It’s time to shop differently. Find all your festive gifts locally – from natural skincare and hair products to sweet treats, crafts and bespoke jewellery. Source everything you need locally and support small businesses that need it most. Here’s how…

We are fast approaching the busiest ‘shopping days’ of the year. This is usually a time when small businesses struggle to keep up with the corporate giants. So, if like me, you’re thinking differently about festive shopping this year, check out these cool gift ideas and ‘experiences’ from small businesses that need your support…

Gift experiences

There are so many amazing local businesses offering ‘experiences’ and ‘workshops’ that would make wonderful personalised gifts this season. Just a few of my favourites include:

1. Go on a walking tour of Stellenbosch with Simone Jacobs from Bites and Sites. You can select from different foodie tours and experience the culinary scene in Stellies. It really is a fascinating experience as you learn about the culture and history of this important town in RSA. It is also a great group experience if you’re looking for a special day outing with friends or family! Find out more about this business and read our interview with the owner HERE.

2. Take a cooking class at The Little Pink Chef. Maryke Josling is a talented local chef and she currently offers domestic or basic cooking classes, kiddies’ parties as well as virtual Zoom classes with cooking box ingredients starting from R200 p/p. Find out more on her website HERE.

3. A sushi making workshop at Blowfish Restaurant. Book for 10 or more friends and learn how to make your own sushi. The class is two hours and you will learn how to make traditional favourites like Sashimi, Nigiri, Maki rolls and California Rolls. Perfect for a birthday party, wedding shower, book club or a team-building exercise.

4. Come paint with us at Tammy’s Inspiration Station. This is my very own passion turned side-hustle with a focus on all things creative. Here, Tammy (that’s me) hosts paint events from our home studio in Brackenfell or privately at a venue of your choice. This is a two-hour step-by-step paint tutorial where you can create your own painting and take your masterpiece home. Beginners are welcome! A great idea for an end-of-year party, birthday celebration or time out with friends. Visit our Facebook page for more HERE.

5. Book a photoshoot and capture memories for a lifetime. This is an amazing gift and can become a keepsake for yourself and your family.

Some of my favourite photographers include (and yes I have tried them all personally and will definitely recommend each one):

>>> Rezaine Desai Photography. Based in Northpine, Rezaine is a quietly confident photographer with great artistic talent. She not only boasts a professional studio for family and lifestyle shoots but she is also a recognised wedding photographer. She offers a range of available packages and gift vouchers for purchase.

>>> Shante Hutton Photography. Shante is a natural light photographer based in Brackenfell. What I love most about her style is that she loves to capture candid moments where everything seems effortless and authentic. Her portfolio is thus packed with breathtaking portraits and family shoots that look like artwork. She also offers product photography.

>>> Chantelle Visser Photography. Chantelle is a Cape Town wedding and family photographer. She has captured everything… from our maternity and newborn shoot to outdoor location family shoots. She is currently not available for bookings but will be open again from January 2022.

>>> Paul Nicholas Photography. We’ve done some amazing outdoor family photo shoots with the team from Paul Nicholas Photography. Set at various outdoor locations around Cape Town, these are fun, flexible and done in such a way that each individual’s personality shines through.

Local Gifting, Treats & Decor

6. My Flower Press by LaserCut Wizard

This is a precious gift for anyone who loves flowers and creativity. Collect your favourite blooms, buds and leaves, place them between the layers of cardboard, tighten and let My Flower Press do its thing for a week or two. The end result is beautiful pressed florals that you can use to create gorgeous cards and pictures. We love it because it is a great gift suggestion for any age and will promote creative thinking, imagination and design skills too!

Check out LaserCut Wizard online for more info and find other great gift ideas and educational resources available here from this amazing local family business. Their products can be couriered anywhere in South Africa.

7. Paper Flowers and Room Decor by All Things Paper and Crafts

When it comes to designing a special room for your little people, give them the gift of beautiful decor. All Things Paper and Crafts is a local mom-owned business producing the most exquisite range of paper flowers, 3D butterflies and monogram letters to brighten up your interior.

These are also amazing as decor for a special event like a baby shower or birthday party! Check them out on Facebook and get something special designed for your home, or as a gift this festive season.

8. Gorgeous Custom and Festive Candles by PicEri

PicEri produces a stunning range of candles from their atelier in Stellenbosch. These are perfect for the festive season, as gifts, decor and for those special celebrations. Each candle has a message and is a great way to display something unique in your home. We particularly love the Advent Candle as we count down to Christmas.

You can visit the online store at PicEri and see what is available.

9. Bath & Body Products from Pink Cosmetics

My love affair with Pink Cosmetics started many years ago and I’m always amazed at the growth of this local brand as the owner, Janet, is constantly innovating to create new and inspiring ranges.

Pink is all about products that are inspired by nature, free from harmful ingredients, and packed with goodness – all locally produced. Can’t get better than that!

My favourite is definitely Pink’s Hair Conditioning Masque which is a nutrient-rich deep-conditioning product that really gives your hair a natural boost. Their designer bath bomb range is also on another level!

Visit the Pink Cosmetics website for more. Here you’ll find everything from skincare, bath & body products to jewellery! News just in: Pink has just launched an imported jewellery range called Bijoux by Pink! Be sure to check it out and read my interview with owner Janet over HERE.

10. Custom Cakes by Crystal Cherry Cakes

My children both have birthdays over the festive season and my dear friend Harisha Stellenboom from Crystal Cherry Cakes has come through time and again with her amazing delicacies. Her custom celebration cakes are exquisite – there is very little that this talented home baker cannot do. Whether recreating your child’s favourite Disney fairytale into an edible treat or creating unique wedding cakes, personalised cookies and more. Crystal Cherry Cakes is your best bet!

Check out her Facebook page for inspiration and to find out about upcoming festive treats.

11. Clay jewellery, decor and workshops from CurlsnCoffee

Looking for a unique handcrafted gift for a loved one? Or perhaps a spoil for yourself? Nadia Rinquest from CurlsnCoffee creates this amazing range of bespoke clay earrings and wall hangings to beautify your home. Based in Cape Town, she is also available for craft workshops where you get to make your very own clay creation and take it home.

Check out her wares online and follow her social pages over at CurlsnCoffee for more. There may even be an exciting creative collab coming up in the near future – watch this space for deets!

12. Wooden decor and festive goodies from Goeters

Find beautiful wooden decor, Christmas accents and furniture now available from Goeters. As a mom-owned business based in the Western Cape near Malmesbury, Goeters is always ready to brighten up homes and spaces with beautiful decor. Everything is handcrafted with the utmost care and can be used as decorations during the Christmas period and beyond.

You can check out their website for a full range of products and also be sure to follow them on social media as you’re bound to find Goeters at one of many local markets coming up over the festive season.

Visit Goeters online for more and read our interview with owner Verena HERE.

13. Personalised presents from The Gift Shed

I absolutely love personalised gifting options and The Gift Shed makes this so easy with an easy-to-order online store. Their offerings include home decor, jewellery, kids’ items, seasonal gifts and more. I ordered a beautiful custom-designed bamboo cutting board as a gift earlier this year and it was a sure winner!

You’ll also find a beautiful collection of seasonal gifts with Christmas baubles (custom printed of course), gift sacks, ornaments and more.

Visit The Gift Shed for more info.

14. An eco-friendly Swimsuit from GritxGrace

GritxGrace is a female-owned, eco fashion brand with a beautiful, sustainable range of swimwear and activewear, locally produced by womxn for womxn. Owner, Sheena Bloem is on a mission to make sustainable fashion more accessible and we love that the brand stands for both sustainability and female empowerment.

Our favourites in the range are definitely the stylish phindile one-piece for a classic look at the pool (or the after-party) as well as the lebogang which is a gorgeous multi-way swimsuit in a delicious olive and black finish. You can visit their website for more info and shop the amazing range online. You can also catch my interview with owner, Sheena, HERE.

15. Haircare and Accessories from Marley Grey Hair Accessories

Your hair is often one of the first things people notice about you. Finding the right products can be tricky. This is why we love local mom-owned brand Marley Grey Hair Accessories. Owner Marion is revolutionising the local hair industry with a range of innovative products to help us take better care of our hair.

Here you’ll find a range of accessories and locally produced items including styling tools, beard oils and accessories such as doeks, satin bonnets and sleep caps. You can also purchase a gift voucher from R50 which is then delivered via email or WhatsApp.

16. A Commissioned Painting from Tammy’s Inspiration Station

Besides offering kiddies and adult paint events in the surrounding suburbs of Cape Town (or at our home studio in Brackenfell), I also take on commissions – painting with acrylic on canvas. I am a self-taught artist with a love for exploring colour and abstract concepts. I am always inspired by nature – crashing waves on the coastline, changing autumn landscapes, African wildlife and more. I would love to hear your own ideas and bring a special image to life – as a gift or as a precious keepsake in your own home.

I am also a prophetic painter and love to create art with deeper spiritual significance that can impact the recipient. Together we work on a concept and we ask God to provide the prophetic insight required to create something unique and memorable. Do get in touch if you would like to find out more HERE.

So, go on and get those festive gifts ticked off your list!

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