It’s been a while since my last post and boy, have I missed sharing with you all! The reasons I’ve been away are probably pretty obvious: covid, distance teaching taking over my life, and a million other things that are for another post at another time. Today isn’t about that. Today is about one of our favorite things: shopping 🎁
Before I get on with why you should shop small (like it helps an actual human being support themselves and their dreams, it boosts the economy instead of the stock market, and it will keep you safely away from big box stores during a pandemic), I want to remind everyone that the holidays are not about gifts. I think it’s more important than ever to recognize that this year. Gift-giving is a lovely gesture that shows someone you are thinking of them, but it’s by no means a holiday requirement. If you don’t have the funds or bandwidth to shop for anyone (not just this year, but ever), that’s okay! You should not be expected to trade material items for peoples’ love and affection.
Additionally, if you want to support small businesses without spending money, here are a few free ideas: follow them on their socials, share their posts, leave comments, give them shout-outs. Exposure helps a LOT, so support doesn’t always mean handing over cash.
If you are in a place where you can comfortably afford to do some holiday shopping though, I’m here to encourage you to spend your money on smaller brands and businesses. The holidays are such an important time for small businesses. The money they make between Halloween and New Year can make or break their entire fiscal year. With so many small businesses closing this year due to covid, let’s try to help give some owners (and boss babes, because I’m very proud to tell you that most of this list is female-owned and operated) some support to see them through these tough times.
I generally try to recommend products and brands that I have personal experience with, but admittedly, I haven’t purchased from all of these businesses. I follow, support, or know (either in real life or on the gram) nearly all of these businesses or owners and am therefore very comfortable recommending them to you. Those I don’t know were recommended by friends and family who love these businesses. Our hopes are that you’ll love these businesses as much as we do!
As for the list itself, there are 50 independent businesses on this list, and while I don’t expect you to love every single one of them, I genuinely hope that you’ll find a few to support, either monetarily or with social media support. This list grew longer than I imagined, so I tried my best to organize things so it’s easier for you to browse by category. Just because a business is listed under one category however, doesn’t mean it doesn’t offer more. There’s a lot of crossover on this list, so to give you a better idea of what each offers, I included the shortest of blurbs next to each. I also linked both the website (linked in the name) and the instagram handle (in parenthesis) for each business so that you can easily find them online and continue supporting them all year long. I also want to let you know that I don’t make money off of any of the purchases you make here. None of these links are affiliates, and none of this post is sponsored. This is written purely to give these businesses a boost when they need It the most.
One last thing before we get into it… when you finish perusing, shopping, following, liking, and sharing, please add to the list! Use the comments section on this post to share other small businesses you love. It can be your own or someone else’s, but if there’s a small business that you love and you think we will too, let us know so we can support them this holiday season and beyond!
Happy holidays and happy shopping, friends!
- Call Me Thobs (@callmethobs) – If you’ve been hanging out on my insta stories lately, you know I’m a little infatuated with Thobs’ work. I adore her art whether it’s on a print, a tee, a mug, or a journal.
- Taylor Wolf Shop (@taylorwolfshop) – I’m obsessed with this shop, the owner, and her dog. I’ve got a handful of snuggly soft and cute tees from Taylor’s shop, and she’s always coming up with fun new designs. Her designs (like her) are often witty and fun, like her Wines Well With Others sweatshirt and Schitt’s Creek tanks. Her sweatshirts, by the way, are the absolute softest!
- Harper & Lilly (@shopharperandlilly) – Erica has been designing cute clothing for years. Harper & Lilly is her second line and latest endeavor in creating cute, comfy, affordable clothes for women, and this time it includes little women too! Named for her two beautiful girls, Harper & Lilly offers comfies (sweatshirts, tees, tanks, hats, onesies, and more ) for babes of all ages.
- Alice and Wonder (@aliceandwonder) – A couple of people recommended Alice and Wonder, and they’re actually a shop I’ve followed for a while. I wish I lived in Chicago so I could visit their adorable shop! They have everything from cute clothes, shoes, and accessories to kitchenware and decor. The kicker? It’s almost all below $100.
- The Tee Studio (@theteestudioshop) – The Tee Studio is such a great shop with wonderful selection, prices, and customer service. I’ve ordered a handful of English teacher, mental health, and feminist tees, and I love every single one of them. They seem to have sales and amazing deals going on all the time, and they take custom orders.
- Lil Stitchings (@lilstitchings) – An insta-follower recommended this precious veteran/mom-owned shop for littles, and it’s too cute for words… these dresses and costumes are truly making my uterus skip a beat! If you have a little who loves dressing up on your gift list, you need to check out these beautiful dresses.
- The Sweet Life Apparel (@thesweetlifejen) – This sweet Canadian mama creates cozy, clever sweatshirts and tees with adorable foodie-inspired phrases like Waffles on the Weekend and Coffee Cardio Cake. Not everything is related to food, but each design is packed with positivity and there are options for the entire family. In addition to getting a sweet new tee or sweater for yourself or someone on your list, a portion of your purchase also gives back to communities in need.
- Lyrical Lingerie (@lyricallingerie) – These knickers come with the cutest kickers – song lyrics! These panties have such cute designs ranging from popular song lyrics like “WAP” and “Watermelon Sugar” (obviously) to holiday lyrics like “Baby It’s Cold Outside” and even Friends, “7!” (Iykyk).
- Shop Commen (@shopcommen) – Mik Zazon is at the forefront of the body positivity and self-love movement, and she recently launched a line of tees emblazoned with her main goal: Normalize Normal Bodies. Give the gift of body positivity and love with these tees and sweaters.
- Seamlined Studios (@seamlinedstudios) – Another friend-recommendation, this shop offers cute skirts, scrunchies, and apparel for littles. The fun fabric options (like crushed velvet, florals, and Baby Yoda) give these garments a unique flair.
- Inkwell Threads (@inkwellthreads) – A book lovers dream, Inkwell Threads has an incredible selection of totes, tees, stickers, and more. If you’re looking for fantastic bookish gifts at a great price, this is where to find them.
- The Book Table (@thebooktable) – Another recommendation from an insta-friend and fellow bookwork (thank you @makenzeymae!). Whether you’re looking for a new winter read for yourself or for a gift for a bibliophile in your life, trust me when I say that Amazon does NOT need your money this year. Support independent bookshops like The Book Table instead!
- Usborne Books – Kiddos deserve good books too! When you gift a child a book, you’re not just giving them a story, you’re giving them your time, attention, and a story they’ll remember for a lifetime — you reading with them. Check out my friend Denielle’s Usborne page for some great options for the littlest bookworms in your life.
- The Bookish Shop (@thebookishshop) – As a bibliophile, I adore this shop. They offer The Bookish Box, a monthly subscription box with different tiers and catering to different interests. I n addition to the sub boxes, they also have individual items such as literary-inspired candles, tees, mugs, totes, and so much more. This is a great place to shop for the bookworm on your list.
- Gypsy Vine (@gypsyvine) – These candles are mindfully and lovingly ; they’re hand-poured, eco-friendly, clean-burning, and full of beautiful fragrances inspired by the adventures and wanderings of their makers. I’ve ben burning Gypsy Vine for years, and I can’t recommend them enough. If candles aren’t your thing, they also offer other beautiful home fragrance products.
- Highland Bluff Studio (@highlandbluffstudio) – Another candle shop I absolutely adore is Highland Bluff Studio. Many of the scents available from Highland Bluff Studio are inspired by books, whimsy, and cozy atmospheres. May favorites are Wonderland, Wizard’s Holiday, and Cozy Book Nook. Not only are the candles exquisitely-scented, but the artwork on the glass jars they come in are beautiful (and they make lovely barware when you’ve burned through the candle).
- Love Inspired Candle Co. (@lovecandleco_) – I purchased a few of these candles for bachelorette party gifts a few months back but, because of covid-19, the candles ended up mine. I have no regrets. These aromatherapy candles are beautiful fragranced and packaged. The candles are available in cotton or wood wicks (who doesn’t love that beautiful crackle?) and have lengthy burn times. There’s currently a sale on and some prices are as low as $10, so now’s the time to stock up (and don’t forget to grab a few for your own stocking)!
- Paige’s Candle Co (@paigescandleco) – Hand-crafted vegan soy wax candles made in Queens and Brooklyn. Beautiful packaging and scents, very affordable, and she is currently donating a portion of sales to City Harvest to help feed New Yorkers in need during the covid-19 pandemic.
- Nostalgic Candle Co (@nostalgiccandle) – Helene is a travel and lifestyle blogger I’ve followed for years, and two things I’ve learned about her during that time is that she’s BIG on nostalgia and she’s obsessed with candles. She just launched her new candle company featuring handcrafted, one-of-a-kind candles with fragrances inspired by her own nostalgia and travels. Her candles are uniquely and thoughtfully scented, and her stock is very limited – one scent is released at a time, and once this exclusive scent is sold out, it’s gone!
Disney/Harry Potter/Fandom Apparel
- Lucky Rabbit Supply Co (@luckyrabbitsupplyco) – I share Mike and Gill’s shop often because I love them — the humans behind the brand and the apparel itself. Their fun and often colorful designs are original and creative, and the clothes are so comfy. I still regularly wear the Imagination Zip-Up Hoodie I bought from them years ago, and it’s as cozy as ever!
- 1953 Designs (@1953designs) – Mallorie has a cute, colorful, and varied selection of magical goodies in her shop. Products range from scrunchies and headbands to travel mugs to sweatshirts and tees emblazoned with fun Disney and Marvel fandom designs.
- Billie Bijoux (@shopbilliebijoux) – These might just be the coolest-looking fandom tees I’ve ever seen. Their designs are primarily Harry Potter and Star Wars tees and sweatshirts. They’re very understated and unique and I love them.
- Brandelane (@brandelane) – Brandi is a theme-park designer and illustrator channeling all her Americana-Disney dreams into this magical brand. Prints, calendars, and sweatshirt and tee designs are full of whimsy and wonder. Brandelane is the dose of Disney I know I need right now, and that the Disney fiend in your life is sure to adore too.
- Wonderland Tee Shop (@wonderlandtees) – I haven’t personally shopped here before and wow, have I been missing out! An insta-follower super-recommended them for this list, and I can see why. This shop isn’t just Disney tees, but pillow covers, aprons, The Sandlot raglan tees, and so much more. The designs are clean, cute, and the price is right!
- Grace Rose Ears and Bows (@graceroseearsandbows) – A fellow Disney lover recommended this shop. It’s full of cute fluff! Literally. This shop has the cutest fluffy Disney character keychains and adorable Minnie and Mickey ears, headbands, and bows. Oh boy!
- Childless Millennial Pretzel Co. (@childlessmillennialpretzelco) – Aside from having one of the absolute cutest names in the Disney merch slingin’ game, this shop has cute and creative designs that will make any Disney dreamer smile.
Food and Drink
- Chado Tea Room (@chadotearoom) – Chado Tea Room is here in LA, but you don’t need to live in the area to enjoy them. They have an incredible tea selection to choose from online, and delivery is lightening fast! I’ve collected about 7 bags of teas from them in recent months, and I’m always so happy with the flavor and quality. Surprise the tea enthusiast on your gift list with a unique blend like my personal favorites, White Champagne Raspberry or Blue Flower Earl Grey.
- Milk Box (@milkboxbar) – This is the gift for the boba lover in your life. Depending on where you live, finding good boba milk tea can be hard. Milk Box changes that by delivering all the ingredients needed (except the milk) to make 8 cups of boba milk tea. The process couldn’t be easier, the price is right, and your purchase helps feed people in need. Support this business and you’re supporting an entire community… and making the boba lover on your holiday list very happy.
- Meadowland Simple Syrup (@meadlowlandsyrup) – Last fall, Chris and I met this maker’s mother (… the maker’s maker?) when we went apple picking. She offered us a sample of a few of these simple syrups, and we’ve been hooked ever since. Meadowland syrups are a fantastic gift for the baker or cocktail enthusiast in your life. I highly recommend the Winter Forest Simple Syrup (it’s a must for winter cocktails).
- Expedition Roasters (@expeditionroasters) – This pop culture inspired tea and coffee company offers a variety of roasts and flavors of coffee, tea, and cocoa with clever names and fun and colorful packaging. They also sell cozy drink accessories, like mugs, steepers, and spoons, and they have Expedition Roasters gear for the whole family.
General Gift Shops
These are the small businesses that I just couldn’t decide where to place. They’re a little clothing, a little, art, a little decor… I just don’t know what one category they belong in, so here they are!
- LA County Store (@lacountystore) – LA County Store is an eclectic gift shop in LA. I love their collection of apparel, apothecary, jewelry, books, and home goods. They have a little bit of everything for everyone on your holiday list. They recently had to close their doors due to covid, so please support them as they continue providing a fun shopping experience for unique gifts online!
- Function & Fringe (@functionandfringe) – This bohemian luxury shop has beautiful gifts for the boho girls on your list. From cute and funky tops to quartz bath bombs and smudge sticks, everything this shop offers is unique products sure to set any boho babe’s heart aflutter.
- Plenty of Yellow (@plentyofyellow) – Allison’s shop is full of sarcasm, humor, and wit. The apparel, accessories, and home goods she offers are the ideal gift for the sassy, speak-your-mind folks on your gift list (me… I’m talking about me. Buy me pretty things from her shop).
- Blue Button Boho (@bluebuttonboho) – This is another shop I like to share every holiday season because Sarah makes the cutest boho earrings. Her creations range from resin studs to druzy drops and gorgeous mixed material pieces that she makes by hand. I’ve bought a number of earrings from her over the years as both gifts and for myself. In addition to earrings, she also makes necklaces, bracelets, rings, and sells loose stones. Her creativity, craftsmanship, and prices are unbeatable.
- Devi Arts Collective (@devicollective) – This jewelry line is so dainty and adorable. There are tons of options under $40 from cute heart and crescent studs to delicate rings and necklaces.
- Tish Jewelry (@tishjewlry) – This Canada-based shop offers a wide variety of affordable adornments like stud and tassel earrings, adjustable crystal bracelets, and stunning necklaces with pendants made from Swarovski crystal, quartz, shell, and other natural elements.
Plants and Home
- Marziplants (@marziplants) – I’ve known Mara for years, and I don’t think anyone loves plant motherhood as much as she does. She propagates, plants, grows, and sells indoor plants, succulents, and cacti. Sales are carefully hand-packaged and shipped with lots of love and care instructions. Her plants are available at a fraction of the cost of many shops, and she’s so helpful if you have questions when choosing the perfect plant for you or a loved one.
- Macramé By Charoné (@craftyquarantino) – Charoné creates beautiful hand-crafted macramé plant hangers. She can customize designs details, colors, and add charms, and her work is gorgeous, and her prices range from about $25-$35 (a serious bargain for pieces this stunning and customizable). The best way to order is through her Instagram… don’t wait too long though! Charoné is a one-woman show handling the creating, packaging, and shipping, so order early!
- Pellegrini Designs (@pellegrinidesigns) – Nicole is an incredibly creative and eco-conscious woman who pours these two traits into her business. She makes ethically-sourced, hand-crafted crystal and macramé creations. Her pieces range from ornate macramé and crystal wall hangings to terra-cotta-potted crystal cacti, macramé ornaments, and handmade crystal earrings and rings.
- Sweet Mint Handmade Goods (@sweetmint) – Those who know me well know how much I love a good mug, so it’s no wonder I love Sweet Mint. This shop has beautiful mugs for nearly every occasion (I’ve purchased a few this cozy season myself). In addition to the cutest mugs I’ve ever seen, they also have items for the home, presents for pets, and lots of other home goods to make your house feel even cozier and cuter.
Services and Digital Products
- Vegas Lady Gaga Cameo (@vegasladygaga) – Tierney is a wildly gifted Lady Gaga Impressionist. Her talent has earned her a place in the famed Legends in Concert and she’s been featured on Access Hollywood and Entertainment Tonight. Her husband Travis is also a Las Vegas performer and three-time winner of the Best of Las Vegas “Best Impressionist” for his work as an Elvis Impressionist. Using their Cameo pages, you can order personalized messages for the Elvis and Lady Gaga lovers in your life, giving them a unique gift and an experience they’ll never forget and will be able to cherish forever.
- Teeny Edits/Teeny Photographs (@teenymccurdy/@teenyphotographs) – Christina is an incredibly talented SoCal based photographer and editor. You can purchase her presets here to give your own images the sense of light and whimsy that, to me, have become synonymous with her style. She also offers her photography skills for portraits and products. Gifting a headshot, engagement, couples, or maternity session with Christina to someone on your list will not only be a thoughtful gift and fun experience, but they’ll love the way Christina captures them.
- Caitlin Brandes (@the_creativecait) – The holidays may look a little different this year, but one thing remains the same: the need for holiday sweets. Caitlin is an LA-based baker who creates the most stunning confectionaries. Her cupcakes, cakes, and cookies are custom-made, and she can make nearly all your dessert dreams come true, whether it’s a unicorn cake, hand-painted sugar cookies, dainty floral cake pops, or sand and surfboard-adorned cupcakes. Contact her via instagram for pricing and delivery.
- Nola Skinsentials (@nolaskinsentials) – I absolutely adore this vegan skincare. All products are completely affordable, vegan, and cruelty-free, and the site offers a skin quiz to help match you to the best products for your needs. Personally, I’m obsessed with the Pumpkin Vanilla Bean Scrub and Pumpkin Enzyme Mask, and I love that products are offered in both full size and smaller Try Me sizes, making them perfect for gifts or stocking stuffers!
- Beauty Counter Consultant Chrystin Nevarez (@chrystincooks) – Her handle might be @chrystincooks, but my insta-friend Chrystin doesn’t just make beautiful food; she makes people feel beautiful. Chrystin is passionate about ethical and eco-friendly products, which making her perfect consultant for a company that prides itself on creating safe, sustainable, high-quality products.
- City and Sea Trading (@cityandseatrading) – CBD oils have so many health benefits, but finding a brand you can trust to keep their products clean and pure might be difficult. That’s why I love City and Sea Trading. The founders know what they’re doing and they do it well, producing CBD products that support the body and mind.
- Modere – Debbie is an independent consultant for Modere, a company whose goal is to help people live cleaner, more sustainable lives. Products range from health and personal wellness essential to household cleaning staples. Products are free of toxins and parabens, are cruelty-free, and use environment-friendly packaging.
- Peace Love Rally (@peaceloverally) – If you have an athlete on your list, this is the gift for them. Anyone who suffers from sore or stiff muscles, joints, and ligaments would benefit from these mess-free, fast-working, and great-smelling soothing balms. Products are toxin and cruelty-free.
I hope that you found some independent shops and businesses to support on this list, whether that means making a purchase or following and sharing them on social media. If there’s a small business you’d like you add, please drop their name, IG handle and/or shop link in the comments. Don’t forget to let us know why we’ll love them!
Happy holidays, friends ❤️