As someone who has their own business, I always try to 'buy independent' as much as possible. Not only do you get excellent quality, but you know that the products have been crafted with love (and sweat and tears!), and that every purchase really makes the seller's day.
With this in mind, I have put together a list of a few of my favourites to help you with some gift ideas this Christmas. These are all local small businesses, with a real live person who lovingly packs up your purchases and does a little happy dance with each sale - I know that I do.
1. Top of my list, of course, is a gift certificate from Alannah Hebbert Photography. This
Christmas I am selling vouchers for £89. This gives the recipient a 30 minute photography session for up to 5 people, 5 digital images and 5 matching prints. A real heirloom of a gift experience!
2. 2 Little Legs is a local small business selling the most beautiful leggings and other handmade children's clothes. I first came across them at a Christmas market in Redbourn, and they make perfect gifts for the little people in your life.
3. Many people are now beginning the tradition of a 'Christmas Eve box' with their children, and Made With Love can provide everything that you need, from magic keys to reindeer food to chocolate treats. The lovely lady behind the brand lives in Welwyn Garden City.
4. The Boy Without A Cape is very close to my heart. This local business sells t-shirts with slogans (I know, I know, I always say 'no slogans' at your photo session, but this is special!) that promote autism awareness. The business owner's son was part of my Superheroes project, in which I photographed children with special needs for no fee, in return for a small donation to the National Autistic Society or to UNIQUE. When you buy one of these t-shirts, a donation is automatically made to SPACE, a Hertfordshire charity supporting families of children with special needs.
5. Okay, little disclaimer: this company isn't local, but I just LOVE it. Fable Heart is a small business making the most beautiful, timeless dressing-up clothes for children, that really spark the imagination. The crown has become a bit of a trademark for me, and you will see it crop up in my photos from time to time!