Diaries at the Ready! Indie Christmas Shopping Events in Glasgow

Christmas shopping events in Glasgow

Earlier this month, you might remember that I shared my visit to The Hidden Lane and a peek into some of the retailers and studios that you can find there. I left with plenty of gift inspiration and I’ve been making a list of some locally-made goodies (and checking it twice!) to spoil my nearest and dearest with!

It’s safe to say that I’m well and truly in the mood to shop now and, with just a few weeks left until Christmas, there are lots of awesome pop-ups, markets and in-store specials going on around town that are just too good to keep to myself.

Diaries at the ready, this is my guide to indie Christmas shopping events in Glasgow…

Etsy Made Local (2nd and 3rd December): Back by popular demand, this yearly market showcases the very best of Scottish Etsy creatives all under one roof at The Briggait. Spread across two days, you’ll find the likes of Bonnie Bling, Nikki McWilliams, Heather Margaret Grace and so much more. Be sure to follow the Glasgow Etsy Team on Instagram for previews of the sellers you can expect to see on both days!

Boutique by Shelter Scotland’s First Birthday (2nd December): Can you believe it’s been a whole year since Boutique by Shelter Scotland opened their doors on Byres Road? It’s great to see an initiative like this thriving in Glasgow! This weekend, the shop is celebrating the festive season AND their first birthday with cake, mince pies and a raffle with prizes donated by local businesses.

Christmas shopping events in Glasgow

Festive Fun at Sunshine No 1 (Sunday 3rd December): There’s a special festive day planned this Sunday at Mount Florida’s cutest gift shop! Shop for Christmas cards and stocking fillers while enjoying mulled wine and mince pies. The fabulous Claire Barclay will also be there drawing pop-up portraits, such a great idea for a present (or a treat for yourself!).

Christmas Shopping Extravaganza at Glad Rags (7th December): The Southside’s most stylish thrift store are throwing a special shopping evening next Thursday with a ton of bargains to be snapped up from 6pm to 9pm! All of their stock will be 3 for 2 and guest crafter Luna Viola Design will also be there with her signature marble effect jewellery. Why not round up your girl gang and make a night of it – The Glad Cafe (next door) is open until midnight…

The Glasgow Markets x Kiehl’s Xmas Pop Up Market (10th December): Both the Glasgow Vintage & Flea Market at the Glasgow Independent Market have been a huge hit this year, attracting massive crowds to their monthly events at BAaD. On 10th December a range of the markets’ finest stalls will be popping up at Kiehl’s Buchanan Street with funds being raised for the MTV Staying Alive Charity. There’ll also be a DJ, cocktail bar and giveaways in signature Kiehl’s party spirit!

Hopefully you’ll fancy visiting one (or all!) of these Christmas shopping events in Glasgow over the next few weeks. Whether you love discovering local businesses, supporting good causes or indulging in a bit of holiday cheer, there’s something to suit everyone!

 

I Found The Hidden Lane – and You Can, Too!

the hidden lane

When people ask me what my favourite thing about Glasgow is (and it happens frequently!), I always say this: Glasgow is never boring. There’s always something exciting and unique, just waiting to be discovered – and, last weekend, I found that The Hidden Lane is the perfect example of that.

the hidden lane

If you’ve never heard of The Hidden Lane, let me bring you up to speed! Tucked behind the main streets of Finnieston, this hub of creativity is home to over 100 (!) independent businesses. Artists, shops, cafes, workshops and more occupy the brightly coloured buildings and quirky studio spaces.

But when there’s so much happening in the one place, where do you even begin? You call in the experts! For us, that was Mhairi, the fabulous ladyboss behind Bonnie Bling, who very kindly invited us along for a tour of the lane.

the hidden lane

We started with hot drinks and festive themed treats at The Hidden Lane Tearoom (the chocolate ganache was to die for!) before hitting the cobbles and checking out the curiosities and treasures at Tart’s antique store. They had a VINTAGE DISNEY POSTER in Spanish, you guys. We left and headed over to the super adorable Uptown Squirrel designs just in time – and my bank balance remained intact.

the hidden lane

As well as visiting some awesome stores (such as Decadent Riot, Cloud Nine Candles and Studio Number One), we also got a peek into some of the studios where the design magic happens. No room was off-limits! It was almost like an episode of Cribs – in fact, the only thing missing was Mariah Carey working out in a pair of ridiculous heels…

ANYWAY.

the hidden lane

Seeing the Bonnie Bling HQ with pieces of iconic Scottish jewellery coming hot off the laser cutter was a huge highlight (you know my love for the Bling goes way back!), as was getting a decorative bauble demo from Libby Walker in her bright studio.

the hidden lane

Visiting Vanilla Ink’s metal workshop space was a lot of fun, and I even had a go at making my own keyring! Gary took a sharp breath and stepped back when I was handed the hammer – and I think he was as surprised as me to see that I managed to come away with one keyring and zero injuries. Maybe I’m good with a hammer? Am I Thor now?

the hidden lane

After a few more visits, we finished up the tour at New Hellfire Club record store, before hitting Lean Factory for some lunch and fruit smoothies. Lean Factory is a fairly new addition to The Hidden Lane, and their pastel coloured cafe is the perfect place for a pit stop!

the hidden lane

Fancy exploring The Hidden Lane yourself? Get your diary ready…

On Saturday 25th November, The Hidden Lane are throwing a festive daytime event to launch their Hidden Christmas shopping extravaganza. There’ll be over 20 open shops and studios to explore, competitions, sweet treats, pop-ups, live music and you can even have a go at making your own keyring at Vanilla Ink.

the hidden lane

The fun starts at 12pm – though if you want to go along a little early to get a cuppa at the Hidden Lane Tearoom I fully support that plan!

Over the course of December, The Hidden Lane’s retailers will also be revealing special offers on their social media advent calendar – so keep your eyes peeled to @hiddenlanefinnieston on Instagram for more details…

Whether you fancy getting a start on your Christmas shopping, or want to discover some amazing local businesses and creatives, The Hidden Lane is the perfect place to start!

Local Lovin’: Claire Barclay Draws

Claire Barclay Draws

My Local Lovin’ series is a spotlight on designers / stores / creators of marvellous things (and anything else that catches my eye) – all based in Scotland. I believe that we should be supporting amazing home-grown talent, so I decided to keep Local Lovin’ as a permanent feature. If you have an awesome project, or create something that you think I might love, please let me know! See my Contact page for details of how to get in touch.

Have you ever come across someone whose work just makes you grin from ear to ear? Claire Barclay is one of those people. Not only do her playful designs make me chuckle every time, but I’ve seen them first-hand brighten up the day of whoever comes across them!

Claire Barclay Draws

I first became aware of this adorable Glasgow gal a couple of years back when she very kindly sent me some of her amazing Claire Barclay Draws pieces for the new (at the time!) flat. I later found out that we had a mutual love for Prince, so you know that automatically places her on my list of Good People, right? A few of you might even remember that Claire did a live portrait of Gary, Bosley and I earlier this year – it’s now one of my favourite pieces of art that we have on display!

I therefore couldn’t help but feel it was high time that Claire Barclay Draws joined the Local Lovin’ gang – and couldn’t wait to blether with her about her inspiration, her travels and much more…

Claire Barclay Draws

Hey Claire! I’d love to know about the beginning of Claire Barclay Draws – have you always loved drawing? At what point did you decide to develop it into a business?

Yes, I have always loved drawing from a very young age! I went to art school in Edinburgh and used to get bewildered looks or a wee laugh when I’d come out with certain Glasgow slang or Scots sayings (most folk at my uni were not Scottish!), so I decided to create some illustrations that totally embraced the brilliance of these sayings. I had my first solo exhibition in a wee pub in Leith and that is where my boozy illustrations were born (Beautiful Buckfast, Terrific Tennents etc) and I sold so many prints of them over those two months I decided to get them onto Etsy and the rest is history!

You are clearly a Glasgow Girl at heart, but are there any other cities that have left you feeling inspired?

Well, I think Edinburgh actually does have a big part to play in the inspiration behind my business in that living there gave me such a strong sense of being a west coaster and a ‘Glasgow Girl’ away from home. That being said I absolutely love it there, it’s so beautiful and I spent a wonderful 5 years there…but I knew that when it was time to start my business properly I wanted to do it at home in Glasgow! I also love to travel and one of the best perks of being self employed is that I can take time to go explore different cities around the world. In the past year I’ve been to Barcelona, Antwerp, London, Berlin, Madrid and I’m going to Amsterdam in a few weeks time before Christmas madness is in full swing at CBD HQ!

Claire Barclay Draws

OK, you’re giving me major wanderlust over here! What was the very first piece you designed and sold? Do you still make it today?

Yes it was the ‘Beautiful Buckfast’ illustration which I sold during my exhibition in Boda Bar in Leith, which I still sell to this day and is still one of my best sellers actually!

Important question time: during a long day of designing, what’s your snack of choice?

Mmmmm I would have to say peanut butter on anything…?

Ah, a gal after my own heart! What’s been your proudest moment so far?

Going fully self employed and not having to juggle a part time job as well was a pretty proud moment! I also hit 2000 sales on Etsy recently and that felt nice.

Congratulations! That’s so cool! So, as you might know, I am all about sharing the love – tell me about an indie maker/ designer that you can’t get enough of right now?

I absolutely love the work of East End Press and Doris Does Doodles who are both fellow Glasgow based designers who make screen printed and digital illustrated work. East End Press’ work is just so colourful and fun and I adore the retro vibe Doris captures in her products.

Claire Barclay Draws

I love Doris Loves Doodles too, and I’ll need to check out East End Press – they sound right up my street! Finally, do you have anything exciting coming up that we should keep our eyes peeled for? Spill!

Yes indeed! I have my new Christmas collection launching ASAP as well as Pop Up Portraits events in Sunshine No.1 and Paisley Abbey in November and December! I’ll also be taking part in lots of festive markets including Etsy Made Local on the 2nd December and Tea Green Market in the Kibble Palace on the 9th and 10th of December. Oh, and I’m the guest artist at BLOW Finneston all of October where I shall be selling prints as well as drawing portraits on Sat 14th with 50% of all proceeds going to Glasgow Women’s Aid.

Phew! What a busy bee – I’m tired just thinking about all that! Thank you so much to the awesome Claire Barclay Draws for sharing a peek into her world!

You guys know what to do – hop on over to Claire’s website to keep up with her cheerful work and be sure to head to one of her pop-up appearances over the next few months. Ear to ear smiles and rad designs guaranteed…

 

 

 

All images by Claire Barclay Draws