Independent Christmas Makers Market Roundup
Over the past few months as some of you may know, we have been busy organising our Independent Christmas Makers Market where we presented a variety of wonderful makers (some you may have recognised from our very own TEA-m!) in all their crafty glory.
Each week we dedicated some time where you heard all about their products, their start up stories and what it means to them to be an independent business in these crazy times!
Even more now than ever, independent businesses need all the support they can get. Over Black Friday weekend we didn't offer any discounted prices or special promos, instead we decided to use our platform as a series of live events on Instagram to shout about some amazing businesses that we have had the pleasure of meeting.
Designed to be a virtual version of your favourite local Christmas craft fair or market, we spoke to seven incredible independent businesses owners at their 'stalls', from party store to pet cafe, bloody marys to blooming marvellous beads. We got to see behind the scenes, hear of their business journeys as they gave us a glimpse into the wonderful world of a Maker's Christmas.
So Teabirds, hear is a round up of our version of Black Friday weekend!
Our co-founder Krisi started off the day with a little introduction to the Makers Market! She expressed the importance of supporting local businesses in these times.
“As fellow indies, we understand the love, passion, drive and determination that it takes to set up your business. Anyone who has the guts to follow their dream and throw everything they've got to survive this year has our utmost respect and admiration. As do all of you lovely lot who have made such an effort to support your favourite independent businesses this year.”
Crafty Cooke 1.30pm
Helen from Crafty Cooke was our first Maker who joined looking very happy wearing her signature Tea and Biscuits necklace which she handcrafted herself for the Makers Market.
After attending her first crafty workshop in Bristol in 2018 she became hooked on creating acrylic jewellery designs. Then, becoming more adventurous with her skills, she went on to develop her own original style, creating a tea and biscuits themed necklace.
After posting it on social media, her bespoke design set off an absolute storm and gained so much love and attention (I mean, how could it not?)! And when we encountered Crafty Cooke’s work, our relationship blossomed- it was a match made in heaven.
Featuring 3 of the all time best biscuits- the bourbon, the custard cream and the jammie dodger- all centred around a glorious cup of tea, there is also a matching brooch, where you can wear your fave cuppa close to your heart! Each piece is both laser cut and hand-finished by Helen and then lovingly presented inside a linen drawstring pouch.
Visit the Crafty Cooke website
Follow @craftycooke on Instagram
Peach Blossom 2pm
Moving onto our second Maker of the day - Peach Blossom!
We met Alyssa, whose mission is to bring to their customers beautiful, modern, stylish party supplies and decorations for all of life’s spectacular occasions. And we must say, it’s by far the prettiest party shop in the land!
Founded by Alyssa, Peach Blossom started off as an online store and after gaining attention from all over, she now has a team behind her and a gorgeous store in Brighton which has been described as a magical party wonderland.
Alyssa and her team of party stylists supply incredible decorations to local, national and even international parties and events. From her packed stock room, we could see beautiful balloons, personalised and confetti within! She explained how people ordered them as gifts to be delivered to their front doors (cute!). The ever so popular elf balloon sadly didn't make an appearance but we can only imagine how cool it is.
Frenchie Frenchie 3pm
The Pawfectly Wooftastic: Frenchie Frenchie were our 3rd guests of the day!
Set up by the lovely Liam and Arran, Frenchie Frenchie is the UK’s first dog cafe and 'Nottinghamshire’s first pawmanent doggy cafe & bark-ery’! Offering doggos (of all breeds and sizes) a place to enjoy and chill out and a cafe to bring their humans to for a change... they even have a ball pit!
All of the delicious doggy treats in their in house Bark-ery are handmade and completely natural. They really take care with the ingredients that they use, so they are delicious yet super safe for doggy tummies.
They explained how they were sad that they haven’t been able to open their cafe due to Covid restrictions, however, they have set up an online store with lots of delicious and luxury treats for doggos.
They even have dog cologne! The Doggy Advent calendar made an appearance, containing 12 Tea sachets for humans and 12 of Frenchie Frenchie handmade dog biscuits! Then little Penny the French bulldog charmed us all with her unbelievable cuteness!
Visit the Frenchie Frenchie website
Follow @frenchiefrenchie_uk on Instagram
Explore items from Frenchie Frenchie in our Makers Market:
Bloody Ben’s 4.30pm
After a little tea break, we tuned in for our next Maker Ben from Bloody Ben’s (Also fellow Bird and Blend Tea-m member!). Sat up in his loft room surrounded by laundry, repping a Bird and Blend hoodie whilst sipping a Bloody Ben's G&T, such class!
Ben spoke to us on how he handcrafts his very own signature gin and in the words of our own expert Tea Mixologists, it is ‘the perfect companion for a mind-blowing Bird & Blend tea-based cocktail!’ And goodness- does Ben have a busy schedule! Juggling his time between his three children and his role as Partnership Manager with us at Bird & Blend, he handcrafts his gorgeous gin in batches on a copper sill based in South West London!
Krisi and Ben talked through cocktails, gin subscription boxes and presents for their parents. When asked what he would love this Christmas, he replied “A lie in, not being woken up between 2am-5am!” and reached out for a nanny for Christmas Day on the Live Chat! But in all seriousness, kudos to all the parents with young children out there who run their own businesses and make time for their families. It's not easy, that’s for sure!
So we had to ask him, What's with the name?
“Bloody Ben's started with a Bloody Mary Mix which was created in Ben's Canteen which was famous for Brunch. So, Brunch, Bloody Marys, Ben's Canteen... obviously leads to Bloody Ben's, right?!
And when we started the Gin, we didn't want to start another bloody business so we kept the name!”
So now that's cleared up!
Visit the Bloody Ben's website
Follow @bloodybens on Instagram
Explore items from Bloody Bens in our Makers Market:
Saturday 28th November
Krisi returns with a new day and new Makers to speak to! With much excitement, wearing some of the items of the next Makers including earrings from Hermit Creations and a pin badge by ROHNOH. After a brief intro summarising the previous day and why we are not doing the normal Black Friday weekend we got to meet our first Maker of the Saturdays live event!
Hermit Creations 12pm
Next up is for all the lovers of bespoke jewellery and cute crocheted items! Hermit Creations is a wonderful little business run by Rhea Brown, who is also a long standing Brighton based Teabird!
Rhea loves crafting and finds it incredibly rewarding to make something using her own hands. She would always rather have a go at making something first before buying one, and yes she is really good at it! Wearing a set of her gorgeous polymer clay earrings, Rhea showcased her styles and collections including the very popular pink and gold “Candyfloss dream” earrings. They hit up a storm!
As well as polymer clay, she loves texture and textiles and is a fan of crocheting (a particular fondness for crochet cactus!) , whilst snuggled up on the sofa with a cuppa and a cuddle with her cat Lily. Rhea even showed us her Christmas tree which was decorated with her handmade baubles!
Visit the Hermit Creations Etsy
Follow @hermitcreations on Instagram
Explore items from Hermit Creations in our Makers Market:
Rocking a beanie hat, our very own talented illustrator Rosie from the Bird & Blend creative team was next in the Makers Market!
Living in sunny Brighton she is constantly inspired particularly by animals and can't resist sketching them with an accompanying cheesy pun!! Rosie has designed some of the cutest illustrations for many of our tea campaigns. Her work can be found on select tote bags, badges and mugs; some past fan-favourite designs include the Battle of the Peaches and the House of Chai selection!
When she's not creating fabulous art for Bird & Blend, she runs her very own indie business ROHNOH on Etsy and at local markets where you can find the full range of her gorgeous products.
After telling us she eats a pack of mince pies every week, Rosie showcased her vast selection of pun themed gift cards and gosh were there some crackers! You'll often find her doodling away new ideas in her sketchbook and watching tutorials on how to create new things, accompanied by cups of tea and cuddles from her round and furry marshmallow cat, Luna! Rosie also does personalised illustrations, she loves drawing people's pets.
The Bead Shop 1.30pm
Calling all lovers of crafting, DIY and shiny, sparkly things! The final Maker of the weekend was The Bead Shop!
Bursting with bountiful beads, this indie business is a statement store known and loved by Nottingham residents for many years! Krisi showcases their tea infuser ball DIY kit and expressed how much fun she had making it the night before!
Hana, who founded The Bead Shop 20 years ago joined the call like a true indie owner from her daughter’s birthday party! Starting her business at the age of 18 she was originally working in another bead shop, but when they decided to pack up and move to Somerset, Hana thought it was the perfect time to open her own store in Nottingham so that Nottingham wouldn’t be left without a bead shop!
Later on, Steph, who runs workshops and designs some of the DIY kits for The Bead Shop also joined the call from their workshop space! Hanging in the background was a supply of interesting tools. Steph explained that the workshops were really popular but Covid forced them to start thinking about virtual events.
Steph designed the Tea infuser ball kits for the Makers Market and Krisi showed her how she got on with the Holly Leaf design whilst unboxing the package and stated how clear the instructions were to follow but Steph then said “Don’t worry, if you get into a muddle, pause and take a sip of tea!” Suits us that’s for sure!!
Visit The Bead Shops website
Follow @thebeadshopnottingham on Instagram
Explore items from The Bead Shop in our Makers Market:
We had so much fun hosting our first ever Independent Christmas Makers Market! We got to meet such incredible and talented indie businesses throughout the weekend and hear their start up stories and see their wonderful products. We can’t express how important it is to shop independently this year and support your locals! Thank you to everyone who was involved in making this a very special Black Friday and to all the viewers who showed their support. We will continue to showcase the Makers products throughout the festive season, so head on over to our website and check out what they have made. You can also rewatch the live videos on our Instagram page @birdandblendtea