Running into the shopping centre last minute to find the ‘perfect’ gift used to be my jam, for someone so organised I was often found making the most important purchases last minute. Despite planning them out months in advance time always seems to creep up and BANG it’s some one’s birthday, birth or bash of some kind and I am left with heart palpitations because ‘I’ve done it again’. In my mind (where I seem to spend a lot of time) everything is planned, I have bought all gifts 6 months in advance they are all neatly wrapped in recycled fabric or brown paper, because I do not do last minute plastic wrapping paper, however the reality is somewhat different.
This year that is all changing, ok so it maybe November now and I had planned to start my Christmas shopping and wrapping in September. Now behind schedule I am determined to have everything ready for the end of November, because I am determined that Christmas, Virtual Christmas, Doorstep Christmas, is still happening in our household where all conversations regarding the current state of affairs, Brexit and any other political conversation shall be banned.
So here I am today, with my Gift Guide, I have purposely chosen not to call it my Christmas Guide, I have no idea why, so I am just going with it. I have also chosen to purposely select mostly local brands because I think it’s important to shop with our local independents this season, for all seasons in fact but especially this season. We are heading into more times of uncertainty, stories of small businesses struggling are now a common topic, by balancing our choices we can all make a difference.
Introducing two brands whom I feel are ‘outstanding’ in the world of Style,
Canopy – Launched in Derby back in 1992 this family run business has been my go to for years. With brands such as Gestuz who have been leading from the front with their recycled polyester range and organic jeans which for me are the best out there and Colourful Standard and many more. They also have a mens wear range with brands such as Universal Works, Edwins, Novesta – it’s the only shop my husband will go to, the service is always amazing. Our personal favourites are the loungewear classics by Colourful Standard – Fit for perfection
Studio Slo 7.20 – I couldn’t not mention my friends in Leeds, it feels local to me as I have many friends that live in Leeds and I used to work there so it will always feel like a second home. I absolutely love what this brand presents. With an ethos of Promoting circular fashion and responsible consumerism they are pathfinders in my opinion, we need more of this and they have really set the tone. They work with brands such as Carhartt, Norse, Folk, Wood Wood, plus a wonderful homewares brand call Milk Home. One of the founders Tracey also the co-founder of Approved with one of my soul sisters Ellie, together they sell second hand vintage and pre loved clothing. Two powerhouses in the world of style. Pretty cool right
Nadinoo – This was a recent find for me the aesthetics stopped me in my tracks. This was the first time I had come across Shibui wear – Shibui objects appear to be simple overall but they include subtle details such as textures that balance simplicity and complexity, the oversized parachute dress is the dream each order placed is made to order in their Rutland based studio so they only make what is needed. This is the lifestyle store that has the conscious consumer in mind. Nadinoo also stock a collection of zero waste, selfcare products and ceramics that all work in perfect harmony.
Olivia Aspinall – The recent collaboration with Wabi Soap Studio brought a collection of soap dishes and soap bars, it’s playful and experimental and links in Olivias original ‘Terazzo design’ that has over the years become iconic. All made in Nottingham they are definitely on my wish list.
Mybagsofstuff – A collection of bags, pouches and drawstring bags including my favourite ‘Mum Stuff’ bag are perfect, most designs can be personalised making them the perfect gift for Christmas
Little Plant Guys – With an ethos of a simple and environmentally friendly approach they are striving to be as green as possible, they run local pop ups from their vans and can be found cycling with their deliveries in tow. My favourites to date are the “Orchid Cactus” and “String of Bananas’
The Little Peace Company – Selfcare inspired by nature, this Derbyshire based business create aromatherapy products using natural and organic ingredients. My personal highlights are the Breathe Easy Himalayan Bath Salts.
Milk Home – Jokes, but I couldn’t not include us in the gift guide could I. From ceramics to lifestyle to print, to light, our consciously curated brand has been rocking our world and hopefully yours since 2019
Olea living - I absolutely love this brand, with a focus on quality craftsmanship and natural materials this duo work with small scale manufacturers and have curated the most stunning range. I had the pleasure of meeting the two friends behind this brand and they are a true reflection of their brand which I love. I happen. to have my eye on one of their Organic lunch bags.
Cabyn Home – Yes they do the most magnificent sofas but they also have a great range of cushions, throws and rugs to add that little bit of pretty to your home and not to mention the most stunning shopping location that is also home to some fabulous coffee shops and restaurants.
Joy Interiors – Nicky stocks the most beautiful collection of Brocante inspired pieces and home accessories, the collection brings an element to any home. Nicky handmade Lavender Hangers are AMAZING.
Jord Home – Known for their beautiful rugs, Gemma has recently launched a range of handcrafted Moccasin slippers, handcrafted from entirely natural materials, my feet want to dive right in, the cute part, they also do a Babies First Christmas Gift Set, adorable doesn’t come close.
Denby Pottery - The heart of Derbyshire I have loved this brand my whole life, with a zero process waste to landfill approach and based on the same site where the pottery was found in 1809 this family owned business has been part of homes for many years. Their conscious edit range is inspiring and can be used in any room in the house.
Alf and Co are the modern kids shop - Clothing, Gifts, Nursery and Lifestyle, if their Instagram page is anything to go by its going to be amazing, I have my eye on a few pieces. Based in Nottingham I couldn’t see a website but they are only just launching so if you are local to this area and pop in please let me know
Inkwellscreations - They do they most beautiful gold on grey felt keepsake hoops. They include a ‘Born in Lockdown’ hoop which is just super special. They are just the right size to hang in any modern nursey, they also do a range of tote-ally awesome bags. With a shop on Facebook they are most definitely worth a visit.
ARTS AND CRAFTS
Wild Calligraphy Well if you love getting crafty then these beautiful calligraphy kits are the perfect gift. They can be purchased at Handmade Nottingham, who also happen to stock a whole range of beautiful products made from local artisans
Hopedesigned create beautiful prints and cards whilst also taking commissions for designing custom prints too, all the paper they use is 100% recycled and the clear packaging is 100% biodegradable. Pretty cool right.
Darwin and Gray - The most beautiful banners I ever did see. A paper and textiles brand based in Derbyshire, these banners adorn the homes of many, from Christmas banners, to classic and bespoke styles there really is something for everyone here. My favourite include the festive banners and the "Let me Overthink about it"
And relax we are done... that was the speed dating of Gift Guides, short and snappy but fun...I hope. There were so many more I could have included, but this is me giving a shout out to the independents that live in my local area - Keep doing what you are doing because what you are doing is great