As tomorrow is Black Friday, I thought I’d repeat what I did two years ago: ignore the high street retailers and department stores, and concentrate on indie sellers instead.
I’m afraid I do get somewhat sick of the buy, buy, buy culture that surrounds Black Friday (anyone else wanting to scream GO AWAY at their Inbox at the moment?!) – especially when discounts are available all year round from most retailers. I mentioned on Instagram the other day that although I wouldn’t avoid a Christmas gift guide altogether, I’d feature independent retailers instead.
What could be nicer than finding totally unique, unusual gifts that the recipient hasn’t seen anywhere before? There are SO many fantastic places to buy gifts from these days that I often think it’s a shame to go straight to the department stores when the internet gives us access to every artist, crafter, female entrepreneur and local independent store that’s out there.
So this is my list of 9 indie sellers I strongly urge you to check out. Many of them I’ve either shopped at or have been lucky enough to have been gifted something from their store [this post isn’t sponsored by anyone], so they all come highly recommend by me. And if I haven’t yet shopped there I intend to.
Some are offering a discount, most are not: please don’t let that put you off. Most artists selling their pieces online already have very tight margins, so you’re effectively getting a very low price already. I think it’s important to support independent retailers (even more so when they are female entrepreneurs!) – I hope you feel the same way too. It would also be great to feature what you bought from them on social media (a tweet or an Instagram post or story tagging them in will ALWAYS be appreciated), and if you buy something as a result of my recommendations please do let me know.
I hope my US readers are having a very Happy Thanksgiving… and enjoy your cyber weekend shopping: and remember,
drink shop responsibly! 😉
WHAT INDIE SELLERS DO YOU KNOW THAT YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH US? ANY YOU SEE HERE THAT YOU’RE GOING TO BUY FROM? COMMENT BELOW!
LIKE THIS POST? YOU MIGHT ALSO WANT TO READ…
Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links which means if you click through and buy I may receive a small commission at no cost to you (click here for my full disclosure). I have not been sponsored or commissioned to write this post by any of the retailers featured.
WHAT THEY SELL: Pretty much anything and everything, from homewares to furniture, from clothing to jewellery, from plant pots to fragrances. The point of the site is to sell goods from independent sellers and artists, so it’s the perfect retailer to start this post with! As a quote on their website says, “It’s the web equivalent of those cool, curated shops you find off the beaten track.” I’ve bought several things myself from Trouva and it’s one website I can’t stay away from. You’ll find no end of unusual, unique gifts here for everyone (and probably quite a few things for yourself too).
Row 1, left – Etched Crystal Glass Champagne Saucer (Pair)
Row 1, right – Stripey Hair Woman Vase
Row 2, left – Pink Camouflage Reusable Takeaway Cup
Row 2, right – Ceramic Elephant Pot
Row 3, left – Stepped Brown Drip Glaze Pot
Row 3, right – Pink and Marble Lava Lamp
Row 4, left – Silk Toucan Eyemask
Row 4, right – Small Face Pot
Row 5, left – Flamingo Trinket Tray
Row 5, right – Flip LCD Alarm Clock
DISCOUNT: 10% off everything, code: 1QDN42E (I hope this works, it was emailed to me direct) – or use HELLO5 for 5% off
PRICES START AT: £15.00 (of those items pictured) – ships internationally. Free UK delivery over £60.
WHAT THEY SELL: Bold, showstopping acrylic earrings that are light as a feather to wear. I wore a pair to the UK Blog Awards and I absolutely loved them – I’ll be wearing another pair to a black tie event in a week’s time. Clip-on earrings are also available (they sell necklaces too). The earrings all have either sterling silver or 22 carat gold vermeil fastenings so there are no worries about nasty allergic reactions. The only problem is trying to decide which pair(s) to get.
Row 1, left – Arrowheads Black & Glitter
Row 1, right – Art Deco Chandeliers Nude and Mandarin
Row 2, left – Pear Drops Blush Pink
Row 2, right – Kingfishers Azure
Row 3, left – Wobble Burnt Smoke
Row 3, right – By Moonlight Tortoiseshell
Row 4, left – Crystal Hoops Nude and Black
Row 4, right – Tulip Earrings in Rose
Row 5, left – Detroit Flecks
Row 5, right – Fandangos Black and Saffron
PRICES START AT: £45.00 (of those items pictured) – ships internationally. Free UK delivery over £75.
WHAT THEY SELL: Graphic, colourful designs inspired by nature on t-shirts (kids and adults), posters, tote bags and drawstrings bags. Pretty much all the designs are available on all the different products so there’s loads of choice. I featured my fabulous Lorelsberg tote bag (plants on pink!) back in September and it got a lot of interest – the pieces are really affordable and would make perfect Christmas gifts that are unlike any other printed products.
Row 1, left – Plant Tote Bag
Row 1, right – Cherry Blossom Tote Bag
Row 2, left – Cactus Poster (choice of sizes)
Row 2, right – Retro Kiwi Poster (choice of sizes)
Row 3, left – Sunrise Drawstring Bag
Row 3, right – Sun & Trees Short-Sleeve Unisex T-Shirt
Row 4, left – Go Play Outside Toddler Short Sleeve Tee
Row 4, right – Go Play Outside Sweatshirt
PRICES START AT: €14.00 (of those items pictured) – ships internationally.
WHAT THEY SELL: The most exquisite, sparkly rings and necklaces, many in beautiful, bright rainbow colours. Lisa is one of my close blogger friends and every time she wears one of her own pieces it just looks totally fabulous. Buy a (very affordable) cocktail ring or splash out on a multi-row statement necklace.
Row 1, left – Rectangle Starburst Cocktail Ring in Blue Topaz
Row 1, right – Green Pavé Flower Ring
Row 2, left – Candy Necklace
Row 2, right – Pink Waterfall Crystal Necklace
Row 3, left – Single Strand Rainbow Necklace
Row 3, right – Cobweb Swarovski Necklace
DISCOUNT: 10% off everything. Code: NOTLAMB10 (ends 11:59pm Monday 10th December)
PRICES START AT: £50.00 (of those items pictured) – ships internationally.
5. Bonbi Forest (via Etsy)
WHAT THEY SELL: Art prints, cards and hand printed scarves, colourful pin badges and jewellery with lino cut-style, whimsical designs – and they’re all made in Cornwall. For example, the gorgeous pins – from just £8.00 – would make the perfect gift to post to someone (small and lightweight!) if you won’t be seeing them in person over Christmas.
Row 1, left – Whatever it Takes Poster
Row 1, right – Reaching Hands Enamel Pendant Layered Necklace
Row 2, left – Hands and Heart Personalised Enamel Pendant in Silver
Row 2, right – The Time is Now Enamel Pin Badge
Row 3, left – Mama Bear Enamel Pin Badge
Row 3, right – Magic is Real Enamel Lapel Pin
Row 4, left – Camouflage Cat Pattern Poster
Row 4, right – Many Moons Scarf Blue/Mustard
DSCOUNT: 30% off selected items (discount already applied). Ends 11:59pm Monday 26th November (UK time)
PRICES START AT: £8.00 (of those items pictured) – ships internationally
WHAT THEY SELL: Something a bit different to your average Christmas present… this would make a REALLY unique gift. Whether you want to get someone a wardrobe detox, personal shopping service or online styling, a gift voucher for Lauren’s styling services can be used in person (London area) or online, so there’s no need for the recipient to travel to her. I’ve recommended people to Lauren before and they’ve been so happy with what she did for them, and I’ve personally worked with her in the past and she is a HOOT. The experience alone would be so much fun, and you get to sort out your wardrobe at the same time: It’s a win win…!
PRICES START AT: a £50.00 gift voucher.
7. REW Clothing and their sister site It Was From
WHAT THEY SELL: Rew scarves are totally unique. Saving the need to “style” a scarf, a Rew scarf is basically a stunning ruffle collar fastening with a simple button or buckle. There are a ton of different colour options and as they’re not trend-led, they’ll be a classic piece for years to come (I have a mustard yellow Rew which I’ll be styling on the blog soon). And its sister site It Was From sells equally bold jewellery and a few homewares, but it’s the necklaces and bracelets – in materials such as metal and rubber – that really catch my eye. Very affordable, too.
Row 1, left – Fleece Polka Dot Collar
Row 1, right – Rubber Knot Detail Necklace
Row 2, left – Chunky Disc Bracelet
Row 2, right – Francoise Wool Collar Scarf
Row 3, left – Fleece Leopard Brown Scarf
Row 3, right – Long Rubber Layer Disc Necklace
Row 4, left – Asymmetric Short Rubber Necklace
Row 4, right – Minstral Green With Black Stitching Collar Scarf
DISCOUNT: 10% off everything at Rew. Code: NOTDRESSEDASLAMB. Ends 11:59pm Sunday 25th November
PRICES START AT: £40.00 for scarves and £15.00 for jewellery (of those items pictured) – ships internationally
WHAT THEY SELL: Gifts that are described as “a bear hug in a box” – a box of gifts that you personalise and assemble yourself with your choice of gifts from their range, such as mugs, books, chocolate, biscuits, accessories, etc. You can either build your own or choose one of their “ready-to-go bearhugs”. I was sent one of these earlier this year when I had my operation (thank you Vicki!), and I loved it so much I actually then bought one for my parents to say thank you for looking after me while I recuperated (Keith couldn’t get time off work). The presentation is beautiful – I highly recommend this as a gift for parents, grandparents, neighbours – or the person that has everything.
DISCOUNT: 15% off when you buy two or more gift boxes, code: MULTIPLEHUGS. Or sign up to their newsletter and get a 10% discount code.
PRICES START AT: £5.00 (of those items pictured) – ships internationally
9. Etsy fine artists (various)
WHAT THEY SELL: Original artworks – I’ve featured not just one artist but one painting from eight different artists (and I’ve tried to cover all tastes, not just my own). As art is such a personal thing I’d recommend only buying something for someone you know REALLY well, or you could drop hints about a piece that you love as a gift for yourself. I haven’t chosen anything particularly “cheap” – the artworks here cost from £60.00 to £395.00 – but I personally think that if you find something you fall in love with, it’s worth every penny (you will treasure it forever). There’s nothing better than hanging original art in your home, especially when you can see the brushstrokes… it’s a feeling you just can’t get from a print.
Row 1, left – Expressionist Flower Painting: Oil on Canvas by BrambleArt
Row 1, right – Silver Shores, Daymer Bay, Cornwall: Mixed Media on Deep Canvas by MelanieMcDonaldArt
Row 2, left – Zantedeschia Lily: Acrylic Painting by KirstyDougallArt
Row 2, right – Circus Wooden Sign: Handpainted Chipboard by SignPaintingByDawn
Row 3, left – Meadow painting: Acrylic on Canvas by PaintingsByGary
Row 3, right – Untitled: Oil on Canvas Board, Framed by BartleyartStudio
Row 4, left – The Middle Pillar: Mixed Media on Wood by VeeohhVeeohh
Row 4, right – Fish Still Life: Oil Painting, Framed by SteveJonesArtStudio
PRICES START AT: £60.00 (of those items pictured) – ships internationally