We’ve been browsing Stokey’s brilliant independent shops to bring some gift inspiration for those who want to do things a little differently this Christmas.
As well as often being a more eco and ethical way to shop, buying from an independent is better for local economies as the money you spend circulates to other local businesses and creates employment.
These small shops are the ones running community events, they’re the friendly faces welcoming you and they’re super passionate about their products!
So, here without further ado is our pick of the best Christmas gifts in Stokey!
TOP PICKS FOR KIDS
These Moomin enamel mugs from Prep are perfect for an indulgent hot chocolate and will appeal to adults and children. A small mug costs £10.95.
Stoke Newington Toys and Books have a brilliant selection – we love their Jellycat range of soft toys but these Djeco craft kits are really special – it features a watercolour painting kit exploring the work of Paul Klee – use the crayons to colour in the design and blend with water! Cost from £7.
Stoke Newington Bookshop’s top pick for children is Robin Stevens ‘The Ministry of Unladylike Activity’ (£12.99). This is the first in the much-anticipated new series by the bestselling children’s author. It’s set in WWII at a secret government agency raining spies. It’s described as “a brilliantly-conceived, pacy adventure which is perfect for young mystery fans.”
Rude on the corner of Barbauld and Nevill Road have these awesome Santa sacks for sale at £20 each. They’re printed onto used coffee bean sacks (supplied by Allpress) and each is unique. In store only!
These cute bobble hats are handmade in Cornwall and sold in What Mother Made on Church St. The store also offers a good range of clothes for children and adults as well as toys and pamper sets.
TOP PICKS FOR ADULTS
No Grit – No Pearl. That perfectly sums up the attitude of local jewellery designer Kelly of Cult of Youth. Her lockets are engraved with fabulous statements like this (cost circa £110). Browse online or find her on the cut through from Dynevor to the High St.
Prep on Church St have a beautiful selection of Aaron Probyn Rye glassware made of robust borosilicate glass with a subtle accent of colour. Prices start at £31.25 for a set of two.
The Pure Christmas candle at Earlybird Cards combines cinnamon and orange with a hint of amber and vanilla – it burns for 35 hours and actually smells like Christmas! It’s made with sustainable 100% natural vegetable wax. £15.99.
Search & Rescue also offers gorgeous scented candles. They're made by Roen in small batches in Los Angeles from coconut wax and have a burn time of more than 40 hours. Staff particularly love the 29 Palms scent, which features eucalyptus and desert sage with woody base notes of cedar and palo santo.
We asked Stoke Newington Bookshop for their top book recommendations:
Bonnie Garmus ‘Lessons in Chemistry’ £16.99 (Fiction). Described as “Laugh out loud funny and brimming with life, generosity and courage” by bookshop staff, this is a must read! It’s set in the early 60s and tells the story of chemist Elizabeth Zott who becomes a reluctant star of America’s much beloved cookery show Supper at Six. Elizabeth's unusual approach to cooking ('combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride') proves revolutionary, but as her following grows, not everyone is happy, because as it turns out, Elizabeth Zott isn't just teaching women to cook. She's daring them to challenge inequality and change the status quo.
They also recommend: Ixta Belfrage ‘Mezcla’ cookery book (£28). Mezcla means mix, blend or fusion in Spanish. Loved for her inventive ingredient combinations, Ixta offers 100 bold, impactful recipes inspired by Italy, Brazil, Mexico and beyond. Ixta is a collaborator of Ottolenghi without so many obscure and often expensive ingredients!
Other top picks for adults include:
Sophie MacBain on the High Street is an Aladdin’s cave of treasures – we particularly love the Mono planters and Octopus candle holders. The store has a brilliant website and delivers UK-wide so it’s worth a browse!
Shop with purpose at Revere the Residence. Their new range includes beautiful gifts designed by young people with learning disabilities. We love this Dirty Dancing T-towel, which was designed by 24-year-old Sabrina who has Downs Syndrome and has taught herself to speak four languages! Another favourite is this ‘I’d date you for a hundred lifetimes’ print by resident designer Piper, who has autism and is profoundly deaf.
Jarr Market, a zero waste shop on Stoke Newington High St, is offering sustainable Christmas presents and stocking-fillers which are ethically made and prioritise eco friendly and recyclable materials. They have a range of products in glass jars such as jars full of soothing herbal bath salts, vegan chocolates and even a luxury hot chocolate mix.
These quirky coffee bean and chilli pepper jewellery sets from Metal Crumble are wonderful the store also has a brilliant selection of bangles (many of which can be engraved).
If you’re buying for makers, check out these Thread and Maple luxury organisers and cases. They’re made from premium grade leather and Maplewood and the craftsmanship is superb. Knit with Attitude on the High Street is the first UK retailer to stock them.
TOP CLOTHING PICKS
Snuggle up in this pink and green shark scarf from Revere the Residence. It’s designed by 21-year-old Beth, who has Down Syndrome and Piper, 16, who has autism and is profoundly deaf. The girls are great friends – Piper says drawing helps her with her wobbly balance and Beth is something of a Tik Tok dance queen!
BOLT have also got some fabulous hats. Their old crow caps are made of Melton wool with six panels - based on the classic 1940's baseball caps, offering a less structured look and a smarter style (£35). If you’re after something warmer, check out their German brand Heimat. Based on the original Us Navy Watch hats, this is a classic style that never dates.
These felt wool slippers from Bless are super soft - they're handcrafted from raw sheep wool by a women's co-operative in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal and cost £45.
Womenswear store Hub have a gorgeous selection to chose from. We love this New Fair Isle knit from Nessa - it's made from 100% superfine lambswool and is so soft!
ARRAY has a fabulous range of Christmas gifts. This jumper by YMC was made in Scotland from lambswool and is seam-free and very soft. Cost: £175.
CARDS AND DECORATIONS
Earlybird have loads of goodies for making your home more festive – they include these woodland-style, no-plastic crackers (£20). Inside you'll find a reusable tree decoration, along with trivia, a joke and a hat. They also have a brilliant selection of Christmas cards, including a set designed by the Stokey Sketcher and raising funds for the Hackney-based Winter Toy Appeal.
Evergreen and Outrageous offers beautiful bespoke ring wreaths – choose one ready made (there’s a variety of sizes) or create your own from a wealth of foliage, blue pine, berries and holly. N16 Flowers also has a beautiful range of wreaths and plants.
These cost-of-living crisis Christmas cards are a stark reminder of the state of the country’s economy! Find them at Rude (£8 for a pack of six). Or they have a range of single cheery cards for £3.50 each.
SPIRITUAL AND PAMPER
Know & Love on Church St has launched its own line of natural, sustainable and vegan skincare!.
The product range includes soap, shampoo bars, hand and body washes, facial oils and lots of other skincare goodies. They're cruelty free, eco-friendly with all natural ingredients.
Star Seed Natural, who have been selling recently at Stokey Popup on the High Street, offer a lovely organic skincare range, can be ordered online.
The team at Beaucatcher describe Olaplex Rebonding System as: "the best repair system in the world." Pop in to choose from a range of luxury hair-care products.