// Shopping handmade

As the festive season approached at the end of last year, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and many blogs were buzzing with a message from independent businesses urging us to buy small, local and handmade for Christmas. This image from Brighton creative Lola Hoad went viral across social media, and a real sense of community spirit was all around… isn’t Christmas bloody magical?


Obviously as a small handmade business owner myself this was a challenge I was keen to take on, and as I was going to be selling at so many markets I had many perfect opportunities to buy gifts from my fellow designer makers. Here’s a look at what I was able to get; I was pretty pleased because – with the exception of only my brother (he is bloody hard to buy for!) – all of my family and friends recieved at least one handmade gift, and they all loved them!

Oh Someday custom macrame bracelets.

I’ve known Kate from Oh Someday for a while as we often do the same markets, and we were also both part of the Brighton Etsy Pop Up Shop in November. I’ve always admired her hand-stamped lyric bracelets, and especially the fact that you can request custom phrases. In the end I bought two bracelets via Etysu. For my BFF I chose a brass bracelet with navy cord with ‘Expecto Patronum’ (we are both Potter geeks), and for my sister I chose a silver bracelet with pink cord and ‘Faith, Trust & Pixie Dust’ in reference to Tinker Bell and general daily good vibes. Check out Oh Someday on Etsy HERE.

Shopping2Handmade carved wooden fruit bowl by Artscape Construction.

I bought this bowl (the actual one in the picture above!) from Jay of Artscape Contruction the Brighton Etsy Christmas Market back in November; as soon as I saw it I knew I needed to buy it as it was the perfect gift for my parents. The bowl is made from layers of wood sandwiched together, and then carved out in a kind of free-form way so that the fruit nestles together on top. Its so tactile and lovely, as are all of Jay’s pieces which include test tube vases, key hooks and magnetic knife racks. Check out the Artscape Construction Etsy shop HERE.

Giant Party Ring cushion from Hey Kitsch Kitty.

Whenever I visit my sister she always seems to have Party Rings in her cupboard, so when I spotted this cushion by Louisa of Hey Kitsch Kitty at my last market of the year in December I knew it would be perfect for her (I also wanted one for myself but  I was good and kept in the spirit of giving). As the name suggests the Hey Kitsch Kitty shop is full of cute and kitschy handmade items including jewellery, headbands and hoods, featuring sweets, animals and fast food. Check out Hey Kitsch Kitty on Etsy HERE.

Shopping3Jimbobart Cake Plate.

My brother-in-law is a really tricky person to buy for, but I firmly believe there is not a single person who wouldn’t want to own one of Jimbobart’s plates so I knew I couldn’t go wrong. I got this from Crafty Fox (who Jimbobart designs all the posters for, incidentally), but you can find them on Etsy HERE.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACat Tea Towel by Woah There Pickle.

Vicky of Woah There Pickle is one of my Brighton pals so we’ve done looooads of markets together (we even shared a pitch at Renegade! Hey roomie!) as well as the pop up shop and other stuff, so I have plenty of chances to swoon over her lino prints. Her ‘If I fits I sits’ design is spot on, and you can get it as a print, card and even on a tea towel, which is what I went for. I got it without anyone especially in mind, but in the end it went to my brother in law along with his plate; their kitchen is now a very happy place. Visit the Woah There Pickle etsy shop HERE.

Shopping5CL.AM Correspondence watermelon writing set.

In December my stall at Crafty Fox was next to CL.AM Correspondence, so I got to look at their beautiful stationery all day – there was definitely no chance of leaving the day without a purchase from their range. I got this writing set for my BFF who lives in Barcelona, and the watermelons have ‘La Sandia’, their Spanish name, written next to them which is just perfect. The rest of CL.AM’s range is just as bright and beautiful; check out their online store HERE. 

Pineapple Brooch by Custom Made.

This was another gift for my BFF who lives in Spain; we’ve both had a bit of an obsession with fruits (and mainly fake fruits) for ages, so when the big tropical fruit trend hit last year I was worried I might start getting sick of them. Luckily this wasn’t the case! I love this brooch I got from Custom Made, it’g got a really nice weight and is really easy to wear too! Check out Custom Made on Etsy HERE. 

Shopping8Polar bear purse by Kitty and the Tiger

Kitty and the Tiger makes the cutest little animal creations, and I couldn’t resist buying a polar bear purse for Ali when I saw them at Craftaganza. It turns out I was her first ever customer which also gave me the warm fuzzies. You’ll find Kitty and the Tiger on Etsy HERE.

SONY DSCPattern Guild card holder

The Pattern Guild are so fucking classy, I’m completely envious of how polished their brand is, and everything is so well made too. It’s always tricky finding stylish handmade gifts for men, but you’ll find lots of inspiration on their website HERE. 

Shopping9Andsmile portrait.

This final gift was probably my favourite as it was so personal and special. Last summer my mum visited me in Brighton and we went to my favourite photobooth in Snooper’s Paradise, where we took this picture. My mum really loved wearing this wig and it’s definitely my favourite picture of us ever. I commissioned Viktorija of Andsmile to recreate the image in her wonderful, charming colourful style, and she did a really perfect job! My mum absolutely loved it too! I really recommend getting in touch with Viktorija about commissions, and also make sure you check out her Etsy shop HERE! 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at my handmade finds, perhaps it’s even inspired you to do the same next Christmas (you have twelve months to start planning so no excuses!). Or perhaps you did the same this year? Leave a comment and let me know!

Toby xoxo


2 thoughts on “// Shopping handmade

  1. Karli

    Jacques asked if his present was in this blogpost as he likes it very muchly, and he is very excited that it was included. Enjoyed being nosey and seeing all the things you bought!


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