SPOILER ALERT: For those nearest and dearest to me, this post will most likely give away what will be under your Christmas trees this year. You've been warned!
It's true. I'm a natural born shopper. Given the opportunity I quite often go through periods of shopaholicism - is that even a word?! It's in my genes so it clearly isn't my fault. What makes it worse - or better depending on who you ask - is that I'm REALLY good at it!
My super-hero-like shopping abilities, combined with the fact that I'm a pretty awesome planner, means that my Christmas shopping is pretty much done and dusted by November. In actual fact, I normally start shopping in September as financially this time of year can get tight with Miss 5's b'day a month prior to Xmas and Master 1's a month after.
This year my Christmas shopping took a slightly different turn. Until starting My Girl Friday, the importance of supporting local businesses had never really been high on my priority list. I've always loved a good local market, but that's where it stopped for me. However over the past couple of years, I have met so many amazing small business owners, often (but not always) based from their homes, providing fabulous services or selling amazing products, that this year I decided to support these entrepreneurs as much as possible.
So do you wanna know more about some of the amazing gems I've come across? OK, here they are:
Miss Vintage sells the coolest ever hand-painted vintage plates. One of my super special favorite clients purchased this one for me not too long ago which I ADORE! The quality is top-notch, the service is excellent and the products are great for those that want something a little quirky or whimsical.
I have only very recently been introduced to essential oils. I always thought them just for hippies (I know, I know - SOOO judgmental!!!!), but I have been converted! Renee at Spade to Spoon was so patient with my questions and went out of her way to offer guidance and support in the types of oils that would work best for my family. Renee's own blends have been life-changing for us.
I love a good candle, and came across Studio Milk randomly. I gave them a go and was SOOOO impressed with their customer service as well as their products (they smell bloody amazing and the packaging is really cool), that I've since placed additional orders with them. They also do a really cool 'Random Acts of Kindness' thing where each week they send out a candle to a nominated recipient. So lovely!
I've been keeping an eye on these guys for a while as their fun and quirky doormats really appeal to me. Unfortunately Mr Guy Friday doesn't like anything "with words on them" (sigh), but this year I've purchased one as a gift. Designed in NZ and made ethically and sustainably in Sri Lanka using biodegradable, recycled materials ... what's not to love?!
The number 1 kids shampoo, conditioner and bubble bath around. Hands down. They smell divine and are made with lovely natural ingredients. So gentle on skin that even Master 1's eczema approves! Great stocking fillers :)
The BEST online gift basket store in NZ!! You can select from their regular product lines or even discuss putting something custom-made together. Filled with beautiful and carefully selected goodies, these gift baskets or boxes are presented with such love and care you really can't go wrong. I've used The Pressie Box a few times this year and will continue to do so due to the fabulous service, gorgeous presentation and scrumptious goodies!
This year I've purchased two incredible items from KJ Designs and have been blown away both times. For a personalised keepsake that will be cherished forever ... look no further than Suz who is based in Cambridge. Beautiful, meaningful and affordable. Gift certificates are also available for purchase if you're not 100% confident in picking out something yourself.
I could keep on going, but I won't. I could keep shopping, but I won't do that either haha!
Happy online shopping everyone! And remember ... when you buy from a small business an actual person does a little happy dance :)