Introducing The Christmas Makers Market 2020
We are so excited to be introducing our first ever Independent Makers Market!
Brand new for 2020 and running from October - December (or until stocks run out!), Bird & Blend’s Independent Xmas Makers Market will showcase a super-exciting collection of unique, creative and stunningly crafted Xmas pressies, all handmade by incredibly talented small businesses and artists!
A note from Founder Krisi:
'The Maker's Market has been my personal project this year and something I am super excited about. We have always been very passionate about supporting our fellow small, local and independent businesses and makers but it feels like it is even more poignant this year.
Being able to use our platform and reach to spread the word about our fantastic Makers means we can support them not just financially but also with awareness, by spreading the love to all of our lovely customers too.
If I had one message that I want people to take away from this campaign and also keep in mind it would be to take the time we've gained this year to consider where we shop this Christmas - and spend your hard earned pennies with the businesses and individuals that you want to still be around this time next year! It's so important and I can't wait to show you everyone's hard work!'
We’ve worked closely with our favourite makers to promote everything from handcrafted jewellery, mugs, coasters and prints to make-your-own kits, tea-infused bath bombs, chocolates, beers and gins to name just a few....
Over the next few months we will be presenting these 12 wonderful makers (some you may recognise already!) in all their crafty glory, where you will be able to hear about their products, their start up stories and what it means to them to be an independent business in these crazy times.
*Save the Date*: A date for your diary... Black Friday weekend we will be hosting a virtual makers Christmas craft fair!
So why shopping indie this Xmas is so important...
As fellow indies, we understand the potential risk factors that go hand in hand with setting up your business. Anyone who has the guts to change their routine, start afresh and follow their dream deserves respect and admiration for their passion and commitment. This is what we love doing and we’re going for it whatever people say!
Indie businesses are unique and interesting, making them an asset to any neighbourhood and community, brightening up the streets and creating life and personality. With independent producers, you can really see the time, care and quality that they have put into the products, it is so often a reflection of themselves. Hand-made by them, giving the personal touch. You wouldn’t find these items in a typical high street store!
In these strange times it is vitally important that we join forces and support each other to help survive and thrive! The support we have had ourselves has so helped us to grow, we couldn’t be more grateful to you lovely lot. It’s our belief that every indie should also have this support. We are all real people, with real needs, some of who you may even know! Supporting small businesses supports individuals!
This year, we will not be joining the ‘fast fashion/ crazy deal’ mayhem over Black Friday weekend in November, but will instead host an extra special virtual ‘Christmas Fair’ via our social media channels where you can tune in and virtually browse our Makers Christmas stalls. Very exciting times ahead indeed!
Check out our creative and wonderful Makers below and see what they are creating for our Makers Market 2020!
Brighton based indie party brand Peach Blossom are without a doubt the prettiest party store in the land! Started by founder Alyssa in 2017, she set out on a mission to break the mould of traditional party shops and bring customers beautiful, modern and stylish party supplies and decorations for all of life’s special occasions!
Having started life as an online store, the Peach Blossom team now have a gorgeous store in Brighton which has been described as a magical party wonderland . From here, Alyssa and her team of party stylists supply decorations to local, national and even international parties and events.
So what’s Peach Blossom selling at the Makers Marker this year?
Get into crafty mode and build your own advent kit this Christmas! The kit contains 25 mini paper bags that can be filled with treats, tokens and of course single serve tea bags!! Seal the bags with the number stickers and peg the bags onto twine (using mini pegs) to create a super unique advent decoration!
The Bead Shop
Our Nottingham store neighbours, The Bead Shop was started 20 years ago by Hana and Robin. It’s a super crafty and cool indie business and absolute treasure trove of all things sparkly!
Originally called ‘The Bead Shop at the End of the Universe’ (inspired by its tucked away location down a small arcade & the Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy!). The creatives of Nottingham liked the shop so much that there was always a queue on a Saturday because the shop didn’t have enough room to fit them all in! Now located at 7 Market Street in Nottingham city centre, with plenty of room for all, it now has 3 floors of beads and crafts and runs amazing workshops and events!
What will The Bead Shop create for the Makers Market this year?
Nothing other than bespoke tea infuser balls! This kit will provide you with everything you need to create a beautiful tea infuser complimenting your perfect brew mug! Choose from 3 festive designs: a holly wreath, snowflake or star charm.
The perfect cuppa needs the perfect biscuit and when it comes to biscuits, Honeywell Biscuit Co. make the ultimate sweet treat! Honeywell was set up in 2012 by founder Rebecca at the kitchen table over a cuppa and, you guessed it, a biscuit!
Since then, they’ve expanded and now are a wonderful team of seven bakers. Self-confessed biscuit connoisseurs, with a cookie cutter obsession and a mission to bring creative baking to everyone, their biscuits are a great British institution and we are super excited to have them in the Makers Market.
What are they baking for the Makers Market?
Tea-time has never been so Christmassy with a cool combo of 2 x Honeywell festive themed handmade biscuits and a selection of 5 of our most Xmassy single serve tea bags, all placed inside a lovely gift box!
‘Crafty Cooke’ aka the lovely Helen Cooke first started attending jewellery making workshops in 2018. After creating her first tea and biscuits themed statement necklace, she shared it on social media and received so much love that she started to create limited runs of necklaces to sell.
A few months before launching them on Etsy, she shared a photo to a Facebook group where a member of the Bird & Blend team also happened to be. It was a match made in heaven and from this point on, with each tea necklace Crafty Cooke sold, a Bird & Blend tea sample was included.
This August, she launched craftycooke.co.uk offering a range of gorgeous acrylic jewellery and other crafted items. Her relationship with Bird & Blend is still going strong which is why we are delighted to be showcasing her tea inspired Jewellery in the Makers Market!
And what will Helen be creating for the Makers Market?
Oh my, she’s gone and made a special limited edition item! Crafty Cooke’s special edition Bird & Blend tea & biscuits statement necklace! Each necklace is laser cut and finished by hand. The chains are silver plated and measure at 56cm in length including the pendant and extender. Packed beautifully in a pouch inside a gift box. Lovely!
This is pretty exciting! As most of you know, we are huge animal fans. We are constantly taking pictures of all our doggy visitors that we see in our stores, oh yes did we say we are pet friendly? A firm favourite with the TEA-dogs is Frenchie Frenchie! Set up by Liam and Arran, Frenchie Frenchie is the UK’s first dog cafe and 'Nottinghamshire’s first pawmanent doggy cafe & bakery’! It offers doggos (of all breeds and sizes) a place to enjoy and chill out and a cafe to bring their humans to for a change! There’s a soft play area and a delicious range of sweet treats for humans and a bakery for dogs offering freshly baked treats in store from Woofins to chocolate! Sounds like doggy heaven to us!
So there's something at the Makers Market for my dog?!
YES! Who said Xmas was just for humans! Frenchie Frenchie have created some super tasty handmade dog biscuits. They come in an assortment of flavours, and will be sold in packs of 3 or a Mason Jar filled with treats! Not only that, but we have also collaborated to make the most incredible Doggy Advent calendar in the style of 12 days of Christmas, where your pup gets a delicious treat created by Frenchie Frenchie and a tea for yourself each day!
A very close friend of Bird & Blend is Bloody Bens and his speciality is hand-crafted gin! It’s anything but ordinary and in the words of our own expert tea mixologist, it is ‘the perfect companion for a mind-blowing Bird & Blend tea-based cocktail!’ Handcrafted in small batches on a small copper sill in South West London. Bloody Bens Gin has been a firm favourite in our Summer Pantry so we are delighted to have it back with a special edition Gin for the Makers Market. TEA-cocktail o clock will never be the same again!
What delicious concoction is Bloody Ben's bringing to the market?
Something created especially for us, one of our fave tea blends infused in Gin! None other than Eton Mess!
Think smashed strawberries and creamy flavours infused into Bloody Bens award-winning gin! It's going to be outrageously good, get your ice and glasses ready!
Basement Beer began as with many good ideas, as a drunken conversation in the pub between its two founders James and Ben. They began brewing in James’s basement, so lo and behold the name ‘basement beer” stuck! Based at Meriton Foundry in the city of Bristol , home to some incredible beer breweries. So how did tea beer begin? Well, being close friends with our Bristol store and loving the idea of exploring some alternative recipes and collaborations using tea! And with that, Cabana Cooler Pale Ale was born, which infuses our Cococabana Cooler fruit blend, packed full of tropical fruits such as pineapple and papaya. The beer itself is very light, crisp and refreshing, resulting in an ice tea/pale ale combo, perfect for sunny afternoons!
Totally cool and deliciously divine, handmade Artisan Chocolate by fellow Sussex-based indie business Only Coco is absolutely to die for and by far one of our fave chocolate blends. We have been collaborating on tea-infused chocolates for some time now and we are completely addicted to the mouth watering tastes created from combining tea & chocolate. Some past time faves include Dark Choc Chili Chai and Eton Mess, yum!
Will they be bringing festive chocolate into the market?!
Oh yes! Only Coco have been busy working on tea-infused festive flavours for us and we are super excited to have festive tea-infused chocolate launching in the Makers Market. By combining our sweet and spiced fruit Mulled Cider with Only Coco’s luxurious milk chocolate, you then have a chocolatey tea that is the ultimate winter warmer!
RohNoh is the online shop founded and run by our very own Rosie Fairholm, a fantastically talented illustrator and member of the Bird & Blend Brand team.
When shes not designing fab creative work for Bird & Blend, she runs her ROH NOH on Etsy where you can find a full range of her gorgeous products.
Living in sunny Brighton she sees inspiration in everyday life - in particular animals, and can't resist a cheesy pun!! 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 furry marshmallow cat named Luna!
What designs will Rosie be bringing to the market?
Rosie has gone all out for the Makers Market and created beautiful prints, cute postcards, bookmarks and “motivational” enamel mugs!
Hermit is a wonderful little business run by Rhea Brown, who is also a long standing Brighton based Tea Bird! Rhea loves crafting , finding it incredibly rewarding to make something with 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! Find her beautiful creations on Etsy and at local craft markets! If you're looking for unique jewellery, look no further, as Rhea hand crafts her from polymer clay with colour and exciting statement!
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.
What gorgeous creations will Hermit be bringing to the Makers Market?
Make a statement with these colourful and playful polymer clay earrings! They are available in 3 colourways, but each and every pair has been lovingly handmade so they are all beautifully unique and one of a kind. Not forgetting her super cute crochet cactus’ which are also hand made and are the perfect no fuss plant companion! They are made with polyester yarns so are also suitable for vegans!
Another Bird & Blend Tea-bird, our very own Mark Wellstead! MarkWellstedDesign was established back in 2018 on the South Coast of England. Founded as a way to express creativity, Mark is happiest when working with his hands. He initially started making pieces from driftwood and then pallet wood. Recently he has indulged his curiosity and started working with acrylic designs. Working at Bird & Blend and handling the teas gave him the idea to collaborate and start casting tea into coasters to showcase the beauty of the ingredients used. All pieces are handmade and unique in their own way!
What will Mark be crafting for the Market?
Mark has carefully handcrafted the most beautiful coasters to compliment your favourite brew! Showcasing our blends, choose between 3 designs infused either with our festive blend Fairytale of NewYork , bouncing with coffee beans and gorgeous red rooibos hues, Retro Ted full of colourful fruits, rose petals and coconut pieces or Bonfire Toffee, with its dark, wintery colours yet flash of orange and red from safflowers!