Funding Options' festive gift guide

24 Nov 2021

The festive season is upon us! Goodness knows we all deserve an extra sprinkling of Christmas cheer this December – including the nation’s small businesses, who are ready to keep our spirits up and our stockings stocked with their unique gifts. Here are 8 of our favourite independent retailers.

festive gift guide

There are so many great reasons to support local businesses – not just at Christmas, but all year round. If you’re looking for something special, SMEs should be your first port of call. For starters, they often stock items that aren’t mass produced or available elsewhere. 

You’ll be surprised to see how many amazing deals you’ll find too. Indie retailers often reward loyal customers in ways that major outlets don’t, so you can save as you spend. 

Last but not least, local retailers frequently source their items locally or use local resources to make them, meaning they have a much lower carbon footprint. 

So, put a smile on the face of someone you care about this year by shopping at an independent shop. You’ll find them online as well as on your local high street. 

Some of our own customers sell amazing gift-worthy products. Check them out:

1. ecoLiving

For sustainable gifts 

ecoLiving is a carbon neutral ecommerce business that sells high quality sustainable items. As well as selling other brands’ collections, it creates its own zero-waste ranges which are manufactured responsibly, plastic-free and vegan.

Got an eco-friendly friend or want to work on reducing your own carbon footprint? 

Check out their beautiful handmade soap dishes

Recycled Christmas Cards - Eco Earth (FSC 100%)

Image courtesy of ecoLiving

2. Marvels from the World 

For unique, inspiring gifts

Mo, the company’s co-founder, decided to start the business with a friend after returning from a trip to Japan. He realised that “we don’t even see 1% of the products being made” because it’s often too risky for large outlets to invest in something new. 

Marvels from the World showcases and sells products made with love and integrity. Check out the website to discover some absolute gems, from specialist cookbooks with great front covers to artisan foods that would make for great stocking fillers. 

(Hint: they’re currently offering free UK delivery above £10 and on selected products.)

Tokyo Stories: A Japanese Cookbook

Source: Marvels from the World

3. Vanilla Black Coffee & Books

For coffee, books, brunch & lunch

Vanilla Black Coffee & Books is a cafe and boutique ship destination situated in Kennington, South London (on the Northern Line). As well as serving brunch, cakes and coffee, it sells an array of delightful books, gifts and greeting cards. 

If you’re London-based, why not head over to Vanilla Black Coffee & Books and grab a hot drink whilst picking out some gifts? You could even treat a coworker, friend or family member to a bite to eat in the run up to Christmas - book a table today. 

vb_kennington brunch

Source: @vb_kennington 

4. Marigold Charms

For organic skincare gifts

Marion, Marigold Charms’ founder, started her business after finding that there was a lack of affordable, cruelty free and sustainable products on the market. 

Marion’s father was an Agricultural Research Scientist and her mother taught her about how we can use plants to our benefit, so botany is in her DNA. As a biologist, she combines science with nature to create organic ethical bath and body products.

We think one of Marigold Charms’ LetterBox Spa Gift Sets would make for a charming present this Christmas. 

Organic Letterbox Spa Gift Set

Source: Marigold Charms

5. Catalogue Direct

For big brands at low prices

The last time we looked, eBay seller Catalogue Direct had 7,522 items listed on its online shop, so you’re almost guaranteed to find something for every friend and family member. They specialise in “big brands at small prices” and 99.9% of their customers have given them a thumbs up on eBay. 

6. Eivissa Health & Fitness

For personalised fitness plans

Eivissa Health and Fitness believes that exercise can have a positive impact on our mind as well as our body, but that everyone’s journey is different. Gifts don’t always have to be objects; why not buy someone you love a fitness package this year?

You can choose from a range of tailor made yoga, weight loss, fitness, sporting events, injury recovery, cardio, and body toning options taught in person or online. 

7. The Online Book Company

For personalised, celebratory books

The Online Book Company specialises in creating personalised digital books for colleagues, friends and loved ones, or to commemorate an event or charitable cause. 

This Christmas, why not gift somebody a memory book, including photos and contributions from other friends or family members?

8. Map Stores

For design-led homeware

Map Stores is an internationally sourced design store located in the beautiful Hertfordshire town of Harpenden. The small team have experience in the fashion and music industries, and their passion for art, design and culture shines through in their curated collections. 

You can pop into their physical store any day of week if you live nearby, or check out the online version for unique, decorative and functional Christmas-themed gift ideas

Map stores

Source: Map Stores

Did you know that we helped 1000s of independent businesses find funding in 2021? If you run a local business and would like to secure funding to set your growth plans into action next year, see what you could be eligible for today.


Maisha Brgum
Maisha Begum

Social Media and Community Engagement Executive

Maisha is a social media marketing professional and a 2019 graduate of King's College London, where she studied English Language and Linguistics. Maisha brings 2.5 years experience within the fintech and B2B space and plays a key role in communicating with Funding Options’ customers and online audiences and communities.

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