Christmas markets and shopping locally

Ashton Court 2Ashton Court Producers Market in Bristol

This year it’s been all about shopping locally and supporting artisans for me.  There is something really wonderful about spending a Saturday afternoon browsing market stalls and hunting for the perfect gift, for my loved ones, or for myself!

Here is the South West we are spoilt for choice, and Bristol has such a thriving arts and craft scene there is something new to be discovered every weekend.

The Ashton Court Producers Market happens on the third Sunday of every month, and not only does it allow local designer-makers to showcase their work, it also sells tasty goodies from organic vegetables, to locally reared meat, and artisan biscuits from the delicious Mullion Cove.

If it’s unusual gifts, entertainment and even workshops that you are after, a firm favourite of mine is Market at The Moon, a weekly alternative market at the Full Moon Pub in the vibrant Stokes Croft area of Bristol.

Another popular market happens monthly at the Tabacco Factory selling food, crafts and sometimes clothes.

So why have I decided to do all my Christmas shopping at local markets this year? Well, running my own small business, Bristol Papillon Jewellery I can really appreciate the time, love and care which designers and makers put into every piece which they make.  Bristol Papillon at market

With mass produced items, you have no guarantee of quality, and you don’t necessarily know the conditions which the producers work under.  With handmade and local products, you can often trace the materials and learn about the techniques used. That’s why I love both selling my products and buying gifts for others at market.  You get to speak directly to the designer-maker, and for me this really brings each piece alive.  I want to be original, and this is something which you don’t get with mass-produced items.  Who want’s to be a sheep and look like everyone else in the crowd!

Christmas marketsWe’ve only got a week left until Christmas, and if like me you have left your shopping to the last minute (eek), then why not support your local community, get out there and find a local market, speak to some crafts-people about their passion for making, and spread the love.  Isn’t that, after-all, what Christmas should be all about?

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