Here’s where to pick up presents with personality this Christmas
A beautifully wrapped parcel unravels, the gold-speckled paper carefully falling away to reveal what you’ve been pining for all this year. Nestled beneath folds of scented red tissue paper and a sprinkling of gold sequins you discover it, the gift that you’ve been hotly anticipating since October… and it’s an epilator. An epilator?! Did you even ask for an epilator? No. But if the 2-4-1 sticker on the front is anything to go by, you drew the short straw in the Boots Christmas deal this year.
If the above is all too familiar a festivity amongst your holiday antics - or worse, you’re the person that hands out discounted electric toiletries come Christmas – then take note.
From handmade jewellery to unique prints, here’s where you can find presents with personality this Christmas.
If your giftee is oft caught ranting about mass manufacturing, then head to Kula for a truly unique gift. Here, that dreaded ‘Made in China’ stamp has been rejected in favour of Manchester-made sustainable offerings. Championing independent jewellery designers, ceramicists, artists and more, the gallery and boutique showcases the best handmade items, keeping quality at its core. Presents with personality guaranteed.
Kula Gallery, 7 Oak Street, Manchester M4
Chapter One has made its mark on the struggling booksellers economy thanks to its magical atmosphere and awesome coffee. Bringing bags of personality back to the bookshelves, you’ll find famed classics, new releases and quirky works amidst the hordes of friendly regulars who come from far and wide to soak up the cosy vibes over a good read. As Stephen King suggests 'books are a uniquely portable magic' - what more can top that?
Chapter One, Chatsworth House, 19 Lever Street, Manchester M1 1BY
Thinking of getting all cosy and 'hygge' this Christmas? Well, bolstering up the line-up of independents on Barlow Moor Road are Scandi outfitters Object Style. This indie boutique combines collections of menswear, womenswear and interiors with 'specialist media' (which we reckon means dandy cycle guides of Copenhagen and coffee table books about neo-Rotterdam-clogs), hand-sourced from the UK, Europe and the US. This Christmas they have created their own ‘Nordic winter wonderland’, selling Christmas candles, cards and decorations.
519 Barlow Moor Road, Manchester, M21 8QA
An art-lovers haven, arty bookshop Magma offers a host of design-focused reads, gifts and accessories perfect for those with a creative flair. From witty guides on sarcasm to whale-shaped ‘Moby’ tea infusers, Magma is the perfect place to source something a little bit different.
Magma, 24 Oldham Street, Manchester, M1 1JN
From carefully sourced vintage to Japanese Kitsch bags – if there’s a weirdly wonderful gift to be found, then famed indoor market place Afflecks Palace has it. A beacon of indie fashion in the Northern Quarter for more than two decades, Afflecks is a prime spot for fiercely independent fashion. Plus, the quirky stores offering everything and anything from upcycled furniture, Star Wars figurines, customised guitars to Thai massages. Bonus: Afflecks’ extended opening hours now include every Sunday in the run up to Christmas, meaning even more time to get lost in the maze of indie shops.
Afflecks Palace, 52 Church Street, Manchester M4 1PW
Pretty hanging plants, contemporary ceramics and infused oils – Form is the shop if you’re after sophisticated home gifts that double up as great Instagram props. Saturated in luxe scandi-style, Form brings a breezy, minimalist air to the Northern Quarter high street with a concept store built around the Scandinavian mindset of Lagom, meaning balance. Everything is elegant yet refined, meaning gifts will flatter both the eye and senses.
Form Lifestyle, 6 Bradley Street, Manchester M1 1EH
Lifestyle store and speciality coffee bar Fig & Sparrow might be best known for their incredible cakes and cosy atmosphere, but the Northern Quarter coffee shop offers more than just a good cuppa. Cast your eye upwards to the carefully curated shelves and you’ll discover a collection of locally-sourced gifts and goodies available for purchase, from cushions to ceramics.
Fig + Sparrow, 20 Oldham Street, Manchester M1 1JA
Carved into the corner of Smithfield Square, Porter & Cole is another stylish contender for Manchester’s growing café-meets-design-store trend. From funky lights to covetable soft furnishings, the coffee shop showcases a selection of instagrammable homeware that would make any social-savvy giftee giddy at the knees. Soak up the design inspo as you sip on a flat white, then browse the gifts at your leisure – it beats battling your way down the merriment of Market Street any day.
Porter & Cole, 124 High Street, Manchester M4 5JY
With 35 artisans housed under one roof, covering everything from homeware to jewellery design, finding a beautifully crafted gift is effortless at the Manchester Craft and Design Centre. Peruse the studios of local artists or get tips from the makers themselves at one of the exhibitions many meet the makers sessions.
Manchester Craft and Design Centre, 17 Oak Street, Manchester M4 5JD
Whether your recipient dabbles in scrapbooking or is proficient with a paint brush, Fred Aldous is one-stop shop for all their crafty needs. Browse aisles of artistic essentials, inspirational notebooks and novelty stationary for ideas on what to get your creative companion.
Fred Aldous, 37 Lever Street, Manchester M1 1LW