The Independent Awards 2021

Modern Crafter Award

This award was won by Hattie McGill Embroidery who received a cash prize of £10,000, and the Runner-up was MW Makes who received £5,000.

As a reminder, this award celebrates the makers, those who use their hands to bring traditional techniques into the 21st century. It’s about delighting with quality materials, engaging the customer creatively with a twist of tradition and giving craft the modern spotlight it deserves.

The Winner

Hattie McGill Embroidery

Hattie McGill creates incredible embroidered works of art and wearable pieces. Using traditional Goldwork embroidery techniques and hand embroidery, she creates brilliantly modern designs that are a joy to wear.

The Runner-Up

MW Makes

Developed through a passion for design and craftsmanship, Michelle creates personalised, handcrafted leather goods for the everyday, using traditional saddlery techniques. All products are made from vegetable tanned leather which is the oldest and most sustainable method of tanning.

Nominees and Finalists

Each of these independent business has been selected for being outstanding in this category. Which is your favourite?

Botanical Tales

A creative business born from founder Bex’s love for the natural world and seasons. Bex grows and dries her flowers following sustainable practices and uses these botanicals to create unique pieces for your homes and spaces.

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Shortlisted stamp

Kerchung Creative

Edgy, subversive porcelain jewellery and ceramics designed (with tongue firmly in cheek) by Karen Cheung. Juxtaposing beautiful craftsmanship with world-weary humour, each piece is meticulously hand made and one-of-a-kind.

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Shortlisted stamp

Tozer Signs

Devoted to the craft of signwriting since 2015, Tozer brings traditional methods and skills into the 21st Century with bold and exciting signs and murals. Her work aims to brighten the spaces of people near and far.

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Shortlisted stamp

Amy Swann

Amy creates magical, sustainable heirloom pieces inspired by memory, childhood nostalgia and tradition. These authentic designs are beautifully hand crafted and painted — made to be treasured for generations.

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Birkim Bags

Birkim Bags is the culmination of years of crafting projects merged into one single idea. Kim’s small ceramics business is inspired and styled around plastic bags, except these won’t end up in the ocean.

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Brazen Botany

Brazen Botany is a statement art houseplant brand. These handcrafted paper plants are full of personality and impossible to kill! Designed to thrive in all settings, and brighten any space regardless of the season.

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Broken Hare

Broken Hare sculpt animal sculptures in clay from reference photos and frequent visits to the zoo. Then they mould, cast, paint and flock their creations to give them a realistic finish that mimics real life.

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Emma Giacalone Textiles

Using a traditional handcraft to send a modern message, Emma creates intricately stitched embroidered artworks, using ordinary objects to celebrate how extraordinary we all are.

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Inspired by folk art, founder Karolina promotes and revives traditional crafts. Her shop Folka, full of unique art pieces, is a colourful feast for the eyes.

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Freya Bramble Carter Ceramics

Freya’s clay club is one of London’s little gems bursting with a richness of creativity. Together with her father, they teach pottery classes where people learn how to throw on the pottery wheel and sculpt out of clay.

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Iseabal Hendry

Iseabal Hendry handweaves vegetable tanned leather accessories in the Scottish Highlands. Her practice originated from a desire for zero-waste and is a contemporary take on traditional craft skills like basketry and roof thatching.

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Kate Gwilliam

Kate Gwilliam, aka The Queen of Sequins, is on a mission to make the mundane marvellous. Inspired by supermarket shelves, recreating food and drinks using the art of sequin embroidery. From avocados to vodka, Kate has done it all.

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Katie Tinkler Illustration

Katie creates fun and brightly coloured food themed products varying from greeting cards to original gouache paintings, capturing everyone’s favourite foods.

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Leo Flowers

Handcrafted from paper by founder Jessie, Leo Flowers are a sustainable, everlasting alternative to the real thing. From single stems to giant displays, Leo Flowers bloom all year round.

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Rhubarb Tree

Based in Derbyshire, Rhubarb Tree creates handmade original keepsakes and miniature dioramas. Working with a collection of vintage items and curiosities to achieve this means that each piece is unique.

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Signs By Umberto

Umberto is a traditional signwriter who specialises in églomisé. Umberto’s work varies from large scale murals on buildings to highly intricate works of art on glass using techniques that are Victorian.

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Stitch & Glory

A one-woman embroidery business, designing and hand stitching personal pieces of art for you or those you love from her home studio by the sea in Essex.

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Wild Floss Embroidery

Wild Floss Embroidery is a business that has evolved from a true passion for modern embroidery. Their embroidery kits are designed to encourage mindful stitching in a style that is unique to each individual.

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Other Award Categories

Don't forget you can vote for one business in each category

Small Business of the Year

Exceptional all-round small business superstar

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Business for Good Award

Purpose led business bringing positive change

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Female Founder Award

Unstoppable spirit, brilliant business, paving the way

Vote Now

High Street Shop Award

The heart of our high street, the soul of our community

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These awards would not be possible without our incredible small business supporters who truly believe in the power of small.


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