I personally love a curated gift guide, and as this festive season I am, for the first time in a few years, not spending all my time frantically working away in the studio or attending craft shows, I had the time to compile my own one! I loved putting together a listof incredible, inspirational businesses, although it was so hard to choose from all the creative folk I've come across in the last few years. I decided to focus on creatives based in Scotland, as I am deeply passionate about shopping locally and supporting my community. I also tried to pick a range of different items to suit all gifting needs. They’re all businesses I have either bought from before, was gifted some of their products from lovely friends, or have seen at markets and followed on social media for a while. All of the work is most certainly on my wishlist!
It’s me! If you are after contemporary, unique, beautiful jewellery, I of course have to recommend myself. My most popular collection for Christmas gifts is the Minimalist Jewellery – gorgeous, simple grid designs in polished and matte black oxidised silver. They make fantastic stocking fillers or presents for a lover of minimal, precious metal jewellery. I have a few styles of earrings available, including teeny tiny ones and elegant best-selling long versions.
If you are shopping for a more adventurous, stylish loved one who enjoyed unique contemporary jewellery, look no further thatn my card jewellery collection. My customers particularly love gifting the Loop pieces, which are listed in various sizes and colour combinations in my online shop. My favourite Loops on the webshop are the modern yet elegant matte black earrings, as the dark loops blend beautifully into the oxidised silver clips, making them a gorgeous, handmade, one-off accessory. You can also find a selection of Loops on my Made by Hand webshop, and on the Dazzle Invites virutal exhibition. All of these platforms, including my online shop, have Free UK Delivery until the end of the year. That's enough about my work now, let’s move onto some of my favourite small, independent businesses based in Scotland.
Based in Edinburgh, Rachelle makes stunning everyday products adorned in beautiful illustrations, including cards, tea towels, mugs and notebooks. I especially love the food based drawings which would make a perfect colourful and fun addition to a kitchen. I have my eye on the autumnal Pumpkin & Squash tea towel, and the wonderful Korean Bibimbap range, like this lovely print. Rachelle has also designed snowglobe Christmas cards featuring wintery Edinburgh scenes which would be absolutely perfect if you are looking to support an independent business in a small way that makes a huge difference!
Bare Bones is hands down one of the best chocolate brands I have ever tried. I had the pleasure of tasting all of their core flavours thanks to a generous gift from a friend, and it was so incredibly rich, delicious, full of depth and subtle fruity and floral flavours. Bare Bones are a small bean to bar production company based in Glasgow. Their bars would make the perfect Christmas gifts, or a little treat for yourself! It's very hard to pick a favourite, but the Dominican 68% Salted Chocolate is definitely up there, as I think the combination of indulgent chocolate and flakes of salt that break up the smooth flavour is just out of this world. I highly recommend The Mini Bar Collection for a chance to sample of all their delicious flavours. As a bonus, all of their chocolate comes wrapped in the most beautiful packaging, which is all made from sustainable materials and fully recyclable.
I have seen Gillian’s beautiful handmade notebooks many times at local markets in Glasgow, and they are made with such care and eye for detail, it is always a joy to browse through the selection. There is something so special about a sketchbook or notebook that’s a work of art in its own right, and that has clearly been made with lots of love. My favourite are the colourful marbled journals, which open flat, and the colour block Icon journals with gorgeous minimalist gold symbols. Gillian also runs online workshops and sells kits, so you can learn how to book bind and make stunning and functional notebooks in the comfort of your own home!
I discovered Laura of Scarlet Knitwear through a Tea Green Marketplace event I took part in this year, and I just had to treat myself to a new hat, as I have a bad habits of losing all of my favourite hats! I went for the beautiful blue patterned one with a soft pink pom pom. It is comfy, cosy, incredibly warm and just perfect for the cold winter season. I particularly love the use of colour and pattern in Laura's lambswool accessories, which are all knitted and hand finished in their small studio in Fife. I might just have to invest in a gorgeous scarf next! My top picks would be the gorgeous Small Insect Planet scarf in blue, and the yellow and mint green Ripple stitch scarf which combines some of my favourite colours in a subtle textured finish.
Iona is a good friend and an incredibly talented jeweller, who has been so supportive this year as we both had to drastically adjust the way we run our creative practices. We studied together in Glasgow School of Art, and set up our businesses at the same time, so it’s been wonderful to see how we have both grown in the last three years. I own a couple of Iona’s beautiful pieces, including the gorgeous Hammered Silver Ring in the brushed oxidised silver finish, and a stunning Textured Silver Pendant. My favourite of Iona's work is the Texture Collection, but she creates a vast range of different designs and collections that you can take a look at in her webshop. While you're there, don't miss the lovely Christmas tree ornaments that would make amazing gifts or stocking fillers this winter!
I received a beautiful dark blue mug made by Jud as a Secret Santa present a few years back, and it is one of my go-to mugs for any warm beverage. There’s something so special about drinking tea or coffee out of a little work of art that was lovingly handmade. Once you have your morning cuppa in a handmade mug, you won't ever want to have it any other way. Based on a fruitfarm in Perthshire, Jud has a range of gorgeous, colourful designs in her online shop. I most definitely plan to treat myself and add another mug to my collection in the near future. I also really enjoy Jud's beautifully decorated collection of plates, and as I know they are notoriously difficult to make it makes them all the more impressive.
Our Lovely Goods is a wonderful family run business based in Aberdeen, passionate about creating products that are beautiful and sustainable. They sell gorgeously made and designed candles, with soothing titles such as One Evening, Home Again or The Old Library. I so wish I could smell them through the screen, as the scents sound absolutely amazing. They also make skincare products including body butters, oils and balms, and sell lovely artisan homewares. I think the raffia placemats are absolutely stunning, in gorgeous natural tones as well as dyed earthy tones like the one below. For extra thoughtful presents I'd highly recommend having a browse of their carefully curated gift boxes such as the Winter Warmer Gift Box.
Emily makes stunning crocheted plants and homewares, perfect for plant lovers who cannot quite keep the real ones alive. The string of pearls are definitely on my wish list, they're available in lovely shades of green and brighten up my bedroom. You can also get the adorable cacti in different sizes in hand painted pots for that extra joyful, handmade touch. Emily also makes baskets, plant hangers, and earrings, and if you can't quite choose, you can purchase a gift card and let a loved one choose their own colourful addition to their home.