Shop local and independent this Christmas!

As this is our second Christmas we felt it was only fitting to bring back this feature as we all need help in finding that spark of inspiration when looking for a fantastic Christmas gift. This year is however slightly different as we can go out to the shops, so we have created a list that incorporates physical and digital stores because both are important and will both have something amazing for you to gift as well as maybe treat yourself too.


Lets go!


Village Books




The newest addition to Manchester's artistic literary opportunities. Founded in Leeds, this is their second store to open and god are we happy about it. With the recent demise of Magma we are really missing an arty farty bookshop that can sell us everything from local zines like the latest release from Desire Press 'Wreaths' to a large scale Taschen art book.


Other fantastic book stores to look at for eclectic choices are 20K And A Dead Sheep and Sunshine Book. The first with a look at fashion, music and photography and second with an academic edge looking at mystical, magical and radical books.


What do they sell?

Books, Zines, Magazines


Where can I find them?

https://www.instagram.com/villagebooks.co/

131 Oldham Street, M4 1LN

https://villagebooks.co/collections/all


The Wonderful Flight



A brand new paradisio of vintage menswear different to the names we already know like Bionic Seven and Bags of Flavour. The Wonderful Flight stocks an alternative feeling Americana, from 'actually vintage' Levi's denims, Carhartt Trucker Jackets, varsity t-shirts and everything in between. Always to give you a helping hand are two religiously Stone Island cladded gentleman who founded the store and hand pick everything curated before you on the rails.


Make sure to look all the way up the industriously large white wall where they exhibit some of their pricey and non-pricey excellent t-shirt options. May more vintage shops light the way for us all!


What do they sell?

Vintage Clothing


Where can I find them?

https://www.instagram.com/thewonderfulflight/

ABC Building, Quay Street, M3 4AE

https://thewonderfulflight.com/


Sken Studio



Sken Studio is a shining and glowing new jewellery brand created right here in Manchester by founder Sabira Silcock. They utilise recycled silver to create light, playful rings and necklaces that show us how fun jewellery really can be. Featuring motifs of smiling faces, snakes, fairies, clouds and everything else silly you want on a ring, you can even get bespoke designs made for that someone special.


If you want to make a gift even more special then you can book in a workshop with Sabira to learn how to actually make the rings themselves. Design your own ring on the day and then the skilled artisans behind Sken will make them a reality and send them out to you.


A beautiful brand, product and person, we hope to see you in your own shop at some point in the future!


What do they sell?

Handmade jewellery from recycled materials.


Where can I find them?

https://www.instagram.com/skenstudios/

https://www.skenstudios.com/welcome


Fiona Beattie



Each time I see Fiona release a new thing I am always lost for words at how they can do so many different things, whether it be illustration, ceramics or hosting workshops.


Fiona's website could indeed be a one stop shop for a very special giftee, from nature based prints of flutterbies, to a t-shirt with the same motifs, an ashtray of a smiling daisy or even a very angry ceramic mug. Go check it out.


What do they sell?

Ceramics and Prints


Where can I find them?

https://www.instagram.com/fionabeattie_/

https://www.fionabeattie.com/


Other people to mention who do similarly fantastic things are Studio Chaz, who make equally fun and silly clay sculptures of bananas, cow print plant pots, ghost candle sticks and Brillo branded bowls. Find them here - https://www.instagram.com/studio.chaz/



Then we also have Laugh Then Copy who make homeware from air dry clay and cement. The founder Hina definitely has a wickedly cynical sense of humour as their work presents ash trays and bowls adorned with phrases like 'Rug Muncher', 'U Can Make Fun Of Me', 'Hell Was Boring', 'Fuck This Shit' and 'Eat The Rich'. I'm on board mate. Find them here - https://www.instagram.com/laughthencopy/



Mars Tapes


Now, when you say a shop is the only one in the country that sells and does what it does then are they doing something right or wrong? Mars Tapes are doing it right, very right!



They are indeed the only tape shop in the UK, selling all your new and vintage cassette needs along with a selection of devices to listen to them on. Founded by the gang behind the psychedelic label Sour Grapes, the shop has been a central hub for all of weird and wonderful fans of the considered 'outdated' format however cassettes are coming back baby and we know that loads of you out there just have nothing to play them on, here is where!


Then you can support all the bands and label that can only afford to put out a tape and not a vinyl!


What do they sell?

Cassettes and vintage tech.


Where can I find them?

https://www.instagram.com/mars_tapes/

3rd Floor of afflecks Palace

https://www.discogs.com/seller/MarsTapes/profile


Emiko Studio



Emiko Studio is the basis for all other independent fashion brands to look at. Making all their items to order at their home in Manchester they create all the beautiful varieties of workwear that adults and kids want to wear independently and together. Did you ever imagine being able to get a Canadian Tuxedo covered in paint splatters that you and your partner or you and your kids could both wear? No? Now you have. Now you need it.


Emiko Studios source all their own materials and work sustainably and environmentally friendly by creating bespoke items. These items include the aforementioned workwear covered in splatters and paint and reworking vintage items into other products, whether that be coats to scarves or even coats to bags like they did in their latest collaborative project with Both Barrels, a fantastic bag brand based right here in the city.


What do they sell?

Handmade sustainable fashion.


Where can I find them?

https://www.instagram.com/emikostudios/

https://emikostudios.com/


Underbank Studios



Slap bang in the centre of Stockport's Old Town on the Underbanks is the artists studio of dreams. Shop at the front, screen printing in the middle, darkroom in the back and artist studios upstairs. This is where you could spend some real money.


Featuring all artists who reside in the building from Heather chambers, Becky McGillivray, Lily Windsor, Luca Shaw, Amy Morgan and many many more. From pillows and rugs made by Freya Wysocki to cards, prints and postcards made by the founders, you will always find something fun as a gift in these walls as well as enjoying whatever event or exhibition they currently have on in their space.


Go give them a visit, Stockport is and always will be part of Manchester!


What do they sell?

All things arty and lovely


Where can I find them?

https://www.instagram.com/underbank_studios/

11 Little Underbank

Stockport

SK1 1LA


All The Best Studio



Now this place sells the stuff you didn't know you needed and or the stuff you couldn't find anywhere else. Are you in need of a chopping board with a thumbs up on, or a hat with a thumbs up on or even a collaborative t-shirt with Krek FMS that also has a thumbs up on it?


All The Best Studio may only have a small list of items on their website but I do want it all and they have also created a visual language that pops and that we can all get on board with!


What do they sell?

Stuff you didn't know existed.


Where can I find them?

https://www.instagram.com/allthebest.studio/

https://www.allthebest.studio/home


Be Diddy



Curating a collection of the best vintage clothing for your babies. What? I'm in.