6 best Father's Day gifts from Cardiff small businesses

by Alice Ojeda
Best father's day gifts from Cardiff small businesses

If you're lucky enough to have the kind of dad or a man in your life who supports you, is in your corner and who you can look up to, finding a great Father's Day gift is a fun way to show your love. And it doesn't have to be just leather wallets or socks (although we have some very nice ones!)

Running my small business, Authentic House, from Splott in Cardiff has taught me that finding a brilliant gift for mums is easier than for dads. I think it's because men aren't conventionally 'allowed' to like colourful things, skincare and candles - although many do! I like a challenge though, and I've had a fab time curating local small business friends and finds I think your dad might love. So here are my 6 best Father's Day gifts from Cardiff small businesses.

1.  A punk t-shirt for dads who've been through tough times

This t-shirt inspired my blog! I just spent all morning admiring the 'Self Love is Punk Rock' tee worn by Si Martin from Heads Above The Waves. Hw was speaking at Talk Event Cardiff (a great monthly event for creative small business owners at Insole Court!) Si began his mental health charity when he realised drumming alone wasn't going to help young people dealing with depression and self harm.

This punk t-shirt isn't just very cool, it's also helping to support Heads Above The Waves' work educating and inspiring Cardiffians around mental health. As they say, 'Punk rock is about freedom in all sorts of forms. And self-love is about making some time and space to be free from all the rubbish stuff that swirls around inside. So self-love is punk rock.'

If you have a dad who's into music, also check out the Heads Above The Waves vinyl records. They're curated by Si, who's also a professional drummer, all around mental health.

2. Ceremonial cacao for dads who love self care

When I first started Authentic House, I sat in Cardiff's Milk & Sugar interviewing Gareth. Gareth's small business, Old Faithful is a masculine brand that makes a great gift for dads. What I love most though is how Gareth is tuned  into wellness and exploring new rituals for self care.

I've chosen a pouch of organic ceremonial cacao paste for dads who love learning to take care of themselves. Cacao is minimally processed chocolate that's full of vitamins and minerals. Gareth carefully sources his from a Peruvian cooperative dedicated to traditional farming.

3. Show your love for Welsh-speaking dads (or aspiring ones!)

I've gotten to know Rich Appleby's artwork through his sister. Lois runs Indie Collectives markets around South Wales and her shop Annie & Lolo is a great find for gifts in Barry! Rich's small business is Baldhead Designs. It's based around his fabulous handwriting and splatters of colours and lines that feel a bit Quentin-Blake-like too, but different.

Send your Welsh-speaking dad the 'Caru Ti' card (which means 'Love you'). It's the kind of card he can hold onto well after Father's Day to brighten up his workspace or frame for the wall. You can also ask Rich for custom cards - I bought a Mother's Day card from him that was hand drawn! Everything is designed and penned from Rich's Cardiff loft studio.

4. A Cardiff cake delivery for dads with a sweet tooth

It was piped green, studded with pearls and fresh flowers with the stems wrapped in tin foil... Jenny from JayJay Cakes had made a towering masterpiece for my sibling's birthday with the one prompt 'vintage'. While I don't suggest you go for a whole cake this Father's Day (although you could!), Jenny also makes gorgeous vegan cupcakes you can get delivered.

My partner Daniel is the man I see the most these days, and his absolute favourite cake is coffee. That's why I've chosen the coffee & walnut cupcakes for my best Father's Day gifts from Cardiff sweet treat suggestion. Each cupcake comes with swirls of hand-piped coffee icing decorated with walnuts, chocolate coffee beans and golden sprinkles. If your dad's eco-conscious, he'll also appreciate that all of Jenny's cakes are plant based.

5. A neon sign workshop for creative dads

What else would work for dads?, I was thinking. Well, my friend Michelle has a brilliant neon octopus in her living room that she made herself at a Cardiff workshop run by Charlotte at Twin Made. On a side note, Charlotte's another lovely small business supporter who let me pitch up stalls in her shipping container in The Bone Yard when I first started Authentic House!

The best thing about the neon sign workshop is that you don't have to bring anything beforehand. Charlotte has it all planned out and you'll get to make a your own sign from A3 OSB board with one colour of LED light - or two if you're feeling fancy! These classes are also affordable too, so great for pitching in with siblings if you want an excuse to book in that all-elusive time together around Father's Day.

6. Marbled charcoal soap and organic fox socks for the eco-conscious dads

I hope by now I've covered every sort of lovely, nurturing, courageous dad. Maybe you have the kind of dad who's taught you to care about nature and values sustainability. If so, I've also created our own sustainable Father's Day gifts collection sharing even more ideas. You'll find marbled charcoal, lime and ginger soap swirled through with white and red clay, my favourite organic bamboo socks (covered with foxes - no spitfire plane designs for our dads!) and even a card for the underappreciated cat dads of the world.

So there you go - my 6 best Father's Day gifts from Cardiff small businesses. I hope you find them useful in your hunt for a creative and sustainable gift that properly reflects your Cardiffian dad. Do you have any favourite finds for Father's Day gifts in South Wales or beyond? Buying presents for dads can be a challenge, so comment them below as I'd love to know.

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