Shop Independent This Christmas Directory/Gift Guide
Three years ago, I created this graphic that seemed to resonate with a lot of you all around the world.
My intention was to raise awareness on how important it is to shop independent, especially at Christmas where it can really mean make or break for the little guys. We’re competing against these huge department stores and high street chains who don’t really fret if they lose a couple of hundred quid, but for us, it’s incredibly damaging. I’m sure the CEO’s of these companies aren’t struggling to pay their rent, or are eating beans on toast every single meal because they can’t afford anything else. They’re not up all night with worry, wondering if going down this career path was the right thing (well actually, maybe they are, but that’s probably a tax-dodging anxiety rather than on-the-poverty-line anxiety!).
By supporting independents at Christmas, you are not only pumping money into that business, but you're also helping that maker live. Pay rent, pay all of those bills (maybe even on time), feed their families. It really is a big deal. Much bigger than giving that CEO of a large corporation some play money for their boat.
You're funding someone's livelihood. Buying local, independent and small makes your hard-earned money go a lot further than it would if you just went to a certain large online low-priced store.
If your mate makes greeting cards then buy some from them, rather going to a well-known high street stationers. Even if you just buy everyone socks for the holidays, get them from an indie! It may require a little bit more effort but it's nothing compared to how superb the result is.
It's a brave thing to start your own business in this world full of pound shops and online outlets, applaud those who are going against the grain and making something of themselves by supporting them. Below is a directory for independent sellers, shops and makers who we’re into. We wish we could include them all! All of them are female-founded and the majority are run singlehandedly (i.e One Girl Band’s).
The graphic above is available for download again, here is the link (just please remember to cred in captions as well as tag, and look up #createorcredit if you think it's ok to do it any other way).
Clothing & Accessories
Plus Equals; Plus size fashion label offering handpicked and reworked vintage items in sizes 14-26, and a new designer range of handpicked pieces in sizes 14-42 with the opportunity to request made-to-measure. Head over for an abundance of faux fur, sequins & re-worked vintage. Gift Vouchers available.
Radish; A women's lifestyle brand weaving a world where vintage, art, music and wonder meet.
- Mille Saisons; French-inspired independent brand dedicated to silk accessories; including scrunchies, headbands, hair bows, eye masks & chokers. Being soft and gentle on the skin and hair, these accessories make a practical but luxurious gift for Christmas. Supported by Princes Trust.
The Ugly Girls Club; Online brand dedicated to empowering women paralysed by the social stigma of ‘ugly’. The brand encourages customers to donate to Macmillan & Cancer Research in legacy of a family member, the ‘Leverton Legacy’. The store features bold ‘Ugly’ prints on women’s briefs, t-shirts & accessories including pins and badges.
Juggz Jumpers; ‘Cheeky Jumpers and Naughty Knits’ – all independently designed and hand sewn in London and Brighton. Also offering ‘Bespoke Juggz’ - customised jumpers that can’t be bought off the shelf.
Sassi Swimwear; Luxury swimwear crafted for the perfect fit and a lasting shape. Designed in London, sustainably made in Wales and hand-beaded in Mumbai. Because buying swimwear online can be a terrifying ordeal, Sassi offer private fittings with the designer at your preferred location.
Carolyn Carter; With a love of traditional craft, Carolyn’s knitwear and crochet designs are fuss free and simple. Showing a variety of natural colours and materials, her wrist-warmers and scarves (amongst other pieces) are the perfect winter warmer accessories.
The Bright Company; The Bright Company is a design-led, organic and ethical sleepwear and loungewear brand for modern families.
- Young Double; A creative brand from the heads of Studio NL, YD focus on creating gender/age neutral clothes that feature screen printed sayings and words to inspire a generation. Printed using eco-friendly inks and recyclable packaging.
Brick & Mortar
- Our Daily Edit; 23 Ship Street, Brighton (online too!). ODE is a menswear & womenswear store located in the South Lanes of Brighton. Stocking the latest emerging and contemporary designers, they have selected brands from across the globe that offer unique, stylish and wearable designs.
- Wolf and Gypsy Vintage; 30 Sydney St, Brighton (online too.) A beautiful treasure trove of handpicked pieces from around the world. Named one of the best vintage shops in the UK by The Telegraph for good reason!
Oh My Clumsy Heart; OMCH is a minimal lifestyle store that creates hand-crafted minimalist jewellery sold at a fair price, and have recently introduced homewares to their collection. Handmade in the UK with transparency and honesty at the forefront.
Glitter and Gem; Online store specialising in individually hand-cut unique pieces. Including hand wire wrapped gemstones, precious gemstones hand set in silver and gold & crocheted, floating gemstones.
Luna Tide; Online store specialising in boho gemstone jewellery. Shop by monthly birthstone or gemstone preference: including amethyst, garnet, rose quartz & turquoise.
Brick & Mortar:
Alexis Dove; Brick & Mortar store in Lewes – 19 High Street (also available online). Offering Fairtrade gold, Alexis designs individual pieces featuring animals and unique stones. Bespoke and bridal ranges available, featured in Hello & You and Your Wedding magazines.
Glow Organic; All-natural and organic skincare sourced globally – brands include Nui Cosmetics, Hynt Beauty & Eco by Sonya. Glow is predominantly an online store, but customers are welcomed to try & test products in founder’s office based in Kemptown.
Nancy Meiland; featured in You, Look & Country Living magazines, an online perfume & candle store also specialising in personal signature scenting. Total sensory indulgence.
- Honest Skincare; An organic, ethical and simple skincare business, all handmade in Birmingham, England. Buy online and in store.
No Pink Please; Unisex garments for babies and children including a ‘vintage and pre-loved’ range. Comfortable, hard-wearing and age appropriate, No Pink Please’s pieces are loved by the little people that wear them. Offering free local pick up to Brighton residents.
- Archie's Boutique; an online boutique full of beautifully curated and crafted childrensware that capture their love of design, style, texture and colour. It's important that items are produced ethically, with most of them being organic too.
Brick & Mortar:
The Little Natural Co.; 147 High Street, Lewes, online too. A beautiful baby and children's concept store specialising in natural and organic products.
The Wee Store; Physical and online store for children aged 0-8 years and their big people, based in Hove. They sell kids clothing, accessories, toys and gifts from designer brands.
PeacheyBoo; Kidswear for ages 0-11yrs, made in Britain & featuring high quality, modern, organic fabrics and designs. Brick & Mortar store found at 20 Gardner Street, Brighton. Online too.
Junior Edition; Kensington Gardens, Brighton, online too. A family-owned store providing a curated mix of clothing, accessories, gifts and home decor for kids aged 0-7.
Gayle Mansfield Designs; Online store selling typographic & minimalist wall art prints and cards with humour and simplicity at the heart of their work.
Hi Cacti; Online botanical concept store featuring handmade concrete cactus pots, a range of plants & home décor with a TexMex twist. Hi Cacti have an open studio which they open to the public every Saturday (18 Cambridge Grove, Hove)
Kalee Jones; Online store for contemporary home décor & accessories designed and created in Brighton. Featuring hand-painted clocks, prints and coasters inspired by scandi minimalism, abstract art and functional yet stylish mid-century design.
Wild Whiskers; Online store featuring animal prints on cushions, tea towels, mugs, prints and much more. Keep an eye on their website for pop-ups at different events all over England.
Brick & Mortar:
i gigi General Store; 31 Western Road, Hove – online also available. Founded by interior designers, i gigi source incredible unique home furnishings which are sold alongside one-off women’s garments crafted by their own seamstress. Think linen, antique metals and luscious leather. They also have a café in-store to recuperate after mass-purchase.
Workshop Living; 13a Prince Albert St, Brighton. Workshop bring together home and lifestyle products created with care and craftsmanship using materials that stand the test of time.
Stationery & Art
Life is a Peach; Online store selling a curated collection of stationary for paper lovers. Featuring calendars, greeting cards, notebooks and planners with a simplistic and minimalist aesthetic.
Laura Danby; A treasure trove of handmade products designed and created by Laura herself. Featuring tote bags, jewellery, purses, wall-art, wooden letters, craft kits and greeting cards with a scandi, colourful vibe.
Jessie Jumbles; Retro-style online gift store with a studio in Hanover (63 Carlyle Street). Featuring cards and gift-wrap, books, phone cases & collages.
Brick & Mortar:
Dowse Design; 133 Western Road, Hove (online too). Design, art prints & jewellery made in Britain and Europe, by both Dowse and independent makers.
Tidy Print; 100 Gloucester Road, Brighton. Screen-printing studio and art + design shop.
Gift and Lifestyle Stores
- Studio NL; a store, workshop and brand created by a wonderful family in Tur Langton, Leicester, selling homewares, clothes, stationery, accessories and other beautiful pieces of design. You can visit their workshop in person on an open day but also primarily available online.
- Violet and Percy; an online lifestyle shop selling gifts and homewares; and magazine, featuring travel, interiors, style, beauty and culture.
- Just Daydreaming; Online gift store full of quirky, whimsical pieces. Latest ‘Nostalgia’ jewellery range features 90’s pastel colours, geometric shapes and iconic lyrics. Also check out their range of stationery and perfect gifts including iron-on patches, wall art prints, tote bags and toys.
- All at Sea; Advocating independent shopping from around the world, All at Sea has curated a stock list full of independently crafted gems. Artists include fine artist Sarah Kelk from Hello Polly, Esther Thorpe of Origami Est & textile designer Rosie Drake-Knight.
- Jack and Freda; A collection of contemporary gifts, accessories and things for your home. Products are sourced directly from their creators – illustrators, makers & designers. Including jewellery, tea towels, candles & cards.
Brick & Mortar:
Tidy Street General Store; A rising star in the Brighton Independent scene! Somewhere where you can buy anything from a jar of chutney to a pair of socks. They also stock a small selection of fashion and design brands including Rachel Comey, Tom Dixon, Sunspel and Soeur.
Present in the Laine; Wide ranging gift store situated at 34 Gardner Street, Brighton. Featuring women’s clothing and accessories, jewellery, menswear, kidswear & homeware.
MONO MONO; With backgrounds in jewellery, textiles & sculpture, the creatives behind MONO find inspiration from clean design, art, architecture and pure, simple forms. Available online and in their open studio at 13-16 Vine Street, Brighton (just a couple of doors down from OGB). Featuring accessories, homeware, menswear & womenswear.
At Home Buckingham; Lifestyle and homeware gift shop in Buckingham, Milton Keynes. Selling scandi-inspired and colourful wares.
The People Shop; 50 Poplar Rd, Kings Heath, Birmingham. A lifestyle shop which celebrates the homemade and the heartfelt by stocking an eclectic array of handmade womenswear, gifts and interior products.
General Markets & Pop-Ups
- The Stanley Road Store, Pop-up in Five Ways (132a Preston Drove); featuring the work of local makers with a cult following plus new emerging creatives.
- Brighton Etsy Christmas Market - 2nd December, Brighton Dome.
- Crafty Fox Market- Various locations and dates over London, click for more info.
- Renegade Craft Fair- 9 + 10th December, Old Truman Brewery London.