Christmas gift ideas with a twist

So sorry to break it to you...but Christmas is coming! And here’s a holiday collection of beautifully sustainable brands with a mission to make this world a better place. This is not an ordinary gift ideas list. The brands’ owners share their tips for business and personal growth, which are absolutely inspiring., so why won’t you make a note of their details whilst Christmas shopping for your loved ones this year- unique, useful, and thoughtful products that won't break the bank.

Nothing New by Ruthie Ru  - @nothingnewbyruthieru

Tips for business and personal growth:

I’ve not been doing this for very long, but the things I have picked up to date are....

* Keep true to your brand and ethos – it’s very easy to be bamboozled when people ask you what you do and what you make, but having a clear brand mission and ethos means you will always be on point whatever the situation.

* Believe in yourself and your product – if you don't, you can’t expect anyone else to.

* Stay positive – it can be super overwhelming at times when you believe in what you’re doing and working so hard but no one seems to be listening. Keeping positive even in these times of self doubt will help buoy you through and it will all pay off.

* Get support and be supportive – I have been incredibly lucky to have the support of some amazing friends, family and fabulous people who are also running small ethical businesses. Without the community and positivity of them all I would’ve given up by now and strive to give back as much as I’ve been lucky enough to receive.

* Make lists & prioritise – I swear by a list! It helps me see the wood for the trees and make sure I don’t miss anything. Including deadlines is a great addition - when it seems like you have all the jobs to do and no time working out that the massive fayre you’re stressing about stock for is actually 9 weeks away is a massive relief...!!

* Never stop learning – my husband always says that ‘Every day is a school day’ and he’s absolutely right. The amount I have learned over the last six months whilst building up my business is crazy and there’s still so much more to discover.


About my business:

Nothing New by Ruthie Ru - making jewellery and gifts from upcycled vinyl records - unusual, eye catching pieces with an ethical heart. I am committed to trying to make a difference in reducing waste by, as far as possible, not using any new materials in my pieces. All packaging is reused and my business cards are made from cereal packets.

Laura Zabo - @laura_zabo

The business world is so ever changing, hence current companies and entrepreneurs need a strong message and very awakened, flexible strategy. All the marketing tools and social media algorithms change rapidly too, so you, as a business owner, need to be prepared to do some leg work and a lot of homework, every day! If you have a strong mission, persistence and believe in your journey, you can easily overcome these challenges and find your way to succeed. 

Laura Zabo creates unique handmade up cycled pieces from scrap tyres and inner tubes. Her beautiful creations include belts, jewelry and sandals. 

FERRON - @ferronco

You need to be really passionate and excited about your ideas to make them work. You must own it, you must show up to it and be persistent! 

As an entrepreneur, there are always a lot of people telling you what you should or shouldn’t do! And believe me, the number of those discouraging you from pursuing your dream doubles the number of  your early days Facebook friends! So please, please stop caring so much what other people might say! 

I don’t believe that you really know what you are capable of until you strike on your own and are fully in charge of your time! And it is only when you must make decisions, plans and priorities your true self comes out! Be a good leader, even if the team consists only of lovely self.

Don’t be scared! Risk is not only thrilling but overcoming it proves that you are your own best advocate. And this is worth risk-taking! 

Read a lot, research a lot, try to stay on top of new social media shenanigans, be different, be curious, collaborate with others, listen, root for other people success- one day it will be yours! 

And take care of yourself! Eat healthy, exercise, do whatever sparks joy in you. Remember all those things that you used to do for fun prior launching the business? Good! 

Have fun creating your own business! 

Cotton and Push - @cottonandpush 

The most crucial aspect of starting and running your own business is the ability to adapt to unforeseen situations. You must be able to change your plan, USP, and even business idea if you have to. Staying rigid when faced with doubt is bound to present trouble along the way. One other crucial skill is to be able to act your true self, whether in life or business. Ignore the old-as-time tale that tells us you have to be stone-faced and cold if that's not who you are. Empathy, understanding and patience are key traits to possess in business too.

We have started an organic lingerie company, using completely organic and eco-friendly fabrics. Our garments are made in the UK by specialists, with the planet and your skin in mind. Cotton & Push combines modern fabrics with the structuring, tailoring and attention to detail present in classic contour manufacture, making it the perfect marriage of style and conscious design.

PetitTembo - @petittembo

A few things we’ve learned thus far…

  • you have to have your ear to the ground and really be assessing what’s going on around you – what your customers want, what’s happening in your landscape and what’s shifting…you have to be listening, watching and doing so, objectively
  •  you also have to be willing to shift and pivot and that can be challenging while you’re trying to maintain brand integrity – but it’s essential if you’re going to remain relevant
  • community, community, community…build it, be a part of it – it is so critical to surround yourself with people who support what you’re doing – but it’s equally important to surround yourself with people that also bring a fresh perspective and help you see things through a different prism…too much of the same can lead to a ‘group think’ mentality which can be counterproductive and lead to stagnation
  • we need to help one another...share what you’ve learned, help others avoid the same willing to be mentored and to mentor someone else!

About our business…

petitTembo creates organic sustainable apparel for children. We are committed to minimal impact on our planet through ‘end-to-end’ business processes that minimize our carbon footprint. petitTembo also partners with select non profit organizations who receive a percentage of our net profits. Our entire business model is built upon creating social impact and encouraging conscious consumption.

Tea Lab - @tealabcompany

Tips for business 

Take time to work on every aspect of your brand so it reflects your core values and what is unique about your brand. Do a self audit and draw from your strengths but also refresh those skills you need. Work collaboratively with others making sure you choose something you love with a passion as it will excite your customers and it will keep you going.



Brand/ Product description: 

Tea Lab grew from our combined passions of tea, travel, the environment and design. Sustainability, consumer health and taste experience are at the core of what we do. We want to tread lightly on the planet, so offer customers a wide range of carefully sourced teas, including small batch, organically certified teas in refillable and recyclable packaging. We donate 10% of proceeds to The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust from sales of all our rooibos and honeybush teas.