I have always been a firm hater of Black Friday…and I’m not ashamed to say it! But it wasn’t until I stumbled upon an Instagram post by the Queen that is Mary Portas, that it occurred to me why I dislike the discount bonanza so much. She reminded me that Black Friday discounts encourage us to lose our minds (see people fighting over flatscreen tvs etc..) and do nothing to lift up and shout about the small, local and independent businesses which bring so much joy and value to our lives. To quote from her post ‘Remember as we get bombarded with the consumerist push of Black Friday and forget that the value in our lives is more than just a promotional discount; Every pound you spend is a vote of how you want to live.’
So, instead of joining the noise and trying to promote some insane discount that doesn’t align with my ideas for the festive season, I have pulled together a list of my favourite businesses who are doing things differently!
I am inspired by each of these businesses and the women who run them. I was keen to share with you some of the businesses which hold similar values to Wild Strings and hopefully point you in the direction of where to pick up some beautiful Christmas gifts – or even a treat for yourself – this shopping season.
So grab yourself a cuppa, pop some Christmas tunes on and let me introduce you to a wonderful bunch of businesses.
In the beautiful setting of seaside Cornwall, Luci creates a range of prints and homewares inspired by her day-to-day life.
Each product is designed from scratch by Luci and has all the hallmarks of her endearing style. I already have a handful of Hand & Palm prints on my studio walls and have a wish list a mile long; her new blankets and cushions would make the perfect Christmas gift. All art is printed on 100% recycled paper which means it’s planet happy as well as home happy!
Hand & Palm pieces are an absolute treat, and you can check out all of Luci’s work here.
The QUEEN of the scrunchie, Emma creates luxury accessories from reclaimed and vintage fabrics. BeauTie is the perfect place to pick up a gift for a loved one; be it a stunning scrunchie or a men’s bow tie, each carefully handmade to order especially for you.
A fellow lover of the charity shop fabric hunt, Emma brings joy with everything she creates, as well as with the community she builds online. If you don’t already, I truly recommend giving her a follow as she will brighten up your darkest days.
Emma is a true inspiration and her creations at BeauTie are available to shop here.
Give the gift of self-care this year with Thalia’s wonderful candle and book subscriptions. At Botany and Books, candles are inspired by the pages of your favourite books and give you a truly indulgent escapism experience.
Thalia believes in the importance of giving our minds a break with escapism, so she created these beautiful candle and book sets – I have a candle subscription already and truly love having it turn up to my door each month! Botany and Books is run with sustainability at its core and every book is sourced second-hand too – you know I love second-hand here at Wild Strings!
Take a look at Botany and Books’ Christmas shop here.
Becca creates incredible, retro inspired embroidery, kits and prints with the help (and mischief) of Bonzo the cat, at Sew Funkadelic.
I found Sew Funkadelic on Instagram just over a year ago and have been in awe of Becca’s talent and creativity ever since – mixing 60s and 70s graphics with funky fabrics to create truly unique art. The Sew Funkadelic embroidery kits are the perfect gift for that crafty friend who you’re never quite sure what to buy for!
Sew Funkadelic pieces are an absolute joy and you can have a look at the whole selection here.
Creating stunning jewellery inspired by Earth’s untouched beauty, Oggie and Co is the place to go for unique and handmade pieces, perfect for that special someone in your life.
Oggie and Co jewellery features a selection of raw diamonds, gemstones & sea glass and, much like each stone, each piece is entirely unique. My absolute favourite is the Kyanite cigar band ring – so beautifully simple. Oggie and Co believe in quality over quantity and create unconventional jewellery which can be cherished forever.
You can check out Oggie and Co’s stunning collection here.
With a scent for every version of you, Dani creates wonderful, high-quality candles, reed diffusers and room sprays. Every scent is bespoke to Dani Ledo and created by Dani herself, using eco-friendly ingredients and minimal packaging.
I currently have the Sleep (lavender & cotton) Candle in my bedroom, and it is the most relaxing and soothing scent. I really recommend Dani’s candles – such high quality and beautifully packaged – and think they would make the perfect stocking filler!
You can take a look at the full selection here.
With The Eco-Friendly Living Company, Joanne aims to encourage more families to ditch single-use plastic and switch to more sustainable alternatives! With a huge variety of eco-friendly products, you’re bound to find an eco-friendly gift for everyone on your list this year; the Pamper Gift Set is a great example. A one-stop shop for a sustainable Christmas, Joanne also offers eco gift wrap and cards too!
I truly admire everything The Eco-Friendly Living Co. stands for and Joanne’s mission to create a more sustainable world for us all is so inspiring.
Have a look at the Christmas range here.
A fellow slow fashion advocate, Holly creates clothing and accessories using preloved and deadstock fabrics within an old textiles mill in Huddersfield. Sustainability is at the heart of everything Holly does, and each product is considered and created with an incredible attention to detail.
This year, Holly is allowing you to get involved in creating your own Pocket masterpiece with her Stocking Sewing Kits. The perfect opportunity to get in the festive spirit and crack the sewing machine out - a great combo if you ask me!
Always inspiring and innovating, check out Holly’s beautiful Pocket creations here.
Offering a wonderful selection of jewellery and accessories, Kate restores vintage jewellery to its former beauty and repurposes vintage and deadstock fabrics into scrunchies.
Seeing beauty in the pieces that have been previously loved, Kate believes that we can all be a little eco-friendlier by upcycling and shopping second-hand.
Piece-A-Kate also plants a tree with every order so you can rest assured that your order is doing good!
Of course – I couldn’t resist adding a cheeky extra and a bit of self-promo too!
At Wild Strings, my mission is to create and upcycle clothing which gives us more connection to the clothes we wear and slow down our consumption. Each of my pieces comes with its own personal history – that is the joy of using second-hand materials.
I am relaunching the best-selling Hawthorn corded jackets on Wednesday 24th November & they would be the perfect Christmas gift for someone you love. Each jacket is upcycled by hand, using embroidery to breathe new life into these previously unwanted jackets.
I hope you’ve enjoyed finding out more about these wonderful businesses and that this round-up has inspired you to shop small and independent this Black Friday and for the remainder of the festive season. Please go check out these businesses and share the love this Christmas!