Christmas during a pandemic.
We didn't foresee it, we didn't ask for it and we certainly aren't finding it easy.
It's no secret that Christmas will look different this year - but maybe it's not all bad.
Maybe this Christmas we gain a new perspective.
Maybe we discover brands, products, experiences, and stories that we wouldn't have otherwise, under normal circumstances.
If you're in need of gift ideas but you also want to support some small businesses - we've done the research for you!
Below are 10 of our favourite small business brands, why they do what they do, and a suggestion of our favourite products for your one-stop ultimate gift guide to make shopping that little bit easier, during a year that has been anything but easy.
TEN: Love Powered Co.
There is so much power in words - and that's why affirmations are so effective. I use them daily with my 2 year old son and can credit them directly for so many of the brave and confident things he says and does.
Love Powered Co. offer mindful affirmation sets (and wall prints!) for littles, teens and adults. As the Founders have put it so eloquently:
Our internal dialogue is a constant stream, and the way that we speak to and about ourselves (whether out loud or in our minds), shapes our reality! Positive affirmations serve as a reminder of the power we have within us, and of the qualities that make each of us so special.
Our recommendation: The Love Powered Littles Box
NINE: Toddle Born Wild
Skincare is something you start practicing almost immediately having a child - and you use skincare products like lotions and sunscreen every single day from then on. But the chemicals and processing can make you question the money you're spending on these products - and that's where companies like Toddle come in. They only use high quality, 100% vegan ingredients in their natural skincare products. They're great for sensitive skin and a little goes a long way - meaning you get more for less! Their gift set includes their sun and wind balm (SPF 50), dribble-proof lip balm and probiotic hand gel.
Our recommendation: Children's Winter Protection Gift Set
A brand we've worked closely with in the past, we truly admire their products and the thought behind them. YummiKeys create teething products for babies that are 100% stainless steel, dishwasher safe and free from any harmful chemicals. Offering teething rings, keys and engraved teething jewelry. The necklaces can be engraved with up to 45 characters making them a perfect gift this Christmas for a family with a new little one.
Our recommendation: The mom and baby Gift Set (engraved)
SEVEN: Bobbi Made This
Is there anything better than watching someone's reaction to opening a handmade, unique gift created just for them? We don't think so! That's why we love Bobbi's handmade, polymer clay earrings. Each pair is one-of-a-kind, made by hand in Bobbi's apartment with her 4 kids helping out.
Our recommendation: Angela Ribbon or Taylor Squiggle Statement Earrings
EcoZoi is a certified woman-owned and family-run small business who create sustainable, eco-friendly products that will help your family cut out plastic and preserve the environment. They offer a whole range of eco-friendly products including lunch boxes, kitchen and toilet rolls made from bamboo, straws and cutlery, plates made from palm leaves, popsicle moulds and more.
They're your one-stop shop for all things eco-friendly, they use zero-waste packaging and they only source from suppliers who treat their workers ethically, pay fair wage and get at least 25% of their energy from renewable energy sources like solar and wind.
Our recommendation: The Organic Bamboo Cutting Board with drawers
FIVE: K'pure Naturals
Karen Johnson is the creator of K'pure Naturals - and she landed on this idea by accident. When her youngest son was a newborn, she found out at a naturopath appointment that he had abnormally high levels of aluminum and plastics in his system. She was confused as to how, as he was only breastfed. Turns out her deodorant was loaded with aluminum and her lotions were loaded with plastics, which made their way into her breast milk. That was when she decided to create her own line of natural skin care products because she believes that what you put on your body is just as important as what you put in it.
Our recommendation: The Almond Cookie Room & Linen Spray or Clean Up Dead Sea Mud Mask
FOUR: Solar Buddies
Kelli and Laura first had their idea for the child-friendly sunscreen applicator back in 2011. They both found out that their children’s school had a ‘No Touch Policies’ in place when it comes to applying sunscreen, which meant the teachers were unable to assist the children in this task. They created the Solar Buddies sunscreen applicator for kids so that children could easily apply it themselves and their parents could refill the container with the sunscreen on their choosing at any time. This applicator means less mess, less waste and easy application that your kids will love doing themselves!
A mum and woman-owned small business, EasyTots aim to make weaning easier for you with their clever suction designs. The strong suction means the plates and bowls stay put during meal time and the happy face design means that you can easily section your child's food for those picky eaters who don't like their food touching! They are also dishwasher, microwave and oven safe and come in a range of different colours and designs.
Our recommendation: The Unicorn EasyMat & Suction Bowl Set
TWO: Mamas & Papas
Founded in 1981, Mamas & Papas was born out of a desire to better meet the needs of new parents. Understanding that parents wanted good quality products with a unique sense of identity, they made it their goal to create a range which did just that. The best part is that during the Christmas season they have special offers for gifting such as stocking stuffers, big gifts, Christmas jumpers and everything in between.
Our recommendation: Elephant & Baby Tummy Time Snugglerug
We can't give you a list of gift ideas without also mentioning ourselves! As a company, we truly do everything with you in mind. We are always working tirelessly to come up with unique products that make your lives as parents that little bit easier - especially during mealtimes! That's why our award-winning Bibado Coverall makes the perfect gift: because you're giving the gift of time. The time we spend cleaning up after meals (particularly during that weaning phase) is valuable - and we know that you would rather be spending it with your little one. That's why we've created the Bibado Coverall which will catch all of the mess, is machine washable, can be adjusted to fit your highchair tray, table or pram, and can be wiped clean between meals. It comes in 4 unique unisex designs (as well as a limited-edition Christmas penguin design) that are fun, bright and colourful meaning your babies and toddlers will love wearing them!
Our recommendation: The Magical Unicorn Coverall