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  • Writer's pictureMara Cabral

Let's make this Christmas local

It's been a hard and somehow weird year for all. No matter what we do or where we are, covid-19 has affected us all in some sort of way. Being a photographer and the owner of a photography business in Llanelli, I am well aware how small businesses have been shaken by all the restrictions so this post is my small attempt to help spread the word about some of our small businesses. Christmas is coming and after a year in which we were made to question so much, one of the things many of us have more present than ever is what really matters to us. What, at the end of the day, is really important in our lives. And when it comes to occasions and gifts, more than ever I am led to believe meaning and intention are at the top of my list. So for Christmas 2020 I decided to come up with a short list of suggestions for presents that you can get fairly locally. There is a good mix of options bellow, from classes to art work, so I hope you can find something that pleases you and at the same time support a small local business or a local artist. My list includes businesses and artists from Llanelli, Swansea, Gower and surrounding areas. I listed them in not particular order. If you own or know of a local business that should be added to this list, please be free to include them in the comments!


Caru Eco is a home grown business that sells eco-friendly re-usable products. I'm always happy to spread the world about small businesses but even more so when, like this one, they are built having the future of our planet in hands. Have a look through their stunningly designed products and I am sure you will be able to find some gifts that are both beautifully handcrafted and eco conscious.


Know someone who has a pet who's a very special member of the family? How about a stunning portrait of them carefully hand drawn by this talented local artist?


The talented Penclawdd based photographer John Minopoli offers some gorgeous local landscapes. Printed in high quality photography paper these prints are ready to be framed and can be a very special present. His prints show the beauty of our surroundings filtered by his own vision and sensibility.


This a mother and daughter run business based in Gowerton that offers pet, garden and home supplies. They are official stockists of Frenchic furniture paint and have recently upgraded our home and gift section ready for the Christmas period. A great thing about this shop is that it supports local crafters and offer a wide range of products from dog food to soft furnishings.


Penclawdd based Sarah Kathryn Jones runs Mucky Puppy Photography, a pet photography business. Sarah is incredibly talented and offers a very personalised service from start to finish. She can offer Christmas vouchers perfect to offer to the pet lovers in your life. Check out her website bellow and be amazed by her work!


Home Cake Bakes is a baking small business based in Llanelli. I follow their page on Facebook and even though I haven't tried them personally (yet!) I am often tempted by photos of cakes that look absolutely mouth watering. If you're looking for a small Christmas present or some Christmas rather than a delicious dessert for your Christmas meal, I will suggest their Hot Chocolate Bombs. Be tempted by the photos below!


Hermione Wild Illustrations is a local artist with a wonderful talent for illustration. Along with her gorgeous and unique Glicee art prints, this artist now offers wellness boxes, thoughtfully put together to offer whoever receives them a special sensitive experience.


This business sells gift cards redeemable against online or face to face classes and workshops. Experience gifts are becoming more and more popular and more and more relevant, as we start to realise that our planet needs us to focus less on physical possessions and more on actions. Plus, a learning experience is something truly special that always stays with us. Having said that, if you are searching for some culinary related physical gifts, Cook Stars also sells cookie bag mixes, branded aprons, mugs and hot chocolate reindeer kits and teddy bear keyrings!


Kidslingo sells gift cards for French or Spanish classes - available from £5, suitable for children aged 0-11 years, presenting another brilliant possibility for an experience gift. Living in a household that juggles Spanish, Portuguese and English (with the children obviously also having Welsh in school), I can't stress enough how much of a gift an extra language is. It trains their minds and opens more doors than we can even begin to realise.


Painite Poetry offers personalised poems, unique and somehow quirky, a very special gift for the admirers of poetry. Painite Poetry will also be doing personalised Christmas Eve treasure hunts and gifts. Personally I am an avid reader and love poetry, so I find this such a great idea!


Support Your Cause designs and sells fundraising gifts on behalf of small grass-roots charities. There is a Christmas range coming up that will include Christmas T-shirt’s, personalised tree decorations, festive cushions and crackers - all of which raise money for a local Valley’s charity that works with disadvantaged, vulnerable and isolated people and communities through arts and creativity! At the time of writing this blog post the link to the Christmas range still wasn't active, but if you keep checking their main page I'm sure it will be up and running soon!

I hope you found this little list helpful and even if you didn't find a Christmas present in it, I hope it got you curious about some of our wonderful local small businesses as they really make a difference in our communities and they can only exist with the support of amazing clients that value quality, creativity, a personalised service and an emphasis on sustainability.

As you all probably know, I am a photographer based in Llanelli and I offer location shoots, which work very well for families. I have taken photos in all sorts of locations around Llanelli and also in Penllergaer forest, Pembrey, Burry Port, Clyne Gardens, Gower beaches, and many other wonderful locations in this areas. I also offer studio sessions and I specialise in creative fine art portraits. If you would like to buy a voucher for someone special, just get in touch!

Wishing everyone a lovely holiday season. We all know this Christmas will be a bit different, so let's make sure we make it different in an extra special way.

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