by Ellen Upton – Rhubarb & Hare
I love Christmas. I am an absolute HUGE Christmas fan. Not in a keep-my -home-decorated-all-year-round sort of way but in a can’t-wait-for-every-single-thing that sums up the season for me; I’ve already ordered the turkey, the tins of Christmas chocolate are already bought and squirrelled away (clearly they won’t last till December) and I’ve got big plans for how we’ll decorate the cottage this year. I’m desperate to roll out the Christmas music but don’t want to peak too soon.
AND I have started buying Christmas decorations presents. Don’t groan, I’m not one of those amazingly organised people who have all their gifts done by end of October. I wish I was but that’s never going to happen. But whilst searching for things for the store or just scrolling on my usual Instagram rabbit hole I keep finding amazing things that I can’t help buying for my loved ones, but admittedly a few cheeky self purchases have accidentally happened too.
There are so many amazing makers across the UK producing beautiful products. A quick search across Etsy or Instagram and you can find all sorts of wonderful things you never knew existed. Increasingly as shoppers, we want to know where our products come from and we want to support more local stores rather than big global corporations. Christmas is a great time to show support for small businesses and makers across the UK. And we are fortunate we have so many producing a whole myriad.
Aside from my own store, Rhubarb & Hare, ahem, which sells a selection of mostly handmade, beautiful but useful products from small UK makers, I thought you might want to know which other makers I’ve been buying from this year or have on my watch list, in case it helps spark an idea or two for your home or for gifts for your family & friends.
Katie makes the most beautiful dried flower arrangements and her packaging alone is divine and makes me want to order from her over and over again. Her glass decoration sets of baubles filled with exquisite dried flowers all tied with beautiful ribbon would be a gorgeous gift for yourself, or anyone who loves decorating at Christmas time.
I am sure many of you will already be aware of Jane’s work. Based in Staffordshire, she hand stitches and embroiders gifts, homewares, badges etc. I bought a little positive rainbow in a wee brass frame for my daughter’s room earlier in the year and she loves it. Jane’s personalised Christmas decs are so lovely but as you can imagine she does get busy with a long waiting list at this time of year so do order early if you want something in plenty of time.
A handcrafted collection of clothing, gifts and accessories for babies, children and women using beautiful Liberty print fabrics. Get your littles tops with a festive star in Liberty fabric or the Molly hair band is my favourite which works for littles and grown ups alike. I have several but there’s always room for more!
Free-hand embroidered cards, pictures and home accessories handmade in Leicestershire by Charlotte. I have got some gorgeous personalised decorations for my littles from her this year and I can’t wait to see their faces when I give them to them on Christmas Eve. Her products have a very gorgeous and distinct grey and white look.
Coral is based in Yorkshire and hand makes beautiful garlands, clouds or mobiles for your little people. Her Christmas books open on 21 November so be ready if you want to place your order. Everything is made bespoke so it can be tailored to your nursery or little one’s favourite colours.
I have been eyeing up Emma’s handmade rope wreaths for ages. They look so beautiful and I think would make a lovely gift. Would you go for a heart, a star or a simple round? I wish I’d spotted her charming Hallowe’en BOO wreath sooner.
If you’re looking for something whimsical and magical to put in your little’s stockings this year, then you can’t go wrong with the beautiful crowns and accessories made by Lenka at Liberty Fall. I ordered two velvet crowns with pom poms for my children earlier this year, which they wore proudly on their birthdays and now any occasion they get the chance – Christmas I am sure will be one!
If you are able to peruse Helen’s website without purchasing a fairy then you are a stronger person than me. Her handmade advent dolls are so incredibly beautiful and appealing it’s no wonder that they are always being featured by magazines.
I spotted these liberty covered baubles with festive messages in calligraphy on instagram a while ago and immediately had to order some. Whilst I am yet to receive them I can not wait. Sarah who runs Sassigraphy also produces some gorgeous hanging frames with calligraphy messages inside which would make just beautiful presents.
Based in Staffordshire, Becky creates lovely cards and prints and some of the most charming festive wrapping paper I have ever seen I want everything to be wrapped up in her vintage tractor paper this year! She has a store on Etsy so do take a look.
I do hope you find this helpful. There are so many amazing small makers out there – do have a look and shop small where you can. Happy Shopping! xx