Shopping small and local is so important. If we don’t buy from our local shops and businesses they simply won’t exist in the future. This Christmas let’s not further line the pockets of distant billionaires and their global corporations. Let’s support the brilliant, hardworking owners, makers and shopkeepers, their families and our local community. Here’s my round up of the loveliest, local, independent brands – your essential Derbyshire Christmas gift guide!
Sustainable gifts from Derbyshire small businesses
Although the main aim was to put together a collection of gorgeous gifts from local companies for a range of recipients and budgets, I’ve tried to keep issues of sustainability in mind too. Most of the brands featured avoid excessive use of plastic, for example. We can also be conscious of how we wrap presents, eg at the very least making sure wrapping paper is recyclable. There’s a growing trends for using brown parcel paper – in which case I love the eco decorations set from It’s All About You or the reusable leather tags from Orgill Originals (see below).
Think experiences rather than ‘things’
Gift vouchers for the recipient’s favourite café, shop, restaurant etc – or a voucher for a spa day or beauty treatment are often really popular gifts. Gifting experiences can also be a more eco friendly option than buying more ‘stuff’. One of the absolute best things I’ve done this year was afternoon tea at the Cavendish Hotel, you can buy a range of gift vouchers here. A similar, less pricey option is one of the gift vouchers from The Little Shed, prices start at just £6.50 for tea and a cupcake.
It’s a bit random, but another experience I thoroughly enjoyed this year was having my car fully valeted by The Car Cleanser who also sell a range of gift vouchers. [AD – my valet was gifted but I was genuinely thrilled with the results. Mark is really lovely and so passionate about what he does.]
Support your local high street
Brick and mortar stores need our support like never before. And there’s nothing quite like actual real life shopping (especially not having been able to do it for so long). I do appreciate it’s not always easy (or inviting at this cold and miserable time of year) getting out and about at the moment. But lots of local businesses offer click and collect, local deliveries etc so it’s worth checking the socials of your favourite local shops and seeing how you can support them, even if you can’t physically get to them.
Here are some shops that I think are particularly lovely for gifts:
Design 44 has been based in Derby since 2013. Their flagship store is now based in the Derbion (what used to be Intu) shopping mall. Owner Jade sources the very best UK and Scandinavian designers and makers, with a strong emphasis on eco products. Their physical shop is an Aladdin’s delight of gifts, cards, wrapping paper and decorations – but there’s also a really good website. I really like their curated gift boxes. Carefully curated with a big emphasis on supporting small brands. Handpicked, stress free stylish gifting made easy!
In Chesterfield there’s Shop Indie in the town centre (and easily combined with refreshments in the lovely Vintage Tea Rooms nearby). Also in the town centre, with parking for customers is Huckleberry Willow. On Chatsworth Road I love Libby’s of Chesterfield (who also have a delightful café – don’t miss the scones or the oatcakes).
The Apple Tree Gift Shop in Ockbrook is the loveliest little gift shop with a beautifully curated range of gifts. Their popular Tea House is also definitely worth a visit, there’s always a lovely festive atmosphere and lots of seasonal specials. You need to book if you want to sit inside to eat but they have quite a lot of seating in their lovely courtyard and barn area which is for walk-ins only and this area is dog friendly.
Bow Boutique in Matlock is a really pretty shop on the edge of Matlock’s Hall Leys Park (don’t miss the café at the back which looks out on to the park). Their gorgeous Christmas window justifies a trip to Matlock alone! This is absolutely one of those shops where I end up treating myself as much as buying gifts (if my husband is reading this I’d like one of everything of the animal print Caroline Gardner stationery range please?!).
Riverside Kitchen in Bakewell has a lovely selection of quality, artisan foodie gifts. One of the local brands I’ve discovered via Riverside Kitchen is Yohan’s Chocolates.
Set up by pastry chef Chloe during the pandemic, Yohan’s create the most beautiful handcrafted artisan chocolate. Named after her cuddly toy panda, there’s a magical quality about the brand. The jewel like chocolates themselves are divine little works of art. Prices start at £14. Personalised, bespoke bonbons are available on request. Vegan chocolates are also available. The brand has a strong commitment to sustainability. One tree is planted for every box purchased. Packaging is plastic free and fully recyclable. Only biodegradable gloves and cling film are used in the kitchen along with eco-friendly cleaning products. The chocolates are hand painted with bamboo brushes and biodegradable sponges and bamboo cleaning pads are used for polishing the chocolate moulds. Dairy products are sourced from local dairy farms most of Chloe’s suppliers are in the Peak District.
Derbyshire based Woodsquare sell beautiful artisan products. Although the brand is primarily based online, you may well have met founder Ieva exhibiting at local events. Woodsquare specialise in stylish wooden chopping boards and other wooden kitchen accessories and utensils. Most of the products are made in the Baltics from five different artisan families, so the brand works as small co-operative. I particularly love the simple, wooden chopping boards that would be perfect for an indulgent antipasti or grazing board. [AD – previously gifted]
Farm shops can also be a treasure trove of fabulously foodie gifts.
Reap and Sow Spirits Gin Shop in the pretty village of Barlow. This Derbyshire gin company have developed a plethora of different brands and flavours of not just gin but also limoncello (developed in association with the iconic Chatsworth Estate) and also vodkas. Every single bottle is hand produced in small batches from quality ingredients using traditional methods. The shop is usually staffed by makers Becky and Ade so you can even chat directly to them about their wonderful artisan products, or shop online.
House of Beer is a bottle shop and tap room in the pretty market town of Ashbourne. They have a passion for beer and a commitment to supporting local. Similarly, Rebel Drinks in Bakewell is a great place to pick up boozy gifts.
Lovely Things from Derbyshire small businesses
Darwin & Gray has established itself as one of the leading design brands in Derbyshire. The name comes from founder and maker, Stacey Gray and her delightful cocker spaniel, Darwin. The brand is known for clean, minimalistic designs and nailing the captions. Would one of your friends appreciate an ‘Adulting is sh*t’ wine or gin glass? Or a ‘festive as f*ck’ banner?! There’s plenty of lovely, sentimental gifts too. Prices start at £6.50 for a ‘let me overthink it’ patch.
My Bags of Stuff is run by Derbyshire Mum, Jen. Born from a love of accessories, Jen has poured her design background and heart and soul into creating a cool, quirky brand with a big heart. Jen has a commitment to sustainability issues. She also recently co-ordinated a campaign to provide 75 deserving school children each a box of school supplies to support studying at home during the pandemic. My particular favourite MBOS product is the camouflage tote bag (I even have one for Lovely Local Indie!) but also check out the Christmas range. Most of the products can be personalised. Allow 14 working days turnaround time – so order early!
Orgill Originals is a family run business based in Breaston. Father and daughter team, Nicole and Neil are self-taught in leather craft using traditional methods. There are a range of classically beautiful leather goods for men and women. Every item is unique. You can even ‘create your own bag’ choosing everything from the style, colour of leather and even the colour of thread used! I’ve got my eye on the genuine hand stitched leather laptop bag. In fact, I’ve got my eye on most of their bags! I also love the handmade leather gift tags. These can be personalised to provide a stylish and sustainable, eco-friendly way to gift wrap, particularly for family – or provide lovely keepsakes.
Luna & Willow Candle Co was recently founded to create beautifully scented candles and wax melts. Hand poured in a small Derbyshire studio, in an environmentally conscious manner. All products are vegan and cruelty free. The delightful range of scents are inspired by childhood memories of founder Hannah, the seasons and walks in the Peak District. The Christmas 2021 scent range includes Gingerbread House with notes of cinnamon and nutmeg and Yuletide Tree featuring eucalyptus, pine and cedar. [AD – I was gifted one of the autumn candles to try. I loved the scent, packaging and how well it burnt]
The Peak District Candle Co is another lovely, local candle company who also now sell a range of gifts including luxury hand washes and gift sets.
Opal & Palm is a small handmade jewellery business based in the Peak District National Park. Specialising in earrings handcrafted from polymer clay, every piece is made from scratch by owner Cheryl. All findings are lead and nickel free and hypoallergenic, suitable for those with sensitive ears. I love the sage green Florence drop earrings sparkly leaf charm – but can see the candy cane and Christmas cups earrings being a really popular gift this year.
The brainchild of Chesterfield based, Maria, Me & Thee is centred around quirky Derbyshire sayings and prints. Who in your life needs a “Be Reyt” key ring? Would the “Gaffer” or “Mardy Bum” mug make a perfect Secret Santa gift? Shop on Etsy or support one of the many local shops who stock Maria’s designs.
Family Doodle Doo create personalised peg dolls and characters. Every detail is hand painted by owner, Kaley and no two pegs are exactly the same. Note that turnaround time is typically 3 weeks, with the expected Christmas orders cut-off date being towards the end of November.
For the Peak District lover in your life, Park Designs have a range of gifts inspired by the national park. Featuring bold graphic design using the contour lines of the stunning scenery. Fine bone china mugs are a very reasonable £14.95 up to a very ‘extra’ but utterly fabulous gold teapot. Shop online or from their shop in Hathersage.
Gifts for children
Peak District Kids have launched a small but perfectly formed range of merchandise. There are iron on patches and snoods. The snoods feature the OS map of the Peak District National Park and are made in the Peak District from breathable and moisture wicking technical microfibre, so perfect for the changeable weather that the National Park is notorious for.
For younger children, Dronfield eco store, It’s All About You stock a lovely range of hand-crafted, plastic free wooden toys for children which can also be ordered online.
In terms of clothing, Fox and Stitch handmakes gorgeous children’s clothes in Chesterfield. Shop at their Cromford Mills store or online. Layla and Josh is another fabulous Derbyshire children’s wear brand that has featured in Vogue and Tatler.
Cards and Décor
Lumsdale Glass is made by glass maker Jonathan Abbott in a traditional glass blowing studio based in the beautiful Lumsdale Valley, near Matlock in Derbyshire. Beautiful handmade baubles and candle holders made from high quality and recycled materials would make unique, treasured Christmas gifts.
Chesterfield based Sit & Sketch started as a lockdown hobby. Through her original designs, Jenny hopes to bring a little joy and warmth into the homes and hearts of her clients and their families. Sustainability is at the heart of Sit & Sketch. All materials used are recycled and/or made from sustainable materials. Jenny’s Etsy shop offers a range of personalised art gifts but I particularly like her Christmas Cards. All designs were hand painted by Jenny and then scanned and printed onto recycled card.
Herbert and Rose is another Chesterfield artist, Ali Scothern offering beautiful hand designed Christmas cards. The brand is stocked in lots of lovely gift shops or you can shop direct on Ali’s website and pick and mix a range of cards to take advantage of a 5 for £10 offer.
Ali at Spotty Dotty Sewing makes pretty cards and decorations using free machine embroidery. Last year I bought one of the personalised penguin tree decorations and it is already a treasured family keepsake. Ali’s products are stocked in a number of shops across Derbyshire including Handmade Design in Ashbourne or contact Spotty Dotty Sewing on Instagram or Facebook for personalised items.
Chesterfield based Squidge & Peg sell a range of quirky, humorous gifts made or painted by owner and maker, Emma. My personal favourite are her personalised pet baubles. Emma is such an incredible artist and her prices are very reasonable. Her order books fill up quickly so don’t dilly dally.
Another lovely art based Chesterfield brand is Olive and Indigo. Set up by Olivia 3 years ago after designing her own save the dates for our wedding. Busy Olivia runs the business around two other jobs as an art technician in a secondary school and as a dental technician. I first noticed Olivia’s sign writing and murals. This year Olive & Indigo are offering two personalised Christmas bauble options. Scribe baubles and house portrait baubles. Both are available in a range of colours. For full details including how to order see Olive and Indigo’s Facebook or Instagram page.
Little Wool Crafts makes unique fibre art in Ashbourne in the Derbyshire Dales. There’s something for every person at every budget but I particularly love the rainbow pom pom wreaths.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this Derbyshire gift guide and that it’s provided some festive inspiration. Happy shopping!
Still not found the perfect gift for that special someone? Why not check out my previous gift guides for more inspiration. Read my Valentines, Mother’s Day and/or Father’s Day gift guides for even more lovely, local, indie small businesses.
PS – I haven’t received any financial incentive for writing this. All of the brands featured sell products or services that I have or would buy myself, or that I would happily give or receive as a gift. There are a couple of instances where I have received gifts from different brands but I’ve made this clear in the text as technically it’s considered an AD.
If you’re a Derbyshire small business who would like to feature in future gift guides. Please get in touch here.