As the threat of the tax deadline looms ever closer, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be self-employed and essentially being a ‘small business’. Since I finally started working for myself (more on my life as a freelance writer and blogger here) I’ve been so much more aware of supporting small businesses. I have so much respect for those who go out on their own as I know first-hand how hard that can be.

Last week, I attended the Ideas Birmingham Etsy market and I was invited to go down to shop, spend and tell you all about the different small businesses operating in my local area.

The event was at the Custard Factory-a place that is always brimming with creativity; I just wish it wasn’t such a trek to get to it from the centre of Birmingham! Here are a few of my favourite stands-and, if you’re last minute like me, I’ve also included a few items that would work perfectly as gifts for you to snap up!

Jewellery from FU Loves

I loved this stand of vibrant, eclectic jewellery. These handmade earrings are amazing for a fashionista friend!

Every home office needs a candle or two and I was blown away by Firefly Handmade Creations. In fact, I’ve already put another order in online! They are the most amazing handmade candles and wax melts- often in the scent of lush products. My favourite ‘Snow Fairy’ smelt absolutely identical to the Lush version and burnt beautifully; filling the room. These are a perfect stocking filler.

 

Talking of my home office, these prints and cards from Corin Beth Designs were so quirky and adorable. They also do great gifts, cards and prints for children.

 

 

I  promptly fell in love with the amazing vintage creations from Silly Old Sea Dog. I very much need this dress in my life immediately. They had a whole variety of handmade colourful vintage style dresses.

And finally- I couldn’t resist this little fella from the gorgeous Hollow Bourne A real work of art! They’d make a lovely gift for that animal lover in your life as they come in the style of foxes, cats, birds and even dragons!

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Since attending the event, I’m making a real concerted effort to shop small and order from small businesses and Etsy shops in the future. One order can make a real difference and support fellow self-employed people; but what’s more, the items are truly unique and crafted with love. I’d love to hear your suggestions about shopping small and any Etsy sellers you’d recommend?

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