I thought it was about time I put together a little gift guide featuring some of my favourite sellers and makers based in and around Southampton – hopefully just in time for a few of you Christmas shopping! Some of these sellers will also be at the ‘Etsy Made Local’ market on the 2nd of December (I’ll pop details at the bottom) so if you live in Southampton or can make it down for a day trip, then don’t miss that as last years was amazing and I think even the organisers themselves were bowled over by how well it went! I’m going to be featuring a few local makers I know personally as well as a bunch whose products I just love. Hopefully this will make it easier for you to spend some of your money on independents this Christmas, as I’m sure the big guys have enough lining their pockets…So why not keep your money in Southampton, helping out the local economy? Hooray for small businesses!
This is my recently-baby-bearing-besties shop, that she’s managed to keep up and running throughout this crazy time thanks to her lovely husband Jacks help and no doubt lots of family and friend support. With River five months old now, there’s been a lot going on (and that doesn’t include ANY sleep) but Rachel is such an inspiring woman and so great with everything she turns her hand to. The brand has changed a lot over the years from plates, to pins to posters but I’ll list some of my top picks of what’s in store and in stock right now:
Moon Pillow – £15, I have one of these and I absolutely love it. You can even get mini ones! So cute – there’s even a matching greetings card you can nab while you’re here.
Monstera Leaf Luxury Enamel Pin – £7.50, I love this one, I have it along with a bunch of others including the Good Vibes and Peach pin. She won’t be restocking the pins, so make sure you have a good look – don’t miss the happy little Christmas tree! Perfect timing for him to make an appearance.
Jungle Kitty Iron-on Patch – £7, based on one of her gorgeous kitties Luna (she’s the naughty one!) and looks great peeking out of a pocket on a tee.
Baby Milestone Cards – £12 – £30 depending on which sets you buy. You can get the complete set of 35, or chose just to get the funny ones (Poopsplosion debut) or developmental stages (first smile) as separate, smaller packs. A lovely gift for anyone that has a new baby on the way! A light-hearted sneaky peek at the future of parenthood.
Kate hand makes piñatas so gorgeous it’s so hard to bring yourself to smash it up…I don’t think I’d be able to, I’d just want to keep it forever! She’s amazingly talented, creating anything from the Millennium Falcon or a Unicorn, to a vagina with a penis whacking stick (yep, check it out on the store!) Her online shop features all sorts from £7 to £60, with the option to order something completely customised or just pick from one of her fun ideas. There’s a massive variety, this lady can make anything into a piñata!
Golden Snitch – £40, absolutely love this one…How could you smash it!? It’s perfect.
Moon with Dangling Star – £25, again, I couldn’t obliterate this, I just want it as a decoration to keep. Super pretty to look at.
Strawberry – £25, there’s just nothing like a good British strawb. I don’t know how she manages to get these shapes so perfect but I love seeing her work.
Soraya is mostly known for her hand decorated phone-cases featuring a perfect blend of everything goth and kawaii all in one place! She’s also branched out into other fashion accessories, including broaches, personalised chokers and more.
Studded Round Glasses – £15.99 and covered in silver studs. Similar style also available in cat-eye shape for £14.99!
Black Coffin Earrings – £4, perfect for your favourite Goth. There’s a variety of shapes, styles and colours available from £3-5.
Witch Please Phone Case – £19.99, packed with everything you need to give off true spooky vibes. Phone cases range from £4.99 to £24.99 depending on style and complexity.
4. Amy Harwood
Amy is an awesomely talented illustrator and I just love all of her creations – most recently her botanical dinosaurs but she’s always drawing an abundance of cute animals, precious stones or even types of tea! Her products range from greetings cards, prints and posters to enamel pins and clothing, all adorned with her lovely designs. From £40, you can even get a customised pet portrait in her unique style for that extra special gift! Now all I need to get is a pet…
Botanical Dinosaurs 2019 Calendar – £12, we all need to keep on top of our busy schedule somehow so why not combine that with some dinosaur illustrations!?
Jurassic Park Map – £10, this print is perfect for any Jurassic Park fans, showcasing the park with Amy’s own illustrated interpretation.
Bespoke Illustrated Map – £90+, if you’re looking for something more personal, Amy will design a bespoke, illustrated map containing specific points on interest relevant to you. The perfect way to tell the story of how a couple met as a gift for a wedding or anniversary!
5. Katie Moody
A graphic designer by day and illustrator by night, Katies store is full of stationary, prints and wall art to suit all tastes. There are greetings card for almost any occasion, including Christmas, but also general thank yous and positive notes. I’ve picked my three personal faves from the store below:
Constellation Wall Art – £14, I think this print is just stunning, I love the marbling of the colours together and the style of the piece as a whole.
Cat Stickers – £3, I couldn’t resist buying these for a friend last year as they’re just hilarious. Loaf cat has to be my favourite but, don’t worry, there are dog ones too!
‘My Cat Likes You’ Greetings Card – £2.50, there is no greater accolade than being accepted by someones pet. Whether this is for a friend or an anniversary, tell someone how cool they are and let them know that your fur baby agrees.
6. Primal Suds
Based in Southampton, Andrew and Jen hand-make all these products locally using entirely natural ingredients which means no nasties and not even any colourings. Using coconut oil, chia seeds, clay and a bunch of other stuff, they’re taking it back to basics. They have the same honest technique with their packaging as well, with nothing but biodegradable/compostable boxes and no plastic in sight.
Cavewoman Deluxe Gift Set – £35, but there’s also a budget option at £20! Both full of goodies and would make the perfect gift this Christmas. Plus, zero waste – even better!
‘No Fux Given’ Soap – £5 and, as they say, what better way to show your loved ones affection that to insult them? This sweary soap full to the brim with essential oils would make a great stocking filler, maybe not for your Gran but…someone else?
Boscanova Coffee Scrub – £5, Primal Suds have teamed up with Boscanova Cafe for this one, using their coffee to make this delicious scrub with added chai and dark chocolate.
Jackie makes quirky and colourful home made treats bursting with all your favourite sweets. These marshmallows and fudge would make lovely Christmas gifts, but you could also easily scoff them yourself before then…by accident…Which I actually saw on of the previous customers left in a review. Here are my faves, see if you can resist drooling!
Reeses Explosion Fudge – £4.95, perfect for all those peanut butter freaks! Chocolatey homemade fudge with Reeses thrown in. I can almost smell it through the screen.
Vegan Lotus Biscoff Fudge – £4.95, this vegan fudge looks gorgeous and it’s great that there’s a dairy free option and apparently it’s very popular.
Salted Caramel Fudge – £4.95, if I ever notice salted caramel is an option I really struggle to order anything else. An absolute classic, for good reason!
8. Lula Rocks
Based just over in Portsmouth (don’t hold it against her) I really wanted to include Lucy in this local gift guide, as she makes some great items all with pop culture trends in mind! Perfect for special gifts with that personal touch to them. Lucy makes party decor, pins and other accessories but I’ve narrowed down my top picks below:
Ho Ho Hototoro Enamel Pin – £8 and unsurprisingly a very popular product. Super cute Totoro with an added Christmas vibe! The perfect accessory this festive season.
I’d Rather Be At Hogwarts Enamel Pin – £7.50, this item is a great stocking filler for all those Harry Potter fans. There’s even a matching Luna Lovegood Fanclub pin, too.
I Love You Like Eleven Loves Eggos – £3, comes in pink or mint green and would make an awesome anniversary card for every Strange couple. We all need an Eleven in our lives.
Kate is also based just down the road in Portsmouth and her store features everything from pins and badges, to stationary, greetings cards and a bunch of Christmas stuff! Her unique and colourful style means this will definitely stand out!
Plant Milk Enamel Pin – £8.50, this badge would make a lovely little gift for any vegan/dairy-free friends, or anyone that just really loves plant milk to be honest!
Brunch Bunch Iron on Patch – £8, I love breakfast and brunch at all times, there’s never a bad time! Love this product line, also includes Brew Crew (so me) and Hot Choc Squad.
Orca Whale Notepad – £7.50, time to get Orcanised! I love a cute play on words just about as much as I love lists, a great and practical gift for the list-fanatic in your life.
10. Tiny Scenic
Jo Strange makes quirky, chunky, statement jewellery with such unique style. I don’t know if it’s just me and my love of horror but theres something very eerie and a bit ‘Twin Peaks’ about them and I love it! Each piece transports me back to a scene in a movie I can’t quite remember – really interesting pieces. I don’t wear jewellery often myself but I think the retro style of these is so cinematic and I had to include them!
Motel Sign Necklace – £40, this one kind of reminds me of Drive. I think a lot of the vibes I’m getting is coming purely from the use of colour as well as the obvious 50s Americana.
Swimming Pool Necklace – £55, each necklace comes in a lovely presentation box and the attention to detail on this one is completely insane.
Coffee Shop Necklace – £48, made from 12 individual perfectly designed pieces that have been assembled carefully be hand. I especially love that Jo has based this on a place she visited in Arizona as the authenticity of the design is so important to the piece.
11. Tumble and Rose
Helen makes the most beautiful jewellery, as well as pins and even a lovely hand-poured so candle gift set. Her online store showcases an eco-friendly hand-made collection inspired by nature with a heavy focus on raw crystals. Everything on there is so lovely, you won’t be able to choose but I’ve tried to pin-point a few of my favourite bits below:
Felis Enamel Pin – £8, this gorgeous constellation kitty would be the perfect addition to any jacket. The bird and bear are also just as sweet.
Raw Obsidian Ring – £20, this one’s made to order so no two rings are the same, but each is electroformed with copper uniquely surrounding the deep black volcanic gemstone.
Raw Opal Ring – £30, this sterling silver ring is made to order in your size using beautiful, ethically sourced fire opals. Helen creates this style ring in a variety of birthstones as well so you can purchase a completely personalised gift.
So that’s it! My top eleven (I couldn’t decide on ten!) locally based sellers, please check out their stores and remember that where your money goes can make all the difference to a small business. As I mentioned above, some of these sellers (and lots more!) will be at the Etsy Made Local Festive Market in a couple weeks so make sure you check out the link and follow the event via Facebook. I’ll definitely be going there myself to spend a few pennies, even if it is just selfishly spent on fudge for myself…