Tis the season to be thrifty!

Byline hea Hirani

We usually enter December with high spirits, full of excitement and grateful for the year coming to an end. This year, no doubt, things are a little different. Unfortunately, 2020 needs us to work a little harder to bring happiness and cheer into this festive season. While we may be away from our friends and families this holiday, we still have the opportunity to express our love through thoughtful and unique gifts. Check out this list of some of the best vendors in Kampala to help you through your Christmas shopping!

 

Aristoc Booklex

Location: Kampala Road. Garden City. and Acacia Mall Kampala

Social Media: AristocUg – Facebook

 

For all the bookworms and stationary lovers in your life, Aristoc is the ideal place to be. With an intensive book collection for both children and adults, Aristoc is one of the few bookstores in Kampala. It also doubles as a toy store and has a range of board games to pick from. With three accessible locations, you are bound to spot one in due time. The store stocks a range of wrapping materials and has a great card collection to choose from. Their gift cards make an equally awesome present when you just can’t decide the ideal product to go with!

 

Banana Boat

Location: Kisementi, Garden City and Lugogo Mall

Social Media: bananaboatcrafts – Facebook

 

These beautiful shops are one of the oldest and most prominent craft shops in Kampala, located at very convenient spots. They pride themselves in using natural and pure resources. Whether it is paper bead jewellery out of old cereal packets or colored glass blown from old wine bottles, Banana boat is a recycling genius. Their products come from vendors from all across the continent providing you with infinite options.

 

Bold in Africa

Location: Kisementi

Social Media: boldinafrica – Facebook

@boldinafrica – Instagram

 

This Ugandan-based retail outlet partners with up and coming designers from across the African continent. Not only do they create breathtaking collections, they empower women from across the country to create and curate their own fashion lines. Their new branch in Kisementi also stocks home items from furniture to table accessories. If their aesthetic instagram doesn’t impress you, maybe making it to Beyonce’s list of African businesses will!

 

Craft Market

Location: Buganda Road

 

This colorful market on Buganda Road is one of the oldest and largest markets in Kampala. With over 50 different vendors, anything and everything can be found here.

Most of the items you will find on display and for sale are created by hand by the vendors themselves. It is the perfect place to pick up a painting while also shopping for jewelry and wooden items. While the market is more than welcoming, do remember to bargain for your items!

 

Kardamom & Koffee

Location: Plot 4, KAR Drive

Social Media: @kardamomandkoffee – instagram

Kardamom & Koffee – Facebook

 

This hidden gem is not only one of the coolest cafe/bookshops in Kampala, but also stocks a variety of artistic creations. From rustic to classic items, this homeware boutique has a lot of gift options to choose from. The store stocks items from several designers, supporting local businesses greatly. If their Christmas trinkets don’t impress you, their cakes definitely will. Not to forget their unique furniture and top notch service.

 

Kampala Fair

Location: 50th Bukoto Street

Social media: Kampalafair – Facebook

@kampalafair – Instagram

 

This cute little shop holds a variety of high quality clothing. You can find a range of colorful dresses and shirts, all at affordable prices. It prides itself in representing tailors and vendors from around the country and paying fair wages to its suppliers. You can also find Kijani Baby at the location to pick up unique, high quality kitenge diapers for the little ones in your life. Look out for their pop up stores throughout the month!

 

KONA

Location: Plot 43, Bukoto Street

Social Media: The.Kona – Facebook

@lifestylebykona – Instagram

 

This Afro-Indian brand brings together a mix of patterns and styles to create unique, high quality products. It has a mix of fashion and lifestyle options that would make beautiful gifts for your friends and family. Kona sources its materials locally and supports a team of women in Kampala to make their items. They also have an entire section of their store dedicated to local artisans stocking products ranging from crafts to beauty products. Look out for their Christmas markets and pop ups!

 

Maridadi Crafts

Location: Kintu Road

Facebook – maridadiug – Facebook

@maridadicrafts – Instagram

 

At a walking distance from several 5 star hotels, this gift shop is a well hidden surprise. The Swahili word “Maridadi” translated to glamorous, stylish and elegant. They take pride in their huge range of raw materials with sculptures made of clay, paper, plaster, steel, metal, glass, iron and wood. Whether you are looking for pieces to fit into your home or a bold piece to be monumental, Maridadi is the place to check out.

 

Mama Mzungu

Social media – mamamzungusoap – Facebook

@mamamzungusoap – Instagram

 

This online store is a social enterprise soap making initiative of Women and Children with Albinism in Uganda (WACWAU). It consists of over 30 women from across Uganda who have come together to create sustainable jobs, and work together to remove stigma around Albinism. Their products are completely organic and use locally sourced materials. Apart from their uniquely made soaps, the organisation also has a range of crafts and kitenge products to choose from.

 

 

Moonbean Chocolate

Location: Dancing Cup, Bugolobi

Social Media: @moonbeanchocolate – instagram

Moonbean Chocolate – Facebook

 

This local chocolatier is committed to fairness, sustainability, minimal environmental impact and community enhancement. This Christmas you can treat your family and friends to a build your own chocolate tree workshop, an experience as unique as it gets. Moonbean also stocks products from other Ugandan vendors and holds weekend farmers markets with beautiful produce and crafts from around the country. Their collaborations with various brands means you can customize your gifts to get a little bit of everything!

 

T.I.A – This is Africa

Location: Yujo Izakaya, Kyadondo Road, Nakasero

Social Media: @tia_uganda – instagram,

This is Africa Uganda – Facebook

 

This one-shop-fits-all is the perfect place to customize your gifts. You are spoiled for choice with their numerous patterns and styles. Tailors are available on site to take your measurements and make alterations! From masks to home decor to full blown outfits, TIA has something to offer for everyone. They are super responsive online and provide tremendous customer service. Keep an eye out for their Christmas Hampers, they are an absolute steal.