The Gift Guide Series: Small, Independent & Local Businesses

Post number two in this years Gift Guide series is all about supporting those small, independent and local businesses that we know and love. After the events of 2020, they need our support more than ever and with Christmas round the corner, there’s no time like the present to invest in these businesses and introduce your family and friends to new products and services so that maybe they’ll continue to also support them in the future.

I’ve created just a small list to show you the different ways you can shop local or small this Christmas; a couple of these are friends – which is of course the reason I know of their products and I’m SO happy to be able to share them with you – whilst others are fairly new businesses I’ve watched grow online over the last 12 months or so and I absolutely love what they do. I also have a few other ideas of how you can support your own local businesses like beauty salons and independent restaurants, specific to the area you live so look out for those towards the end of this post.

Don’t forget to check last order dates for Christmas and if you’re unsure, contact the seller directly so that you don’t miss out!

Firstly, Joy Decor & Design should be your go-to for all handmade home decor. From beautiful photo frames to seasonal decor for halloween, Easter and Christmas, all products are lovingly handmade in Joys home studio using acrylic and clay and can be personalised with your chosen lettering, to make them one of a kind. Joy has also recently bought out a gorgeous candle collaboration with another small brand, Feather & Grey, and these pieces are perfect gifts for those wanting to spruce up their home in 2021.

If you’re after some home inspiration at the same time, I would also highly recommend following Joys Instagram page here, where she showcases her own products in situ as well as sharing amazing home renovation and decor tips and tricks.

Another choice for home style gifting is Chloe Breeze Illustration. Albeit very different from the above but just as amazing, Chloe is a talented illustrator and designer who creates the most quirky and unique homewares from tea towels and calendars to gorgeous maps and prints. Again, a lot of the prints can be personalised and make the most beautiful memories for your friends and family to cherish forever, whilst adding a lovely edge of individuality to their home.

If you’re local to Stoke-on-Trent, Chloe can also be commissioned to create hand-painted murals for the home so I would definitely recommend heading over to her website above if you’re looking to gift your loved one something completely different this Christmas.

Crafty Cactus

Crafty Cactus have the cutest little range of products in their Etsy Shop, including gifts and apparel which are again (there’s a theme here), all handmade and bespoke. Their new collection of Christmas mugs are some of my absolute favourites, but there are also personalised mugs for our nurses and teachers, the heroes of 2020, as well as some great t-shirts and tote bags. There is plenty to choose from, so you can find a gift for someone you love, whilst supporting a smaller creator at the same time.

Soak Sunday

Soak Sunday are a newly established brand, who aim to be “Bringing back Bath Time” with their range of bath and body care products. The main attraction for me, comes from their focus on Cruelty Free practices and Sustainability which runs consistently throughout their development and manufacturing right down to the delivery of the products. Everything they produce is 100% vegan and made in the UK, with a huge emphasis on gorgeous aromatherapy and botanicals to give that sense of a luxurious, indulgent bath time that we all dream of creating.

Their product range includes individual body oils and clay masks, scented candles and sleep balms or alternatively, you can tailor make a gift set so that it contains a more personalised duo of products that you know someone will love.

Studio Ninety Four

Studio Ninety Four are again, a relatively new brand where you can buy a carefully curated collection of trend driven clothing and accessories. I’ve specifically had my eye on their bags this year, which are very similar to some designer pieces you might have seen. However, aside from these, I also love their really great range of sunglasses and jackets – the cropped faux leather jacket is definitely a hero piece for me.

Little Crafts London

Back to homeware now and I only saw this brand recently, as recent as within the last month or so, but I was instantly drawn to their gorgeous products. I have a bit of an obsession with plain glass storage jars, holders and bottles so of course, I couldn’t take my eyes off these. Little Crafts London specialise in eco-friendly reusable storage jars and bottles that are hand crafted in the UK. These are absolutely perfect for refilling with products that you use around the home and go a long way in helping to reduce single-use plastic consumption.

They are incredibly stylish and on trend, made from either clear or amber glass, with a choice of pumps/lids and the added extra of custom labelling so would make a lovely gift for someone who has recently moved into a new home instead of those hand wash/hand cream duos we see on everywhere across the high street.

Last but by no means list, I cannot put together a post supporting small businesses without mentioning my fiancé and his trainer restoration business where he specialises in restoration and customisation. If your partner fills your home with trainers and loves them as much as mine does, but has maybe let some get a little worse for wear, send them to Halo.Sole to get them restored as close to their original state as possible, without the use of dye – this can include anything from steaming and deep cleaning the suede, to sole re-glues and tongue/logo re-lettering.

As I mentioned before there is also the option to customise your loved ones trainers, so think football teams, favourite quotes or artists – head over to the Instagram page above to take a look at some previous work.

At the start of this post, I did mention that I would touch on ways to support businesses local to you and I’m thinking specifically about those little independent businesses that perhaps don’t have an online presence or maybe they don’t even have an actual product that you can buy to gift someone such as beauty salons, hairdressers, restaurants and others in the hospitality, leisure and entertainment industry. These guys have been hit particularly badly during 2020 due to all of the forced closures and restrictions within this area, so if you and your friends or family do have some favourites near you that you like to visit, why not see if they have any vouchers you can buy and gift those instead? One of my favourite things to receive as a present is an experience or ‘something to do’ so think about who you need to buy for and maybe pay for their next nail appointment or trip to the hairdressers. Would they enjoy a spa treatment, theatre booking or a 3-course meal on you? There are so many possibilities here and I’m sure whoever the lucky recipient is, they will be over the moon that their first days out in 2021 are already paid up, ready to be enjoyed.

I hope you’ve found some inspiration in this post and please let me know if you do manage to shop with any small and independent businesses this Christmas!

Don’t forget to check out my first post from the Gift Guide Series, all about Letterbox Gifting here.

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