Think out of the gift-box this Christmas.
If you're looking for a gift to show that special someone thanks for the past year, then why not treat them to something really unique and shop direct from the maker.
Gift giving should be something of a pleasure, but all too often it becomes a last minute dash to the shops on the way home from work to fill the stockings. As we come into the festive season one of the best ways to make Christmas shopping an enjoyable experience is to avoid the over crowded shopping centre, and head to a local independent market.
Christmas is the most wonderful time in the city. A time when all designer makers have the rare opportunity to come out of their studios and join together under one roof. Each year there are many great shopping events lined up where you can enjoy a friendly atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle of the highstreet!
Here's my Top Pick of independent designer shopping this Christmas:
The showcase is now over, but you can visit Future Icons online for a fantastic selection of handmade textiles, Jewellery, furniture, lighting and ceramics.
Ceramics | Jewellery | Textiles | Prints | Interior Products Craft Central at The Forge.
Visit Craft Central in their new home and see the brand new design studios at The Forge, Westferry Road 397-411, London E14 3AE FREE ENTRY
Design led gifts direct from over 40 contemporary designers. Design Museum, 224-238 Kensington High Street London, W8 6AG FREE ENTRY
***Design Museum Online Competition: Register online to win a prize from a selection of design brands taking part at the event. With the chance to win one of our new Pipét 'Barbican' Scarves!
Other events to look for: Perhaps your work holds an annual shopping event where they invite in independent designers? Or maybe your local Arts Centre or University is supporting new makers too...
It's great to meet the designers in person!
At the show you'll be able to meet and chat to the designers directly. Do make sure you say hello, as they will be able to advise you on the best choice, and offer you tips and tricks on how to wear, use and look after your item.
Find out the designer's inspiration behind the piece, and you'll have a nice story to share with the person you're giving the gift to. They'll love it even more knowing you chose it for a reason.
Everything is in one convenient location.
With my creative business I'm surrounded by a network of makers producing many beautiful items, all stacking up on a wish list. So when I do get the opportunity to whizz around the fair for an hour, I'm able to choose from a wide selection of gift ideas all in one place - great for me - and for my family and friends too!
With so many designer makers producing the highest quality of hand made items, there is so much more to choose from. Often at this time of year there will be show discounts on offer, so well worth popping along. (and you save on postage too!)
So, how to achieve a guilt-free Christmas when it comes to gift buying?
Head on down to one of the many Christmas Makers markets and support true independent designers. For many designer/makers Christmas is the most important time and when they make the majority of sales. Shows are a lot of hard work, and can be expensive to take part in too, so your support really does make a difference.
If you can't make it along, then most designers have an on-line store too. Be sure to check our Last Posting Dates if you're planning on shopping with us on-line!
Check out our Events Diary where you can keep up to date with forthcoming shows and events in and around the city throughout the year.
Happy Shopping and I look forward to seeing you again soon!