As we find ourselves halfway through 2020, people all over the UK are looking forward to new beginnings and being able to describe lockdown as a distant memory. However, from the happiness experienced from reunions with friends and family, to the recent Black Lives Matter protests across the country, there are many lessons we can take with us into the new normal.
After the initial boredom splurges and impulse buys of arts and crafts, this time of self-isolation and self-reflection has also meant many of us are considering new ways to shop more responsibly. Whether that be replacing fast fashion choices with eco-friendly options, or using our shopping habits to support small businesses. Importantly, we hope that we will see a continued support, recognition and appreciation of Black-owned businesses.
If you’re looking for a special gift, the incredible females listed below have got you covered. They have great choices for summer birthdays, if you want to send a little pick-me-up to a friend, or a celebratory gift to the family member who’s just landed a new job. Whichever the occasion, we’re sure the following will inspire you:
Iona and Remy, the female duo behind Sage Flowers, are giving us all new reasons to be excited about florals. They’re inspired by unusual foliage and form, resulting in creations which are unique, modern and colourful. Now from their gallery-style store in Peckham, you can order beautiful bunches to be delivered or collected. Not only was their business born from a desire to provide an alternative to the rules of classic floristry, the two girls are leading the way in discussions around diversity within the flower industry (check out their recent IGTVs to learn more).
I’m sure that many of us can relate to Isabel’s inspiration for GOH totes. Often found reading on the tube, or weaving through the busy streets of London with a flat white in hand, you’ll see the girl with two handbags (one being a worn down canvas tote filled with unused gym kit and a breakfast smoothie). Luckily for us, Isabel has created a sustainable and chic alternative, a tote bag which you can cherish and value. Using her boundless creativity, each tote bag has been handmade and designed by Isabel herself. After a lot of research, she was able to find a UK-based supplier, meaning each bag is ethically made, using eco-friendly cotton and hessian. With both colourful and minimalist designs to choose from, a gift of a GOH tote is a beautiful, unique and sustainable addition to anyone’s daily routine.
To brighten someone’s day (and their walls), you can’t go wrong with a beautiful print by Reyna Noriega. Reyna is a visual artist, author and educator and another inspiring individual. Her online store includes an abundance of vibrant prints, from glorious orange sunsets to celebrations of female style, individuality and expression. In her work, Reyna has sought to represent the beauty and vibrance of women, in the hope that these women can feel represented in fine art spaces. For an extra treat, Reyna has also published a book of her own poems, In Bloom, which explores a journey of self love and acceptance.
At just 22 years old, Dee is both a cake-connoisseur and inspiring entrepreneur. From baking cakes with her mother to training as a confectionery artist at Lola’s Cupcakes and Primrose Bakery, her business, Dee’s Basement, is a culmination of her experience and major sweet tooth. For that extra special someone, you can place an order with Dee for a stunning, custom-made cake (just scroll through her deliciously fabulous instagram feed for inspiration). For a postal pick-me-up or a treat to take along to a summer picnic, you can order a selection of incredibly decadent cookies online. We’re addicted to the Cookies ‘N’ Cream.
Gynelle Leon’s fist solo business venture into the world of cacti and succulents has been a roaring success. Her fabulous cactus-filled store Prick, in Dalston, East London, is the first of the kind for the city and her online store has continued to grow in popularity. Leaving her corporate job to pursue her passion, Gynelle hopes to inspire a new age of plant-loving gurus. So why cacti? After a visit to Yves Saint Laurent’s Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech, Gynelle was hooked, and because of their low maintenance, they’re particularly well suited to modern city living – a perfect gift for a friend to help bring a little life into their interior space, without committing them to the inevitable failure of house plant care over the city’s hot summer months.