Christmas is one of my FAVOURITE times of the year. I love everything about it, but one of my favourite parts is buying my loved ones gifts that make them happy. I find online shopping a whole lot easier than aimlessly wandering around a packed city centre not know what I’m looking for – and the rise of online shopping gives a perfect platform to independent makers. There are also a ton of craft markets now where the standard is super high – no older ladies selling their collage cards and bric a brac (although no offence to them, some people love that stuff!). Last December Jack and I took a trip down to London and stumbled upon Renegade craft fair, which was my absolute paradise. All the makers that I follow on Instagram were at this market and it was amazing to see all of their beautiful hand made wares in real life. I ended up buying my Mum and sister’s gifts solely from this market – and sneakily bought lots for Jack too!
You can read Kalee Jones’ post here on why you should shop independent, but there are so many reasons. Yes you might pay slightly extra than on the high street, but you are giving a gift that has been lovingly and skill fully made and really benefits not only the receiver of the gift but also the maker. I also love that most likely the person you are giving the gift to has probably never seen something like it before, and is getting something unique and beautiful.
So to showcase just some of the independent makers I love, I thought I would put together a Christmas gift guide. Please let me know any other sellers I should check out, and I will try and add them to this list!
Bianca makes this lovely jewelry using polymer clay, a PVC material that can be hardened in an oven. I love the matte texture it gives which makes the necklaces look kind of soft, and I love the colours that Bianca chooses. She makes little earrings too, so it’s worth having a browse on her Etsy. She also gives a portion of every sale to the Endometriosis UK charity to help women living the disease – even more of a reason to shop independent!
Emma also uses polymer clay for her jewelry, and I love how she mixes the colours together to make these terazzo-like patterns. She also makes commissioned pieces if you can’t find exactly what you’re after!
FOR WALL HANGINGS
Allyson Rousseau was the Instagram account I found that actually got me into loom weaving. I was blown away by her minimalist, colourful style and incredibly precise weaving technique. Although expensive, they are absolutely worth it, as having done some weaving myself I know how much skill and time each piece must take. It would be my dream to own one of her weaves so I had to add her to this selection – maybe one day!
Milo Made Ceramics sells mugs and pots by Milo Liren Mckeand who is part of Clay Collective, a group of ceramicists who actually work in the same building as me in London. I always walk past their studio and lust after their lovely pots and mugs, and if I’m lucky they occassionally have small sample sales! I own one of Milo’s colourful pots and love the grainy texture it has. I am in love with the squiggle mugs for how unusual they are! It’s also worth checking out Clay Collective as they have clay workshops you can book – for an even more unusual gift.
FOR PLANT POTS & ORNAMENTS
I’ve been following Boe on Instagram for ages and finally purchased one of her lovely pots last year for Jack at the Renegade craft fair. I also bought the Monstera pin for my sister. I love the pops of colour and handmade, fun style to her work. Her little plant ornaments are sooo cute, definitely have my eye on some of those this year!
FOR PURSES AND BAGS
Lauren Clowes makes these amazing leather purses by hand. I stumbled upon her stall at Broadway Market in London last year and very luckily got one of her purses for Christmas (after a lot of hinting). I also bought one of the card holders for my sister and she loooved it. I can confirm that they age really, really nicely- my purse is packed full of receipts but the seams are as strong as ever and the leather softens up beautifully. She also sells some more neutral black purses and some beautiful pastel ones too if you’re not a fan of neon!
FOR PURSES & BAGS
I am slightly biased about these bags because my talented friend Sophie makes them! Bt what I love about them is that they are made from the inner tube of tyres, so they are a good option if you want to give more ethically. You really wouldn’t expect they weren’t made out of leather as they feel very soft to touch but hold their form perfectly. She also makes small card holders which are the perfect gift for guys too.
FOR PURSES AND BAGS
Natassja makes these leather bags totally by hand – even dyeing and painting the leather herself. She has colourful options and slightly more conservative options with quirky twists, like the black bag below with the colourful fastener – love them!!
FOR WALL PRINTS AND BAGS
I loooove Benjamin’s emphasis on bold colours and patterns – totally up my street. He sells screen prints and bags with his signature style. I think tote bags are the perfect gift – practical and pretty, and you know they’ll get used.
FOR PRINTS & CARDS
Risotto Studio prints their work using Risograph printing, which is sort of a cross between screen printing and inkjet printing (in that it uses a machine that looks like a photocopier but you choose the combination of ink colours and layer them up). This gives beautiful muted neon tones that look amazing in patterns like these. They do lots of reasonably priced prints and cards which make perfect gifts for pattern lovers.
Kalee sells clocks, necklaces, prints, coasters, among other things. And I love her colourful Christmas decorations! She was another maker I got to see in real life at the Renegade craft fair, her style is instantly recognisable. She also has a blog (as mentioned in my intro) which she started this year and is well worth checking out.