Twas 38 sleeps till Christmas and all over the 'net, mum's were all panicking their shopping wasnt done yet.
But not to worry and not to fret, there is still some time to get those Christmas essentials yet. For while some shops have had their cut of dates for Christmas delivery
There's still chances to ensure Christmas is not a misery.
So take a look at this quick guide to shopping small
And please add your own ideas, any at all.
I love supporting small businesses. We are just back from the Christmas market where there are loads of independent retailers from around the world all displaying their range of goods.
Did I think all of it was great. No.
Did I think all of it was reasonably priced. No.
Did I buy anything. Yes.
I bought my parents some gorgeous wooden puzzles from a German shop which I know will be a hit (and I'm hoping to get a go of on Christmas day)
It's about seeking out the gems, looking beyond the same stuff that everyone is doing, and about connecting with the people doing it.
In writing in this blog I started thinking about the various things I've got the boys for Christmas and why I've gone with small shops for them. I thought I'd give you a quick run down of special items and a few reasons why.
The boys have the most clothes out of anyone I know. I have a bit of a insta clothes addiction but I have got them a few special bits for Christmas.
I have ordered the boys first noah hoodies in the robins fabric. I love ffnco because I get to design the clothes. I can ask for the most random things (a William tee with one sleeve aubergine and one sleeve ochre or could I have a pair of dungarees with a rainbow rocket pocket and a rainbow rocket patch on the bum) and Clare does her best to accommodate my randomness and make it look great. I'm so excited to put the boys in these hoodies.
Ambrrose Apparel (@ambrrose_apparel)
I've got 2 rompers for Toff which I cannot wait to style through the festive season. Dawn has some of the most gorgeous clothes I've ever seen and seriously makes me want a girl and she's always willing to work with me and adjust ideas to suit my boys. Jam is going to be matching with moose shorts and a dickie bow and it will be the cutest thing ever... If I can convince him to put it on (we're going through a Thomas or nothing phase)
Life’s Lemons Handmade (@lifeslemonshandmade)
If you havent seen this insta page check it out. Not only is this lady so talented, she gets some amazing fabric. One of the things I'm learning about working with small businesses is that it is about working with them rather than just walking into a shop and buying a finished product.
I asked about getting a santa stamp fabric made into a romper and it is a thing of beauty. Christmas day material all the way. The details and craftsmanship is mind blowing.
Murphy Brown (@murphybrownuk)
So here's the thing. I haven't actually bought the boys anything specifically for Christmas from Becky. But I don't need to because she made the most beautiful pixie coat that my boys fight over who gets to wear (another benefit of shopping small I've found is that the sizing is amazing so Jam at 2yrs 9months fits the coat and with a few minor adjustments so does Toff at 1yr). She also made the outfit that I refer to as the outfit of dreams - Toff's Birthday outfit. I asked Becky to make something for Toff that was musical inspired and a bit 'extra' and what I got is something that no-one else in the world has and something that I could never walk into a shop and buy. It's perfect and beautiful and needs to be worn more.
So my husband is the most on the ball person regarding Christmas presents. My birthday is at the end of July and I swear as soon as it is over, he's asking everyone what they want for Christmas. So it can be hard to get a gift in!
The boys main presents were bought in B&M, Aldi and eBay because they are like all children and want specific things. Things that thinking about it now and knowing more businesses out there I might have managed to get through small businesses but we didn't know. I have managed to sneak in some small business goodies.
Jam and Toff:
ROCK PAPER PEGS (@rock.paper.pegs)
Ok so I have to admit I sort of put an order in on the spur of the moment with Ailsa.
Another reason I love small businesses is that I was just thinking about how much Jam loves room on the broom and how it would be wonderful to have some peg dolls or story spoons and Ailsa has brought it to life. She created the most beautiful spoons and he rendition of the random assortment of superheroes (and a super Villain) are perfect. I know both boys are going to love them.
CHOCOKAT CHOCOLATES (@chocokat.chocolates)
When my friend was having a tough time recently I didn't want to send her flowers. She wasn't up for company so chocolates were the way forward. But these chocolatea honestly don't even look like chocolates. They are visually stunning and taste amazing. Katrina is building her business up and I love that I could support her. She is really happy to try and accommodate custom requests and is always trying new things (dairy free chocolate, gold chocolate, ruby chocolate). Perfect stocking fillers!!
Chromocutie Creates (@chromocutie_creates
This lady is wonderful. She has made Luke a picture which will be treasured forever and combined two photos that I never thought could fit together into one. She has a real talent and is so easy to talk to.
Dudes and Dudettes
So I ordered my own Christmas present. Not because Luke wouldn't have got me something amazing but because I fell in love with this beautiful decoration.
What I love is the attention to detail these business owners put in. My gorgeous piece has the clock hands at the exact right times for when the boys were born. It is painted exactly how I wanted and will look amazing hanging in my front room.
This is a random one but talking about small businesses and not mentioning Miriam feels wrong. She's been training me since May and I have never felt this way about my body before. I might not be the slimmest person in the world but Miriam has helped me realise that what I love being and what I want to be is strong. She has become a great friend and came to Toff's naming ceremony. She has opened my eyes up to what it means to support small businesses because I get to see how me going there and getting the benefit of her amazing training is helping me to reach my goals (100kg deadlift in case anyone was wondering) and helping her expand her business.
Shopping online is one thing. But there is still something lovely about walking into an actual shop and having a chat with a person in real life sometimes.
My first ever experience of an independent business (that I actually knew was an independent business) was a shop called Spirito. It's sells lovely gifts and beautiful things. My best friend in primary school lived next to the lady who opened up the shop and I know that it was a dream of hers to open a shop. It's been running for years now and is highly worth a look if you're in the West end of Glasgow!
I was so excited to see the social media about The Root of Magic opening and it does not disappoint. It even offers potions classes for the kids! I love Harry Potter and so it's just perfect.
We also love Young's Interesting Books in Shawlands. You could spend the whole day browsing the massive and random selection of lovely books!
So to finish off #shopsmall and #supportsmallbusiness for me mean great quality, personalisation, fantastic service where people often go over and above anything you could imagine and also meeting some amazingly talented lovely people. Hopefully my business has helped them towards reaching their goals and dreams because it's given me a lot of lovely Christmas presents!
Are there any small business you'd give a shout out to? Any local to you?