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By Donna Pilcher

We all have friends and relatives for whom it is a challenge to find the ideal present. With so many small shops and galleries closed during the recent lockdowns, it has been even trickier to find that perfect ‘I saw this and thought of you!’ item

It is no secret that it has been an incredibly difficult time for creative industries, and financial recovery will be a huge challenge for small business owners who would usually have sold the majority of their products via art and craft fairs, markets and other public events. However, the internet is packed with talented people offering distinctive and thoughtful presents, if you just know where to find them.  

To make the search easier, and help support some of these hardworking small businesses, heyday has rounded up some great gift ideas for those ‘hard to please’ loved ones…

For the Dog Daddy, Mutt Mama (or Your Own Best Friend!)

The gloriously named Joy Flowers, owner and designer at Scrufts, makes fabulous collars, leads, bandanas and bowties for the dapper pooch, in her colourful Brighton studio. From spots to stripes, and from Harris Tweed collars made with the traditional fabrics handwoven in the Scottish Isles, to Swiss velvets, and contemporary florals, stripes and spots, she has designs to help Rover rock the retro look, or to ensure that Milly looks thoroughly modern.

Before founding Scrufts in 2008, Joy had a long and successful career in high-end knitwear design, which is clearly evident in her superb use of colour, attention to detail and high-quality finish.  Scrufts dog accessories are super stylish, yet durable, and designed with safety and comfort front of mind. Collars come in a range of sizes, so it helps to know the dog’s neck measurement (or breed) before ordering.

Joy says, “I hope you find my dog collars and leads a feast for the eyes, as I’m all about colour. And, of course, our dogs’ safety is paramount so everything I make is triple sewn and I use only the best hardware available.”

All orders are gift wrapped and make fantastic presents. If you want Joy to add a handwritten message (free of charge) and have the order delivered direct to someone else, you just need to ask in the comments box during online checkout. 

Find Ms Flower’s joyful designs at@ scrufts.co.uk

Kerala collar, available in xs/sm/med/large, prices from £14.50 to £18.50.

Sea Blue Harris Tweed collar, available in xs/sm/med/large, prices from £15.50 to £19.50


For the Fabulous Fashionista

REW Clothing is the brainchild of Rachel Emma Wright, who uses the craft skills she learned studying millinery at Epsom School of Art in London, to create quirky, yet practical scarves and clothing, which quickly become wardrobe staples. Her signature piece is the women’s ‘No Fuss, No Tying’ Scarf, which developed from a design Rachel first created when her daughter was little, and needed a neck warmer that could be buttoned, rather than tied. The grown-up version is available in a huge choice of fabrics, and is destined to become a firm favourite with your own family fashion queen.

REW products are handmade in the UK and Rachel has a ‘bricks and mortar’ shop in Barmouth, Wales, but she also sells her collections via rewclothing.co.uk  where you can find even more gift ideas among the quirky ‘It Was From’ jewellery, selected by Rachel’s daughter, Isobel.

The ‘Ellie’ scarf, pictured in rich red and green options, is available in a wide range of colourways, is priced from £40, and can be gift wrapped and delivered worldwide. (Postage rates according to destination).

The ‘Ellie’ scarf, pictured in festive red and green colourways, is £40 and can be gift wrapped and delivered worldwide. (Postage rates according to destination)


For the Nature Lover or Free Spirit

Grace and Flora is a limited-edition collection of silver jewellery, inspired by the natural world and handmade in Twickenham by Kate Harvey, a life-long nature lover. Each piece features replicas of flora and fauna, such as acorns, shells and leaves. Kate captures exquisite details and selects subjects with traditional and archaic symbolism, which she hopes will “inspire, and replenish the soul.”

Grace and Flora jewellery is delivered in eco-friendly gift boxes, each with a card featuring a salient nature-themed quote or saying, such as “mighty oaks from little acorns grow”. Packaging is recycled and plastic-free, and prices include First-Class delivery, via Royal Mail.  

You can find Kate’s work at her website: graceandflora.co.uk or on Instagram @graceandflora.co.uk 

Botanical celebration necklace with fern, oak and rose leaf, and Emerald, Peridot and Moss Agate, £108 including UK P&P. Seed celebration necklace with acorn cap, poppy seed head and sycamore seed with Garnet, Smoky Quartz and Labradorite, £108 including UK P&P.


For the Vintage Vamp

Who doesn’t love a little 20s elegance, in the style of Phryne Fisher or Josephine Baker? If you have a doyenne of all things Art Nouveau to buy for, Jess Lelong is the man to know. Jess and his father Jean make exquisite Art Nouveau and Art Deco jewellery in their London workshop, using original French findings and dyes, sourced over many years by the Lelong family duo, during frequent trips to Parisienne factories.

The Lelongs have also built up an impressive stock of vintage ’Pate De Verre’ Glass from the 20s & 30s. Pate De Verre is a traditional technique whereby coloured glass is moulded into bold Art Deco shapes and then either etched with acid or layered with silver or gold leaf.

Jean and Jess also use vintage Galalith (a plastic, which translates from Greek as ‘milk stone’, was hugely popular in the 20s and 30s, and was made by fusing milk proteins and formaldehyde) hand cutting and polishing it to make stunning, one-of-a-kind pieces. They also use the traditional technique of fired glass enamelling, and some designs are set with diamante crystals or semi-precious stones. The collection even includes fabulous retro aeroplane cufflinks; perfect to buy for a husband or father, and then steal back to wear on a ladies silk dress shirt!

Each piece of Lelong Designs jewellery is silver or gold plated, and is nickel free and hypoallergenic. 

Perhaps most surprisingly, given the craftmanship, heritage and quality of the Lelongs’ work, their prices are remarkably accessible, with beautiful pieces of jewellery available via their Etsy shop from as little as £10, and with the vast majority of even the most complex and precious items at around the £200 mark or under.  


Honesty pendant with Nephrite, £20 with free UK shipping.

Art Nouveau Crane brooch, £20 with free UK shipping

For Your Sweethearts and Sweet-Toothed Friends

Rachel McGoldrick makes delectable sweet treats in her Kentish kitchen, from melt-in-the-mouth shortbread, to cakes, gingerbread men and flapjacks, all beautifully packaged, and sent direct to your loved ones’ doors.  Her delectable cookies, studded with brightly coloured chocolate sweets, may be the perfect thing to send as a special indulgence to the grandkids (or big kids!) to remind them that you are thinking of them.

Rachel started her own small business, A Kentish Kitchen, “by accident” 12 years ago, when her parents were struggling to find a supplier of homemade cakes and pies for their village shop. Rachel had always enjoyed baking, so she decided to give it ago. The rest, as they say, is history…

For the last six years Rachel has been supplying farm shops and tea rooms in the Kent area, including catering for gluten and dairy free diets, and this year she started selling direct to the public, online via Etsy.  etsy.com/shop/akentishkitchen 

Bestselling favourites include a colourful Smartie cookies, and indulgent treat box, packed with cakes, cookies, shortbread and flapjacks, which is the ideal present for a family to share.

Everything can be sent UK-wide, carefully wrapped, via First Class Royal Mail, with P&P ranging from £1.99 – £4.99.

Cake and Cookie Treat Box, £21.95

For the Artist, the Poet, and the Dreamer

Whether your loved ones prefer to collect their creative observations in words or images, they are guaranteed to love gathering them in the handmade journals created and sold by Corinna Krause, the founder of Sollas Bookbinding. 

The one-woman, artisan bookbinding studio is based on the stunning island of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides. Corinna arrived on the island 20 years ago and fell in love with the place and the community. 

Her creative work is very much influenced by the colours and textures that surround her home in the crofting township of Sollas, where she also makes her own artist papers, which she incorporates into some of her bookbinding.  Corinna has also recently added a range of tactile, leather-bound ‘long stitch’ journals to her collection, in a glorious palette of heathery and vivid hues.

In the summer months, Corinna welcomes visitors into her studio where they can see and buy her work, or learn the art of bookbinding in individually tailored workshops, and if they can’t do a workshop there and then, they can take a book kit away with them…

You can find Corinna’s beautiful journals and book kits at sollasbooks.com, where you can also contact her to talk about personalised gifts or workshops. Postage for journals and kits is £5 within the UK, and worldwide postage depends on the destination country.

Leather Long Stitch journals – from £35

Leather Coptic journals – from £35


For Those Who Like It Hot (or Mild, but Spicy)

Spice Trove offers authentic, sustainable, artisan curry kits, for everyone, from meat lovers, to vegetarians and vegans, all packed in shimmering, upcycled saris. The company is the brainchild of friends Jill Berriman and Saskia Snioch, two young mums who discovered their shared love of exotic cuisine as they chatted in the staff room of the Manchester primary school where they both teach.

“We are both spice fiends, with a wealth of travel and culinary experience” explains Jill, “So setting up Spice Trove, which allows us to research and share our passion for traditionally spiced dishes, seemed like a natural move.”

The friends also share a love of sustainable textiles, which is why they decided to use upcycled saris for their spice bags.  “It’s always such a pleasure, sourcing second hand saris for our packaging. Indian patterns are so vibrant and diverse, with richly decorated graphical elements inspired by paisley, mandalas and traditional henna designs, so sifting through such gorgeous material is never a chore!” Jill enthuses.

Jill and Saskia are on a mission to make their products as sustainable and ethical as possible, and they constantly refine and develop their products and packaging, as well as donating a portion of their profit to organisations like Invisible Girl Project, which helps to protect and empower young women in India.

You can discover Spice Trove’s delicious, authentic recipes at spicetrove.co.uk explore Jill and Saskia’s food and drink pairing suggestions, and buy kits that serve ‘two hungry diners’ from £6.95, or great value ‘collections’ with five curry kits for just £30 including UK delivery.