Saturday 3rd December is #SmallBusinessSaturday - a day dedicated to celebrating and supporting small businesses around the UK and Northern Ireland.
This year we were picked as one of the Small Biz 100, and as part of the day we thought it would be good to share some of our favourite small businesses to help you shop small this festive season.
It's always tough running a small business - but this year will be harder than ever. Small business owners are facing the compounded impact of Brexit, Covid and now the looming recession- it's going to be a tough few months ahead.
And with some businesses taking over 20% of their annual revenue in the weeks leading up to Christmas - it's a crucial time of year.
So, if you are buying gifts this holiday season, for yourself of others then consider giving some of these a little look and spending your money with a small business. I promise you they will do a happy dance in a way that Amazon won't.
So let's get into it so you can start shopping...
1. Känsla Candles
Känsla's luxury concrete vessel candles are an Insta dream (and they smell just as beautiful too)😍.
Their neutral tones, paired with earthy musky and woody scents are the perfect combo and they now have reed-diffusers as well as candles.
They are are vegan friendly, paraben and cruelty free and use only the finest oils. A 10/10 from us for quality products and ethics.
2. Carter Bags
If you've ever searched for a laptop bag you'll know that finding something affordable, practical, stylish and ethical is near impossible.
The Carter Bag original laptop bag has a designated and secure compartment for your laptop, plus a separate one for everything else you need (notepads, pens, bags, chargers) you name it, it fits.
It's ideal if you are commuting or travelling for work - but I also love mine for overnights.
The original laptop bag has been a huge hit, and since then they've launched the tote, camera bag and laptop case. Perfect for any business woman in your life.
3. Pretty Pickled
We absolutely ADORE these punny embroidered items for food and drink lovers🍷
From their Romaine Calm t-shirt to their just Espresso-ing myself sweatshirt - cute and funny in equal measure. But this 'full of wine' shopper might be our favourite (definitely not biased about wine).
They've got sweatshirts, t-shirts, shoppers and hats - and they advocate sustainable work practices and use 100% organic cotton in their clothing.Shop the collection here
This Edinburgh based artist creates illustrations of Scotlands historic architecture, with a modern twist.
Her vibrant and whimsy prints, cushions, towels and coasters are an ideal gift for any Scottish lover.
5. Eyo Activewear
After years of designing for some of the biggest fast fashion brands in the world, founder Lucie knew she wanted out.
Eyo was founded on the fundamentals of sustainability, designed and created slowly using recycled fabrics.
They've developed a range of leggings, shorts, crop tops and tops - the perfect gift for any gym babes that care about their planet.
Our favourite local wine and beer shop - we love popping in here for a wine (or two) and cheese board🧀.
But they also offer amazing hampers (including a mulled wine hamper with Cool Story Co. bottles), and wine and beer subscriptions delivered to your door monthly or bi-monthly.
We cannot recommend this local gem enough - and if you are local we highly recommend you pop in (just not when we want a seat). And if not, you can get a little slice of them sent anywhere in the UK.
7. Starter Culture
You'll be needing cheese with that wine of course. So why not pop down the road to Starter Culture (literally if you are in Shawlands).
They've got everything you could need to create the perfect, delicious cheese-board (including vegan cheese boards).
And they offer Christmas hampers if you want to treat yourself or someone else.
"Romanticising all bodies"
That's the motto at Goldesse, where they create inclusive, ethically made swimwear in sizes 8 -24.
Like many women the thought of getting myself into a bikini is fear-inducing. But not only are Goldesse aiming to deconstruct that fear - they are creating bikinis that make you feel truly amazing - and I felt incredible in mine this Summer.
If you're heading off for some Winter sun (or just want to get prepared) then definitely check Goldesse out.
9. Zo. Jewellery
Locally based (to us) - Zo Jewellery offers amazing quality gold and silver jewellery, including earrings, necklaces and bracelets.
We particularly love their huggies which haven't been removed since they first went on - and their jewellery was a key factor in deciding to get more ear piercings (can fit more on).
If you're buying a gift you can add a gift bag, or even a personalised travel case so they can take their presents anywhere.
10. Anther Flowers
Anther flowers are our go to for all occassions. Whether it's for a birthday, Christmas - or just letting someone know we are thinking of them.
They offer weekly design (which can be delivered any day sometimes on the SAME), DIY (design it yourself) and are currently offering Christmas wreaths.
Their weekly design changes (you guessed it -weekly) and incorporates a beautiful arrangement of seasonal flowers, all packaged up beautifully.
Any flower lover would be happy to get a bouquet from Anther.
11. Perfect Planner Company
Know someone that loves to be organised but hates using their phone calendar?
The perfect planning company has the perfect planner for them...
They've got a planner for everything...from health & wellbeing, to business, Christmas - as well as notebooks if you just need somewhere to write things down.
They are functional and beautiful - everything we need from a planner.
12. Braw Wee
Braw Wee is an online Scottish gift and music shop stocking a carefully curated selection of greeting cards, gifts and homewares. It's run by two sisters from Glasgow, so we have a lot in common with them.
Based in the heart of Glasgow, all their products are created by Scottish producers, artists and designers - in a bid to showcase that shopping local is the way forward.
We love the support they show for local businesses <3 and as one themselves they deserve all the support in the world back.
Pantee not only have a great name, but a great ethos.
They create flattering, comfortable underwear and basics using only deadstock material ie. unused material that is designated for landfill.
They have core styles, but the colours often depend on what material they manage to re-divert into their factories. So, if you see a colour you like you better be quick - as it might not be back.
14. Claire Millar Photography Prints
Fun fact - Claire took some of our Cool Story Co. brand photography - and everyone always raves about it.
But as well product and lifestyle photography, Claire takes aim at her local city (Glasgow) and country (Scotland) - capturing the beauty and sometimes madness of the area.
And when she really loves a shot it makes it to her print store. If you're local, an ex-pat, or just want a little bit of Scotland on your walls then this makes a beautiful gift.
You can buy the prints on their own, or have them framed so their ready to go.
15. The Man Made Beard Company
Oops, we've definitely leaned more towards gifting for a female on this list. But we don't want to miss out the men - especially those with beards to care for.
The Man Made Beard Company is the perfect gift for that person in your life with a beard. They've got beard shampoo, balm, oil - you name it. Plus they offer subscriptions to help keep that beard in tip top shape.
16. Baked by Steph
These beautiful baked goods look as amazing as they taste (and yes we will still eat them).😍
Baked in East London, and shipped UK wide these baked goods are the perfect sweet treat.
They offer cookies, cakes and macrons - but our favourite has to be the cookie message. What better way to tell someone how you feel than with cookies
17. PickAPocket Men
Got an event that you need to look snazzy for this festive season?
PickAPocket has al the accessories you need whether it's for a wedding, christening or works night out. They've got ties, bow ties, socks, pocket squares and cufflinks (among other things).
And last but certainly not least...
Did you know that consumers in the UK use 227,000 miles of wrapping paper each year – enough to wrap the island of Guernsey. And a LOT of that paper cannot be recycled due to glitter, foil or other non-recyclable materials.
That's a lot of paper going to landfill from one day alone.
So, when wrapping your presents don't forget about you wrapping paper.
And what's better than buying from a small business?
Buying from a small business that sells recyclable, sustainable items.
Cascayde provides sustainable packaging options including paper, tape, tags and twine. All the things you need to create beautiful, and recyclable festive wrapping.
Thanks so much for reading - and I hope you found some small businesses to support - either as gifts or for yourself.
Remember - small businesses do an actual happy dance/text their mum/friend/sister/dog when they get an order - every single time! So you're not only supporting a small business you're spreading Christmas cheer.
Happy holidays xx