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Shopping & Lifestyle

A Christmas 2022 Gift Guide: Self-Care Gift Ideas for Soft Girls

Because cottagecore is here to stay, some ideas for the soft girls



In these modern times, where everything is fast-paced, some trends point us to a yearning for the good old days. Think: life being simple, people living in harmony with nature. This yearning is the reason behind the resurgence of “cottagecore,” a lifestyle aesthetic emphasizing simplicity, social consciousness, and sustainability. More than that, it reminds people of some kind of gentle peacefulness that comes with rural life. Here, hobbyists can enjoy and appreciate the importance of traditional skills such as baking bread, gardening, sewing clothes, and creating handmade crafts.


Taking inspiration from literary heroines like Anne of Green Gables and Laura Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie, one group in particular—the soft girls—is seen to romanticize the idyllic life in the countryside. They’re fond of feminine clothing in soft fabrics. Puffed sleeves and ruffles, what one might wear while picking wildflowers or baking floral focaccia bread, are absolutely part of the look, too. If you feel that you are a kindred spirit of soft girls, the local shops featured ahead will for sure resonate with you. Perfect for the upcoming holiday season? We think so.



Kore’s Apoteacary

A pleasant consequence to the end of one dream, Kore’s Apoteacary was considered a new beginning for its founder Ash Sarmiento. This little online shop based in Antipolo is a paradise for soft girls with its enchanted tea sets, sweet baked goodies, and fairy-like treasures. Here, Sarmiento makes custom blends of floral tisanes and bakes buttery scones, lovely reminders to find quiet moments of peace. She also crafts Nymph Bands: unique, delicate floral rings handmade from clay. 


Products at Kore’s Apoteacary start at ₱250, all of which are packed into special gift boxes. For this brand, this kind of mindful packaging serves as a lovely reminder for soft girl shoppers to treat themselves always with kindness and to take care of their wellbeing.


Kore’s Apoteacary



The Art of Yarn

The Art of Yarn began as a gallery that documents the explorations of its founder, artist Judith Basco, with fiber art: knitting, crocheting, macrame, and weaving. In 2019, Basco began teaching Modern Weaving, offering classes for both children and adults in all learning stages. Through these classes, she was able to provide them with weaving kits that utilize repurposed yarns. Now, she has recorded video guides of projects that one can make from start to finish. 


The shop’s weaving kits start at ₱500, with the latest Weave-It-Yourself Mini as the most affordable in the product lineup. These kits are perfect for gift-giving because more people can share this as a new hobby and enjoy a fun therapeutic skill together with their loved ones. Through the art of weaving, we are reminded to see the beauty in stillness and to acknowledge our progress.


The Art of Yarn



Journallyours

For soft girls who love writing their thoughts and like preserving memories in scrapbooks, this shop is a perfect match. Founder Ruth Rodrigo started making journals in 2019 as a hobby. During the pandemic, however, this hobby turned into a serious passion. A self-taught embroidery artist and journal crafter, she got her start by watching tutorials online and visiting bookmakers to observe their skills in making hardbound covers.


Delicate embroideries that depict romantic flowers and woodland animals are handstitched on the journal covers, while the pages are filled with mixed materials that have a Victorian charm. Apart from the signature art journals and memory books, Journallyours also offers dainty floral embroidered necklaces. Embroidered necklaces start at ₱495, while pre-made art journals start at ₱7,125. The shop also accepts orders for custom-made journals should you prefer a special piece that is uniquely yours.


Journallyours



Mga Kalat ni Khael

Growing up in the province of Marinduque, 21-year-old Khael discovered the joys of crafting through experimenting with baking, sewing, scrapbooking, and making resin products. As a university student during the pandemic, she found herself seeking something meaningful to do while classes are suspended. Together with her mom, she opened a cake business called La Pasticceria where she earned her first real income.


Even with the baking business, Khael felt that she wanted to do more. She rekindled her passion for resin handicrafts, balancing her time between crafting and attending online classes. Thus, began the story of Mga Kalat ni Khael. This shop offers a variety of affordable resin-based products that soft girls will enjoy for sure. Bookmarks, keychains, necklaces, bracelets, journal covers, painting palettes, and coasters are just some of the gift items you can find here. Apart from resin crafts, Khael also makes soy candles and customized scrapbooks Visit the store to shop.


Mga Kalat ni Khael



Tarts Manila

Consider tea time and coffee breaks an essential recreational activity? For soft girls, the answer is yes. The selection of Tarts Manila is perfect for such an occasion; they’re delectable tarts that look wonderful served on vintage crockery. As the sister brand of Grazes by Mrs. Reyes, a company that specializes in curating grazing tables for special occasions, Tarts Manila offers premium desserts and canapés, notable for the homey feel they bring.


Some of the shop’s bestselling canapés are the salmon rosettes, crème prosciutto, and margheritta. For desserts: blueberry cheesecake, strawberries & crème, and s’mores are set to surely satisfy those with a sweet tooth. The price range of these premium tarts starts at ₱1,349 per box of 15 pieces.


Tarts Manila



LibrAria

This store’s founder Gayle always found solace in the world of books. The history of this charming bookshop is centered on that. Even in memorable milestones of her life, books were involved: her husband proposed to her in a bookstore, for example. They got married in a library, too. Amidst the pandemic, books figured into her life in another way when she opened LibrAria, an online bookshop named after her daughter Aria.


LibrAria curates a selection of titles such as vintage books from the early 1900s, timeless classics, poetry, art books, and inspirational books. Notably, these items are photographed in romantic flat lays that soft girls resonate with. Book prices depend on the condition of the items, which is described in detail in the captions. LibrAria also provides customized wrapping of books through stamps and flowers, making the gifting experience more personal. In this age of modern technology, it is a gift to read a physical copy of a book, getting lost in the magic of such dream worlds.


LibrAria



Got other Christmas shopping lists you need to hack through? More ideas here: Proudly Local Gifts Ideas for Everyone in the Family.




Author Cris Roxas

Art Maurice Zafra

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