This year has been especially tough on small businesses, so it's more important than ever to show your support. Ahead of the busy shopping season, we asked our community to nominate their favourite independent brands to shop and compiled them into this handy gift guide. Discover the small businesses worth every penny.
Whether it’s inspiring a side-hustle or simply a beautiful addition to a coffee table, books are always a thoughtful gift. Here are some of our favourites:
This picturesque bookstore on Lambs Conduit reprint neglected fiction and non-fiction with a focus on female authors.
Shop online or visit 59 Lamb's Conduit Street, London, WC1N 3NB
Round Table Books
This award-winning children's bookshop started as a pop-up in the heart of Brixton. Now in a permanent space, they publish and sell children’s books that feature BAME characters.
Shop online or visit 97 Granville Arcade, Coldharbour Lane, London, SW9 8PS
This is one for the artists. Donlon Books is a Hackney staple with a cutting-edge collection of the latest art, photography, culture books and zines.
Shop online or visit 75 Broadway Market, London, E8 4PH
Cafe Con Libros
An independent space dedicated to the stories of womxn and girls of all identities. Choose their book subscription for a gift that keeps on giving.
Shop online or visit 724 Prospect Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11216
New York’s much loved independent, with four stores across the city. If you’re planning to visit in-person, make sure you chat to their expert staff – they love to give their recommendations.
Shop online or visit their stores in Nolita, Williamsburg, Seaport & Downtown Brooklyn.
In the era of the DM, the written word is more meaningful than ever. For the distinguished individual in your life, something as simple as a quality pen or personalised stationery can mean a great deal. Here are some of our favourite independent businesses to buy from:
Tucked behind London’s iconic Seven Dials, this is a go-to for intricately designed pens, pencils and art supplies. Ideal for creative stocking-fillers.
Shop online or visit 21 Tower Street, London WC2H 9NS
CW Pencil Enterprise
This store began as a celebration of the humble pencil. Now, they stock a menagerie of ethically manufactured brands on the Lower East Side.
Shop online or visit 15 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002
Learn a unique skill for life with an online calligraphy class. Choose from a Beginner or Improver course, and everything you need will arrive in time for your session.
Present & Correct
Founded by two graphic designers, Present & Correct specialise in curating beautifully designed stationery – new and vintage.
Founded by third-generation printers and sister Amy Salvini Swanson and Beth Salvini, Greenwich Letterpress craft personalised stationery and cards with a sustainable focus. Their press is powered by wind energy and they only use 100% recycled paper and soy-based inks.
Shop online or visit 15 Christopher Street, New York, NY 10014
Whether you’re looking for a stand-out piece to treasure forever, or an everyday staple, here are our picks for the indie labels to buy from:
I AND ME
This conscious fashion brand produces high quality denim womenswear and menswear in limited runs. Act now before they sell out.
Leimert Park Threads
Favoured by the likes of Beyonce, Leimert Park Threads draws inspiration from the urban L.A. community and the black experience. Check out their iconic ‘COLORED’ collection.
For one-of-a-kind looks that stand out, look no further than Manon Planche. Each piece of clothing is made from upcycled fabrics, so no two of these mad-cap designs are the same.
Drawing inspiration from Britain’s rich heritage of music, fashion and culture, Nicolas Daley’s unique designs won Space for Ideas 2020.
Demond & Dempsey
Pyjamas are a go-to Christmas gift for many, but Desmond & Dempsey’s patterned pieces go a cut above.
Mindfully made in East London, this sustainable fashion brand is designed with comfort in mind – without neglecting its timeless style.
Shop online or visit 258 Hackney Road, London, E2
Thanks to a new generation of online curators, more people are able to get access to the world of art than ever before. Here are some of our top places to discover exceptional art:
Featuring artists from around the world, IOTA makes discovering amazing art as easy as pressing a button. For budding art collectors, opt for their subscription service that delivers art straight to their door.
Monochromatic prints and striking ceramics follow the adventures and escapades of Rabbit, from the mind of artist Joanna Ham.
With a focus on female artists, Partnership Editions exists to make the typically esoteric world of art accessible to all.
Each piece made by Maisie Utting is hand-dyed and stitched in the North-east of England. Her patchwork studies and cards would make the perfect quirky addition to your mantelpiece.
Think art has to be expensive? Think again. Uprise Art have curated an awe-inspiring selection of pieces under $800, from just $80.
The way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach – especially at this time of the year. With this in mind, here’s our pick of the independent food businesses to buy from:
Grape & Fig
Founded by sisters Toria and Catherine, Grape & Fig is the UK’s finest grazing tables service. Book now for a show stopping holiday spread.
Based in Reading, founder Karishma draws inspiration from her Indian heritage and British upbringing to bring innovative flavours to organic home bakes.
Made with just pure cocoa powder and natural cane sugar, London Chocolate is made right in the heart of Canary Wharf.
Pop Up Grocer
The store that made shopping for groceries cool. Featuring a constantly rotating stock of indie food brands, catch them as they pop up across the States.
It started when founders Anna and Rebecca had fresh bread at a dinner party. Hundreds of loaves later, they developed the Dough Dealer kit, a pack with everything you need to make your own delicious bread from home.
Drinks & Alcohol
Whether you’re a booze-lover or a tee-totaller, there’s a variety of indie drinks brands to discover in this gift list:
Inspired by the Mediterannean culture of ‘Aperitivo’, GHIA is a non-alcoholic adaptation for modern times. All the flavour, no headaches the next morning.
One for the whisky-lovers. Although the store is situated on the up-market Chiltern Street, Cadenhead’s is Scotlaland’s oldest independent bottler of fine whisky. Taste it for yourself.
Shop online or visit 26 Chiltern Street, London, W1U 7QF
If you’re not part of the match craze, here’s your chance. Although Jenki is usually a pop-up bar, they sell their powder online. Perfect for whipping up a smoothie, tea, or latte.
Coined ‘the new bar cart staple’, Haus brings delicious low-alcohol recipes to its range of spirits. Join their subscription service for a monthly top-up.
Support Brooklyn’s only craft brewery and distillery. Inspired by the music and art of their creative community, their latest collaboration is with international rap duo Run The Jewels.
Shop online or visit 942 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY, 11211
This year, we’ve spent more time in our homes than ever. What better excuse to introduce some new pieces into your every day? From artisanal pottery to hand-carved vases, here are the independent brands that should be on your gifting list:
A sustainable light and sound studio workshop based in London, Concept Object specialise in making the ordinary into something extraordinary.
Everything from this store is made by the Glasgow-based Cath. Her quirky pottery is an ideal addition to every home: for the kitchen table and mantlepiece alike.
Grain & Knot
London-based Sophie Sellu’s woodwork collections often sell out, and for good reason. Each vase, brush and item is carefully designed and carved. If you see something in stock, act fast.
Hand of Gaia
This mother-run business was created to bring African culture to a contemporary audience. They effortlessly weave this rich heritage with beautiful everyday homeware pieces.
Yard + Parish
Founded by cousins Alesha and Samantha, Yard + Parish is a curated online shopping experience for the ‘modern Island girl’, inspired by their love for their Caribbean heritage.
Wellness & Beauty
After an unpredictable year, it’s never been more important to pay attention to our mental and physical health. Here’s a list of our favourite wellness brands to support this shopping season:
Bringing ‘self-care’ for the mandem, Temple was founded after many sub-standard attempts by big brands to develop cosmetics for black men. Developed with care and covering a range of needs, their products make for thoughtful stocking fillers.
Founded in Australia, Lune brings essential oils to a conscious audience. Their natural products are ideal gifts, including soy candles, room mist & aromatherapy products.
Self Care Co.
The power of aromatherapy lies at the heart of the Self Care Co. Their small batch runs of candles are specifically designed to combat the effects of stress, anxiety and low moods.
The winner of Space for Ideas 2020, Maude is bringing the concept of sexual wellness to the world. Design-driven and with optimal pleasure in mind, expect natural lubricants and discreetly-designed personal massagers.
Our Lovely Goods
This family-run business is passionate about creating homeware that’s good for the home and the environment. Check out their range of beautiful soy wax candles.
Developed by a paediatric nurse, Space for Ideas winner Nursem was designed to bring care to the hardest working hands. What’s more, for every product purchased, Nursem provide a month’s worth of hand care for NHS workers.
Our selection of kids gifts are sure to inspire and excite in the same way, all with the knowledge that you’re supporting an independent brand:
This kidswear brand inspires kids to go outside, instead of staying inside on their mobile phones. Made for kids who are wild at heart, their designs feature everything from lions to unicorns.
Ideal for kids from 4 to 40, Sculpt’s boxes contain everything you need to transform your living room into a pottery studio.
A totally unique gift that keeps on giving. Twice a month, Banjo Robinson the magical cat will send a letter from amazing places around the world. This is sure to spark their imagination.
Previous Space for Ideas winners Primo Toys are teaching children as young as three to code. Check out their Cubetto toy to find out how.