We all need to do our bit in terms of shopping local - if each adult living in Snowdonia spent £5 a week in a local shop as opposed to the big chains, it would inject a whopping £26 million back into the local economy each year..... shopping local just got way more sparkly for me! We also have some truly amazing brands that have been born and nurtured here. To give you a bit of inspiration as to what gems are out there, here is our low down on Shop Local Snowdonia | The brands....
It is no secret that I am probably her No 1 fan and so it would be totally crazy for Tanya Whitebits not to be in my Christmas line up - everyone's getting a bottle! Without a shadow of doubt, it is the BEST self tan I have ever used. Beautiful colour, quick to apply, no bad odour and best of all in fabulous packing. For me, as age creeps in, you really do have to re think your make-up and instead of using a foundation, I use this twice a week and it leaves a great glow so I dont have to put on any cover up or foundation. You cannot go wrong with gifting a bottle of the medium tan to any lady (or gentleman for that matter) - whether it's from FC or under the tree, it's going to be a winner.
Classic and beautiful home products that you just want to have. They started life with their lampshades created in their own fabrics and soon caught the eye of a certain Mr Drew Pritchard - turning up to Marcia's workshop on a rainy Sunday afternoon because he had heard such great things about her products (LOVE this story). From there we have had incredible aprons, rugs, sheep skins, cushions and beautiful seasonal candles. It's the Mamws mugs and aprons that are on my present giving list (really, they are on my wish list!)
I just love everything this lady does. From Nefyn, Niki moved to Paris, New York and now resides in LA creating amazing neon art prints that would look great in any space. Keeping to her roots, she integrates Welsh into her work - taking the Welsh language international! My fav prints have always been either the pig with wings with the caption 'I can and I will, Just Watch Me' (pictured above) or her series of prints incorporating fluffy kittens and ducklings in ice-cream cones... just so cute. Whenever anyone asks me what they can get me for my birthday or Christmas, I always say 'a Niki Pilkington print please!'
I came across this brand a few years ago at a Christmas fair and really liked it. It's retro style and Welsh sayings make it a great present. They do fab cards, and stocking fillers - unusual to have more modern, retro products with Welsh wording on them. A collection of t-shirts, hoodies and kids baby grows, bibs etc alongside mugs, note books etc make them perfect for people who like something Welsh and a little different.
A few of distilleries have opened up in Snowdonia over the last few years, buts it's Foragers that I've always found myself drawn to. I love the packing and branding and of course the gin its self is pretty good! They hand craft a special batch each year and for 2018, it was to celebrate the Royal Wedding - only 250 bottles were made for public sale - now that's super special!. They also run a number of fantastic gin / cocktail master classes and workshops which can be a great present too.
Christmas isn't complete without the obligatory cheese board and these guys offer an amazing selection of wax covered truckles of all colours. They have been around for some years and have a great following. For my cheese board, I would go with The Little Black Bomber (a mature cheddar), Ginger Spice (medium cheddar with sweet crystallised stem ginger), Red Devil (a red leicester with chilli) and Green Thunder (mature cheddar with garlic and herbs)... there are 11 flavours in total. They are a great gift as the wax covering means until they are open, there is no smell and they look so good too.
A trip to Snowdonia is not complete without taking part in some form of adventure activity and we have so much on offer here. If you want to give someone something they will remember and create memories, then a voucher for a day at ZipWorld, Surf Snowdonia or Snowdonia Adventure Activities would be a great idea.
Now this is not from Snowdonia, but it's not too far from our mountains and it is still Welsh. Nom Nom offers over 23 flavours of really delicious chocolate and have some unusual ones in there, including lavender and bee pollen. The reason I want to include them is because of this fab money raising initiative they have put forward. The owner is a young guy who started at 19 making amazing flavoured chocolate from his kitchen. The company has grown and they have recently taken over the abandoned chocolate factory in Llanboidy (mid Wales). To raise funds to bring the factory back to life, they are selling 1000 building blocks of chocolate which range in price from £100 - £500. When you buy a brick of chocolate...
'As a Builder you'll get a handmade chocolate brick in a beautiful personalised biscuit tin and we get your name on a real brick here at the farm. As a builder you'll also receive a whole bunch of deliciousness, one of a kind experiences and a golden ticket to come break bread and dance at the Builders Tea Party here at The Abandoned Chocolate Factory.'
I think this a great idea and so if you know someone who likes to support local ventures or you yourself want to see local business succeed, you might be interested in this.
If you love Snowdonia as much as we do or you know people that are die-hard fans of the area, then a Snowdonia Est 450 t-shirt of hoodie will be a winner. You can get them from one of our fantastic STOCKISTS or if you're not in the area, from our SHOP. Don't forget that 5% of our profits to to Snowdonia Giving
Photo Credit: Niki Pilkington www.nikipilkington.com