Part II of the 2020 Christmas Gift Guides is dedicated to smaller, independent brands and makers. You may have noticed (hopefully so anyway) that my Christmas gifting and wrapping guides have included more items from smaller businesses than ever before. That’s not just because it’s been an incredibly tough year for many, but also because I genuinely believe the way we shop, and in turn gift, has changed in recent times. We want things to be a little different, a lot more unusual. A little more thoughtful. Below you’ll find an edit of some of my favourite finds online, along with some shout outs to brands I’ve stumbled across and loved this year.
Let’s start things off with Cooper King, a Yorkshire based distillery. I first found them at the very start of the pandemic during a mad hunt online to find hand sanitiser for my brother. He was working on the Nightingale hospitals at the time and was literally disinfecting himself head to toe when he arrived home every night. Finding hand sanitiser was a nightmare. Cooper King were one of the first business to turn their production lines to sanitiser, producing it in bulk for hospitals and selling it those who needed it online for little profit. I order a shed load for my brother and at the same time, decided to try their usual product too; spirits. Since discovering them I’ve now tried the Berry & Basil Gin, Herb Gin and Dry Gin. I’ve just recently placed an order for the Smoked + Spice Gin that you see here, ready to be served over ice this Christmas. Their gin is exceptional, so smooth and filled with flavour. Their brand ethos is that they don’t believe good spirits should cost the earth, so you’ll find their eco credentials are exceptional too.
Check out the Sharing Selection Boxes of three, the perfect introduction to the brand.
ARTHOUSE Unlimited were a brand I discovered only recently, with several people on my Christmas list set to receive products from here now. They’re not like other brands, they are in fact a charity that presents the artistic talents of adults living with physical and learning difficulties, all of whom require varying levels of support. It’s a collective of talented artists who work alongside instructors to create artworks which are in turn made into products. They hope to alter perceptions and create a better acceptance and inclusion for those with disabilities, showcasing their talent to the max. The products themselves, particularly the chocolate, is a real delight too.
100% of the sales revenue sustains the enterprise, allowing it expand and evolve with time, offering a wider range of products as time goes on. In the online shop you’ll find everything from mugs to biscuits, but the Care Packages are without doubt my favourite thing they product. A collection of product designed solely to lift the spirits of those who receive them. The packaging is incredible too, this gold laced dino print chocolate is incredible.
Norlo drew me in with their packaging initially, it’s Nordic perfection. As you probably all know, coffee is a big deal for me. I drink it an awful lot. What I loved about discovering Norlo however was the fact they not only offer decaf editions of their coffee, they also offer low caffeine editions. Some people just don’t respond well to caffeine, or quite simply want to cut back. I’ve been using this biodegradable coffee pods on an after for the past week, with the low caffeine edition making me feel far better about drinking coffee after midday. Handy refill bags are available to keep your packaging stocked up too and the coffee (which is excellent) is available in whole bean, ground or Nespresso compatible pods too.
Over on Instagram I’m lucky enough to have an incredible number of creators, artists and makers who follow me. They’ve featured in my content over time, with several featuring here at Christmas. Way back in October Daughter Of Dawn Design contacted me and asked if she could send me through one of her beautiful hand painted baubles. I excitedly said yes, I’d love to feature it. I asked for it to be emblazoned with my nephew’s name, Charlie. The lovely bauble you see here now hangs on Charlie’s first Christmas tree and I very much hope it’ll be brought back out year after year.
These would make amazing gift tags or bespoke additions to a hamper, reusable and far more beautiful than a standard paper number.
1. Norlo Coffee Compostable Pods 2. Twisted Brass Earrings 3. Ridged Brass Earrings 4. Smoked + Spiced Gin 5. Pop The Kettle On Care Package 6. Hand Thrown Ceramic Mug 7. Cashmere Sleep Mask 8. Mandarin & Cedar Salt Soap 9. Christmas Night Candle Set 10. Brass Wall Hanging 11. Handmade Doll 12. Homemade Hamper 13. Ceramic Mugs