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On the JJ Barnes Blog, I share my unusual Christmas gift guide for women, featuring products from independent creatives, artists and small businesses.
We all know the big businesses you can buy Christmas gifts from, and I’m certain you can find things your friends and family will love from those shops. However, this Christmas I want to encourage people to shop from small businesses and independent creatives and artists. As well as running my own small business, I’ve always put a lot of professional energy into supporting and promoting the work of others, and I truly believe that buying unusual gifts from small businesses gives both your loved one and the person you buy it from a better experience.
I’ll be breaking my gift guides into categories, be it children, family, teachers, couples etc. This time I’m sharing my gift guide for women, but please don’t interpret that to mean I think the things on this list can ONLY be bought for women. This is just a way of making it an easily found and searchable list, but if you have men, children or giraffes who you think would like things from here, I’m sure the small businesses I’m recommending would be delighted.
Reasons To Shop Small This Christmas
- You’re getting unique and personal gifts. Small businesses and independent artists often offer products and services that you can’t find anywhere else. This means that you can find truly unique gifts for your loved ones that they’ll cherish for years to come.
- You’re supporting people’s dreams. Many small businesses and independent artists are started by people who are passionate about what they do. When you shop at a small business, you’re helping to support someone’s dream of running their own business.
- You’re making a difference in the world. Small businesses and independent artists are the backbone of our economy. When you shop at a small business, you’re helping to create jobs and stimulate economic growth.
Unusual Christmas Gift Guide For Women
Mindful Extracts CBD Bath Bombs
Mindful Extracts was set up by childhood friends Donal Bourke and Nick de Haan and is based in Brighton after Donal found himself on a long road to recovery after a horrific motorbike accident left him with life threatening injuries. His motorbike collided with another vehicle at high speed and he was catapulted 40 metres down the road, suffering four broken vertebrae; a broken collarbone; broken ribs, arms, fingers and thumb; bruised heart and diaphragm; broken knee, legs, ankles and toes. His left leg had the flesh ripped off down to the bone, so they removed two muscles from his back and rebuilt his leg. He was put in an induced coma for 11 days and spent three months in hospital. 18 months later and still suffering from chronic pain, arthritis and PTSD, Donal stumbled across CBD which quickly became a vital part of his daily routine and aided his recovery.
Within half an hour of taking CBD he experienced better pain relief than he was getting from the cocktail of painkillers, with none of the side effects. He was sleeping better and he was less anxious. Almost overnight he decided to ditch the painkillers. It was then he decided he wanted to build his own brand – CBD was relatively unknown at the time and there was a lot of trial and error in finding oils which actually worked. He wanted to help other people find relief but realised that people needed a brand they could trust, with tested and certified products.
Donal joined forces with childhood friend Nick and Mindful Extracts was born. Mindful Extracts has a range of full spectrum CBD products including CBD oils in 5%, 10%. and 20% strengths, and a range of CBD body care including a joint and muscle balm, bath bombs and lip balms. All products are fully tested by an independent laboratory and comply with UK regulations, which means they contain less than 0.2% THC.
Ensuring the business is ethical and sustainable is vitally important to Donal and Nick. The Mindful Extracts range is vegan friendly and the packaging is 100% recyclable. The company uses carbon-zero couriers, offsets any other emissions and only works with hemp farmers who also align with their values. For every purchase made a tree is planted in Indonesia.
As far as the future of is concerned, as well as growing the CBD range, the company is also expanding in to other wellbeing categories. They’ve launched a range of organic functional mushroom supplements which they believe will be the next big wellbeing trend in the UK to mirror the success of CBD.
CBD Bath Bombs – 3 pack £24.99
Choose from three irresistible combinations of essential oils and 100mg of full-spectrum CBD.
The bergamot and lemon CBD bath bomb is a little ball of good vibes.
The eucalyptus and peppermint CBD bath bomb is great for easing aches and recovery.
And the lavender CBD bath bomb is the ultimate ingredient for a good night’s sleep.
All Mindful Extracts products are available at www.mindfulextracts.co.uk
Little Bit Vintage Personalised Baubles
These personalised baubles are created by Sam, a wife, mother of three, nanny of two, and a bit of an old soul.
When she’s not working, her passions are gardening and creating personalised gifts for her amazing customers through my small business “Little Bit Vintage“. While she makes many bespoke gifts, her favourite are the glass “Written Memories” personalised baubles which she creates using a loved ones handwriting that people send to her.
Recreating a loved ones handwritten messages, notes and simple drawings onto beautiful baubles that people can hang on their tree every Christmas or display all year round has had a wonderful response, and she will eventually expand the range of handwriting gifts to other products.
Currently, Sam sells a lot through her Facebook page and her Etsy page.
Written Memories Baubles
JJ Barnes Shop Soap Flowers
Soap flowers are a unique and beautiful gift that is sure to impress. They are made of real soap petals that have been arranged to look like flowers, and come in a variety of colors and styles, so you can find the perfect one for any occasion. With proper care, your soap flowers will last for many months or even years.
These are available in singles, boxes, and bouquets, so I think you’ll find something in the colours and scents that your family, friends and loved ones will love.
I launched my small shop in 2023 after a difficult year because I wanted to try something new that would still let me support small businesses and creatives, but while letting me put a spin on it that brings me joy. Through this shop, I am collaborating with incredible artists from all around the world, and bringing their products to you. The soap flowers are one of my absolute favourite things I’ve been able to find. I’ve given them as gifts myself to teachers and family, and I think they have definitely earned their place on my gift list for women.
Yeti & the Fox Hangover Prevention
Yeti & the Fox, the revolutionary hangover prevention supplement, is here to make this holiday season the best.
Yeti & the Fox is proud to introduce its ground-breaking hangover prevention solution that will change how you experience holiday parties and celebrations. This innovative product is the perfect gift for the women in your life who love to party, but don’t like to suffer after!
- Party All Night, Feel Great All Day: Yeti & the Fox reduces the severity of hangovers, meaning you can enjoy those festive drinks without the fear of waking up with a pounding headache and nausea.
- Natural Ingredients: Yeti & the Fox blends carefully selected natural ingredients, including vitamin B, Glutathione and N-acetyl cysteine. It’s a safe and effective way to support your body’s ability to process alcohol.
- Convenient and Easy to Use: The product comes in a handy single-serving packet that can be taken with your favourite drink—no need to carry bulky bottles.
- Perfect for Gifting: Whether you’re looking for a unique Secret Santa gift or a thoughtful stocking filler, Yeti & the Fox is a practical and thoughtful present that anyone can appreciate.
- Affordable and Accessible: Yeti & the Fox is priced competitively, making it accessible to everyone who wants to enjoy the holiday season without the hangover blues.
“Yeti & the Fox is more than just a hangover prevention solution; it’s a game-changer for holiday celebrations,” said Paul Thomas (co-founder of Yeti & The Fox). “We believe that everyone should be able to enjoy the festivities without worrying about the next day’s hangover. Yeti & the Fox is the perfect addition to your Christmas party or a thoughtful gift to make this holiday season memorable.”
Yeti & the Fox
Pretty Savage Soaps
After years of watching sheer volume of plastic products being manufactured and ending up in landfill, Adele Savage started researching products that did not come with the unnecessary plastic packaging.
The products she found often did not deliver the results she desired, were extremely boring or demanded a lot more time from her already busy day so she ended up drifting back to their plastic counterparts.
This did not sit well with her, and she decided to do something about it. Using her chemistry background, Adele began experimenting with countless blends of oils to create what is now the core range of handcrafted Savage soaps. The product range soon grew to include Savage soaks (which can also be used in the shower), shampoo bars and even plastic free home fragrance. Each one emulating her core philosophy of making quality and effective products that do not require plastic packaging. While having a bit of fun with it too!
Over the festive season we will be welcoming loved ones into our home. And filling it with an alluring aroma shouldn’t have to be hard work. Pretty Savage® takes the hard work out of Christmas with a unique collection of 24 fragrances. Each wax melt is handmade locally in Surrey from a coconut wax blend and enveloped in completely plastic free packaging, it ticks the eco friendly box too.
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Apostle Coffee Subscription
Family-run roastery, Apostle Coffee, has revolutionised the UK coffee landscape by combining awardwinning quality with an unwavering commitment to sustainable and ethical practices. From bean to cup, the supply chain is transparent, traceable and accredited, ensuring the highest standards are upheld throughout the coffee journey. Operating as a carbon neutral business since their inception in 2016,
Founded by husband-and-wife team Charlotte and Jon Stanford, Apostle set out with the ambition to produce the very best organic coffee but with the minimum environmental impact. Since then, Apostle has gone on to provide an award-winning coffee collection with an entirely Carbon Neutral accredited product range. Apostle is committed to a zero plastic, zero landfill pledge, and all their packaging is entirely home compostable. The full collection of over thirteen coffees is organic certified by the Soil Association and Ethy accredited. Apostle plants a native tree for every new subscriber.
Apostle Coffee has cemented its status as the UK’s most environmentally friendly coffee company. Beyond their carbon offsetting subscription service, Apostle Coffee offers an extensive range of gifts tailored to the needs of conscientious coffee enthusiasts.
As the UK’s only ‘off-grid’ organic coffee roastery, sustainability has been woven into Apostle Coffee’s story since the very beginning. The roastery sources only certified organic coffee beans, ensures fair prices at source and works with coffee producers to engage in regenerative and sustainable farming
practices. Every coffee bean is processed and roasted by hand in Shropshire using power generated on site via a dedicated wind turbine and solar panels. The coffee is packaged in home-compostable and plastic-free materials with labels printed on-site using eco-friendly inks. Apostle Coffee’s commitment goes one step further by scheduling roasting, packaging and delivery for maximum efficiency and minimal waste.
The dedication to sustainability doesn’t stop once the coffee is on the way to your door. Waste materials are composted on site and a returnable service is provided for members who struggle to compost at home. With every new subscriber, a native broadleaf tree is planted in the UK. With a commitment to supporting charity, 1% of income is donated to developing new carbon capturing technologies and an additional 1% is donated to WWF in support of their impactful environmental work.
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