Small Business Gift Guide

As a small business owner I can confirm that it's true; we all do a happy dance when someone chooses to support our work. I read recently somewhere that every time you make a purchase, you're deciding what kind of world you want to live in and this really hit home for me. Ever since going self employed and taking my illustration work full time, I've appreciated more than ever the support of shopping small and independent as well as how precious every single order is. Because of that, I also love to support my fellow indie businesses and love to share them with you too for gift ideas or treats for yourself. I thought I did a good job last year with gifts and supporting small business but this year I've taken it to a whole new level and found even more amazing creatives to support.

The Punky Bunny
I ordered myself an adorable vegan themed print from Emma over at The Punky Bunny and I was SO blown away by the quality. Emma is a small biz chum of mine and a fellow vegan, a passion which is channeled through Emma's work along with a care for the environment and making things as eco friendly as possible. The print was made with a thick recycled card with the most vibrant, solid colours with the little grains of the card's texture still showing through which I adore. I even ended up ordering some of the card for my own shop I loved it that much. Emma boxes everything up using recycled wrapping and packaging too! Very recently Emma also released these adorable key rings and pins into the wild and I just had to get myself one.

Lily in Space
Lily is another of my online pals who I have met through the small business world and I recently backed her Kickstarter for wooden pins featuring her adorable 'through the seasons' woodland critters. Lily has an enormous love for animals, especially those who live in the woods and the badgers...don't show Lily any badgers or she will quite literally loose her mind. Lily is also a physicist hence the awesome name for her small business and the badgers in astronaut attire! Never have I known anyone with so many badger themed mugs and jumpers but I think it's an adorable obsession to have.

Sugar & Sloth
I'm a regular over at Sugar and Sloth but it wasn't until this month that I decided to treat myself to the Pin Party subscription box as a little birthday treat to myself. Basically, each month for £9, you get quite literally a little party in a box and a brand new enamel pin amongst other treats. Each month has a different theme and the pins aren't available to buy separately unless you're lucky enough to buy any left over boxes Anita might have from that month. This makes them really special and exciting, plus a subscription service is a great gift idea especially for the person who seems to have everything or the crazy pin collectors. The price also includes delivery! 

Scent Circus
A few weeks back, Scent Circus and I did a little product swap and I received a selection of wonderful wax melts from them to try as I'm a massive addict when it comes to making my home smell fresh as a daisy. This one was my favourite and it's the 'So Horny' melt which if you don't find funny, who even are you? It really tickled me and everything from this store has a really cheeky yet sweet vibe about it and I can't wait to go back for more. The prices are very reasonable too and there are even little gift pouches you can buy as extras to make your gifts that tad more special. My order came beautifully wrapped with tissue paper and confetti in a letter box friendly sized parcel box - ready and waiting to give as a prezzie!

Ann-Mari Reigstad
Ann-Mari is one of my new online small business friends from the beautiful country of Norway and she creates stunning pieces of what I believe to be mainly watercolour art. She truly is such a talented illustrator and was kind enough to send me some samples of her work which was super thoughtful and my goodness, I am SO in love with her style especially her cheeky little animals! This little emu guy is getting framed for my studio wall because I find him so funny. I'm always collecting gorgeous greeting cards to frame so if you have someone who's walls are full yet they still love to collect art, greeting cards are a fab alternative due to their little size and they're great for adding a bit of variety to a display.

These stores are just a few of my current favourites right now and I love to support them where I can! I also enjoy discovering new ones too so if you have any favourites or regular places you love to buy from, feel free to throw them my way!

Thanks for reading,

The Vegan Kind Selection Box Review*

If you have a vegan in the family or if you have a plant based chum for that matter, I can imagine it might feel a little challenging at times when thinking of gift ideas. Look no further my friends because here I bring to you this year's Selection Box by The Vegan Kind. I'm a huge chocolate lover and this box, let me tell you, I wasn't sharing with anyone except the husband and even then I monitored his allowance.

the vegan kind, vegan selection box, vegan chocolate, vegan gift

I love honeycomb (it's that delicious substance found in the centre of Crunchie bars) and every time someone sees me eating it they screach 'HASN'T THAT GOT HONEY IN IT?!'. No no, it's totally vegan friendly and when it's got a coating of chocolate it's even more yummy. This box alone would make a perfect little stocking filler or a cheeky prezzie for any other time of year. I loved it and my only disappointment was I ran out of the stuff! But I ate it all so, what can I expect? Definitely my fave from the entire box!

Bean and Pod, the vegan kind, vegan honeycomb, vegan chocolate

This little demon was something that I was looking forward to from the moment I saw it as praline's were always my go to in big boxes of chocolates. James didn't seem too fussed, that is until he got his mouth around it. I cut it in half (he thinks it was half, I definitely had the bigger 'half') and his face completely lit up as prior to vegan life he was a huge fan of Ferrero Rocher and this is the ultimate dupe. The vegan gods have answered our prayers and landed this bar of complete and utter delight into our laps and it was one of the most incredible chocolates I've ever tasted, truly. I'll be getting more of these in for sure plus the brand have two other flavours to try! Rude not to.

vegan praline, the vegan kind, vegan chocolate, rhythm 108

Taking a guess, I think after the praline these were James' favourite treat from the selection box. They are pretty much vegan Smarties, except they seem to have a subtle minty flavour to them which depending on your tastes, you may love or hate. But we loved them and not only are they a perfect little bag for sharing in front of a film, they'd be brilliant for decorating cakes and ice creams, not forgetting those little buttons on gingerbread men!

vegan smarties, vegan chocolate, the vegan kind,

This is one hell of a chunk of rocky road, the portion is an incredible slab and I sure as hell couldn't manage it alone. I 'halved' it again and it was delish, the orange kick worked surprisingly well and yes it's complete with marshmallows! If I were to be picky, I'd say it wasn't the best rocky road I've ever tried as I prefer a little more of a biscuit within the cake whereas this felt like pure stodge. Maybe I'm more of a Tiffin kinda girl but it didn't spoil the cake bar at all, it was really tasty just a little sickly so if I had one again I'd definitely quarter it.

vegan rocky road, vegan cake, the vegan kind, mummy meagz

Another amazing little stocking filler and posh treat, these truffle bites are incredibly rich and full of flavour, so I found myself only needing one to feel like I'd had my chocolate fix. I'm not usually the biggest fan of peanut butter but these had just the right amount inside for them to be really enjoyable and I loved the saltiness, similar to that of salted caramel. Beautiful packaging too, amirite?

Montezuma's chocolate, vegan truffles, vegan chocolate, the vegan kind

These were cute, very different and tasty, but not my favourite. That didn't stop us from devouring a bag and they were still an incredible treat, it's just other bits from this box hit the spot more. I love Shreddies too or Malt Wheats if you're a buyer of the cheaper version of the famous cereals and these were exactly that, covered in a deliciously generous coating of salted caramel chocolate. Also the bag is beyond adorable.

vegan sweets, the vegan kind, peakz, vegan salted caramel

I believe I've had these little fudge cubes before so I saved these til last, but I enjoyed them so much and can't wait to get another bag in for Christmas time. They go great with a hot drink too and the fudge really does melt in the mouth and give a pleasant little salty kick.

Fabulous Free From Factory, free from fudge, vegan fudge, dairy free fudge, The Vegan Kind

I loved all of these sweet treats like crazy but the only thing I will say, is it works out slightly cheaper to buy all of the bits separately on The Vegan Kind website than all together in the box. Granted there's a Christmas gift box as part of this package, the products come wrapped in a sheet of tissue paper and a sticker too so depending on your preference there, will determine how you decide to purchase. This size selection box costs £17.99 plus delivery, where as the products all came to £16.90 and you'd have to still pay delivery on top of that if you bought it all on it's own. You do get  a little candy cane included but they are cheap as chips so I didn't include that in the total pricing, but I highly doubt one candy cane costs £1.09.

Overall though, it's a great gift idea for the crazy vegan in your life and due to how the boxes are presented, you could just give it as it is without any wrapping. That's always a bonus, especially if you're wanting to cut down on your Christmas waste and watch your carbon footprint!

Have you tried any of these gems before?

Thanks for reading,

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