As we find ourselves in lockdown 2.0, with much of our highstreet and independent businesses in the dark, we rapidly approach Christmas. CHRISTMAS!! It’s coming up fast and I know for all of us it’s a welcome (and much needed) distraction. We’re currently in the process of relocating to the South West and plan to complete on our house sale just before Christmas. We’re planning on renting for the first year or so whilst we figure out where we want to be based, however with two miniature sausage dogs its proving difficult securing somewhere, which means we might be homeless over the festive season. ANYWAY, I’m using this time to focus on an outlet, working hard to collate some fantastic gifts lists for you this festive season. Heck, you can use them for birthdays and bar mitzvahs too. 2020 is the year for shopping small and shopping local. I’ve been able to find so many fantastic brands that I’ve decided to split it into a series of guides, to indulge you whilst we all stay at home. I’ll be sharing a mix of brands/stores for you to explore in your own time. Everyone’s a winner.
This year, as consumers, we have an opportunity to be able to make a difference by supporting small businesses, by doing at least some of our Christmas shopping from independent stores and brands. By keeping it small and/or local, you are making a direct, positive impact on someone’s livelyhood, potentially the difference between seeing their business into 2021 or not. Not only that, but you are also giving your friends and family carefully chosen, individual gifts. So before you reach for Amazon, check out this post and the others that follow, and, if you discover a product or business that floats your boat, PLEASE share the love on social channels.
This is my first ever gift guide, so be gentle. I get a huge buzz out of helping friends and family find the perfect product, I’m super excited to share this with you. Please feel free to comment below and let me know what you think. HAPPY SHOPPING!
Curator of vintage, revived and pre loved clothing and accessories. Sacred Hawk are here to show you how fabulous you can feel and look all whilst saving the planet, looking fab and not spending much! Owned and run by the vintage queen herself @sacredhawkclothing has an extensive collection of both vintage and reworked clothing, jewellery and accessories with prices to suit everyone. Bex also offers Sustainable Style Sessions – if you know someone that might benefit from a wardrobe edit, this would make the perfect gift. If you’re feeling a bit shitty about your wardrobe or struggling to style yourself in a way that makes you feel good or dress to your body type, or you want to be more sustainable/conscious with your wardrobe but not sure how then hell, treat yo self.
Serving up restaurant quality dishes, designed with luxury in mind, Host creates top draw cusine for you to finish at home, taking all the fuss out of hosting. The concept is simple – choose your menu, select your delivery date, and sit back and relax! Berverly at Host offers a diverse range of high quality dishes, not to metion cheese boards, wine and champagne parings if you want to push the boat out even further. You can mix and match to create your own personal menu which is delivered on your chosen delivery date along with simple instructions for re-heating and serving. So with Christmas set to be very different this year (bastard covid), why not organise your very own restaurant experience from the comfort of your own home. Host can cater for virtual parties at multiple locations too.
I mean who knew that beer cans were their own art form?? Not only do we have a thriving brewery scene serving up badass designs to make any fridge look fabulous, but there is something to suit every taste – even non-ale drinkers. Hopsters have stores in Chelsmford and Ipswich offering craft ale and fine spirits where you can speak to their expert team about the best picks for you, as well as pop up fridges across Essex (check their website for one near you). Hopsters currently have Beer Advent Calendars in stock, the perfect countdown to Christmas for the ale connoisseur. Alternatively you can create your own asthetically pleasing pick n mix as a gift, or simply to adorn your drinks station this season.
Cactus Joe’s hand make, paint and apply finishing touches to the cutest little concrete pots. They also stock a variety of cacti and succulents if you want to add a plant to your pot for good measure. With prices ranging from £7-11 these are the perfect secret santa gift or for someone with a penchant for prickles.
Come on, who doesn’t love a David Bowie tea towel?! These quirky threads are available through Ginger Zebra, purveyors of books, ceramics, gifts and more. They’re all about creating kindness, because lets face it life is hard right now. Prices range from £13 for their epic music icon tea towels to hobbie-focused gift boxes at £35. They also do their bit for the environment – wrapping your items with recyclable tissue paper, brown paper & tape. All padding packaging is reused and you can reuse it too. Not only that, Ginger Zebra will donate 10% of all music icon tea towel sales to Music Support – a wonderful charity set up to help crew on and off the road.
Ok so I’m thirty-something, and have grown up never eating Chritmas pudding as I found the taste completely unappealing. That was until I tried Lillypuds. No joke, their Christmas pudding is a taste sensation which now has place of tradition at our family Christmas dinner. A small business based in Essex, their puddings now carry the Great Taste stamp of success as well as being featured in The Sunday Times and Country Life. Lillypuds proudly offer gluten free and vegan versions of their award-winning Christmas pudding, as well as other delicious sweet treats to get your juices flowing this season, or any season come to think of it. Prices range dependant on size, starting at £7.50 up to £19.50, also now offering gifts and hampers to fit any budget.
For any passionate firestarter, or simply for those that own candles. Prices starting at £6, with every possible size and design available. Matches made to be on display and downright Instagramable products.
The perfect gift to any budding photographer, of any age. I particularly enjoy the Your Photography Year, which my sister bought for me a few years back. Especially poingant as we find ourselves stuck at home in lockdown, there are some great “at home” activites, beautifully packaged for gifting. Prices start at £7.95 for the Your Photography Year pack.
Karen Cheung or rather KERCHUNG! is designer and creator or some truely epic porcelain jewellery and homeware including the badass ‘Bollocks’ Christmas bauble (pictured). Well priced at £22 and the eye ring (pictured) at £40. This is handcrafted and a great gift for someone who loves edgy fashion and cheeky decorations.
Quoting their website “FWP BY Rae was born out of a love for good quality ethically made clothing, with extra emphasis on both style and affordability.” A chic independant based in Surrey whose previous venture was a wine company which is telltale in their product lines. Prices start at £28 for the Bon Vintage tee. The perfect gift for wine lovers.
Record players have shifted back into popular culture, which is great for the industry. You can of course find pretty much anything on Amazon, but why not shop small and purchase through your local record shop. I’m (currently) local to Chelmsford in Essex and we are lucky to have a long standing record shop Intense Records which stocks every genre known to man! Many a time they’ve happily sourced the most obscure albums for me. At this present time they’re obviously doing online sales only but do have a store in the city center. Music is a huge part of my life, it evokes so many memories, and can transport you back to specific times and feelings. The ideal gift for any music lover.