ACCESSORIES GIFT GUIDE
So the definition of accessory is 'a thing which can be added to something else in order to make it more useful, versatile, or attractive.' I can't decide if that includes bags as you add them to an outfit to make it more useful (and attractive) but you can also add things to bags... Anyway, here's a range of indie businesses that I love and most of who I have previously bought bags/accessories from (and the rest are on my wish list!) Their products and overall vibe are massively varied but that's the joy of independent businesses, the people behind them are all doing it for themselves, their way!
LAURA CHARLEY DESIGN
Celebrate All Boobs Hair Tie, £18, www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LauraCharleyDesign
Charley is an orange-loving, fellow-indie-biz-supporting, surface pattern designer from Scunthorpe. She designs gorgeous, colourful fabrics then uses them to make many wonderful things including accessories like hair wraps, scrunchies, make-up bags and now face masks! I love the hidden boobies in the pattern she's designed above and have the print version in my bathroom. She works so blooming hard, has an amazing insta account and is an all round fabulous gal making fabulous things.
LOTTIE AND JAKE
Electric Blue Suede Purse, £15, www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LottieAndJake
Charlotte is my insta pal and shelf buddy at Design 44 and she makes the most beautiful leather and cork accessories. She makes them all herself, right down to the surface patterns in the fabric and she has vegan fabric alternatives too. Her current accessories include ring pouches, purses, wallets, make-up bags, wash bags and handbags. Her products are so beautiful and unique yet understated and would make gorgeous gifts.
Celeste Grey, £99, www.delacyonline.com
I first discovered these incredible deLacy bags at Altrincham Market and became an instant fan, slowly building my collection as I now always ask for one as a birthday gift! Every bag, wallet and accessory is designed, cut and sewn by Edward in his Manchester based studio. Alongside the incredible craftsmanship, I also love these bags and accessories as although minimal in style, the shapes and fabric combinations are unique. I have a gold leather triangle shape shoulder bag which just makes any outfit better!
Makeup Bag - I'm Pretty Cool, But I Cry A Lot, £16.50, ohlaura.co.uk
OK so Laura designs a whole range of gorgeous goodies so I could have put in her in lots of different gift list themes but she makes totes and make-up bags which I love! Laura is a super talented, indie biz machine, I love how her brand has grown and evolved yet she still does everything herself. She's really an inspiration of mine and her products are super fun and positive which is right up my street (not just because we share a name.)
One Wash Bag, £80, thisisbothbarrels.com
Mat from Both Barrels is a crazy talented, lovely, passionate guy. His contemporary luggage and accessories are designed with incredible attention to detail, technical knowledge and focus on the highest quality British manufacture. His laptop sleeves, wallets, credit card slips and wash bags would make amazing gifts for that person in your life that loves cool yet timeless design-led products.
ADORNMENTS BY ROSHEEN
Multi Floral Print Knot Headband, £18, www.etsy.com/uk/shop/AdornmentsbyRosheen
Rosheen makes THE most gorgeous headbands! Plaited ones, twisted ones, embellished ones, all in a range of beautiful colours, patterns and fabrics. During lockdown I think we've all discovered the power of a headband, whether it's for hiding our roots or glamming up your head and shoulders for zoom calls! I also think they are a totally under-utilised gift, I would love to be bought a lovely handmade headband as they are practical yet fabulous (Rosheen's are anyway)!
Kiss the boys and make them cry tote, £12, www.koukoukreations.co.uk
I first discovered Koukou via Stall Mcr, a cool market in Manchester that I never got to trade at because of, you know, lockdown! In Soph's own words, Koukou is a one women show ran by raging feminist. I love her focus on celebrating and empowering women, especially when done via a slogan tote like the one above. She also hand-paints second-hand handbags to create unique, statement pieces AND has designed the most incredible 'Women of The World' map that celebrates incredible women from astronauts to artists to engineers.
CAROLYN SARA DESIGNS
Autumnal Stripe Lambswool Scarf, £28, www.carolynsaradesigns.co.uk
Carolyn was one of my first market buddies and not only is she a lovely person she knits lovely things, including scarves! She designs her products at home in Manchester and individually knits them on a hand-powered knitting machine using lambswool. Her scarves (and cushions which are also gorgeous) come in a range of colours and patterns but most are bold and bright and beautiful. They make great gifts as it's lovely to give presents that are handmade to such a good quality and I mean, who doesn't like a scarf!
I know more indie businesses who make accessories (it's a pretty wide category) but some of those will be featured in other gift lists or a second accessories one in the future. This list is obviously not exhaustive but these are just some of my faves!
Note: None of the brands included in this gift guide have paid me or gifted me items in exchange for being featured. They own all the rights to their work and images.