If you’re anything like me, you will love shopping for others at Christmas. And yes, it’s that time of year again (I know, it’s came around so fast)! If you follow my vlog on Youtube or any of my social media channels you’ll know how much I love shopping locally so I’ve taken a trip round the outskirts of Glasgow in the last few weeks to find little independent shops to buy Christmas gifts for friends and family, and I thought I would share 5 of my favourites with you.
Gingerbread Dreams, Duntocher
It’s so worth the trip out of the city to visit this snug little shop hidden in the heart of Duntocher. Despite the being there for almost 15 years, last week I visited the special little shop for the first time. As soon as I opened the door, the friendly heat warmed my cheeks and the scent of freshly baked cookies combined with cinnamon filled my nose. It’s a tiny village shop but it is filled to the brim with scented candles, bath bombs and unique presents for your loved ones (or yourself!) in the form of wooden hanging signs, frames and cards. It is family owned, and you automatically feel like part of it when you step through the door. There is something for everyone in that little spot on Dumbarton Rd, known as an “American Country Shop”, and you will not be disappointed. My personal favourites were the wooden signs – particularly the Christmas and the Harry Potter ones – and the ready made ‘Christmas Kisses’ and ‘Secret Santa’ gift packages! Check them out here.
Gemini Cards & Gifts, Kirkintilloch
A treasure trove full of wonderful things, Gemini has been on the corner of Kirkintilloch Main Street for over ten years. It is filled with beautiful and unique gifts, from unusual wedding presents to handcrafted cards, there is something for every occasion that is different and can’t be found on the high street. Unusual gifts like prosecco-pong for your Secret Santa and little beanie hats with torches inside the eyes of the owls for kids stockings can all be found here. Something I just loved were the Still Game mugs designed by Edd Travers, with caricatures of every character on them! They are so unique and funny and a great gift for any Still Game fan – and let’s be honest, who isn’t one?! A favourite for locals, Gemini Cards & Gifts should be on your go-to list for unusual presents, too. For Christmas, the scented candles are a must have, my favourites are Pink Gin and Gin & Tonic, they fill my home with such a gorgeous sweet smell! If you’re from further out, it’s just a trip along the M80, or if you’re lucky enough to take the back country roads it’s a beautiful drive to the shop where every corner is filled with something special.
Jennifer Hercus Glass Art, Cumbernauld
For something completely different, why not get a painting of your pet, family members, favourite film character or even yourself on a set of wine glasses, (or any glass you choose!)? Jennifer is based in Cumbernauld and works from home in her own little studio. She is an exceptionally good artist as you can see from these pictures and her attention to detail is so particular that your pictures and photographs come to life in a unique way that I have never seen before. It’s not just Christmas these glasses are perfect for (although Santa on a pint glass does tickle my fancy), but why not for your bridesmaids, your best friends birthday or your Valentine? As soon as I came across Jennifer and her unique and wonderful talent, I knew I had to order some wine glasses from her! The time and dedication put into every order can be seen in the glimmer of a dogs eye or the sparkle in a brides veil. A truly personal gift and bound to put the smile on someone you love’s face for any occasion, have a look on her Facebook Page to see what you would like.
Another Jennifer – this time originally from Canada – has created her own business in the form of Lake&Loch. What I love about Lake&Loch is that they pride themselves in being local, and there is nothing more local than their ‘Ma Bit’ beanies! Now, if you’re from Glasgow, you’ll know all about your ‘bit’ – the area you live, it’s where your ice cream van comes round, where your pals live, where you play… it’s your bit! Lake&Loch have some fab handmade beanies with local areas from round Glasgow and the West on them, such as ‘East End’, ‘Hillhead’ and ‘Govanhill’. I just think they are so unique and ever since first seeing them I thought they would make fantastic and unusual presents! Lake&Loch say they are “ardent supporters of where we live… we love to support our local – from pubs, to shops, to yes, even football”. As well as the loud and proud Ma Bit beanies inspired by bobble hats worn as kids, Lake&Loch sell blankets, mugs, beautifully scented candles and one of my favourite items ever, these crazy Buckfast cosy gloves (see below)! Find them on Facebook and Twitter @LAKEANDLOCH or visit www.lakeandloch.com
Cherished Box Frames & Personalised Gifts, Shettleston
These ladies can make you bespoke box frames for any occasion, combining the perfect recipe of glitter, fancy fonts and motifs. Whether it’s your favourite quote, a box with LED lights to make sure Santa stops at your house or a frame to let your mum know you love her, they can make them all. Based in Shettleston, they will turn your creations into reality. I think one of my favourite ideas is the box frame with a slot at the top for money so you can see your savings building up! With their unique style and attention to detail, the frames are stunning and add personality (and most importantly glitter) to any home or business. Made with love and with each customer in mind, the box frames make a great gift for birthdays, Christenings, weddings or any special occasion. They recently completed a frame for the salon I go to for my nails, tanning and make up, Desiree’s and it was so beeautiful, the ladies really loved it! You can see their frames and gifts on their page here.
Have a look and see for yourself, we have some amazing local shops and businesses!
Amber Zoe x