Usually, I get to the first week in December I have everyone’s gifts lined up in my amazon basket or ready to get from Waterstones, The White Company, Monsoon, FatFace and other high street shops that do Christmas oh so well. But this year I called pause until I could find gifts that hold more than face value (although they are all beautiful too!), presents with either a stronger ethical message, are locally or responsibly sourced and can support local business. As best I can, I’d like to shop small and make choices that hold a little more quality and value.
On the first Wednesday of Truro’s late-night shopping Belle (GollyGoshB) and I moseyed our way around the Made In Cornwall Christmas Fair here in Truro, searching for the perfect gifts for our friends and family this December. Needless to say, we were also there for the tasters too. The rain was pouring, and so was the mulled wine. Whilst not including every shop as I’d be keeping you here along time, here are some that we met along our trip around Cornwall’s only 100% Cornish Made Market. I’m aware of how much time has passed since this event, but with our family having early Christmas I didn’t want anyone to read this and twig conversations/crafty gift planning I’d had with them about these brands!
A beautiful oceanic vibe to this Cornish spirits company was a no brainer to beeline for as soon as I saw their banner in the market. Small business, small team, this delicious brand is brought to you by Husband and Wife, William and Rubina. With fresh, fruity, crisp flavours, this is a brand that the gin lover friend will recognise as a truly special gift this Christmas (or any other time of year!)
Caitilin’s Cornish Textiles
As soon as I saw Caitilin’s stand in the marquee, I heard my purse gulp. What a beautiful array of homemade gifts, I wanted them all. Much to my relief, everything was also very reasonably priced too! A massive help as I’d instantly spotted two of the items my sister has asked for, plus something for my IG giveaway, and then Belle saw something she’d liked too.
My fancy for the creations only grew when I got home and read Caitilin’s website finding that she had created her business having made oilcloth aprons for her four children and that the ideas had sprung from there. If you know me, you’ll recognise this to be a very similar story to mine as my Mum made our aprons (from the same prints!) for my 3 sisters and I and then my brother too.
Wrecking Coast Gin
Let’s play a controversial game of including a second brand of local gin in this guide. I couldn’t not introduce Wrecking Coast to those that are yet to enjoy this beautifully smooth, icon of Cornish spirit. Born out of love of the drink, the classic representation of Cornwall’s famous clotted cream, and pride of work in the deliverance, yet again a very desirable drink to receive for perhaps the sweet tooth gin lover in your life.
A Bird in the Sticks
An ideal find for the arty, colourful friend or family member, I was so happy to come across this brand that I went back for seconds to purchase their colourful, characteristic, captures of Cornwall. Kaitlyn’s work was so lovely to look through that it took a lot of strength to walk away without having bought one of everything for everyone.
Whilst not with a stand in the same market as above, Natures Anchor have been busy in St Ives at their markets recently as a Falmouth based company that I’ve been looking forward to working with for a good while months now. Natures Anchor is a local brand producing small-batch, hand made, responsibly sourced well-being products ranging from sleep mist to mineral salt deodorant, jute bags to solid shampoo bars. With responsible packaging and the knowledge that each item is lovingly created to be as beautiful as possible, a collection of these products would make a lovely gift for your well being and eco-aware friend! You can make the most of Alison’s beautiful stock with a discount code that she has very kindly given me to share with you all. Use code “OHELLIE10” for 10% off your orders.
A fast-growing brand to follow the reusable cups trend, rCup is a product brought to life by the North Cornwall design team Ashortwalk who take pride in creating useful products out of seemingly unuseful materials. As well as being a calm but colourful design these cups maintain the temperature of your drink, are sturdy and well made, with a fun pop-top element inforcing the cup to be 100% leakproof.
Natalie Bonney Ceramics
As we’re in Cornwall and at a Cornish Made Christmas Fare it was highly anticipated that I would find myself lusting after beautiful ceramics in one stand or another as Cornwall really does have some of the most beautiful creations in this field. I could hardly tear myself away from Natalie Bonney’s stand as I came across the classic cream, white and blue pieces. From salt pigs, vases and heart-shaped nesting dishes to jars and ceramic flasks I for one and adding this to the list in the hope that someone in my circle reads this and takes a hint because you can never have too many flasks or nesting dishes, right?
Ash and Ewe
Again, a brand that I was fortunate to be recommended when I was looking for locally made products was the very sweet collection created by Esther of Ash and Ewe. With the most beautiful crochet sheepskin baby booties, I found myself wishing more of my friends or sisters had babies to buy for!
A truly beautiful creation that would make the sweetest gift for any newborn.
Tide Up Box
The Tide Up Boxes are a simple escape for those that need that sea air in their lives and the coastal atmosphere for their hearts. A subscription service offering treats to your door in a consciously packaged box and filled with environmentally-helpful products, this would be the real gift that keeps giving as there is also a donation within each purchase to Surfers Against Sewage. These beautiful blue boxes have previously included goodies such as Booja-Booja truffles, bath bombs, Jewellery, shampoo bars, biodegradable glitter and so much more.
Shore Fine Design
Truth be told, I couldn’t find a stall at the market that matched the simplistic beauty that I know Shore Fine Design creates, but what’s a gift guide without jewellery? Capturing pieces of the rough Cornish ocean and smoothing them into sophisticated, sentimental and individual pieces to last a lifetime, Louise at Shore Fine Design brings the magic scent of the sea to each of her gold or silver creations. With pieces as beautiful and singular as each of the souls that wear them, these creations are unlike any other. Another that I’m adding to my list to hopefully wear myself one day soon. For the simplistic dresser that always has an air of class and a love for the finer things in their Cornish life, I’d recommend Louise’s slow, simple and serene jewellery.