Welcome to the Georgie xoxo Whimsical 2020 Gift Guide!
Today is my final Christmas Gift Guide after featuring a variety of breathtaking small businesses and individuals.
The focus of this gift guide is to shine a light on creatives, artists and businesses who are created by those who, like myself, live with disabilities and chronic illness.
From beautiful cards to crochet, to labels for your handmade clothing, and gift-boxes- there’s truly something for everyone here made by incredibly talented creatives.
Enjoy enchanted soul! Please be sure to let me know what products and businesses you love in the comments below. And please share them and your loved ones.
Chronic illness was actually at the root of me starting my hair accessory business called Beauxoxo. As some of you may know, I decided to part ways with my beloved hair accessory business last year due to ill health. The full heart-riff and story is here.
However today I have some good news as this year I’ve had a chance to sort out my studio and upload my leftover stock. This means that I have updated my Etsy right here full of everything I have left of this journey. I hope you cherish any of these limited edition treasures as much as I did making them!
Paige Joanna Designs
I’ve had the honour and excitement of watching her crafting ambitions fuse and soar together in seamless and magical ways.
Paige has recently released 6 adorable woven labels for all your finest creations that truly honour her colourful style.
Beautiful Esther from the Netherlands calls herself, ‘an illustrator under her blankie’ and I too consider myself to be a creative under a blankie so already I feel a great connection with Esther!
In addition, and also something deeply relatable to me, Esther uses her great imagination as a way of managing her chronic illness.
Through her stunning imagined world, you’ll find a focus of gorgeous wildlife imagery like these enchanting fox Christmas cards. I was sent one this year by my darling friend Leneth from the Spiritual Fem, so it’s a very special mention to her for this gorgeous discovery!
This Thing They Call Recovery
As Jenny says so poignantly “This print won’t tell you that you can do anything you put your mind to. I don’t know that. But it will remind you that you are always unequivocally enough, regardless of what you can manage.”
On her shop, you’ll also find prints like the above and T-shirts. The designs have been designed with chronic illness in mind and to be part of this online family makes me feel very held.
Unspoken Rose Bud
Hettie was diagnosed with bowel cancer stage three in June 2013. After radiotherapy and then surgery in October of the same year, Hettie then went onto to have her first ileostomy, stoma.
Once Hettie started to recover, she found it impossible to find lingerie like she used to wear, and thus she started her beautiful business Unspoken Rose Bud, for stoma/ostomy lingerie.
I am in awe of these stunning designs and also Hettie’s story, talent and creativity to create such beautiful pieces.
With delicate lace and soft feminine prints, the materials are breathable and gentle on the skin. Moreover, you will be able to move about without any concern of the stoma bag interfering with any other activities.
A Spoonful of Resin
Elizabeth is the owner of ‘A Spoonful of Resin’ who fell in love with the craft of resin art in 2018 as a way to relax and distract her mind from the day to day life of having a chronic illness.
The idea behind Elizabeth’s brand is a result of people who suffer from chronic illnesses often nickname ourselves ‘spoonies’. This is because the Spoon Theory suggests we only have a certain number of spoons (aka energy) to spend on daily activities. As a result, Elizabeth named her brand ‘A Spoonful of Resin’!
With a burning passion and admiration for the world’s fauna and flora, and having the ability to preserve the world’s natural beauty in resin, Elizabeth adds many of these florals to her creations such as this stunning paper weight.
The Reluctant Spoonie Shop
As a fellow crocheter, I am in awe of Katherine’s skills! How gorgeous is this sunflower and card combination?
Back in 2018, Katherine opened her website blog called The Reluctant Spoonie that was created when she was looking for information about living with a chronic illness. A blog that in fact, has also become such a comfort for me.
Katherine’s blog has now expanded into a sister Etsy shop, also called The Reluctant Spoonie, that is full of crocheted gifts, including the option for custom orders and many other specialities.
Cookfulness: A Therapeutic Approach To Cooking by Ian Taverner
This wonderful cookbook called ‘Cookfulness’ is aimed at helping those suffering from chronic mental and physical conditions to get in the kitchen and increase their self-esteem through cooking.
Created by Ian who was diagnosed with chronic fibromyalgia and arthritis, this project was inspired by an exclusive programme run by the NHS National Centre for Pain in Bath which gave him hope and a desire to make life worth living again.
‘Cookfulness’ includes a new kind of recipe layout which is optimised for those who struggle with energy level, self-esteem, anxiety and pain. Together, bringing meaning into the kitchen. All of which I identify with.
Of his book Ian remarks, ‘Chronic pain and mental health sufferers can see wanting to cook as the biggest hurdle. Not being able to, or wanting it is the biggest hurdle. I wanted to create a new kind of cookery book which is optimised for symptoms such as fatigue and brain fog to make the barriers to benefiting from the therapy of cooking as few and as easy to navigate as possible.’
(Part of the proceeds from the book will go directly to the www.Bathcentreforpainservices.nhs.uk)
Dorset Diverse Abilities
Diverse Abilities is Dorset’s disability charity supporting children and adults with profound physical and learning disabilities across the county since 1955.
Dorset’s disability charity is the only organisation in the county looking after both children and adults with disabilities.
All purchases go towards vital care that includes the staff, who will be providing more than 8,000 hours of care over Christmas, including the big day itself, which is just incredible.
For Christmas, Diverse Abilities launched two sets of handmade wooden baubles that can be gifted to people you may not be able to see this winter, including a little poem to let them know you’re thinking of them.
Of the two sets available, one design has been created by an adult Diverse Abilities support at The Beehive, their adults day centre, and one has been designed by a volunteer.
They also have Christmas cards available, designed by the children who attend the specialist school, Langside School, for children aged 2 to 19 with profound physical and learning disabilities.
LK Eco Style
Sharon is the creator of LK Eco Style whose sole mission is to provide eco-friendly clothing for adults and children with mindfulness and a positive mindset at its heart.
Every product is made to the highest standard working with ethical brands
to bring you a collection of clothing that not only inspires but is influenced
with the planet in mind.
Sharon runs this beautiful ethical, sustainable, eco and vegan-friendly clothing line alongside living with fibromyalgia.
With a history of anxiety and depression, Sharon’s beautifully positive uplifting designs also supports many charities and causes close to her heart.
Who wouldn’t want a bear hug right now? Well, thanks to Bear Hugs, it’s possible to send a ‘hug-in-a-box’ gift box that is personalised and sent directly to the doorstep of a loved one.
I have both received and sent many a bearhug, and would highly recommend them for their consistency for bringing joy and wonder to all.
Another box I love is called Spoonie Box that offers both regular and additional subscription services.
These boxes are perfect for a one-off ‘thinking of you’ treat, or an ongoing support for someone managing chronic illness.
Spoonie Box also offers many one-off boxes, like their recent sleeping kit full of soothing, indulgent products to aid in restfulness.
Spoonie Survival Kit
My final feature for this gift guide is a mention for the incredible Pippa Stacey who is the creator of created Spoonie Survival Kits.
The idea behind an SSK is that it’s a little bag of happiness for people with a chronic illness.
As of 2020, SSK has raised over £7000 for many causes. Not only that, but Pippa is the author of her debut non-fiction book, University and Chronic Illness: A Survival Guide. This is the book I truly wish I had before setting off to University.
Both this book and an SSK is such a thoughtful gift for those living with a chronic illness.
How stunning and beautiful are these creatives, artists and businesses? Is there anything else you’re going to either treat yourself to, or a loved one? Please show every single one all your support in any way you can.
Wishing you a beautiful festive season full of all the traditions and things that you hold dear.