Updated: 3 days ago
This year, everyone is feeling the squeeze of rising household costs and searching for thoughtful ways to treat their loved ones without breaking the bank. So, if you are a little bit lost for inspiration, read on for some creative ways to buy meaningful gifts this year.
A charming mix of old & new at prices that will appeal to you
Image by Thirteen furniture & home Décor, 29 Church St Bolton UK
In today's world, just about everything is available at the click of a button, the touch of a screen, or for those of us with a voice-activated home assistant (Yes, please Santa), by merely asking for it.
It feels like we're living in a virtual reality when in fact, this IS reality.
Most of us shop online at least once a week, and e-commerce has boomed over recent months and years - for obvious reasons.
But hold up…. that can't be the whole story… we might be missing a trick here, or at least forgotten one.
Yes, there are indeed many, many advantages to shopping online. But there are also many disadvantages, particularly when we're talking about buying something from the arts and crafts industry.
Image by Lilian Rose Interiors Well St Torrington UK
If you're bored with the usual high street stores, I'd love to introduce you to an alternative Christmas shopping experience just waiting to be discovered across the UK and US.
From coastal towns to country villages and bustling metropolises, amongst the "usual" fayre, you'll find Independent, quirky, cosy, welcoming boutiques and stores offering everything from hand-crafted coasters to stylishly upcycled furniture - and everything in between.
The anticipation of going into a shop to look for something special and unique is an experience that just cannot be replicated on the web. And it's an experience that some of our members are determined to keep alive by investing in physical premises (of the bricks-and-mortar kind).
When you walk into one of our Furniture Artists' properties, you are essentially walking into their world - A world of their imagination and their art, a world they have put heart and soul into and one they want to share with you.
Image by Eclectic Art Studios 173 Old Road Clacton-on-Sea
You'll see first-hand what it takes to turn something that was, in many cases, "manufactured" into what has become a stunningly reimagined creation.
You can talk to the artist about their furniture, its history and why they fell in love with it.
You can touch the beautiful grain of the wood and the strokes of the paintbrush. You can see the beautiful colours, the sheens, glosses, and finishes, and you can indulge yourself in a sensory experience that just cannot be repeated online.
Online shopping is here to stay, but if you would like to take a trip down nostalgia lane, or you prefer to have physical sight of your potential purchase, meet the creator, or find out about the inspiration behind the piece, then let your boots do the walking. Image by Thirteen furniture & home Décor, Church St Bolton
And who knows, if you go shopping in person, you may be inspired by a certain Christmas display or something just that little bit different, which leads to new ideas for Christmas crafts, decor, or gifts for family and friends that you know will delight them!
It brings the pleasure back to giving rather than receiving (not to mention the general excitement and anticipation of the big day).
The festive music and lights of the holiday season and the abundance of Christmas trees in the streets and shop windows raise everyone's spirits.
Image by Godfrey's Ear Ashbourne Derbyshire)
There are so many reasons to buy in-store this Christmas, including seeing your present choices in person, getting out of the house and meeting friends for a coffee and mince pie (if you're in the UK), or perhaps a Christmas cookie if you're in the US.
We all relish the convenience of online shopping, but why not try brick-and-mortar establishments for that extra special Christmassy feeling?
Click here for a list of our Furniture Artisans who sell both online and from their shop premises. Or see below for featured shops
Images courtesy of