15 Favourite Indies!
The nights are drawing in and it’s getting chilly.
Halloween has passed and we’re pootling towards December.
Here in England it’s Lockdown 2.0 and the retail world and his wife are encouraging us to start our Christmas shopping early – especially as more people than ever will be making their purchases online and relying on delivery via mail or courier services.
I am also going to encourage this behaviour if you’re buying gifts for Christmas. Mainly because I’m a maker and so a longer lead time is necessary for any of my bespoke offerings to stand a chance of being ready for a pre-Christmas delivery!
Obviously I am also going to encourage you to think about shopping small and supporting independent businesses.
Every order placed with a small business makes a real difference to an actual human! You help pay their rent, put food on the table, contribute towards a family holiday and even buy wine! Your support allows them to invest in themselves and their business to create more new and fabulous things that you just won’t find anywhere else.
In return you receive beautifully packaged treasures created with love and personal service from the face (or faces) behind the business.
Now, let me climb down off my soap box so I can share some of my favourites with you.
I present to you: 15 Fabulous Indies that you need to discover!
Abi Stevens Illustration
Abi is a Cambridge based digital illustrator and chronic warrior creating prints, stickers and enamel pins to empower other Spoonies.
She incorporates symbolism and mythology into her work and connects with people through narrative elements, producing colourful and beautifully detailed artwork of fantastical creatures, monsters, myths and migraines!
Newly available are Abi’s fantastic Chronic Warrior gift sets which include a hard-enamel pin, holographic sticker, and an A6 art print of one of her fabulous illustrations.
You can find Abi Stevens Illustration here:
Marjan creates unique hand- and homemade crochet goodies as well as stitch markers, hand-dyed wool and crochet patterns & kits.
Born in Belgium, based in Germany and inspired by Scotland, her wares also combine a Celtic touch and British flair!
Her beautiful Christmas boxes are now available and are packed full of everything that a crochet and yarn lover will need to make six baubles and two ornaments. All of the tools needed are included, along with full instructions and enough yarn so you’ll have some left over to play with!
If, like me, you’re not a crochet-er then there are plenty of beautiful Christmas decorations, wreathes and even stockings (already magically created) to peruse to add that festive feeling to your home!
You can find Atelier Marie-Lucienne here:
Representing the south coast of England, Becki creates cute, puntastic and funny cartoons that bring a smile through greeting cards, postcards and lots more!
She helps us to spread laughter, keep in touch all while keeping the planet in mind for us, as all of her products are eco friendly without compromising on quality or design. Plus at least 5% of profits from each sale are donated to the World Wildlife Fund to support endangered animals and create a better planet for future generations.
For the ultimate in personalised gifts for that person who already has EVERYTHING this Christmas you can commission your very own Custom Cartoon Drawing!
All you need to do is ask… “Becki, can you draw me…” and the only limit is your imagination! I for one have already witnessed the brilliance of her drawing a confused Hula Hoop attempting to Hula Hoop…
You can find Becki Lamby here:
Victoria is a British designer who has been living in Japan for more than 2 decades. She creates stunning one-of-a-kind fabric jewellery and accessories handmade in Tokyo from personally-sourced, repurposed vintage kimono and other found objects.
Amongst Victoria’s beautiful earrings, bracelets and cufflinks is one of my favourites, the exquisite multi-bezel necklace. Each design is a one-of-a-kind mixed media burst of colour that is guaranteed to fill you with joy.
The Biku Soap Boxes are the perfect “hug in a box” gift and contain a handmade Shizen Natura facial soap, a handmade elasticated vintage kimono twist headband, a vintage kimono key fob and a disposable relaxing face mask, plus something yummy and soothing to drink!
You can find Biku Designs here:
Lillias is a brilliant artist, costume maker extraordinaire and occasional drag performer hailing from Dundee. She also creates stickers and goodies for occulty bitches and bullet journal witches.
She has a whole range of gorgeously designed stickers to meet all your bullet journal needs. From water trackers and header stickers to even a savings dragon finance tracker! Keen gardener? There are stickers to help you keep track of your watering schedule. Tea lover? (Is that even a question?!) There’s a whole set of matcha tea time stickers!
If you’re a lover of Tarot, or the artwork of Tarot, Lil has created an entire Rider Waite deck of Tarot cards, but in little sticker form! That’s 78 unique stickers packaged in the cutest little matchboxes ever! They are perfect for bullet journaling and especially for learning Tarot.
You can find Bujo Cult here:
Chimps Tea Party
The fabulous Pippa is an illustrator and surface pattern designer living in Bristol. She makes handmade collages and turns them into designs for colourful, fun homewares and gifts. Her brightly coloured and fun statement table runners, wall hangings and trays are inspired by mid century design, nature and a bit of silliness!
The perfect gift for the hostess with the mostess in your life (that can be you too!) is their Cocktail Tray and Coaster Set Bundle! The beautiful wooden tray is printed with cocktails and stars on a bright pink background. Inspired by 1950's colours and mid century style, the design was made using handmade paper collage with real cocktail sticks! It comes complete with a set of 4 coordinating cocktail print wooden coasters, each featuring a different cocktail!
The Chimps Tea Party Christmas collection and stocking filler range have everything you need for a fun filled holiday. From cards and decorations to cracker napkin kits and gift wrap. There’s even a cute little sprout pin badge!
You can find Chimps Tea Party here:
Claire Sheehan Art
Claire creates artwork for cards, prints and gifts focused on the positive, mindfulness, self care and self compassion. Based in the south east of England, Claire is a trained life coach and has a strong sense of how the words we choose to talk about ourselves and the world around us are a big part of both who we are and who we aspire to be. She creates in a variety of styles and media and the use of positive words, affirmations and mantras are the essence that bring them all together.
The Choosing Self Kindness Card Deck & Journal Set is a beautiful gift comprised of an A5 wire bound journal, with a mix of lined and blank pages to make it flexible to use, and a deck of 52 cards and 4 information cards following four key themes: comfort and compassion, connection, celebration and common purpose, can-do courageous compassion and conscious calm and clarity.
The front of each card shows a gorgeous illustration, a short 4 word phrase and a loving kindness invitation.
The back of each card has 2 affirmations and a journaling question designed to help you think about how you can apply self-kindness in your life on a day to day basis.
You can find Claire Sheehan Art here:
Diane creates elegant & dainty sterling silver & birthstone jewellery, personalised with initials, names or birthstones. Everything is handmade in her studio in Northamptonshire and she enjoys making things she would like to wear.
Dainty Rocks has a beautiful collection of handmade jewellery for you to peruse, from dainty pendants with words, wrap bracelets and skinny stacking bracelets, to fully beaded necklaces as well as traditional gemstone bracelets. There really is something for everyone!
You can personalise your chosen treasure for the recipient by stamping and by choosing their birthstone!
Your Dainty Rocks jewellery will be beautifully gift wrapped in tissue paper before being nestled in a sturdy gift box complete with a jewellery care card and gemstone meaning.
Not sure which to choose? You can always grab a gift voucher and leave the tricky decision to them!
You can find Dainty Rocks here:
The Eejits are a curious collection o' creatures from the Highlands o' Scotland, created by the brilliant George! They are gormless and glaikit wee creatures from the Wee Glen (hidden somewhere in the Highlands). They are both incredibly curious and stupid so they’ve been collected together for their own safety and our viewing pleasure.
From his studio in Caithness, George has released a wonderful book of his eejits and weird rhymes. Primarily aimed at 7 to 12 year olds (I’m a little outside the age bracket and I love it!), it will be enjoyed by anyone who loves fun and curious cartoon creatures and rambunctious rhymes and it’s full of fun, farts and bums!
Love a game on Christmas day? BAHOOCHIE! Is the great Eejits card game that is guaranteed to raise a smile & banish boredom, for children and adults alike! It's a similar game concept to that of Top Trumps, with a Scottish theme where players battle with eejits to try and win them all! However, the game comes with a twist..... the BAHOOCHIE! cards can change everything! How you win or lose a single round or even how you win or lose the entire game! Are you ready to play?
You can find Eejits here:
Figment Creations Art
Hailing from Newcastle upon Tyne, Debi has a passion for drawing that results in gorgeously cute art for us to feast our eyes on. Whether in the form of glorious original character art prints, planner stickers, or keychains, there is a gift for everyone.
If, like me, you’ve not been able to see some of your favourite people for a while the virtual hug box is the perfect way to send a smile. Containing a card, button badge, holographic sticker and art print it’s a sweet way to say hello to someone you miss. Debi will even write your message and send it directly for you if you are unable to get out to a post box at the moment.
Left things a bit late for delivery? Check out her fab digital downloads which can be printed at home!
You can find Figment Creations Art here:
Hodge Podge is family run business, based in Stafford, creating delightfully miscellaneous gifts for all occasions. They make hand-made personalised giftware on a wide range of mediums such as slate, wood, acrylic and canvas. They also sell their own watercolour paintings and prints on a selection of giftware.
Tara has painted a range of beautiful watercolour Christmas cards and you can buy them in sets of five gorgeous designs. With a traditional feel and a cheeky wink, they will make you smile as you write them as well as raising a smile when they arrive at their destination. I love the reindeer! The personalised penguin family card is also really lovely.
There’s also a stack of Christmas Eve goodies available, from Santa’s Treat Board and Milk Bottle to your traditional Christmas Eve box. You should also check out their baubles and wooden and slate gifts.
You can find Hodge Podge here:
Michelle Corbin Design
Established in 2010, Michelle Corbin Design is an award-winning embroidery artist producing free motion and hand embroidered art illustrations. From her studio in County Durham Michelle creates unique keepsake gifts, decorations, journals and more.
Especially for 2020, Michelle has magicked the beautiful Sparkle Christmas Fairy Christmas Decoration. Created using a glitter fabric and felt, Sparkle was stitched carefully using a free-motion machine embroidered technique, and finished with tiny French knots and chain stitches, embroidered by hand with silver thread. Sparkle is very pretty and would make a sweet addition to your tree this year.
There are also a range of embroidery kits and patterns that would make great gifts for the maker in your life.
You can find Michelle Corbin Design here:
The super talented Amy is the genius behind Pinky Swifts and turns old furniture into unique statement pieces, using bold colours and geometric designs for the modern stylish home. She works with style conscious customers to create bespoke pieces of furniture that reflect their own unique personality.
Amy not only creates her own pieces to sell but can also re-imagine something you already own, breathing new life into it, or source something specific for you. By creating a design that enhances the original shape and character of the item, Pinkyswifts produces unique pieces of furniture and homeware.
If you have an heirloom that you want to keep for sentimental reasons, but it just doesn’t fit in with your décor or sense of style, then why not give it a glow up! Inject your own pizazz into an old faithful! You can contact Amy directly for a chat about commissioning your own custom piece!
You can find Pinky Swifts here:
The Dandy Introvert
The Dandy Introvert are a family business making sparkly jewellery, ergonomic polymer clay crotchet hooks and cute little stitch markers. Did I mention the glittery jewellery? I may have a slight obsession! Ben and Ruth take custom orders and also have a range of ready to buy goodies available.
Their Christmas collection is super cute and encompasses gorgeous tree decorations, statement drop earrings and subtle studs. I adore these ginger bread man brooches as they really made me smile and you can’t get more festive than these holly earrings! You should also check out the snowflakes and mittens as they are a good way to add some winter sparkle to your ears before you go full Crimbo!
Can’t choose? They also have lucky dip boxes…
You can find The Dandy Introvert here:
The Yarn Whisperer
Based in East London, Kitey is an Indie yarn dyer of mainly British yarns (with a little Tibetan Yak for good measure!) His ranges include lace, 4ply, DK and chunky weights, along with his popular (and MAHOOSIVE!) 500g Guernsey 5ply ‘Sport’ hanks.
Hand dying the yarn in his home dye studio he creates fabulous colourways within some brilliantly named collections. The Mystic 8 Ball range is a riot of colour and was great fun to see come to life. My favourite is obviously the Tarot range, with each colourway inspired by a card drawn from the tarot deck.
What’s that? You've got all the yarn you need? Well, I very much doubt that but if you insist… you’ll also find some fab patterns and accessories, such as funky scissors, lucets, hooks and his marvellous DIY Krafty Keeper Kits.
Want a good old chin wag while you’re working on your masterpieces? Kitey also hosts virtual Stitch & B*tch sessions twice a week which are free and welcoming to all.
These wonderful Indies are just the tip of the iceberg of talent that’s out there creating magic and making dreams come true.
Why not be brave this Christmas and have a wander off the beaten track when hunting for gifts?
Join the fun and support the Indieconomy!
Happy shopping xx