2020 has been a hard year for so many people. It is my hope that this small business gift guide makes Christmas a little easier – and a little pinker – for you, dear reader. This list is a curation of some of the most beautiful handmade and artisanally-crafted items I have found along my journeys that have made me smile, hunkered down in my little attic room in London with a cup of steaming herbal tea beside me. I hope they do the same for you! Let’s get started and make 2020 the pinkest Christmas yet.
1. Handmade Wall Flower Letters
Our first stop on our Christmas list is SDesignsFloral. Meet Santa Vidina, the wonderful lady behind these stunning floral creations who has her home in the rural city of Coventry, UK. I stumbled across these hanging wall flower letters in her shop on Etsy and I was immediately hooked. Each piece is handmade with the finest quality silk flowers. Santa has this heartwarming message about her inspiration behind her designs:
Hello, my name is Santa and I am a mum to my little angel. Truly passionate about crafts and art. Anything and everything floral is beautiful. Obsession with flowers began when I started decorating my girls bedroom, just than I realised how beautiful and versatile flowers can be. The amount of joy I get when working on these floral decors is unreal so when buying from me you can expect detail and precision with each product. I love challenges and love experimenting with colours and materials. I put my heart and soul into each creation. My child is my biggest inspiration.
Santa creates not only hanging letters but wreathes and floral picture frames too. You can shop all her beautiful items on her Etsy shop. A couple of my other favourites:
2. Made in England Organic Skincare
The only skincare range I’ll ever use. Botanicals is a small business in beautiful Leicestershire, crafting their skincare for years from organic, vegan and cruelty-free ingredients in the English countryside. I swear by the rose and camellia products myself and I would highly recommend the Nourish Moisturiser for day time moisture and the Repair and Renew Night Balm for overnight use. Leaves your skin feeling so hydrated, soft and supple. Shop here.
3. Luxury Cashmere Pieces
Designed in-house in a picturesque Essex village in the UK with three mindful women at the helm, Cove have this to say about their production process:
Designed by ourselves and made in one of a small selection of hand-picked factories in Nepal and China depending on the particular yarn and design of each piece. It goes without saying that technical production and skill are paramount when selecting a manufacturer but no less important to us than the ethical practices and environmental impact of the factory. Having ‘met our makers’ we are confident in our choices and delighted to be working alongside family run companies.
And who doesn’t love a pink poncho?!
4. Recycled Silver Moon Jewellery
These stunning little earrings are made from recycled silver by small jewellery brand Amai Jewellery, founded by British jewellery designer Katie Egan:
Katie currently splits her time between the UK and Bali, where the concept of Amai Jewellery was born. Her collections are inspired by the people and places she has visited whilst travelling the globe and Katie works closely with a local, family run silversmith business to bring her designs to life.
Each piece is imbued with feminine symbolism and created using age-old Balinese techniques. The collections combine contemporary classics that can be worn every day, alongside stand-out statement pieces.
Amai Jewellery is passionate about caring for our beautiful planet, so all designs are made from 100% recycled materials and presented in eco-friendly gift boxes.
And there’s more – £5 from every sale is donated to the Bali Life Foundation – an organisation where the founder of Amai Jewellery, Katie, volunteers. The Bali Life Foundation helps women and children out of poverty by running workshops where the women can learn jewellery-making and make a wage whilst their children are at school. So every sale helps a woman and child in need. So many good reasons to shop.
5. Your Favourite Perfume Made Vegan & Cruelty-Free
I’ve been obsessed with Eden Perfumes for years and they have since expanded from their flagship store in Brighton, UK to open a London shop in Notting Hill – hurrah! My favourite thing about Eden Perfumes is that they really have thought of everything – not only are their perfumes vegan and cruelty-free, they also have this handy search tool where you can search for your favourite perfume – Tom Ford etc – and it will match the scent with the vegan alternative! Have a play here or visit one of their stores!
6. Charitable Sunglasses That Give Back
The most charitable sunglasses I’ve ever come across. For every pair sold, DIFF Eyewear provides the gift of sight to someone in need “through eye exams, glasses, medicine, and surgery. To date, we’ve donated over 1.5 MILLION pairs of glasses worldwide”. So every purchase is giving someone back their sight. I love the concept and I love the styles. Another of my favourites:
Shop the full range.
7. A Fair Trade Floral Party Dress
Dancing Leopard was born out of a two man band, Jade and Jack, when they travelled to India and were inspired by the fabrics and culture there. They began sourcing material from Goa’s vibrant fabric markets and never looked back. Every garment is still produced in India and Dancing Leopard work closely with a small factory there to ensure fair trade standards are met. Another of my favourites:
They have also just launched an eco-friendly swimwear line made from 100% regenerated nylon, sourced from ocean and landfill waste, which you can shop here.
8. Made In The UK Vegan Make-Up
Made in the UK with 100% vegan and cruelty-free ingredients and plastic-free packaging, this Nicmac Beauty Palette ticks all the boxes. You can even refill your favourite shade once it’s run out! Every eyeshadow and highlighter palette is made and packaged by the brand’s founder, Nicola, who started Nicmac Beauty in response to a hole in the market for eco-friendly, vegan make-up. I am SO glad she filled that gap. Another of my favourites:
Shop the full range here.
9. Handmade in Brighton Silk Lingerie
Ayten Gasson in the seaside town of Brighton, UK has been my go-to source of stunning handmade lingerie ever since I wrote my article Be A Minx In English Lace… Top 5. Eco-Friendly Luxury Lingerie Brands. Known as a supporter of the British textile industry, Ayten Gasson designs and crafts every piece in her shop in Brighton, using as many eco-friendly materials as possible:
Ayten Roberts is also well known for her use of upcycled vintage laces – including Nottingham lace – highlighting the traditional skills which the UK was once celebrated for. In addition to this, organic fabrics such as Bamboo and Peace Silk regularly feature within her collections as a testament to her ethical and sustainable approach to production.
Ayten has the most fascinating story to tell about how she became a talented maker:
I was lucky enough to grow up in a neighbourhood filled with designers and makers. I grew up in Archway, North London in an area surrounded by clothing factories, while my mum worked as a sample machinist at home. By the age of 8 I was helping ‘turn the loops’ – which meant making rouleau straps for my pocket money. I would sit in my mum’s workroom – which she still has set up today – surrounded by fabrics and using the off cuts to make outfits for my dolls.
Become a part of the story and shop Ayten Gasson’s gorgeous creations here.
10. Ethically Sourced Crystal Candles
I couldn’t believe it when I stumbled across Hoof & Paw. They combine three things I am really passionate about – ethically sourced crystals, natural essential oils and hand-poured candles. This Rose Quartz Candle is embedded with a Rose Quartz crystal in natural soy wax, along with Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang and Black Pepper essential oils:
The ultimate candle for love, its purpose is to strengthen and heal love on all levels. This includes self-love, romance, friendship, family, heartache and grief. Love is a source that never runs dry, it just needs to be let in.
This candle is for anyone wanting to strengthen and reaffirm their love for another. For anyone who is currently experiencing heartache and grief. For anyone who would like to attract romance into their lives and most importantly work on self- love and self-worth.
Madeleine, the owner and founder of this magical company, lives with her family in Oxfordshire, UK and blends and hand-pours every candle herself. Her journey with Hoof & Paw started when she left her old life behind and flew to Australia. Here she fell in love and longed to be able to package up the energy she felt and take it home – Hoof & Paw was born. Why Hoof & Paw? Ah, you’ll have to read the full story here…