Everyone, including myself, is getting a bit tired of huge department stores and their offerings for Christmas. It just isn’t sitting well hearing stories of stolen copyright of the small guys to fund million pound Christmas advertisements. The thing is shopping with small business does require a little planning, as they are more likely to go out of stock or need extra time to send items. To help you out I put together this list of people I have met this year and their gorgeous items that they sell.
Support local business and shop small. You’ll feel good for supporting all these makers.
Happy shopping, PF xo
I’ve included my own pottery in the mix here. This makes this post an advertisement. My goal is to sell enough plates to be able to buy more pottery studio time. I like to create and as a hobby these things aren’t cheap! Plus I can’t store all the pots and plates in my house indefinitely!!
1. The Joy of Watercolour by Emma Block. My friend Emma has been drawing with watercolours for years and doing workshops for this and brush lettering. I first met her when she did a portrait of me at an event and then again this year when she did a picnic for creatives with Zeena. Wanting to share her love of water colouring with more people Emma developed this book and approached a publisher. The Joy of Watercolour takes you through step by step from basic techniques to more complex pictures. Everyone I have seen use the book has been able to recreate the images quickly and notes how much fun they had. Buy the book here from Emma. You could go to Amazon, heck I could throw in my affiliate link, but this post is all about supporting the small business so buy direct so Emma makes a well-deserved profit!
2. Lauren Ashton Designs. A keen knitter who studied knitwear Lauren has developed a business that creates super chunky designs and those fabulous chunky blankets. Her range includes patterns and kits to make your own at home. A perfect gift for someone to tackle during that Christmas and New Year hiatus! Not sure if your gift receiver is into making? No problems Lauren has you covered with pre made items that her knitters work up in 4-6 weeks.
3. Petalon Flowers. Started by Florence, who wanted to distribute flowers by bike, she recently was able to expand and offer her bouquets nationwide. Each week two bouquets are offered based on what is seasonal and at the markets. Select your bunch and send to a loved one. You can order ahead and have flowers for the Christmas holiday period. Florence also offers workshops for making bunches and comprehensive all day courses for those wanting to move into the floristry industry.
4. Grain and Knot. I have been fortunate to attend workshops with Sophie who carves spoons and butter knives from reclaimed timbers. Based in London her work can be bought online and at various markets. Not sure if your loved one would like a spoon? Gift them a voucher for a workshop with Sophie in 2019. Trust me, they will get the bug and be buying spoon blanks from Grain and Knot to carve at home in no time!
5. Print Club. This year I went to Print Club’s Blisters Exhibition and saw so many beautiful screen printing works. Lots of these can be found online and are only £50. Working together as a collectible the artists buy time from the studio to print their works. Based in London all the prints can be sent to you in time for Christmas. You could also buy gift vouchers if you aren’t sure what to pick or purchase a workshop for your loved one. This is my favourite one, Frozen Planet by Charlie Blanchard.
6. These Two Hands. Run by my friend Naomi, this small business is a curated collection of nature inspired products. Everything is made by British crafters and creators with hand printed tea towels, woven throws and leaf print coasters. Often at markets around the Bristol area Naomi also operates her online store. The most darling item sold are the baby moccasins that have local sheepskin to line them.
7. Farmers by Welsh Lavender Farm. I stumbled on this product whilst attending The Good Life festival a couple of years ago and it’s my go to Foot Cream. Deliciously thick with a gorgeous lavender scent everyone wants some when I bring it out. I do not share! I’ve gifted it to family and friends and the hand cream is a perfect size for the handbag. Next year I hope to go to the farm and run amongst the lavender fields when they are in bloom!
8. Gatha Betty Joy. AD. My own ceramics brand where I slowly make bowls, weird vases and plates. I’ve been making ceramics for two years now and it is one of the hardest things I have put my mind to. Shaping clay, testing glazes and hoping that it makes it out in one piece are all things I am learning! The pots are wonky and the plates have misshaped edges but everyone likes them that way. Check out the Instagram and buy straight off the image you like.
9. Oliver Rose. I met Charlotte at a creative conference this year and loved her small business of dollhouse furniture. Her selection is contemporary modern which I love, and there are collaborations with well-known brands including Buddy & Bear. Having just done a relaunch and sold out of most things, the store is being restocked. Follow her on Instagram and be ready to pounce when items are back on sale.