It's been an amazing couple of months, and I'm so delighted by the response to the festive penguin range. I posted orders out some local orders to Edinburgh, London and Kent, and overseas to Finland, Washington and even Taiwan. Incredible! My penguins are intercontinental.
My personal ambition for Christmas this year was to source as many of my presents from local independent shops as I could. It was very successful! I took an exciting trip across the UK to visit some friends and check out the local shops in their areas.
Here are some of my favourite finds:
1) St Andrews
Another local treasure in St Andrews is Balgove Larder. This mouth-watering farm shop has a glorious selection of tasty goodies, with an emphasis on local produce and excellent quality. I prepared a hamper full of delicious treats for my parents in here (plus a few extra samples to take home and enjoy myself!!)
2) Lauder, Scottish Borders
Flat Cat Gallery
I'm a bit biased since I've worked in this beautiful gallery for years, but despite spending most of my weekends serving coffee here it's still one of my favourite places to visit in my free time! It always has a lovely selection of artwork by local artists and a varied range of gifts and jewelry too. There's temptation to be found in every nook and cranny, and that's before you even reach the coffee shop and cake selection! I was lucky enough to receive a stunning piece by Jean Laing as my Christmas present from here.
A-Dept Kitchen and Gifts
I found this amazing kitchenware and gift shop in Falmouth. My husband is a huge kitchen gadget fiend, so it was easy to find some unusual and innovative gifts for him in here! They also have some lovely giftwrap and card designs, and even some gifts and treats for kids too.
I lived in Winchester for 18months while I was working for the wonderful Peagreen studio, (http://www.peagreen.co.uk/) and I used to visit The Hambledon shop frequently for their beautiful products and innovative designs. They always have a lovely range of prints and books, which provided another of my Christmas presents this year!
Finally, in my Christmas tour of the UK, I visited Keswick and Penrith. I found a leaflet for the Rheged Centre, and decided to visit and check out their selection of 'unusual and inspiring' gift shops. It didn't disappoint! The Taste Food Shop had an amazing selection of delicacies from around Cumbria and beyond, which provided some more tasty treats for my parents' hamper. Made In Cumbria had some beautiful gifts and artwork from local artists, and the stationery department in Splash Out! offered lots of cute notebooks and print designs. Very inspiring indeed!