Prior to starting The Homeworker Magazine I became aware of many small-scale businesses when I began working with a tech startup in Australia (that’s a whole other story in itself).
My attention was then drawn to the sheer volume of micro business owners, working from their spare room, making, creating, writing, selling, coaching and serving others when I became a mum.
My world opened up to the books, blogs and parenting groups. There were so many of us reassessing the direction in which we took our careers. We wanted more flexibility, needed fewer hours, and felt a loss of identity that spurred us on to regain a piece of ourselves that involved using our brains and returning to the adult world.
There are many others who I’ve met who aren’t necessarily parents, who just want to work for themselves, have autonomy over decision-making, grow an idea and enjoy the eventual perks of owning a business.
Parent or not, everyone is creating something that is unique, solely theirs and learning along the way.
When I started meeting so many talented small business owners and women just starting out on their journey, I also realised that I was catching just a small snapshot of a much bigger picture. The few people in my street could be replicated across other streets in the town, across towns throughout the country.
Even then, it still surprised me that figures from the the UK government show that 96% of the 5.7 million UK businesses are micro businesses (0-9 employees).
Over on Instagram I wanted to get behind the small business movement because these were people, mostly women, like you and I, who do the happy dance whenever someone chooses to buy small.
Twelve days of an (early) Christmas Advent Calendar saw me feature over 30 small businesses and their lovingly handmade or unique items.
The gallery below gives you a little more information about some of these business because we like to tell you about these folks and as we all know, it’s important to know who you’re buying from.
I give you the small business gift selection which featured on the InstAdvent Calendar!
Based in Devon, Poppet Retro make vintage-inspired items for the home all from genuine retro fabrics.
Based in London, Victoria cuts, creates and illustrates to make all her cards and pictures for Little Paper Vee.
Based in St. Agnes, Jay Kaye owns Planet Utopia which is full of quirky vintage finds and colourful homewares. She also sells her own illustrations in her signature colours and style.
Megan MacDonad is based all the way up in the Outer Hebrides in Scotland where she makes her beautiful Sandwick Bay Candles
Molly Shepherd makes bespoke stationery and cards but also sells Molly’s Candles all handmade in the UK.
Rachael Clark makes natural soy wax candles up in Lincolnshire. She also has a bit of wanderlust. From starting as a hobby, Hobo Candles is now her full-time job.
Based in Rutland, Jo spends her days cutting paper for her Long Room designs… when she’s not chasing the kids.
Jessica is based in Stoke on Trent where she makes and creates all things paper related for Paper Lady UK. She’s also passionate about keeping it eco-friendly.
Love Lottie is based in Shrewsbury and makes so many gorgeous hand crafted items for children’s bedrooms and your home.
Little Writing Company has gorgeous products to help nurture your children’s imagination and love of writing. You can read our interview with founder, Jo, here in our profiles.
Jo at The Seaside Sew is inspired by where she lives down on the south coast in Hampshire where she makes bags, purses and gifts.
Olivia launched Wild Glitter because she wanted to sparkle responsibly! A festival-lover she now sells plastic-free glitter in eco-friendly packaging.
Cassandra founded Tweedles Handmade in Buckinghamshire. She makes sustainable, hand-crafted products for the family. Think sandwich wraps, cutlery rolls and bags.
Fran is all about bringing positivity to the world. She designs her her Happi Empire products down in Cornwall to share mindfulness and positive vibes through her journals, playbooks and oracle cards.
From London comes Wildway Gifts with beautiful, sustainable products for the home made all from natural products.
Totally personalised, laser-engraved products from Gemma and her husband who are the team behind Little Gems gifts.
Emma runs her home-based business Mummy and the Bear from Stamford where she sells the kinds of products she’d want to buy herself for her own children. Funky bibs, muslins and cute dolls a plenty!
Alison is another Cornish jewellery maker, creating designs that look good enough to eat! Gingerbread House Jewellery is all beautifully handmade.
Christmas gnomes with individual characters all handmade by The Little Green Bean. So many delightful things for the home.
Rachel makes unique gifts at Say In Silver in Shropshire. Hand stamped, silver-plated vintage cutlery all with personalised messages.
Beautiful handmade pottery all made by Mandy in Peterborough. Vases, bowls, dishes in stunning, nature-inspired colours at Elemental Ceramics.