Now, more than ever, we need to support our local independent retailers, makers and creatives. And with a second lockdown underway, what better way to pass the time than by getting a head start on your Christmas shopping whilst simultaneously keeping local businesses afloat at this incredibly tough time.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling you get when someone opens a gift you’ve given them and you see the look of surprise and joy on their face. Knowing you’ve absolutely smashed the gift-giving is one of our favourite parts of Christmas (along with pigs in blankets, of course), so we want to help you win at Christmas too. We’ve compiled this very handy gift guide, composed of the very best things to buy for your loved ones from some of the very best independent retailers, artists, designers and makers in the city. Your guide to shopping local – to put a smile on the face of your loved one on Christmas morning, but also to put a smile on the face of a hard-working, small business owner who is making something cool and unique, and contributing to the charm and character of our fair city.
This year, we’re making your Christmas shopping even easier as we’ve separated our gift suggestions into categories. This way you can find something for everyone on your list, simply by finding the things they like on this list.
Remember to also support Independent Birmingham in our mission to support local. We provide a vital platform for independents across Birmingham, but we cannot do this without your help. Please (if you are able to) sign up to the Independent Birmingham App and become a Member for just £1.99 a month here – the IB App not only provides a fantastic database of independents for you to discover and support, it also allows you to enjoy up to 25% off (alongside exclusive 2-for-1 offers, freebies and more) at over 135 of the very best independents across Birmingham and Solihull – all for just £1.99 a month.
And so, without further ado, we present to you our Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide.
For The Foodie
We all have that special someone in our lives who is obsessed with food. Always going out to the best restaurants, taking Instagram snaps of their food, and cooking up a storm in their own kitchen trying to recreate their favourite dishes from their favourite restaurants. If this sounds familiar, then you’ll want to get them one of these gifts.
For an extra special restaurant experience, a voucher from one of the following fine-dining restaurants:
Vouchers For Carters Of Moseley
Vouchers For Adam’s
Vouchers For Harborne Kitchen
Vouchers for Hampton Manor
Vouchers For The Wilderness
A decadent treat: Afternoon Tea at The Edgbaston
The go-with everything: Pip’s Hot Sauce
Meat, Cheese and Wine Hampers from Grace & James
Cheese, Meat and Wine gift packages from Arch 13
A chef Glynn Purnell (of Michelin starred Purnell’s fame) Cook Book
Chef Brad Carter’s (of Michelin starred Carter’s fame) Cook Book: Staff
Chocolate Making Experience at The Chocolate Quarter
Photo: IG: @gregmilnerphotography
Cookery Classes at Loaf
For The Drinks Lover
If you know someone who loves their booze, we have some excellent suggestions for you. Whether they love to shake up their own cocktails or they fancy themselves as a bit of a sommelier, we have a gift for them all.
Vouchers for 40 St Pauls for gin lovers
At-Home Whisky Tasting from The Birmingham Whisky Club Bar And Tasting Room for whisky fans
Ready-to-drink cocktails from Couch
Beer & Cocktail boxes from The Pineapple Club
For the wine expert in your life we suggest a tasting card from Loki
Wine by the bottle from Connolly’s
Natural Wine by the bottle from Wine Freedom
For the craft beer aficionado head to Stirchley Wines And Spirits to pick up some unusual bottles/cans
Taproom Gift Vouchers for Attic Brew Co
A Beer School Gift Voucher from Birmingham Brewing Company for the budding brewer
Or grab them a voucher for a Brewery Tour at Dig Brew Co.
For The Culture Vulture
Is there a special someone in your life that loves to go the theatre, is always catching the latest exhibitions, or loves their music? Well, we have some ideas to make their Christmas the best one yet. If you have someone on your list who loves all things culture, then choose one of these gifts for them and show them how much you care.
Memberships at Birmingham Hippodrome
Memberships at Birmingham Repertory Theatre
Photo: Dave Musson
Membership at Midlands Arts Centre
Memberships at Town Hall Symphony Hall
Photo: Verity Milligan
Love their music? Head to a local record shop such as Swordfish Records and pick up some unusual records for them
Know someone who’s into art? Head to Ikon Gallery Bookshop and select a book all about their favourite artists to add to their collection (they have a lovely selection of gifts too)
If you know a keen walker, treat them to the Walk Birmingham book by Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
For The Jewellery Wearer
Looking to buy something for a loved one who loves wearing jewellery? Well we have suggestions for them too. Whatever their style – classic or quirky, minimal or maximal, there’s a great suggestion out there. From chic and timeless, to fun and vibrant, here are some great local jewellery makers.
For beautiful, timeless, art deco-inspired pieces: V by Laura Vann (you can get some of their pendants engraved for that added personal touch too)
For fun and colourful handmade clay earrings: Love Kiki Designs
For quirky statement pieces: Frilly Industries
For bold, unique, wooden and acrylic pieces: Working Clasp
For The Well-Groomed Gent
If you know a gent who likes to look and feel his best then you might want to consider one of these gifts to keep him looking tip-top all year round.
Grooming products and gift certificates from Shepherds
Gift vouchers and products from The Barber House
For The Fashionista
Want a gift to make the most stylish person in your life happy? We have just the thing. Whether they’re into the latest styles or love accessories, there are plenty of choices that don’t involve heading to the usual high street stores. Here are our top picks for fashionable finds.
Birmingham merch from Provide
For classic clothes that never go out of style: Liquor Store
For unique embroidered t-shirts, jumpers and more: Lint & Thread
For the little ones: Mini Mini Kids
For stylish leather accessories, made right here in Brum: B18 Leather
For fabric pouches, bags and more: Soft Accents
For The Budding Interior Designer
Need a gift for the interiors lover in your life? We’ve got you covered. If you’re looking for a gift for someone who is houseproud and loves to add those special touches to their home, we have some great suggestions from amazing local designers and retailers. Find them something they can treasure forever and put in pride of place in their home.
For the plant collector: Isherwood & Co
For the flower lover: beautiful bouquets from Flowers at Moor Street
For the minimalist: Harvest (we particularly recommend their candles)
Hand-poured organic soy wax candles from Chiesa Candles
For unusual lighting: Enamel Shades or The Workshop Below
For prints: Vincent Van Doodle
For prints: Currentstate
For prints: My Vintage Prints
For prints: Known As Unknown
For a personal touch: bespoke lettering from Andrew J Mason
For the one who spends time in the kitchen: tea towels from Dot Moth
For the Scandi style home: Kin Home
For something more extravagant: Minima
Stylish homeware: Hedge
For The Proud Brummie
This is possibly our favourite category. If you know someone who is born and bred Brummie, and damn proud of it (as they jolly well should be), then we have some incredible gift ideas for you. Made by Brummies, for Brummies, this is a selection of gifts that give a not-so-subtle nod to our hometown and will definitely put a smile on the face of that special someone on the big day.
Birmingham prints by Brumhaus
The Birmingham Tolkien Trail Illustrated Map by Tom Woolley
Mini Laser-Etched Concrete Models Of Their Favourite Birmingham Landmarks from Space-Play
Yes Bab T-shirts from Punks and Chancers
Watercolour sketches of Brum landmarks by Draw My City
Birmingham Alphabet Print by Shelli Graham
Birmingham photographic prints from talented local photographer Ross Jukes
Birmingham photographic prints from talented local photographer Sam Henderson
Birmingham photographic prints from talented local photographer Verity Milligan
Sometimes those little extras are the best bits. The small stocking fillers that have had just as much thought behind them as the bigger gifts can be just as fun and exciting – and we have a great selection of stocking fillers for you.
Christmas cards from Milan Topalovic
For the chocaholic: chocolates from The Chocolate Quarter
For the one with the sweet tooth: fudge from Sweetmeat Inc.
For the one who loves macaroons: Macaroons from Miss Macaroon
For the caffeine addict: bags of freshly-roasted coffee from Quarter Horse Coffee
For the eco-conscious: customisable zero waste parcels from The Clean Kilo
For the chocolate lover: chocolates from 1683 Chocolate Place
For the stationery lover: notebooks and more from Folk Like These
For the coffee lover: bags of freshly-roasted coffee from Ngopi
For the slow-living one: soaps, crystals and more from Quietude
For the one who likes to stay in: candles from The People Shop
For the one who needs a boost: embroidered motivational quotes from Sparklymouse
For the creative one: Gift Vouchers for jewellery making classes at The Quarterworkshop
For the quirky one: handmade colouring book from Roots0121
For the one who has everything: quirky gift ideas from Driftroom
For the little extras and Christmas cards: Smithsonia
For the spiritual one: crystals from Zen
For a range of gift ideas (including jewellery, stationery, and Birmingham-related trinkets), check out the BMAG shop
Support Us In Our Mission To Support Local
Independent Birmingham is a valuable platform for celebrating and shining a light on Birmingham’s marvellous independent scene. However, we too are a small, independent business facing uncertainty at this testing time. Help keep IB alive by downloading the Independent Birmingham App and signing up as a member, here – with this app you can enjoy up to 25% off (alongside exclusive 2-for-1 offers, freebies, and more) at over 135 of the very best independents across Birmingham and Solihull – all for just £1.99 a month.
A number of independents on the IB App have temporarily closed, so instead of using the amazing discounts/deals on there think of it as a subscription to help keep your favourite local platform alive. Then once lockdown is over – get out there and rediscover your city, one hidden gem at a time, using the IB App.