Whilst companies like Amazon are seeing their profits exponentially soar as a result of the pandemic, our high streets and independent businesses are being decimated. Now more than ever is the time to keep your Christmas shopping as local and handmade as possible. But how, in the midst of a second national lockdown? Thankfully Manchester Craft & Design Centre has, as usual, come up trumps, making the whole thing not only that bit easier but also more special.
Serving as a virtual shop window, Give Handmade is an online space where you can browse the high-quality wares of the centre’s 30 or so resident makers and buy direct (making their Christmas too). Unique and unusual gift ideas include Amy Wilkinson’s Alan Turing inspired binary code jewellery, Jane Blease’s geometric wooden lampshades, and Cragg Jones Ceramics’ hand-built hanging planters. Even the classic winter scarf has new present-millage in the skilled hands of one of British fashion legend Mary Quant’s former designers, Susan Kane of fir + wren at Holm.
Many of the makers also accept bespoke commissions and will post orders accompanied by personalised messages. Plus, gift vouchers are available to assuage the pressures of buying for those more particular friends and relatives.
Christmas or not, during a time when many of us are feeling far away from the ones we love, sending something thoughtful through the post is one small way of saying you’re thinking about them. Give Handmade makes this easy whilst spreading the love that bit further. After all, if we want the city’s creatives and favourite institutions like MCDC to stick around, now is the time to show whatever support you can.
As well as the online space, MCDC is also kicking the whole Christmas shopping thing off with a flash Instagram sale on 13 November, 7-9pm. While it may not be the same as browsing IRL, maybe this is the time to start on the mulled wines and make an evening of it.
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