It’s that time of year guys… we are fast approaching the biggest shopping weekend of the year: Black Friday is coming.

Which means, in my bid to support the little guys out there, who really struggle to compete with the big guns out there, at this time of year… I usually publish a Small Business Gift Guide as an anti-black Friday ‘protest’ I suppose.

Black Friday is all good and well if you’re making a large ‘white goods’ type of ‘necessity’ purchase, but… there’s something about it… the marketing push to ‘buy, buy, buy!’ which has never sat well with me.

However… in my bid to slow down… I wasn’t sure whether or not I should put my usual Small Indie Gift Guide together at all this year.

Plus, there’s the danger of repetition from previous years – everything from my 2018 Small Indie Gift Guide is still valid.

At times like this, I ask myself what would the ‘Fab Four’ (George, John, Paul and Ringo…) do?

Well, *they* would…get by with a little help from their friends, wouldn’t they?

So, I dropped a random selection of 20 or so, fellow Instagrammers a line, asking them for a Small Indie Business recommendation for this year’s gift guide.

I didn’t stipulate that the brand *had* to be a sustainable brand, although as you will see, a fair few of the recommendations are..

And do you know what?

At this busy time of year, where we all have lots going on… most of them were kind enough to send me a link to their favourite small indie business & a sentence or two as to why they’ve chosen the brand.

I’m so grateful to all of them for helping me out.

{insert all the happy face emoji’s here… maybe even a little happy dancing GIF?!}

All of the ladies I got in touch with are a lovely supportive bunch, some I’ve met and become friends with in real life, others I haven’t met but they still feel like real-life friends.

So, in no particular order – here are their varied and lovely small indie picks…

Avril – A Life To Style


 Avril Recommends: Lines and Current –

This small Belfast based jewellery store, run by Rebekah – which Avril says “there is so much meaning and beauty in all of her pieces.

She is a busy mum and still has time to create the most stunning content on her feed. I love that you can mix the different pieces together to make it so individual for you. You can also mix gold & silver and have pieces engraved to make them more personal.

Prices are so good too!”
This Carrie Curb Chain Necklace (£38), though robust and chunky, is perfect in adding a simple bit of understated elegance to any outfit.
Available in Silver or Gold (18K plated)
But if I’m honest, its the  “I Haven’t Forgotten You, I promise” Tiny Feather Necklace, I promise” (£49) which really spoke to me: “inside a hand-twisted 14k gold plated twisted circle hangs a delicate little sterling silver feather suspended on a fine sterling silver chain”.
You can interpret the meaning to anything which is relevant to you and your life… Christmas is often a tricky time of year for many, especially for those who may have experienced a loss at this time of year.
As Avril says, these jewellery pieces really are very beautiful and the meanings behind them, equally so.

Alex, who runs LYCC is very local to Sue, who “has watched Alex’s business grow from when I asked my readers to help with a little questionnaire about her candle business on one of my Friday Five blogposts; I’ve sat through her choosing her candle containers and watched her haul her backside up and down the country selecting suitable stockists.

Alex has used local talent for her photography, artwork and all the additional touches.

The all important product though – the candles (!) are made using natural ingredients: soy, coconut and beeswax – no artificial scents.

Alex works from her own little studio and pours every single candle herself”


This Midwinter candle (£32) is the perfect scent for this time of year – I was going to attempt to write my own description but this:

“MIDWINTER is our signature Christmas fragrance, blending zesty orange and mandarin, aromatic cinnamon, rich cardamom and sweet, spicy notes of ginger and star anise. It smells like coming home for the holidays, soothing the senses like a sip of mulled wine. Strike a match, batten down the hatches and enjoy its comforting fragrance well into the New Year.”

From Alex’s website is so perfectly written, and conjures up *ALL* the cosy Christmas feels…

On the other hand, if you prefer, Create will have me dreaming of summer and fill you with hope of what’s to come whilst we’re stuck in the bleak mid-winter…

All the scents sound heavenly!

HannahEn Brogue

hannahHannah’s recommendation:  Five Dot Botanics

Hannah says “I’d like to support my friend at Five Dot Botanics because I am genuinely buying it for my family this year!

My whole family has been discussing Christmas for months now, and how we all want to buy less and more responsibly for each other.

I’m going to be gifting various products from the Five Dot Botantics range – I absolutely love their ethos and the fact that the products are unisex makes it even easier!”

Five Dot Botanics is a natural skincare range, with just five ingredients per product.

I was lucky enough to win this Deep Feed Green Coffee and Cacay Nourishing Face Serum (£38) alongside a few other Five Dot Botanics products in a recent Instagram Giveaway and I’ve gotta say – I’m completely with Hannah on this one…

… I’ve been using this face serum for 3 full weeks now and have noticed the difference it’s made to my tired, stressed skin.

Likewise, the Full Bright Horse Chestnut and Caffeine Renewal Eye Serum (£30) is working wonders for my under eye dark circles… I’m trying to drink more water (always trying with this one, usually failing!) but I put the brightening of my ‘eye bags’ down to this serum.

Had Hannah not recommended this small biz… I would have selected it myself!


Dana says “My current favourite independent brand is Rebecca J Mills Designs who makes the most incredible active wear!

The prints and colours are amazing and I can completely vouch for thr comfort and quality as I wear all the time – they are the best I’ve tried!

Totally recommend them for an active person as a Christmas gift and I’ll be giving the kids ones to my kids this year!”


I couldn’t help but take a look at these leggings – Dana makes it out the house for a 5.30am cross fit class pretty much every day of the week, so she really does test her active wear to the max!

I attend just one measly, weekly 90 minute hot yoga class a week, which frankly, given the dynamic style of yoga that it is – is quite enough of a big sweat for me, but my really rubbish leggings (a few years old) have almost lost all elasticity and I’m forever hitching them up…

…plus my leggings are very boring and plain black.

I’m looking to invest in a new pair, but in truth I’m waiting for my current pair to actually fall apart so that I know I really did wear them out… before I buy a next pair.

I’ll definitely consider these Boutique print ones (£40) from Rebecca J Mills Designs – they’re gorgeous!

Matching Sports Bras (£46) are available as well.


Kathy’s jewellery recommendation, comes with strong Eco credentials – it really is ocean friendly jewellery, and a small business with storytelling at it’s heart from the 4 founders, Jessica H, Hayley, Hannah and Jessica G.

This Seahorse Pendant – with Blue Touramaline Eyes (£180)


… is a thing of beauty!

The seahorse, is the god of freshwater and the ocean in Roman mythology and Neptune was renowned for his violent temper: the pendant was named him in recognition of the awe-inspiring yet unpredictable nature of the sea.

This Tulip Shell Charm (£30 for silver or £40 for gold vermeil) would be a perfect gift for anyone who already has necklace / chains a plenty!

MichelleCurating Mi


Michelle recommends: The Positive Planners


Michelle has just published a Wellbeing blogpost this morning – which I’d urge you to have a read of because for those of us who are interested in making a positive change to our own daily routine, Michelle outlines exactly how she’s implemented such a routine, and all with the help of this Wellbeing Journal:


The Wellness Journal is £24 and full of ways to help nourish your mind, body and soul!

Michelle is finding that the planner provides her with the exact kind of structure she needs to keep motivated – a great way to bring positivity in your life!

TraceyA Snapshot of Me


Tracey recommends: Mia Lia

Of this lovely jewellery business, Tracey says “Mia Lia was one of the first brands I connected with when I started my Instagram account in 2016 and the first small business I ordered from.

I’d seen her iconic Mama necklace being worn by some of my favourite bloggers and I couldn’t wait to have my own!

Marie has such a cool aesthetic when it comes to her designs, gorgeous handmade pieces which are creatively different but incredibly wearable.

If you’re looking to gift someone a truly special piece of jewelry this Christmas, take a look at Mia Lia.

This brilliant shot was posted by Tracey on her Instagram, featuring the Mia Lia Birthstone Mama Necklace (£140 – this pic got reposted by Levi’s – good going, eh?!)
Mia Lia also happens to do some stunning arm candy – do go take a peek at her Bracelets!
Natalie recommends: Brown and Drury for candles.
brown and drury

Natalie says “Restoration is the perfect snuggle down winter scent”  with notes of sweet smoke and warm spices mingle with dark musks creating a relaxed vibe.

There’s a wide range of scents available  – with candles at £25, I’m rather partial to Pomegranate myself!

Tracey recommends:@face_matters

This is a small, independent brand that offer a small but beautiful range of skincare.Tracey says: “All completely natural, they test on humans in Hampshire, not animals.They do not use parabens, microbeads, sodium laurel sulphates, palm oil or any mineral oils and all their products are made locally.I love the All About Face Balm (£30) which I use as a pre-cleanser.Face_Balm_1_Square_1024x1024@2xIt’s delicious,  melts into the skin and is a pleasure to use – I look forward to washing my face!”Now Tracey gets to trial and test many skincare products via her blog – and if this is the *one* she’s picked for this blogpost… it has GOT to be a goodie!

Why not take  a look at the other couple of Face matters Skin Health products as well?

Caroline Recommends: Hannah Shucksmith JewelleryCaroline says: “Hannah champions good mental health via her jewellery brand, and is a mum of two little ones  and runs her business from home .She designs the jewellery, markets it, sells it…It’s made ethically in India – Hannah has been out there to see the suppliers.935739a936154d3f8d4f9d1395c2a489_1296x
This Macaron Bracelet in Champagne (£150) would be my recommend gift item… it’s designed so it can be inscribed.”

Having taken a peek myself, there are some beeeauuutiful Earrings on Hannah’s site!

SaraWellies and Champagne


Sara says “I love recognising and supporting independent brands on Instagram.
One of my favourites is Aspiga Beach …. a brand with its heart at sustainable & ethical fashion.
It’s a brand that delivers beautiful clothes and accessories whilst showcasing the talents of small workforces in Kenya & India.
Whilst helping to boost employment and encourage productivity in developing countries, Aspiga also focuses on helping to improve the environment in which people live. Their ‘Beach Clean up’ campaign in Kenya earlier this year was a big success!
It’s the hand beaded & embellished products from the Aspiga collection that really stand out and highlight the talents of their suppliers.
With Christmas just around the corner the Aspiga beaded crossbody bag is the perfect accessory to add a touch of sparkle to an outfit! It’s definitely a favourite of mine!”
With that recommendation – how can you not take a look?!

Ashley – Lazy Daisy Jones

Ashley Ashley recommends: ARK Skincare

Ashley’s top tip “would be my new found (real green) beauty brand ARK skincare .
They have a range for all ages and the quality of the products is superb. My fave is the Age Defy moisturiser.
arkThis is a Vegan friendly moisturiser which combats the signs of hormone loss such as dullness, dryness, uneven tone and loss of elasticity, specifically designed for ages 50+.
Sounds brill!

Abi – Steal My Style


Abi recommends: New Icons of Print

Abi has a couple of prints from this small indie which was started up by two Insta-friends whom both Abi and I got to know through the #mystylephotochallenge which we used to take part in when we first joined instagram!

(A great hashtag to get involved in if you’re new!)


Offering a wide range of typography prints – you can  buy a gift voucher if you’re indecisive about exactly what to go for!


Spot the CROYDON print in Abi’s hallway? Yup – that’s one she bought from them a while back.

Drop New Icon’s a line if you have anything specific in mind, they are super helpful.

Joanna  – Love Style 40


Joanna recommends: Tutti & Co
 Joanna says “They are local business to me that make Good quality, hand finished, affordable jewellery, hair accessories, scarfs, candies & homeware.
Everything comes in beautiful packaging and would make an ideal Xmas gift.
My favourite product would be the Atlantic Gold Bracelet (£38)”
It’s beautiful, isn’t it?!
Some equally beautiful hair accessories as well!

Sophia – Manchester Mama

SophiaSophia recommends: One Mama, One Shed


How cute is that? Your own engraved enamel mug!

I love it! And just £12 I think it’s a great little present.

In truth, Sophia recommended a few brands, but given this a already a bumper edition of a blogpost, I could only fit one in.


Chloe Loves to Shop


Chloe recommends: Stripe and Stare

Chloe says “They make the best, most comfortable knickers and are the perfect present for ladies in your life  – their line is completely sustainable and not horrendously expensive (but not cheap!)”

Now whilst you could go for Single Knickers at £15 a pop, I really rather like days of the week box (£80):


Which, when you break it down, isn’t too bad a value for good quality pants!

Kate – Wears My Money


Kate recommends: Kemi Telford

And says of the brand “it’s my favourite right now. They make the most amazing dresses at a great price  point. The corduroy one I bought the other week is my favourite and all her dresses have POCKETS!”

Kate’s wearing the Green Needle Cord Dress (£70).

I know Dana (and the Red Shoes) is a big fan of Kemi’s skirts and dresses as well.

Terri The Style Coop


Terri recommends: Melissa Curry Deisgns

Terri says “This is a favourite Indie Brand – an Irish Jewellery designer who creates fun and colourful pieces.

She also gives back to mental health charity Jigsaw, in Dublin through the sale or her Póg (which means Kiss in Irish!) bracelets and necklaces:


Her Little Bar of Success bracelets also make great gifts, designed to inspire, encourage and motivate in times of triumph and need.”

How lovely a little brand is that?!

Allie – The Style Allie


This is my insta friend Allie who I met, briefly a couple of years back at a meet-up in my old hometown of Bristol.

As we made our way back from the bar to Temple Meads, we decided to walk rather than grab a cab and Allie and I had a good half an hour natter – she was an advocate of sustainable second hand shopping even back then.

And now, her love of vintage and Charity shopping has led to Allie working for @scarletvintageretro where all profits are donated to @stclarehospice which provides free, compassionate care and support for adults with life-limiting illnesses across West Essex.

So why not take a peek at the beautifully hand selected vintage pieces @scarletvintageretro?

As much as I hate to use the term ‘on trend’ – this Cape from Scarlet Vintage Retro is just that – and beyond – it’s a classic:


I must thank Allie for highlighting you don’t always need to buy new for Xmas gifts: why not think vintage this year?!

If you spot anything, it can be paid for via PayPal and posted out to you.

AND FINALLY, a personal favourite which I may already have ordered for a couple of gifts for family, comes from…
Jenny recommends: Tony’s chocolonely
Jenny says “I’ve given it a great deal of thought – I wanted to choose a brand that is accessible to all, is eco friendly, supports good causes and could be bought for pretty much anyone so I’m going with Tony’s chocolonely who aim to make all chocolate slave free.
The packaging is super fun, and feels Christmassy, looks great under the tree, tastes amazing, does good and doesn’t cost the earth or add to the pile stuff we simply don’t need”
The big bars come in at £3.98 and small bars at £1.49 a bar – perfect stocking fillers.
Especially as there’s a flavour to suit all, including White Raspberry Popping Candy – they ALL sound too delish to be honest.
{Can you tell I’m a chocolate fiend?!} 

Well now if THAT hasn’t given you some ideas for Xmas Gift… I don’t know what will?

Erm… actually I do.

Part 2 of this Gift Guide is coming later this week: a smaller post, with a few of my own personal favourite small indie’s….

Thank you for reading today and so sorry it was later than usual… we’re one many down in the house so I’ve been doing EVERYTHING this past week or so…

Can’t wait for normality to resume.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this Gift Guide and of course, I can’t go without thanking *ALL* of the bloggers and grammers for being straight on it!

There was little to NO hesitancy when asked for their top-tips and help.


I guess I’ll be back later this week…keep an eye out!