Small Business Life

8 dead cool and totally gothy indie brands for Halloween 2021

Lyzi wears black gridded top and beige trousers, sits on a pink sofa in a pink room, holding a magazine
Lyzi Unwin
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Where my ghouls at?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not Christmas. If you’re a fan of the macabre, then October is a killer month. Hands up which one of you creeps has a Halloween countdown calendar?

You’ll find a bunch of fiends working at Studio Cotton, and at least two of us have a penchant for the dark side. One of them is Hannah (more on her in a sec) and one of them is me, Lyzi.

Despite leaving my full-blown goth phase back in ~2006, I still like to refer to it frequently (as does one of my best friends, who tries to explain things like football to me in “goth terms”). The morbidity never fully leaves you.

So, when Aime asked if I wanted to write a blog post about “cool spooky independent shops” for Halloween, I didn’t even really answer – my feelings on the matter were glaring.

Something we all like doing at Studio Cotton is bigging up lovely indie brands. You may think “lovely” and “grisly” don’t go hand in severed hand, but oh, boo, they do.

Forget the tricks and go straight to treating yourself for Halloween – read on to see our favourite spine-tingling indies and some of their dead cool designs.

9 spooky indie brands for Halloween:


1. SLAB jewellery for adornments with attitude



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A post shared by SLAB (@slab_jewellery)

Quick disclaimer: Hannah works here as a cunning website designer, but we promise that she hasn’t told us to write this about her. She also makes wicked jewellery. What a talented lady.

With a background working as an art director and designer, and a fondness for darker aesthetics, Hannah started her independent shop SLAB Jewellery to bridge the gap between skull rings that were too macabre and too cutesy.

She’s now grown her indie jewellery brand to include a range of responsibly carved and crafted adornments, “with just the right amount of attitude.”

Inspired by 16th century Memento Mori treasures, the SLAB jewellery collection includes lots of bones, roses and sharp halo spikes. They are all one of a kind pieces, finished by hand in Hannah’s Bristol workshop. She also offers bespoke creations, if you need something extra special and extra spooky.

SLAB Jewellery website

SLAB Jewellery Instagram 


2. Woollen Wytch for magical handspun yarn

Stephanie Male is the braaaaaiiins behind indie brand Woollen Wytch – offering hand dyed yarns and fibres for intrepid knitters and crafters. All of the Woollen Wytch yarns are handspun in her home in Bristol.

Like a supernatural spider, she’s got over a decade of experience in spinning, as well as a passion for sustainability – Steph saves and reuses leftover yarn, dyes and water. We love an eco friendly small business.

The Woollen Wytch blog is full of dead useful information, reviews and recommendations, and tutorials on all things yarn and spinning. It’s time for you lazybones to learn a new (witch)craft.

What’s more, Steph has created a hair-raising Halloween Treat Box for all you yarn fiends out there – including stichmarkers, yarn, and a few other little treats (no tricks included).

Woollen Wytch website

Woollen Wytch Instagram


3. Cat O’Brien for gothic garments


Cat O’Brien has had a lifelong attraction to the grisly British history and displays of grandeur through dress. She specialises in historically inspired garments, which are designed, cut and sewn by Cat herself, in the most ethical and sustainable way.

Her online independent shop is filled with one-off gothic garments made from remnants and deadstock fabric, as well as made to order corsets. They are all killer pieces that you want to invest in and keep for eternity.

Cat’s designs are born out of her adoration for costume – including spooky Halloween garb – and are adorned with period details and humorous twists.

Cat O’Brien website

Cat O’Brien Instagram


4. Left Hook for dark drawings and lino prints

Nichola has been printmaking for the past 3 years, creating everything by hand in her “little art crypt” in Surrey while listening to dark history podcasts. She somehow squeezes in making all these frightfully beautiful artworks in between working full time as an art teacher.

Nichola creates lino prints and other handmade art with guts for her indie brand, Left Hook – such as prints, paper goods and one-offs like skateboards. She also welcomes commissions – you can get in touch with her via her website.

She’s left handed (part of her namesake) and dyslexic – which she has found inflames her creative side more than to ever hinder her.

Left Hook shop

Left Hook Instagram


5. Others Are for macabre talisman jewellery

Kirsty McQueen is a Scottish artist and jeweller, a graduate of the Glasgow School of Art, and founder of indie brand Others Are. Her creative practice has been forged by the histories, folklore and the bleakly beautiful natural landscapes of her homeland.

Research of magical objects and mythical creatures provide an endless source of inspiration for the macabre hand carved talismans and illustrations she creates for her online shop.

The Others Are jewellery collection comes in the shape of gargoyles, daemons, and hearts, all hand sculpted by Kirsty in recycled sterling silver and brass. There are also a handful of creepily beautiful prints that go alongside.

Others Are shop

Others Are Instagram


6. Kintsugilt for gold gilded animal bones



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A post shared by Kintsugilt (@kintsugilt)

If you’re after a pair of badger mandible earrings, a fox tooth necklace, or a deer skull in a frame, then look no further. Monstrously amazing indie brand Kintsugilt creates all of these and more, all gilded in 24ct gold leaf of course – “giving deceased animals a chance to be admired, even in death.”

Kintsugilt takes a contemporary and minimalist approach to gothic design and composition, and all materials are sustainably sourced, natural, and cruelty-free. The bones, skulls, teeth etc are all found and collected as natural deaths, or bought from trusted sources. Not so grisly after all.

If you want to know exactly where a piece was sourced from, you are welcome to email them for peace of mind! They also welcome custom ideas – commissions are currently open.

Kintsugilt website

Kintsugilt Instagram


7. Rebecca Edelmann for creepy cute crockery

Rebecca is a Danish self-taught potter, and has been working with ceramics since 2011. She uses a variety of clays from earthenware to porcelain to create her beautiful, eerie and useful creations.

She’s well known for her dead gorgeous skull adorned plates, mugs and vases, which have had me under her spell ever since one of my housemates received one of her adorably spooky cups for Christmas. Remember, skulls are not just for Halloween.

Rebecca lives and works here in Bristol, creating her work from her studio space at InBristol, and you can find her work for sale in Blaze on Colston Street, or shop on Etsy.

Rebecca Edelmann website

Rebecca Edelmann Etsy shop

Rebecca Edelmann Instagram 


8. Dark Matters for devilishly delicious brownies


Gemma has been making these devilishly good vegan brownies since setting herself up as an independent shop in 2013. She’s a self taught baker and chocolatier, using only fairtrade chocolate and zero plastic or palm oil. Dark Matters is also Studio Cotton’s go-to for the tastiest gifts to send to our clients.

My personal favourite Dark Matters brownie is The Prince – a gooey, rich chocolate brownie with a swirl of raspberry conserve baked into it, and a zingy, blood red freeze-dried raspberry top. It was love at first bite.

They have also created an October Special Box, which is based on a Stephen King novel and filled to the brim with tasty vegan treats. They’ll all be posted out towards the end of the month.

Bone appétit!

Dark Matters website

Dark Matters Instagram


Thinking you deserve tricks instead of treats this Halloween? Witch, please. You’re a Hallow-queen and you deserve to get yourself some gourd-geous goodies from our favourite spooky independent shops to lift your spirits.

And remember, creep it real this October 31st.

Bugs and kisses,

Lyzi 🪲🖤

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