Welcome to my very first blog post, bear with me! We've just launched our first website, I have stock in various places around the globe in transit, #TakeBackBlackFriday week is on Instagram, and now my quite bossy (but totally brilliant) social media wonder-whizz is hassling me about a blog post. So, in true Lady Jane style I thought I would kill two birds with one stone and write my own Xmas wish list (*hint hint*) whilst promoting a few of my own rather snazzy numbers and other independent business that I love, just in time for Small Business Saturday!
Colourful Christmas Gift Ideas from Independent Businesses
1: THAT THING
In Bristol there’s only one place to start, That Thing of course. If you’re in Stokes Croft swing in and bag a load of pressies in one go. From vintage clothing to sequin glamour, quirky jewellery, cool men’s wear and even fresh household bits and bobs now too! If you’re in lockdown, head to their website. You can’t go wrong. They stock over 50 independent designers, like this purse from Butchi & Gosmos by the Boss lady, Joh or this Sasse & Belle planter - both perfect Harlequin print to match our Harlequin High Waisted shorts.
2: BURNT SOUL
Burnt Soul Clothing. One of my all time favourites, I’m definitely treating myself, and maybe even a niece or to two, to one of their fabulous, timeless, brilliantly made Catsuits. I’ve got my eye on their signature Joan Collins Catsuit which would look fab on my Zoom New Years Eve night. Wow! I can barely contain myself.
3: BRISTOL CO-LAB
Because it’s all the things we love about Bristol. Bristol makers, jewellers, crafts and clothes all under one roof! We love a collab and Bristol does the best of them! I’ll be looking for pressies here and a few treats for me too. This pin badge is Totally Magic and this Merrimaking sweatshirt would go great with our Gold Rush booty shorts!
4: CARNY VALLEY
Carny Valley create these beautifully made waxed rain capes which are designed, developed and manufactured in the UK... perfect for throwing over one of our sequin playsuits and dancing in rain or shine!
5: BEKSIE'S BOUTIQUE
Anyone who knows me, knows I never leave the house without a Beksie Bumbag. I absolutely love them, they’re funky as you can get and super practical. Becks her-self is a fabulous creative and I give her full credit (way before the big boys) for single-handedly making Bum-bags cool again! I can never have too many of these. Go wild with this epic Mardi Gras super deluxe bum bag and pair it with something from our rainbow collection!
Our Zoe, aka Zedhead, she’s fun, she’s feisty just like her fabulous headpieces. I’m grabbing this beautiful lilac and gold creation to top off my candy stripe leggings, while I dream of dancing the nights away in a field again. In the meantime, can I suggest it could be a perfect outfit for all those kitchen discos we’ll be having this festive period!
7: FAIRY LOVE
No gift list would be complete without our festival favourite (and another great friend) Fairy Love. Shelley Fairy Love, originally from Australia, was the very first person to come up with the ‘Fairy Wings’ concept and bring them all the way to the UK! Big credit for that, because where would we be without our wings? Fairy Love sells ethical, colourful clothes, head pieces and, of course, fairy wings made with love and sprinkled in magic for adults and kids. These pink wings would make a glorious addition to our cheeky pink playsuit!
8: DANDY LION
Based in Frome and on Instagram, Dandy Lion is our one-stop Mens shop. Great vintage, all the favourites, French work wear, Swedish military parkas, Belstaff jackets. You name it! They’ve been getting some pretty women’s stuff in too I noticed recently (ME, again). Anyway, we love the look of the shop and am pretty sure the Men in your life will too!
9: ASHANTI EMPRESS
Our pals Ashanti Empress ethically produce the most vibrant pieces from beautiful African Wax fabric in Ghana. Their eclectic collection of shirts would make a great present for any man in your life and we think this ‘Poppin Panda’ shirt would look the bomb with our Midnight Gold Bomber.
10: STATEMENT NECKLACE
I love a good necklace, and they don’t come better than this. Fuck The Tories, with 10% of profits going to Trussels Food banks is a fun little company! I know the golden rule is don’t mix politics with…...anything, especially not with business. But hey, politics has never been more personal living here in the UK, I’ve never been one for rules and hey….it’s my blog!
Love the daintiness of these necklaces and I think the necklace would look great nestled on your cleavage (and mine if I had one) in my gold beaded bra!
11. BAM BRISTOL
Better not forget the kids, not with 10 nephews and nieces, it’s more than my life is worth. Easton’s own, BAM Bristol, has an awesome range of kids stuff curated from indie brands. We’ve got our eye on this Rainbow Mirror (might snap one up myself), its the perfect thing to check out new new rainbow sequin mask in!
12. ESSENTIAL MAINTENANCE
At the end of all that frantic Xmas shopping, I think it’s fair to say we deserve a treat! Around the same time as Lady Jane was kicking off my good friend, Rebecca, opened a little beauty salon in her house in Bedminster. Since then she has gone from strength to strength, being one of the first in the UK to introduce sugaring and…. She was featured in VOGUE this year!
This year she opened Essential Maintenance on the High Street in Bedminster, check her out!
FINALLY…. (I promise)
Speaking for myself, and many small business owners I know personally, it’s been a turbulent year. On the one hand, being self employed, we are more precarious than ever, as the economic impacts hit us all in the UK and globally. Yet on the other, I’m so grateful that in these times we are able to adapt and somehow keep our heads above the water. None of us little, independent businesses, trying to compete with the big boys (who steal our designs, pay a quarter of what we do, over produce and throw away the waste), are guaranteed to be here in a year.
Especially after this year and not with Brexit looming on the horizon. Please help us by spending a little time researching company ethics, green policies, working conditions, maybe pay a little more to ensure garment workers are receiving living wages. Buy a little less, value a little more, swap, repair, rework clothes, and if you do buy something make sure you love it enough to keep forever! Please, please, use your spending power wisely this Xmas, because we, literally, are in your hands.
I’ve missed my festival customers so much this year, we can’t wait to see you all back in the field next summer! So many thanks, especially this year, to all my patient, beautiful Etsy customers who have really risen to the occasion! Thank you, we wouldn’t be here without you, and we can’t wait to take you along on our next (online) adventures!