Shop Small UK Guide – Christmas 2021

We are officially less than two weeks away from Christmas now and DAMN it’s starting to feel real! I’m just about finished now with most of my Christmas presents in the run up to the big day, but in some cases I’ve been and still am in need of some inspiration. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve really struggling this year to find the perfect gifts for Dane, my friends and especially my mom! My dad has been the easiest person to buy for this year, which makes a change. πŸ˜›

Alongside my Christmas present woes, I always enjoy writing and sharing gift guides with you all and this year is no exception. Last year I wrote about independent businesses in the UK that you should buy from and I wanted to do that again this year. The past twenty-one months has been hard for everyone, especially independent businesses, whether or not they existed before or after COVID began. This doesn’t just apply to the UK, but I’ve seen a lot of small businesses struggle lately, and in worse cases close down due to not being able to make enough sales to keep going.

I really want to continue to do my bit in helping these businesses as much as I can. Not only do I hope it helps you gain some new gift ideas, but I also hope it introduces you to some businesses you may not have heard of before and decide to shop with going into the New Year!

I still love a lot of the small businesses I mentioned last year, so I will link that post here! I won’t be mentioning businesses again that I spoke of last year, just so it’s fair on other businesses mentioned here.

Anyhoo, I hope you enjoy this blog post today! I’ll be mentioning stores last dates to order for Christmas too.

Washi Tape Cute Journaling Animal Crossing ACNH image 2

Image taken from SplashJaguarCo

SplashJaguarCo – Kawaii home and stationary items inspired by Animal Crossing. Rugs handmade in West Midlands, UK.

Last date to order for Christmas – 2nd Class 18th December and 1st Class 21st December. However, as Royal Mail are struggling at this time of year due to Christmas AND the new COVID variant, please bear in mind delays may occur. If you want to guarantee item(s) to arrive for Christmas order as soon as possible.

If there is one thing people have been really loving towards the end of the year, it’s been Animal Crossing! With the new update and Happy Home Paradise launching at the start of November, Animal Crossing fans have gone mad even more than ever. If you know someone who loves Animal Crossing, as well as stationary you should definitely check out SplashJaguarCo! Not going to lie the Cookie washi tape pictured above is on my Christmas list and I really hope I get it this year. I plan to use it to decorate my diary for 2022 and more. There are various characters to choose from to have on washi tape including Maple, Marshal, Tangy, Roald, Stitches and more! A roll or two of these cute little washi tapes would make perfect gifts for any Animal Crossing fan of any age or gender, whether it be for Secret Santa, a stocking filler and more.

Image taken from BeaconCandlesUK

BeaconCandlesUK – Scented candles for Gamers, Readers and Film Fanatics handmade in Manchester, UK.

Last date to order for Christmas – The store will be closing on Sunday 19th December. However, as Royal Mail are struggling at this time of year due to Christmas AND the new COVID variant, please bear in mind delays may occur. If you want to guarantee item(s) to arrive for Christmas order as soon as possible.

BeaconCandlesUK is a brand I’ve known about for as long as I can remember now and have always wanted to order from. I can’t remember how but I discovered them through their Lavender Town candle that is clearly inspired by the town in Pokemon. Not only does it sound amazing, but it looks really cool with the Cubone skull and bone on the top of the candle too. Alongside Pokemon candles you can also get some inspired by Final Fantasy, Animal Crossing, Lord of the Rings and more! The scents sound delicious and I’m sure these would make great gifts for any candle lovers out there! I’m contemplating buying some of these for friends this year for Christmas. I feel like candles make amazing gifts for people and it’s one of those where even if you aren’t sure what smells someone will like, if you bought a Pokemon fan one of the Pokemon candles, they would be so thankful!

Cubone Mirror  Diorama  Dorm Decor  Gifts  Vanity Mirror  image 1

Image taken from PokieMinx

PokieMinx – Terrariums and vanity desk gifts inspired by PokΓ©mon & The Moomins. Handmade in South Yorkshire, UK.

Last date to order for Christmas – Unfortunately orders for Christmas have now ended. This being said the store IS still open with items being sent 1st Class tracked and signed so they arrived within 1-2 business day. However, as Royal Mail are struggling at this time of year due to Christmas AND the new COVID variant, please bear in mind delays may occur. If you want to guarantee item(s) to arrive for Christmas order as soon as possible.

I couldn’t not share PokieMinx and her adorable creations! These would make perfect gifts for any Pokemon or The Moomins fan out there, especially if they’re like myself and have started to work from home part time. A terrarium with their favourite Pokemon inside sitting on their desk could really brighten their day. Or maybe a mirror? The Cubone one shown about is gorgeous and I can’t stop looking at it whenever I venture over to PokieMinx’s website whenever I take a look at it. Anything from PokieMinx’s store would make amazing and personal gifts for any Pokemon or The Moomins fans, especially as everything is handmade by Kimmy! There are also enamel pin/earring stands too so if you know someone who has started to get into collecting pins or earrings, these would make amazing gifts too.

Image taken from ARTBOX

ARTBOX – Cute character goods from Japan and Korea. Based in Covent Garden London, UK.

Last date to order for Christmas – Not known at the time of writing this blog post. If you’re based in or around London, the Covent Garden store will be open on Christmas Eve from 11am until 4pm. However, as Royal Mail are struggling at this time of year due to Christmas AND the new COVID variant, please bear in mind delays may occur. If you want to guarantee item(s) to arrive for Christmas order as soon as possible.

I wanted to mention ARTBOX here as whilst it isn’t as independent as some Etsy sellers and independent stores might be online, it’s a great place to buy Japan and Korea based items, whether it be online or from their store in London. I’m yet to come to the day where I actually order something from them, which might be later today! πŸ˜› ARTBOX would be a great place to get items for your friends and family who love Sanrio, Pusheen, Rilakkuma and BT21. There are all sorts of different items to buy from and at all price ranges so it’s perfect for anything and everything. Personally I’m toying with treating myself to the PomPomPurin plush shown above, which you can pose and dress up! How cute is that?!

Stargazing Celeste  Animal Crossing  Cross stitch image 2

Image taken from Stitchtothepast

Stitchtothepast -Video Games Cross Stitch, Patterns & Kits! Based in the UK.

Last date to order for Christmas – Not known at the time of writing this blog post. However, as Royal Mail are struggling at this time of year due to Christmas AND the new COVID variant, please bear in mind delays may occur. If you want to guarantee item(s) to arrive for Christmas order as soon as possible.

The final store I wanted to mention on today’s post is about Stitchtothepast, which is a store I discovered in the summer. If you’re a newbie to cross stitch, or a “pro” like me there is loads of choose from. Personally for gifts the cross stitch kits from their store would make great gifts for anyone, especially if they’re into Nintendo video games series such as Pokemon, Animal Crossing, Zelda, Kirby and more. I personally really love the look of the Animal Crossing Celeste cross stitch kit where she’s stargazing. It’s such a gorgeous design and one I would love to do and display in my house in the future. The kits are really good and come with a cross stitch guide, a wooden hoop, thread and a thread organiser, pattern, a needle and more. If you know someone who would like to get into cross stitch in 2022, one of the kits might make a great gift for them!

So, there we have it, my 2021 guide to small shops you should buy your Christmas gifts from this year! All UK based of course. πŸ™‚

What do you guys think? I didn’t cover off as many stores and themes as I did last year, but I felt like last years post was so detailed, I couldn’t really improve on it as good this year. Please do check out last years guide too, those stores are still around and amazing to boot!

Honestly guys, I hope you enjoyed this post today as much as I enjoyed writing it. I watched Christmas movies whilst writing, as well as chilling with Dane in our office. It’s made a lovely change sitting at my desk to do blog work.

Are there any small shops in the UK that you feel I should know about? Make sure to let me know and I’ll take a look for next time and promote on my Instagram page before the big day. πŸ™‚

Until next time, take care all and I hope you had a lovely weekend. πŸ˜€

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Back To Education Bag Ideas!

It’s now September and I know the kids are now officially back at school. FYI the weather is also rubbish, it’s 10am as I’m writing this on my day off (day before this post actually goes up!) and I NEED my light on to see what I’m actually doing. I feel sorry for the kids who have just has 6 weeks of crap weather. YUCK!

ANYWAY! I thought to go alongside the back to education post I did recently (which you can read here) I would write a bag ideas post too, so you have somewhere to store all that awesome stationary I talked about before. πŸ˜›

To be honest a lot of the bags I feature on this post are ones I’d buy myself if I was starting back at school, college or university. The prices will also range too due to this. I do understand that some of the bags on this list are very expensive, but it’s just to give an idea I guess on what kind of styles you could buy and use. Doesn’t mean that exact bag. πŸ˜›

On with the post… That has secretly made me want to buy new bags! Oh dear… πŸ˜›

  • Killstar Spektra 90’s Warp Backpack – Β£49.99 (link)

Wow I’ve really kicked off this blog post with a HELLA expensive backpack, haven’t I? It is gorgeous though and is obviously 90’s inspired and follows the grunge trend. It looks to be quite a big bag though which in turn makes it perfect for education use. You can shove all your books in there as well as stationary and necessities. I just love the random patches all over the bag, but yes it is expensive for what it is… You could always find a black bag similar to this one and buy all sorts of patches on eBay or Etsy to iron or sew onto it!

  • Pink Moomins Love Shopping Bag – Β£20.99 (link)

I wasn’t sure whether to add this bag to the list or not due to it being a shopping bag, but hey! When I was at college and university I used bags similar to this one and they were great! Due to how big the ones I used were they were a perfect size for carrying books in and a pencil case or pens. It wasn’t anything over the top and it did the job. I saw this bag though and thought the pink and Moomin print on it was so cute and definitely one you could use at university to go to and from lectures with.

  • The Legend Of Zelda Shoulder Bag – Β£25.99 (link)

Although I’m not a Zelda gamer, I know A LOT of people who are and who were really excited when the new game came out with the Nintendo Switch. The main reason for adding this bag here is because of the type of bag it is. I had a bag exactly the same as this during my GCSE’s at school and I loved it so much! It was the exact same colour as this but it has a huge Green Day logo on the front… I was a massive fan okay!? The bag was huge though and you could fit everything in there including folders. I don’t know if this bag will be the same but it’d be a great bag to use during GCSE’s like I did and especially throughout college and university. It’s also a conversation starter when your’e meeting new people!

  • EMP Full Volume Pearl’s Backpack – Β£24.99 (link)

If you love holographic like myself then maybe a holographic backpack is the way forward? This would probably be more ideal for school due to how bright it is, but hey if you want to rock something like this as you get older then I salute you! I would have probably worn something like this at school and college and probably ended there. I love holographic, but I feel like a backpack would be a bit much at my age… God I make myself sound REALLY old. πŸ˜›

  • Ita Bag – Β£20.00 (link)

Don’t worry if you don’t know what an ita bag is, I will educate you! An ita bag is something that every anime mad girl in Japan will use and wear. The trend is now well and truly in the UK and myself included wants one. They come in various colours but I decided to use the black one as you can’t go wrong with that colour. Where the clear heart is on the front you use as a display window for badges, charms, keyrings etc of your favourite anime character(s). It’s a way to show off your love of a certain anime or just a certain character. I’d love to get a black one to put loads of Persona 5 charms in. I do think I’m too old for this trend now. If this came out when I was in university I may have contemplated getting into it, but alas I’m a little old now. πŸ˜› This would be an amazing bag for someone starting secondary school to have. It would make for great conversation between anime fans. This would work out to be very expensive though, but at the same time it would make an amazing hobbie!

  • Iron Fist Wolfbeater Tote – Β£45.99 currently Β£28.99 (link)

I actually owned this bag many moons ago when I was at university and it was by far one of the best ones I owned! I still have it at my mom and dads house somewhere! It was huge and you have a few different ways to wear it too. Not only that but it’s like a Mary Poppins bag, you’ll never be able to find what you want straight away as it’s huge! You’d be able to keep folders, books, necessities and of course stationary in there without a worry. You can get all sorts of designs on this style of bag too, I just chose this one as this is the same one as mine.

  • Missguided Faux Fur Bag – Β£18.00 (link)

I can’t say I agree with the faux fur look fashion wise… It looks tacky to me and yuck. BUT I put this down to the hideous fluffy sliders that have appeared this summer. This backpack has the faux fur trend all over it and although I’m not a massive fan of the trend, this bag is really cute in it’s own right. This could Β be worn by anybody and considering it’s by Missguided it’s probably going to be more fashion orientated and not as practical… But sod it! If you’re at university and live on site then this will definitely be a winner for you! You can carry your folder and look all American high schoolesque. Β πŸ˜› If that wasn’t already a word… It certainly is now! πŸ˜›

So that’s some of my bag ideas for returning or even starting back in education. I can’t believe how quick the school holidays went, can you?

Do you have any bag recommendations for younger people than I? Make sure to tell me down below! Have you bought a new bag recently? If so let me know that too.

Until next time, take care all and I hope you’re having a great week!

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