Christmas Gift Guide: Independent Manchester Retailers

No excuses to mess up this year. We've done a whole guide for you. We'll be watching. (We know if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake.)

By Manchester's Finest | Last updated December 10th '19

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LOTS @ The With Love Project MCR

Anything from NOMA’s pop-up indie department store would make an unforgettable gift. However, this is a guide, so I suppose we probably should try and narrow it down a bit.

The Wasabi Company
It’s not often I put the words ‘wasabi’ and ‘vodka’ together. For the vodka-lover who’s tried every flavour, or the person who has everything, this obscure gift seems ridiculously obvious. The Wasabi Company are the only British Farm commercially growing one of the most expensive vegetables in the world. That means their vodka is pretty special. This gift’s for those expecting the unexpected.

Joe Hartley
Its mugs and ceramics that also double up as art. A gift that is nothing less than perfect for the housemate who just doesn’t know how to clean up their crockery. Let them leave Joe’s work hanging round the gaff – spruce up the place a bit. Have a no-stress Christmas. You deserve it.

Millican Bags
Millican bags make the perfect gift for the conscious traveller, the deep-thinker, and for personal journeys across the globe. Their bags can definitely take some beating. Pick up one of their wallets for a smaller gift, or splash out on a daypack if you really, really like someone.

The cleanest watches you’ve ever seen. Paulin was founded by the Paulin sisters in Glasgow in 2013 with the premise of designing and assembling simple, high-quality, design-led watches. Anyone would be lucky to get one at Christmas; do you fancy making someone’s whole year?

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Handblended Perfume @ Form Lifestyle

Being told you smell nice is one of the best compliments ever. Therefore, this sexy, hand-blended perfume from Form is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Give this to someone who has always wanted to be that guy/girl being chased in the lynx adverts. Or, give this to someone who didn’t get the memo when you offered them some gum. Whoever you give it to, we can promise they’ll be pretty chuffed.

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Build Your Own Gift Box @ Beaumont Organic

If you’re as bad as picking gifts as I am, this mix-and-match gift box takes all the pressure off, with maximum payoff. To help you curate the perfect gift, Beaumont are playing Santa and delivering luxury gift boxes this Christmas. Just choose 4 or more items from their extensive gifting selection and receive 20% off what you’ve picked out. The lucky bugger you give it to could get candles, prints, soap bars, garlands, journals. Be indecisive, and don’t be sorry about it. Bonus point: NO WRAPPING NECESSARY!

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Wine from Vin-Yard @ Hatch

The wine experts, vin-yard, in Hatch, have got your secret santa sorted. As everyone knows, the most bulletproof gift option is always booze (and always will be). Make sure that the wine your gifting is actually good: go and chat with the guys at vin-yard. I always judge a bottle by its cover, and both the independent labels and gift-wrapping they can provide, gives a great first impression.

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Knitwear from Arctic Fox & Co. @ Hatch

You obviously can’t go wrong with something warm and toasty for a present this Christmas – everyone needs their neck warming – even those of us with massive beards. Arctic Fox & Co. offer up stunning products inspired by Icelandic and Scandinavian design. Striving to be as sustainable as possible, they also donate 5% of their profits to WWF. The wildlife one not the wrestling one.

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‘New’ Sneakers from Sneaker Pharm @ Hatch

We all know that one person who is obsessed with trainers/sneakers/plimsolls (whatever you call them). Well, this Christmas you can give the gift of ‘new’ trainers without actually shelling out the sometimes extortionate amounts of money that they cost. Sneaker Pharm is world-renowned for cleaning up sneaks so they’re pretty much brand-new, and it’s cheeep!

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Tarot Pendant @ July Child Jewellery

Buy a special someone a bit of bling this Christmas. The uber-cool July Child jewellers from Manchester sell all hand-made, high quality metal. Make it more personal by choosing a tarot pendant for someone. Maybe ‘The Empress’ tarot (symbolises business growth) for your broke mate. Or, ‘The Wheel of Fortune’ (symolises karma) to remind your best-frenemy that what goes around comes around. It’s the thought that counts, but who cares what they mean when they look this good?

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Lexon Mini Speaker @ Deadstock

Give a gift they’ll still be using years from now. Deadstock has a focus on useful things that look good. They stock the Lexon mini speaker; a curvy little number that fits well in a stocking, but looks even better on a table/shelf. Get it in metallic emerald, a neon matte orange, whatever their favourite colour is – Deadstock have got it. Surprise everyone with the sound such a small little guy can make.

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Retro Football Gear  @ Classic Football Shirts

Boasting a collection with over half a million classic shirts you’re bound to find a cracking gift for the footie lovers in your life. Whether that be an old shirt of their favourite team or one with a particular sentimental value – there’s something for everyone, including every budget. They’ve got one of a kind, match-worn shirts available

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Shearling Jackets @ Boda Skins

Self-proclaimed ‘Masters of Leather’ (not that we disagree) handcraft leathers that last, and timeless silhouettes. Grab a loved one the greatest mid-winter gift to wrap up warm in – and look incredibly cool at the same time. Consider buying one of these for someone who is your size, so you can “borrow” it (because you’ll definitely want to). Also, I recon your nan would look pretty good in a biker.

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Knick Knacks from Dave Draws

Rep your ends. Dave Draws has prints, mugs and cushions for the choosing. Covering practically every town in Greater Manchester, give a patriotic person a print of home for them to hang in their home. Or, for the traveller, choose the Hamburg cushion, or the New York mug. Whichever you give this Christmas, each one looks just as charming as the last, so you can’t go wrong. Easy gifting.

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Mini Gift Pack from Didsbury Gin

Give the spirit of life this Christmas! Or just Didsbury Gin’s mini gift pack – coincidentally named the same thing. Each pack contains 3 mini gins, Raspberry & Elderflower, Blood Orange & Ginger and Strawberry & Sicilian Lemon. We don’t want to repeat ourselves, but have you ever witnessed disappointment at the gift of alcohol? Get this all-stars gift set and make sure you don’t disappoint this year.

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Charity Clobber @ Forever Manchester

Not sure if they’re red or blue? Get them the perfect Manchester shirt without knowing at all – and know that every penny goes to the Forever Manchester fund and supports community activity across Greater Manchester. This one’s an all-round winner: get the hottest Manny merch for your hometown pal, and make sure you’ve done your bit for charity over the festive period.

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Pretty much anything from Oklahoma!

Oklahoma have done our job for us. Over on their website, they’ve dissected their best bits into: The Arty Type, The Daring Decorator, The Ethically Mindful, The One Who Likes a Laugh, and, The Proud Manc. However, just to save you some time, you should know that Oklahoma are selling willy socks, mugs and pins. Titties are also available – if that’s more your thing. Think you had found the perfect secret santa gift? Think again.

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Rabbit Hooded Fleece Jacket from This Thing of Ours @ Hatch

When I saw this jacket last week I pretty much fell in love, and although it’s not cheap – it would make the perfect Christmas present for someone who enjoys high-quality jackets and keeping warm. Taking inspiration from an old US Air Force cold weather parka, this beauty will look good on anyone and if you get ONE shiver while wearing – they’ll give you your money back.*
* Not true. I made this bit up.

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Limited Edition Vinyl @ Wilderness Record Store

You could go into Wilderness Records blindfolded and still come out with a cracking gift for a music-lover. Nothing says ‘I Love You,’ better than a limited-edition record from their favourite artist. Or give them something new to get their teeth into whilst they’re shacked up inside during the Winter months. It’s the perfect gift idea for any vinyl-heads in your life.

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Candle-Making Kit @ Fred Aldous

Fred Aldous is backing the creative gifts. If all your friends are artists (you need some new friends) you can get all your Christmas shopping done in the one place. They have both high-quality and kitsch stationary coming out of their ears. A very promising option is their candle-making kit: create  with 20 scents, moulds and decorative motifs. It’s genuinely useful and you can make a great night in out of it (tried and tested). It’s also quite a bit better than the Jo Malone candles which don’t really impress anyone anymore.

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A bottle of rum from Diablesse

Manchester’s best artisan rum. Not much more needs to be said really – an incredible gift for your best mate, for your S/O, for your mam, your nan, your neighbour, your window cleaner or anyone else who you think deserves it. The award-winning drink bottle blends 3 authentic rums from different parts of the Caribbean. Plus, it looks so good that it’s absolutely gagging to be gift-wrapped.

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Manchester Bee Co.

Anita has been creating Manchester Bee goods since before everyone else decided to get involved, and so her stuff is definitely the best you can find in the city. It all started with the Manchester Worker Bee prints, tea towels and totes but she’s diversified into everything from pin badges, socks, mugs and cards. There’s something for everyone (and every budget) and you’ll be supporting a local family business at the same time.

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