There's something about handmade gifts that always appeals to me. The care, attention to detail and the fact that time and effort have been poured into bringing a personal vision to fruition makes buying for others somehow more special. When I saw these beautifully crafted Arty & Bella floral hair clips in a local shop I knew I had the birthdays of all BB's favourite little ladies sorted.
We started with the girls from his baby group. The 'adorables' I've known since they had wispy, newborn chick hair but who now (at a blink-and-you-missed-it 3-years old) have curls, ponytails and fringes that make the cutest canvasses for pretty clips. I split two packs amongst three girls which worked out at £8 a pair, including the shop mark-up, and teamed them with mini Paperchase rucksacks that I bought in the January sales for a bargainous £2 each. I have never been - and will probably never again be - so organised.
Buying handmade also makes me feel, as BB likes to say, 'sharing/caring'. Since becoming a mum I try to support other mum's businesses where I can and take my hat off to all the ingenious, inventive women - like Arty & Bella's Zelda Burborough - who now fall into the WAHM (work at home mum) camp.
Women who, in the wee small hours when their children are asleep or during snatches of time when little ones have been dispatched to nursery, pre-school and school are busy baking, sewing, designing, painting, writing, photographing, product-making and more. In theory it all sounds glossy magazine idyllic but, in practice, getting a business off of the ground and maintaining it from home must sometimes feel like a labour of love.
So, next time you need to buy a gift why not think about supporting a local, kitchen-table business if you can? Paying it forward might just make someone's day. When I contacted Zelda to ask if I could use a couple of her images for this post she replied by saying 'I spend so much time shut away sewing it's always good to hear that people like what you do!' Buying something (when you can afford to), means you show a home-grown business that you don't just like what they do, you love it.
For more Arty & Bella treats take a look online here. I have my beady-eye on this Jubilee Headband, £20 and these Japanese Liberty Print Hello Kitty Hair Elastics, £4.50.