Forget Amazon. Give cheap Chinese apps a miss. Altrincham is blessed with an abundance of wonderful local businesses who can add some originality to your present-buying this year.
Here, we showcase 17 independent businesses in Altrincham who can help you to find unique, often handmade and personalised gifts that will delight loved ones.
And you can feel good by supporting the local economy!
Hand-illustrated personalised prints
Who: Eskimo Kiss Designs
After studying graphic design at university, Hale-based Kim Finch set up Eskimo Kiss Designs 10 years ago while trying to juggle freelance life and being a mum. She designs personalised prints and cards in her home studio and sells them on her website, as well on Not on the High Street and Thortful.
Buy it this Christmas: Kim’s personalised prints for grandparents and parents are the perfect gift from little ones.
Special offer: Use the code ALTYTODAY10 at the checkout and get 10% off your order.
Fine quality homeware
Who: NINA D
Nina Daniels founded her high quality homeware business NINA D in 2020. Her unique tableware collections showcase hand illustrated designs, inspired by her Swedish upbringing and family traditions. She offers placemats, coasters, serving trays, handmade table linen as well as my brand new jigsaw in the charming street scene Karlaplan. Each order comes beautifully gift wrapped for free, with click and collect available from Nina’s studio in Altrincham, or free local delivery.
Buy it this Christmas: Nina’s brand new Jigsaw Puzzle 500 piece, featuring a rainy day street scene that customers have previously loved on her placemats and trays. The jigsaw is beautifully packaged in a peacock blue satin drawstring bag with locally printed A5 card of the artwork. It’s a great gift for all, and priced at £23.
Special offer: Use the code NINA10 at the checkout and get 10% off your order
Eco-conscious house plants
Who: Green and Grounded
Founded in August 2020, Green & Grounded was created by husband and wife, Matt and Rowan Hammond. After returning from travelling throughout Europe and Japan and searching out plant and lifestyle shops in various countries, they decided to open on Stamford New Road and have now expanded to Stanley Square in Sale. Focusing on sustainably produced plants, using ethical and fair trade growers, they are aiming to use as little plastic as possible whilst ensuring their plants differ from the norm - who wants something you can buy in a supermarket?!
Buy it this Christmas: Festive door wreaths, terrariums and Bonsai trees
More: Follow @greenandgoundeduk on Instagram
From Tokyo with love
Who: a twist
Chie, Yayoi and Chiharu have different backgrounds but one thing in common - they all came from Japan and met up in Altrincham. They wanted to do something creative that utilised their strengths, passions and work experiences. The result is a twist, and their vision is to help others enjoy their lives through their products, which have a hint of Japanese culture “with a little twist”. Products include handmade bags, clothes, kitchenware and traditional Japanese tea towels called tenugui.
Buy it this Christmas: Made of 100% wool, the hot water bottle bag will ingeniously keep your back warm on freezing cold days - and you save energy at home. Available in grey, pink and navy.
Special offer: Use the code AT10 at the checkout and get 10% off your order
More: Follow @_a.twist_ on Instagram
Personalised photo products
Who: BT Photographic
A family business opened in Timperley more than 35 years ago, BT Photographic started life as a one-hour photo processing shop back in the days before digital cameras. It still develops digital prints, but its huge range of products now includes photobooks, canvases, wooden photo blocks and personalised gift prints.
Buy it this Christmas: BT Photographic’s custom-made glass photo Christmas baubles and new novelty Pawtraits (turn your pet into a work of art!)
Special offer: Get a free standard print with any frame purchased - just mention "Altrincham Today"
More: BT Photographic, 74 Wood Lane, Timperley, WA15 7PL, or call 0161 980 5918. Follow @BTPhoto1 on Facebook.
Who: Burts Cheese
Founded by Claire Burt in Altrincham in 2009, Burts Cheese is now based at Bidlea Dairy in Holmes Chapel. It makes a range of award-winning cheeses, and also runs cheese-making workshops in its dedicated classroom on the farm next to the dairy.
Buy it this Christmas: Cheese-making workshops (book a date or buy as a voucher).
Special offer: Use the code AT10 in December to get 10% off cheese-making vouchers when booking here.
More: Follow @BurtsCheese on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Also follow @Thecheeseworkshops on Instagram
Luxury sustainable hampers
Who: EZ Hampers
Altrincham-based Lisa Storey spent three decades in the social care sector before deciding in lockdown to launch EZ Hampers. Her vision was to make hampers sustainable, with all packaging biodegradable and a pledge to be completely plastic-free by 2024. Among the vast array of hampers to suit most occasions, there are hampers to fit any dietary need, from gluten-free to kosher. EZ Hampers also make a donation to Cash for Kids for every hamper sold.
Buy it this Christmas: The Purple Christmas Hamper includes Studs of Hope earrings from Afghanistan, a soy candle, bath salts, loose leaf teas, red wine, vegan flower soap, a reusable nail file and much more.
Personalised equestrian products
Altrincham-based Tamsin and Dawn are a mother and daughter duo with a deep love for horses and animals. Four Hills Equestrian was born this summer with a mission to provide tailor-made equestrian products that cater to the unique needs of horse owners.
Buy it this Christmas: The Christmas Bucket Hamper is more than just a container; it's a treasure trove of equestrian essentials, including a headcollar and leadrope, grooming tools and tasty treats.
Special offer: Use the coupon ‘altrincham2023’ for a 15% discount online
More: Follow @fourhillsequestrian on Facebook and Instagram
Womenswear with a Scandinavian twist
Who: SKANDA Clothing
Opening in 2022, SKANDA is a family run ladieswear boutique on George Street specialising in Scandinavian clothing. It stocks a wide range of knitwear and party clothes as well as scarves, woolly hats, handbags and slippers.
Buy it this Christmas: Traditional Nordic-style hats, from Norwegian brand Borjesson. These hats are designed in Norway for the tough Nordic climate and have been tested north of the Arctic Circle.
Special offer: Mention Altrincham Today and you’ll get 10% off any non-discounted items
More: 14 George St, Altrincham WA14 1SF. Follow @skandaclothing on Facebook and @skanda_clothing on Instagram
Give the gift of wellbeing
Francesca Nelson is a Level 5 qualified reflexologist and her treatments are suitable for those going through specific health issues such as anxiety, arthritis, pregnancy or menopause, as well as individuals who simply want some space to take a break from their busy lives and enjoy some precious “me time”.
Buy it this Christmas: Treatment vouchers for family, friends or employees.
Special offer: 10% off a treatment of your choice with every full priced treatment voucher purchased before Christmas.
High quality eyewear
Based on Regent Road since 1983, Maskell and Josephson offers high quality eye care, glasses, contact lenses and associated products and services to people from Altrincham and nationwide. Established by Ross Maskell, it was taken over by current owner Anthony Josephson in 2017.
Buy it this Christmas: A huge selection of fabulous glasses or a dry eye spa treatment
Special offer: 20% off in-house dry eye treatments or eye spa treatments (booked before December 23rd 2023 and carried out before March 1st 2024, plus 10% off any red, green or fully bespoke frames.
More: 16 Regent Road, Altrincham, WA14 1RP. Follow @MaskellOptom on X, Instagram, Facebook and Threads
Vintage homewares and gifts
Who: The Hive
Located on Grosvenor Road, a two-minute walk away from Altrincham Interchange, The Hive was founded by Steven and Gareth who started the business from a market stall on Altrincham Market. The shop has grown from antiques to stocking a wide variety of products, from bath and body products to homewares and gifts. It’s soon to expand to a bricks and mortar cafe bar and deli next door.
Buy it this Christmas: One of The Hive’s most popular gifts is the Hori Hori knife. This Japanese inspired garden multi-tool has a full tang blade crafted from toughened steel and features a tactile walnut wood handle. Very useful around the garden for everything from digging and pruning to branch-cutting, and comes in a protective sheath and gift box. £30.
Special offer: Use code HIVEFIVE and get £5 off a Hori Hori knife
More: 32a Grosvenor Road, Altrincham, WA14 1LA. Follow @hivestores.uk on Instagram and Facebook
Upcycled bauble wreaths
Who: The Quirky Wreath Co.
Launched in lockdown by Amy who has since been joined by her friend Bethan, Altrincham-based The Quirky Wreath Co creates wreaths that use old, unloved baubles. Their large, quirky, sustainable wreaths can be used year after year with minimal waste. Originally selling just to local residents, they’ve now begun to post their wreaths nationwide.
Special offer: Free gift boxing and delivery to Altrincham-based customers and £5 off a 2024 Spring, Autumn or Christmas wreath with code AltToday (available for pre-order now)
More: Follow @thequirkywreathco_ on Instagram or @thequirkywreathco on Facebook
Shoes with a difference
Who: Jake Shoes
Opening in 2017, independent shoe shop Jake Shoes is the family-run business’s third shop. The brand actually dates back to 1975, when Jake’s mum converted her hairdressing salon into a shoe shop after developing a successful sideline selling shoes. It's always stuck to its original ideal of offering a choice of shoes different from the rest of the high street.
Buy it this Christmas: Dr Martens, UGG boots, Kickers and Skechers
More: 24 George Street, Altrincham WA14 1SF. Visit jakeshoes.co.uk or follow @Jakeshoes on instagram and Facebook
Personalised wooden gifts
Who: What We Made Shop
Mother and daughter team Sue and Halle is a local business making personalised wooden gifts. The pair say they "lovingly craft and curate each gift from our home studio with design-led timeless gifts that our customers cherish for years to come". Products include Christmas Eve boxes, personalised family baubles, wedding & engagement keepsake boxes, baby gifts and wooden frames.
Buy it this Christmas: Its best-selling personalised Christmas Eve Boxes are a gorgeous way to mark the day before December 25th, with festive pyjamas, a story book and a night before Christmas treat.
More: Visit whatwemadeshop.co.uk or follow @what_we_made on Instagram
Spruce up your skin
Founded by Rebecca Dore and Dr Euchael Davidson, Revolution Aesthetics is a doctor-led skin clinic on Oxford Road offering a wide range of non-surgical solutions for those who are seeking to improve and maintain the appearance of their skin. Treatments include anti-ageing injectables, collagen drinks, threads, skin peels, microneedling and non-surgical rhinoplasty.
Buy it this Christmas: Microneedling is a skin renewing treatment that’s designed to stimulate the skin to repair itself naturally. Treatments start from £79.
Special offer: Use the code AT10 for 10% off any treatments booked in December 2023
More: Oxford Road Clinic, 36 Oxford Rd, Altrincham WA14 2EB.
Manchester-inspired homeware and gifts
Who: The Sculpts
Brainchild of illustrator and architect Richard Bennett, The Sculpts was founded during the 2020 lockdown with a range of handmade ‘Manchester’ tiles, one for each letter of the city’s name, with each 6 inch by 6 inch tile depicting a different stage in Manchester’s transformation – from post-industrial depression to a technological and cultural force to be reckoned with.
Together with partner Jade King, The Sculpts has since grown into a distinctive range of beautiful drawings brought to life in upmarket homewares, prints and textiles.
The Sculpts has had a permanent presence at Altrincham Market since March 2022 and recently opened its first permanent shop in Stanley Square in Sale.
Special offer: Get a free enamel pin badge with all purchases over £30 between now and Christmas
More: Follow @thesculpts on X and Facebook