After the massive success of last years inaugural small business gift guide I couldn’t not repeat it. This year it’s even bigger, better, and crammed full of bloody brilliant small and independent brands. So, without further ado, here are my top indy picks for your 2018 Christmas gifts and beyond!
Run by local designer Rebecca, Dainty Dora is a distinctly Glaswegian brand. Rebecca has created all manner of gorgeous products from prints, like the one featured, to silk scarves all with the Glasgow crest at the heart of their design. With the prints costing just £10 they would make an ideal secret Santa gift rather than the more traditional, impersonal chocolates and wine.
For those of us who are trying to become more eco friendly the Zero Waste Market are making it super easy! They have created this starter kit containing a water bottle (by Jerry Bottle), a Friendly Soap shampoo bar, Truthpaste (natural, mineral toothpaste), a bamboo toothbrush and a reusable metal straw with cleaner and carry pouch.
Why not treat the environment at the same time as your loved ones this year?
These two books (Maggie’s Mittens and Maggie’s Monsters) by Scottish writer Coo Clayton are such a delight. Both lead your little readers through a tour of Scottish landmarks while telling a charming tale of Maggie’s adventures on route. Alison Soye’s artwork is the perfect fit to Coo’s words, I recommend you keep your eyes peeled throughout the books for the cheeky squirrel she has created and hidden within the pages. The original is a firm favourite in our family and I know the boys will be thrilled with the new addition of Maggie’s Monsters this Christmas.
To me it doesn’t feel like Christmas without a festive candle and they don’t get much more festive than these ones from Candelicious. This Nutmeg and Ginger scented beauty is topped with copper leaf and smells as warming and delicious as it looks. Niki, the Ayreshire based maker behind the brand, has also created equally Christmas-y gold and silver leaf topped candles and room sprays. One for your mates, your mum or maybe treat the kids’ teacher?
Run by Lisa and her partner Paul from Kincardine, Superfly Soaps is a natural yet deliciously scented treat. Lisa already had a creative business making Macrame and a full time job but had a real passion for handmade soaps so decided to launch another business!
They wanted to create a range of skincare products that would cut down on single use plastics in the home and since many of their friends and family were vegan decided to keep all the products vegan friendly too. They are super proud to be known for these Eco values and want to encourage us all to consider a #plasticfreechristmas via their social media. Their soaps have compostable wrappers but there is also a ‘naked’ option online. All their mailed packaging is either reused, recycled or recyclable, making it the greenest way to smell delicious this season.
This now cult eye wear brand is already my go to for glasses. They have the coolest range of frames with an oh so affordable price range! This Christmas you can treat your loved ones to a gift voucher so you can pick their own stylish specs. I actually got one of these gift voucher sets for part of my 30th this week and the wee key chain is lovely as well as the packaging totally elevating the once humble gift card.
Rebel are a small chocolate company based in Glasgow, run by two scientists who are on a mission to bring healthier chocolate to the people of Britain and beyond. They are rebelling against the chocolate norm and believe chocolate doesn’t have to be filled with cheap and unhealthy ingredients to taste great.
They say they use some of the best cocoa in the world which is why their chocolate tastes amazing while still being more nutritionally balanced, making it a far healthier treat. Win Win!
After training as an art teacher Claire decided to focus her creative energy on ceramics, honing her craft at a pottery studio local to her in Edinburgh. After a random request from a friend for a ‘tit pot’ things took a nude direction (sorry!) and The Tit Shop was born. Initially it seemed like something fun and silly but quickly Claire realised the importance of these wee pots to the people purchasing them. From Breast Cancer Warrior Queens to a Body Positive King, their purchases showcase beautiful bodies in all shapes and sizes. You can currently pick up your own tit pots via Etsy and two shops in Edinburgh but things are expanding fast for this indy brand and it’s pretty damn exciting to see where tit all goes (can’t resist a pun, sorry!)
Lauren is a mixed media artist based in Scotland. After training at Edinburgh College of Art, she won the highly prestigious Graduate of the Year award at the Scottish Fashion Awards. Lauren now creates one of a kind embroidered fabric pieces that are influenced by her love for the colours and patterns of the 70’s. Each piece begins life as a painting and then is finished with stitch and as many embellishments that can fit!! A girl after my own heart frankly. She created this super cute pin for me merging my brand colours with her signature style. While it would be an ideal stocking filler, I will be gifting this only to myself.
The Divine Hag is a female focused company, creating aromatherapy scents for women at every stage of life. After suffering heavily from migraines and an overly heightened sense of smell, TDH was created to take this unfortunate situation and transform it into a gift. This vegan friendly range of room sprays, oils and bath salts are expertly blended to help counteract things like insomnia, period pains and even help settle cranky babies. There is pretty much something for everyone as there is even now a range of beard oils meaning the boys aren’t excluded.
A super cool illustrator from Glasgow, Grisel creates beautifully quirky art. Her recent range of work features Glasgow as you haven’t seen it before and is truly stunning. As well as printd there are also cushions featuring these almost fantasy like creations. We recently bought a super cute pastel monster cushion for our bedroom, which I’d show you if it wasn’t so damn messy!
Ruth designs colourful cards, motivational prints and cute pins and patches. Every year she raises money for Maggie’s Centres through her Christmas cards to thank them for supporting her family while her Mum battled ovarian cancer. These colourful cards really showcase Ruth’s fun style that carries across all her products and they give back to a wonderful cause!
Bairns sell design led unisex play-wear essentials handmade and designed in Scotland by Debbie and Steph. These gorgeous gift sets make the ideal present for a new arrival all the way through to toddler stages. Featured here is their organic cotton play sleepwear gift box that comes in 3 different patterns. This ranges between 0-24 months in size. They also produce another gorgeous gift set of winter wear including a romper, bonnet and booties all hand knitted in Aberdeenshire which is super cosy!
Based in the southside of Glasgow, The Dispensary Bar is a mobile cocktail bar which was founded by Greig Sparkes. Greig’s aim is to give classic cocktails a modern, Scottish twist. This includes using Scottish craft spirits whenever possible as well as crafting homemade liqueurs, syrups and bitters to ensure fresh, high quality cocktails. The cocktails have been so popular at the events that Greig was frequently asked if they could be bought to enjoy at home. Therefore, he decided to put together The Dispensary Bar cocktail making sets which can be found at another hidden gem small biz Craft 56. My personal favourite is The Bramble featuring colour changing gin!
Not your usual family photographer, Emma is honestly the sweetest person and it’s fair to say my two boys fell a little in love with her on our shoot. We attempted a photoshoot in gale force wind and rain which turned our cute pumpkin patch shoot into an ad for pneumonia. Yet through it all Emma laughed, ran around with the kids and managed to snap some great images. A gorgeous gift would be vouchers for a family shoot (whether that is little ones, fur babies or your Granny, I’m pretty sure she will be amazing with them all.)
Kati moved to Morocco in 2001 where she worked in interior design for a number of years. After a change in personal circumstances she returned to Scotland for part of the year. Needing to find a business that allowed her to work in both countries she created Zouina Designs. It combined her two loves of Moroccan leather and gorgeous bags. To make each piece even more unique she incorporated vintage kaftans into the lining. These adorable clutch bags are just £25. I think they are perfect for styling up a festive outfit or to cart your makeup around in serious style.
The team behind this brand is two mamas bonded through motherhood! Born 6 months apart, the arrival of their boys initially brought Anna and Stacey together as friends. Now they are business partners turning a hobby into an established business. They aim to make good quality, affordable clothing for children using organic cotton and handmade in Scotland. They especially love finding prints and designs to make your little ones stand out from the crowd whilst being comfortable.
Katie is not only my name twin, our babies share the same birthday and she’s a total tea jenny like me. She makes gorgeous ceramic and paper goods and the loveliest jewellery. Like many of the makers on here we met through social media when I was very lucky to win a pair of galaxy patterned earrings that I wear several times a week now. Obsessed! For the festive season shes made these icy toned beauts in her signature style and they are pretty damn awesome.
That’s a wrap..
So there it is, from babywear to beard oil, photography to pots featuring tits. Lots of these badass small businesses can be found at the likes of Supermarket in Platform at Argyll St Arches as well as other cool pop up events across Glasgow and Edinburgh. Links to all their pages are imbedded in the names of each brand if you want to check them out directly.
Let me know what small biz goodies you have picked up this year. I love to hear about you all shopping small and local!