In the spirit of ‘paying it forward’ this week’s Wish list is a little different. We were recently featured on Interiors blogger Lisa Dawson’s Top 30 Christmas Gifts for under £30 and the surge in visits to our website was amazing. For any new online business today getting noticed is one of the challenging and time-consuming problems. So, this week’s list features new and/or independent businesses only. The same rules as our normal recommendations apply; if we wouldn’t buy, wear it or shop there we don’t share it.
There are so many interior and gifts shops online but Exit Interiors (based in Harrogate) has a real mix of products. Clever design pieces sit alongside more quirky and unusual gifts with something in all price ranges. The lack of ‘twee’ products is something we love and refreshingly they stock a lot of ‘male’ gifts. This glass sand timer is one of my favourites. You can visit their fabulous shop in Harrogate or order online.
One area that independent businesses can flourish in is customer service. Giving great personal service is a skill that get make or break a business and Wendy from All That Jarz has it in bucket loads. Her Instagram feed has such personality that it makes you feel as though you are checking in with a friend and it works, her reviews are 5*. Taking humble Mason jars and transforming them using a variety of surface decoration her work is so varied in style there is one for every taste.
Putting ‘Clothing’ into the search bar on Etsy or Folksy is usually slightly deflating but when this company popped up I was thrilled. Plum and Pigeon is a Manchester based business founded in 2011. With more than a nod to vintage clothing they create unique but very wearable handmade pieces which, given the level of work, quality and detail are very reasonably priced. Although they don’t hold masses of stock I still found it difficult to pick a favourite but this beauty was the one I kept going back to.
One thing I hate (along with iceberg lettuce and coriander) is glitter, it just gets everywhere and there’s always some tiny piece that will sit on your cheek refusing to move for days. Anyway, I may have to forgo my glitter aversion for these clutch bags from KayKay Tee not only can they be monogrammed (one of my favourite things) they are the perfect size for keeping your essentials in on a night out.
Kimchi, a staple in Korean cuisine, is a traditional side dish made from salted and fermented vegetables, most commonly cabbage and Korean radishes, with a variety of seasonings including chili powder, garlic and ginger. So, fermented cabbage may not sound like a gift in any form but Kimchi is actually delicious and super healthy apparently. I can honestly say that I have never seen a ‘Make your own Kimchi’ set but here it is from Sandy Leaf farm. If you’re still not convinced they have plenty of other kits to choose from and I suspect the ‘Gin Making’ kit may be more popular.
I first spied this company in Instagram after Caboodle magazine featured them, popping over to their page the riot of happy colours and fun products drew me in further. Based in Sheffield, Lovely Lip Balm sell more than just lip balms with a wide range of natural, quirky and colourful products for the face and body. My favourite was the Snow-White Lip colour which is the perfect rose bud red.
My jewellery choices tend to be sentimental pieces that I never really take off but I do like a pair of statement earrings or a chunky bracelet to ring the changes. This pink, Perspex cuff with Victorian tile image is something I would definitely wear. In fact, there were many pieces from Jessica Jewellery Design that I would happily accessorise with. She has a huge range of interesting and unique designs in her Etsy store, beautifully different, affordable price points and all made in Stockton-On-Tees.
So that’s my picks for this week and I have to say that I could have included many, many more. I may alternate my Wishlist between high street and Independents as there are so many talented people out there who deserves a little light shining on them, however small.
If you want to read Lisa Dawson’s post you can find it here on her brilliant site. We also highly recommend her Instagram page too for some covetable and just dreamy interiors.