Shop Small this Christmas: Gift Guide

You’ve probably heard recently that Christmas shopping, more than ever, has been directed to supporting small businesses. As everyone has pointed out Jeff Bezos (founder of Amazon) has enough money (too much in my opinion) whereas small businesses have really struggled.

As a small print seller I can understand the pressure and difficulty to promote your work when everyone is under financial strain. I think a lot of people could agree that every single purchase means the absolute world. So, why not support small this year when Christmas gives you the chance to put a huge smile on your loved ones faces.

I have wanted to put a small guide together for a while, not only with some amazing businesses but also some tips and tricks on how best to get the most out of your shopping.

Hand Embroidery Kits

@Sewbotanical on Instagram
@cotton_clara on Instagram

The gift that keeps on giving! Something like an embroidery kit gives someone a new skill and something to hang on their wall/put on a cushion etc.

You can get them in a variety of different designs to suit any individual and the majority of them will tell you what skill level you will need.

I’ve listed a few below from Etsy which I have heard great things about!

Tip 1: It goes without saying but if you’re buying from the likes of Etsy stores it is a great idea to look at reviews and also where they are based. I always do research on the company and tend to go to Instagram to look at their pages. When on instagram it is also a good idea to look at tagged photos, this way you can see what people think of the products.

Resin Products

@xkts_creationsx on Instagram

Resin products have become immensely popular recently, especially through lockdown. The variety of products you can get from them provides you with the optimum opportunity for gift giving. Plus every seller has their own way of putting their personal touch on their products.

I’ve listed two below who are trustworthy sellers and who provide a range of different things!

The Gift of Food

Grape & Fig

Food, in my opinion, is one of the best gifts you can give someone. There are so many businesses this year which have adapted their meals into delivery boxes or have taken their sweet treats right to your door. It’s a great ‘thinking about you’ gift and can often help with the day after Christmas cooking nightmare.

I’ve included 2 businesses which I have heard great things about however if you have any other suggestions please let me know below!

Classes

@doodlesscotland

Another great gift is giving an experience to someone. This way you’re giving someone a memory which they will have forever (and in some cases an extra little gift at the end of it).

I’ve mentioned two below, one in Edinburgh and one in my hometown. If you have any classes local to you that you’d like to promote feel free to add them in the comments and I can include them in this post!

Jewellery

@lark & Lily Designs
@thefairysworkshop

There are a lot of places you can pick up Jewellery now a days but I thought I’d show you two of my local businesses from home who sell fantastic high quality pieces.

Perfect for a special gift for your loved one. Both businesses have a wide range of jewellery on offer.

Clothes

@coastlinefashion.co.uk
@godivaedinburgh

As you know I am a huge fan/advocate for shopping sustainably. For Christmas I would recommend double checking clothes sizes and getting something you know someone will want to wear over and over again. Christmas is a time where loads go to waste so the more thought that goes into these items the better!

I’ve listed a couple of my favourite small business fashion brands who you can either buy vouchers from or shop at.

  • Coastline (fashion online store and truck)
  • Shopgeethanks (sustainably sourced second hand items, online)
  • Godiva (vintage, repurposed and independently sourced clothing, store and online)

Art

@inspiredbycaithness
@annachengdesign

I can’t mention a small business gift guide and not include one of my favourite things! Art is very subjective (which I have very much learnt when selling it) however it’s a great way to give someone something sentimental.

I have attached a few of my favourite sellers, all offering something a bit different depending on what you like. I also have my own print shop where I have a select amount left for Christmas if you fancy supporting my small business.

I’ve only mentioned a few of my favourite businesses however there are so many more you can support. Other places to look are Not on the High Street, Etsy, Instagram (check out hashtags such as #shopsmall or #supportsmallbusinesses), Depop and ask your friends and family! Everyone is bound to know someone.


And so there we have it. That is my list of some of my favourite small businesses which have a great selection of gifts on offer.

As always with small businesses it is better to get your orders in soon because you never know how many people will be dealing with the behind the scenes. Plus shipping can be really difficult at this time of year.

If you’re not in a financial position to support any of them this year, giving them a follow or a share on your social media channels can do the world of good!

Have you got your Christmas shopping organised or do you have any more small businesses to shout out? Let me know below!

Much love,
Sophie x


Jewellery on a Budget: Rings

If you haven’t seen my last post, I shared my love for jewellery in regards to necklaces and how to shop them on a budget. So, this time I’m dedicating a whole post to rings.

Rings were never something I wore, I thought they would be extremely annoying (because jewellery, or accessories altogether, have to be practical) but I’ve fallen in love with layering them. It adds more detail and interest to your overall look, while also giving you something to twiddle if you are nervous (yes I just said ‘twiddle’ and yes they probably do act as a comfort blanket).

They don’t have to be expensive though and for me, like with necklaces, the simpler the better.

Cheaper

The best selection I can find available at Primark at the minute are these ones here. They do feature different coloured stones however paired sparingly I think they’d be perfect, plus for £3 you can’t complain. They also have a charming vintage feel to them which makes them look slightly more individual.

Another place I’d take a look is Accessorize, like previously mentioned in the Necklace Post, they do cheap alternatives.

The place I have found cheap stackable rings is Primark. Yup, don’t get me wrong they do turn silver eventually but for what they are, they are great.

I usually take out the ones that have pearls on them because they definitely look cheap however the solid ones are perfect to mix with your other rings.

Photo courtesy of Primark

Vintage Rings

These two rings actually belonged to my mum and are solid gold. What I love about them is the detail and sentiment to them.

The best place to look for more expensive rings are charity shops, vintage stores and your mums/families/friends/granny’s house (please ask for permission first, I don’t want to be blamed for you stealing your grans favourite ring)

Like I said in my previous post, look at the more expensive retailers and then try and find similar things elsewhere. Therefore you’re getting what you want but on a budget.

On the other hand, charity shops and vintage stores offer you the chance to find something one of a kind, while attaching your own sentimental story to them.

I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at my jewellery and how I shop for them. If you have any other places that are great for finding simple, individualist pieces then please leave them below.

Much love,

Sophie x


Jewellery on a Budget: Necklaces.

I LOVE JEWELLERY. I particularly love expensive jewellery. However, I am a student with struggling finances so spending the odd £60+ on one item is not happening.

Therefore, I wanted to share the ways in which I’ve managed to add interest to a lot of my outfits, without breaking the bank.

Some I might add are quite obvious, however I think sometimes it takes that reminder that shopping cheaply doesn’t mean it won’t look great. Granted it might not last long but it will give you an idea on what you like and what you should invest in later.

So to start with it’s all about necklaces.

Necklaces are a great way to make something as simple as a white t-shirt look great. I have a mix of slightly higher end necklaces and then more highstreet ones.

Highstreet

The layering necklace (on the far right of the photo) is from New Look and I’ve had it for a fair few years. It’s great to add to graphic tees and also plain shirts. It has gone a bit rusty at the top but the overall affect of the necklace has not changed. A layering necklace is a great thing to add to your collection and because they tend to be more pricy starting off with a budget piece is great!

Photo courtesy of Accessorize

Tip: Especially when buying cheaper jewellery, the simpler the better. I love simplistic pieces anyway but when buying them on a budget the more there is to it the cheaper it will look.

The middle necklace (see on the photo above and the aside photo) actually sits in between a chocker and a normal lying necklace (available here). It is a perfect substitute to a layering necklace or if you simply want to add something small to an outfit. Accessorize is a great place to shop for jewellery because they mimic a lot of the higher end designs but on a budget. This one in particular has stayed in pretty good condition.

Upper End Highstreet

I must admit the two upper end pieces I own have been gifted to me by my fabulous friends. However, they are my most worn necklaces and if you can’t get them yourself asking for birthdays etc. is a great way to ask for things that may be a bit of a stretch on a normal day.

This particular one I believe is from Oliver Bonas (the shop in Edinburgh is beautiful!). The necklace is simple and goes with absolutely everything. Mixing and matching more expensive jewellery with your budget pieces (especially when they are such simple pieces) means the budget ones are elevated.

Photo courtesy of Anthropologie

Tip: If you don’t necessarily have the budget for an expensive necklace, looking around the upper priced websites is still a great place to start. This way you can find what you like and look elsewhere for a cheaper option.

Tip: When shopping for more expensive pieces looking at the sales are a great way to afford them. I’ve noticed that Oliver Bonas tend to do great in store sales, particularly on Jewellery.


The next necklace was also kindly gifted by a friend and it is the well known pendant from Anthropologie, available here. They come inscribed with an initial on it so a great gifting piece!

However it has slightly disappointed me with its lasting quality. I am not sure if this is significant to the Edinburgh store (seeing there is a similar review based on there) but the piece has turned copper like and has scratching on the front. I tend to take great care of my jewellery ( I don’t sleep with them on, they get hung up and I don’t shower with it on either) so its a real shame that it has not lasted more than a year. It definitely doesn’t look gold anymore.

I do still wear it, just not the same amount as what I have done and it certainly doesn’t have the same affect.

Please let me know if you’ve had a similar experience.

If you have any recommendations on jewellery, feel free to leave them down below. When I am finally back in Edinburgh I am particularly looking forward to finding some options there!

Keep your eyes peeled for the next jewellery post, all about rings!

Much Love,

Sophie x