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Three reasons I love collaborating with Irish businesses.

I cant quite believe we are now in January 2021. It's such a surreal time in all our lives and even though there are elements of fear everyday there are still so many things I'm grateful for. 

I have worked with the most amazing, warm, welcoming businesses over the past few months and there have been so lovely moments that make me so happy in my job. 

Some of the best things have been 

1. The Food

On my last trip to JJ Donnelly Menswear Gavin grabbed me the most amazing Christmas Brioche bap from the local deli. He had heard me say on my stories that I hate skinny sandwiches so he was determined I got a good lunch when I came to Ballynahinch. It was so good I even tried to recreate it over Christmas at home. It didn't even come close Gavin.

When I was asked at Jack Murphy Jewellers if I wanted a cup of tea I wasn't expecting macaroons and personalised cookies to accompany it in the most amazing pastel colours. However as I stayed a little longer in their amazing premises I realised this is how the team roll. Everything they do from their interiors, their customer service, their product exudes class and sophistication. 
If you don't follow them on social media you need to. You will become obsessed.

Over the past few months The Klean Kitchen has helped fuel me with the best healthy food. During such a busy time with the charity work at Christmas Kelly kept bringing me and my family food. I will never forget this generosity during such a hectic time in my life.

A visit to a day spa would normally mean relaxation and hot tubs and that is certainly what I got at The Meadow Retreat but I was also fed like a Queen as are all of Deborah's guests. I was served afternoon tea when I arrived and then as I lay in the hot tub relaxing I was given prosecco and the most delicious cheeseboard. It was all about the food as well as the relaxation which is right up my street.

The last few months has also  made me fall in love with cooking all over again. My journey with Bakehouse has been one of the most rewarding for me. Working with Bronagh has been good for the soul and believe me if you start to follow her you will love her as much as I do.

2. The Fun
I have had so many laughs since starting the collaborations. One of the funniest moments was when I visited Bumble and Bee the most beautiful kids boutique.
Laura has the most amazing shop but also a fabulous community around her who support her in all that she does. When I was there in December one of her customers called to the door to offer us one of her roast potatoes - "the best roast potatoes in Ballymoney." It would have been rude not to try them, so as we all stood eating the roasties we agreed they were pretty good. 

When Springisland asked us to their farm where their cattle is reared we didn't quite expect the laughs we had. Daisy the cow even made an appearance and of course we had to get a spin on her.

When I began my work with all the businesses it was my vision that my family would be involved as much as they could. When Gerard joined me at David Rogers Toymaster I never envisaged us scooting around the store in a two man Berg Go Kart. We had the best laugh that night with Jonny and the team.

The Support 
Digg Deep For Kids brought the whole business community together. All of my businesses supported me so much. 

Helen from Finishing Touches Too advertised her shop as a drop off point and her husband Martin travelled the whole way from Limavady with a van load of gifts donated by people in the Limavady area. The support that Helen drummed up is a true testament to how much people think of her and support her in her community.

Jane and Kathy from Millson and Berry were determined to raise as much money as they could for the campaign. They raised £1350 by running a raffle and we were able to turn that into almost £3000 worth of essentials for the charities. These girls are amazing. 

Paul and Sarah from Ted and Stitch offered their home address as a drop of point in the Randalstown area and supported so many businesses with raffle prizes. December was their busiest month in business to date yet they still supported me throughout the campaign. They are something special.

Osborne & Co Enniskillen advertised their premises as a drop off point and they were totally overwhelmed by the donations from the whole community. They then travelled to the warehouse with all the donations and I will never forget the boxes and boxes of items being carried in from their cars. 

Meadow Retreat reached out to businesses on social media for raffle prizes, and raised an amazing £800 for the campaign. Deborah also collected donations and brought them to the Digg Warehouse. She also constantly sent me messages of support and encouragement throughout which meant so much to me and kept me going.

Kasia from Polka Dot Photo as always offered her time and services to capture the magic through photo. She stayed from morning to evening making sure she didn't miss any of the action. This is one of my favourite photos and I will treasure these images forever.

Aimee from Bodyfit Mums was my constant support throughout both physically and mentally. She was at the warehouse almost every night and day and on the day of pick up she was there from 9am to 5.30pm in the freezing cold. She is a powerhouse and an amazing friend.

So there you have it. My three reasons why. Food, Fun and Support. The businesses I am working with at the moment have so much passion for business and life. I am so lucky to have worked with them and I can now call all of them my friends. When our collaboration ends, I will always be there for them because they have been there for me in more ways than they will ever know.

If you want to see all the drama behind the scenes then follow Digg Mama on Facebook and Instagram. Its going to be an exciting year. x