As much as anyone, I am guilty of having fallen into the occasional amazon rabbit hole, especially during lockdown. I have been bought back into line however by the wonderful Holly Tucker and her weekly Instagram lives. She has been coaching and encouraging small businesses to support each other, making sure we shop independents as much as we humanly can.
So, here it is, Cat and EJs (me) love list. We have either bought from these people before or have been admiring from afar for a long time and are going to commit this Christmas, in addition of course to our own beautiful, sustainable, lovingly made garments!
We would love to hear your favourite small and local finds too, mention them in the comments to this post or tag them on our Instagram post that coincides with this blog. Listed at the end of this wonderful shopping extravaganza is ALL the social handles of these brands for you to follow and find!
Love us x
Cat and EJ’s Christmas Love List
Department Store for the mind We have known founder Kate since we launched Smalls, we love the aesthetic of her website and the design of her products. She has curated a beautiful and thoughtful collection of gift boxes perfect for under the tree for children and adults. I have my eye on The Breathe Well bundle for my teen and there A LOT of things that I have spotted for myself!
- MaxMadeMeDoIt , during lockdown one, I was fascinated, watching founder Carol Maxwell paint the most beautiful images and was compelled to buy her Flowers from my garden print commemorating this strange year. We have also ordered her Robin gift wrap as a treat for our customers this Black Friday.
- Clifton Nurseries Cat and I are spoilt to have this on our doorstep in Maida Vale, it’s a one stop shop for getting in the Christmas spirit. They are by some miracle government rule open at the moment, so I would recommend this for a lockdown walk at the very minimum. Only a 1 min walk from Warwick Ave station on the Bakerloo line, or 8 mins from Paddington Station. Take in the lovely Little Venice canals as well!
- The Brimful Store – our local go-to store for a gift or smelly candle or gorgeous dress…they are closed at the moment due to lockdown but have a lovely selection online.
- Cissy Wears ‘curator of beautiful things for child and home’ owner Nicola has the best eye for unique and thoughtful pieces with a sustainable angle – I got wonderful things for my nephews last year, and a gorgeous new born gift for my cousins’ baby, along with some Smalls of course!
Jessica McCormack, In my dreamiest of dreams I own the Mother Earth jewellery box and fill it up with beautiful things. I love the kiwi embroidery. She has just launched her new collaboration with Los Angeles based Haas Brothers, too cool for school. I recently lost my wedding and engagement rings while making meatballs, so I am hopeful for a future purchase by my husband!
- Specialist Cellars founder Mel is also a fellow kiwi, her Wine Club is really good value, plus we cannot wait for her latest venture The Laundry in Brixton to reopen, so we can head down for a socially distanced brunch!
- The Winery - We cannot mention wine without also recommending our absolute favourite and weekly (ahem maybe more than that) stop off for curated wines – their knowledge and not to mention cosy fire side is a real draw card on a winter’s eve, they too are open at the moment…wine thankfully seems to have qualified as an essential!
The Meringue Girls Ok, you may have spotted a Kiwi entrepreneurial trend here, I promise its pure coincidence! We are going to get gifting with their Christmas Tree kits – how cool!
- Olivia Rubin is another local to our hood in Maida Vale, we have been coveting and buying her things for some time! I expect a Christmas dress purchase will be inevitable for some. Her bright 80s inspired palette is what we all need to cheer us up right now!
- FAUNE for a beautiful Christmas dress for your little one or yourself for that matter, we have know the founders since they launched, and look forward to being able to meet up with them again soon for another small business get together with wine!
Independent book shopping. We love a stroll down Marylebone High Street and to get lost in Daunt Books, while we can’t do that at the moment, we can shop online with them. You can also download the Bookindy app to find your local store. You will have also heard of Bookshop.org which just launched, supporting independent bookstores. I was given a huge pile of books for my birthday and am slowly getting through them all, hopefully in time for Christmas!
- RF Champagne personalised champagne anyone? My friend founder Sascha launched this a couple of years ago, it’s a brilliant way to send a thoughtful gift that will definitely be used!
- Nushka home – founder Farnoushe is a good friend of mine, she single handedly runs this business and is an amazing Mum to boot. It’s currently going from strength to strength, with her Lampshades and cushions and vintage finds being used by some incredible interior designers in some beautiful homes.
Grace and Thorn for the best flowers, home gifts and wreaths, Cat sent these to her friend recently and she loved them.
- Toastie Kids our kids are too big for these now, but if they were not giant sized tweens and teens, this would be on our list!
- McKinley & Paget We love a smelly candle and Cat discovered these at a local market in Paddington and has been a fan ever since.
- Maya Nje for literally the most divine perfume. The single pocket perfumes are perfect handbag size. Tropica is Cats fave.
- Ilapothecary Cat bought Beat the blues room spray and accidentally sprayed on her mask, she had the most amazing aromatherapy experience the rest of the day. She says she might make this a habit.
- Hoxton mini press is perfect for a beautiful gift, I have bought several of their collector’s edition books and have just purchased The Urban Forager for a friend for Christmas.
Okay, I know we said 20, but this one cannot be missed!
- DLAM x Bonnie Mob Merino Beanie – for reasons of colour and fibre, this one was a must for me, and I have worn it every day just about since getting it. A perfect gift paired with one of our snoods!
Hey why not follow all these gorgeous brands on Instagram? We have made it easy by listing them below.
EJ and Cat x
Instagram handles for your shopping pleasure