It’s safe to say that 2020 has been the year of unpredictability – but, if there’s one thing we can control it’s being organised about gift preparation. I for one will not be rushing out to the shops to panic buy at the last minute – mostly because I'm not sure being in a busy crowd right now is good for anyone and secondly because there’s nothing that appeals to me about sweating in a queue of other stressed Christmas shoppers.
That being said, I still want to support our community of independents – which is why I’ve put together a Creative Christmas Gift Guide to give you inspiration for your purchases this year. What’s more, they’re all available to shop from online – a win, win!
FOR THE WINE CONNOISSEUR
Gifting a bottle of wine at Christmas is severely underrated – I love nothing more than going to my favourite local artisans, browsing their library and chatting to the knowledgeable owners to choose something special. If you’re based in Bristol, I can highly recommend Snobby’s Wine and KASK – there’s also Smith’s Wines and Pullo Shop in Exeter. All are known for their incredible selection of unique wines and expertise.
FOR THE AROMATHERAPY LOVER: FIND CANDLES
I love nothing more than lighting a candle – there’s something incredibly comforting about the flickering golden glow and the aromatic scents that follow. To get the full benefits from candles, it’s best to opt for natural varieties – this means looking for products made from soy wax and that use essential oils over perfume.
These products from FIND cover all those bases. Founded by mother-daughter duo Lesley & Lydia – these ladies are passionate about candles and essential oils and the powers they offer to enhance mental health and well-being. There are four scents available in the range, each presented in a beautiful amber glass jar.
FOR THE ETHICAL WARRIOR: SANCHO'S
I’ve been working with Sancho’s for a little under a year now – they’re a fantastic black-owned ethical clothing and lifestyle store based in Exeter. They stock a variety of sustainable brands and are passionate about making these accessible for everyone. With a mixture of clothing and homeware, there's something for everyone's tastes - plus, you'll be shopping knowing that you're supporting an independent, but also one that stands for a great cause too.
FOR THE TREND SETTER: LORNA RUBY Another Exeter indie favourite of mine – Lorna Ruby. It’s hard to enter this clothing store (or browse the website) and not find 100 different items to add to your wish list – each piece is carefully curated by Lorna herself, with a French / Scandi-inspired aesthetic. There are a number of wallet-friendly festive gifts, but here are some of my personal favourites.
ALSO FOR THE TREND SETTER: FOX & FEATHER I couldn’t cover indie clothing stores without giving a mention to Bristol’s Fox & Feather. Based on Gloucester Road, this pocket-sized store is home to a whole host of fashionable treasures. There’s a lot of beautiful pieces to browse here, but I’ve chosen this Selected Femme LINNA KNIT BEANIE to mention in my gift guide – great for people who love a pop of colour in their outfits but muted enough for those who prefer a more subtle look. A staple for the winter months.
FOR THE HIPPIES: ROSE QUARTZ COASTERS - ETSY
I recently purchased one of these Rose Quartz coasters for myself – I’d spotted them at someone’s house a few months ago and had lusted over them ever since. Really eye-catching and brilliant for jazzing up a working-from-home desk.
FOR THE CHEESE DELIVERY: QUICKE'S
We all have someone in the family who loves cheese – so why not treat them to a special selection box from artisan producers, Quicke’s. Based in Devon, Quicke’s have been making award-winning cheese for decades – a fail-safe gift for foodies.
FOR THE WRITER: PAPERSMITHS
This gold-encased chunky pencil from Papersmiths is such a treat for those who love the smaller details – I have a very similar gold pen that I use to journal with, and I love it. Plus, we could all do with a bit of shine during this time, right?
FOR THOSE LOOKING FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT: HEATHER PELOSI PRINT
Have you got someone in the family / your close circle of friends that’s really hard to buy for? Maybe you’re just looking for something a little bit different this year? Either way, why not have a custom-made print created for you by the talented Heather Pelosi – a Devon-based Graphic Designer who specialises in unique portraits, branding elements and pet portraits (of course). Heather can give any photo a new lease of life by putting her special mark on them – a brilliant gift that’s a crowd-pleasure and will be unexpected for sure.