This Christmas it’s more important than ever to support local, small, and independent businesses. We know getting out to the shops is a little more difficult this year, so we wanted to help you shop small from the comfort of your own home by sharing some of the OpenMoney’s teams top gift-picks this Christmas!
Why shop small?
There are so many reasons to shop small, local and independent. You can often find a more diverse range of products by shopping small. Smaller businesses have the freedom to experiment and can evolve quicker, making quick decisions on their product offering and responding to feedback and reviews.
Small businesses can rely heavily on reviews and recommendations to thrive, so they have a real vested interest in creating a first-class experience for every single customer. The customer service and experience are often better with a small and independent business. Shopping small and local also means you will be helping to keep money within your local economy.
All this and we haven’t even mentioned the feel-good factor! You know that every time you purchase from a small business, every single order is so appreciated and you’re helping to fund someone’s passion.
How to shop small
It can be difficult to find small businesses to shop with, particularly when they don’t have large (or any!) marketing budgets and search engines are geared for bigger businesses to be able to climb higher in the rankings easier.
Instagram is home to a lot of small businesses, but it’s not an e-commerce website so it can be hard to search through all the content to find them. Searching through the following hashtags makes this much easier, bringing small businesses of Instagram into one big feed to help you find inspiration. Search #MakersOfInstagram, #SmallBusinessUK and #ShopSmallThisChristmas to find what you’re looking for.
There are also several sites that act as marketplaces for small and independent businesses. Most let you search products, by price or by recipient to make searching for gifts from small businesses much easier, including these:
- Amazon Handmade
Our top picks
We asked the OpenMoney team to send their recommendations on great small businesses to check out to get you started whether it’s their friends, family or a business they’ve purchased from and loved.
Homeware and Lifestyle:
- Gothic, alternative prints from The Gallery Wall
- Dried flowers that last much longer than the real thing from The Happy Blossoms
- Infographic oven gloves and tea towels for a keen cook from Stuart Gardiner Design
- Bright, music-themed prints from Elizabeth James who are based in Manchester, just like us!
- Candles and home fragrances from Booze and Burn
Food and drink:
- Biscuiteers could make a great gift for an awkward office Secret Santa and they also offer letterbox gifts and home-baking kits
- Delicious fudge gifts and hampers from Fudge Kitchen – they have vegan options too!
- Coffee makers North Star Coffee are based in Leeds and have developed a Christmas blend this year with chocolate, brown sugar, orange and sherry.
- Best of British Beer craft beer box is shaped like a little pub!
- Rum botanicals for your rum-based tipples from Pure Spain
- A worlds-hottest-chilli gift set for a heat-lover from Spicentice
- Jewellery makers Audrey and George created bright, statement pieces from polymer clay
- If you’re looking for something with a bit of sparkle, family-run Harveys the Jewellers offer silver, gold and white gold stone set jewellery for varying prices
- Personalised gold and silver jewellery from Electric Eccentricity
Hobbies and crafting:
- A kit to make your own flower crown from Luna and Wild
- Personalised Guitar Plectrums from Oakdene Designs
- Know a cycling enthusiast? Check out this bike riders gift set from Men’s Society
- Parkin and Lewis’ personalised knitting needle holders
Remember, small businesses often have longer delivery times so don’t leave it too late to order! We hope this makes picking up your Christmas gifts this year a little easier and might just inspire you to shop small, local, and independent all year round too!