Christmas is a time of giving and there is never a better time to give back to your local community than by shopping local and supporting small businesses.
Our busy lives often lead us to the convenience of ‘one stop shop’ retail chains or online stores (guilty!) to complete our festive shopping, but it would do us all well to consider not only what we should buy for our loved ones these holidays but where our money is going once it is spent.
Shopping locally has many benefits – you are supporting local entrepreneurs and therefore supporting their families, customer service can often be much better on a local level, you can get good advice and are more likely to come across a unique gift. With that in mind we want to feature some local businesses that can supply you with the ultimate gift for couples and children this Christmas.
Do you know a couple who recently got married or moved into their first home? Treat them to a bespoke hamper from Wrapped Up Luxury Gifts. With a range of irish gifts including the best brands Ireland have to offer, Wrapped Up can create you the most wonderful Christmas hamper full of products they’ll love. From tipperary crystal, to belleek pottery to irish chocolates from Lily OBriens, there are plenty of exclusive bundles to choose from.
Looking for the perfect gift for couples? The wicker man is a craft shop and art gallery rolled into one! Stocking a wide range of goods from artwork to teatowels – we can guarantee you will pick up something special and unique this Christmas. Did we mention they also sell Game of Throne merchandise? Yeah, brb.
Established in December 2002, Little Heart Belfast are a little treasure trove of lovely things. Little Heart paint and make their own cards and pictures and you can even have a commission of your family which is a very special and unique gift! You can shop their gorgeous creations here.
4. Born & Bred
Born & Bred exists to help artists thrive. Founded in 2014 by Linzi Rooney, her day-to-day work involves mentoring makers, welcoming people into the studio and selling beautiful, locally-made gifts in the shop. The studio and shop is open to the public and creates an opportunity for artists, locals, tourists, kids (and dogs), to get together and support independent businesses.
Moonchild pride themselves on the quality of their ingredients when crafting soaps. All of their products are palm-oil free, chemical free, and packaging is made from recycled plastic-free materials. From the initial recipe development and testing, to the final product, their attention to detail is second to none. In an ever-evolving industry, Moonchild Artisanal Soaps has strived to maintain exceptional quality of all our products. Explore their site and see for yourself!
Allie Mae Living is a home and gift shop based in Maghera, Northern Ireland. Specializing in Home Interiors, Gifts, Chalk Paint and Cards. Trust us, when shops reopen again – you will want to visit this gorgeous shop – interior goals!
Looking for a cleaner way to scent your home? Simmering Salts are all handmade and can be your wax alternative! For only £2.50 a pack, you might as well treat a loved one to some gorgeous scents made locally here in Northern Ireland.
Cootes of Ballygawley is an independent family-owned Builders Merchant that have been trading in retail services for over 30 years. Specialising in an extensive range of Hardware, Plumbing, Building, Home Decor, Electrical supplies, Flooring and Bathrooms. However, in later years have developed an all-encompassing range of quality giftware, home accessories and occasional furniture.
Since 2012 Omagh Craft Collective CIC has set up its annual pop-up shop each Christmas. It hosts over 30 local crafters’ work. If you know someone that appreciates the more unique variety of gifts then this place is definitely worth a visit for hand crafted products including: jewellery, candles, soaps, knitwear, handbags, textile art and cards. For a sneak peek check out their Facebook page.
Not only does The Feminist Shop offer a great platform to explore values and ideas but it also has some pretty cool apparel to encourage taking back the F word. Don’t make the mistake of thinking this is somewhere you can grab a t-shirt for her as a last minute Christmas dash but there are strong and powerful messages to be found for men, women and kids alike in their clothing.
Looking for a personalised card? Well, write it on a cookie! Ooh& Aah are now shipping hundreds of cookies weekly, and their kick ass ethos of strong working mums has been the key factor in the success of the Ooh & Aah brand. Ruth & Barbara-Ann believe anything is possible with hard work, determination, wine, milk, muslin cloths and a good solid four hours of sleep a night! Shop their delicious cookies here.
Nestled in the heart of Holywood blooms Urban Orchard, a gently nurtured and lovingly cultivated gift boutique offering an electic mix of brands and products upon which to feast your eyes and pick your pressies!
Megan’s work is inspired by Coastal life in County Down, Northern Ireland. You can check out her stuff here. Have a look around and enjoy my handmade ceramics inspired by coastal life in Northern Ireland.
A one-stop destination for beautiful homewares, gifts and lifestyle products from female makers, creatives and businesses. Looking for that unique christmas gift? Shop at Bodhi Living.
15. Sugar & Glaze
Do you know someone with a sweet tooth? At Sugar & Glaze, you are guaranteed to surprise a loved one to some beautiful sugar cookies – for all occasions! Based in Dromore, you can personalise any cookie – our personal favourite is the Christmas car with the Christmas tree on top.
Looking for the perfect home gift? Foxberry have you covered. With a range of cosy blankets and candles, to homeware and petcare – you are guaranteed to find a gift for all ages. Check out their gifting section on their website for some inspiration!
The founder of In Stitches, Maggie loves all things crochet and has been crocheting for around 12 years on and off, until 4 years ago when she lifted her hook and hasn’t put it down since. If you take a look at her website, all of her items are customisable. From beanies, to child cardigans to crocheted elves – she has it all!
2. Ditsy Little
Zoe is the ultimate mum boss – winning at both motherhood and juggling her small business. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Ditsy Little – they offer baby teethers for your little one in the form of a super stylish necklace for all the mums out there, or as a clip on to your baby’s bib. With a brand new weaning wonders range, you have to check out her page – so quirky, but practical too! (The shape is perfect for little hands to grasp and little gums to chomp on)
Grace James love to make quality pieces that not only look beautiful but are equally as practical. They make all of their items using luxury Tana Lawn Liberty fabrics, beautiful soft Irish linens and organic premium bamboo cotton towelling. They pride themselves on providing beautifully designed items with delicate details which are lovingly handmade in Belfast, Northern Ireland. You can take a look at their gorgeous baby range here.
Established in 2013 husband and wife team Patrick and Claire own two stores across Northern Ireland, specialising in top quality nursery products. Within each store we have a fabulous highly trained team of staff who have a wealth of experience in helping you find the perfect baby items for you and your family. We seek out the best and latest items available for your little one’s, from the latest technology in car seat safety and stylish pushchairs, to the best teething & sleeping aids available.
Looking for the perfect local independent toy shop for Christmas presents? Chocoloons specialise in key brands, developmental toys and sensory toys. Our ethos is to provide safe, quality products that encourage child development and playtime where parents and children can both enjoy spending time together.
5. Hushh Kids
Hushh Kids is a leading supplier of exclusive kids decor. Bringing magic into your kids rooms! After working with brands in Paris – Rachael’s goal is to cater for all kids and supply items such as fabric ,wallpapers, bedding, lighting, rugs, wall art and lots of accessories to transform your child’s bedroom. You can take a look at her website here.
After a miscarriage, secondary infertility and two rounds of IVF – Sarah decided to set up Peonies & Poms after giving birth to her gorgeous little girl, Efi. That’s why there is a special ‘Efi Garland’ named after her. Take a look at her gorgeous garlands here.
Aine has been designing wedding stationery for just over two years now and loves creating bespoke designs for all ocassions. After the success of her wedding stationery, she now has started creating personalised prints for newborn babies to feature in their nursery. Making the perfect gift this Christmas!
Founder and owner Sarah designs her own organic fabric and make cute things with it. From teething rings to organic baby sweatshirts! All of her prints are ethical, eco and animal friendly. Take a look at her bright, colourful baby range here.
Todi offers bespoke knitted garments for babies & children. Bringing traditional craftsmanship into the 21st century through colours that reflect current trends. During her time at university studying Textile Crafts, Becks was determined to sell her own collection since then. Shop her fun, cuddly & organic garments here.
10. Maggiemai’s bows
All girls love glitter, right? At Maggie Mai’s – you are in for a treat! These handmade Irish bows are covered in all things sparkly and pretty and are guaranteed to make your little daughter or niece smile. Just look at them!
Refuge Hot Chocolate has been fully operational since 2017 led by Chief Potion Maker Tara Mullan. Stocking several products including liquid chocolate that can be enjoyed hot or cold, thick chocolate milkshake, solid hot chocolate Melts and their brand new hot chocolate Blend (divine). All products are fair trade and as waste-free as possible, to shop – click here.
Fan of American sweets? Curious Candy have you covered! Bangor’s number one supplier of traditional, American and worldwide sweets, you are guaranteed to find something for your kids this Christmas that will make them smile (or go a little hyper – sure it’s Christmas).