Think big, shop small: Your small business gift guide for Christmas 2021
Updated: Nov 26
This year we're giving Christmas gifts that support small businesses, so if anyone needs us you'll find us furiously adding to basket from these wonderful, independent companies...
For class teachers
Teachers do an excellent job (we barely survived our own stint of homeschooling so kudos to the real teachers) so it's always lovely to send a token of appreciation to your child's class teacher. How about:
Local coffee shop gift cards
Forget Starbucks, Costa, Cafe Nero et al, and support your local coffee shop by buying gift vouchers from them. Chances are your teachers will live locally, and we all know that coffee makes excellent fuel for grown ups, so win win. We've already bought our teachers' gift vouchers from the best coffee shop in the London Borough of Havering - Natural Bean (and if you're in the area you absolutely need this charming, friendly place on your caffeine radar).
A campfire in a matchbox
How cute are these Christmas themed mini marshmallow toasting kits by In a Matchbox? We think teachers will definitely appreciate a small campfire with toasted marshmallows as a teeny, tiny gift this Christmas.
Something blooming lovely
Whether it's a cool cactus, a funky potted plant or a stunning bunch of florals, head to your local florist and pick up something blooming lovely as a teacher's prezzie. The beautiful bunch we recently received from our local florist, Lynne Floral Art, is still one of the most stunning arrangements we've ever seen, and she delivers nationwide.
These lovely, personalised apples by Little C Treasures make a great gift for teachers and at £4.50 a pop they're wallet friendly too.
A cashmere scarf
We've long been fans of the Accessory Shelf, and it's packed with great ideas when it comes to gifts for teachers, friends and family, but we've got our beadies on its cashmere scarves at the moment which are an absolute steal at £14.00 each.
Something to put all their stuff in
Teachers have a lot of stuff so we think that getting them a personalised bag for all that stuff from a small business like Fraternal Boutique is an A+ idea.
For friends, family and other halves
Christmas shopping just got a bit easier with these ideas...
Mindful, amazing cocktails
Mix up your Xmas gift giving with a box of THE most delish cocktails that ever there was: the Mindful Mixology cocktail box. Check out our review on this small but mighty company and then add to basket, stat.
A gift to put on the map
We bought our The Future Mapping Company a few years ago as an Xmas present and it still takes pride of place on the walls of London for Kidz HQ. These are certainly not your old fuddy kinda maps, people: these stunners push the boundaries of map design and absolutely demand for a central spot in your house (plus the kids will love throwing magnets at the magnetic designs to help 'pick' your next vacay). Fun fact: Joe Wicks, the body coach, has the same map as us and you'll often see it in the background of his PE lessons!
It's no secret that we love supporting small businesses, but when it's a small business combined with an eco-friendly ethos then we're even more on board. Head over to Jungle Culture to check out its sustainably made, super duper fab range of homeware, soaps and reusable goodies. We're big fans and already have a set of bowls with spoons and stockpile of its reusable straws and they're all ah-mazing.
Not only does Sea Treasures whip up the most beautiful, hand moulded and handmade necklaces, bracelets and rings using silver, copper and locally sourced sea glass, but the creator is one of the loveliest people to deal with too. All the wins! We've got several pieces of Sea Treasure treasure already, and it seems every time we look at its Instagram page we end up adding yet more fabulousness to basket. With trinkets starting at just £6 and ranging up to around £50 for bespoke pieces, there's something for every budget (and we want it all!).
We recently went nuts for these ethically sourced, delish bar snacks by Cajuu, and think they make a rather lovely Xmas gift (do check with the recipient on nut allergies first though!). We're talking proper tasty cashew products that are putting Tanzania on the map while also giving back to its cashew farming communities. It doesn't hurt that these sustainably sourced snacks and gift packs are the yummiest cashews we ever did eat! Happy days.
Personalised welly print
We like this gift idea so much, we ordered one for ourselves! Head over to This Is Nessie, created and run by a mum of four, to pick your own colours, names, etc and then sit back and wait for the finished, gorgeous portrait to arrive. Don't forget to include the fur kids!
An alpaca, racoon or reindeer...
Christmas is a time for giving so we think that charitable gifts are good for the heart and for teaching our children about kindness, so sponsoring a furry, feathery or scaly new friend from your local animal shelter is the kind of prezzie that will put a smile on a lot of faces. For those of you on the east side of London and into the Essex countryside, Hopefield Animal Sanctuary has lots of gorgeous creatures for you to sponsor, including Rocket the Tanuka who the London for Kidz kids have sponsored.
Your family tree
We adore all things Sally Bee Designs, including this hand painted family tree plaque which can be personalised with up to ten hearts.
For the kids
Stuff to buy for the kids that doesn't involve flashing lights, incessant sounds and are better for the environment than mass produced options...
A handmade owl
We still have our lovely, handmade Pride keyrings hanging our from our bags from Tamzenlundendesigns and when it comes to a Christmas gift for the kiddos we've got our eye on this cute, handcrafted Owl with book set. Especially perfect for Harry Potter fans keen to have a pet owl of their own...
Small world play sets
Whether you're after an all-singing, all-dancing outdoor playground or a learning through play smaller resource, local-to-us company, MOE Woodland Ministry of Outdoor Education, delivers nationwide a whole host of sustainably made goodies. We've already added some of its Small World Play products to our own basket, as well as a wooden Bug Hunt and some rather nice Stacking Stones. Shhh, don't tell the kids! But there's more... we've also got a special discount code for London for Kidz readers! Woohoo! Just pop Kidz5 in at checkout and a 5% saving will be applied.
We love any excuse to get to one of our favourite pockets of town, Covent Garden, and Benjamin Pollock's Toy Shop is always a must-visit when we're in the 'hood. It's been in its current premises since 1980 and sells everything from its famous paper theatres (including Shakespeare's Globe above) to finger puppets, shadow boxes to craft kits, and there's not an annoying, noisy, battery operated plastic bit of tat in sight, which is why it's one of our fave places to buy gifts for kids from when it comes to keeping it local.
Dinosaur car park
Why have an ordinary car park when you can have a dinosaur car park? There are some great sales running right now over at family business Jaques of London for all kinds of kids and all kinds of budgets, so skedaddle on over while stocks last!
While you've probably got a library's worth of picture books at home, what you might not have is a set of picture books written by a lovely mum who had a dream of becoming a children's writer. That dream became a reality and Shelly Mack now has several beautifully written, beautifully illustrated titles to choose from. You can never go wrong with the gift of a good story.
Their own piece of art
For older kids and teens, we're fans of Jarticul, who's original art and prints are a joy. She also creates commissions and portraits if you're looking for something extra special, plus she's wonderful to deal with.
A 'solar powered' art kit
For young makers (and any makers for that matter), this lovely kit gives creative kids the chance to go rummaging for natural resources and then turn them into vintage blueprints with the help from a little sunshine and a dash of water. Head over to Elemental Leaf over on Etsy to place an order.
You're all set, folks!
Need some more festive inspo? How about: