With the country going back into lockdown, Manchester saw a wave of shoppers attacking the market street businesses in a frantic panic to get their Christmas sorted in all one day.
This Christmas MUKA are encouraging you to shop local and independent. With hundreds of creatives setting up their online businesses, there is no excuse not to ditch Amazon and start supporting your neighbours. We have hand selected a few of MUKA’s favourite small business owners to showcase, giving you plenty of options to buy presents for anyone, from your nanna to your nephew.
Made By Liv
Made by Liv is a local business taking Manchester by storm! You may have spotted Liv around the Makers Markets across the city. Liv is currently studying for a masters in Graphic Design and Art. Utilising her creative background, Liv was inspired to start creating the bold earrings she specialises in today.
What do they sell?
Fimo clay earrings in a variety of quirky colours, shapes and sizes.
Where can I find them?
Eve Frances is a second year Illustration with Animation student. Although she specialises in this area, Eve has recently branched out into textiles, creating needle-felted wall hangings. Her artwork truly is a sight to behold and would make a lovely, unique gift this Christmas.
What do they sell? Prints, postcards and exceptional felt wall hangings.
Where can I find them? Instagram: @evefrancesillustration Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/EveFrancesArt
Natalie Gaynor Designs
Brought to my attention by the definitely-worth-checking-out-collective, Independent Black Businesses (for more information, carry on reading!), Natalie Gaynor Designs create beautifully hand-crafted decorative embroidery hoops. Natalie also leads workshops if you’d like to give it a go yourself!
What does she sell? Sew-it-yourself kits, bespoke hoop art and read-to-ship art.
Where can I find her?
Instagram: @nataliegaynordesigns Website: https://nataliegaynordesigns.co.uk/
Based in Withington, Wilderness Record Store stock anything from the best 70’s Nigerian funk, to supporting local and independent musicians. If you have enjoyed MUKA’s radio show and music playlist, you will love a day out rifling through Wilderness’ selections.
What do they sell? An amazing selection of records, local zines and beer with a side of freshly ground Grindsmith coffee. (When the country is up and running again!) But no fear, they have just opened an online store for you to get you music fix.
Where can I find them? Shop: 9 Egerton Crescent, Withington, Manchester M20 4PN Instagram: @wildernessrecs Website: https://www.wildernessrecords.co.uk
Molly Newport is an independent artist working from their studio in Stockport. After studying textiles at the Manchester School of Art, she decided to start up a business on Etsy. As a very eco-conscious person, she tries to make everything from as many recycled or compostable materials as possible.
What does she sell? Her main focus is on greeting cards, prints and recently, totebags. Check out her pack of 10 winter greeting cards offer, perfect for Christmas.
Where can I find her? Instagram: @molly_newport
Being originally from France, the owner of Ma Lumière moved to Manchester (because, well, why wouldn’t you?) to share his expertise in hand pouring soy candles with our community. Ma Lumière believes in hand-crafted products that do not cost the earth.
What do they sell?
From Soy Candles to Reed Diffusers, Reed Diffuser Refills & Wax Melts, Ma Lumière provides you with your complete collection of scents. Check out their limited edition Christmas scents, including the favourite Festive Cinnamon & Apple.
Where can I find them?
Plant Shop Manchester
Based in the heart of Stockport, Plant Shop brings a bit of green to Manchester. What began as just 100 mini cacti outside an office has now bloomed into our brick and mortar store in the beautiful Stockport Old Town. They've now got so big that they have opened their second store in the heart of Sale and son to open in Altrincham. What do they sell? As well as stocking unique plants, they offer a range of products made by local creatives. Just in time for Christmas, Plant Shop now do home delivery and click & collect.
Where can I find them?
Shop: 8 Mealhouse Brow, Stockport Old Town, SK1 1JP
Shop: Unit 21 The Mall, The Square Shopping Centre, Sale, M33 7WZ Instagram: @plantshopmanchester_ Website: https://www.plantshopmanchester.com/
Studio Oudizo was another business introduced to me by Independent Black Businesses. Artist Ofe creates beautiful modern calligraphy products, including some special Christmas pieces.
What do they sell? Calligraphy brand design, wedding stationery, as well as offering workshops and selling calligraphy-based gifts from greeting cards, wrapping paper, modern calligraphy starter kits, calligraphy supplies and stunning personalised marble Christmas baubles!
Where can I find them? Instagram: @studioouduzo
Joe & Co Denim
Another market regular, Joe & Co Denim specialise and produce sustainable British and Japanese raw selvedge denim and timeless luxury work wear. If you aren’t able to make it down to Altrincham Market this year, Joe & Co have everything they offer available on their online store.
What do they sell? Denim, shirts, jersey, outerwear, footwear, accessories… You name it!
Where can I find them? Instagram: @joeandcodenim
Kokoa Eco Beauty
Kokoa specialise in eco-friendly, natural and vegan skincare made from raw African black soap for all skin types. This business are great for creating bundles for any skin needs, every ingredient is carefully selected for optimum use.
What do they sell? A wide range of products for all skin types, from organic coffee exfoliator to wild orange body oil and moisturising cleaners. Check out the bundle offers currently on their website.
Where do I find them? Instagram: @kokoa_ eco
Baba & Bunt
Beautiful handmade and personalised bunting perfect for anything from decorating children’s rooms to having a bold statement on your feature wall. Baba & Bunt make unique gifts and home decoration for any occasion.
What do they sell? Bunting chains, solo flags and now introducing gorgeous felt letters, ready to take pride of place on your Christmas tree. These product are all made to order, guaranteeing each piece is as unique as the next.
Where can I find them? Instagram: @baba_and_bunt
Now we can look at some of our favourite businesses that support local creatives.
Independent magazine and book shop based in Stockport, UK. They specialise in hard to find, international and local magazine titles, along with a range of fiction and non-fiction books from a wide range of independent publishers. They also serve and sell specialist coffee and stationery, high quality pens and host exhibitions. Check out the ‘Gift Ideas’ section on their website.
Where can I find them? Shop: 5 Lower Hillgate, Stockport, SK1 1JQ Instagram: rare_mags Website: https://raremags.co.uk/
Manchester Craft and Design Centre
Manchester Craft and Design Centre often gets overlooked, tucked away in the heart of the Northern Quarter. For more local businesses and beautiful, unique gift ideas have a gander over their way or browse the independent artists and their creations on the centre’s website.
Shop: 17 Oak St, Manchester M4 5JD
Deadstock General Store
Deadstock are a business also based in the Northern Quarter. Their stock comprises of locally made products to Japanese intricacies. Find anything for anyone at this stand-alone store, metaphorically miles away from Market Street.
Shop: 48 Edge St, Manchester M4 1HN Instagram: @deadstockgeneralstore Website: https://bindlestore.com/