Oh Christmas, Christmas, Christmas, does it seem to get earlier every year with the buying, adverts, chocolate santas in shops? Anyway, love it or loath it, the most of us still participate in the yearly buying of gifts for our loved ones and friends. Personally I love shopping, so it's not a chore for me, although if I attempt Brighton centre the week before Christmas, that's another story!
So, here is my advice to you: Buy local, shop independent, support small businesses (and try to not leave it all last minute if possible). The one thing that is often overlooked when choosing where to buy gifts, is how much of a difference you can make by shopping independent and with small businesses. Not only are the gifts you are buying more unique (handpicked, handmade, not mass produced), but you are also putting your money back into your local community, helping those smaller businesses to grow, or even to just stay afloat. It's likely you even know people that run small shops (ahem- I'm a small business if you know me), or make beautiful gifts- jewellery, cards, cushions, etc. By shopping from them, your gift has a story and I guarantee will be appreciated more by the receiver.
There are so many creative, talented people out there making and selling, it can be hard to know where to find them, so below I am introducing you to a few of my local faves and hope that if you find something you like, you remember the difference you are making, not only to the person you are buying for, but also to the person you are buying from!
Here is my personal pick of local, independent makers and shops with my own selection of gift ideas from each... enjoy!
Amy Ilic is a woven textiles designer and maker (as well as interior designer and business owner) who makes the sweetest hand woven wall hangings in different colours and textures, and uber stylish gold and indigo leather clutches, among other gorgeous items. Clever, unique, hand made locally in Brighton and very affordable. I would be most happy with one of each of these for Christmas!
Mini Textured Hand Woven Wall Hangings £15 each, Hand Dyed Indigo Shibori Gold Leather Clutch £50
Libby Hobbs from &Hobbs is a talented artist/ maker/ upcycler, who also has a natural talent for sourcing one off vintage items and styling them beautifully. Her hand painted chopping boards make a perfect unique Christmas gift, and could be given to someone with a selection of cheeses and chutneys wrapped over the board (bit more interesting than a basket). She also sells these gorgeously packaged natural soaps, which I am dying to try and would make a great gift.
Round Chopping Board Daisy £40, Pine and Cedar Soap by Honest £9
Lola Hoad is a designer, who makes the loveliest hand lettering paper goods with inspiring quotes in a gorgeous hand written style. Her prints are both inspiring to read and beautiful to look at (I have one in my bedroom). So what better way to top off your wrapping this year than with some of these little 'No Peeking' gift tags, and accompanying it with one of these cards.
6 x No peeking gift tags £5.50, Let it Snow Card £2.50
Lucie runs a gorgeous online children's boutique called The Wee Department Store, selling clothing, toys, interiors and accessories for 'wee' children. There is a great selection and something that suits all ages (of children). I am particularly in love with these items, the Arctic Tree Stocking and these cutest melamine plates (11 designs to choose from).
Coral & Tusk Arctic Tree Stocking £49.95, Melamine Plate- Owl £5
Kate from Oh Someday Jewellery makes these really unique star sign necklaces in brass or silver, they are not only pretty but also so personal. And Clara from Clara Ivy makes these cutest wooden name signs for children, in either Sherbert or Frozen colours. The sort of gifts that will be kept and used for years after giving. Both Brighton independents.
Gemini Zodiac Star Sign Necklace in Brass (Ohsomeday) £30, Name Sign- Frozen (Claraivy) £7.
Here at Collectie, we too stock some unique and hand crafted items, that would make great Christmas gifts. It's a bit tougher to choose from my own shop items as I obviously love them all, but I genuinely think this selection would make great gifts for guys and gals, and did I mention that everything comes hand wrapped in our bespoke dotty white tissue paper- job done!
(L to R Top to bottom: Black and White Geometric Reversible Throw £40, Grey Ceramic Conical Vase £27 (with Imitation Hydrangea +£12), Natural Retreat Collection in Silver Was £90, now £70 (limited availability), Jar of Gold-Cup Tea Light Candles £6.
Happy Shopping! I hope your experience is enjoyable and your gifts memorable. Do get in touch if you are looking for something in particular this year and hopefully I can point you in the right direction! :)