We LOVE small businesses at Koi, whether it's jewellery, clothing, bags, bakes...we're obsessed with 'em all. During a difficult economic time where everyone is spending less, it's important to try and support small businesses where we can as it can sadly have a knock-on effect on these amazing & hardworking people. The talented brand owners hand-make and hand-source their products, pouring hours of their time into crafting!December 2nd, 2022 | Abby Brooks
It's a privilege to be able to support any small businesses this festive season, especially because you'll get a unique product that you can't get anywhere else. Even if you’re not in the position to make a purchase from them, then please give these guys a follow as every little helps, and they're all so cool in their own ways! Here’s some of our favourite, mostly women-owned small businesses for you to enjoy.
Rhea B Funky Creations is a Manchester-based, one-woman small business which creates stunning fairycore slow fashion, including rara skirts and hand warmers. The ultra-talented owner, Rhea, runs the whole brand - from designing and pattern cutting, to photography, social media and postage! You are likely going to get a one of a kind item which makes it extra special, and the price is absolutely worth it. Rhea spends up to 6 hours creating each garment, which is super impressive and explains why they look SO perfect.
This Uniform is your solution to slow fashion functional gorpcore. This small business hand makes versatile and street-ready sling bags, trousers, jackets and skirts - thoughtfully designed and made to last. Locally sourcing the most amazing vintage fabrics, they’re always saving off-cuts for future designs and ensure their ethics are on point when it comes to transparency, fair pay and the environment. Not only this, but their products look extremely cool and you’re bound to get your money’s worth.
Willow and Flo are a small business which sell cute, luxurious-looking decorative candles and homeware designs, suitable for many ages. Their candles and wax melts use vegan 100% soy wax, which they state is sourced ethically and sustainably. Packaging is recyclable and paper-based, and their fragrance oils are cruelty-free. What’s the catch? There isn’t one! This small businesses products are all stunning, super affordable and perfect for gifts.
Another one woman show, Stephanie Liasis is your answer to affordable party wear from a small business! Handmaking co-ords, mesh tops, parachute pants, baby tees and dresses from deadstock fabric, there’s a cute piece for anyone who likes to dress up. If you’re into Y2K vibes and being an all-round baddie IT-girl, then these are the garms for you. She makes everything to order, and you can find her brand on the amazing small business marketplace Fassion, too!
TIAR is a Leeds based small business started by the ultra talented Tiar (of course), who hand makes every item. All items are made to order and the brand also does funky customs! This is the one for you if you’re into sassy streetwear and rave wear that oozes edgy cool girl energy. Shop Tiar has everything from party-ready mini dresses and co-ords, to streetwise baggy ‘fits at affordable prices. You can also find this small business on Fassion.
I discovered these guys at the Future Fashion Fair in Manchester (check them out). UPSO are a small business which upcycles truck tarps into bags, which would otherwise end up as landfill. Not only is is super sustainable, but the fabric is tough and waterproof to make them functional. Each bag is individual and genuinely looks so cool: no two are the same! The perfect gift for environmentalists - the tarp is sourced and cleaned locally to finish in the Lancashire workshop, where they use solar energy to power the sewing machines.
We love custom jewellery! Little Beaded Gifts sell made-to-order beaded pieces in your favourite colours, from necklaces to bracelets to rings - which are all carefully created by the owner Olivia. Whether you want single block colour, personalised name or multi coloured - there’s one for everyone! There’s pearly beads, iridescent, vintage look, vibrant, floral and more. Perfect for anyone who loves fun accessories, kidcore and pops of colour; tacky vibes only in the best way.
Okay so these guys aren’t accessible to everybody due to operating in-store only - but if you’re lucky enough to live in the North West then go and visit Long Bois Bake House in Levenshulme, you most definitely won’t regret it; sweet or savoury it all looks GORG. Selling baked goods like pastries, cakes and their own interpretation of Party Rings, they also have seasonal bakes such as a bourbon, chocolate and pecan pie. And yes, they are vegan and gluten free friendly! Everything is baked in-store with love, and Long Bois will also be doing Christmas online pre-orders this year, too.
FAVOURITE PRODUCT: Literally any vegan goods!
PRICING: Varies across items but very affordable
WHERE TO SHOP: Their store in Levenshulme
INSTA LINK: Click here
BRB, going hiking. Nots was born out of a love for the great outdoors - selling products which suit a variety of lifestyles from the city to the mountains. The owner of this small business, Emilia, hand makes all of the items with various knotting techniques. Nots sells the coolest functional accessories, ranging from camera straps to bottle bags and mini bags which not only elevate your look but serve a purpose. Also so affordable, especially with the amount of wear you’d get out of them.
This one is for the vintage lovers. Coley is the avant-garde retro small business which creates a variety of goodies - with the star of the show being their luxurious beaded bags which are hand-beaded and come in a variety of colours & textures. They also have some very fun prints which work as perfect gifts, as well as a stunning beret and t-shirt! LOVE.