Last year in 2020 we introduced our very first Independent Christmas Makers Market, which we were so excited to host!
Running throughout October - December we showcased a super-exciting collection of unique, creative and stunningly crafted Xmas pressies, all handmade by incredibly talented small businesses and artists!
A note from Founder Krisi:
'The Maker's Market has been my personal project this year and something I am super excited about. We have always been very passionate about supporting our fellow small, local and independent businesses and makers but it feels like it is even more poignant this year.
Being able to use our platform and reach to spread the word about our fantastic Makers means we can support them not just financially but also with awareness, by spreading the love to all of our lovely customers too.
If I had one message that I want people to take away from this campaign and also keep in mind it would be to take the time we've gained this year to consider where we shop this Christmas - and spend your hard earned pennies with the businesses and individuals that you want to still be around this time next year! It's so important and I can't wait to show you everyone's hard work!'
So why was it so important to us to showcase these Makers?
As fellow indies, we understand the potential risk factors that go hand in hand with setting up your business. Anyone who has the guts to change their routine, start afresh and follow their dream deserves respect and admiration for their passion and commitment. This is what we love doing and we’re going for it whatever people say!
Indie businesses are unique and interesting, making them an asset to any neighbourhood and community, brightening up the streets and creating life and personality. With independent producers, you can really see the time, care and quality that they have put into the products, it is so often a reflection of themselves. Hand-made by them, giving the personal touch. You wouldn’t find these items in a typical high street store!
In these strange times of Covid, it is vitally important that we join forces and support each other to help survive and thrive! The support we have had ourselves has so helped us to grow, we couldn’t be more grateful to our communiTea! It’s our belief that every indie should also have this support. We are all real people, with real needs, some of who you may even know!
Supporting small businesses supports individuals!
Check out all the creative and wonderful Makers who took part in our Independent Christmas Makers Market 2020 below:
Brighton based indie party brand Peach Blossom are without a doubt the prettiest party store in the land! Started by founder Alyssa in 2017, she set out on a mission to break the mould of traditional party shops and bring customers beautiful, modern and stylish party supplies and decorations for all of life’s special occasions!
Having started life as an online store, the Peach Blossom team now have a gorgeous store in Brighton which has been described as a magical party wonderland . From here, Alyssa and her team of party stylists supply decorations to local, national and even international parties and events.
Our Nottingham store neighbours, ‘The Bead Shop’ was started 20 years ago by Hana and Robin. It’s a super crafty and cool indie business and absolute treasure trove of all things sparkly! It was originally called ‘The Bead Shop at the End of the Universe’ (inspired by its tucked away location down a small arcade & the Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy!). The creatives of Nottingham liked the shop so much that there was always a queue on a Saturday because the shop didn’t have enough room to fit them all in! Now located at 7 Market Street in Nottingham city centre, with plenty of room for all, it now has 5 floors of beads and crafts and runs amazing workshops and events!
The perfect cuppa needs the perfect biscuit and when it comes to biscuits, Honeywell Biscuit Co. make the ultimate sweet treat! Honeywell was set up in 2012 by founder Rebecca at the kitchen table over a cuppa and, you guessed it, a biscuit!
Since then, they’ve expanded and now are a wonderful team of seven bakers. Self-confessed biscuit connoisseurs, with a cookie cutter obsession and a mission to bring creative baking to everyone!
‘Crafty Cooke’ aka the lovely Helen Cooke first started attending jewellery making workshops in 2018. After creating her first tea and biscuits themed statement necklace, she shared it on social media and received so much love that she started to create limited runs of necklaces to sell.
A few months before launching them on Etsy, she shared a photo to a Facebook group where a member of the Bird & Blend team also happened to be. It was a match made in heaven and from this point on, with each tea necklace Crafty Cooke sold, a Bird & Blend tea sample was included.
In August 2020, she launched craftycooke.co.uk offering a range of gorgeous acrylic jewellery and other crafted items. Her relationship with Bird & Blend is still going strong which is why we were delighted to showcase her tea inspired Jewellery in our Makers Market!
We were all very excited for what Frenchie Frenchie had to offer! As most of you know, we are huge animal fans. We are constantly taking pictures of all our doggy visitors that we see in our stores (oh yes did we say we are pet friendly?).
A firm favourite with the TEA-dogs is Frenchie Frenchie! Set up by Liam and Arran, Frenchie Frenchie is the UK’s first dog cafe and 'Nottinghamshire’s first pawmanent doggy cafe & bakery’! It offers doggos (of all breeds and sizes) a place to enjoy and chill out and a café to bring their humans to for a change! There’s a soft play area and a delicious range of sweet treats for humans and a bakery for dogs offering freshly baked treats in store from Woofins to chocolate! Sounds like doggy heaven to us!
As most of you know we LOVE a cheeky tea cocktail or two or three! Concocting the most delicious mar-tea-nis or MojiTEA’s is a speciality of ours, we must say! Bloody Ben's gin is anything but ordinary, think Eton Mess flavoured gin! In the words of our own expert tea mixologists, it is ‘the perfect companion for a mind-blowing Bird & Blend tea-based cocktail!’
And goodness does Ben have a busy schedule! Juggling his time between his three kids and work, he handcrafts his gorgeous gin in batches on a small copper sill based in South West London.
Basement Beer began as with many good ideas, as a drunken conversation in the pub between its two founders James and Ben. They began brewing in James’s basement, so lo and behold the name ‘basement beer” stuck! Based at Meriton Foundry in the city of Bristol , home to some incredible beer breweries.
So how did tea beer begin?
Well, being close friends with our Bristol store and loving the idea of exploring some alternative recipes and collaborations using tea! And with that, Cabana Cooler Pale Ale was born, which infuses our Cococabana Cooler fruit blend, packed full of tropical fruits such as pineapple and papaya. The beer itself is very light, crisp and refreshing, resulting in an ice tea/pale ale combo, perfect for sunny afternoons!
Totally cool and deliciously divine, handmade Artisan Chocolate by fellow Sussex-based indie business ‘Only Coco’ is absolutely to die for and by far one of our fave chocolate blends. We have been collaborating on tea-infused chocolates for some time now and we are completely addicted to the mouth watering tastes created from combining tea & chocolate. Some past time faves include Dark Choc Chili Chai and Eton Mess, yum!
RohNoh is the online shop founded and run by our very own Rosie Fairholm, a fantastically talented illustrator and member of the Bird & Blend Brand team.
When she's not designing fab creative work for Bird & Blend, she runs her ROH NOH on Etsy where you can find a full range of her gorgeous products.
Living in sunny Brighton she sees inspiration in everyday life - in particular animals, and can't resist a cheesy pun!! You'll often find her doodling away new ideas in her sketchbook and watching tutorials on how to create new things, accompanied by cups of tea and cuddles from her round furry marshmallow cat named Luna!
Hermit is a wonderful little business run by Rhea Brown, who is also a long standing Brighton based Tea Bird! Rhea loves crafting , finding it incredibly rewarding to make something with her own hands. She would always rather have a go at making something first before buying one. And yes she is really good at it! Find her beautiful creations on Etsy and at local craft markets! If you're looking for unique jewellery, look no further, as Rhea hand crafts her from polymer clay with colour and exciting statement!
As well as polymer clay, she loves texture and textiles and is a fan of crocheting (a particular fondness for crochet cactus!) , whilst snuggled up on the sofa with a cuppa and a cuddle with her cat Lily.
Another Bird & Blend Teabird, our very own Mark Wellstead! MarkWellstedDesign was established back in 2018 on the South Coast of England. Founded as a way to express creativity, Mark is happiest when working with his hands. He initially started making pieces from driftwood and then pallet wood. Recently he has indulged his curiosity and started working with acrylic designs. Working at Bird & Blend and handling the teas gave him the idea to collaborate and start casting tea into coasters to showcase the beauty of the ingredients used. All pieces are handmade and unique in their own way!