The countdown is on. Elton John is gracing our screens in what I think is the best John Lewis advert in years; Christmas lights are being switched on across the land and I’ve already had a Christmas dinner and it’s only the 2nd December!
I love Christmas. And one of my favourite things is giving a gift that I know will bring a smile to someones’s face. It brings me great pleasure finding something unique, something personal and something that has been lovingly made.
Christmas has got slightly out of control this year. There’s so much ‘noise’ and so much ‘stuff’ that it’s easy to forget the true meaning around this most wonderful time of year.
To give a little something back this year, why not choose to shop independent. Exeter has got the most fantastic independent shopping scene. From Fore Street to Gandy Street, you’ll find wonderful stores where stock has been chosen for its low ‘craft’ miles. If you haven’t started your Christmas shopping, here are some of my favourite independent shops that will ensure you give the most perfect gift.
Georgie & Flo
Tucked away in Upper Paul Street with the RAMM Museum as its neighbour is the gorgeous Georgie & Flo. The team have created a fantastic space full of wonderful products crafted by local makers including: Erin Cox, Helen Round, JayPea and Bridget Arnold to name a few. They also have branded stock made by the very talented owners. The team chose makers whose work they love and products that will make their customers happy. They have some fantatsic gift ideas this year to suit all budgets. You’ll find jewellery crafted by a local silversmith for £13 and gorgeous handmade handbags from £200, there really is something for everyone.
No Guts No Glory is one of my favourite shops in Exeter. It’s the place to go if you have a house plant obsession, and I do. House plants make great gifts. You’re giving something that can be nurtured and that can grow – I love my plants, they bring a sense of calm to my home and if I get a houseplant for a gift this Christmas, I will be a very happy bunny (I hope my husband reads this!)
Busby & Fox
One of the newest additions to Exeter’s independent scene, Busby & Fox offer a beautiful range of Scandi, French, Italian and British homeware and fashion. One of my favourite items is a pair of sparkly socks, the perfect accompaniment to any Christmas outfit.
Exeter Christmas Market
There are some fantastic stalls at this year’s Christmas market. You’ll find wonderful food and crafts from some local businesses. One of my favourite stalls is the very talented Alison Miles Pottery. Alison makes beautiful porcelin cottages and houses and she takes inspiration from her surroudings. She’s also selling a selection of delicate Christmas tree decorations.
This beautiful store is always full of the most stylish clothes and gorgeous homeware. I love their collection of accessories. From scarves and purses to must-have handbags, they’ll make a fabulous addition to any Christmas stocking.
InExeter Gift Card
If you’re still struggling to find that perfect gift, you can still support Exeter’s independent sellers by purchasing the InExeter Gift Card. The card works in a similar way to a shopping centre card and can be used in over 50 independent businesses across Exeter. What a great idea, and a great gift!
Shop independent this Christmas and discover a whole new world of fantastic brands on your doorstep. I can’t wait to get started.