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Shop Small: Make a Big Difference

I am not going to hop on the black friday, cyber monday sales train. If you’re like me you end up buying stuff you don’t need, just because it’s on sale. Or you have something you’ve been waiting to buy hoping you’ll get 10% off during this shopping extravaganza event corporate America created, but you already know about it. Instead I am going to create a list of great items you can get from small businesses. Almost all of which I won’t get one cent in commission. From personal purchases to great gifts, here are my recommendations. As the owner of a small business myself, I know these craftspeople need your support. Read through and hopefully find something fabulous. Make a mental note my categories are pretty generalized.

For the Home

Handwritten Recipe Tea Towel

I’m obsessed with this! Imagine giving your grandmother’s famous chocolate chip cookie recipe on a kitchen towel to all your cousins. Or giving your daughter the recipe of her favorite food you make her. Food is often the center of family. What an awesome way to commemorate it.

Chunky Knit Blanket

This blanket looks so soft and cozy, and I see visions of my daughter and I fighting over this blanket on the couch. It’s merino wool and the perfect gift for a homebody or frankly just to indulge yourself.

Grace Bell Art

This artist from North Carolina makes beautiful wood pieces dipped in ombre blue resin that look like waves. Her state wall art is incredible. I’m dying to get the Maryland one!

Ring for Champagne

Why don’t I own this??? Someone from my family please read this post. I would put this on the door to my dressing room, which is soon to have a champagne bar. Shoes and champagne that’s the dream.

Cougar Chenille Pillow

Luxury throw pillows never go out of style no matter what your husband says. This is fabulous and looks really comfortable. This one is going in my grey and pink guest bedroom.

European Bread Board

Are you still covid baking? Or want a rustic charcuterie board for your next party or tuesday? This one is really beautiful.

Scratch Off Travel Map

My daughter is a bit weary on traveling. Once she has gone someplace and had fun she wants to go over and over again. I am getting her this map in hopes it will encourage her to want to see more of our country. Are you a traveler or know one? This is a great gift!

Snowman Winter Wreath

My porch decorations are one of my greatest joys. This wreath is unique and extra fabulous because it would work all winter and not just during the christmas season.

Seafront Candles

These are quite stunning and would make a perfect gift, I love the aqua and coral for any candle lover but also I think my navy, gold and white living room needs this beauty. As a side note, my sister grew up with this craftswoman and I love seeing her talent grow.

Winter Doormat

We’ve discussed my love for front door decorations. But this is one of my favorite holiday songs too! You could also get or gift a more personalized door mat that works all year long.

Patapsco Valley Pots

The artist, Patty Berry, is super cool and her mugs are just the right combination of homey and cute. She’s got some folksy tees as well. Personally I am going for the dulcimer. I can’t be the only one who thinks that’s the coolest instrument.

For the Kids

Name Puzzle

I wish Scarlett had had one of these. What a wonderful way to learn puzzle skills and then learn letters and your name! Even better if it’s handcraft made and you support a small business because by buying one from a small craftsperson rather than a box store.

Wall Decals

There are so many great ones I am going to link a few: Construction, Mermaid, Harry Potter, Graffiti, and Minecraft (we have this one). It's a fun way to decorate and customize your child's room without any permanence.

Custom Painted Shoes

I know this is tricky because they grow out of them so fast, but boy would Scarlett kill for some Minecraft or Fortnite kicks. Maybe I'll buy them a little on the large size and double up on the socks. Or I just buy Doctor Who shoes in a ladies 7.

For the Ladies

Petite Custom Letter Name Necklace

Did you read what a scandal it was when Megan Markle wore one of these with her and Harry’s initials? You know you need this or the woman in your life does!

Petite (and affordable) Diamond Bracelet

Understated jewelry is replacing the big statement pieces from the last decade. This $170 diamond bracelet is perfect for any lady in your life. I’m so in love, it’s literally the perfect jewelry item for the 2020 holidays.

Custom Starbucks Reusable Cup

These have been “trending” for awhile especially with faux designer monograms which haven’t really vibed with me but this one is just customized with rose gold flare! I want one. Too bad my husband doesn’t read my blog, lol.

Bling Minnie Mouse Popsocket

Warning every little girl, and a lot of big girls, will stop you and say “OMG that’s so cool!” But you will be cool, so is that really a problem? It's a bit bulky but it's worth the fun.

Luxury Minnie Ears

So sticking with the Disney theme, one of the best gifts I have ever gotten was a pair of LV Minnie Ears. This seller makes LV and Chanel pair I don’t own and boy I wish I did. But I need more ears like I need a whole in my head. Please someone buy them anyway!!!

Sequin Masks

These are not just amazingly fun and stylish they are actually my most comfortable face masks. Perfect for you or the glamorous girl in your life. Be safe and sparkly.

For the Gentlemen

Personalized Beer Tap Handles

I got Pat these for his birthday last year. They say Twin Pekes Pub on them. Here’s some history. Old timey pubs used animals as names because many people couldn’t read but they recognized the animals. We have two pekenginese living in our house, thus the twin pekes. They have a chalk board on them so you can change the beer name. He loves them and I can easily change the name when a new keg comes on tap.

Custom Popsocket

Ok so this is probably best for grandma with her grandkids, but I am envisioning a boyfriend/husband having a popsocket with a beautiful picture with his significant other or family. Would my man do that? Would any man do that? Grandma is still an option.

Personalized Tie Clip

Custom jewelry isn’t most men’s style and cufflinks are out. How about this cool custom tie clip? His initials, your wedding date, endless possibilities.

Custom Bottle Opener Keychain

Yeah there’s a lot of custom stuff in the men’s category. But I just love this one because it’s so much more sophisticated than a regular bottle opener to have hanging from your keychain. The leather stitching is really polished

Top Notch Boutique Stores

Radiant Creations Handmade Gifts

This company, operating out of Baltimore, sources beautiful hand made goods from small artisans in Cambodia. I particularly like their silk scarfs. I’ve given my mother the Tie-Dye Blue and I own the Light Pink Shibori. They also make wool blankets, silk beaded jewelry, and masks of course. Several of which are on my holiday shopping list. I especially love this Ikat Hand Carved Puzzle.

Sweet Elizabeth Jane

Sweet Elizabeth Jane is a local boutique that has been destroyed twice in the Ellicott City Floods. They’ve rebuilt and have a beautiful storefront now but their online game is legit. If you live in Maryland you need this crab cookie cutter or a Maryland flag crab tumbler. They don't just sell cool MD stuff but a wide range of cool gifts. Check out this Swedish Chanukah Dishcloth. I’m also just added this sequin sleeved velvet dress to my cart that would be perfect for the holiday parties we probably aren’t having but will transition into spring. How about a Rose Blanc Scented Candle? There's something for anyone and everyone.

Billy Reid

This mostly men’s fashion boutique in Washington DC has some of the most stylish men’s clothing. This knit bomber jacket is really sleek. But this cashmere tee for ladies is also enviable. Billy Reid is the perfect place to step of your man's game and pick up something classic for you.

Design & Adorn

Are you a secret (or not so secret) jewelry maker? Rebecca has tons of fun kits to make all sorts of cool beaded jewelry. She had to close her physical jewelry supply store down during covid protections but this awesome website came out of that tragedy. Please go check it out. Her kits are perfect for the crafty person in your life. I really love this mobius chainmaille bracelet for only $11 but she also sells the tools like this Beaded Kumihimo Tool Kit.

I know how easy Amazon Prime is. I wrote a whole post on fun but easy gifts to give this holiday season but I implore you to try and support a small business who's struggled through the pandemic. Walmart will pay me a big commission to show you all they have to offer but these small stores also have great products for you to use and give as gifts. I hope you found something that peaked your interest.

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