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 these beautiful 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 super 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, and have seen at markets and followed on social media for a while and their work is 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. The pendants have almost sold out, but I have one more black one on offer in the medium size.
From my card jewellery, people love gifting the Loop pieces - I have a few different sizes and colour combinations in my online shop. My favourite Loops on my webshop are the modern yet elegant matte black earrings, as the 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 Dazzle Invites. All of these platforms, including my online shop, have Free UK Delivery. End of chat 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 with absolutely beautiful illustrations, including cards, tea towels, mugs and notebooks. I especially love the food based drawings, the vegetable range would make a perfect colourful addition to a fun 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, they'd be perfect if you are looking to support an independent business in a small way that makes a huge difference!
I absolutely love Bare Bones chocolate, I have had the pleasure of tasting all of their core flavours thanks to a generous gift from a friend, and it is unlike any chocolate I have ever had before. Bare Bones are a bean to bar small production company based in Glasgow and the chocolate is rich, indulgent, full of flavour and absolutely delicious. 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 dark chocolate and salt is just the best. If you wanted a little taster of all flavours, you can always purchase The Mini Bar Collection. They also have 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 (my absolutely favourite kind of notebook!), and the colour block Icon j0urnals with gold symbols. Gillian also runs online workshop and sells kits, so you can learn how to book bind and make notebooks in the comfort of your own home!
I discovered Laura of Scarlet Knitwear through a Tea Green Marketplace event I took part in, and I had to treat myself to a new hat - I went for the beautiful blue patterned one with a soft pink pom pom. It is comfy, cosy, and super warm, perfect for the cold winter season. I particularly love the use of colour and pattern in the knitted accessories made from lambswool, which are all knitted and hand finished in Laura’s small studio in Fife. I’ll have to invest in a gorgeous scarf next! The Small Insect Planet one in blue is absolutely gorgeous (and currently on sale!), and I also really like the yellow and mint green Ripple stitch ones.
Iona is a good friend and a super talented jeweller, who has been so supportive this year while we had to drastically adjust the way we run our creative practices. We studied in the same year 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 (I have one in the brushed oxidised silver finish), and a stunning Textured Silver Pendant - similar to this one, but they are all unique! My favourite is the Texture Collection, but Iona has a number of different designs, and has been making lovely Christmas tree ornaments this winter that would make amazing gifts, so do check out her webshop for yourself.
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 out of a little work of art that was lovingly handmade! Once you have your morning coffee or tea out of 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 the online shop - I definitely plan to add another mug to my collection at some point. I also really enjoy the collection of plates, I know they are notoriously difficult to make which makes them all the more impressive, and I'd absolutely love to eat from one of these.
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, The Old Library - I so wish I could smell them through the screen, as the scents sound absolutely amazing. They also make skincare products - body butters, oils and balms; and sell lovely artisan homewares. I think the raffia placemats are absolutely stunning, there are simple natural ones as well as dyed ones like the one below, in lovely earthy tones. You can also browse the carefully curated gift boxes such as the Winter Warmer Gift Box that are especially perfect for this time of year!
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 would make a fab addition to 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 to give to a loved one.