10 SUPERB SMALL BUSINESSES TO SUPPORT
I’m tooting the horn for Independent and showcasing TEN incredible Businesses
EMMA HEWLETT FLORAL DESIGN
My goodness me…where to start…firstly THE SKILL SET ON THIS LADY! Her beautiful creative designs are so unusual, whilst retaining fusions of traditional and contemporary. Her tenacity to reinvent elements of her business this year is truly inspiring, as she’s moved back to dried work beautifully.
FAVOURITE PRODUCTS – What’s not to love?! I’d buy everything if I could! I’m loving the DIY Wreath Kit – something you could make yourself but a winner for someone crafty in the family. PLUS the Flower Crown…would I wear it on the big Tesco shop? – ABSOLUTELY! Do I want to wear it out to dinner one day with the hubs….FOR SURE.
WHAT I BOUGHT- I bought what I call “The Big Lad!” – a large dried Country wreath that sits proudly in my dining room. Full of delicate dried flowers and teamed with a gorgeous pale pink ribbon, it’s behind me for all Zooms and is always commented on!
I knew Lily would steal my heart when she spoke to me (rather passionately) about her laser cutter ‘Leonard’. Her bohemian, twinkly, utterly charming and fantastically magical wares feel like you’ve opened a little doorway to Narnia – but where there’s no threat from the Snow Queen. Her work focuses on drawings and illustrations with the fusion of dried flowers and natural pieces she forages. I’ve had the pleasure of ‘setting up stall’ beside her and can honestly say that her menagerie is mesmerising and absolutely stunning. Plus she’s super famous because she won Kirsties Handmade Christmas Table Competition 2019…
FAVOURITE PRODUCTS – The spinning candle carousels are purveyors of utter joy and to be quite honest, anything on her page…
WHAT I BOUGHT – I bought a handmade Robin wreath for a friend last year. It came in the most beautiful handwritten box and was a really popular item! On the wishlist (and by wishlist I mean, I’m totally buying it) is the spinning candle carousel.
THE CAT IN THE SHOE
I first met Lucy at The Contemporary Craft Festival in Bovey Tracey and was completely blown away by the inventive, fairytale land she created with her ‘creatures’. I couldn’t take my eyes off the stall and her incredible imaginative menagerie was one of my highlights of the show. She uses repurposed materials to create eye-catching outstanding curiosities and ‘stitches and stuffs’ these characters with love. If you love something a little different, the unusual, the exciting, the wow factor, you’ll be enthralled by Lucy’s creations.
FAVOURITE PRODUCTS – Her Moons (not smutty) and her rabbits. She has a collection of beautiful characters – and you’ll enjoy seeing them all as they’re displayed in bell jars, glass cases and even hung as baubles for the tree,
WHAT I BOUGHT – A glorious little bunny, with leopard print shoes who proudly wears a silk ribboned hat and sits in pride of place on my living room beam. I have called her Gloria and she’s very fancy.
First of all can we just appreciate the name…and the fact that this fabulous businesses’ tagline is “MODERN, EVERY DAY ALTERNATIVES, FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE CONCHUS ABOUT LIFE.” What’s not to love?! I came across this gorgeous brand through the powers of Instagram. Their products look good enough to eat and often leave me salivating, despite the fact that you can’t (and probably shouldn’t) eat them. What’s great is that you can feel the passion seeping out of this business. Wonderful ethical plastic free alternatives like body wash bars, natural skincare, deo creams and all under one platform. Plus everything is 100% natural, zero plastic packaging, vegan friendly, palm oil free and cruelty free. I’m a smitten kitten.
FAVOURITE PRODUCTS – Uh everything! (tips out wallet and screams “Just take my money!!!!”) I loved the Miracle Body Balm and the Drench Top to Toe – but you’ll LOVE the array of different products and accessories available.
WHAT I BOUGHT – I bought the Miracle Body Balm and the Drench Top to Toe. I cannot tell you HOW wonderful I felt using these products. I used the top to toe on my hair and as someone with MASSIVE OUT OF CONTROL (i actually had to use capitals to prove it!) it treated my hair like a queen and as a result I will not be going back to regular shampoo. I also couldn’t resist the cutest Mandala soap dish and it sits proudly in my bathroom.
Where do I start with this utter legend?! Thom Kofoed is like an excitable labrador puppy who exudes joy, dance moves and HUGE talent. With a homage to all things kitch and with a tinge of the 1980’s (what an era) Thom makes incredible portraiture, prints, cards, badges and offers an E Card service where he’ll draw a bespoke card for you. During lockdown Thom has kept us entertained with his Thursday Lip Syncs and I’m hoping that this year, more than any other, the Christmas virtual party will be a hoot.
FAVOURITE PRODUCTS – Anything with Jessica Fletcher on it is a winner right?! But there really is so much to discover. Yes it’s niche, yes it’s brilliant, yes you need the Golden Girls in your life and his latest product “A (wreath)a Franklin”, but there’s no denying that Thom is a skilled, talented artist and should be on Portrait Artist of the Year.
WHAT I BOUGHT – I was bought a JUDY GARLAND (I mean if you don’t know…you REALLY must find out more) and it sits proudly on my mantlepiece every Christmas. I’ve also just bought Thom’s Bridget Jones’ Christmas Cards and I can’t wait to send them off to my nearest and dearest.
BEACH HOUSE BOTANICS
Looking for the most beautiful looking and smelling candles, look no further than Lynn’s Beach House Botanics. These gorgeous beauties sit within amber apothecary jars and are the perfect addition to help calm, relax and get that ‘snuggled up feeling’. All of Lynn’s candles and melts are poured by hand in small batches, using only 100% therapeutic grade essential oils. The wicks in the candles are made from cotton / linen and the melts have dried botanicals. These really are utterly charming and such a nice gift for someone.
FAVOURITE PRODUCTS – I mean they’re all stunners quite frankly and you won’t be disappointed with anything you purchase from this site. I can’t wait to see the new Gift Boxes which are coming soon and think you’ll find something lovely for family, friends and loved ones.
WHAT I BOUGHT – I bought a Pine Needle and Sandlewood candle for my mum and then couldn’t resist buying one for myself – of which I chose the Bergamot, Lemongrass and Lime. Absolutely gorgeous products and made in the heart of Devon. Win win!
When you see Lucy’s shades on a stall, they have such a WOW factor! In a range of sizes and with bespoke shades being offered too, these truly are a veritable feast for the eyeballs! Not only does she match highly unusual fabric with pops of colour for her lining, she is bold and brave in her design decisions. This really shines through and it means when you see Lucy’s work in homes, they are statement pieces. Truly fabulous and utterly scrumptious!
FAVOURITE PRODUCTS – Lucy has a way of sourcing the most beautiful, unusual fabrics and this really reflects in how vibrant, colourful and different her shades are. I’m absolutely loving her introduction of the recycled glass lamp bases and the unusual coloured flexes.
WHAT I BOUGHT – I bought a fabulous pink zebra shade for my daughter and then very quickly bought an antler pale teal blue shade for our kitchen. Absolutely stunning shades and a great way to update a little corner of the room quickly.
The Queen of ‘Tatting’, welcome to Olive Rose Contemporary Jewellery. Emma makes intricate strong jewellery that explores the fusion and delicacy of lace, with silver hand formed soldered elements. She’s essentially a Wizard and has formed a way in which she knots threads in creative ways to form loops and lines, otherwise known as ‘Tatting’. Her jewellery is exquisite and she always seems to challenge herself with new ideas, designs and materials. Whether its the cute studs, the silver knot forget me knot bracelets or a ring stone set, there’s a bevvy of gorgeousness all here under one new shiny website.
FAVOURITE PRODUCTS – I love Emma’s DIY Knot Kit Necklaces – perfect for the crafty person in the family and a choice of colours. Her statement rings will also gives me the heart emoji eyes and her tiny little laced studs are the cutest…
WHAT I BOUGHT – This year I bought the most gorgeous set of silver stacking rings with a green amethyst. I saw them on her instagram account and was completely smitten.
Rebecca Bruton was always going to feature on my Top Ten Independent list. Her jaw dropping creative talent, skillset and ability to create mastery with any theme, and idea makes me feel like she was a mystical elf in a former life. Rebecca works as a Textile Artist specialising in free motion embroidery and applique to create work that makes you want to investigate, touch, hold, explore and have in your home. Rebecca leads her business with passion and bravery as she makes work that is important to her and to our community. From original pieces to art prints for your home, her repertoire is building and I cannot get enough of her and her work.
FAVOURITE PRODUCTS – I adore Rebecca’s Art Prints – mainly because they’re unusual – they’re prints of her textile pieces and a joy to have up at home. I was hugely excited to house her Art Exhibition in my new Studio this year, so I got chance to look at her original work up close and personal. The sheer quality and talent in her pieces is phenomenal and everyone should have a ‘Bruton Original!’.
WHAT I BOUGHT – In the past, I’ve bought Rebecca’s Monogram hoops and this year I bought Rebecca’s SPARK JOY & Colour Wheel print, along with an art swap which saw me bring home an original piece that gives me alllllll the feeeeels. You’ll find something for everyone on her website and I’m proud to share this talented lady with you.
Ruth Harrison makes OUTSTANDING Ceramics. There. What else can I say? Her work is inventive, sculptural yet delicate and everything is hand cut by her and attached ONE BY ONE, layer by layer. I first saw Ruth’s work at a local Craft Event and I couldn’t get over the amount of time it must take to produce these exquisite vases, pots and brooches. Her career feels like it’s taking off as she’s just been announced the Winner of the first “POTential Emerging Maker Award 2020” awarded by Devon Pop Ups. Truly gorgeous work.
FAVOURITE PRODUCTS – Her petal collection is so beautiful – each tiny little petal placed on by hand and hanging from little pots and vessels with elegance and beauty. Her vases are incredibly special too and I would happily fill my home with a million of Ruth Harrison’s incredible work!
WHAT I BOUGHT – I haven’t yet! I reeeeealllllly want to…..Ruth is the only maker on this list that is on my WISH LIST…and I’ve already left a giant hint on a BIG NOTE for the husband!