Shopping online has been growing more and more popular each year and I imagine this year will be much the same. Why leave your warm and safe house and enter the cold and cough-ridden high streets. This year before ordering gifts for your loved ones, why not support an independent creative?
I have collated a small list of some of my favourite independent stores run by women that I adore.
Sighh is the creation of illustrator Polly Vadasz. She describes her work as ‘Beautifully Functional Stationery’ and I have to completely agree.My favourite piece is the weekly balance sheet, I have used it religiously for the past six months. I spend 20 minutes writing out my week and then use it to clearly see the week ahead. Vadasz recently collaborated with Insecure Girls Club and released a selection of beautiful prints, sticky note pads and more. Buying for: Your university friends? A recent graduate? Your boss? To be honest, any hard worker would gratefully receive the beautiful work.
The London-based artist behind Wildsuga, Sarina Mantle, founded the brand in 2008 with a wealth of experience in fashion and art. Mantle has created a brand which, through her pieces, help connect people to nature and the holistic world. Her shop has a wide variety of products, from stationery such as postcards and bookmarks to art prints and digital downloads. Also, many fabrics such as tote bags and even, the now incredibly popular, face-masks. Mantle has even released the colouring book ‘Woman + Patterns + Plants’, which is described as a self-care colouring book. Mantle’s website links all the places you can purchase her pieces and I would highly recommend you get on it.
I found out about Siren Store from a viral Tik Tok they made showcasing their beautiful work. Since then, their candles have been in such high demand that they often sell out the day they are released. The duo behind the brand are Aussie besties Holly and Hannah who, after moving to London, decided to use their free time to create. By combining their interests in body positivity and sustainable art, their store was born. The candles are made of soy and depict all body shapes in many different colours. The pair also make sure nothing goes to waste and sell any ‘imperfect candle’ they make. The two also have a wide range of cards which depict female empowerment, beautiful sculptures and good old memes.
The next candle restock is the 14th of December, be ready!
Started up in 2017 by Tabara and her sister Mamy, La Basketry products followed basket weaving traditions of rural villages in Senegal. The two sisters began designing products which were then made by female artists from their hometown of Thies.
Now, Tabara runs the business from London selling ready to use baskets and homeware. They also sell DIY kits so you can make it yourself and participate in the tradition yourself. LA Basketry also host classes on Zoom to guide you in making the items, whether you purchase the materials from them or not. When buying their products you’re not only gaining a useful and beautiful item but you are also buying a piece with a rich history.
Last orders in time for Christmas are on the 15th of December.
If you need any further inspiration, Etsy is a wonderful site to support many creatives. Recently, I ordered two print from SpiltMilkPress as a Christmas gift for myself.
One final place to check out is the instagram account ‘SouthLondonMakersMarket’, they feature many independent businesses which you can order from online.
I get it. Ordering from Amazon is easy. You find what you want in a minute, order it in 20 seconds and it will arrive the next day. However, by shopping an independently owned business you are directly supporting the owners, and with covid wreaking havoc on small businesses, we as consumers can do our bit to help. If you’ve already finished your Christmas shopping then keep these companies in mind for any gifts you’ll be buying in the following year or perhaps you can treat yourself. For now, though it’s free and easy to share businesses pages, like their posts and recommend them to your friends.