Next time you do some Christmas shopping, go independent. Head to your local town, or simply open up your laptop, and discover a whole world of innovative and inspirational small businesses.
I’ve gathered together some wonderful online independent stores. Make yourself a coffee, grab a mince pie and prepare to be inspired…
Ohh Deer. I recently visited their bricks and mortar shop in Loughborough and came away with a big bag of goodies. They do wonderful stationery, like this fabulous diary, featuring the work of wonderful designers. Also check our their fun greetings cards, cushions and homewares.
The Botanical Candle Co. Amalia and her small team produce the most beautifully scented soy wax candles. Everything is made by hand in their studio and shop in Shaftesbury, Dorset. The candles look and smell amazing, especially the festive range.
Cissy Wears. A lifestyle store that sells beautiful and well priced gifts for all ages. The simple wooden toys are lovely for little people. I particularly loved the stacking tree. For grown-ups, the selection of simple mugs, bold prints and quirky jewellery are fabulous.
The Alex Edit. Alex is a lifestyle blogger and this is her online store. I love the mix of pretty (and affordable) gold-plated jewellery, scarves, bags and cashmere. Quick delivery and I can vouch for the quality of the earrings!
Lovely Lydia. Lydia prints her own beautiful fabrics and turns them into lovely wash bags, cushions and accessories. One of her little bags would be a perfect secret Santa gift and I’ve got one of her mini bee cushions on my wish list!
Soapfolk. For thoughtful stocking fillers choose some soap or lip balm from Soapfolk. Everything is handmade in the Gloucestershire countryside. I can never resist a prettily packaged soap and love giving them as gifts.
Persephone Books. My favourite publisher. They produce beautiful editions of forgotten classics. The pale grey bindings look lovely on your bookshelves too… Treat someone to one of their book subscriptions!
Ely Gin. James and Nancy make their flavoured gin right here in the Fens. They have some wonderful flavours that are just perfect for talking along to a festive party – or pop one of their mini-bottles in a stocking. On a recent visit to Ely, Prince Charles described their Sloe Gin with Cherries as as, “absolutely irresistible!”
Happy Christmas shopping!