Only a few days of the advent calendar remain unopened. I hope you’re feeling suitably festive! Wine should be mulling, Christmas decorations are up and all the presents will soon be wrapped… If you’re in the market for some last-minute ideas, keep reading for my Shop Small Gift Ideas for 2021. For most of us, each government briefing this year brings with it an unnerving de-ja-vu of last year’s situation. Remember every high-street shop had closed its doors?
I spent a lot of time working on my Shop Small Gift Ideas blog posts of 2020. I’m sorry to say, like many, I’ve struggled for time this year. I’ve been prepping a whole host of posts like that for you this year but December really crept up on me this year! I’ve also got a very exciting, new job – more on that to come! But, staying true to my perfectionist tendencies, I didn’t want 2021 to pass without a selection of Shop Small Gift Ideas uploaded onto the blog again! This time, LAST-MINUTE is the theme.
Instead of 5 ideas each week like last year’s series, I’m giving you a festive bonanza of 15 Shop Small Gift Ideas in one go! You can peruse mainly last-minute wonders and smaller stocking-filler finds – here are some things to treat yourself, your friends & your family members with. Time’s running out, so let’s get cracking…
A reminder why ‘shopping small’ is so important
If you remember my Shop Small Gift Ideas blog posts of 2020, I focused on how we can support local, new and growing businesses within the UK. By ‘shopping small’, you’ll have helped feed someone’s dream, and probably even helped feed their family. Let’s face it – you’re going to feel pretty good! There’s a lot of satisfaction from contributing to the growth of a small business.
The one thing I ask of you, as I did last year, is to check out each of the shop small gift ideas below and follow the link through to each brand’s webites and social channels as an additional boost. I’ve added all of the links so all that’s left for you to think about is who the lucky recipients will be!
Tonnes of last-minute gifting ideas are waiting for you below… 15 Shop Small Gift Ideas to be precise!
15 Last-Minute Shop Small Gift Ideas
Grab a hot drink and peruse these finds…
Envelope Escape Rooms
Gather round, boardgame lovers! Puzzle Post is a brand I recently discovered and gifted to my games-loving besties. Created by Bobbie and Will, this ingenious concept allows you to send an encoded message… One that can ONLY be revealed by completing the puzzles inside (or at least attempting!). Pre-Covid, I used to LOVE exploring new places with my friends Holly & Matt so I chose to gift them the travel-themed escape room envelope. Each pack includes realistic puzzles that aim to challenge logic, creativity, and the ability to think ‘outside of the box’. I had a sneak peek in the envelope and was super impressed to find little props, very well-designed pieces of literate including fake boarding passes and menus! Each envelope is designed to be completed within 60-90 minutes (the adult-suitable range). There are also some designed especially for children! This is a superb, affordable gift perfect for just about anyone!
Check out Puzzle Post here:
Slow, Luxury Living
Heralded as the ‘ultimate luxury’, I keep hearing people singing the praises of PAIRS socks! These ultra-comfortable socks are made from natural fibres and offer a little nugget of timeless luxury to even the most mundane of days. Unconventionally, I’m a big fan of receiving socks as a gift. Even better? You can choose from alpaca, mohair or cashmere socks! Another thing I love about the PAIRS brand is how they’re designed in such a beautifully-sounding place – the foothills of the Scottish Highlands. Their mindful, thoughtful creative process is credited to the slow but steady ebb and flow of the seasons – ultimately, the root of conscious, slow fashion and slow living.
I imagine giving the gift of PAIRS would elevate the recipient’s sock game to new, luxurious heights! If it’s good enough for the Sheerluxe girls (as discussed on their podcast!), it’s certainly worth a shot if you ask me.
Check out PAIRS here:
A Book for Everybody
Smith Street Books is a fantastic, independent publishing company based in Melbourne, Australia. Okay, not quite a local shop to support (if you’re in the UK like me) but, compared to the publishing house giants, Smith Street Books certainly qualifies for my Shop Small Gift Idea post! Their quirky, unusual offerings are unlike any I’ve seen before – real conversation-starters and perfect for the friends who already have everything. One book in particular which caught my eye is the Attenborough take on Where’s Wally… ‘Where’s Attenborough?’ I’m yet to meet someone ballsy (and deluded) enough to say they DON’T like Sir David Attenborough. Hunt for the national treasure through all terrains on an awe-inspiring journey across the seas, plains, deserts and forests. It’s the very first book by a very talented, Russian illustrator – Maxim Usik.
If, for some god-forbidden reason, you dislike Attenborough (shame on you!), Smith Street Books also sell so many other exciting titles on Bowie, Lizzo, Keanu Reeves, the 90s, keeping houseplants, veganism, pasta, Korea… JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING!
Check out Smith Street Books here:
Good Hair Day, Guaranteed
If you’ve seen me IRL since my September birthday, I most definitely had big, bouncy curls in my hair. ALL thanks to Silkenberry’s heatless curls kit, I’ve been sleeping with damp hair and swearing by all things silk. This Christmas, I’m recommending this wonder kit to each and every one of my fellow long-haired pals. The bounciest of curls (think blow-dry style) can be created using zero heat and no damage to your natural hair with one of these kits. By using their Mulberry 22 momme silk curling ribbon and silk scrunchies, the recipient of this gift (or treat yourself, no shame here!) will be preventing breakage and eliminating frizz. It all comes in a super pretty storage bag with a marbled comb too which is perfect for loosening the curls for a more relaxed, wavy effect. I was so pleasantly surprised to receive this as a present so you really can take my word for it with this one – an absolutely fantastic Shop Small Gift Idea if you ask me.
Check out Silkenberry here:
This particular Shop Small Gift Idea is especially exciting as its creator set up shop only recently – during one of the MANY lockdowns this pandemic has seen, Wizzie started embroidery as a hobby. She began a humble business and it’s SO great to see this going from strength to strength since! I recently came across Wizzie Chow Embroidery in my local Pop Up Club shop (Bond Street, Chelmsford!) and LOVED her embroidered garments. Wizzie Chow Embroidery produces small-batch embroidered clothes featuring original designs inspired by the founder’s Asian heritage and pop culture. Wizzie also creates custom commissions (i.e pet portraits) so there really is something for every gift recipient here!
Check out Wizzie Chow Embroidery here:
Feline Fine & Looking Like A Top Dog
Of course, I had to dedicate one of the 15 Shop Small Gift Ideas to our furry friends. Whether your friends are team dog or cat, everyone deserves a present! Hiro + Wolf is the place for vibrant pet accessories, handmade down in Margate. Animal-loving founders Amy & Bee met in 2012 whilst walking their pups in East London. Their unique pet products – think bow ties, harnesses, collars and even baskets – are available for both cats and dogs (respectfully!) with all fabrics designed in-house or sourced during the team’s travels. It was SO hard to pick just a few images for this section so I really urge you to check out their links below and peruse the offerings for yourself. Treat the furry friend in your life, we all know they deserve it!
Check out Hiro + Wolf here:
Firstly, let me say how wonderful I think this brand’s name is. Millistrations is an independent print company founded by Milly (but you could have guessed that bit, surely?!). Selling both photographic and illustrative prints, the various cities around the world in each print make use of original photos Milly has taken whilst living in or visiting each place. Gifting one of these to a friend or family member of somewhere particularly important to them would make for a very thoughtful present. It’s worth noting this shop has shut until 2022 now but, if you’re lucky (and fast!), you may be able to get your hands on some pieces at your local Pop Up Club Shop. As for me, I can’t decide which Millistrations piece I need to treat myself to first…
Check out Millistrations here:
Creations As Unique As Your Recipient
Lotta Blobs is a very exciting small business which began in the early months of the pandemic. Shantelle, the creator, was looking for a way to both occupy her mind and feed a strong love of creativity – I feel like a lot of us can relate to that during these weird times. Shantelle’s aims of using colour as a mood-changer definitely succeed with her zany, eclectic designs bringing smiles to a LOT of faces – pre-ordering is advised because these bad boys sell out FAST! Featured in Vogue, Refinery29 and Grazia, Lotta Blobs’ creations are HOT STUFF. Each piece is sculpted by hand, making whichever piece you decide to gift (or keep…) is 100% unique. My fav is the marble/terrazzo-style, round, white mirror!
Check out Lotta Blobs here:
From One Girl To Another
Chances are someone on your ‘to-gift’ list is a friend you’ve known since school/Uni. A fantastic gift idea for a lifelong gal pal would be sponsoring a girl going through University or High School. To put it in perspective, a donation of £30 (or thereabouts) buys a first-year Uni student their laptop… What a cool gift – for both your friend and the girl whose life you’ve supported in Kenya!
One Girl Can’s aims are to build, educate and mentor. They build and renovate girls’ schools in some of the most marginalised regions in Kenya, provide scholarships to those in need of support, build confidence and provide training for career development. Every step One Girl Can takes is in the path towards each individual becoming independent and achieving gender equality. For this charity, safety and security are key!
Check out One Girl Can here:
I’m excited to introduce you to a really magical brand: Mayo Nom is the super talented, Japanese designer behind Manom Jewellery – all of the artisanal creations are hand-crafted in London and make use of small-scale mining communities to ensure ethical practices throughout all of the creations. The ethereal pieces are perfect for gifting to a friend in need of a slice of escapism from the world for a while. Whilst I love The Sun and Moon range, I’ve also been eyeing up the Tiny Friends collection – check out the stunning Cameo rings!
Check out Manom Jewellery here:
She’s Electric (& Eclectic)
Girls From Mars is a very special brand (who am I kidding, all my Shop Small Gift Idea brands are very special!). This brand has been popping up at so many of my local markets recently and yet my Mum & I keep missing them! GFM is a proudly independent, family business from Chelmsford – the brainchild of mum Lisa, along with graphic designer daughters Lizzie & Sammy. The dream team scour local flea markets and record fairs for stand-out vinyls to factor into their art pieces. My favourites are the portraits – but that’s the graphic designer within me talking! The passion for all things music & art is so obvious is every one of their creations and I just KNOW this brand will have something for that music-mad member of your gifting circle.
Check out Girl From Mars here:
Have you EVER seen anything as pretty as this beady goodness?! Imogen Melissa Embroidery’s work reminds me of coral reefs or meadows of wildflower blooms. The care and time involved in her creative process blows my mind. Each little, delicate bead is added to the composition and transformed into hoops, wall art, keyrings, and all wonderous treasures! I’ve seen a LOT of cool creations in my time but I’ve never seen anything quite like Imogen’s work. Everything is STUNNING and, just when you think you’ve taken it all in with your eyes, you can’t help but imagine how it would feel to touch – a treat for all the senses! Imogen Melissa aims to modernise the perception of embroidery – I for one would LOVE to have a piece of her work in my home so it’s safe to say she’s bringing embroidery right up to the modern age and making it an accessible thing for all to own (and show off about when guests pop round!). I’m also told Imogen puts together fantastic DIY kits! Whether you think your gift recipient has the patience and precision to create their own or if a perfectly-finished piece is best, I urge you to check out Imogen’s links below…
Check out Imogen Melissa Embroidery here:
A Timeless Twist On The Classics
Danielle Foster is a creator of original, beautifully-crafted accessories. For your fashion-loving friends, one of these luxurious yet conscious bags is a sure-fire win. The classic, minimal designs are a breath of fresh air compared to all the overdone bags on the scene – consider Danielle Foster bags to be a modern twist on the classics. Truly timeless, meaning these bags will slot seamlessly into any and every outfit! Proudly designed and made in London, this Shop Small Gift Idea is very local too (if, like me, you’re in Essex). As a brand, they’re also looking into corporate responsibilities, with focuses on consumption, waste and ethical use of human resources – all the things we love to see from brands these days!
Check out Danielle Foster here:
From Day to Daydream
I present to you a blooming beautifully-designed brand – LATTICIA Organic. Black-woman-owned, consciously handmade and with a philosophy you’ll absolutely love – MOVE which represents ‘Multi-purpose, Organic, Vegan & Ethical’). Latticia, the founder, created her business after being inspired by her own skincare qualms and the constant struggle to find products that aren’t reliant on synthetic ingredients. The brand’s vision is all thanks to Latticia (and her mum!) pursuing a ‘wellness first’ approach which sparked a fascination with pure ingredients (hence being both organic and Vegan). She became a self-taught formulator and produces some fantastic products including the award-winning Solstice Glow Balm – ideal for highlighting, nourishing, and adding a shimmering glow as you’re transported ‘from day to daydream in an instant’. Phew, these wonder products are all adorned with beautiful descriptions on Latticia’s website and their stunning packaging alone makes them fantastic gifts – and need I say more about supporting such a great business philosophy?!
Depending on when you’re reading this, you may have missed the window to order from this small business in time for Christmas but Latticia’s products are definitely a fantastic gift to treat yourself with for January!
Check out LATTICIA Organics here:
A Good Time Had By All
Gah, you’re seriously running out of time and have NO clue what to buy for the last person on your list… The Good Times Card is the answer to all your prayers! Redeemable across 100’s of in-person or at-home experiences across the UK, these cards are loaded up with however much you’re willing to spend on the recipient. But we’re in a pandemic… Fear not, these wonderful, all-encompassing gift cards have 5 years (yes – YEARS) to spend on life’s adventures. Your recipient could take Swing dance classes, commandeer a pair of custom-made shoes, do life drawing with real animals, book tickets to a West End musical, EVEN go on a guided bicycle tour or learn how to do aerial hoop acrobatics. The list really does go on!
Check out The Good Times Card here:
Thanks so much for reading the 2021 installment of my Shop Small Gift Ideas blog posts!
If you’ve explored some of the brands and businesses mentioned above or if you’re enjoying my annual tradition of Shop Small Gift Ideas posts, please do share my blog with your friends (just don’t let on what you’re treating them to this Christmas!).
Pop back very soon for another new blog post! And don’t forget that famous phrase…
When you buy from a small business, you make an actual person do a happy dance.
The pandemic won’t slow the success of small businesses so long as we support them!
If you’re an independent business owner, do drop me a message. I’d absolutely love to hear about you and your creations. See you soon and have a wonderful Christmas!