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Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle.

Monday, 16 November 2020

The Small, Local & Independent Gift Guide | NE & UK

We hold power in our pounds and the best way we can spend it is by shopping small, local and independent. I am trying my best to shop as careful and responsible as possible this year, after all does Jeff Bezoz REALLY need any more money?

I've tried to curate this gift guide based on things that I find functional, pretty and things that would make (in my opinion) great gifts. I think the best sort of gift is something the person will actually use, I feel like we all fall into the trap at some point of buying for buying's sake. Will your friend really like them Santa themed socks? I don't think so... I mean, even if they did they're strictly 1-2 days a year where you can wear that sort of novelty stuff, and I think that goes for a lot of Christmas gifts. We've got consumerism and capitalism to thank for that one!

This gift guide is broken down into two sections. One for the North East and another for the rest of the UK, I've tried to include a wide variety of ideas and gifts so I hope there's something here for everyone on your list this year. Some shops included have a asterick (*) and this is to let you know that I have purchased from them before.

North East 

Not Just A Print are a Newcastle based company who specialise in personalised prints and gifts. The item they are most known for is their Personalised Vinyl Record Song Print. However, I let out an audible gasp when I spotted the Line Of Duty Personalised AC-12 Mug so I obviously had to purchase it right away. Who doesn't love Line Of Duty?! All their products are unique and in my opinion very well priced for the personalisation that goes into them.

If you're from Newcastle you'll know this shop as the bubble tea place in Stack, I've never actually been to the stack shop but I did order some bubble tea DIY kits for Christmas. I opted for the £15 Bubble Tea Starter Kit because I *think* the person I am gifting this to has never tried Bubble Tea, never mind actually attempted to make it so I thought it would be best to go down the simple route. 

BecxBeauty is a small online beauty retailer, MUA and beauty therapist. All the products and services are 100% vegan and cruelty free, perfect for any veggies you're buying for this year. Becca has just launched her Christmas range and my god, there are some very cute bath bombs!

Since Becca offer's treatments there's also an option on the site to purchase a Treatment Gift Card which I think is a great way to show some love and appreciation for someone this Christmas, after all we could all do with a beauty treatment after 2020.

whitewichofthemoon is an Etsy shop and mother daughter duo who radiate such loving energy, this shop is perfect for your spiritual family and friends, or even just someone who likes to practice emotional self-care (or maybe someone who you think should). I purchased a Keep Me Calm Spell Bag for my Mam as a gift for her birthday and she absolutely loved it. They have some really gorgeous items on their shop and I'd highly recommend them to anyone looking to get into spirituality and crystals. All of their products are clearly labeled and the descriptions are always super informative. They are quite a busy shop so sometimes processing times can be up to 7 days but that just goes to show how popular and good they are at what they do.

If you're looking for affordable statement jewellery this is the one for you. Ffreckle sell rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings. They also offer a Gift Card option which I love because sometimes Jewellery can be a very personal choice, so if you're not sure what to pick, just pop a gift card in your basket. I'd also recommend you following them on Instagram (@_ffreckle) because their feed makes me swoon, honestly great aesthetically pleasing content. 

I'm sure if you're local and familiar with the blogosphere you know about Sighh by Polly Vadasz, if you don't then you need to get on it. From note pads, sticky labels, laptop stickers, decals to keyrings this shop has it ALL, and it's all super cute and very affordable. I really don't think anyone does stationary like Polly. If you're gifting to someone with a creative job or hobby you have to check this shop out. Aside from the lovely stationary my favourite product has to be the really thoughtful Mirror Decals that offer a little pick me up somewhere that you're guaranteed to look everyday. 

Rest Of The UK

You can't go wrong with hand poured candles but these ones are next level creative and fun. I absolutely love a good candle so I do often find myself gifting them most of the time. This Etsy shop is very well priced I almost couldn't believe the price for how good the products look, not only that but the standard sized candles burn for 35+ hours and minis 15-17+ hours. Each candle contains a crystal, dried flowers and glitter and also comes with it's own crystal guide book, I really love this idea and how unique the products look. You can also purchase bundles and a whole mini Christmas collection.

Illustrated by Aimee sells prints, greetings cards and well designed tote bags. I first came across Aimee's shop while looking for Animal Crossing themed cards for a friends birthday and that's when I found the perfect Celeste birthday card. I even added one of her prints to my basket as a gift for the same friend because I wanted to spend a little bit more money to support her shop. I can say from first hand experience that Aimee packages her products really well and even sent some cute Animal Crossing stickers in the package for me too. 

Designs by Lexi UK is the perfect shop for anyone who is looking for beautifully personalised gifts for any occasion. I recently purchased two baubles, one with feather filling and one without, if you follow me on Instagram you would have seen them all over my stories. I opted to get my dogs name on the bauble as it was a early Christmas present for my Mam (she LOVES Christmas decor). This shop would also be great for any couples who have recently got married, engaged or moved into a new home as they have some lovely personalised flute glasses that would make for a great and thoughtful gift. 

Sammi Maria is a jewellery brand created by a Youtuber and blogger and it focuses on making ethically designed pieces that are very simple and statement. I absolutely love this brand and think it would make a great gift for someone you want to spend a little more money on. Their gold designs are absolutely stunning and I would highly recommend checking them out. 

If you're looking to buy books this year you should check out independent book stores that are shipping their stock due to covid. News From Nowhere is a brilliant option for those who want to put their pounds to good use. Based in Liverpool and founded in 1974 this book shop sells all the hot books of the year along with some great poetry and educational books. I'd also recommend giving their Facebook page a like because they post about all the new stock and give some great insights into new and old books. 

I stumbled across Après Sunday on Instagram and instantly fell in love with their clothing. They are a sustainable fashion brand who make some comfy looking loungewear, at the moment they only have one style in two colour ways on their website. Their clothing is a little on the pricey side however I'd say for sustainable, trendy fashion most people would be okay with the price point. They currently have a deal on where if you buy a full set you also get a free tote bag. This would be a good gift for someone you know who spends a lot of time inside (don't we all now?) and lives in loungewear. 
Boxed Sized Hugs are self-care letterbox gifts that donate 20% of profits to Mind Charity. I purchased two of these during the first lockdown to send to friends who I thought needed a pick me up. They both dispatched in a good amount of time and were a hit with the friends who were gifted them. They're currently doing Christmas boxes and I think it's a great idea for someone who you might not see in person this Christmas. 

By Megan Crosby is the gift for the maximalist fashion icon in your life. Megan's designs are to die for and come in so many amazing and fun prints. The best thing about Megan's shop is that everything is made to measure and is very size inclusive. If the dresses and other clothing are too much for your purse strings she also creates lovely scrunchies and masks too in the same prints as her dresses, perfect for our current times.

If you want to purchase something from Megan I'd suggest signing up to her newsletter or following her on Instagram as her shop always sells out pretty fast.

This gift is perfect for the passionate, book loving feminist in your life. This book subscription has multiple subscription options such as one month, three months, a year etc. I love the idea of getting someone a monthly subscription because it's like each month they get a little reminder of you, HOW CUTE! I went searching for a lot of book subscriptions in the first lockdown as I had finished all the books I had, and this was by far the best one I found. Not only do you get a great book, you also get 3 gifts from independent shops in every subscription which I think is great because again, you're helping out with your pounds. 

I hope you enjoyed this little round up gift guide of small, local and independent shops. Let's all vouch to limit our spending at the big retailers and opt to help those with smaller ventures this Christmas. There's nothing better than knowing where your money goes, and by shopping carefully and mindfully we can help build up others. 

Megan x 


  1. Boxed Sized Hugs sounds so nice! The idea of giving some money to charity while getting a gift feels in line with Christmas. :)

  2. It's great to know you're supporting small businesses. I'm also thinking about buying gifts for my friends and family and getting them from local and small business shops this year.

  3. This is such a good guide, and I love that you're supporting small businesses. I'm trying to find smaller, more local businesses to buy from this year, and this guide is very helpful. Thank you for sharing x

  4. I love the sound of all these small businesses, I'm aiming to support as many as I can during Christmas so thank you for creating a great list of some of them! x

    Lucy |

  5. Wow these are all great shops — I’m from the US so it’s nice to check out some new shops. And I agre. It’s best to shop local!

  6. Great post.I love the ideas. Thanks for sharing.

    Mini |

  7. I'm in Italy so while this post does not apply to me directly, I found it really interesting and inspiring. I try to shop local whenever I can afford it, and often it's a good experience. Thanks for sharing these ideas!

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