Without a doubt, this Christmas is going to be very different. Who knows what is going to happen with lockdown, are shops ever going to open and can your Nan even come round for Christmas dinner anymore? But, it’s not all doom and gloom. This year has been especially tough on small businesses, many of whom have received little to no financial or business support during this turbulent time. On top of that, big businesses are launching new lines *cough* stealing small businesses’ designs *cough* in an attempt to up their own revenue.
With that being said, I’ve asked the team to help me compile a list of all of our favourite small businesses that need your support this Christmas. To be completely honest, I’ve never really considered small businesses before. I’m such a convenience shopper that I’ve never even stopped to think about how your order could make a small business owner’s day and have such an impact, versus the tiny impact you make on a larger business. It wasn’t until I started ordering from small businesses that I realised how much effort and appreciation goes into each order. A lot of small businesses include handwritten thank you cards in their deliveries and even sometimes include discount codes! It makes me so happy to see how much I have helped.
So here you have it, our favourite small businesses.
Please support them through this tough time, I’m sure it would mean the absolute world to them!
Feu Candles are an Ancoats based company making small-batch, hand-poured, soy wax candles. Their scents are amazing and the candle designs are so colourful and immediately add a bit of joy to your room. On top of that, the candles all have wood wicks so you immediately get that cosy feel. Take a look.
Naomi Joy Living
Another amazing hand-poured candle brand is Naomi Joy Living. If you want quirky slogans and tongue in cheek designs, Naomi Joy Living is for you! From the packaging to the scents, everything about them is incredible and would make the perfect gift for a candle lover. Business owner Naomi is a mum and that inspired her Mama Mantra collection, candles filled with messages of empowerment and self-confidence to uplift you. Check them out!
NH by Hand
It’s very rare that you see fashion brands where every item is designed and handmade by the business owner, but that’s what makes NH by Hand so unique. Based in the South West, owner Natasha started the business as part of her fashion degree and it has now grown into an amazing brand where every single item is handmade to order! If you’re looking for unique, high-quality clothes as a gift or for yourself, definitely take a look.
Lucy Maggie Designs
Let’s face it, with everything going on it can be quite difficult to feel connected to your friends and family. Why not send them a quirky card from Lucy Maggie Designs? Based in Liverpool, Lucy Maggie Designs specialises in colourful, playful, bright cards and stationery for all occasions. These cards will instantly spread joy, I can guarantee it. Take a look.
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If arty cards or art pieces are more your thing take a look at Mons Igneous. You can even get your own piece of artwork commissioned if you’re looking for something completely unique and different. There are loads of different styles on there so you’re bound to find something that would be the perfect gift. Enjoy!
Do you or someone else struggle to sleep? Introducing Myza, an online marketplace for independent retailers all centred around products that improve your sleep. Sounds dreamy, right? There is a huge variety of products available from duvet sets to pillow sprays, so please take a look. I’m sure your gift recipient would appreciate it!
Nikki’s Book Corner
This one is quite personal to Embryo, as a close relative of an employee, and is definitely one that we want to shout about! With children’s parties and fairs cancelled, and schools running quite stripped back for the time being, the sale of children’s books has taken a massive hit. As someone that has always loved reading myself, it is so important to pass on this love to the younger generations. Nikki’s Book Corner is an independent bookseller centred around children’s books, activities and more. There are so many absolute gems in this store that I can’t even begin to describe it, but please take a look and consider buying some gifts for any children that you know this Christmas. Before you buy your books on Amazon, take a look at this independent online store.
In the market for some amazing baked goods? Of course you are! Take a look at Nicolette’s. Whether you’re after treat boxes or a bespoke cake for a special occasion, you won’t be disappointed. Nicolette’s is based in Manchester but delivers across the UK. And, what’s more, owner Nic has a passion for design and print too, so you can send a bespoke card with your treat box directly to your recipient. How amazing? Definitely look into this one.
Embers and Roots
More candles! Can you tell as a team we love candles? Embers and Roots make the perfect homemade candles for anyone in your life. They have a huge range of scents and the simple but so effective packaging makes them a great gift. There’s a mixture of quirky sayings, occasion-specific wording or just your usual scent description, so you can pick the perfect candle just for you. They even gift wrap it for you if you’d like! Could it be any simpler to gift?
Booze & Burn
Another candle brand, but this one is my personal favourite. Based in Salford, just a mile or two from where I live, is Booze & Burn. Booze & Burn is run by Sophie who hand-pours ever candle. But, these candles aren’t just your usual handmade candles, they are all poured into old wine/beer/spirit bottles! Sophie takes empty bottles from local bars and restaurants and uses those for all the candles that she sells. The scents are absolutely to die for and the premise of these sustainable, upcycled candles is just amazing. What’s more, if your candle runs out, you can get a discount on your next purchase when you send in your old bottle. I’ve already purchased 3 of these for gifts for Christmas, I urge you to do the same!
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Lilla Du Gifts
Another personal favourite of mine, Lilla Du Gifts. I first stumbled upon this business on Instagram when I’d just moved house and wanted some prints, but after following her on Instagram there are so many more products! I’ve recently purchased the pack of homemade amazing Christmas cards that she has released. If you’re looking for amazing prints and hand finished Christmas cards, I would recommend Lilla Du Gifts!
The Butcher’s Quarter
Bit of a rogue gifting choice, but this came highly recommended by a few members of the team. The Butcher’s Quarter is an artisan butchers and cheesemongers in the NQ that is worth shouting about. They’re still open throughout lockdown, so if you’re looking to find amazing meat and cheese selections for this Christmas, take a look at The Butcher’s Quarter!
Cakes by Tez
Who doesn’t love cake? If you’re looking for an exquisitely designed cake this Christmas, check out Cakes by Tez. Some of the designs of these cakes will absolutely blow your mind and would make the most incredible gift or centrepiece for your Christmas celebrations this year. Or even treat yourself, we all deserve it after this year!
Designed by Nao
Lastly we have Designed by Nao! Designed by Nao is a print and card company that started as a lockdown hobby and has turned into a lot more than that for owner Naomi. Naomi’s designs play on some of our favourite film quotes (Legally Blonde, Mean Girls & more!) and are very focused around self-confidence and female empowerment. I absolutely love these designs and it would be great if you could show such a small business some love this Christmas.
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And there you have it! If you have any more small business recommendations for the team’s Christmas shopping, please get in touch! We’d love to support businesses wherever we can through these tough times. Social media can also be a really great tool for businesses to reach new customers, throughout lockdown especially, so if you’re looking for any help get in touch today.