Happy holiday season!
Last year I shared a festive gift guide full of independent Northern brands and designer-makers, a precursor if you will to this year’s ‘Gifts from the North’; a 42-page downloadable guide that I created for Fabric of the North (access it here!)
One of the presiding messages in my post last year was the juxtaposition of the season’s customary merriment and joy, with the underlying stress, anxiety and financial toll that rampant consumerism this time of year always brings. Looking back on my words from 12 months ago, it seems unfathomable everything that has happened since, and the holiday season this year will no doubt amplify these feelings tenfold.
This year I’ve focused my guides, as always, on small brands and designer-makers, and split them into three price-points – under £10, under £20 and under £40 – because I’m a firm believer that it’s the thought that counts when it comes to gift giving, and no one should feel pressured to overstretch themselves financially this time of year, 2020 or otherwise. Plus smaller gifts are far easier to pop in the post for those you won’t be able to see in person this year – and many independent brands will even gift wrap, write a personalised message and send direct to your recipient anyway!
Another joy of gifting smaller, both brand and price-wise, is that you can spread your holiday gifting budget amongst a wider pool or friends, family, even acquaintances who’ve helped make this year that little bit easier or more tolerable. Remember, a small gift can pack huge sentiment. I’ve written before about the Art of Gift Giving, and in 2020 the notion of a gift that has been conceived with love matters more than ever. I’d also encourage everyone to use this time of year to reach out to all friends and family, no matter how long you’ve been out of touch. A greetings card is obviously a wonderful thing to send (and I’ll share a round-up of my favourites very soon), but even a text message, email or phone call will help spread festive cheer and lift spirits at little financial cost. Spread kindness like confetti is my motto this Christmas!
The guides below are designed to inspire and facilitate your own exploration into the wonderful world of small independent brands, and I’ve also replicated these guides on Pinterest too, so I can add to them over the coming weeks with a few more lovely finds. Many of the brands featured are local to me in the North of England, but I’d encourage you to seek out local-to-you candle makers, coffee roasters, jewellery designers, aromatherapists, crafters, independent boutiques and more. Shopping and supporting local has never been more important.