Saturday 28 November 2015

Christmas gift guide: the best of the independent shops

As soon as I start buying Christmas presents, I find myself wanting to share them with everyone because I'm so excited about my awesome gift-buying skills. It's true - I'm bloody good at it. There's nothing like the feeling of someone opening a gift and saying "Oh my god!" as you skip up and down in your seat in glee, is there? Nope. There is not.

So this post is playing the long game, because I'm going to recommend to you a few things that I bought last year and was forbidden to share, because of, you know, surprises and that. It's very Etsy-focused (I went a bit Etsy mad last year) but that's great, right? Supporting independent businesses, and all that.

Personalised Cheeseboard from Dust and Things, Etsy
I was SO proud of this find. I saw it on Not On The High Street and thought it awesome, but rather overpriced, so I had a quick scout on Etsy and found it for more than half the price. It came super fast and the personalisation is flawless - and it has little cheese knives inside! They've gone up a little in the last year, but still pretty good value, and an excellent gift for the cheese-lover in your life.

Watermelon Earrings from NeatEats, Etsy
I got these for a watermelon-loving friend and she was so pleased with them (hooray!). They're really cute and well made, and there's loads more food-themed jewellery in the shop too. The Jammy Dodger earrings are also pretty amazing.

Whisky Rocker Glasses from Drink Stuff
I got these via Amazon, so they break the independents rule in the rest of this post - sorry about that. But I wanted to show you them, as glasses are an excellent gift if you want to get something boozy but feel like a bottle of their fave isn't quite enough. Plus, they break all the time! So everyone's always happy with more glasses. I bought these to go with a nice bottle of Stag's Breath for Matt - they're designed with a round bottom, so the whisky is constantly being swilled around, which apparently is what you should do with whisky, according to people who know about that kind of thing.

Brooches from Oh Gosh Cindy, Etsy
I'm going to have to go back and buy that Feminist brooch for myself. I also love the 'Bitches get stuff done' brooch, because sticking a quote from Tina Fey and Amy Poehler onto your jacket gets my vote every time. This shop also sells amazing hand-drawn prints and cards like this pretty amazing Parks & Rec one - one to bookmark.

Maple Leaf bobby pins by Little Nell
I love the jewellery on Little Nell - I have the oak bobby pins myself, and I'm tempted to buy these for me too! I've bought a few things from here over the years - the feather pins were a hit. Everything is handmade and great quality - delicate but sturdy, and the prices are great for the quality, too.

RuPaul's Drag Race pencils from Pop Culture Pencils
HOW AMAZING ARE THESE? I'm starting a lobby right now to bring pencils back, because there are way too many awesome pencils in this shop. Drag Race is still there, but there's also ones with quotes from Harry Potter, Breaking Bad, The IT Crowd and Kimmy Schmidt. For hand-stamped items, they're pretty reasonable - an excellent choice for an obsessive colleague, right?

Silver Penguin Necklace from TwoLittleDoves, Etsy
I actually bought this a few years ago, but it stuck in my mind as it was SO cute! This was lovely quality and really reasonable - something I find a lot from Etsy purchases. This shop is full of gorgeous things, I also love the origami silver crane necklace.

Wooden Village from DotComGiftShop
I find DotComGiftShop great for those 'I just don't know what to get' gifts - last year my brother's children got some great crafty kits from here and I've got lovely home and kitchen bits for friends from there, too. This little model village is so cute and completely classic - I think I had the exact one when I was a kid!

Books (from anywhere)
I love buying books for gifts! My favourite 'anyone will like them' novels of recent years are The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness, A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara and Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. And cookbooks make great gifts too - I bought a few copies of the Wahaca cookbook last year (although I think Mexican Made Easy is better) and everyone is getting my favourite cookbook ever this year, A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones.

What goldmine stores have you discovered this year?


  1. I fully agree with books and gifts....and like songs there is one for every person and every mood.

  2. Those earrings are so cute! I'm off to browse x

  3. I just finished The Rest Of Us Just Live Here and OH MY GOD it was so good! I just loved the concept and thought he carried it off enormously well (I also enjoyed the sly digs at Twilight, Sarah Palin, etc!)

  4. This is such a fab alternative list to all the gift guides I've seen so far - I love love LOVE the OhGoshCindy stuff!

    Laura xx | Loved By Laura


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