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Shop independently this (and every) Christmas

As 2020 draws to a close, we can all agree it has been a tough year for many, and in so many ways. As a small business ourselves and having the pleasure of working with small businesses, we’ve seen businesses showcase their exceptional entrepreneurial skills – turning their talents to different crafts such as producing hand sanitizer and designing face coverings. We salute these businesses that have adapted to the year we’ve had and have found ways to survive.

In support of the small business community, we have created the below list of recommendations from the PF team and our wonderful clients, for shopping independently this (and every) Christmas.

Every recommendation comes personally from a PF team member or client, who has purchased from them and can vouch for the quality of their goods and service. We trust you’ll enjoy supporting not just “a business”, but the strong, hard working, creative, and beautiful humans who do good work.

To help you find what you need in your area, we have split our recommendations geographically. Here you will find UK recommendations, and here are the US and Canada ones. Enjoy!

UK

Sustainably handcrafted brooches, necklaces and pins
&ILC
Glasgow, UK
Recommended by Steph from PF

&ILC is owned by the lovely Isla Cruickshank, a qualified Silversmith and freelance cook who has combined these two talents to create &ILC. Her unique company is committed to challenging the perception of waste and encouraging responsible consumption. They do this by using raw eggshells from Scottish kitchens to create bespoke pieces. Their current offering includes brooches, necklaces and pins. Steph really admires the commitment to sustainability and creativity and would recommend this as a unique gift this Christmas.

 

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Accessories for your pooch
Pawsome Paws Boutique
Online, UK
Recommended by Cheryl from Pink Pig Financials

Cheryl’s dog Ziggy is going to be well and truly spoiled this Christmas with lots of wonderful gifts from Pawsome Paws Boutique who sells a huge variety of gifts for your furry friend. Ranging from hoodies to ID tags, there is no excuse not to kit out your doggie this Christmas!

Speciality tea
Rosevear Tea
Edinburgh, UK
Recommended by Karen from PF

And here is why: “It’s the best loose leaf tea of many varieties I’ve ever had and is the type of place I would go into often when shops are open, and hang out and chat tea and learn about the different types. The people are incredibly knowledgeable and will talk to me for ages and help me choose teas I’ll love. Plus they do little sample packets in case you want to try a tea but aren’t sure if you like it yet. I’ve had some major wins that way, either by realising I love it and need to buy more; or by seeing I don’t love it, and am glad I didn’t buy a big packet of it!”

 

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Butchers – Traditional & Pitmaster BBQ meat cuts
Bob’s Family Butchers
Hatfield, UK
Recommended by Ian Butler from Golding

When we asked Ian why he would recommend Bob’s Family Butchers, his response was “that needs very few words. Just simply amazing food”. Well that does say it all!

Homemade soy candles
Natures Finest Candles
Recommended by Beccy Pope from PF

Here Beccy shares the story behind this recommendation, “a friend’s daughter who over lockdown kept herself busy, while she couldn’t attend school, by setting up her own little business selling homemade soy candles on Etsy under the name Natures Finest Candles. It really shows that it doesn’t matter what age you are, you can be an entrepreneur and set up your own little business at any time. And the candles smell amazing too!”

candle in love heart frame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Authentic hand-crafted hardwood furniture
Dark Iron Fab
Rochester, UK
Recommended by Camilla from PF

Here Camilla explains, in her own beautiful words, why they are on the list: “I’m recommending my partner’s business, DarkIron: Authentic hand-crafted hardwood furniture. Sounds like an obvious choice doesn’t it? Of course I’d shout about him all day long. But actually, my love for his craft came first – in fact, it’s the reason we met. A modern day romance sparked from an instagram story about a beautiful hand crafted table. These days we have at least four statement DarkIron pieces in our home, and they put MDF and chipboard to shame. I love that he cares so much about the quality and origin of the wood, and about his customers being part of the whole process of choosing their forever furniture – from tree to home, or office, or shop.”

Speciality coffee
Curve Roasters
Margate, UK
Recommended by Georgi from Starfish Accounting

Curve Roasters has been recommended thanks to their excellent coffee subscriptions. The owners are dedicated to responsibly sourcing the most interesting fresh crop green coffee that they can get their hands on. They strive to put their producer partners in the spotlight to make sure their dedication and hard work is celebrated all the way along the supply chain. We salute this (and the great coffee they produce)!

Gift boxes with local delights
Keep Edinburgh Thriving
Edinburgh, UK
Recommended by Elaine from PF

Elaine was gifted a box from Keep Edinburgh Thriving when she moved to Edinburgh in September, which came as a lovely surprise. It was filled with lots of delicious treats, soaps, beautifully designed coasters and playing cards. A really special gift which supports small, unique, Edinburgh based businesses.

Artisan & vegan baker
https://www.instagram.com/samcdennis / https://www.instagram.com/katelangston
Cornwall, UK
Recommended by Andy from Complete HQ

This is a husband and wife team – one an artisan baker and one a vegan baker, who relocated from London to Sunny Cornwall. Andy recommends their baked goods calling them, in one simple word, “delicious!”

 

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Farm-made Scottish cheese
Isle of Mull Cheese
Isle of Mull, UK
Recommended by Karen from PF

This fresh farm made cheese is from Karen’s favourite island of them all, Mull and she loves to visit there at least 2-3 times a year when we are able to travel. Not only is their cheese amazingly great quality, but they would normally get a lot of business from tourism and visitors which they don’t get now, so we would love to see them get their cheeses sent far and wide.

 

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Tea & coffee shop (Dundee’s oldest!)
Braithwaite’s Tea & Coffee
Location: Dundee, UK
Recommended by Col from PF

Braithwaite’s Tea & Coffee first put their kettle on in 1868 and even now, they still use some of their original machines and scales. With an extensive selection of teas and coffees to choose from and really friendly staff, Col recommends you check out his hometown’s oldest shop at your next opportunity.

 

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Hot sauces and seasonings
Condimaniac
Online, UK
Recommended by Camilla from PF
Condimaniac is an award winning craft condiments company owned by our very own Kier. He felt a little strange including himself in the list, but Camilla insisted as she likes his Bagel Seasoning. Happy saucing!

 

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Award winning Scottish Inn
Clachaig Inn
Glencoe, UK
Recommended by Karen from PF
Karen shares why this inn is on our list, “This is an inn up in Glencoe in the Scottish highlands. It happens to be at a good stopping place when I’m travelling through, and it also happens to be the filming location of Hagrid’s hut for one or two of the Harry Potter films … and it also happens to have AMAZING food and whisky and hot mulled drinks in winter (or anytime, because the Scottish highlands can be cold in July sometimes!). Their haggis, neeps and tatties are excellent every time. They have been truly fighting valiantly to keep the place going in 2020 and I cannot think of a more worthy place to spend a few pennies or quid.”

Award-winning artisanal chutneys, relishes and mustards
The Spice Witch
East Lothian, UK
Recommended by Elaine from PF
The Spice Witch combines the finest ingredients with “a touch of magic” to create delicious chutneys and relishes. With five Great Taste Awards under their belt, it’s no wonder Elaine loves their Mango Chilli Chutney with cheese and crackers. This is a perfect stocking filler for any foodie, or just as a delicious treat for yourself!

 

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US & Canada

Handmade soaps, lotions and bath bombs
Paper Street Shop
Michigan, USA
Recommended by Jamie from PF

Paper Street Store is owned by the wife of one of our clients and Jamie was delighted with her purchase of some “Unicorn Dust” bath salts that she has bought as a present for her daughter. Amazing smells for days!

Black Girl Magic apparel and accessories
Mocha Design Studio
www.etsy.com/shop/MochaDesignStudio
Online via Etsy
Recommended by Jamie from PF

Supporting Black-owned businesses where she is able to is important to Jamie and she purchased a couple shirts from Mocha Design Studio earlier this year. They arrived quickly and the owner had great response times to her questions.

Caramel apples
Amy’s gourmet apples
Online, USA
Recommended by Kendall from PF

These caramel apples are a firm favourite in Kendall’s household and she orders them at least twice a year for her and her family to enjoy. You can order online and have delicious, small batch caramel apples shipped right to your door. We highly recommend you add them to your Christmas shopping list this year (and every year after).

Handmade eco-friendly jewellery
Brightsmith
Online via etsy
Recommended by Kendall from PF

Brightsmith is another online seller and she is loved for her creativity and reasonable pricing. Kendall originally found these as her friend wanted really tiny earrings when she lost her hair because she felt like big earrings with her head scarfs made her look like a gypsy. Brightsmith has these teeny tiny 4mm studs, which suited perfectly. A really thoughtful gift idea.

Sleep Aid products
Laundry Day
British Columbia, Canada
Recommended by Joe at Avalon

Joe has included Laundry Day in our list for their innovative ideas and how they combine technology with human interaction to create sleep aid products.

 

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DIY paint by numbers
Paintillio
British Columbia, Canada
Recommended by Joe at Avalon

Paintillo brings out the creative side in us all – which we are a BIG fan of. Another female owned business bring communities together to celebrate, create and collaborate through the world of paint!

 

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