Christmas may sometimes feel overly commercial and dominated by big brands and huge advertising budgets. However, at Baltzersen’s we believe it’s a great time to #ThinkIndie. If you’re planning to go Christmas shopping in Harrogate, why not make the most of the great opportunity it offers to support the many fantastic independent shops that we have in town?
Here’s our selection of great places to shop this Christmas, which may provide you with inspiration for gifts over the festive season. As always, do let us know if you’d like to recommend anyone not listed below.
Among the great indie shops in the thriving Cold Bath Road area of town is this lovely shop selling children’s clothing and gifts.
Their unique and interesting range is ideal for girls and boys aged 2 to 12, and will give lots of inspiration for Christmas gifts for the little ones in your life.
Owner Lois Rendle opened Little Alligators – her first retail venture – two years ago with a desire to offer ‘nice things’ at affordable prices. Her four children provide much of her inspiration for the items she stocks in the shop, and it continues to go from strength to strength.
Some of the great items available at the moment which would make perfect gifts are the Tegu Daredevil Magnetic Block Set, which includes wooden blocks and four magnetic wheels to create a wealth of moving vehicles, and the Italian-made Milaniwood range of traditional games with a twist, including a domino set which can be built up to make light-up wooden tulips.
Fashion marketing graduate Sophie Hartley opened Sophie Likes in February 2014, and we showcased the store in our blog about independent gift shops last year.
Whether you’re shopping for gifts or looking for seasonal hygge inspiration for your home, Sophie Likes has a great festive selection of quirky and unusual homewares and gifts.
Their cosy Tweedmill throws are perfect for snuggling up by the wood burner on frosty December nights and there are some really unusual gift ideas. We particularly like their cast iron stars (pictured), which come in different sizes. They would look fabulous wound with fairy lights and propped up in the corner of a room for some added festive sparkle, or hung up at the front of the house to welcome festive guests.
Although a small independent tucked away in a bustling corner of Harrogate, Crown Jewellers offers an unrivalled experience when it comes to jewellery shopping in Harrogate.
Run by Stephen and Sue Kramer, the business opened in 2000 on Commercial Street and offers an individual selection of upmarket jewellery, from luxury certificated diamonds to contemporary silver jewellery. It also specialises in a range of pre-owned Tiffany & Co jewellery.
Stephen is one of the most highly-qualified diamond and gemstone experts in Harrogate, being a Fellow and Diamond member of the Gemological Association of Great Britain, with more than 30 years’ experience in the jewellery trade.
Being a small, family business, Crown Jewellers has fewer overheads and is therefore very competitive on price. At this time of year, they have a range of glittering pieces which are sure to make Christmas sparkle, ranging from £10 earrings upwards. Gift vouchers are also available.
The colourful displays in Exit’s shop window are always eye-catching and it’s looking particularly festive at the moment.
We featured Exit in our blog about Easter gifts here and, now the festive season is upon us, the shop once again has a range of gift ideas from quirky Christmas stocking fillers to kettles, office gadgets and storage items.
Among some of our favourites are the Alessi Christmas baubles, the Beerd bottle openers complete with bobble hats, and the Koziol cookie cutters in the shape of Rudolph the Reindeer.
This little independent studio on Back Granville Road, run by Harrogate artist Anita Bowerman, is sure to inspire some gift inspiration for art lovers.
Anita takes inspiration from the Yorkshire countryside and local towns. She was the official artist of the Tour de Yorkshire 2015, and is artist in residence at Hazlewood Castle.
Her Harrogate studio includes original paintings, limited edition prints, paper cuts and Christmas cards. Among the festive cards are four designs which were specially commissioned by the Yorkshire Air Ambulance following the success of some paper cut helicopter notelets which Anita designed for them. Each Christmas card design incorporates the new YAA helicopter, alongside traditional scenes of nature.
During the festive season, you’ll also get free gift-wrapping, refreshments and a complimentary Christmas card. And every Saturday until Christmas (excluding Christmas Eve), the studio is running a “Christmas with a Conscience” event, with Anita donating 10% of all art sales to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance charity.
We included Jespers in our recent Locals’ Guide to Independent Craft Shops, and their shop window just a couple of doors down from us is now looking truly festive.
If you’re short of ideas for both children and adults, a visit to Jespers will give you lots of options, whatever your budget.
We love their traditional games and toys and their handsome leather briefcases and bags, not to mention their huge range of beautiful specialist fountain pens.
So where will you be buying your Christmas presents this year? Let us know about any great independent finds and we’ll be sure to check them out!