Waltham Forest Echo

Waltham Forest Echo

Last-minute Walthamstow Christmas gift guide 2021

Part of our collaboration with St James Big Local

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Unique gifts from Terra Chokubaiten (credit: Bella Saltiel)
By Bella Saltiel 21 December 2021

I love buying gifts for my friends and family from local Walthamstow makers. It always gives me the opportunity to rave about the brilliant community we have here and support a small business. I’d like to share some ideas for Christmas shopping with all of you, all of which you can find in CRATE (or just over the road in the case of St J's). 

Gifts for the soulful one

Besides their usual array of plants, at Borrowed Light you can also buy jewellery, candles and pots made by local artists. I adored Sooze Ferguson’s pots (above), which are thrown at her studio in Walthamstow and go for £38.


When I want to relax, my go-to candle comes in the shape of Make and Create’s Melatonin candle. Using natural oils and made in CRATE itself, these candles come in a range of scents to help stimulate our brain’s naturally occurring chemicals, like oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine. More of these in the winter dark please!

Gifts for the foodie one

It’s panettone heaven at the Italian Bakery in CRATE. The team’s ordered a selection of artisan panettone, made by hand in Sicily. These look so good that I’ve already asked if I can reserve one in case they go flying off the shelves before Christmas. Get yours whilst stocks last!

Gifts for the eco-conscious one

At Greener Habits Co. - which also stocks a bunch of waste free everyday essentials - you can buy a bathroom gift set made by shop owner Hannah’s mum, who is also responsible for making some of the comfiest masks I’ve ever worn. 

Greener Habits is responsible for providing me with all my seasonal cards for the last two years straight. I just love the way they act as a double gift: after you’ve read them, wet the paper, plant the card and watch the seeds turn to wild flowers. 

Gifts for the crafty one

Terra Chokubaiten is a makers collective shop selling a wide selection of mugs, pottery and other ceramics, all made using natural materials. Many of the ceramics are made locally and the shop has a throwing studio at the back which you can also book to use.

Gifts for the musical one

Owned by sometimes Echo contributor Mike, Vinyl Vanguard record shop sells some of the best avant-garde and jazz in London.

Gifts for the fashionable one


Every Wednesday, Leyton-based Robbie is selling his own label Truevie - which means true love - at Project Zero's unit on the ground floor. 

Gifts for filling up stockings


And finally, for all those little odds and ends, there’s a vast selection of treats perfect to fit in stockings at St J’s Deli, as well as the usual selection of local maker’s pottery and other goodies.