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XpoNorth launches online Christmas marketplace

XpoNorth's Christmas marketplace returns online for a second year running.
XpoNorth's Christmas marketplace returns online for a second year running.

A Christmas marketplace championing Highlands and Islands businesses has now launched.

XpoNorth’s online marketplace is a one-stop ideas shop for those looking to pick up a locally made gift for family and friends this Christmas.

The creative arts organisation launched its appeal last month and a total of 35 regional businesses feature in this year’s marketplace.

XpoNorth’s Christmas marketplace began on Monday November 15.

The initiative is intended to drum up support for small independent businesses by encouraging shoppers to buy local this Christmas.

In addition to the marketplace, the featured brands will take over XpoNorth’s social media channels, giving them further exposure during this crucial trading time.

Wilder Waves are one of the Highlands and Islands businesses featuring in XpoNorth’s Christmas marketplace.

This year’s marketplace includes Wilder Waves from Grantown on Spey, a business which specialises in sustainable clothing and accessories.

Founder and managing director, Jennifer Macdonald-Nethercott, said: “We want to support XpoNorth and share why Wilder Waves was started as a sustainable clothing brand through the Christmas marketplace.

“By sharing this stage with a range of businesses, we hope to stand out to new audiences that are looking to gift something different this Christmas.”

Wilder Waves founder and managing director, Jennifer Macdonald-Nethercott.

The Orkney Brewery is another business featuring in this year’s Christmas marketplace by showcasing its award-winning beers.

Managing director, Norman Sinclair, said: “This type of initiative is very important to small businesses like ours located in Orkney as it gives us access to a wider, more diverse audience.

The Orkney Brewery managing director, Norman Sinclair.

“We have moved our shopping platform on to Shopify and we feel that the online Christmas marketplace is an ideal opportunity for us to promote this.

“We also hope that it will promote Orkney as a staycation area and encourage visitors to come to the islands and visit our five-star visitor centre.”

The Orkney Brewery visitor centre.

Other Highlands and Islands businesses in XpoNorth’s Christmas marketplace this year include Shetland sustainable soap company Mella Handmade Soap.

Chocolates of Glenshiel is also set to be a favourite for those after sweet stocking fillers this year with its range of Scottish inspired chocolate flavours, including Isle of Skye sea salt and dark chocolate.

Mella Handmade Soap.

Iain Hamilton, head of creative industries, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and co-founder of XpoNorth, said: “This year, we are delighted to see the return of some familiar brands from last year’s inaugural Christmas marketplace, as well as welcoming the many new brands who have joined this year.

“About 40% of this year’s makers are showcasing for the first time.

This is a great testament to the support the marketplace can provide in helping our local creative economy thrive this festive season.

“We look forward to seeing shoppers engage with local brands across the coming weeks via the marketplace and our social media channels.”

Visit XpoNorth’s website for more information

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