I'm going to ask the inevitable...
Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?
Maybe you're one of those organised people who starts in September, or are you a last-minute panic buyer?
There's zero judgment over here, as I try not to fall into the latter category; some years successfully, others...erm, not so much!
Either way, if you’re like me, you also want to support small businesses and buy unique gifts for your loved ones. BUT it can be hard to know where to look and how to find the perfect present without spending hours scrolling Google and Instagram.
I’ve been shopping small for quite a few years now, so I decided to curate a few of my favourite indie brands to buy from, as well as some recommendations I’ve had this year that I can’t wait to try and wanted to share with you!
These are things you can’t find elsewhere in the hope it inspires you to find the ideal present for your best friend or favourite relative, minus the stress and time-zap of an endless online search.
Without further ado, it's time for you to have a browse of my indie Christmas gift guide and make it easier than ever to support independent makers across the UK this festive season (mince pie with a cuppa optional).
Why buy gifts from independent businesses?
Where you spend your hard-earned cash makes a statement about who you are and what you believe in.
Yes, modern life is busy and it's super convenient to place one bulk order on a certain website, but if we start to make more ethical choices we can all play our part in positive change.
I know first-hand the joy of seeing an order come through - that’s something that definitely doesn’t happen when you order from the big boys!
Gift ideas from small businesses can also be way more thoughtful and unusual than the cookie-cutter items we see online and in stores.
So, are you ready to find THE perfect gift and give the gift of support to a small biz this festive season?
Indie gifts for handmade heroes
Shopping for a friend or family member who loves all things crafty?
Inspire them with your originality by gifting them an origami kit - they can experience the mindful process of handcrafting something wonderful from paper and end up with a beautiful keepsake.
I discovered Origami Est when I did a Christmas decoration origami workshop a while back. We made stunning folded paper decorations and I was amazed at how clever Est’s work is (not to mention super sustainable!).
Each kit contains everything needed to make your creation with clear instructions - choose from wreaths, reusable crackers, flowers, and even a clock!
Shop her origami kits right here.
What to buy for the pro puzzler
Do you know a jigsaw fan? If you follow my Instagram stories, you may have noticed I love a good jigsaw - it’s the perfect way to switch off my busy brain and unwind with a cup of tea after a long day in the workshop.
Unusual jigsaws can be hard to find, but I’ve discovered these stylish gems from a small Scandi business called Hus and Hem which make a great Christmas gift - let’s face it, there are very few Scandi brands that aren’t super cool!
How about this gemstone inspired 1000 piece puzzle? It's super appealing to me, given what I do for a living. The only question is, am I brave enough to try!?...
There’s plenty of choice and something for every dissectologist (that’s right - there’s an actual word for us), so it’s sure to keep boredom at bay during Twixmas and well into the new year. See their full range of fabulous puzzles here
For the colour-loving character in your life
Are you searching for the ideal thing for someone who shuns neutrals and gravitates to every colour of the rainbow?
Clarissa Hulse is an indie brand offering a kaleidoscope of vibrant and original homeware and gifts.
I have a Clarissa Hulse cushion I picked up when I was working in London as a student many moons ago, and I’ve admired her prints ever since.
Her luxurious cashmere scarves are a stylish gift with SO MANY beautiful options to choose from, and there are also budget-friendly tea towels, mugs, phone cases and purses which are making their way onto my Christmas list as we speak!
Shop Clarissa’s online store here.
For the cool feminist
Unsure what to buy for your cool feminist friend, daughter, or granddaughter?
Hawthorn Handmade has created this girl power-packed embroidery kit called Wonderful Woman, celebrating female empowerment and creativity.
Plus, it’s simple enough for anyone to turn their hand to, whether your pal is a crafting novice or a seasoned expert - either way, it’s a great excuse for the busy babe in your life to slow down, make time for themselves and enjoy a little self-care. Take a look here.
Gifts for a nature lover
I couldn’t resist sharing this beautiful creation by Judith Brown, a fellow Midlands-based jewellery maker who has come up with THE most gorgeous and unusual gift for botanical lovers.
These artisan wire flowers are just so beautiful and something completely different - they'll make a real statement displayed in a beautiful vase all year round.
Judith was inspired to make her wire floral creations during lockdown, when she embraced the natural world and found peace there amid the chaos we all experienced during those unusual days.
This really resonated with me: as you may know, the thought of windswept sand dunes prompted me to create my Dune Collection during the Covid years, so this concept struck a chord with me.
Explore her wire flowers and grasses here.
Shop small for proud pet owners
We have A LOT of visitors to the workshop who love meeting Tino, our resident cockapoo. And Storeys & Tails have come up with some seriously stylish collars and leads for Tino and friends.
All the items you see in the online shop are handmade in their Devon studio, so you know you’ll be supporting a small UK business when you shop.
Collars and leads are made to order and can even be personalised for the pooch in question. Plus, they even have a reuse and recycle scheme which is fantastic news for the eco-conscious dog owner.
Treat your canine-loving mate or buy something for your very own pup to gnaw open on Christmas morning here.
Gifts for ocean lovers
Do you know someone who craves the sea air?
If you’re looking for something really special, my Dune Collection of sea-inspired jewellery is full of elegant and understated gift ideas for a thalassophile.
And if it’s more of a stocking filler you’re after, check out these stunning prints by Natalie Ryan Design.
I love the idea of gifting a memento of a special trip or memory, transporting your loved one back to a cherished British beach every day as they daydream from their sofa or desk.
Natalie also has a beautiful collection of ocean and beach art prints - from roaring waves to serene beaches.
What to buy for a seasoned (or wannabe!) home cook
Confession time: anyone who knows me will know I’m not into cooking.
But I love Indian flavours so this gorgeous book could change that - it has everything in it to help a gourmet-phobe like me venture into the kitchen and create something to nourish me and my family during these cold winter months!
Spice Kitchen is the creation of mother and son team, Shashi and Sanjay Aggarwal. I love that concept - maybe you could use it to tempt your kids into the kitchen with you?
For someone in need of a digital detox
I’ve always been envious of my uncle’s calligraphy skills - he’s a retired art teacher and his handwritten birthday cards are spectacular.
A calligraphy kit is a lovely gift and could be a wonderful new hobby for a loved one to take up in the new year.
This one by Jen Rolfe is positioned as a mindful activity, which I love - after all, we’re all so glued to our phones and computers that the art of simply writing is waning.
So, if you know someone who needs to log off and get some headspace, this is just the ticket. It’s suitable for all ages and both left and right-handers.
For the hot drink lover (meeee!)
Know someone who loves to get cosy with a cuppa? Treat them to their very own personalised coaster from Parkin and Lewis.
This is a really pocket-friendly way to shop small and give a thoughtful Christmas gift to someone you love. It would also make a fab Secret Santa gift to brighten up a colleague’s desk.
The coasters are made from real leather and a tree is planted for every single order - and I will absolutely NOT judge you if you throw one for yourself into the basket before you check out, because I’ll be doing the same!
Small business gifts for the adventurer
Got someone in your life who loves going off-grid and embracing the outdoors?
Hôrd is a micro business run by husband and wife team, Jason and Gemma.
From their studio in the stunning Peak District, they make unisex leather and cork hip flasks, wallets and key fobs that are designed for the “adventurous and wild.”
I love the story behind their brand and they have some super stylish creations - including this Topographic Hip Flask. They draw up the contour lines of your favourite place so that you can keep it with you on your adventures. Check the rest of the collections out here.
For the jewellery lover
I love to support my fellow indies and I’m forever grateful for the support you show me.
If you’re thinking of gifting something shiny to someone you love this year, I’ve curated a few of my favourites below to inspire you.
These Mini Silver Pendants are new and will never go out of style.
They are perfect for everyday wear - in fact, I happen to be wearing one as I type this blog and never take it off! Why not layer them up and be on trend, KSJ style? Find them in our Under £100 Gifts section.
You'll also find these Silver Stud Dune Earrings there too - the perfect pressie for a partner or pal who loves minimal...with just a touch of detail.
These best-selling sterling Silver cufflinks with etched detail have a soft curve so they stand out - for the man who loves to dress with a little flair!
Plus, all items come in a gorgeous gift box to open on Christmas morning.
Can’t decide? Grab a gift voucher and let them choose their own gift in the new year.
Recyclable gift wrap
For every pack sold 10% of the profits go to charity. So, if you join me in supporting this fabulous small business, you’ll be doing a good thing for yourself, the planet, and those in need of a helping hand this Christmas.
And now we’ve ticked everything off our gift list, all that’s left to do is wrap it all then we'll be free to get comfy in front of a cheesy Christmas film and enjoy the festive fun minus the stress - who's with me?
That's a wrap! (sorry)
Share your small business buys with me
Have you been inspired to add any of these indie gems to your basket after reading my roundup?
I’ll be posting these ideas on Instagram, so if you know of other small businesses my followers and I would love who deserve a shout-out this year, let me know and let’s share the small business appreciation this Christmas.
Happy (Indie) Shopping.