I love local shopping like small children love Christmas. I feel very privileged to live in such a diverse and creative area like Kensal Rise. This year I decided to take my love of all things local and find out what the good people of Kensal and Queens Park had on offer to the Christmas shoppers. After a little shout out in some local community groups on facebook I was overwhelmed with the diverse response that came back. It appears that there's a whole stack of potential Christmas gifts available to buy on our doorstep. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and doesn't include all the fabulous shops that we have on our doorstep.
Local shopping means boosting the local economy and supporting local people. Without further ado, here's what I discovered:
Cards, Arts, Crafts, Media & Experiences
Retro styled local greetings cards (as pictured above) from £2 each.
Photo shoot vouchers for families, individuals and pets. For the very first time I am offering photo shoot vouchers starting from £110.
The West London Art Factory Buy prints and original pieces from local artists.
The Lexi Cinema offer a brilliant membership scheme. Just £35 buys 3 free cinema tickets, discounted cinema tickets all year, 10% off the gallery bar and kiosk and more.
Art Angels & Crafty Devils have gifts to order and offer opportunities for you, or your loved one, to make their own gifts. Mobile pottery and ceramic art company.
Cookie Girl teaches cake and biscuit baking and decorating classes in a relaxed and friendly environment in Willesden Green. Gift vouchers available.
Samantha Morris - Silk Screened Prints and Cards
Shared City - Small London tour company offering unique experiences exploring London’s diverse cultural communities.
Everything For Children
Adler of London sends you regularly scheduled stylist-selected kids outfits from local and independent designers, so you can spend more time with your babes and tots and less time shopping for them. Children's wear subscription service, gift subscription available
Their Nibs - Beautifully crafted children's clothes alternative to children’s fashion with bespoke prints, luxury finishings and unique attention to design details. Their Nibs boasts a dedicated celebrity following of Kate Moss, Sienna Miller Sadie Frost, Thandie Newton and Jude law to name but a few.
Snaps to Swap is an event company aimed to create a bond between adults and children, develop creativity, and promote communication using analogue photography. If you love photography and enjoy inspiring family activities, I believe that you would like what Snaps to Swap offers and represents. The events are aimed at 5+ years old children accompanied by an adult.
Vevian is a hand-made baby and children's shoes made here in London. 10% discount for local residents
Maisel Bebe is a small Spanish children's wear shop selling bow tights, Christmas sweaters, bows and much more all made in Spain and gift wrapped for free.
Playground Posh - hand-made hair accessories for girls. Find hair accessories that match local school colours all the way through to occasion accessories for parties and celebrations
My Kids' Wardrobe, buy and sell children's like-new and new kids high end and designer clothing, shoes, toys, accessories and maternity wear.You can visit their recently opened shop at Willesden Green, Unit 12, Walm lane, NW2 5HT, open Mon-Sat 12-6pm
We Are Scamp - screen printed babywear, nursery accessories and personalised gifts for funky girls and boys. The world of the laser cutter has recently been explored so creating wooden products to complement the existing range has been a strong focus in the last few months.
Funky Little People - Colourful Scandinavian clothes for kids all ages, adults, lots of Moomin products and Scandinavian gifts
Christmas Trees and Christmas Decorations
Shanon Rose Flowers is a family run business that sells northern fern non drop Christmas tree's and handmade holly wreaths,candle arrangements and garlands. Delivery is available for £5 - all delivery fee's will be going to a great charity called #breakfastinabag which is a charity that helps ensure the homeless in London get food and support.
Based in kilburn high road outside Argos nw6 every year.
Flowers by Alison Howard is a local independent florist in Queen's Park providing beautiful door wreaths starting at £40 for lots of local people. On contacting Alison, she takes the order and finds out the colour of your door so it's coordinated, then delivers and hangs it on your door. She also provide flowers for offices, homes and events.
Portrait photo taken in Notting Hill Fashion & Accessories for Adults
Fierce Sisters - Tiny startup from two local mums selling handmade totes, cushions, pouches, artwork & enamel pins.
Kensal Eyes Opticians on Chamberlayne Road stock a range of independent sunglasses brands, styles and price points
Pipa London is an independent lifestyle boutique in Maida Vale stocking women and children's fashion and gifts
Carina De Jager Jewellery designer/maker based in Willesden whose work features a combination of modern shapes, intricate textures and organic patterns.
Kaiyama is a jeweller who used to lived in Kensal Rise for many years and now lives in Dollis Hill. You can find her selling her jewellery at Queens Park Farmers Market and online via Etsy.
Nooki Design Has recently opened at 101 Chamberlayne Road. Inside you'll find cool, quirky accessories, beautiful illustrative prints, bags, clutches and wallets all screen printed. The satchels and shoppers are actually screen printed by hand, so each one is slightly different.
Catered By Jules a bespoke baking and catering company. This Christmas Jules is making home made goodies for hampers and mince pies etc.
Health & Beauty
Skin Tailor - Queens Park based skincare brand specialising in tailor made moisturisers which are made to order for individual skin needs.
Personal Trainer Lizzie B offers one to one sessions, but also runs regular circuit, HIIT sessions in Tiverton in the basketball court Monday, Tuesday and Friday mornings. First session is free then you can either drop in or buy a block of 6 for £50, lots of mums and dad's come along, it's fun and a great way to meet people.
Remind The Body Therapy - Yoga classes and holistic treatments available by gift certificate.
Essential Beauty on Chamberlayne Road have been established since year 2000. They offer gift vouchers for any treatment
Natures Heart creams are made from unrefined Shea butter, cold pressed natural & essential oils.
Tabitha Robertson - Holistic aromatherapy facials. Gift vouchers available for Xmas
Straker Hair - Qualified stylist and natural look colourist in Kensal Green. Offering 30% discount to anyone who books an appointment and mentions this blog. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 07956311876
Swanky - Not your average beauty salon! Clients who come here tend to leave with snazzy nails, luscious lashes and a haul of new friends. Gift vouchers available for any treatment.
They Live sell crafted leather goods for the home
Sorted London offer wardrobe and space organisation. A nice gift for people wanting to organise in time for the new year
Chine describe themselves as selling "interesting stuff for curious people". They've recently opened a shop on Chamberlayne Road and it's a treasure trove of vintage fashion, homeware and gifts.
Rise is Kensal Rise longest established gift shop and first opened up in the hood in 2000. It's the older sister of Chine (Rise'n'Chine!) and sells some beautiful and fun items that make great presents.
Growlees - A range of Made in England dog charms for out spoken pups
Just Barking - The shop itself turns into a veritable Santa's Grotto for dogs with plenty of magical Christmas gift ideas - toys, beds, treats, collars, leads and accessories.
Dogs & Horses - Luxury leather accessories in beautiful bright colours for dogs and horses
Mayhew Animal Home Christmas Fair - Sunday 27th November, 12pm - 4pm.
Local Designers and Makers at Homeworks - Sunday 4th & 11th December, 10am - 2pm, Salusbury Rooms, Queens Park
Saturday Frocks - November 26, 12pm - 5pm, The Island on College Road.
St. Mark's Christmas Fair December 3rd, 1pm - 4pm, St. Mark's Bathurst Gardens, London, NW10 5HX
Kensal Christmas Fair at The Masons - December 6th, time TBC, The Masons Arms, Harrow Road