Tuesday, 18 November 2014

How to: Shop Small this Christmas

Chrismas Shopping Hints and Tips, How to, Shop Small, Xmas, Christmas present ideas

With yesterdays post saying the final farewell to Halloween fun, it's time to focus on the next big thing. Yep the C word is everywhere and, with shops having festive displays up before October had even ended, we are positively behind the times by only mentioning Christmas now. While we won't be decking our halls anytime soon, that doesn't me we don't want to be prepared. We find the best place to start is with gift buying. We love picking out the perfect presents for our nearest and dearest. This year we're aiming to make it extra special by buying from small businesses and independent designers. While a Boots 3for2 deal is super handy, it ain't too personal and usually involves elbowing a crowd of shoppers out of the way. We want to enjoy the shopping experience as much as the gift giving, so that's why we're planning to shop small this festive season. Fancy joining us? Well, we've got some tips to help you along the way.

Chrismas Shopping Hints and Tips, How to, Shop Small, Xmas, Christmas present ideas, shop local, Scottish design, Scottish bloggers, what's on christmas

Get in there early.
Want something extra special and maybe even personalised? Nothing gives a gift a bit of pizzazz quite like your own special message, the recipients name or your gangs in joke. There are a huge amount of custom options out there when buying small, designers and makers love offering something a bit different. Our favourite of these gift ideas include Bonnie Bling's killer name ring, Nikki McWilliams brand new custom cream plushie and Pop Cult Pencils 'your text here' option. These extra special things can take a bit of extra time so it's best to order early to ensure your custom creation arrives in time for crimbo.

Dates for your diary.
The big stores have lots of special offers and days marketed to get people spending in the run up to Christmas. These usually mean crowds and sore feet, boo!!! Luckily lots of smaller designers and online retailers observe these dates too and often offer some rather handy discounts. Black Friday (Friday 28th November) and Cyber Monday (Monday 1st December) are good ones to watch out for. Make sure you're following your favourites on social media as this is usually where the special offers can be found first. Don't worry, if we spot any good deals we'll be sure to give you a heads up on Twitter and Facebook.

Also, make sure you watch out for Small Business Saturday. You may have seen a certain credit card company raving about it in their adverts but it is a great was for small shops to create a buzz and offer some great deals. There seem to be a few dates popping up for this (mainly 28th November and 6th December) so make sure and have a good ol' Google to find out what's happening in your area.

There's nothing quite like a pop up.
There are so many amazing pop up shops going on this year, giving lots of opportunities to see designers work in the flesh and even providing a chance to chat to some of them in person. Meeting the person behind the products adds an extra something special when making a purchase. And getting to touch and see things in real life means you get to see the quality up close and personal. With Etsy hosting a number around the UK, there's sure to be something coming your way. Here are a few that we can't wait to visit:

All the fun of the fair.
As well as pop up shops, 'tis also the season of the craft fair. From vintage finds to handmade gifts, these day events offer another great way to get your hands on some super stuff and chin wag with the creators. There are plenty to choose from and we will definitely be hitting up these events:

Try a DIY. 
If you want to go the extra mile and do something super special, why not try DIYing some gifts with your own fair hands. Don't worry, it doesn't have to be as scary as it sounds. All you need is a bit of time, patience and Pinterest. There are so many step by step guides available online. We've even been known to do a few on Wardrobe Conversations.

Failing that why not sign up to a class and get some expert help to whip up your unique pressies. Check out the DCA's Christmas Crafternoon with Bunty and Bella or MAKLab's Have a Go at 3D Printing - Xmas Edition

Chrismas Shopping Hints and Tips, How to, Shop Small, Xmas, Christmas present ideas, shop local, Scottish design, wrapping paper, christmas gift wrap, polar bears, Mairi Helena Photography
That's a wrap.
Once you've bought (or made) your pile of lovely gifts you'll need something lovely to wrap them in. Christmas presents often nestle under the tree for quite some time in the run up to the big day, so much so that they almost become decorations. So why not make them extra pretty by picking up some designer wrapping paper. Our wonderful friend Chloe from Clo's Line has another great range of critter wrapping out this year, featuring some rather festive polar bears. She's also very kindly offered Wardrobe Conversation readers a wee discount in her online shop. Use the code WARDROCONVO15 to get 15% off until 1st December. You can also p-p-p-pick up last years penguin design, now even more fitting thanks to a certain festive ad.

Chrismas Shopping Hints and Tips, How to, Shop Small, Xmas, Christmas present ideas, shop local, Scottish design, Scottish bloggers, what's on christmas, #shopsmallxmas, christmas jumper, christmas tree

Have we convinced you to shop small for Christmas 2014? If so, we'd love to see how you get on and will be checking out #shopsmallxmas for all the latest. Watch out tomorrow as we'll be offering you a chance to put these tips to the test.

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