This year I’m making a conscious effort to support small businesses when it comes to Christmas shopping, from food to gifts, to decorations and gift wrap. Wherever possible I’m avoiding the high street chains and buying from local and independent sellers.
I don’t know about you but one of my favourite things about Christmas is the fayres and markets and I’ll be heading along to Etsy Made Local again. I spoke to Alison Bick, one of the Etsy Made Local St Ives organisers, about what it means to Etsy sellers (and other independent makers) to have people buy from them, especially at this time of year:
“By holding an event like this at Christmas it is a wonderful opportunity to make the public aware of the wealth of unique gift purchasing opportunities there are from some very talented artisans, designers and makers right here in their community in Cornwall. Small Cornish creative businesses can only survive if people buy from them, and in turn by buying from a small business you will own or gift something that has been made in Cornwall with pride, care and skill. Money that is spent with a stall holder at our Etsy Made Local event stays in Cornwall, and will help a small Cornish business survive. Even a small purchase means a lot.”
Don’t you just freaking love Katy Pillinger’s designs?
I really do recommend that all you local readers pop along to the Guildhall in St Ives the first weekend of December to pick up some beautiful gifts (or treats for yourselves!). The opening night features live music and a cocktail bar and if you pop along during the rest of the weekend there will be a pop up cafe.
There’s a whopping 41 stallholders, all of whom are Cornish designers, artisans and makers with shops on Etsy.com, and who will be selling their unique, high quality products. Award-winning local businesses include Amy Cooper Ceramics, Katy Luxton Jewellery, Bloom Remedies Natural Organic Skincare and Helen Round Textiles.
Can’t make it to the fayre? Don’t fret, I’m about to share a mini gift guide featuring a bunch of awesome sellers based in the UK, complete with links directing you to where to buy PLUS a whole bunch of these pop up again in a giveaway at the end of the post, so you can take care of the bulk of your Christmas shopping with just a few clicks. You’re welcome :)
Everything featured below has been gifted for the purpose of this gift guide and giveaway. Anything marked with an asterisk is included in the giveaway.
When it comes to a thoughtful gift for that special someone, you can’t go wrong with jewellery and one of my favourite local jewellery makers is St Justin. This robin pendant* is so lovely that it actually gave me goosebumps when I first saw it. Robins aren’t just a symbol of Christmas but also often a reminder that a loved one who has passed is still with you, so I bet you can think of someone who would truly appreciate this beauty.
There are so many incredible Cornish businesses that I want to highlight, some of which featured in my Cornish giveaway earlier this year. Abbie has quickly become one of my favourite illustrators and I love this Cornwall mug. Such a great gift idea for Cornish family and friends, particularly those who have moved away. I love the detail.
Hanmade in Cornwall was also unknown to me earlier this year and has become another favourite. I love her beautiful designs and her new handbags* are fab – and you could win one at the end of this post, along with a set of three cards!
SeaKisses is one of my favourite Cornish lifestyle brands and they’re stocking the ideal stocking filler. Hygge-up the festive season with this scented candle. It smells bleddy gorgeous, evoking the atmosphere of coastal walks, and is made from soy wax, so it’s environmentally friendly too! The stars on the china holder make it perfectly festive.
A local artist I’ve recently come across is Sarah Laidlaw. Can you tell I love textile artwork? Her prints are beautiful and the second picture* featured below is up for grabs in my giveaway.
If we were ever to move away from Cornwall, we would probably end up in Bristol, so I have a soft spot for Bristol-based creatives. I particularly love Ilze‘s bright and colourful designs and I have a guinea fowl pencil case* and tea towel* to give away.
We all know a stationery addict and you can’t go wrong with a good notebook, especially in a strong, festive red with a fun slogan. This notebook* from GLB Graphics would make a fab bujo, as it comes complete with ribbon and pocket, plus it’s a hardback with a super-soft feel. Swoon!
Bookworms are always fun to buy for because the challenge comes in finding something other than a book they already have. Literary Emporium is full of incredible gifts and I’m loving the range of enamel pins. Whether you’re looking for something generic or a bit more specific, they’ve got you covered, including the perfect pins for fans of feminist literature, such as Jane Eyre* and Wuthering Heights.
If you’ve got a crafty buddy, why not treat them to some Gorgeous Yarn*? I’ve got a beautiful shade to give away – also handy if you’re planning on making a gift yourself.
I’m a sucker for a classy Christmas tree and you can’t go wrong with these decorations from Naomi Singer. Her Etsy page is stunning and features individually designed fused glass panels, coasters, plates and jewellery. You can order a set of four fused glass Christmas decorations* to spruce up your own tree.
Bread & Jam also have a fab range of decs this year, including these personalised acorns and cute set of gingerbread houses. They’re perfect for little treats for the dinner table on The Big Day or to gift to the little ones. You can even hang them on your tree.
For me, hampers are a Christmas staple and I love the range available from Virgina Hayward. The Holly* is the perfect addition to a snuggly Christmas Eve at home with the family, with candy cane biscuits and fudge for the little ones and mulled wine for the grown ups, plus loads of other tasty extras, including chocolates, cheese biscuits and the good ol’ mince pie. Yummers!
Told ya I had a helluva giveaway! To recap, you can get your mitts on a hamper, handbag, book pin, notebook, sewing kit, yarn, a print, tea towel, pencil case, pendant and a set of Christmas decorations – worth over £200!
To be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is complete the Rafflecopter entries below. Remember, every action equals a separate entry, so the more brands you engage with on social media, the higher your chance of winning. This giveaway will close at midnight on Sunday 22 October 2017 and is open to UK residents only. The winner will be chosen at random and contacted directly. If they don’t respond within a week, a new winner will be selected.
Massive thanks to all of the incredible brands who have supported this post.