Why I’ll be shopping indie this Christmas

It’s the start of November, so my thoughts are inevitably turning towards Christmas. In previous years I’ve often left things to the last minute and had to rely on the convenience of large retailers. This year I want to be different so I’m pledging to shop indie as much as I can.

Graphic with the words "I pledge to shop independent so I can share the joy of a gift made with love while supporting someone's dreams".

What does shopping indie mean? For me, it means shopping with creative independent businesses. Artists, makers, entrepreneurs working to bring more joy and creativity into the world.

As I reflect on this, I realise I’ve being doing shopping independent for myself for a few years already.

I’ve brought some adorable crochet toy patterns on Etsy and in my journey to learn to sew my own wardrobe, patterns from indie sewing companies have played a huge part.

You can’t help but feel all the care and love that goes into the products. Many of the indie sewing patterns I’ve purchased make you feel like you’ve got a friend sitting next to you guiding you though. The first garment I made was a Tilly and the Buttons pattern and I’ll always be grateful to Closet Core Patterns for giving me the confidence to sew my own jeans.

So I’m hoping that this year I can pass on the joy I’ve felt with indie products through gifts. Which will get me branching out into the much wider indie business community.

Because another reason I’m drawn to indie businesses is the uniqueness you can find. Have you got a friend who’s really into sharks? There’ll be independent makers out there creating all sorts of shark themed products that’ll make her day!

Plus with many creative indie businesses you get the opportunity to get to know the person or people behind it all. Which makes me even more happy to buy their products as I want to support them and thank them!

The indie community

This year I joined the Indie Roller community to get support as I work on building my own independent business. It’s really opened my eyes to the breadth of makers out there creating so many really delightful products.

From plantable greetings cards to quilling art work, crochet jewellery to dolls with over 20 skin tones to choose from. The indie biz world has you covered!

These creators really do put their heart and soul into the products they create. And they keep persevering when the going gets tough.

I know a lot of us love to admire their beautiful creations on social media, but I think it’s worth remembering that admiration only goes so far. This is wonderfully articulated by the Just a Card campaign.

So I’d love to encourage you to buy even just one small gift from an independent business this year.

Ways to shop indie

Here are some links for where to shop indie. Since I’m UK based, this list will be undoubtedly be a bit skewed towards that. If you know of some other great resources, from anywhere in the world, please let me know as I’d love to add them!

Indie Roller – for the last 3 months of 2020 the site is turning into a festive showcase of indie businesses. Plus they’ll be running an online market every week. I’m going to be participating in a couple on the 26th and 29th of this month! Follow the hashtag #indierollerchristmas to see everything being offered in the markets.

Etsy – a global marketplace for independent sellers.

Folksy – a UK marketplace for handmade (often shipping globally)

Not on the high street – a curated marketplace of small UK creative businesses

Shopping with Soul – an online directory of indie designers and makers created by the team behind Crafty Fox Market who have a couple of online markets planned

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