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 Northern Irish businesses for gift ideas and inspiration this Christmas.
Zara McLaughlin is a ceramic artist based in Ballymoney, Northern Ireland. Her work fluctuates between two main practices as she enjoys making work for the gallery space but also loves to create bespoke functional ware for the home. With a range of bespoke mugs, candle burners and decorations – you can support local artists like Zara this Christmas.
2. Shannon’s Jewellers
Shannon’s have expanded into world renowned luxury brands in diamond set jewellery and within the watch industry. The team understand that the purchase of a fine piece of jewellery, an engagement ring or luxury watch requires time and advice and we are happy to help our customers in any way they can. If you need any help when making your purchase, whether it be keeping within a budget, picking the perfect piece, you can contact the team at Shannon’s Jewellers here.
Looking for the perfect skin treatment? Michelle from Bliss Beauty Clinic was the first ever Dermalogica expert here in Northern Ireland. With a wealth of knowledge about what skincare products to use, along with stocking Eve Taylor skincare products, this is definitely the place to go if you want to feel good in your own skin.
4. Hunt & Gather
For all you stationery lovers who loves their to-do lists, this one is for you! Hunter Paper Co supplies beautiful stationery and gift boutiques across the UK & Ireland married couple Emma & Ross have worked extremely hard to set up shop here in Belfast. Sourcing the best stationery, home and gift items and have started working towards the day when they open their physical shop! In the meantime please browse their online store.
Looking for a contemporary jewellers based in Ballycastle? McLaughlins is the place to go! Stocking a wide and varied range of gold, silver, diamond, costume, watches and branded jewellery, you will be spoilt for choice this Christmas.
Memento is a small independent gift shop located on the Beautiful Causeway Coast of Northern Ireland. Stocking a range of accessories, jewellery, stationery, gifts and treats. With Click & Collect and Doorstep Delivery options available, this is the place to shop this Christmas!
Using luxury oils, making natural infusions of herbs, clays, roots, seeds and petals for wellbeing and natural colour, Averil has a passion for creating beautiful soaps which are all scented using essential oils. With a range of gift sets available, treat yourself or a loved one to pure luxury silky soap with beautiful essential oil scents, along with luxury soaps or hair care sets.
8. Abacus Beads
For anyone who has never been in a bead shop before, just imagine a ‘pick and mix’ for jewellery making! Everything needed for making costume jewellery is stocked, from the beads, findings and threadings to the tools and books for inspiration. Stocking a vast selection of beads from all over the world in glass, wood, metal and acrylic to semi-precious stones and freshwater pearls, this truly is a one stop shop for all things jewellery making! To view their stock, click here.
Jewellery designer Avril Manderson has always been a bit of a black sheep! As an established handmade silver jewellery artist known for her quirky commissioned designs, she was asked to create a new piece of sheep jewellery for an exhibition in 2011. The handmade silver sheep jewellery was received so well that she launched the Fresh Fleeces range! You can shop their quirky jewellery here.
After completing her degree in fine and applied Arts, Emma decided to set up her own business back in 2011 making jewellery and fascinators from a small studio in Bushmills. After relocating to slightly larger premises in Ballymoney, she was able to expand her range and began selling various accessories including handbags, scarves and jewellery. You can visit her online Accessory Boutique today for gifting inspiration.
Ben is autistic graphic designer currently living in Northern Ireland and is a lover of all things Disney and Banksy. He love taking the time to create something for others to love and cherish and therefore am pleased to offer an ever growing range of magical badges and magnets – perfect for your next special trip or just to brighten up someones day. You can check out his work here.
At Robin Adair Jewellers, they stock a wide collection of watches and jewellery including rings, pendants, brooches, earrings and more. They also offer quality jewellery repairs and valuations for reasonable prices. Visit their jewellery shop today and you will surely love the gorgeous collections available.
13. Selfish Beauty
Selfish Beauty provides customers with access to both luxury brands and niche brands in store where they are free to touch, feel and test. If your looking for the perfect present to make that special person smile? Or the ideal way to say thanks to your staff or clients? Whatever you’re after, you’re bound to find it here at Selfish Beauty. From birthdays and anniversaries, to corporate gifts and incentives, we have something for every occasion and budget.
Looking for a personalised gift for a loved one? Ivy & Gold have you covered! These stunning personalised name bracelets make the perfect gift for someone special this Christmas. You can view their products here.
Plastic has been detected in starfish collected as far back as the mid-70s, and the problem of plastic pollution is a lot older than initially thought. When you buy a 4Ocean bracelet they’ll remove a pound of rubbish from the ocean. Not only that, but as Soul Hippy and 4Ocean are both members of 1% For The Planet, we both donate a % of our annual turnover to environmental charities. This not only makes the perfect Christmas gift – but helps a charity in need!
Jack Murphy Jewellers is a Multi-award-winning family-run jewellers, perfectly placed in the heart of Newry City, with over 60 years’ experience in this sparkling industry. Shop their stunning jewellery here.
Introducing the Joy Kit! Experience the joy of knitting for yourself or for someone you love. Included in each kit is the pattern, wool and tools to make your very own Meg & Joy Knit. Perfect for creatives and young artists who love a practical, yet fun gift.
Looking for a beautiful layered fragrance ? Kimaria blend, hand pour, cure and hand package every candle, melt, diffuser and oil in their studio. The team design and create every product in their Studio, handpouring all of their candles, diffusers, melts and oils in the traditional way. As an eco luxury boutique brand and master blenders, their product range gives you modern, uniquely layered fragrance. Oh, and did we mention they are vegan and eco-friendly?
19. Jakara Jewellery
Wearing Jewellery is a way to express who you are… without saying a word. At Jakara Jewellery, you can shop their affordable, yet stylish jewellery for a loved one. Created from sterling silver, gold vermeil & semi precious stones, their products are ethically sourced for you to enjoy!
20. Cameron and Breen
Martin and Laura specialize in luxury couture jewellery that is truly one of a kind. Their unique designs celebrate raw, natural beauty. For a truly distinctive striking piece, check out their Topaz Ancient Treasure Ring or have a browse for a gift that no-one else can give her.
Tyrone born designer Jill Graham adopted a pattern of incorporating metals into her textile designs that it became apparent, she was born to be a jewellery designer. Contemporary in design, her jewellery is in sterling silver and 18ct gold, each piece handmade and individual. Inspired by organic structures.
Specialists in vinyl. Record-store located in omagh town centre. New, used and rare records, updated continuously. With regular instore gigs and events. Treat a loved one to a vintage vinyl record for Christmas – so whether it is the classic Bowie, or Pink Floyd, the team at Boneyard Records have you covered.
Is your partner always on the go? Or needs to stay hydrated while at work? Unlike bulky or solid surface travel mugs, the Compresso collapsible pocket cup folds into a leak-proof dish that will fit in your coat pocket, car cup-holder or bag. This space-saving, planet-saving and money-saving everyday travel mug comes with a heat sleeve and can be taken apart for easy cleaning.
After experimenting with different mediums during lockdown – Niamh excelled at watercolour. After some of her friends and family told her to start selling her prints – Pint Sized Paints was born. Mixing her love of pints and paints, Niamh creates bespoke watercolour paintings of any popular form of alcohol your loved one enjoys. You can view her work over on Instagram.
4. Tique Lights
Looking for something unique this Christmas? These bespoke, hand crafted illuminated pieces of art can be personalised for your loved one. With prices starting from £55 upwards, you can choose any subject you like.
Because Christmas and New Year are going to look and feel a bit different this year, these unique, yet hilarious cards are the perfect finish to any Christmas present. With 2020 being one to remember, why not go all out with a funny card which can be used as a keepsake?
Established by two families who grew up beside the sea, Wild Atlantic is here to help people all over the world find their feel good by bringing the natural world closer. By creating truly innovative design-led products that inspire, encourage and enhance the adventurous spirit of the Wild Atlantic. From eco-friendly straws, to beach towels – you can pick up something really useful for your loved one this Christmas.
7. Deli Muru
The award-winning Deli Muru specialises in producing delicious artisan chutneys, conserves and biscuits. Founded by a life long ‘foodie’, looking for a new creative direction, they now combine our passion for food with our love of good quality produce. Sourcing the freshest ingredients and work alongside local producers and artisans to help bring you great-tasting products.
8. Indie Füde
Whatever you are in the mood for, Indie Fude are here to satisfy your cravings! Stocking the best of everything Irish and independent, it really is that simple.
If you are tired of mass produced tea dust sold in high volumes in bleached tea bags and manufactured with the use of chemicals and long for the finest, carefully sourced teas, you are in the right place! Arata’s aim is to deliver hand packed, organic certified loose leaf teas, wrapped in NO – GMO biodegradable and compostable pouches all designed with the minimal impact on the environment. To find out more visit their website.
NearyNog’s aim is to showcase the amazing origin flavours and tasting notes in every cacao bean origin. They do this without additives, emulsifiers or artificial flavouring – and all of their packaging is made from recycled sources and is either recyclable or compostable after use! Nestled between the Mourne Mountains, you can find the team making chocolate in their small batch factory. It’s a place for chocolate making, people gathering and storytelling.