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Christmas off the high street: suggestions for artisanal, original or unique, locally-made gifts go here.

(96 Posts)
thereistheball Wed 06-Nov-13 15:30:03

I don't want to buy (all) my Christmas from Argos and Amazon. I'd like to feel better about where I am spending my money by supporting individual craftspeople, small businesses and independent retailers. Also I'd like to find some more original presents than the usual mass-produced, discounted whatever. So here are some suggestions of things I might be buying: please feel free to add yours too.

Amazingly lovely bath bombs from here
Delicious-sounding chutneys from here - this is doubly worthy since they use produce that is not sold at market because it is too ripe, ie in perfect condition but nonetheless about to be thrown away, and employ vulnerable women from local shelters to turn it into jams and chutneys.
Persephone Books - gorgeous reprints of neglected works by women writers. There are some absolute gems, including Mariana, The Making of a Marchionness, and Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.
Artisanal beeswax products including hand and body balms - lovely article about this family-run business here

I'm sure there are loads of others. I'll post them when I have a bit more time. Please add yours!

thereistheball Wed 06-Nov-13 15:32:09

Oh, I meant to add that DD will definitely be getting some 'compacted ear wax' in her stocking from The Monster Supply Shop

CambridgeBlue Wed 06-Nov-13 15:34:51

Marking my place because I really don't want to go down the 'whatever Boots/M&S have in their 3 for 2 gift selection' route either smile

MrsLoveBucket Wed 06-Nov-13 15:38:26 is a great website with lots of great unique items

There were a couple of Facebook pages suggested in the other christmas thread. One for personalised wooden peg dolls and one that recycled and reused buttons which was very cute.

DPotter Wed 06-Nov-13 16:05:03

don't forget local craft fairs - all the advantages of being handcrafted and local and you can touch / try on before you buy. Many areas are now arranging Christmas Arts trails as well as those in the early summer.
There's also Etsy

CrotchStitch Wed 06-Nov-13 18:15:43

Oh thereis thank you for the link to The Monster Supply Shop. I am desperate for a couple of those tins, particularly "a vague sense of unease" and "escalating panic" as I think they would look amazing on my kitchen shelf grin

thereistheball Wed 06-Nov-13 19:29:32

CrotchStitch - aren't they great? For anyone who hasn't linked, the store is a front for a creative writing workshop for kids, started by Dave Eggers in the US and Nick Hornby here. If I lived in London I'd be there like a shot.

archfiend Wed 06-Nov-13 20:13:17

Love the monster supply shop and have just ordered a book for my SIL from Persephone!

DuffyMoon Wed 06-Nov-13 20:52:09

Marking place - love the suggestions so far...loads more please

Ziggyzoom Wed 06-Nov-13 20:58:23

I have bought the olive and stones bowls from here they are a steal at £15 and came with a lovely hand written note from Rupert the potter. I'm going to be ordering a few more things for myself Christmas!

BitsinTatters Wed 06-Nov-13 21:01:34

Don't forget all the people that work from home and advertise on facebook pages. Some is tat. I've ordered a family tree from some one on there. It's I think hang on will look.

archfiend Wed 06-Nov-13 21:02:07

lovely unusual bits and pieces here

jewellery and home bits here

BitsinTatters Wed 06-Nov-13 21:02:24

Yup it's

dementedma Wed 06-Nov-13 21:53:20
A social enterprise stocking unusual and ethical gifts.

thereistheball Thu 07-Nov-13 10:16:23

These are all great. I love the ceramic bowls by Rupert Blamire. I forgot to mention this social enterprise that employs women from the slums in Kampala to make adorable childrens' clothes among other products. I particularly like this wrap dress

DuffyMoon Thu 07-Nov-13 20:47:05

Hopeful bumpity bump

PetiteRaleuse Thu 07-Nov-13 20:51:25

Gardening gifts, try Nether Wallop

Lovely idea. I heard the founder and one of the employees of RubiesintheRubble on Radio 4 a while ago and was very impressed with what they are doing. While I'm likely to stick with the High St for the DCs I would like to go artisanal etc for the adults I buy for.

PetiteRaleuse Thu 07-Nov-13 20:53:34

Sorry, meant to add I love their log gobbler. Our best Christmas present last year by far.

LadyInDisguise Thu 07-Nov-13 20:57:28

thereis the 'Monster Supply Shop' is fantastic!!
Off to add a few things to my own christmas list that I can give to DH so he knows what to buy

TickleMyTitsTillFriday Thu 07-Nov-13 21:03:57

I'm marking place. I'm completely in love with the monster shop and the gorgeous pottery. That's mil sorted!

Ooh, the log gobbler has reminded me, was thinking about getting DH one of these for Christmas log splitter

LocalEdLeicsshire Thu 07-Nov-13 21:25:18

We're listing lots of local craft fairs on the local site - and lots of local crafty-type things in our listings too....I bet the other local sites are doing the same. I've just met someone selling funny sock and nappy presents at one of them (you kind of have to see them on the site to

thereistheball Fri 08-Nov-13 12:33:31

I'm having trouble getting around the Nether Wallop site but I will try again later. WhoKnows - I'm getting DH an axe for his 40th from here

pingusmumtoo Fri 08-Nov-13 13:28:33

This guy does amazing papercuts - just ordered beautiful family tree for some friends - A3 size and simply beautiful!

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