When you buy from an independent business, an actual person does a happy dance, or so the saying goes. It’s something like that right?
Since starting my blog, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many small business owners and have seen first hand how that is absolutely true. It’s, without a doubt, the kind of thing I would have never thought about before ( I mean, who doesn’t love a bargain?) But, after meeting so many wonderful women running small businesses, mainly in a bid to work more flexibly around their families, I have come to learn that bargain doesn’t always equal best. Supporting small shops, fellow mums and new ventures doesn’t only mean lovingly made and often, unique products, but it makes me feel good too. Us mums need to look out for one another, and however you look at it; mums supporting mums, families supporting families, people supporting people, it’s pretty cool in my eyes.
Finding the perfect gift can be hard enough, let alone trying to find one that comes from an independent business. I’ve put together a list of my favourite ‘all-in-one’ small shops run by totally amazing and inspiring women, to make shopping small this Christmas less needle-in-a-haystack and more someone-hide-my-purse-quick. I hope you enjoy browsing these sites as much as I do!
1. THE CONSCIOUS, ETHICAL ONE
ToyDrop’s mission is simple: to raise a generation of happy, sociable kids who grow up to appreciate their things and the world around them. All their toys are chosen to transcend age, gender and trends to form a collection of heirloom pieces that create conscious consumers from the very start. Absolutely everything on the site is crafted from sustainable and responsibly-sourced materials such as certified wood, paper and organic fabrics soIt’s all safe for little hands and mouths. I love that all the toys are gender neutral and being able to shop by age is a great feature, especially for gift buying! I love this website but beware, it will give you serious toy box envy.
SHOP HERE IF: You’re looking for classic but conscious gifts, which are never enjoyed at the expense of other people or our planet!
2.THE ONE THAT HELPS OTHERS
Lobella Loves is online marketplace that takes the stress out of finding beautiful gifts for baby, toddler and mums! Scroll through this treasure trove and you’ll be able to tick of the majority of your entire Christmas list in one go! Lobella Loves have painstakingly hand-picked only the very best sellers, who showcase the most beautiful, quality and interesting items, making it easy for you to find something truly special for whoever you might be looking for, whether it be decor for a bedroom, clothes for a brand new baby or something special for a deserving new mum, they have it all! Importantly, at the heart of the brand is the charity element to the business, where money from every single sale goes to charities helping to support mothers with perinatal mental health illnesses. Once you have met Jo, the founder of Lobella Loves, it is instantly clear that helping to fight the stigma around mental health illnesses amongst women is her true passion and what an incredible job she is doing. Her motto #itscooltobekind couldn’t suit her more perfectly and this makes shopping with Lobella Loves extra special. (You can find out more about this side to Lobella Loves here.)
SHOP HERE IF: You are looking for stylish and unique children’s products and you believe that #itscooltobekind.
3. THE COOL CONTEMPORARY ONE
The Nursery Edit is an uber-cool concept store bringing together modern Scandi design and quality kids products. It’s a great place to find current design-led brands all in one easy place. It really is as simple as that! It delivers beautifully cool kids products to design conscious parents and their little ones. Oh, and it’s run by a fellow northern lass, the gorgeous Meg! I’ve got my eye on the Oh Noo wooden pram for Mally, they are taking pre-orders for Christmas now!
SHOP HERE IF: You’re looking for hip, modern nursery decor and kids products (particularly if you like monochrome!)
4. THE FAMILY LIFESTYLE ONE
Olive Loves Alfie is a family lifestyle store which stocks an impressive range of globally sourced children’s wear, womenswear, toys, books and homeware. It is a creative destination store that aims to challenge the way we think about boy/girl styles and play, stocking cult unisex brands such as Beau Loves, Mini Rodini and Bobo Choses. This creative destination store has serious hand-me-down potential. It is clear to see that, Ashlyn and Emma have 6 decades of experience in the fashion industry between them and a shared love of design and sustainable fashion.There are also two Olive Loves Alfie stores to visit, one in Stoke Newington and their newest store in East Village, Stratford. I currently have my eye on an Olli Ella vintage inspired scooter basket (is that crazy?) to pimp Mally’s new hand me down scooter, they are so sweet! Olive Loves Alfie also run the fantastic OLA Mama! events, including supper clubs and clothes swaps – I can confirm that they are worth a visit!
SHOP HERE IF: You’re on the hunt for sustainable, ethical and beautifully designed products and clothes that will stand the test of time.
Happy Christmas Shopping!