It looks like it’s going to be another odd lead up to Christmas this year so I thought I’d spread some festive cheer to businesses and you lot as consumers. I’ve wanted to create a Christmas gift guide for years and have always left it too late until now – obviously, I wasn’t going take half measures so in true Chikumo style, here is a mix of brands I am personally familiar with, brands that were happy to contribute to this guide and brands that wanted to collaborate. For the brands that wanted to collaborate, I’ve created some UGC (user generated content) for them as well. You will see some of that in this blog and the rest across my personal Instagram page and my business page over the coming weeks.
There are some brands I already had a relationship with and was excited to feature but I can’t lie, there are some brands I have discovered that I am now fangirling for so I will share a bit about my experience with their brands/products as well as the info they wanted to share with you all.
We better get into it!
Cintia, My Vegan Dulce De Leche – Products from £2
Welcome to My Vegan Dulce De Leche!
Dulce de leche is a popular caramel spread that originated in South America and has travelled the world. It literally means ‘sweet milk’ and it is made by gently simmering milk and sugar until the sugar caramelises. In its original recipe, cow’s milk is used. My Dulce de Leche is the vegan alternative to it, made with coconut milk instead and the first of its kind to be produced in the UK. Sweet!
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen that this is the one brand I couldn’t keep a secret. I LOVE Nutella and the chocolate spread is one of the best things I have EVER tried! Me & G made some bread and we had whole loaves to ourselves – his fave was the caramel but we are waiting on the judgement from salted caramel!
Carol, Ellis Gin – 50cl bottles £31, 20cl bottles £20, Mini Selection Box £24, Gin Cracker £22, Gin Baubles £8
With a range of boutique gins, Ellis Gin has been distilled in its home nation of Scotland since the very beginning. With the aim of standing out from the crowd by bringing fun, colour, and elegance to the customer’s drinks options, it has become a cornerstone of the busy Scottish alcohol production market. Moreover, as a multi-award-winner, its reputation is something that has been given to it – and maintained by – its ever-growing following of customers, all of whom have an appreciation for the integrity of its craft and the new lease of life its efforts bring to a classic beverage.
Every year, its Think Pink box generates money for charity, and every Pink Gin it sells in general creates money for the pink Ribbon foundation, with 20% of the revenue from each sale going straight to this non-profit. Moreover, it looks forward to exporting more in 2023, as well as bringing in more lifestyle products. The mastermind behind these plans, Carol Jackson, is looking forward to the many changes on the horizon for small but brilliant company, and she encourages customers and partners alike to ‘watch this space’ in order to keep up with the coming developments.
Honestly, watch this space with this one. I’m two gins down and the overall experience from choosing the gin, knowing what to garnish with and seeing the exciting reactions has been brilliant! I had a sparkly gin tonight for example…
Virginia Mendez – Tshirts £28, Ceramic mugs £10, Enamel mugs £15, Kids t-shirts £20 & Pin badge £7.5
Virginia Mendez is a feminist author, public speaker and co-founder of The Feminist Shop – a feminist ethical brand and hub. With a background in corporate and mother of 2 she decided to put her skills to work by creating a career that can make a real positive change. She loves public speaking (and speaking in general) and challenging kids and adults to unlearn constrictive stereotypes.
She has published 2 children’s books, one about gender stereotypes and another about consent and a parenting book “childhood unlimited: parenting beyond the gender bias” and with her husband, an ecommerce expert, they founded The Feminist Shop, an ethical brand that covers all basis to fuel your feminism. From free content and resources, to over 400 book titles, and a large selection of ethical products to make statements and start conversations. All while giving back, in every sale, to great feminist associations making a great impact!
I know Virginia personally and she is such an inspiring person! Everything you see on the pages linked below is exactly what and who Virginia is – feminism for the win!
Halle & Myles, Camelēr (cameleer) – Spice blends are all £8.95 per jar or free P&P when you buy a box of 5
Camelēr (cameleer) meaning driver of the camel is the merchant that has delivered spices and other thrift for 1000’s of years. Camelēr Spice Co are on a mission to propel authentically inspired spice blends into the 21st century. As a brand their values are built on Transparency, Learning and Celebration. Milling and blending in-house, their spices and botanicals are formulated with 100% green energy, with an endeavour to offer award winning blends that are built on heritage, health and great taste.
Co-founders Halle and Myles started the business in 2021. Myles is the son of a chef and Halle is a trained chef and its fair to say that both of them have a passion for food. They recognised that spice blends were often full of uncessary quantities of salt and other nasties. Furthermore, they wanted their spices to be curated with a multipurpose approach for cooking, baking and beverage making. When you open that jar, you will smell a kaleidoscope of essence.
Their moto has always been to “start as we mean to go on”. As they grow, they want to build on their community of co-creators who like to share their recipes with their budding and passionate cohort.
The jars and aluminium lids are 100% recyclable. They house the carefully sourced ingredients in brown glass jars in a nod to heritage and sustainability to protect the quality for longer. Traditionally apothecaries sold this precious commodity in brown glass jars for the aforementioned.
As a brand it is all about the alchemy. Everyone can enjoy wonderful flavours, such as black lime, saffron, fenugreek leaves, rose petal, turmeric and a whole lot more. For those who are not sure what their flavour profile is, you can take a two-minute quiz that will make a suggestion of 3 blends based on your flavour profile.
As a small British business Camelēr Spice Co is here to transport you back to your favourite holiday meal, restaurant experience or fondest food memory from childhood. A celebration is about fun and the sharing of great food and beverages. There is a choice of 12 blends for everyone one to enjoy.
There are 12 different blends in total that stretch from Persia into the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.
5 Persian blends
2 Middle Eastern Blends
Most are curated for cooking baking and cocktail making.
We have had many taste tests from roasties to curries – all I can say is that a little tub goes a long way and I have enjoyed EVERY SINGLE bite (helps I wasn’t head chef)!
Vittoria, chef and teacher at Pastaandplay – Pasta making vouchers at £120, £250, £400 and £500
I am Vittoria, an Italian mum of two wonderful trilingual boys living in South West London. I am a chef and I teach mouth-watering cooking classes inspired by my family’s Southern-Italian roots. I started my company 7 years ago and I offer a variety of classes, from pasta-making to bread and focaccia baking, from gnocchi making to homemade lasagna workshops. For kids, I teach how to create yummy and colourful food, using only natural ingredients.
Donna, Unravel Tea – Teas & products ranging from £8-£48
After an awful experience with shop-bought green tea, I vowed never to foray into the tea world again.
This was until I was handed a cup of the most beautiful nectar while visiting china. I was shocked to discover this was also green tea!
That discovery opened up a whole new world and I’ve never looked back.
Fast forward to today and I don’t just enjoy exploring teas that unravel their incredible notes on my tastebuds, I import them from the best tea growers all over the world, so that other people can experience their taste and benefits too!
I’m a lover of herbal blends so this was an easy one for me however, G isn’t so when he said he loved the Himalayan Temi tea, I knew we were onto a winner. I also love how you can make brew the same tea a minimum of three times.
Ottilia & Barry, Rebelicious Drinks – 6 packs from £16.18 or available in selected Sainsburys stores
Rebelion has never tasted so good with new Rebelicious drinks – who have created the first ever
CBD infused Cream Soda. Rebelicious drinks are vegan, gluten free and eco friendly, so you can
release your inner rebel, guilt and care free.
We are a Cornish company, and have three soft drinks with CBD, Pink Lemonade, Cream Soda and Real Cola both made in the UK. The designs have been hand drawn by an illustrator with links to the nostalgia of the 1950s and with colours on trend.
On a recent trial in Sainsbury’s we sold out across 70 stores, with some shops selling 28 cans in a week, with our drinks reaching all areas, including affluent, shown by data received.
All of our products’ packaging is recyclable and the ingredients we have chosen are all sustainably sourced including the Madagascan Vanilla and Kola nut for the Cola, we will be donating some of our profits to environmental causes and will be aiming to use 0% plastic in all our packaging and company as well as using suppliers with the same ethos on the environment.
We are the first cream soda in the UK and the first CBD drink in Cornwall with CBD.
Words can’t describe my love for this brand. Their branding is on point, their drinks do exactly what they say on the tin (get it 😉 ) and the flavours are great choices. I’ve also talked very openly about my mental health and I’ve worked with some CBD brands before so I was going into trying these with high hopes and they didn’t let me down – it felt like any anxiety I had just washed away and trust me, I had a load of work to catch up on when these arrived.
Available in 3 funky flavours, All flavours have 15 mg of CBD. #WhatsYourFlavour
** Some products were PR gifts so there are a mix of my own photography as well as photographs sent by the brands**