Tis’ the season to support local!
This was the year which tested a lot of us, pushing us up to our breaking point and then some. Whilst I am acutely aware that nothing comes close to spending time and celebrating with loved ones, being able to support local businesses and give gifts of affirmation and love to our nearest and dearest is still a lovely thing to do.
Narrowing this list down was practically impossible, so I’ve tried to choose brands that a) I use regularly and adore, b) my readers might not know of, and c) ones that my friends and family speak highly of word-of-mouth is a power tool.
And here it is, a locally-inspired festive gift guide…
That Kid Cole was created by a mom for fellow moms, to offer simple, stylish and comfortable shoes for your little ones. Made from just the right materials that bend and flex with each movement, their shoes support and protect your little one’s feet whilst encouraging natural development.
Their supple genuine leather (or vegan cork leather) sole makes these shoes perfect for crawlers and beginner walkers. Their Little Soles can also become the perfect house shoe for older babes. Made from all natural materials, these Little Soles shoes are comfortable and breathable and no surprise, I am besotted with the Rose print.
Available in 6 sizes from newborn to 3 years old, the prices start from R235
The Sticky Fudge family believes in living ethically and consciously. creating local garments for cool kids. Each season offers something different and their exclusive Sticky Fudge prints are incredible. Their Boats print is my fave, honestly, I need it to be made into a sundress for me. Have a look at their Boats dress to see why I love it so much.
This is a new local brand that has really blown me away – run by one woman and her sewing machine, Maryke creates the cutest little items for babies and toddlers. Her romperall, especially the Emily (pictured) is a firm Instagram favorite and my daughter looks incredible in hers.
Cute, casual threads made for active, adventure-seeking kids. Our girls have lived in their leggings and harem pants, the prints are gorgeous and they are seriously hardwearing.
These gorgeous handmade turbans, headbands and bows are statement pieces in the most beautiful fabrics and colors.
A lovely small business run from a family farm in the beautiful Limpopo province, Rosie Bee takes its inspiration from the owner’s little girl and also from her background as a botanist – you’ll find unique florals and nature inspired prints throughout as well as a nod to childhood whimsy and adventure. I am obsessed with their new summer collection, particularly the bee print – shop it here.
Offering stylish baby and toddler clothes, they are dedicated to creating beautiful, high quality products for your little ones, ranging from sizes 0 – 3 months up to 7 – 8 years. Looking for a stunning addition to your child’s wardrobe, the Ballet Dress is gorgeous!
One of the quintessential “Instagrammable” brands – Nanas is a small business in South Africa with the initiative to equip grannies with the necessary tools to regain purpose after retirement. Their timeless threads and neat knitwear make for adorable additions (wow, I’m killing it on alliteration today) to your little one’s wardrobe. I just love the mustard Rosie jersey….obviously.
Another ‘gram stalwart, their style is simple, classics that have a beautiful flow and feel to them. The summer collection has just launched so check out the range here.
Get ready for summer with Eendjie swimwear and accessories. Designed and made locally in Cape Town, the brand embodies summer fun and living a lekker and true life. The prints are so unique and the fabric is created for protection against the harsh SA sun.
Toys & Accessories
Moxie Kids Craft Box is a monthly craft subscription box for children aged 3 to 9. You receive all the supplies you need to complete 4 awesome crafts with a fun new theme each month. Absolutely everything you need to complete the crafts is included, as well as full-colour step-by-step instructions. It’s all of the fun, with none of the prep and that is 1000% what I, as a parent, want.
You can choose a subscription or you can buy once-off, from R480 – the latter is a great option for Christmas because it means your kids have crafts for the holidays. WIN!
One Two Play is your all-in-one, sanity saving, learning through play shop. The kits come with a planned activity, however, child-led play is encouraged. Let your children explore and create their own activities, the benefits and possibilities are endless. They also stock open-ended toys to allow little imaginations to run wild, busy boards to keep little fingers busy and mess mats to put your mind at ease.
My kids are dino obsessed so naturally we’re leaning towards the Dino Discovery activity, R380, which features dinosaur fossils, taste safe dirt and all tools to encourage exploring.
The Story blocks, a set of 4 in a wooden tray is also another lovely option at R390.
Behold their bespoke all natural artisanal, handmade wooden toys. These are inspired by Montessori and Waldorf principals and stimulate learning by encouraging little ones to experiment and explore. Their wooden dinosaur toy set is just fab!
They make soft handmade dolls for gentle play and representation is key because celebrating differences is so important. The dolls are entirely handmade, making them each unique, their clothing and accessories all individually made with love and care by one mama.
This might not be a toy, but the MiniKit is an essential. Every parent needs to have a first aid kit nearby and the MiniKit is small enough to carry with you in your handbag, car and to take away for the Christmas holidays.
These educational toys are truly incredible and conceptualized and made by Ferhensha to encourage learning and key developmental growth. The majority of her kits work on a cognitive, emotional, environmental, physical and perceptive skill enhancement level which not many other toys can claim. Shop the sets and kits here.
Looking for well-designed toys that look good, work well and last? Honest Toys is just that, and more, and their range caters for the rough-and-tumble play of children across age groups and developmental stages. The options I love the most are the ones that inspire open-ended play like their imaginary play toys which are very cute.
I love a brand that is all about bringing you a curated selection of beautiful handmade products especially when they try to keep them as locally-made as possible. Wild Palm Handmade have just released their Doll’s Moses Baskets (R500) which I think every baby-obsessed kiddo is gonna love…also, they make a great prop for photographers too.
Skincare & Beauty
Katavi Botanicals is a truly unique, all-natural skincare range with all-natural ingredients and no parabens or harmful chemical toxins. Their African extracts are ethically and sustainably sourced, and rural communities benefit directly from their sale. I’ve personally been using their Night cream, Eye cream and Enzymatic peel and it’s been working wonders for my face. If you’re buying for someone and you’re not sure what they will benefit most from, why not look at their sample glow packs, R150, which make for a great Secret Santa gift too.
With an extensive range for babies, teens and adults, it’s a one-stop shop for fantastic products for varying skin types – and everything is made locally using carefully selected ingredients. The woman behind the brand, Tanya, is dedicated to creating skincare that is earth and human kind and I am a HUGE fan of their body butter – it’s a must for dry, sensitive skin. Add it as a stocking filler and you’ll be receiving all the brownie points.
They are a natural, ethically produced skin and body care collection developed in our beauty studio in Cape Town, South Africa. We create conscious, scientifically formulated skin care that works with your skin to balance and boost its natural processes for healthier, happier skin.
Lulu & Marula was started in 2013 by Jesslynn Shepherd, a long-time beauty enthusiast, skincare product hoarder, and green living idealist. The calming bath and body kit is probably all something we could use at this time of the year.
The Skin Creamery ethos is to be kind to the earth, and kind to your skin. The range was founded in 2014, by Hannah Rubin, with a commitment to natural, simple living. Hannah’s childhood in South Africa’s verdant Garden Route region fostered in her a passion for a conscious way of life. The Skin Creamery vision is to instill a daily ritual of simple self-care, which translates into a loving appreciation for who you are, just as you are. For a beautiful set, try their 3 product bundle for R1089
The Lula Fox shade spectrum covers all South African skin tones and for makeup lovers, you’ll find foundation, concealer, face powder, blush, bronzers, eyes shadows, gel liners, mascaras, brows powders and pomades, and lipstick and glosses. Shop the varying looks here.
Sea & Shore resin Jewellery is hand-crafted in Kommetjie, a picturesque surfing village in Cape Town and is made using oceanic and botanical elements – such as flowers, fynbos, shells etc – which are set in high quality resin, creating one-of-a-kind pieces.
Imagine taking a piece of nature with you in the form of jewelry? Their rings are so lovely, and their Royal blue & silver leaf ring, R650, looks like ocean.
Drawing inspiration from the beautiful fauna and flora found in Cape Town, Botanica creates modern, distinctive, botanical pieces of Jewellery with a touch of nature.
Each piece is crafted in their workshop in Woodstock and they combine age old manufacturing techniques with modern methods to create unique sterling silver and gold lifestyle pieces – Their Instagram feed is an inspiration in itself, and I am blessed enough to have my own initial pendant and the quality is superb.
Choose from our inspirational designs or create your own Jewellery, celebrating your accomplishments, reminding you of your goals and values or simply treasuring what means most to you. Their design-your-own options make lovely gifts for friends.
Her creations are made from porcelain, incorporated with a variety of different materials such as glazes, pigments, 18 karat gold lustre and sterling silver. Every piece is handmade with care, and embraces natural imperfections of the hand at work. Her pearl hoop earrings are breathtaking.
If you’re not following them on Instagram, you are missing out on all the color and fun. Their tiny, exceptionally made creations bring so much joy; from Star Wars, to proudly South African themes, teeny little foods and rainbows, to animal studs, these are brilliant gift ideas for friends and family who like something different, and a little quirky.
Created by a mother-daughter team, Ruxana (fashion designer) and Raeesah Mahomed (information designer) are the designers behind South African (pretoria) based company – Cozy Night.
They design and manufacture beautiful women’s Sleepwear pieces and believe in the mantra “Sleep Pretty”. Every piece is designed with superior comfort and prettiness in mind and of their new summer range, I think the Boyfriend T Shorts Set in satin is a winner.
Using only natural fabrics such as Pure Linen, Pure Cotton, and Rayon, Sunny the Label ensures their pure and timeless clothing is responsibly and sustainably sourced and produced. If you love crisp lines, clean coloring and a natural look, their new summer range is just for you.
Give me all the cool slogan tees please. Lucky Little has something for everyone, and I’m even going to add them to the Men’s section of this guide too. If you love plants, you’re gonna want to check out these tees here. If you’re a mom, check these out. If you love Christmas, head here. Basically, it’s all the fierce threads to suit how awesome you are.
I think these were THE dresses of 2020. All the frou frou, all the drama, all the movement that every Queen deserves. If you’re going to bless anyone (or yourself) with a dress, check out these beauties please!
Creating clothing that inspires people to express themselves authentically, Anon Clothing helps to foster a deep sense of self-love and pride in individuality. Anon is created and manufactured by a small team based in Cape Town. They work with natural fabrics that have great movement and texture. Some bold pieces, some unembellished statement items, all made to suit the individual.
Journaling and memory making
The My Legacy Book is an inspired idea from Unselfishly Me coach, Jane Kilian, and is for us to remember those that we love, when the unfortunate time comes when they can’t share these memories in person.
Do you know your gran’s favourite memory of you? Or your sister’s bucket list? Or your dad’s dream car? These are all questions that make up a big part of your legacy, why not capture it in time and preserve these moments.
Hurry, its current launch price is R399 but will return to the normal price of R450 at the end of the month
Also, may I add, Jane’s The Unselfishly Me Self Love Box is available on pre-order and is filled with carefully selected items to honor the beautiful woman that you are and to remind you that you are worthy of taking the time to love yourself.
The Prayer Planner is there to help you organize your thoughts during times of devotion. You plan for one month of prayer by completing categories about God and His character, the global world and country you live in, your local church, family and friends, and your own household and personal growth.
When you have a starting place, like an organized list, it often helps to start our thoughts and prayers flowing naturally.
There’s also a gratitude journaling section, and a section for general notes, or sermon notes, so that you can use ONE book, together with your Bible.
Got yourself a keen golfer? Why not send them off for a virtual session, Cape Town-based, at The Tee where they use Trackman technology to give you the best data and stats to help you improve your game. Sessions start from R250 per hour.
Their company ethos is incredible – inspired by nature, and dedicated to leaving a net positive effect on the environment which inspires them, they have partnered with one of the world’s largest reforestation non-profit organisations to plant 10 trees in Africa for every pair of sunglasses sold. So, Wooden Sunglasses anyone? Yes, YES!
Know a Dad? Kit him out with an awesome tee or sweater from Lucky Little and even make him match with his mini me. *Every one say awww*
Lovecoco specializes in unique and custom decor and gifts and I think their acrylic music prints would be so cool on your man’s desk, as it and perfectly features your first wedding dance, a favourite song on your travels or just a fun friendship anthem.
You know me, I love some sparkle, and I’ll happily take it in my gin too! Bring some festive joy to the drinks cart with the Mirari Limited Edition Celebration Gin is infused with 23-carat gold flakes. Distilled with 13 hand selected botanicals, including freshly peeled blood orange, lemon, lime and grapefruit, which is gently vapour infused for a bright, bold citrus taste. It’s also sugar free, gluten free and vegan friendly, with no artificial flavourings or colourings. Shop it here for R390
Who wouldn’t want to receive beautifully decorated, delicious cookies from one of Cape Town’s best-kept secrets?! Based in Durbanville but able to send throughout the country, The Frosted Raspberry is offering Christmas cookie sets and teacher gifts now, but hurry, before she sells out!
South Africa’s first craft gin club offers a monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly or ad hoc basis (gifts, for example) box for lovers of gin. Each box showcases a small batch craft gin with unique tonics that accompany the gin and hand-picked gourmet food items that complement the taste journey of the month. Go full festive and gift the poetic license ‘fireside’ spiced gin box , R799 and full of warming flavours reminiscent of your favourite seasonal treats.
In 6 years, Ma Mere has become a household name in the confectionery industry and all their products are made in the traditional way, in a slow and precise manner, for an authentic tasting product. They produce high quality artisan sweets with unusual or exotic flavors with a core focus on nougats and brittles. The assorted nougat gift box would be a welcome introduction to their sweet treats and would also make a great secret Santa gift too.
It’s no secret that I like a good wine and if we’re going to see the year out, we should celebrate it with some delicious MCC. Louisvale has you covered with their Chardonnay/Pinot Noir Rose MCC and their Chardonnay Brut (R900 for 6). Both are sure things!
Who doesn’t love handmade gourmet chocolate and fudge?! These are definitely going to be added to my own stocking…wait, you don’t buy your own stocking fillers? Weird. Try their five pack for R200 and get all the decadence and none of the sharing.
Have you seen their online shop? It’s so dreamy! I love the idea of their White Wine Box (R540) and featuring their Candide blend, our elegant Chenin Blanc and our partially wooded Viognier in gift box, and I’m also drawn to their Pantry Tin (R450) includes delicious preserves, chutneys and olives.
I have it on good authority that the Cape Island scented candles are a must have – Clifton Beach in particular – with a strong focus on high quality natural ingredients, micro batch production and re-usable packaging. They look beautiful and smell lovely, and frankly, I kinda need that right now. The mini candles start from R120.
Dee creates the most beautiful embroidery, woven wall hangings and fibre art – you MUST check out her custom embroidered monograms here ,with prices starting from around R380, they make for stunning new baby gifts, or nursery decor additions.
I doubt you will have seen anything so whimsically magical as the preserved flower art of Skaam. Perfect for nature and art lovers, if you’re looking for presents under R1k, their small artworks range from around R750 (A New Day is my fave) and will look beautiful wall-mounted or at your desk.
For something out-of-the-park, you can even have your wedding flowers preserved in a beautiful frame!
WE NEED MORE PLANTS! Said absolutely everybody. Shop all the green things at greenery, either by collection or single plants. I think the Easy Care Collection, R620, is a lovely gift idea for someone just starting out on their plant journey.
Creating beautiful watercolor artworks since 2016, Audrey Lisik’s creations offer a clean and simple aesthetic for any living space. Her People collection is amazing and from R125 an A5 print, you can find something for anyone
Sage & Stone demonstrates a love for beautiful home decor and a passion for social impact. They bring you natural, quality home decor, whilst empowering and supporting local small business and entrepreneurs. Warm earth tones are their chosen color palette and you can shop their linen, basket and tablewear collection here.
How could you not have a stocking at Christmas time?! Claire creates delightful felt goodies and her talents over the festive season are second-to-none. I can’t wait to get out personalized stockings and hang them up over our unused fireplace. Joy! She doesn’t just do stockings though, her covid gingerbread tree ornaments are a huge hit too and a funny and memorable way to remember this crazy year.
Spruce up your gifts with lovely Christmas gift labels just R60 for 20 full colour 4cm x 4cm with 3 designs to choose from. Just Wright is a curated online store for South African educators. For teachers, by a teacher, and you can find her products here.
I just had to add their stunning mini tea light houses to this list. Starting from R199 they are perfect stocking fillers or Secret Santa gifts.