As part of American Express' Shop Small campaign, Durham lifestyle blogger Amy Liddell is promoting local signature products and services. The 23-year-old law graduate tells how her blog, Salt and Chic, came about and what she loves about the North-East.

What prompted you to start writing your blog and how many followers do you have?

I started my blog three years ago when I was having a year out from university and I’ll admit that when I first created it, I had absolutely no idea what a “blog” was! I just wanted my own space where I could share my own thoughts, style and photos and it unexpectedly became a huge part of my life. I now have more than 34,000 social media followers spread across Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Who is your target audience?

While it’s true the majority of my readers are girls and women between the ages of 16 and 30 and I aim for those who are into fashion and personal style, I do like to think my blog appeals to guys and girls of all ages because I write about such a wide variety of topics, including travel. I originally started with most of my readers being from the UK, but this year a lot of readers have come from the US and Europe too.

How would you describe your style?

My style is so diverse - it’s so hard to sum it up. I think I mainly go for quite girly and feminine clothes with a grungy twist. I love to wear big floaty skirts with a band tee and ankle boots or smart trousers with trainers and a faux fur coat. I think overall, though, I dress quite glam - I always look as though I’m going out somewhere even if I’m sitting on the couch.

Who is your style icon?

The model Suki Waterhouse is my ultimate style icon for sure with her grungy, vintage style - she actually inspired me to get my trademark fringe cut in four years ago. I also love Rihanna because she’s not afraid to push style boundaries and change up her style drastically and I don’t think there’s anything that she couldn’t pull off.

What do you love about the North-East?

The North-East is like nowhere else in the country - a place which is so diverse and absolutely jam-packed with amazing people and businesses - and working on the Shop Small campaign has shown me that even more. Whether you live in the heart of the Northern countryside or in the busy city centres, the small businesses in the area bring vibrancy and individuality to the streets, reflecting the personality of the North and the people who live here. I often feel the beauty of North is overlooked and deserves more credit than it gets - the fresh countryside, the cobbled streets of the cities and towns and, of course, the amazing small businesses.

Why is it important to support local businesses?

For me, local businesses are what give areas real personality and I can’t imagine the North without them. They’re run by families, friends, individuals with creative minds and people who really know the area and what kind of product or service is needed. They bring something special to the community, not only giving us niche, bespoke and individual products, but also creating relationships with customers and the entire area.

Which are your favourite local shops/eateries/destinations?

I’m a sucker for a good brunch so for me, Flat White Kitchen in Durham definitely makes the list with their mammoth pancakes and beautifully presented coffees. I’m also a huge fan of The Great British Cupcakery in Newcastle, thanks to their artistic cakes and original milkshake ideas. A store I also included in my Shop Small picks for the area is Penny Pieces, a furniture shop that adds a lucky penny to any furniture they create for customers - how cute is that?