Staffordshire gift guide: 16 indie brands to support this Christmas 2022

In just seven weeks time, many of us will be sitting on our living room floors, mulled wine on the mantelpiece, fairy lights twinkling on the tree with The Grinch or something equally as festive streaming on Netflix. Scissors in one hand, wrapping paper, bells and ribbons in the other, panic-wrapping presents ahead of Christmas morning.

And while it can be tempting to order everything online on next day delivery from major e-commerce giants, there’s nothing better than unwrapping a gift that’s been handpicked, personalised or carefully crafted from an independent business. 

The last two years have been incredibly tough, but from that adversity, so many Staffordshire creatives have discovered new passions, turned their hobbies into businesses and stumbled upon fresh opportunities after being furloughed from their jobs. 

During the pandemic, 59 per cent of shoppers said they had used more local shops to support them throughout the lockdowns, according to YouGov. Now, with the cost of living crisis, many shoppers will feel the need to spend carefully this year, and the importance of buying from and supporting local artists and makers has never been more crucial.

According to Visa’s Where You Shop Matters campaign, for every £10 spent with a local business, more than a third (£3.80) stays within the area. Similarly, almost half of small business owners say that if everyone in their local community spent just £5 extra per week it would help to keep them open in the long term. 

That extra fiver would see £4.7 million per year going directly into our local economy annually, leading to more jobs, a better high street, a stronger economy and the opportunity for more creatives to thrive.

Statistics from the Government website show that at that start of 2022, there were estimated to be 5.5 million small businesses in the UK, of which 4.1 million had no employees, which means these business owners often fill every role in their company, from design and creation, to marketing, sales and customer service.

Supporting an indie business helps small creators continue to live their dream, and every customer is a small but integral part of that, helping to put dinner on the table on December 25. Not only that, but the products you’re purchasing are completely original, making both the gift, and the shopping experience much more personalised. Independent retailers are much more likely to offer you excellent customer service, and go the extra mile to make that gift a special one.

And not only does every sale see small business owners do that little happy dance from behind their till, desk or computer, 43 per cent of Brits say they, too, get a boost of happiness when they support local shopkeepers.

This year, the Beffshuff Staffordshire Independent Gift Guide is in its fourth year, and it’s bigger and better than ever, jam-packed full of brands who make their gorgeous gifts right here in the Potteries and surrounding areas. From Stokie prints, pottery and pamper products, to homeware, accessories and personalised gifts sure to put a smile on the face of your loved ones this December 25. 

These gifts have been handpicked from a raft of local and independent creatives who are right on our doorstep, offering unique, handcrafted creations to give to those who mean the most to you.

Remember to start shopping early this year, firstly because quite often makers, artists and illustrators make their products to order – particularly if they’re personalised – so make sure you get them bought with plenty of time for them to be delivered, wrapped, and hidden underneath the tree. But secondly, although Royal Mail strike action has currently been withdrawn for this week, you don’t want to risk your gifts not arriving in time, so get those orders placed as soon as possible.

There’s something for everyone in this guide, with many of the brands having the Potteries right at the heart of their small biz, so be sure to share it with your friends and family, so they can shop small, too. Here are 16 brands where you can find the perfect Christmas present in Staffordshire this year.

Scruffy Little Herbert  

Stoke-on-Trent is the world capital of ceramics – a city shaped by decades of pottery production, which is why you’ll always find a Stokie turning over their crockery to locate the backstamp. Of course, this guide had to feature some homegrown pottery, and what better gift for the tea and coffee lovers in your life than a Stokie mug?

Scruffy Little Herbert is an independent ceramics and gift company headed by Esme Talbot, selling all sorts from cards and crockery, to oatcake charms and t-shirts.

Esme finds her inspiration in local heritage and brings the things we love from the past into the now. This particular design is the Retro Bottle Kilns mug, inspired by the heritage of our city’s potbanks. It’s thought that there are just 50 bottle ovens remaining in the city, these days.

The mug is priced at £15 and comes in sage or lavender. It features an illustrated design hand drawn and decorated by the mum-of-two, complete with a little duck inside, who you’ll find ‘swimming’ in your morning cuppa. I particularly like the splash of colour in their beak, which matches those woven into the outer pattern.

Made from fine bone china, it’ll keep your brew hotter for longer, and its ergonomic design makes it really comfortable to hold and sip from. 

All of Esme’s ceramics are produced by locally, with clothing items designed and produced from her home-based workshop in Meir Park.

Celebrating the business’ ninth birthday earlier this year, she said: “Scruffy is always going to be a part of my life and will always grow with me, it’s like having a third child.”

Over the years, Esme has designed commissions for The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery and The Royal Stoke University Hospital, shipping products around the world – from Dubai to New Zealand. Her vibrant and fun wares are sure to put a smile on any Stokie’s face this festive season.

Three more fantastic gift ideas from Scruffy Little Herbert.

Shop Scruffy Little Herbert online here.

Oh So Absurd 

“Meet me at the blue clock,” is a phrase many a visitor to Hanley has remarked. The iconic landmark, originally built for the 1986 National Garden Festival, now a universal meeting point for city centre shoppers.

Husband and wife team Ash and Sam Lightfoot have immortalised the decorative timepiece with their Stokie poster from their family-run design and print business, Oh So Absurd. 

The print, featuring an illustration of the clock and that phrase uttered by generations of clayheads, has been digitally designed and made to order from their Longton home, printed onto premium 170gsm matte photo paper for a punchy, smooth and non-reflective finish.

What’s more is that you can even request a specific time on the clock face, for the perfect personal touch. A few ideas for this could be the time of a birth, or an important date. For example December 25 would be 12:25, or February 14 would be 2:14. 

Then there’s the Ow At? print, in a colour popping navy, blue, gold and pink. It’s the ultimate finishing touch to your office, kitchen or bedroom, but I think it’s especially fitting for the hallway, to welcome in friends and family. 

The creative couple – parents to little Ollie – said: “As Ollie was approaching his first birthday we decided to create Oh So Absurd (because having a baby isn’t stressful enough!) and live out our dream of having our own little shop…even if it is online.

It’s our first Christmas as an indie business owner and we are super excited. We are always learning and appreciate all the support local businesses are giving us. Our goal is to create affordable but good quality gifts that might make someone smile or remember a certain time in their lives.”

We are proud Stokies and as all Stokies know, The Blue Clock (up ‘Anley Duck) was and still is a great landmark to meet people at. We have both been brought up in households where Potteries dialect was what we knew and we want to honour that and celebrate our roots.

All of their prints come in sizes A6 to A3, priced between £7 and £20 for unframed designs, and they do more than just Staffordshire-themed numbers. Avid music lovers, and Arctic Monkeys fans, as their brand name would suggest, they also make bold, colourful music prints to liven up your living space, with lyrics from Wet Leg, The Snuts, Swim Deep and of course, Arctic Monkeys. 

These are some of my favourite music prints from Oh So Absurd:

Shop the Oh So Absurd Etsy here.

Flying Teaspoons

Laura Clamp recently gave birth to her second child, but not one to waste any time, she jumped straight back into work with her gorgeous giftware, ordering brand new products that were so popular, they sold out in their first week.

Flying Teaspoons – as well as being an affectionate name for a group of long tailed tits – is an indie biz home to a number of quirky greeting cards, prints and cushions designed by the crafty mum, including her newly released Stoke home cushions.

My favourite design is the There’s No Place Like Home cushion, which features one of Flying Teaspoons’ best-selling designs. It sees the Potteries’ iconic bottle kilns and red brick terraced houses with the cosy quote that makes you want to sink into your favourite armchair with a good book and a brew.

Familiar and nostalgic, the cushion is made in a luxurious faux suede fabric, costing £17.50 without the filling, or £25 with the squishy fibre inner. The plump homeware piece is extremely comfortable, so we can see exactly why they sold out so quickly.

Soft to touch, the back of the cushion is charcoal grey, which reminds me of the smoke that billowed across the city in its industrial era. A beautiful design choice, it must be said.

The other Stokie design is of Middleport Pottery, which is one of my favourite spots for a potter about at the weekend.

Laura, from Penkhull, added: “Having a successful Christmas as an indie business owner means that I can afford to continue making and selling all of the designs and products my customers love during the quieter months of the year. I love to give back to the small business community too so I always make sure most of my presents are bought locally – having a successful Christmas means I can do this.”

Fancy some other Stokie gifts from Flying Teaspoons, here are my top picks.

Shop Flying Teaspoons on Etsy here.

Country Rose Knots 

Based in Stafford, Amy Collins creates bespoke macrame home decor, including coasters, antler wall hangings and plant hangers in an array of stunning dusky shades.

The former cabin crew member launched Country Rose Knots in 2020 after being furloughed from her British Airways role, having taken up macrame to scratch a creative itch in lockdown. She found herself inundated with requests to buy her makes, and so, the brand was born.

Available as individuals, or sets of two, three and four, Amy’s macrame coasters come in seven shades, including bamboo, sage, natural, linen, rose, vanilla and vintage peach. Made from soft, recycled cotton, the fringed discs add texture to your side tables and shelves, adding a farmhouse feel to your decor. 

The rustic designs cost £8 each, or you can save on multiples, costing £15 for two, three for £22 and four for £28. They’re great for giving as a full set, or splitting as stocking fillers for friends and family – maybe even keeping one for yourself (how could you resist?)

These beautiful, sustainable coasters are perfect for supporting your mug of hot chocolate as you snuggle into a hooded blanket on a chilly afternoon or holding a fragrant candle as it fills your room with a cosy scent – one from The Wandering Bee, below, perhaps!

As well as looking dainty and decorative, they’ll also do a fantastic job of protecting your surfaces from heat rings and bringing all the cosy vibes.

Amy is extremely keen to help others discover the cathartic nature of macrame through DIY kits, and has launched an adorable Christmas kit where shoppers can make their own snowflake to hang from their tree.

Ideal for complete beginners, the kit comes with everything you need to get in the festive spirit in front of the fireplace with a seasonal tipple. 

The kit costs £10 and includes super soft golden natural cotton cord, a wooden ring, gold tube, wooden bead,  wooden comb, hessian storage bag and complete instructions so you can get your craft on.

Don’t get yourself in a knot about Christmas shopping this year, try these from Country Rose Knots instead:

Shop Country Rose Knots on Etsy here.

Right Hand House

Inspired by botanicals, nature and all things vintage, Danielle at Right Hand House creates illustrated art with eco and sustainability at its heart. This winter, she’s brought back her best-selling Christmas card designs so that you can put a smile on someone’s face this December.

Danielle runs Right Hand House part time from her Newcastle home while juggling another job and her two young children. She said: “Having my son made me really focus on the areas of myself and life that felt positive and negative to me and the main thing I came to realise was how much having a focused outlet for creativity affected me positively. My art quickly took on two of my favourite things, plants and old vintage finds with a good ol’ story behind them. 

“So, I decided that drawing and painting the things I love, studying them, showing their history and turning them into products other like minded people could enjoy would be such a fulfilling and enjoyable route to go down.”

Danielle has released a set of three illustrated Christmas cards for £9. Cute, scenic and delicate, you can send your friends and family a happy raccoon, some festive foliage or a snowy, winter cabin scene, complete with your own handwritten message of season’s greetings.

The A6 cards are printed onto 350gsm, recycled card stock, which has a lovely velvety texture that will make you put this card up with the keepsakes. These seem far too nice to chop up, but I also often punch Christmas cards into tags to reuse the following year, too. Alternatively, these could even be framed as prints after being sent as Christmas wishes.

This lovely little pack of cards comes with A6 Kraft envelopes and are shipped in a biodegradable cello bag, wrapped in tissue paper and popped into a cardboard backed envelope for extra protection and planet-friendly packaging.

I love that each of these designs is totally different, perfect for the unique people in our lives. I already know who I’ll be sending mine to, this year.

Danielle added: “I love the camaraderie Christmas brings, whether I’m standing at a market stall selling, joining virtual sellers events or the festive selling community I’ve built up on Instagram, Christmastime is what makes the whole year feel productive. I designed these Christmas cards last year and they were such a hit with my customers I thought I would bring them back, particularly the little Christmas raccoon.”

Want to get a gift to match your Right Hand House Christmas card? Here are some ideas

Shop Right Hand House online here.

Cloud and Clay 

For the fashion lovers in your life, there’s a pair of Cloud and Clay earrings for every occasion. I have five pairs of the polymer clay designs myself, and wear them in rotation almost every day of the week.

Designed by former fashion management and communication student Lucy Blenkinsop, each piece is crafted by hand and made in small batches from her Staffordshire spare room. As a result, no two pieces are the exact same, for a totally bespoke pair you can treasure.

Over the last couple of years, Cloud and Clay has been featured in Tatler and Elle UK, as well as Refinery29 and Closer, both online and in print.

Newly launched as part of their Autumn collection, these flower hoop earrings are made with 18k gold plated or silver rhodium plated hoops with polymer clay flowers in nude and matte black beads. 

The hoops have lever back closures so they’re super secure and comfortable and due to the nature of polymer clay, they’re very lightweight and can be worn every day – perfect for those with sensitive ears, too.

This particular pair is £18, but you can get other earring styles from £8. As well as earrings, Cloud and Clay also create stylish studs, rings and necklaces that add a pop of colour and sass to any outfit.

These flower hoops, being in a neutral colour palette, go with any outfit, and I’ve received so many compliments wearing them already. They’re the finishing touch to every look, both fun and timeless, arriving in plastic-free packaging in an effort to reduce waste and be more sustainable, too. 

Lucy said: “As an indie business owner I love to make an extra effort for my customers at Christmas! Whether that be adding in a little freebie or including a handwritten note. I think those personal touches make the world of difference and you don’t typically get that with large retailers. The neutral shades in these hoops match with pretty much everything in your wardrobe, so they’ll take you through season to season.”

And it just goes to show that clay isn’t always vases and mugs like Great Pottery Throw Down, but can be used in various forms to hone creativity and produce stunning, wearable results. 

Thinking of building your own Cloud and Clay collection? Here are some of my favourite pieces you can order in time for Christmas.

Shop all of Cloud and Clay’s modern polymer clay designs here.

Clayhead Designs 

Mother and daughter team Andrea Degg and Claudia Wilson are the powerhouse team behind Clayhead Designs. They can often be found at local markets and pop ups alongside Stoke poet Nick Degg, Andrea’s husband, selling his poetry books, which I’m a big fan of.

Clayhead Designs – named after the slang term for people from Stoke-on-Trent – create  fun and unique designs that make you smile including gifts, clothing and stationery.

The Potteries has a strong influence in Clayhead’s pieces, many featuring bottle kilns or rival football clubs. Between them, the women have experience in photography, painting, sewing and printmaking – so it’s safe to say that making and shaking runs in the family.

This Christmas, why not give the gift of a screen printed Stokie tea towel, which will light up the faces of new homeowners, keen kitchen whizzes and oatcake lovers alike. 

The Clayhead Designs How Do You Eat Your Oatcake Tea Towel has been handprinted here in Staffordshire, each one being made to order. 

They’re of exceptional quality, made from 100 per cent cotton and printed with black water-based fabric ink. The tea towels measure 50cm by 70cm, and can either be used for its intended purpose of drying dishes or protecting your thighs when the oatcakes are fresh off the heat. Or perhaps you’ll frame it and hang it up to add a little bit of Staffordshire to your kitchen wall.

Quartered, rolled, double or open? bacon or sausage? Red or brown sauce? There are so many questions to consider before making our signature dish. Rolled sausage with red, if you ask me – but how we eat our oatcakes is as individual as our fingerprints – it’s what makes us different, but also what brings us Potters together.

All Clayhead Design orders are created and packed in their Staffordshire home studio, closely guarded by two cats Maddie and Ziggy. You can pick up the tea towel for £12 here.

Looking for more Christmas ideas at Clayhead Designs? Try some of these.

Shop more from Clayhead Designs here, with free delivery on all UK orders.

Bowers Bits and Bobs

Festive food is what I live for – give me all the cheese boards and Christmas charcuteries. Perhaps after all these viral videos, I may even make a seasonal ‘butter board’ – what do you reckon?

Aaron and Lyndsey Bowers are making some gorgeous personalised wooden gifts this Christmas, including a Christmas Tree cheese board that makes for the perfect ‘picky bits’ platter to enjoy with a festive film.

The couple were both furloughed from their hospitality jobs during the pandemic and have endured a rollercoaster of a journey since. Lyndsey explained: “We got married in January 2020, and fell pregnant in June of that year. Unfortunately at 18 weeks we lost our little Oliver. 

“Amongst all the brilliant support groups sent to us, we found the Christmas Ornament Swap – you make an ornament for someone who has lost a child, and will receive one from someone in return. We signed up and, as perfectionists, went next level and bought an engraving machine.

“Within three days we realised we were quite good at this, and with the right materials and ideas, this nifty little laser could make quality products that people might just buy.”

These stunning environmentally sustainable bamboo boards are food safe, and can help take your Christmas table layout to the next level.

Measuring around 33cm by 23cm, they’re personalised for that extra touch, reading ‘Christmas with…’ followed by your choice of wording. Ours says ‘the Shuffs’.

The £17 boards are so tactile and feel amazing, complete with a deep berry red ‘Merry Christmas’ ribbon for that extra festive finish.

Lyndsey added: “With our tree boards we wanted to come up with a gift that’s good enough to be a standalone gift, not just a stocking filler, but that personalised element makes it so much more special. 

“I’m still in awe of the fact that something I can sit and engrave in my kitchen can bring such joy to someone I don’t know somewhere else. When I think about it – we’ve managed to spread so much festive cheer, I can’t describe how chuffed that makes me feel!”

As well as being a stunning stand alone gift, this personalised board can also become the star gift in a hamper of goodies that can be served up on the board – think cheeses, jams and crackers handpicked from the Christmas markets.

And with the family name engraved, I think this is a lovely gift for those celebrating their first Christmas as a married couple, too.

Love what Bowers Bits and Bobs are about? Here are some extra gift ideas from the husband and wife duo.

Shop all Bowers Bits and Bobs on Etsy here.

The Gem Shed

Pippa Cotton has been making jewellery in some form or another since she was 12 years old, and started to work with silver in August 2020. It appears that if nothing else, the pandemic led so many makers to their passions, and I’ve loved seeing the businesses born from that adversity thrive over the last few years.

At The Gem Shed, Pippa creates beautiful sterling silver and gemstone jewellery, including necklaces, earrings and rings from her Longton studio. 

With prices from £18, each product is made to order, and therefore is completely one of a kind. Pippa has a shedload of gems – pardon the pun – to pick from, so you’ll be certain to find one you love for that special someone, and perhaps even one that has a significant meaning or property you align with.

I picked out the Rani Jade Oval Ring for its striking colour. Those who have followed me for a while will know I wear a lot of pink, so this will be a fabulous way to finish off my outfits. Costing £45, the ring features a 2mm sterling silver band with a 6mm by 8mm oval shaped rani jade stone.

There’s a whopping 58 sizes to choose from, from A to Z+6, including half sizes, so you’ll be hard pressed not to find your perfect fit. You can buy ring sizers for £1.50 if you don’t already know your size, which means you’ll be able to accurately order the best fit. 

After ordering, it can take up to two weeks for Pippa to craft your personal piece of jewellery, before packing it in an eco-friendly jewellery box with a free silver polishing cloth to keep it looking shiny. Though, did you know that the best way to stop your jewellery from tarnishing is to actually wear it!

My rani jade ring is a breathtaking piece, and the stone appears to change colour in different light, from a bright magenta to a deep plummy red. The gemstone rings look beautiful on their own, or can be stacked with some of Pippa’s stacking rings, which cost between £22 and £26. I think the wishbone ring and bark textured stacking rings would make a beautiful trio. And when you order on The Gem Shed website, you can get a huge £18 discount when you order two stacking rings with rani jade ring – so £75 for all three!

Here are some other gorgeous pieces from The Gem Shed if you’re looking for something for that special person in your life.

Shop more sterling silver jewellery from The Gem Shed here.

Teppi 

Teppi, which is the Icelandic word for ‘blanket’, is a Scandi-inspired lifestyle store founded by friends Lydia and Ella following a trip to the stunning country. The duo recently moved into a studio space at Woodings Yard, Stafford, where they’ll have even more space to create ceramic wares, hand bound journals, and slow-styling homeware pieces.

Just in time for Christmas, the duo have launched their popular festive plates, including Mince Pies, Twas The Night Before Christmas and star plate designs, starting from £16.

Posting on Instagram following the highly successful launch, the ladies wrote: “Completely blown away by your support for our Christmas plate launch, thank you SO MUCH to everyone who ordered, liked, shared or messaged, we’re so incredibly grateful and it means the absolute world to us. Our mince pie plates are now sold out, but don’t worry if you missed out, they will be coming back soon! Keep an eye on our stories for updates.”

Teppi’s mindfully made products are super cosy – I’m a huge fan of their candles, and love updating my reading journal and taking my husk travel cup out when I’m working in town. Their seasonal gifts are always highly coveted and sell out fast, so you will want to be quick to snap one of these up.

The Mince Pies Ceramic Plate comes in at £18 and is a wonderful addition to your Christmas dinnerware and the perfect plate for a festive snaccident. I love the idea of using it to leave Father Christmas a little treat on  Christmas Eve, too.

Each one is carefully crafted from speckled stoneware clay, individually hand shaped and embossed with black glaze lettering, finished with a clear glaze. The plates measure around 9cm by 18cm, and fit two standard size mince pies – three with some tetris style maneuvering – which is just the right amount to get you through a Christmas movie, or, for sharing with the rest of your family (or not, I won’t judge).

This is one of those products that remind you to live slower and enjoy those cosy moments with a glass of mulled wine and an obligatory mince pie while you wrap up gifts and decorate the tree. The only question left to ask is will it be one, two or three mince pies? Because we all know December calories don’t count.

Here are some of my other favourite Teppi products prime for festive gifting:

Shop the full range on the Teppi website here, and subscribe to their newsletter for a cheeky 10 per cent discount.

Abi Through The Ears 

Another pandemic-born business, which has thrived on the market scene since, is Abi Through The Ears. In order to help improve her mental health, Abi Proctor turned to her mum’s sewing machine – and has built up a loyal following of customers who adore her best-selling scrunchies.

Abi Through The Ears recently opened a studio at Middleport Pottery, specialising in thick hair scrunchies as well as other gifts like reusable face cloths and tote bags. Every item is hand cut and sewn by Abi and her mum before being sewn on her trusty vintage Brother sewing machine.

Instead of just a regular scrunchie – which would make a great stocking filler in its own right – Abi has created these scrunchie filled Christmas crackers to inject a bit of fun into the unwrapping. Priced at a very reasonable £5, every cracker features a scrunchie, Christmas hat and a joke – because it wouldn’t be a proper Christmas cracker without one!

On the website, shoppers can choose the cracker design, selecting from navy reindeer, red gonks, Kraft reindeer or brussel sprouts. You can then pick if you’d like a festive scrunchie or an every day scrunchie, but the final design will be a surprise, just like when you pull a proper Christmas cracker. 

My crackers came in brussel sprout and navy reindeer designs, inside which was a gorgeous magenta silk scrunchie, and a festive penguin one, perfect for adding a bit of Christmas spirit to my outfits. The jokes are such a nice touch, and who can resist wearing a cracker paper crown?

Abi said: “Christmas to me is a time to get funky with your accessories! It’s time to add glitter to everything and make life sparkle every day. As a business owner it’s all about making sure I offer up perfect gift ideas and something totally different for those hard to buy people.”

Want more stitched goodies to gift this Christmas, here are some of my top picks from Abi Through The Ears:

Shop the rest of Abi’s creations at Abi Through The Ears here.

The Wandering Bee 

The Wandering Bee is a small family-run candle company making kick-ass candles from amber beer bottles in the most incredible scents. Launched in 2021’s national lockdown, Beth and her family found themselves creating six or seven candles an evening, scoring, splitting and sanding them with makeshift machinery in their busy kitchen. Now, 18 months on, they’ve outgrown their space and have opened their own shop down Adies Alley in Stone, as well as having 21 stockists for their products up and down the country.

Candle creator Beth Warren said: “By moving into this larger shop and studio space, we have been able to explore new opportunities and work with some incredible people. The Wandering Bee has been sold in John Lewis with the Curated Makers, at Chester Zoo in the House of Sumatra, we’ve had two popup shops on Oxford Street with the Hellfire Collective, we’ve become stockists in several stores across the UK, we’ve been able to collaborate with many amazing companies and hire our first member of staff. 

“The first year of running this small business has been incredible and we can’t wait to see where we go from here!”

This autumn, TWB launched four new fragrances for AW22: Gettin’ Figgy With It, Cookies, Coffee and Caramel, Dusk Til Dawn and Devilishly Cinnamon. Not content with just four new seasonal releases, Beth curated three more festive fragrances which launched on November 4, and can now be found on their website for those who just can’t get enough of a Christmassy candle. 

This is The Wandering Bee’s Devilishly Cinnamon candle which is £15 for 180g (40 hours of burn time), or £21 for 300g (around 60 hours of fragrance). It offers spicy notes of cinnamon bark and ground nutmeg, alongside black pepper, clove and cumin, with base notes of ginger and cinnamon leaf. It’s the ultimate cosy candle, perfect for lighting up the room, giving off heat, and filling the room with its sweet and spicy aroma.

All of TWB candles are made with 100 per cent natural, scented soy wax, fragranced with some of the most amazing oils, making them healthier and more environmentally friendly than one you might pick up on the high street. 

They offer a perfectly balanced strength in scent throw without that unpleasant chemical smell when burning. As well as this, the candles are biodegradable, renewable and 100 per cent non-toxic.

What’s more is that they now turn their bottle tops into dinner candlestick holders, reducing waste and creating more funky homewares that fit every aesthetic. 

Here are some other gift ideas from The Wandering Bee:

Shop the full range of The Wandering Bee kick-ass candles here.

Bits and Boobs

Acting as a love letter to the self, Bits and Boobs aims to highlight and celebrate the female form in all of its glory, and for that body posi person in your life, this tits sweatshirt is an empowering and snuggly gift certain to put a smile on their face. 

Each one is freehand embroidered by business owner Louise Amos, and as such, every single one will be slightly different. Designed to challenge modern beauty standards, these Bits and Boobs designs ‘show love to the soft shapes and areas which fail to receive praise, peace and acceptance in society’.

Louise said: “My products are like a love letter to the self – helping you to show a little love and compassion to you, just as you are. By normalising our bodies through perfectly imperfect free hand stitched designs onto clothing and accessories that can be worn and used daily, I’m hoping that it can become a mental reminder for us to learn to appreciate, be gentle with and show the most love to ourselves just as we are.”

Priced at £35, this is the kind of sweater that goes with everything, as well as being a real conversation starter, as I’ve quickly learned. For me, I love the representation of shapes and sizes and the idea of wearing your ‘imperfections’. It serves as a gentle reminder to be kind to yourself, and that we are all individual.

This design comes in black, white or light pink, available in sizes small to 2XL. It offers a full length, regular fit for total comfort, made with 100 per cent organic cotton sourced from UK suppliers which are climate neutral, making it not only super snuggly and warm, but planet friendly, too.

Louise added: “It’s super important to me that my work doesn’t impact the planet in a negative way, and that’s why everything is consciously handmade by myself, as well as guaranteeing that all of my products are either organic, recycled or biodegradable!

“To me, Christmas as an indie biz owner means community. So many gorgeous connections are made at this time of the year. Whether it’s a new customer who’s just discovered my brand, or meeting a fellow indie biz owner at a market, those in person, and online connections act as a major form of motivation for me to keep on pursuing and doing what I love!”

Want more Bits and Boobs? Here are some of my favourite gift ideas:

Shop the whole Bits and Boobs range of body posi products here.

Jessica and James 

Jessica and James was created by Charlotte Jessica Braund in 2020 through a desire to change the way fashion jewellery is made, moving away from using plastic beads and acrylics, and instead, opting for more sustainable materials. 

Each piece of jewellery is handmade by Charlotte herself using specially selected natural semi precious stones and high quality materials, such as freshwater pearls.

As a brand, Jessica and James aims to offer ‘bang on trend sustainable gorgeousness’ to make you feel and look absolutely fabulous at an affordable price for everyone, and her new for AW22 Sienna necklace is the perfect piece of jewellery to embody their ethos. 

One look at this Sienna necklace and I was in love – so I’m sure you will be too. This all-season essential slotted effortlessly into my personal jewellery collection, and quickly became a piece I wanted to wear every single day because it just brings something really special to an outfit. 

Sophisticated and on trend, the £37 accessory aims to reinvent the classic pearl necklace into an on trend fashion statement for the modern woman. The stunning piece is made with real natural freshwater pearls that are oh-so dreamy, varying in shape, size and texture for an organic finish. They’re paired with a gorgeous chunky gold chain with a statement T bar clasp and dainty 18ct gold overlay bee.

It’s both delicate and bold, and goes with absolutely everything. It’s available in a 16 inch or 18 inch chain, so you can style it your way, such as worn with other gold necklaces for a layered look, or paired with some simple pearl earrings for something a little more timeless.

Charlotte said: “Our Sienna Pearl necklace oozes sophistication from the delicately strung freshwater pearls down to the gorgeous chunky on trend gold chain. Your necklace will arrive in a luxury branded jewellery box with care instructions. Wear alone or why not team with our matched bee charm pearl earrings from the collection.”

Love Jessica and James? Here are three other best-sellers to give someone this Christmas.

Shop all of Jessica and James’ sustainable handmade jewellery and pet accessories here.

Mini Mo & Mog

Nothing says Christmas like luxury home spa products, and this organic, vegan facial steamer from Mini Mo && Mog makes the perfect gift or stocking filler for someone who needs a nudge to take five minutes for themselves.

Launched by Elizabeth ‘Libby’ Wilkinson, Mini Mo & Mog was born out of a lockdown spent with her two children who loved to send letters and parcels to friends and family to stay connected, and as such would go crazy with excitement whenever they heard post hit the mat in return.

Mini Mo & Mog have curated an online store of thoughtful and unique gifting for mums, bumps and babies, but equally, a number of their pamper products are suitable for absolutely anyone. Personally I love their bath salts and oil melts, and now, I can’t get enough of this fragrant, floral facial steamer.

Made using a natural blend of meadowsweet, mugwort, comfrey, yarrow, lemon balm, rose, lavender, cornflowers, jasmine and marigold, this brightly coloured pot of dried blooms is lightly scented with petitgrain and geranium, and is visually stunning.

Costing £8, the blooms can be added to a bowl of hot water for a relaxing treatment that infuses the skin with a warm floral and herbaceous steam that opens the pores, stimulates circulation and softens the skin.

It’s suitable for all skin types, and I always feel super refreshed and rejuvenated after using this. It really is like a mini home spa without the expensive price tag.

Libby said: “My website went live in September 2020 and ever since Mini Mo & Mog has absolutely taken over and changed my life. We’ve surprised more then 6,000 mini people and expectant mums with lovely gifts, I’ve given a talk on my experiences in business at my old university, I’ve been accepted onto a product development scheme with Not On The High Street and I partnered with Sands baby loss charity to raise money and awareness.

“It’s not been an easy ride and it’s challenged me in so so many ways, but it’s been bloody exciting and I can’t wait to keep pushing and growing!!”

If you know a new mum or expecting parent, these pamper products are such a lovely, unique present – but you don’t have to be a mama to make the most of them!

Here are some more Mini Mo & Mog products that anyone can use:

Shop everything from baby clothes to beauty products on Mini Mo & Mog here.

The Staffordshire Oatcake Co 

We all know there’s nothing a Stokie loves more than an oatcake (or two), and now with this 100-year-old recipe, you can have a go yourself. A match made in heaven with Clayhead Designs tea towel is this Staffordshire Oatcake Co oatcake mix, which costs just £4.95. 

During the first Covid-19 lockdown, Mark Adams had to furlough himself from his advertising business and, rather than sitting around, the Baddeley Green dad launched The Staffordshire Oatcake Company. He tracked down a 100-year-old oatcake recipe, and created a dry mix so that people could have a go at making their own, which has since been shipped around the world to the likes of Iceland and New Zealand.

For Christmas, the Staffordshire Oatcake mix packaging has had a festive makeover, adorned with snowflakes, holly and reindeer. Each pack does around a dozen oatcakes – and they couldn’t be easier to make, you just need some water and a frying pan. 

I love to give these out to people I get for secret Santa who aren’t usually from the Potteries, so they can try oatcakes for the very first time. They also make a wonderful gift for any Stokie who has since moved out of the area and is in need of their oatcake fix. Alternatively, if you know someone who just loves to be in the kitchen showing off their chef skills, this is a sure winner. 

I can’t imagine these mixes will last very long past Christmas. I heard that oatcakes are the traditional breakfast for Boxing Day in Stoke-on-Trent, and it would be rude to break tradition, right? You could even opt for cheese with left over pigs in blankets as a festive filling.

Fancy some other oatcake themed goodies? Check out these from Staffordshire Oatcake Co:

Shop the full Staffordshire Oatcake Co range online here.

And there we have it! The Beffshuff Staffordshire independent gift guide for 2022 – I hope you all have a fantastic run up to Christmas shopping small, supporting independent businesses and getting into the festive spirit! And if you do order from any of the brands featured in the guide this year, be sure to let me know in the comments!

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1 Comment

  1. November 6, 2022 / 3:12 pm

    What a wonderful gift guide! I love the earrings, necklace and the tee! What a stunning way to show off body positivity!

    Rose | Beauty & Lifestyle Blogger
    @rosemaryhelenxo | https://rosemaryhelenxo.com

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