BCU Alumni: Christmas Gift Guide 2023


Searching for the perfect Christmas gift? This festive season you can support a wide range of BCU Alumni-owned independent businesses.

From books and art to jewellery and fashion, there’s lots to choose from thanks to this talented bunch.

Here is a selection of alumni-owned independents that you can get behind when searching for the perfect gift. Start your Christmas shopping here!

Odd Orange

Illustration alumna Morgan Grice is the graduate behind Odd Orange, a handmade stationery business specialising in functional and sustainable stationery. From handmade sketchbooks and notebooks to greetings cards, art prints and stickers, you’ll be able to find lots of fun, colourful and unique gifts here.

Hay Fine Jewellery

School of Jewellery alumni and husband and wife team Chris and Bonnie Hay own their own jewellery shop, Hay Fine Jewellery, in Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter. From super cool modern pieces to totally bespoke jewellery where Chris and Bonnie can bring your vision to life, Hay Fine Jewellery offers something special for everyone.


Business Management alumna Shovon Wiggan founded her business, Inspire-A-Doll, with the aim to improve the representation of multi-cultural dolls for children. The Inspire-A-Doll collection includes four dolls from all different cultures and backgrounds.

Cora and Spink

Making accessories for every day adventures are Cora and Spink, founded and run by Fashion alumnus Tim Johnson. From backpacks and utility bags to laptop cases and wallets, Cora and Spink have you covered. The products are all environmentally friendly too; they’re biodegradable, 100% vegan and made from recycled cotton. What’s not to love?

Soft Season

Jewellery graduate Rosie Jehan is the alumna behind Soft Season, a handmade and sustainable jewellery business. Rosie’s creations are inspired by ceramics and ancient jewellery, with all pieces hand carved from wax and cast in recycled metal. From rings and necklaces to gift cards and even workshops you can attend, there’s lots to choose from!

Jenko + Co

Illustration alumna Charlotte Jenkins is the graduate behind Jenko + Co, which offers everything from cute postcards and A4 prints to adorable ceramic pet baubles. There's lots of cards available too, perfect for that special someone in your life.


Textile Design graduate Jade Devall is the founder of Design44, a lifestyle and gift store that champions small makers and design-led brands. Products are available online, and there is a pop-up store at the Bullring until February 2024.


From plant stands and benches to record display shelves and coffee tables, Grove, run by graduate Melissa Hobbs and her partner Rob, offer super cool and sustainable furniture and homewares for both traditional and modern homes.

Emma J Shipley

Textile Design alumna Emma J Shipley offers a wide range of beautiful items with her iconic print designs, from cushions and bedding to prints, mugs and even fabric and wallpaper, there’s so many gift options for you to check out.

Roots 0121

Visual Communication alumna Ruth is behind Roots 0121. As well as murals and bespoke illustrations, Roots sell everything from prints, badges and pouches to cute tote bags at their shop in Red Brick Market in Digbeth. If you can’t make it there, you can also check them out on Etsy.

Phoebe Robinson

Illustration graduate Phoebe Robinson is an illustrator and mural artist. She offers a range of fun and colourful prints from her online store.

Hellcat Jewellery

Specialising in gothic jewellery, Hellcat Jewellery, run by Design Crafts alumna Jo Herriots, is also based in the Jewellery Quarter. The shop combines everyday jewellery like earrings, bracelets and necklaces, alongside bespoke engagement and wedding rings, and memorial jewellery, all with a gothic twist.

Maryam Wahid

Award-winning photographer Maryam Wahid graduated from BCU’s Photography course back in 2018. Alongside showcasing her work at major exhibitions across the UK, Maryam sells a selection of her striking photographs, the perfect gift for your photography-loving friends!

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I visited Lahore, Pakistan for the first time when I was 24 years old in 2019. I remember growing up hearing my friends visiting their families and going back to their ancestral homes in Pakistan all the time and I yearned to go. I wanted to meet my maternal family and I wanted to explore my ancestral routes. Having Pakistani heritage, it was always important for me to learn about my culture and appreciate it. Be it British or Pakistani. I embarked on a journey to Lahore and it took me beyond my imagination of Lahore. I wasn’t only finding my ancestors stories but my own. I started asking the question to myself constantly, what would have my life been like if I lived here. This self portrait is a reflection of one of the many imaginations I had. Zaibunnisa, my new art work is a result of that journey. I’m honoured to tell you that a part of it is being exhibited at Kings Cross Granary Square London @kingscrossn1c thank you @thephotographersgallery 🫶🏼 In light of Pakistan’s 75th Independence Day, I’d like to share some photographs from this work which also includes film and diary entries that document my journey. The work addresses themes of loss, memory, displacement, identity and migration whilst importantly counterbalancing a celebratory future that my paternal grandparents made for us in Birmingham. 🇬🇧🇵🇰 Many thanks to @mac_birmingham for supporting this work and @britishcouncil @britishcouncilpakistan for this life changing opportunity❤️

The Clean Kilo

The Clean Kilo, a zero-waste supermarket in Bournville, is co-founded by BCU alumna Jeanette Wong and offers a huge online store. Items include sustainable lunch boxes, oils, soaps, children's books, water bottles, and even reusable crackers. Jeanette also runs KiloZiro in Digbeth, a café, bar and refill taproom. The venue offers culinary experiences, workshops and courses.

Fei Liu Jewellery

Jewellery and Silversmithing alumnus Fei has won countless awards for his innovative and contemporary designs. Also based in the Jewellery Quarter, Fei Liu Jewellery create dazzling brooches, bracelets, necklaces, earrings and even tiaras!

Abbie Severn

BCU graduate, artist and illustrator Abbie Severn, is currently selling products from her incredible Digbeth Collection. From the Custard Factory to Floodgate Street, you’ll be able to find the perfect print of the best spots in Brum’s creative quarter for your Digbeth-lovin’ pal.


Illustration alumna Taylor Brooker creates incredible aerial embroidery hoops, as well as personalised landscapes and pencil portraits.

The Heath Bookshop

BCU alumna Dr Catherine Gale runs bookshop, The Heath Bookshop, in Kings Heath with friend Claire. The bookshop offers coffee and cake and runs events. So whether you’re looking for the perfect gift for a bookworm, or fancy treating yourself, head along and support this great independent business.

Jean & Moon

Looking for something a little more personal? Alumna Phoebe Munger is the graduate behind Jean & Moon, offering bespoke personalised gifts made here in the West Midlands. From baubles and stockings, to teddys, mugs and pillows; you’ll be able to find the perfect personalised gift for everyone from your parents to your pets.

Kiya Coralles

Kiya Coralles is the work of Jewellery alumna, Kiya. She sources inspiration from ancient South American art and architecture, with the sun a central element in many of her designs as a nod to the Inca sun god, Inti. Kiya specialises in commitment rings and custom‑made jewellery, but also works with clients who want to transform their old jewellery by using existing stones or metal. How cool is that!

Haseebah Ali

Illustration alumna Haseebah Ali offers a selection of beautiful artwork on her online store, including prints and postcards.

Birmingham Stationery Co.

Birmingham Stationery Co. is created by Amrit and Muhammad, who met while studying Architecture at BCU. Their stationery fosters everyday creativity, for notes and sketches that make up big ideas. They source premium materials from around the world and manufacture their books by hand in‑house. Their nature‑inspired print notebooks are perfect for the stationery lover in your life, or alternatively they have a great set of greetings cards too!

The Great Present

MA Fine Art graduate Lucy Gow is the founder of independent business 'The Great Present'. The business offers a range of gifts, including 'Chubbys' which are acrylic boxes that house 300 sheets of personalised paper, the perfect gift for a stylish home office.

Are you a BCU graduate who would like to be included in our Gift Guide? Contact us today on: Alumni@bcu.ac.uk

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