If you read my blog last week, you will know that I am on a gift guide mission. I’ve really gotten into blogs this year, perhaps its because I’ve got so much more time on my hands with being at home. My new favourite thing to do on a Saturday and Sunday morning is to catch-up on my subscribed blogs over a cup of coffee. Just very recently I left a decade long career, to start a new life in Cornwall. Whilst my husband and I transition out of the rat race, I’ve rekindled my passion for writing, only I’m putting it out there on the internet for others to (hopefully) enjoy. I couldn’t decide where to start, when I came up with the idea of focusing on something I try to shout about as much as possible – shopping small or shopping local. I hope you enjoyed my blog last week, you can find it on my Home page if you missed it.
I’m sure you’re all with me when I say I’m sick to death of Boris and the constant press conferences, as well as the social bans and toilet roll memes. 2020 will go down in history as the year the entire world wants to skim over. Independent businesses have been the first to suffer from the impacts of the restrictions so there has never been a more important time to support small brands. Primark or Amazon don’t need our help right now – Independents do. Last week, I posted my first ever gift guide, sharing some fantastic finds I’ve swooned over. It seems that lots of people are combining high street with independent store purchases which is wonderful to see.
I’ve included lots of treats for friends and family, curated with love that will bring smiles. There’s lots of goodies from independents who would be forever grateful for your support during these strange times. PLEASE share the love on social channels, follow, like and don’t forget to tell your friends! And please let me know what you think of my blog in the comments below.
So here are my faves that will not only fit any budget, but will also secure your position as a thoughtful gift giver. And best of all, you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your armchair. All these items can be ordered online without a car park queue in sight – you don’t even need to put your coat on. Plus you will be supporting small business by buying from an independent shop. You can thank me later.
I’ll be back next week with a selection of my art based gift ideas. Art is something that anyone can own, to any budget and to any taste. I’ll share some of my favourite pieces that I’ve seen online that you can get your hands on. A cross section of prints and canvas for you to covet.
Red Temple Prayer are probably way too cool for me. However I can’t help but lust after their epic homewares and clothing. I first laid eyes on RTP through my Friend @SacredHawk and was instantly drawn to their powerful AF imagery and eclectic range of products. A brand for the rebel in all of us, and damn do we feel powerful repping it.
Evergreen Soap Company is a family run, all-natural, artisan soap business based in the seaside town of Leigh-on-Sea. Hand made in small batches using the highest quality ingredients to produce luxurious soap bars that are 100% Natural, Vegan & Palm Oil free with no artificial colours or fragrances, SLS or parabens. With a minimal, earth-friendly approach to packaging, their bars are delivered naked or wrapped in compostable & recyclable paper. Their ethos is happy skin, happy planet. They’re serving up beautifully packaged gift boxes, starting at £8.95.
Mixing old with new & things artisan made, vintage or simply anything with a story. Forage Somerset sells ethically produced products, direct from source. I particularly adore their fuck off covid lavender scented Liberty fabric sleep mask and their Buddha candles which are handmade and 100% natural soy wax.
Whether you’re looking for a gift, or craving that British cheese board all for yourself, you can now get your cheese fix delivered straight to your doorstep. Stocking British cheese selections, whole wheels of cheeses & all the cheese board accompaniments you could ever need. The Cheese Bar also offers a range of small producer & natural wines, craft beer and fine cider to make your picnic complete. Not only that – you’ll also find FONDUE-IT-YOURSELF Cook at Home Kits – the perfect winter warmer! Some friends of ours sent one to us this week and all I can say is WOW! Arriving perfectly packaged, it was a complete surprise and I’m so so thankful. Plus it tasted just like we were back in the French Alps. (Thanks J&B! Mwah!) Prices start at £19.50 for cheese boxes.
Beautifully branded and made with selfcare in mind. Salt + Steam are all about the good stuff, providing skin-soothing salts with essential oil blends to help you feel your best. Their products are 100% vegan, totally plastic-free and against animal testing. The ideal treat for someone in need of a smidge of selfcare or relaxation.
Hand crafted macrame pieces – plant hangers and wall hangings. Excellently priced at £11 upwards, these are lovely homeware gifts in various gorgeous colours and textures.
In terms of business names, this one is killer. The team at Donutkillmyvibe have stormed in out of nowhere and stolen our hearts (and stomachs) with their incredible donuts. Dishing out daily specials and selling exclusively on Insta, they’ve only been going since September and already have a cult following locally. They’re based in Chelmsford so this is just for locals (sorry to those further afield!) But I mean, look at those leopard print donuts!
Homeplace have an eclectic but carefully considered selection of vintage, mid century, retro and contemporary furniture, lighting and homeware. Exceptionally well priced, you can pick up this terracotta ceramic shell vase for £16. Homeplace is based in Walthamstow, run by Wendy Aldridge with support from husband James, ably assisted by 2 small children, a baby and not forgetting Pablo the Border Terrier.
Sophie is a good friend of ours and we’ve known her and hubby Sam for many years. Sophie is an incredible photographer, specialising in equine photography. After admiring her work for many years, my mum and my sister booked an Equine Photoshoot Experience with Sophie and we were blown away at the images she captured. Sophie is for sure a horse whisperer, getting beautiful results from even the most stubborn pony. Either that or she bathes in sugar cubes and polo mints. For the hard work and effort Sophie puts into her shoots and the edits, her prices are very competitive, at just £550 which includes a bespoke wooden keepsake box, with min. 100 images on a USB and printed as 6x4s. Travel is free anywhere in Essex and only 40pence per mile for further afield. Sophie also sells gorgeous prints which are the perfect gift for horse lovers. Various sizes available, prices starting from around £8.
Crafting high quality bespoke personalised oak chopping boards and oak gifts, From the Oak Tree has a great selection to choose from, most of which can personalised for your friends and family. They are a family run business, producing wonderfully rustic Christmas, birthday or wedding gifts. Personally I’ve got my eye on the G&T board, a bargain at £35.
Technically this should be included in my the Gift of Art post coming up, but I just couldn’t not tell you about Alex May Hughes – sign painter and glass gilder based in West London. Her work is insane and I have been lusting after her creations for some time. Working mainly on commissions, Alex does both commercial and private pieces at really reasonable rates, including even wedding invites in her repertoire. The perfect gift for interior addicts or people that love The Simpsons (check out her website and Insta, you’ll know what I mean!).