This Christmas, as we all know, is going to be a little different. Now nearing the end of lockdown 2.0, the usual hustle and bustle of Christmas gift buying you expect to see towns and city’s across the UK is pretty much non existent. When shops re-open on December 2nd, it’s vital for the survival of independent retailers that people shop local.
With just under a week left until December 1st, it’s time to start thinking about buying presents, visiting family, putting up the Christmas tree and stuffing our faces with mince pies. The government-imposed closure of non-essential shops has had a severe impact on small, independent businesses that struggle to compete with online retail giants like Amazon. Over the last 3 weeks, there has been a lot of anguish for small business owners who have been forced to close whilst supermarkets and other “essential” stores have been able to continue selling gift items. That’s why this festive period we need to support local businesses and ensure that come next year all of our favourite shops selling independent brands are still open for business.
So often these quirky, colourful shops have so much more to offer than your local chain garden centre or the TU section of sainsburys. You can find incredibly unique gifts for friends and family that are handmade, created by people who are paid fairly and chances are, made close to home. It’s a win – win situation.
To make the conscious-Christmas shopping journey even easier for you, we have put together a list of some of our favourite shops in Bristol that stock nothing but independent brands. Expect fashion, books, games, homewares, art, plants and so much more. Maybe you’re looking for something vert specific or perhaps you’ll stumble upon the perfect item but whatever way you shop we know you’ll feel even better about giving a gift made with love.
All of the shops mentioned have websites and are offering delivery throughout the festive period to make your life just that little bit easier.
Located on Gloucester Road and established in 2011, CoLab prides itself in showcasing the works of countless artists and designers from Bristol and the surrounding areas. They are well known for supplying some incredible products and also have a wide variety to choose from – especially when searching for gifts!
What do they sell? Clothes, Art, Jewellery, Homeware, Cards
Established in 1994, Repsycho is one of the oldest vintage clothing stores in Bristol. This family-run business puts their love of vintage clothing at the heart of everything they do and is often described as a ‘treasure trove’ for retro fashion. You would certainly be in the safest of hands when searching for your next unique vintage piece or one-off bargain.
What do they sell? Vintage clothes, Vintage shoes, Accessories (glasses, jewellery, patches), Homeware, Vintage-inspired re worked clothing.
Bam is an Easton-based lifestyle store empowering creativity across Bristol. It makes itself known as a not-for-profit shop promising a whole host of affordable handmade gifts. If you’re unsure what presents you’re looking for and also want a variety of unique and luxurious options, but don’t want to break the bank – Bam might just have you covered!
What do they sell? Art, Makeup & skincare, Jewellery, Books, Games, Clothing, Homeware, Children’s Toys, Cards
Good Store Studio
GSS is a collaborative space established by three Bristol-based businesswomen, who have combined a creative studio and shop to showcase the work of Bristol artists and host a variety of workshops. Good Store Studio truly screams collaboration and community from the rooftops, providing a place for people to create and learn new skills. The store currently holds over 50 different creative’s work – so, there’s bound to be something that takes your fancy!
What do they sell? Prints, Jewellery, Clothing, Skincare, Books and magazines, Bags and purses, Hats and scarves, Children’s Games
Located on Overton Road in St Andrews, Wild Leaf AKA Bristol’s first shop dedicated to indoor plants is on hand to satisfy the needs of all you plant lovers out there. Plants make a perfect gift for any household (and you can never have too many). Thankfully, Wild Leaf is currently offering a fantastic online selection for you to browse. Expect plants, pots, homeware and more!
What do they sell? House plants, Pots, Saucers, Baskets, Homeware
Storysmith is an incredibly charming bookstore located on North Street in Bedminster. There is nothing better than exploring the shelves of an independent bookshop like Storysmith – getting lost in the pages, chowing down on cakes from Mark’s Bread and spending too much time with the shop dog, Roy. Discover Storysmith’s huge selection of books now and support an independent bookstore this Christmas.
What do they sell? Fiction, Non-fiction, Cookery, Art, Nature, Science, History, Children’s
One of the best things you can do while spending more time at home with your family/friends is to play a good old-fashioned board game, and we aren’t just talking chess or scrabble (although those are great, too). There are a whole host of games (hundreds upon hundreds) out there for all ages, and North Street’s Toyville store can prove precisely that. This independent toy shop aims to be Bristol’s answer to all things fun – check them out below!
What do they sell? Board games, Card games, Educational, Skill games, Stationery, Puzzles, Musical toys, Soft toys, Lego, Baby toys
Rag & Bone
Prepare for some incredible homeware to hit your screens. What Rag & Bone do, they do incredibly well. Located in Bristol’s Old Quarter, Rag & Bone prides itself in collecting beautiful items from across all ages and styles to create a hoard of must-haves for anyone who loves interior decorating. Anything from their online store would make an utterly unique gift – you won’t regret having a browse.
What do they sell? Art, Chairs, Lighting, Storage, Homeware, Mirrors, Tables
Located on Stokes Croft, That Thing is jam packed with one off garments. Comprising of local artwork as well as their own ‘That Thing’ range of products, they aims to provide a range of unique pieces with a modern twist. They stock a whole host of cool pieces that you won’t find anywhere else, and individuality is at the heart of everything they do! Expect festival-wear, vintage, streetwear and more sparkles than you’d find on an 80’s dance floor.
What do they sell? Streetwear, Vintage clothing, Lifestyle products, Homeware, Gift items, Spray Paint