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43 Small UK Businesses To Buy From This Christmas

As chosen by Bustle UK's writers & editors.

Afton By Palm / Grow Urban / Bonita Ivie
By Bustle UK
Updated: 

It goes without saying that this year has been tough on everyone, and for small businesses owners more so. Independent, privately-owned brands depend on loyal customer support, and given that the high street and hospitality sectors have been forced to close for much of the year, a lot of them are struggling to cope. One key way to show your support for small brands is to forgo well-known stores and corporations this festive season and put your money into indies. These small UK businesses to buy from this Christmas will be most grateful for your decision to contribute and help keep them going.

Our writers and editors have come together to pick their absolute favourite small businesses, spanning across a variety of regions and sectors. These include small fashion and accessory brands, from underwear favourite Dora Larsen, to hair accessories newbie Tort. The edit also covers cafés and hospitality businesses, which are offering new ways to show your love this Christmas, from vouchers to at-home food goodies. Then there's some great independent art and decor brands like PotYerTitsAwayLuv and Sophie King, which will help you outfit your home in a totally unique way.

Whatever you're looking for this Christmas or whoever you're buying for, make it something from a small business or indie brand, who depend on your support in order to continue to stay open and thrive. Here are our favourites.

Homeware & Stationary

Bespoke Binny

I’ve had my eye on Bespoke Binny’s African Print lampshades for sometime, so hopefully Christmas 2020 finally makes it happen. Founded by Natalie Manima, Bespoke Binny offers bedding, pillow cases, tableware and more in African print fabric — ideal for those who reject minimalism and prefer bold, vibrant colour. – chosen by L'Oréal Blackett

Shop Bespoke Binny.

Object Style

Husband and wife team Alex and Rachael Otterwell opened the dream store in Manchester in 2017, back when I first fell deep into my Scandi interiors phase. I’ve been obsessed ever since. From beautiful ceramics to aesthetically pleasing candles, Object Style curates stunning home and lifestyle pieces. Trust me, your interiors Instagram page will thank you. – chosen by L'Oréal Blackett

Shop Object Style.

PotYerTitsAwayLuv

These wonderful tit pots come in all shapes, sizes, and shades and make for the most perfect plant holders. Emma’s limited handmade pots are available to purchase on her website for £50 and you can also commission Emma to make one of your own pair. Pre-made pots are quick to sell-out but I recommend following Emma’s Instagram page for updates. – chosen by L'Oréal Blackett

Shop Pot Yer Tits Away Luv.

Spilt Milk Press

This small online store is run by Bethany Mannion, who takes your favourite movies and gives them a millennial pink makeover. Her Lady Bird piece has pride of place in my living room. – chosen by Alice Broster

Shop Spilt Milk Press.

Still London

IMO, Still offers the best nail art in East London. For those who live in the area or around, booking in for an appt in the lead up to Christmas, or buying a voucher for a loved one is a great way to support. However, Still also has a great beauty and wellness range you can shop online, meaning it's accessible to everyone in the UK. I love their trio of earthy candles. — chosen by Rebecca Fearn

Shop Still.

Bonita Ivie

Bonita Ivie’s founder Bonita Ebuehi, a self-taught graphic designer and self-confessed stationery addict (I can relate), spreads pure joy with the bold, vibrant patterns – also known as “ankara” – on notebooks, cards, and homewares. – chosen by Orla Pentelow

Shop Bonita Ivie.

Bable

Bable's hand-painted tapered dinner candles will take your table-scaping to a whole new level. Be warned – new designs sell out fast, so you'll have to keep your ear to the ground. — chosen by Rebecca Fearn

Shop Bable.

Ciao Chiara

You might recognise English-Italian illustrator Chiara Perano from her days as a calligraphy guru (she – excuse the pun – penned the best-selling immersive guidebook Nib + Ink) but now she’s turned to one of her other (many) talents with her collection of illustrated homewares and art prints. I can’t get enough of her stylised cocktail recipe posters. – chosen by Orla Pentelow

Shop Ciao Chiara.

Hex and Ginger

Living by the motto “Do more than just take notes”, Hex and Ginger’s range is perfect for any stationary lover. They also sell accessories and lifestyle items including candles to totally deck out your workspace. — chosen by Sophie McEvoy

Shop Hex and Ginger.

Jive Prints

The designs from this Manchester-based brand are literally bursting with joy and guaranteed to be a winner with any arty friends of yours. Their tote bags and postcards are so cute but I'm all about this stationary. I mean, they're nice enough for me to actually start using a to-do list. — chosen by Rowena Henley

Shop Jive Prints.

Oh Squirrel

I’m a sucker for some creative calligraphy. Throw in a down to earth quote and a selection of modern hues and I’m sold. Oh Squirrel’s range of stationery and homeware fits in the gifting sweet spot of chic without being too saccharine, or as one loyal customer wonderfully described it recently: “feel good, down to earth, a twist of 'fancy' without being wanky”. Sign me up. – chosen by Orla Pentelow

Shop Oh Squirrel.

Coven of Witches

Founded by “Britain’s most famous witch” Sybil Leek, Coven of Witches can be found in the ancient village of Burley in the New Forest. Shrouded in mystery and witchcraft, this store is obviously dedicated to all things occult and magical. They even have a Christmas collection currently on sale, which includes beautiful ornaments and other spellbinding items. — chosen by Sophie McEvoy

Shop Coven of Witches.

Black & Beech

This Wales-based brand offers knitwear, t-shirts, books, jewellery, and stationary with empowering designs and bold colours. Their key tenants are about celebrating feminism and motherhood, meaning they're perfect for any mums in your life. Plus their Christmas decorations are the perfect way to liven up your tree this year. — chosen by Rowena Henley

Shop Black & Beech.

Display Frames

A framed picture really is one of the most personal gifts you can give, and this small, Glasgow-based framing company is perfect for those looking to invest in something special. Shop one of their designs via the website or sign up for a bespoke service to find the ideal frame or mount for your image. — chosen by Rowena Henley

Shop Display Frames.

Grow Urban

When all else fails, a plant is the perfect go-to gift. Who doesn't love a plant?! There are thousands of independent plant shops across the UK (see here), but Grow Urban is ideal for anyone living in Edinburgh or nearby. Their plants are some of the healthiest I've ever laid eyes on and the friendly staff are always on-hand to offer tips to keep them that way. — chosen by Rowena Henley

Shop Grow Urban.

Fashion, Accessories & Beauty

Afton By Palm

This year, most of my Christmas gifts have been bought from Afton By Palm. This brand has everything you would want in a small business: beautiful, bespoke pieces of jewellery and homeware; an affordable price range; and wonderful customer service from owner Bonnisa Moore, who makes sure each and every customer feels special. — chosen by Rowena Henley

Shop Afton By Palm.

Lora Gene

Simple, stylish, and most importantly sustainable, contemporary women’s label Lora Gene is the perfect brand for those who appreciate ethical luxury. Founded by designer Lora Gene, the brand’s collaborators include Aja Barber, a leading voice in sustainability — the biggest seal of approval. A great gift would be the brand’s silk maxi dress slip (£129), complete with silk eye mask (£29.00) and pillow case. – chosen by L'Oréal Blackett

Shop Lora Gene.

Beatnik Emporium

Southampton’s Beatnik Emporium is the place for vintage clothes, whether you’re after distressed band tees or all the denim you could ever dream of. The store also sells second hand vinyl, many of which have found a home in my own collection. — chosen by Sophie McEvoy

Shop Beatnik Emporium.

July Child

When I first met Sinead Flood, the self-professed ‘metal head’ had a dynamic ring on every finger. It was no surprise to learn that she is the founder of July Child, a bold online store for fun, unique jewellery pieces. Flood stocks off-the-grid cult brands sourced from New York to New Zealand and champions independent creators. – chosen by L'Oréal Blackett

Shop July Child.

Tort

Tort began with a handful of followers and a few piece, and the small indie hair accessory brand has gone from strength to strength ever since, reaching 11k followers on Instagram and featuring in the biggest fashion publications you can think of. Their clips, combs, and bands are designed for all hair types, and come in the most covetable designs. The new glittery clips are on my Christmas list. — chosen by Rebecca Fearn

Shop Tort.

Zesttt For Life

This black-owned jewellery shop is the perfect place if you’re looking for something a bit unique this Christmas. Grab some real dried fruit earrings and hair clips made from limes, lemons, strawberries, kiwis, and even guavas. They’re dehydrated and then dipped in resin, adding a glossy finish and preserving the fruits. – chosen by Niellah Arboine

Shop Zesttt For Life.

Katie Mullally

Katie Mullally developed her passion for unique silver jewellery after working at her grandmother’s antique shop in London. She clearly had an eye for excellent pieces and recognised the importance of quality and heritage. Her pieces have strong design links to her Irish roots and I defy you to find anything similar. – chosen by Alice Broster

Shop Katie Mullally.

Lara Intimates

Lara Intimates isn’t just undeniably cool. The ethos behind the company set up by London College of Fashion graduates Faith Leeves and Cindy Liberman is inclusive to its core. After leaving school, Faith and Cindy wanted to create a line of lingerie which wasn’t just sustainable and comfortable but that would make the person wearing it feel powerful. They have their own all-female factory in London and offer an incredibly wide range of sizes and styles.– chosen by Alice Broster

Shop Lara Intimates.

Lion/ne

Lion/ne is a first of its kind skincare consultation service that pre-lockdown offered in-person appointments in their London clinics, but hopped onto Zoom earlier this year to offer digital services for all across the UK. Ran by skincare experts Megan Felton and Ksenia Selivanova, the brand delivers one-on-one consultations followed by personalised skincare prescriptions and check ups to help you get your best skin yet. Know someone who's suffering with their skin? Book them in for a consultation for the new year. — chosen by Rebecca Fearn

Shop Lion/ne.

Stellar 79

I'm a huge fan of mid-range jewellery brands, and I truly believe here in the UK we have some of the absolute best. Stellar 79 really does design the most special pieces for fans of astrology and ethically sourced gemstones. The two sisters behind the brand, Natasha and Sheena, truly are the sweetest angels too. Go support them! — chosen by Rebecca Fearn

Shop Stellar-79.

Clay’d Bare

It wasn’t even Clay’d Bare’s signature polymer clay earrings that initially caught my attention, but it's gorgeous terrazzo trinket dishes. Of course, the earrings came next and I couldn’t not click ‘Follow’. Designed, created and baked in East London, Naomi Donn’s delightful designed earrings are just what you need to brighten any Zoom call this festive season. – chosen by Orla Pentelow

Shop Clay'd Bare.

Mini’s World

Why not get some fabulous pieces from Mini, a Black business owner creating a new space within the sustainable fashion industry? From high-wasted Levi’s jeans to baggy tees, she’s got all your vintage fashion needs. It’s the ideal gift for the fashionista in your life, or maybe just a treat for yourself. – chosen by Niellah Arboine

Shop Mini’s World.

Sophie King

Artist Sophie King’s work is pretty legendary on Instagram, especially to millennial women who want to champion strength, independence, and major boundaries. Her stickers, prints, and t-shirts are covered in empowering quotes and messages such as, ‘maybe she’s not crazy, maybe you’re gaslighting her?’ Honestly, need I say more… Pick some bits up for your best girl friends this Christmas. — chosen by Rebecca Fearn

Shop Sophie King.

Bug Clothing

Bug clothing has handmade, consciously designed pieces that will be perfect for your most stylish friends. The price tags are hefty, but these are investment pieces your friends will wear for life. Think breathable materials, floaty designs, and lots and lots of gingham. — chosen by Rowena Henley

Shop Bug Clothing.

Dora Larsen

Dora Larsen underwear is just the prettiest you could find, and despite really taking off in recent years, they are still a relatively small, independent brand that relies on continued customer sales. As well as the absolutely beautiful designs, I love Dora Larsen for their ongoing commitment to using models of all shapes and sizes; this makes their website and Instagram a far more inclusive, inviting place where everyone feels welcome. — chosen by Rebecca Fearn

Shop Dora Larsen.

Narloa

In my opinion, skincare and smellies are always a good gift idea. But put down the Boots 3 for 2 and cast your eyes over to Narloa instead. No artificial fragrances, no parabens and no toxic chemicals, just pure botanical power to create natural, hand-crafted skincare. Not to mention the beautifully chic packaging. – chosen by Orla Pentelow

Shop Narloa.

Aff & Jam

By far my favourite discovery of 2020, Aff & Jam have unspeakably beautiful clothing and homeware pieces. Lots of their products are one-of-a-kind, meaning your gift will come with that extra special touch. Prices are on the more expensive side but, once you see these designs, you'll understand why they're worth investing in. — chosen by Rowena Henley

Shop Aff & Jam.

Laura Bond

If the last few years are anything to go by, the trend of layering up to create the perfect “curated ear” is going nowhere, and Laura Bond is here to lend a helping hand. Taking Instagram by storm in just over a year since launching in 2019, the Edinburgh-based brand specialises in affordable solid gold pieces for cartilage piercings. - Chosen by Orla Pentelow

Shop Laura Bond.

WexBaby

I came across WexBaby looking for a gift for my mum-to-be friend, but stayed for the illustrated, funny collection. Ideal for nieces and nephews (both biological and honorary), the French-inspired brand features cute creations with a sophisticated edge. You’d be forgiven if one of the adult-sized sweatshirts *accidentally* lands in your shopping basket. – chosen by Orla Pentelow

Shop Wex Baby.

Food & Drink

Canary Girl Coffee

As far as I’m concerned nothing screams love like the gift of coffee and cool wall art. Canary Girl Coffee is found in Glasgow and opened in 2019. Their bio reads that the whole operation is “Inspired by and in honour of powerful women” as in 2019 founder Robbie Gray took the plunge to open with the bravery and resilience of his great grandmother at the front of his mind. They sell beautiful coffee sets and prints.– chosen by Alice Broster

Shop Canary Girl Coffee.

Chai Guys

I'm a big lover of chai, and it's about this time of year when the hot, cinnamony drink reaches peak enjoyment levels. There are actually a few great small brands to buy from if you want to make your own from home this year, including Aura Chai, and my other favourite, Chai Guys. Their tins of chai make great stocking fillers. — chosen by Rebecca Fearn

Shop Chai Guys.

Pophams Home

With two locations in Hackney and Islington, Pophams is known for its excellent coffee and inventive pastries, and — like many in the hospitality sector — will undoubtedly have taken a hit in 2020. One way to support the business this festive season is to shop from their Pophams Home collection, which boasts a beautiful range of super cool homeware for the kitchen and beyond. — chosen by Rebecca Fearn

Shop Pophams.

Gimme Brownies

If you've got a few foodies on your list this year, why not give the gift of handmade, melt-in-the-mouth brownies? This Edinburgh-based bakery delivers UK-wide and their recipes incorporate the nation's favourite snacks: Jammie Dodgers, Mini Eggs, Oreos, Reese's Pieces, Crunchies, and so many more. Plus there are gluten free and vegan options too! — chosen by Rowena Henley

Shop Gimmie Brownies.

Books

Round Table Books

Need some adorable presents for the kids in your life? Look no further. Round Table Books in Brixton, London, stocks books written by, for and about Black people. With children’s books 8 times more likely to have animals as main characters than black, Asian, or minority ethnic protagonists, it’s really important all children are reading books about Black kids. – chosen by Niellah Arboine

Shop Round Table Books.

Daunt Books

As someone who always has a book in their bag and their sights on their next read Daunt Books Marylebone captured my heart as soon as I walked in. The independent bookshop is architecturally so beautiful it’s like a church full of books. If you’re wanting to purchase a book as a gift for a loved one or yourself then Daunt Books are still delivering and well worth checking out.– chosen by Alice Broster

Shop Daunt Books.

New Beacon

New Beacon specialises in African & Caribbean literature and should absolutely be on your radar for book buying this year. Whether you're looking to pick up Bernadine Evaristo's latest work, one of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's award-winning novels, a non-fiction text from Akala, or something from an author flying more under-the-radar, New Beacon will have it – and at a very reasonable price. – chosen by Rowena Henley

Shop New Beacon.

P&G Wells

Nestled behind Winchester Cathedral, P&G Wells has been serving the city for nearly 200 years. For fans of Jane Austen, it’s a must-visit as the beloved author was a frequent visitor and even lived two doors down from the bookstore. — chosen by Sophie McEvoy

Shop P&G Wells.

Gay’s The Word

Founded in 1979, the world-famous Gay’s The Word bookshop is a one-stop-shop for all your LGBTQ+ literary wants and needs. Whether you’re looking for something new like Patrice Lawrence's new book Eight Pieces of Silva or some classic Oscar Wilde, you’ll find it all in this historical independent bookshop. – chosen by Niellah Arboine

Shop Gay's The Word.

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