There is no denying that this year has been an absolute rollercoaster for everyone. Whilst trying to decipher government guidelines, attempting to adjust to ‘the new normal’ and trying to stay mentally and physically healthy through lockdowns, most of us have spent less time with our loved ones. Our family, our friends, our work colleagues who we don’t get to see whilst working from home, it’s been tough for all of us.
So what better time to get something special for the people that you love? But then, so many of us are on reduced wages due to furlough and another lockdown, so with that in mind I have compiled a list of Christmas gift ideas, catering for various budgets and interests, whilst aiming to support small and independent businesses.
For the foodies.
The Real Food Hub – an online food market, with a range of Independent small scale farmers and food makers, supplying everything from chocolates, wine, beer, gin, cheeses and meat. The good news is if you have a Love2Shop Gift card, e-gift card or flexecash pre-paid card lying around you can spend it at Real Food Hub, and they currently have a whole section of the website devoted to all things Christmas and a section called ‘Treats & Bread’ which sounds right up my street.
For the coffee lover.
Girls who grind – Any one that truly knows me, knows that I’m not actually worth knowing before my morning coffee. Girls who grind are one of my favourite places to order from, an all female ran roastery in the south west of England. Not only do they roast incredible coffee that is well sourced, they make cool merchandise too. Perfect for the coffee snob friend in your life.
For the wine buff.
Heeltap – A wine events, training and supply business based in Derbyshire, and run by former Sommelier, Samuel Walker. There’s loads of different ways to use Heeltap, I’ve been using them to supply my lockdown wine needs (it really has been needed), they also offer a wine club, selecting wines for you, sent out with information and tasting notes on the wines selected. Perfect for over the festive season.
For the one that wants to own a racehorse.
Crowd Racing – With horses with trainers from Yorkshire to Sussex, Crowd racing is a way to get involved with racehorse ownership in the syndicate format. With ownership options from £100 per year, it’s a truly accessible way to gift someone the opportunity to scream home their own horse on race days. A great gift idea to reignite someone’s love of racing in these harder times, when watching from phones, laptops and TV’s is starting to lose it’s spark. Join the gold and green crowd!
Sunday Racing – With shares available in gift card for from around £45 Sunday Racing is a great way to get involved with syndicate ownership in Ireland. With three exciting young horses to choose from and an amazing app with incredible technology and data. A really fun way to enjoy the thrill of ownership.
For the horse racing fan.
Francesca Altoft Photography – Francesca is official photographer to five UK racecourses including Royal Windsor and Cheltenham. Her work is stunning and her passion and talent is undeniable. She’s currently working on a 2021 calendar, including some of her favourite shots and photos are available to order through her from various meetings. So why not treat the friend who is a racing super fan or racehorse owner, to a photo from her? Or keep checking back for when the calendar is live on her website.
Scratch & Reveal racing maps – great for logging your racecourse visits and memories along with planning which course to go to next! The posters are A3 in size, with a scratch-off layer over each course which reveals the track map underneath. Available for Great Britain and Ireland and also available framed in a wide range of colours (bespoke also available). Perfect for the racing fan, racehorse owner or syndicate member, to track where they or their horses have been. Currently there is a discount code running, so use ‘XMAS10’ for 10% off everything until 31st November!
For the horse owner, rider or groom.
EQUIprint – New venture from Jodie Cooling Photography, a unique way to display beloved horses in the home, with personalised fine art prints, completely unique to your horses markings. Jodie also undertakes many different styles of photography, from corporate, to weddings to equine and is based in Oxfordshire.
You can check out her work on her website and head over to my Facebook page for a chance to win one of her pieces.
See Change Now – A small company taking a step in the right direction in the market of equine and canine bathing products. Creating products that horses and dogs love, without the use of plastics. 100% biodegradable packaging, a bar shampoo (not to be mistaken for a soap product) that is vegan, kind on your animals skin and lasts longer than the bottled products…what’s not to love? Catherine from See Change Now has also kindly donated to the charity raffle running on my facebook page, head over there to check it out.
Nouvelle Habit – Growing up with horses in Cornwall, Nouvelle Habit’s owner Odette was used to battling the elements. Suffering with chilblains and even suffering with hypothermia. It is from this upbringing that the inspiration came for her designs. A modern take on the habit, designed to keep riders protected from the elements. The skirts are durable, warm, waterproof and easy to use and wear. These are a modern twist on a classic equestrian item. Not just suitable for riding, they would be great for equestrian coaches and dog walkers too.
Riding with Rhi – All round wonderful person and ‘youtube-r’ Rhi has released a stunning Equestrian Planner, made with in a classic design with vegan leather and a waterproof coating. This makes it smart enough for daily use but hardy enough to take to the yard. With 160 pages of weekly and monthly spreads and room for notes and goal setting. A great product for equestrians of any discipline.
For the chocolate fiend.
Luisa’s Vegan Chocolates – First things first, Luisa’s chocolate is just amazing chocolate, that happens to be vegan. She is the first person in Nottingham to do the whole from bean to bar process in house and her products are out of this world. She directly sources her beans, meaning she can pay her farmers around double the current market rate, she’s a huge advocate for supporting independent and female farmers. All of this passion is evident in her beautiful chocolate and it’s what Michelin Star restaurant Alchemilla use for their chocolate courses.
For the country fashionista.
Bethany Rae UK – Established in 2017, Bethany Rae is an independent designer who creates luxury, handmade accessories in stunning cowhide. Because of the nature of the material, each piece is unique and Bethany’s collection includes belts, bags, boot tassles and more. Beautiful statement pieces to add to any outfit and wouldn’t look out of place as a National Hunt race meet (when we can get back racing of course!)
P.O.S.H Country – A fairly new country and coastal fashion brand based in Harrogate. With amazing quality, timeless items that are made to last, steering well clear of fast fashion and with recyclable packaging. Their items are perfect for keeping warm and cosy this autumn and winter whilst avoiding throwaway fashion and plastic packaging.
Fruitbat Textiles – An award winning textiles company, based in the heart of Somerset. Business owner and designer, Charlotte grew up in Somerset and gets her inspiration for her pieces from her local surroundings. Charlotte is another person who is trying to promote the avoidance of fast fashion, creating her products with British wool and yarn, responsibly sourced and made to last. Her products are hand made and for the most part they are one off, unique pieces, ranging from flat caps and snoods to occasional wear such as hats and fascinators.
For the dog owner.
The Felted Ornithologist – Well, not really just dog owners, but any pet owner. Bex makes the cutest woolen sculptures and does commissions to meet the likeness of your own beloved four-legged pals. She’s also happy to incorporate ashes, fur and mane and tail hair, for those special memorial pieces. What started as a hobby for Bex has become a job and a passion and she loves creating these unique pieces for people. Pieces are most often done on a commission basis, by contacting Bex on her social media pages which are below.
Bramble and Friends – Traditionally hand crafted dog gear, for dogs of all shapes and sizes. If you follow me on social media, you will know that my dog Luna is the ultimate princess, so Bramble and Friends are a company who’s social media I stalk for hours, trying to decide what I would love to get for her. Their products are handmade in the UK and are simply stunning, with classic designs and those that are more eye catching. I’ve focused on their hound collars in their photos as I know many of my readers have racing and retired greyhounds.
Lucy Ellis Leatherwork – For the more classic look for dogs and horses, check out Lucy Ellis Leatherwork. Incredible quality, handmade, leather items including collars leads, key rings, headcollars for horses and more. Lucy has very kindly donated a prize to the charity raffle over on my facebook page.
For the jewellery lover.
Hi Ho Silver – A premier name in the world of equestrian fashion and jewellery, their range is extensive. With bracelets, rings, necklaces, earrings and a men’s range. My favourite thing of theirs is their signature Cherry Roller Bracelet. But what a better time of year is there to focus on their charity pieces? Including items for World horse welfare, Willberry wonder pony and Help for heroes, why not help an important charity whilst getting something for a loved one?
Wild and Flower – Demi-Fine Botanical Jewellery, handmade in the UK. Beautiful, delicate pieces with floral and botanical focus. Real botanicals, pressed into resin to create unique pieces. I personally adore these and couldn’t wait to showcase the products, a constant reminder of spring and wonderfully feminine.
For the one who’s house always smells amazing.
The Wooden Sun – Handmade candles and wax melts, made by Katie in the county of Staffordshire. In lovely glass or brass containers, with wooden wicks that make the most satisfying sound as they burn. Katie has a great range of scents available with some Christmas themed ones too. Not going to lie, I’m a fan of these and have one on my bedside at home, they make great gifts and have gift wrapping options too.
As ever thank you to everyone for reading and I hope I’ve managed to give you some Christmas gift inspiration, whilst introducing you to some new and small businesses. Please support these businesses in any way you can, even social media interactions are a real help.
Through this post we are aiming to raise money for the Injured Jockeys Fund and Retraining of Racehorses. We’re doing this through a charity raffle on my facebook page for the RoR and through The Sporting Blog donating £1 to the IJF for every new follow they get on Twitter (up to 200) So get involved, help us spread the word and let’s support some small businesses whilst raising money for charities close to our hearts.
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