Opting for independent retailers, artists and entrepreneurs over mega chains and online orders can bring a human touch to a frantic time of year. Staying close to home, you have the opportunity to buy directly from the makers, learn more about the people who shape your community and discover quality products on offer just outside your door. To coincide with Small Business Saturday, we’ve picked our favourite independent brands from the Appear Here community who are launching pop-ups in time for the festive season:
1. St James' Christmas Market - the ultimate festive pitstop
A stone’s throw away from Buckingham Palace, the historic St James’ Christmas Market is the perfect place to start, boasting several independent retailers in one place, as well as choir performances and plenty of mulled wine. From luxury accessories to artisanal food, some of our favourite brands will be setting up shop here. Founded by two top London pastry chefs, Longboys will be selling gourmet finger doughnuts made with a light brioche base and fresh fillings. You’ll also spot Giselle Richardson Macaroons, a brand that once collaborated with Grayson Perry, offering sweet treats inspired by British flavours. Travelling in from Hertfordshire, don’t miss the opportunity to check out Abigail's Flower Truck, where you can create your own beautiful bouquets to take home.
Date: 7th December
Location: 1 St James's Market, London, SW1Y 4AH
2. The Drug Store - high-end CBD you can trust
Setting out to remove the ‘shady’ stigma of CBD, the Danish pair behind the Drug Store, both in their mid-twenties, met while studying for master’s degrees at Imperial College Business School. They chose Damien Hirst’s former gallery space as the location for their first pop-up. Now, they have opened a Scandi inspired store in Marylebone, selling a curated selection of high-end wellness products (costing between £29-200). A great choice for anyone interested in trying out CBD this Christmas and looking to learn from a reliable source.
Date: Open throughout December
Location: 14 Hinde Street, Marylebone, W1U 3BG
3. Ceramics 247 - the London potters community
Run by a collective of London potters and designers who met at shared studios, Ceramics 247 have brought together beautiful creations from across the city for their Christmas pop-up. From Bauhaus inspired plates to hand thrown porcelain, you can’t go wrong with a handmade ceramic set this Christmas. Then, rest easy knowing your buy gives back to the city’s artist community.
Date: 5th-22nd December
Location: 188 Hackney Road, E2 8JP
4. Gallinée - scientific skincare from France
A French cosmetics brand that’s sold in Fortnum and Mason, Sephora, Urban Outfitters and more, Gallinée will open their second Christmas pop-up this December. French doctor Marie Drago founded the brand, using 15 years of experience to apply scientific research to skincare. Products promise up to 97% natural ingredients, containing a patented complex of prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics to nourish and support the good bacteria that makes up each individual’s personal ecosystem.
Date: 9th - 15th December
Location: 30 Redchurch Street, E1 6JT
5. Gin Foundry - an expert selection for Ginvent
Every year, the team behind the editorial platform and online shop Gin Foundry select 24 gins for their ‘Ginvent.’ They scour the world in search of the very best gins to create their calendar, each bottled in an individual hand waxed dram, showcasing all types of producers, from the artisanal to the more familiar names. Their Christmas pop-up will sell plenty of Ginvent calendars and bottles, alongside in-store tastings and talks.
Date: 25th November - 1st December
Location: 230 Portobello Road, W11 1LJ
6. Lou Yetu - Parisian jewellery crafted with care
Founder Camille Riou calls Lou Yetu a family business, having been introduced to jewellery design by her grandmother at a young age. She began by experimenting in her apartment, selling pieces to friends, now she boasts over 400k followers on Instagram. Expect hammered, brushed metal with block colours, chunky earrings and statement rings - utterly beautiful yet surprisingly affordable.
Date: 24th November - 23rd December
Location: 49 South Molton Street, W1K 5LA
Words by @annabelherrick