When the first lockdown happened in March 2020, the Arts industry was hit hard, and nine months later, things are still looking bleak for many.
Lots of creative people have set up small businesses (some of which existed before) and I wanted to shine a light on some of the best ones I’ve found.
So here is the ultimate Christmas Gift Guide, to help make your present buying easier, whilst supporting the Arts industry at the same time.
Photography and Art
As well as photographing the West End Wilma Awards every year, Oliver Boito is also a brilliant artist who takes commissions to draw people and even pets (see my two kittens featured here). So why not ask him to draw a portrait or two as a gift for someone special. Visit his Facebook page here and get in touch with your requests!
Former Phantom, Kieran Brown has turned his budding Photography hobby into a business, selling prints he has taken on his travels around the world. He also has a great ‘theatre’ section to give you your stagey fix! Check his work out here.
Peter Hannah has some lovely drawings of the front of theatres that you should check out and Chris Connor has some weird and wacky artwork worth looking at too.
Clothing and apparel
The brilliant Born Anxious sell a range of clothing and accessories, designed to help those on the autism spectrum by taking out things like labels (which can be uncomfortable for autistic people) and making sure the fabric is comfortable on the skin. They have a variety of fun slogans available that are printed onto the items.
Handmade, up-cycled headbands can be found here to help keep the wintery winds away from your hair and Flockadoodle have some great face coverings.
Check out some cool stationary items from London Paperie and Good Looking Journal who have nice stickers and gift labels.
Panto Dame, Tim McArthur, is bringing pantomime to your homes this Christmas with a 2021 calendar called ‘The Dame’, featuring different panto dames for each month! For more information check out this article. To get your calendar contact TheDame2021@gmail.com.
Christmas themed items
Get your orders in now with Santas Christmas Tree Mail for a personalised video message from the man himself – perfect for the little ones in your life, or those who are still a kid at heart.
Bridget and Fleur have some fab looking Christmas Eve boxes, with everything you need in order to leave Santa and Rudolph a nice treat and Sew In The Hoop have a nice range of environmentally friendly bits and pieces to help you out this Christmas.
Food and Drink
Soup With Love have some scrumptious looking soup hampers, made fresh and delivered to your door so you can lunch in style. Available flavours are pea, tomato and butternut squash! Fancy!
Why not add some of Chesters Canine Cookies to your dogs Christmas stocking? I can’t vouch for how they taste but I doubt your dog will complain!
Vegan and eco-friendly candles can be found over at The Embers Glow Co and Take a Scent have a lovely looking range of reed diffusers and candles as well.
Good Lewken Pots is worth a visit just for the great name but it also has some cool pots for sale (as the name suggests! Anxious Little Things has some nice ‘Mental Health Reminders’ with quotes on cards and apparel and Needle and Stem have some nice embroidery sets to get you crafting.
Finally, Stagey Bitch are a new funky website selling all kinds of things from water bottles to tea towels, all with some fun (albeit bitchy) phrases on. Check them out for some fun gift ideas for your theatre friends.
For more small businesses from within the Arts sector, take a look at www.notonthewestend.co.uk