It can be really challenging thinking of unique and different Christmas presents for family and friends each year. I personally think I’m quite a good gift giver, as I try to find gifts that will really mean something to that person. If I can, I will try and avoid common high street stores as I find they stock very similar items each year, and I want my gifts to be personal and special. This year, I thought it may be useful if I compiled a little list of some of my favourite independent retailers. Some of these you may recognise, some are created by fellow bloggers and some are shops that I have recently discovered myself!
Booze and Food
Let’s start with the most important part of Christmas, the booze and the food. It really has become almost part of the tradition to get a little more merry in the festive season, and really treat yourself to foods you wouldn’t usually buy. In terms of gifting, I like to use food and alcohol gifts as part of hampers and “side presents” alongside a main gift.
First up is a company that my family and I discovered at our local Food Festival a few months back, Hay Wines. Hay Wines is based in Ledbury in Herefordshire, stocking over 1,200 wines, whiskies, spirits, liqueurs, beers and ciders. We fell in love with the Racy Raspberry Gin Liqueur for it’s sweet yet smooth taste, and Hays has quickly become one of my top favourite independent retailers. This gin really is delicious, both on it’s own on the rocks or mixed with lemonade.Image Source
At the same Food Festival (it was a very successful day!), we came across Kin Vodka. Based in The Lake District, Kin Vodka is a multi-award winning producer of quite possibly the best Toffee Vodka I have ever tasted. It’s really hard to explain tastes, but imagine you have melted sweet toffee to a sticky liquid and then add the warmth that vodka gives you. It’s strong, but not in the makes-you-pull-a-face kind of way. I’m a big fan, and will definitely be purchasing either a few bottles of this or one of their gift packages this Christmas.
Finally, I couldn’t resist adding in Kneal’s Chocolates. Based in Birmingham, I discovered Kneal’s when they were featured in the Hugo’s Chocolate Club subscription box. I fell in love with their smoked oak chocolate and have since been eyeing up their Handmade Dark Chocolate Collection and (of course) the Festive Collection!
I’m a lover of what I like to call “house tatt”. You know, those house bits and bobs that you really don’t need but they look pretty. Because of my obsession, I tend to buy quite a lot of homely items for my friends and family from my favourite independent retailers. Depending on who I am buying for, a home gift can be something really personal and sentimental, especially if it is a gift you can personalise.
The first shop I would like to share with you is an Etsy store called Moody Mother Designs that I have come across recently. Based in Harrogate, Moody Mother sells ring dishes coasters, mugs and other homeware. Her designs and fashionable and minimal, with lots f marble and rose gold. I personally love the Concrete Candle Holders, the Rose Gold Dipped Coasters and the Engraved Coasters. Everything in this store is so Instagrammable and gorgeous, I just don’t know how you could resist!
Next up is She In The Home, which was created by fellow blogger Rebecca, from She In The Know. Rebecca stocks everything from cushions to stationary, from mugs to planters. I love the adorable Ice Cream Cushion which I think would make a great gift for a child, and one of my personal favourites is Cactus Sticky Note Set which would be a fab stocking filler.
Another great shop for stocking fillers and unique gifts is The Collective Chester, also featured on Etsy. They stock loads of handmade craft items, from wooden decorations to cushion covers. Their items are bright, colourful and super quirky as well as on trend. The Freddie Mercury Wooden Christmas Decoration is stunning and with the recent release of Bohemian Rhapsody I imagine it is very popular! I really love a lot of their cushion covers, but this Geometric Stag Head Cushion Cover would have to be my favourite.
Personally, I find buying clothes or bags or anything fashion related really bloody difficult and kind of try to avoid it if I can. People can be very fussy and particular about what they like, which is a present buyer’s worst nightmare!
One shop I have got a lot of good fashion related gifts from is Rae Feather. Rae covers everything from men’s and women’s clothing, to bags and accessories and a touch of homeware too. Her items can get a little pricey, but I’ve found some absolute gems in the sales over the years. Taking a look at the website, I’m currently loving the Heart Hamper Baskets, Personalised Stripe Scented Candle and the slightly more pricey Personalised Tassel Basket.
There are so many fabulous independent shops out there and I have certainly struggled to cut this down to an acceptable list! I really encourage you to take a look at smaller shops, as often you will find some really nice unique gifts for Christmas. What are your favourite independent retailers? Let me know in the comments below!
*All opinions featured are my own.