Christmas is one of the busiest (if not THE busiest) time of the year for businesses. This year, instead of buying exclusively from big brands, why not look to support small UK businesses and your local independent shops?
I’ve rounded up a list of small UK businesses selling beautiful products that would make fabulous Christmas gifts – or even gifts at any other time of the year!
My lovely friend Kerry launched her eco-conscious, luxury home fragrance brand Whist last year – even though it’s been an idea in the making for a few years. Kerry is an animal lover and vegan, so it’s no surprise that all of the products are inspired by nature, use natural ingredients and are ethically created. Choose from candles, wax melts, snap bars and reed diffusers. Not only do they smell incredible, the products are so stylish too.
Sam Pogson Art & Homeware
I’ve known Sam since I was a child as I went to school with her sister in South Africa. Sam has a busy corporate job and creates beautiful art and home-ware in her spare time. Although she has lived around the world, Sam loves creating pieces that remind her of home in South Africa so you’ll see the protea (the national flower of South Africa) featuring heavily in her work as well as well-known SA brands such as Lion Matches and Lucky Star Pilchards. As well as selling her gorgeous items in her Etsy shop, Sam can do custom pieces too.
Rebecca J Woods Ceramics
Last year I gifted myself a salt pig as I wanted something practical and stylish to store my salt for cooking. I did some research and came across Rebecca J Woods. Rebecca is based in Liverpool and works full time in her studio, creating beautiful, bespoke ceramics. Her products include mugs and cups, plant holder, plates and bowls and more. Her unique items make fantastic gifts!
Moon Water Treasures
Moon Water Treasures is a Southampton-based business run by three women who are passionate about showcasing the traditional methods of weaving and sewing in the Philippines and supporting Filipino artisans. They sell a mix of handmade and vintage items, such as kantha tote bags made from vintage fabric – all of which are unique – and beautiful vintage table and home-ware.
What I love about them is their strong sense of community and purpose. They support charities back in the Philippines, helping young people access education.
Sussex Special makes boutique, handcrafted candles that are inspired by nature, childhood memories and the Sussex countryside. Their candles use soy wax so are long lasting, non-toxic and plant based.
Bee Good skincare
Founded by husband and wife team Simon and Caroline, Bee Good is a British skincare brand that uses its own beeswax, honey and propolis from their bee hives in Hampshire to create their cruelty-free skincare products. Passionate about bees and ensuring that their population grows, each Bee Good order comes with wildflower seed balls for customers to plant and create their own bee-friendly mini-meadows.
Since 2014 they have distributed over 2 million seed balls! Their products are gorgeous – beautifully packaged and they feel really luxurious on your skin. My favourite product is their award-winning Replenishing Facial Oil – it’s so nourishing!
Hip Hip Hooray
Husband and wife team, Jenny and Emiko, started their stationery business Hip Hip Hooray back in 2014 in Devon. In 2020 they decided to open their doors and provide training and employment for women who face multiple disadvantage – such as in recovery from addiction or having experience of the criminal justice system. They have now reformed their small business to a social enterprise!
My talented friend Mandy also works in the charity sector and does a lot of sketch notes for webinars, conferences and even strategies. But she also has a shop selling awesome greeting cards and a 2022 calendar! I have a set of Mandy’s cards and love them as it’s so nice to send unique cards to friends that support a small business.
Georgia Camden is an illustrator and designer living in Southsea although she grew up in the tropics of Far North Queensland in Australia. She is inspired by stories, the promise of adventure and the wilderness, which comes through in her art.
I purchased her Tiger Wading print which has pride of place in my living room. I adore it! As well as art prints, Georgia also sells greeting cards and tea towels on her online shop, Growing Wilder.
Living on the south coast, Sonia takes lots of inspiration from the sea – as well as nature and her travels. For example, she has made a stunning lino print of a wooden Dodo that she picked up when visiting Mauritius.
She creates handmade, affordable lino prints from her kitchen table in Hampshire. Personally I love her lobster print and this lovely starfish! You can purchase Sonia’s art on her Etsy store and she offers free UK delivery.
Afon Mêl has been producing their award-winning mead for 20 years and bee-keeping for 25 years. Their New Quay Honey Farm in West Wales is packed full of flowers, making it a paradise for their bees. There is also an abundance of plants such as Hawthorn, Willow and Blackberry growing wild in the hedgerows, hills and valleys surrounding them. It’s their devotion to their bees that is the driving force behind everything they do.
Mead is a drink that is steeped in history – it’s said to be the world’s oldest drink! It’s, of course, characterised by honey but what makes Afon Mêl unique is that their mead spends a long time in their barrels. They have a wide range of mead – from their Moon collection (which is different flavoured sparkling meads) to their award-winning Heather mead.
Their Moon collection mixed box makes a great gift! Delivery over £50 is free.
The Biggar Gin Co
The Biggar Gin Co is a family run business, started and owned by two brothers, and is located in the Scottish town of Biggar – at the foot of the Tinto Hills. Their philosophy is to produce rare gin on a small scale, that is packed full of flavour. Their tagline is – Small batch gin. Bigger mentality.
They have a number of stockists in Scotland but you can also buy online and UK delivery is free for orders over £30. Gin lovers will love their Miniature Triple Pack Gift Set!
Girls who Grind coffee
Looking for a great gift for a coffee lover? Look no further than Girls who Grind, an all-female specialty roastery based in the South West of England. They source their coffee exclusively from female producers, helping to create positive change. Not only can you purchase coffee, they have some amazing merchandise too.
Mocktails was initially set up as a small-batch mixology inspired drinks company in 2018 by Bill Gamelli, and two other founders, after being frustrated by the lack of premium non-alcoholic drinks that could sit alongside a classic cocktail – not just in presentation but in taste and experience too. In 2017 they brought in the expert services of award-winning mixologist Ezra Star to help fine-tune the recipes. The result is four flavour variants – three of which are award-winning!
Treat a friend or loved one to a variety pack of the four flavours, which include:
- Karma Sucra Mockapolitan
- Vida Loca Mockarita
- Sevilla Red Sansgria
- Scottish Lemonade Mockscow Mule
What I love about Mocktails is that they are 100% natural, sustainable and ethically sourced. They’re also vegan and low in sugar and calories. You can buy them from their website or in Selfridges.
Jewellery and accessory brands
KB Earrings is a brand run by a friend, Katie. All her earrings are unique and are made from polymer clay. If you’re looking for earrings that are fun, bold and that make a statement – look no further! They would make the perfect gift for any occasion.
Mica Peet Jewellery
Mica is an illustrator and surface designer based in Southsea. She is influenced and inspired by ‘the quirky undertones of the natural world.’ She sells earrings, brooches, hair clips and more. Her designs and bright colours are absolutely stunning! I particularly love her hummingbird range. Discover her whole range in her Etsy shop.
Jack and Freda
Jack and Freda is an independent jewellery brand founded in 2015. Founder and designer Kylie Dunn loves to mix colour with delicate metals. As well as gorgeous handcrafted jewellery, they also sell accessories such as headbands, socks and candles and can make up lovely little gift bundles.
We all know we should be drinking more water, as well as using less single use plastic. Why not gift a personalised Bottle Soc to a friend or family member to encourage them to drink more and buy less plastic bottles of water?
Not only does the soc protect the water bottle from scratches and bumps, it looks fabulous too. You can also order a strap so that the bottle can be carried over the shoulder instead of in a bag (everyone hates a heavy bag, right?). Not sure if the person you’re buying for has a reusable water bottle? Bottle Soc sells them too!
I hope you’ve discovered some wonderful small UK businesses to support – at Christmas and beyond! Check out my Alternative Christmas Guide for those who seem to have everything!
Disclaimer: some of the products featured in this post have been previously gifted to me but there has been no obligation to post and I don’t receive anything if you purchase them.