteer work, I realised I had a blank CV, and childcare was an issue with four children.
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It was suggested that I start to make jewellery, a bit of a passion of mine. A friend who I had been on the pre-school committee with then approached me with the suggestion that we start an online gift shop. After many meetings in Coffee Zone in Cheam, Crimson Tiger was born.
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What’s the best thing about working for yourself? And the hardest thing? Working for myself is brilliant but hard work. I have been able to be around for the children, attending their assemblies and school meetings and I am around during the school holidays although juggling the work and keeping them occupied is a bit of a time-tightrope walk!
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It would not suit everyone as the downside of the flexibility is working early in the morning before the school run and late into the evenings. You have to be able to easily flick the work switch on and off, as you cannot let work invade family time.
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Why is it so important for people to #SupportLocal? We are lucky in this area to have some fantastic independent businesses. When we buy from somewhere like Dragonfly, Sutton Community Farm or Gordon Turner Opticians we are putting money back into our community. These companies employ local people, and some of their profits are spent locally. Also they bring character to the area, and give people a reason to shop on their doorstep. 
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To indulge in some serious calories though I would happily drive any distance for a jam dougnut from Stenning Bakery in Belmont! Luckily, it’s just down the road.

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Why do you like living in Sutton? Sutton is a great place to live. Other than the obvious – lowest crime rate in London, good schools, good transport links, great parks – we also have a strong community. Events like the Charter Fair, Belmont Festival, St Helier Festival and Rotary Fair help, but you can’t beat getting involved personally.

What’s your favourite thing to do in Sutton? I love walking the dog around the residential streets of Sutton as we have some great architecture: the weather-boarded houses along Malden Road and Park Lane; the early 1970s homes in Warren Avenue; grand Edwardian houses in Egmont Road and the Landseer Conservation Area.

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Park Lane, Cheam

My husband, and occasionally one of the children, run in Nonsuch Park with a running group, Running with Matt, and if he has time, he takes part in the Nonsuch parkrun on a Saturday morning. We are also involved with Belmont Scouts. My husband is a cub leader with them.

Where’s the best place to eat and drink in the borough? We rarely get to go out for a meal due to work, children and volunteering commitments. My husband thinks we are on a date when we have a coffee at Tasha’s Tea Rooms! I want to try The Clink, my sister went recently and and enjoyed the food, and also Casa Nostra.

Crimson Tiger dog

Follow Crimson Tiger on Twitter @crimsontiger3

One thought on “Sutton business owner explains why we should #SupportLocal

  1. Pingback: Frequently Asked Questions & Answers - Crimson Tiger

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