I’m doing something a little different with my independent Christmas gift guide this year. 2017 has been an incredible and life-changing year for me, and that has been down in no small part to the people I’ve met and connected with online (and sometimes real life!) this year. I’ve been inspired, encouraged and supported by the people behind the squares, so I wanted to use the gift guide as a chance to say thank you and give back to just some of the makers and independent businesses I’ve connected with this year.
All the shops and businesses listed here have actual real people behind them, who are all totally wonderful and community-minded. Some are side-hustling, others are full time but all of them are chasing their dreams and making beautiful things happen with their work. I hope that you fall in love with them just as much as I have.
Inspired by the captivation and imagination of her boys during story time, Huma’s store is exquisitely curated with unique items to inspire childlike joy and whimsey no matter how old you are.
Started as a place to sell their illustrated map of Lewes, Dorte and Malcolm have expanded the store to include beautiful homewares and gifts – each product has a real sense of place and connection to nature.
My new neighbour Jo opened Firain in the autumn as a place to sell the sustainable, thoughtful homewares she craved in all her previous moves. She stocks everything from cards and jewellery to cushions to die for.
If you want gifts with a heart, then you need Aerende. A selection of genuinely beautiful homewares made by people in the UK facing social challenges – every purchase directly benefits the makers.
Lilac Coast has gifts and homewares shot through with a strong Scandi influence for the Scandi-phile in your life – and Alice styles the products so beautifully you won’t be able to resist!
A store curated by Annabel that is perfect for outdoorsy urbanites – if you know someone in the city who longs for the country this is the store for them. Also perfect for doggy gifts too!
I just love Rebecca’s illustrations: cute but not cutesy, whimsical and totally unique. I recommend their art prints, printed on beautiful paper and with designs for every person.
Kate is an illustrator and calligrapher and I’ve picked out some of her cards for my own Christmas cards. She also has prints and greetings cards with lovely, whimsical messages.
I met Sophie at Blogtacular this year – check out her motivational prints and graphic repeat patterns.
Agnes’ prints are some of my favourite things on the internet. She combines art and science to create paper goods that are thoroughly researched and tell some of science’s most intriguing stories.
Suzanne does beautiful things with wool – her hangings are so striking and textural. She also has some lovely Christmas decorations which will make lovely gifts or give your own tree a lift.
Another one of my neighbours! Karen lives in the mountains where she forges dainty silver jewellery that is stepped in floriography and the language of flowers.
For the crafter in your life. Rhoda makes cards and in her store you can buy packs and all the bits you need to make cards of your own – and she has tips of how to use them on her blog.
I met Helen at the Good Life Experience in the summer. She lives on a farm in Carmarthen and makes amazing organic weavings from raw fleece and spins and dyes wool too – plus she’s doing a weekend craft retreat soon that you won’t want to miss.
Jules makes minimal knitwear in beautiful muted tones in a shed at the bottom of her garden – I particularly love her cushions and scarves.
I bought one of Alicia’s scarves for my mum last year – she is a plant dyeing wonder. She dyes fabric with avocado, walnut and chlorophyll to make homewares and scarves – and she’s doing it all so she can leave work and see more of her hubby.
Want some matching jammies for the family this Christmas? Of course you do! Gorgeous cotton flannel sleepwear from baby to adult – plus capes for kids!
I met Gabrielle at the Country Homes & Interiors fair in the summer. You know I’m not a big colour fan, but I just fell in love with her knitwear inspired by 80s skiwear – check out the colour block scarves and cushions.
Ceramics & Pottery
Katie creates gorgeous pots and planters inspired by nature, whether that’s the texture of sea urchins or are a sunset over the West Wales coastline recreated in glaze.
You may have seen me mention Glosters on my Instagram before – they are a husband and wife team in a nearby town making a huge variety of pottery in gorgeous shapes and glazes.
I love Kate’s work, beautiful pottery with intricate scenes painstakingly scratched out of the surface of the clay – my favourites are the little Welsh cottages in the mountains (I wonder why.. 😉).
Yorkshire-based Makiko creates hand thrown tableware inspired by the stoneware of her native Japan. she has simple forms in the most beautiful tones, and rakugaki with little pictures of birds and flowers.
This is a gorgeous gift for someone exploring journaling or looking for a little more peace. Krissie kindly sent me a copy, so I can vouch that the books are beautifully made, and are full of inspiration.
I’ve only recently discovered Abi on Instagram but I already really love everything she’s about and her intricate modern illustrations which look more like they’re created in New York than the Channel Islands. My particular favourites are her China collection, but she also has prints and homewares.
Gemma Watts – Instagram
You may know Gemma’s beautifully peaceful Instagram photos, but you may not know that she is also an advocate and seller of essential oils. If you’re oil-curious or want to make sure you’re getting the right oil for someone, Gemma’s your gal.
Here’s something for someone with green fingers. Grace curates gorgeous seed collections that are presented in a way no seed packet has been before – think beautiful ribbons and vintage paper. She has sweet pea packets especially for Christmas.
Everyday Artefacts – Pop Up Shop / Site / Instagram
I fell in love with Margie’s printed linen as soon as I saw them. She has created minimal graphic designs in gorgeous tones across table linen, tote bags and cushions and I know you’ll just love them.
You will fall in love with Mike and Nia’s products – they are so highly skilled and quietly passionate about what they do. They handmake canvas and leather bags and other goods that are built to last and be beautiful.
Vic very kindly gave me a ticket to the Good Life Experience in September, so really I owe him a mention 😉. But in all seriousness, his beautifully hand-carved spoons are a perfect heirloom gift.
So there you have it!
I hop you enjoyed discovering these amazing makers and businesses as much as I’ve enjoyed meeting them too – and most of all, I hope you buy a little something from someone, as I know how much of a difference it will make to any of these wonderful people.
I’d love to see your purchases, so tag me and the maker in any pics you put on Instagram 😊