The Thoughtful Guide To Christmas Shopping

I’m making a conscious effort this year to truly consider where the gifts I’m buying come from.

That’s not to say I’m refusing to purchase from larger stores and shops, because of course some things can’t be handmade or bought else where.  But where possible I’m trying to buy direct from independent stores and in particular support those individuals that tirelessly work hard to carve themselves a little area where their products are loved and appreciated- which in today’s world and consumerist ways must be hard.

What I love seeing is how many mothers have started their own businesses, it’s truly inspirational.  The need and desire to work from home has grown exponentially and as a result some fantastic independent shops have been popping up by some truly talented people.

For me it makes the gifts all the more meaningful because the profit is going to the family directly associated with that brand.

So I thought I’d introduce you to some of my favourite independent brands.  That way if you’re looking at purchasing any of these items as gifts, perhaps you could look at the individual/s or the stories behind each brand and see if actually you’d rather support someone directly this Christmas and help a small business grow.

Children’s Clothing

Florence and Bunny

If your child loves enchanted magical dress up clothes then this is the place for you.  I’m talking ruffle capes or capes adorned in feathers, velvet crowns and wands and the most beautiful headpieces. The pieces are of a high quality and sumptuously luxurious and they’re pieces that’ll last for generations.  In fact the pieces are so beautiful you may not want to hide them away in a dressing up box or the wardrobe, these pieces are meant to be seen!

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by florence & Bunny (@florenceandbunny) on

Freya Lillie

This brand creates sustainable luxury clothing pieces that are for year round use.  We have one of their rompers, and I can confirm that it can be used from summer to winter with clever layering.  In fact I think we can probably use the romper for the next couple of years because they’re made to last and have room to grow into them.

Fable and Finch Shop

If timeless, classic and unique hats are your thing for your children, then Fable and Finch have you covered.  Their beautiful hand knitted bonnets can be customised and they’re quite simply stunning.  The owner is very big on customer service, I’m currently trying to pay her for an order I placed with her, but she’s refusing to accept it until I’ve tried the hat on and I’m happy with the size as she had one already made in the exact style I wanted.  That’s customer service for you!

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by @fableandfinch_vintagehandmade on

Nellie Quats

The Liberty print pieces from Nellie Quats are just beautiful.  The clothes are designed and made in the UK and they’re stunning.  Think soft crumpled linens and liberty floral tops that can be worn under rompers and dresses.  They’ve won countless awards for their pieces and it’s not surprising.  The dresses and rompers layered over their tops are quite simply divine.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by N e l l i e Q u a t s (@nelliequats) on

Thimble London

Thimble London specialise in traditional sleepwear.  The pieces are beautiful and again they’re handmade to order.  I have a nightdress for Evelyn for Christmas and a pyjama set for William on its way.  They’ll be gifted to both the kids on Christmas Eve by my parents (who paid for them as their gifts), and they’ll be worn all Christmas day.  Expect lots of pictures of the kids looking adorable on my Instagram page.  I actually think I’ll get a couple of years out of the nightdress for Eve and the pyjamas for William, and of course then the pyjamas will be passed down 😉

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by T h i m b l e (@thimblelondon) on

Fable Heart

Another magical, enchanted dress up store that sell the most gorgeous full tiered tutu skirts and sequined capes.  Crowns, wands, wings complete the look.  Again you’re not going to want to hide these items away in your home, they’re just too pretty!

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Fable Heart (@fable.heart) on

Max and Molly

Handmade rompers and dresses galore.  Many of the pieces can be customised with initials which make the items even more special… perfect for special occasions!  If you have a little boy, they sell the most gorgeous toy soldier romper- Prince George eat your heart out!

I adore the traditional fabrics and prints, and the pinny’s are just gorgeous!

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Max and Molly (@max_and_molly_ltd) on

Gift Stores

Sisi & Seb

Carley (mother of Sisi) runs Sisi & Seb, it’s a boutique store for babies and kids and they stock some beautiful gifts.  I adore the Maileg World animals and they’ve just started stocking them.

They also stock Olli Ella Holdie houses, which is something we have wrapped up ready for Evie for Christmas.  I purchased the furniture from Carley to furnish the Holdie and I love that the entire gift is a present that will grow with Evelyn as she gets older.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Sisi & Seb ? (@sisiandseb) on

Etsy Made Local Christmas Market

Being hosted at the Tooting Tram and Social on the 1st December only, this market will no doubt be a great place to pick up loads of gifts that have been handmade and created by wonderful, creative London based Etsy sellers.

I was gifted some items by the London Local team to help showcase the event over on Instagram but I couldn’t help but add it onto my list here too, because I think it’s a great way to find unique and inspiring gifts, and help some artistic people continue their passion.

If you’re London based make sure to add this event to your calendar, William’s snood and Evelyn’s bag are both examples of what will be for sale.

Spitalfields

Another must attend market and one that’s open all year around; so great to visit any day from now until Christmas to get some gifts, is Spitalfields.  With independent stall holders that sell a variety of handcrafted or hard to source items you’ll definitely find something special.  I still regret not buying the hat in the picture below… I loved it then, and love it now.

Unique Gifts

Nipper and Co

If you know a tea lover, then why not support a tea company that’s ethical, organic and lovingly made by a mum?

What I love about Nipper and Co is that Marina, (the lady behind the brand and mother of Max and Adam) is very conscious about promoting a better world and sourcing her ingredients in the most ethical ways.  Their next production run will see the brand go completely plastic free, so it’s nice to see that they’re constantly working to bring better products to the market quickly and effectively.

There are teas for everyone under this one umbrella of a brand, from pregnant mothers, to breastfeeding mothers to anyone requiring a good caffeine hit and even teas for children.

I’m a big fan of the organic green supreme tea and the organic wake up brew.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Nipper&Co (@nipperandco) on

Nana Makes

Nana Makes is an extremely talented grandmother with a penchant for knitting.  She hand knits dolls clothes that are just gorgeous and makes all little dolls that extra bit more special.  You’ll have to follow her on Instagram to see what she makes because she has a private account.

Little Seasons Photography

Photography is one of those things that can be bought all year around, and the pictures are priceless for generations.  It’s all about finding the right kind of photographer for the look and style you’re after.

Little Seasons Photography has been a side project of mine that I’m proudly bringing to life.  I have a two-year plan in place to go full time, but for now I’m working slow and steady and really enjoying meeting the families I’m working with.

Capturing a moment is what I love the most, and it’s the part of my blog that I adore- getting out my camera and taking pictures of my kids.  So it was time to start using and refining that skill.  Going on courses such as the In the Orchard workshop hosted by Sudden Journeys and Gingerlilly Tea have given me the much-needed confidence to pursue this passion.

There will no doubt be photographers local to you, there’s something extra special about getting photos that really capture the essence of your family at Christmas time (or themed photos at Halloween in the case of my picture below!).  Many offer vouchers to be used year around.

Subscription Gifts

Bookabees

A subscription box is the gift that keeps on giving as it goes on for as long you require it to.    Bookabees delivers a monthly handpicked selection of books to your child, suitable for their age and interests.  It can be adapted to their reading needs, interests and age group and will help to inspire a love of reading within your child.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Bookabees (@bookabees) on

Whirli

Ever wish there was a huge toy box where you could pick and choose what you wanted and could exchange toys when your kids were done with playing?

Well now there is.  Whirli is a subscription which allows you to pick the toys your children want to play with and get them delivered to your home.  When they’re bored with a toy you just send it back and exchange it.  You can also decide to keep toys if you want to, so it’s a great economical way to give your kids the freedom to play with what they want and actually keep what they truly love.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Max Ottignon | Ragged Edge (@maxottignon) on

thelondonmum

21 Comments

  1. What some great sounding ideas. The Toy Box sounds wonderful for kids, allowing you to get new things as and when they want and you don’t end up with the clutter of unplayed with toys.

    • Such clever concept isn’t it? We’ve got the kids toys down to the minimum now and it’s just so much nicer not having that clutter- but when I think of all the toys that we’ve given away to get to this point.. my goodness it’s shocking and so wasteful!

  2. I haven’t heard of so many of these companies, but I love shopping small at Christmas time especially! It’s so important to support companies that create the most beautiful gifts 🙂

  3. I love this, there are so many gorgeous items on this list. I try and shop local as much as I can, I’m a big believer in supporting small businesses!

    • I have pretty much bought from everyone of these over the year at various times… I literally love them all!

  4. I love shopping at independent brands, thanks ever so much for introducing me to some new ones! Some great new to me brands that I will be buying from

  5. What a fabulous list! You have given me lots of great ideas for presents (I especially love that little wooden house – it’s gorgeous!), thanks so much! x

    • Such a clever concept. I’ve bought so many toys because my kids have begged me.. only for them to to really ever be played with… it infuriates me!

  6. I love the Olli Ella Holdie house it looks like a very grown up dolls house! The clothes from Max and Molly look lovely and I think my daughter would love anything from the range you’ve selected.

    • Everything is just so beautiful isn’t it? If only I could win the lottery to buy pretty much everything from all of them!

  7. I like the idea of buying from independant and local places as it means a lot more for who you’re buying from. Spitalfields is a personal favourite of mine x

  8. I think this is such a nice idea as it means so much more to the people you’re buying from compared to huge companies. I love Spitalfields market too! x

    • Makes such a difference doesn’t it? When you receive something from an independent you just know so much more thought has gone into it. x

  9. … hope you won’t mind me saying? What an excellent traditional Thoughtful Christmas Presents Shopping post LondonMum!! Although, as you know, Lucy & I can’t talk from ‘presents-for-a-young- family’ experience but we can from the Christmas commercially pressurised must ‘ave retail seasonal push-n-shove / scrums unfortunately, so, it’s so refreshing to read of your traditional thought process, sincerity, consideration & thoughtfulness re. genuine present buying for others; rather than; ‘anything from anywhere for anybody will do’ syndrome. I’m sure your listed unique companies’ promotional recommendations (so brilliantly presented,) will be greatly appreciated, & will benefit countless others on many fronts hopefully. Long live the sincere traditional Christmas! BUT, (guilty hypercritical ‘gulp’ now,) B&WC’s already swamped with pre-over-booked (as usual) Christmas music gigs avalanche … so, H-E-L-P IS WANTED! … errhmm, I’ve heard, unofficially, that; ‘Mummy’s got ‘nuffink’ to do’ – (I may’ve mis-heard that tho ha?) – so, – when’re ‘ya free? … ‘WOT???’- ouch! – cor blimey … THAT STUNG!! haha. Hope all’s well. Onwards LondonMum.

    • Crikey you must be desperate for help if you’re requiring it from a tone deaf non musical playing individual wh aged to only just complete grade 1 theory in the piano! hahah 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.