This year, instead of my usual high-street gift guides, I wanted to focus on showcasing some incredible Scottish talent just in time for Christmas. I love thoughtful gifts, and shopping small is such a brilliant way to find the perfect present for the special people in your life. Originally, I was planning on one bumper post, jam-packed with all of my recommendations, but when it started to creep towards the 2000 word mark I realised I had to rethink my approach. Instead, this whole week will be dedicated to my Shop Scottish Gift Guide, with five separate posts covering five rough categories of independent makers from Scotland.
As easy as online shopping can be, sometimes it’s just that little bit easier to see what you’re buying in person, especially if you don’t have a concrete idea of what you want to buy just yet. So to kick it all off, I’m sharing a quick round-up of some of the best places to shop small in Glasgow this Christmas, with a mix of quirky little gift shops you can visit in person and some craft fairs you cannot miss in the coming weeks.
Glasgow has a brilliant scene of independent businesses, with fantastic restaurants and coffee shops across the city, but it’s also home to some great gift shops too. In the east end, you can find the Braw Wee Emporium at the iconic Barras Market, which operates as a not-for-profit passionate about regenerating the market and promoting Scottish talent. Braw Wee Emporium is home to products by over 70 Scottish makers, including my favourite Claire Barclay Draws.
Head west, and you’ll find a treasure trove of trinkets in gift shops like Gie it Laldy, where you’ll find mugs and other assorted gifts featuring iconic Weegie slogans such as “yer da sells Avon“, “fanny baws” and “here we fuckin’ go” to name just a few. You’ll find some absolute belters here, that are sure to grab a laugh from the Glaswegians in your life.
Another gem of the west end is the Glasgow branch of the wonderful Liquorice Tree, with a range of gorgeous gifts for all occasions. They have a brilliant selection of Scottish inspired gifts both online and in-store, so it’s well worth paying a visit if you’re passing by. Little gift shops like Liquorice Tree are absolute treasure troves when it comes to finding thoughtful Christmas gifts to show the ones you love that you care.
If you head to the burgeoning south side of Glasgow, you just might stumble across Sunshine No.1 in Mount Florida. Another fantastic independent gift shop, Sunshine No.1 showcases the best gifts from makers across the country. Since their birth in 2015, the shop has grown to host work from over 60 Scottish designers from all corners of the country.
This weekend sees one of my favourite events, Etsy Made Local, return to Glasgow once more on the 2nd and 3rd of December. For the third year running, the Glasgow Etsy Team have pulled together a selection of some of Glasgow’s best and brightest Etsy sellers under one roof for the weekend. Taking place at The Briggait, just behind the St Enoch Centre, Etsy Made Local is the perfect place to pick up some beautifully crafted presents for the special people in your life. It runs across the Saturday and Sunday, with different sellers on each day, which is a great excuse to visit twice – if you ask me! I’m hoping to make it along to both days, but I know I’ll definitely be there on Saturday to shop from makers like Nikki McWilliams, Hand Over Your Fairy Cakes and (again) Claire Barclay Draws. You can find a list of the Saturday sellers here, and the Sunday lineup here.
Also on this Sunday is the Glasgow Independent Market (Christmas Gift Special) at Barras Art and Design. BAaD is a relatively new addition to Glasgow’s scene, but it sure has been popular ever since it opened. BAaD helps celebrate the significance of the Barras area in Glasgow heritage, with a truly unique space that’s home to a variety of events and an award-winning restaurant, too. There’s another BAaD Christmas Market later on in December on the 17th which I’ve popped in my diary in case I need any more bits and bobs when the time comes – or treats for myself, who knows.
(photos thanks to the SWG3 Hypermarket team)
This coming weekend is jam-packed with Christmas shopping events, and after I hit up Etsy Made Local I’m going to be heading over to spend the afternoon at the Christmas Hypermarket at SWG3. The Hypermarket is a two-day event, with an exciting array of local lifestyle, fashion and design businesses. You can shop the curated craftspeople’s products at event prices, all whilst enjoying the selection of street food stalls that’ll be offering plenty of scran and some cocktails too. It’s perfect if you can’t face the thought of trekking up and down the high street, but still want to pick up some of the best quality gifts from independent Scottish businesses like Trakke, Banton Frameworks and Oh So Hygge.
Plus, if you head along on the Sunday, you might catch an exclusive acoustic set from the babes that are Frightened Rabbit.
And last, but certainly not least, is The Hidden Lane. Sitting just off of Argyle Street in Finnieston, The Hidden Lane is home to over 100 makers, studios, galleries salons and more. You can grab a bite to eat at the Tearooms, and shop quirky gifts from brilliant Scottish businesses like the effervescent Bonnie Bling. There’s everything from antique shops to yoga studios – with plenty in between – so you’re sure to find some brilliant gifts at The Hidden Lane this Christmas. It’s also super Instagrammable, with brightly coloured walls and an array of cute trinkets that will catch your eye at every turn – a blogger’s delight, really. The Hidden Lane is a hub of creative businesses in one of the brightest areas in Glasgow at the moment, so is well and truly worth a visit no matter what time of year.