We all love the convenience of Target and the speed of Amazon Prime. And all the Black Friday and Cyber Monday with discounts and free shipping makes it so easy to rely on all the “big stores” for your holiday shopping. TRUE.
But I think it’s important to remember that there are some ridiculously amazing products being created by small shops out there – many of them women-founded and owned. And this guide is my way of highlighting some of these businesses that I personally love.
These are women who have worked SO HARD and continue to do so to bring to us, the consumer, products that they believe in, products that will improve our lives, and products that have been so carefully and lovingly created with YOU in mind. It’s not easy being a business-owner. There is so much behind the scenes that we don’t see that goes into starting and running a business. It usually involves tons of sacrifice – often the sacrifice of their family members, too. After all the costs, only a fraction of the sale actually comes back to them. But they still do it anyway because they feel called to do so, and just really believe in what they do and are passionate in serving you.
So while I am the first person to say I love a good discount and I do think twice if there isn’t free shipping involved (I know I’m not the only one!) I think it’s important to take a step back and see what small businesses, whether in our own communities or across the country, we can support in our holiday gift shopping – and beyond.
These women don’t know I’m including them in this guide, so I don’t have discount codes or anything like that in advance. Maybe they will have a sale, I don’t know. But I encourage you to see past a dollar or two saved and see instead the quality, the love, and the value behind each of these products and invest that.
If you want high-quality products for gifting this year (like, truly, really really great stuff I stand behind) and want to be part of supporting women just like you and me at the same time – take a peek at the below. Click each business name to go directly to their websites!
GIFT FROM SMALL, WOMEN-OWNED BUSINESSES
1. Be Good kids skincare – This is our favorite kids line of products we have used exclusively for about 4+ years. The creator, Karolyn Stayer, is a kind and generous mama who used to be an executive for Philosophy and turned around her knowledge to a gentle, safe, effective line of products for kiddos. I cannot say good things about all three of the signature products : hair wash, body wash, and lotion. It makes the girls hair so soft and comb-able. Even I use the lotion!
2. My Daughter Florence chore charts and advent calendars – This is the advent calendar and advent cards I got this year, and Karlee also makes really cute chore charts. While I DIY’d our own chore boards that you can see here, if you’re not up to making your own, this is a great alternative. You can either gift it to your kids or another momma friend. I love the whole neutral and simple feel of her products.
3. Lifestyled Co Home Decor and Clothing – This is a really beautiful fashion and home decor shop here locally in AZ, but you can shop them online! Kristen Forgione and her team run an interior design company but this store is an extension of their work so that we can all have a bit of their “organic desert living” vibes in our homes. There’s coffee table books, little decor items, clothing, shoes, headbands and accessories, and even a curated box of items for wellness or baby that would make a perfect gift.
4. Gorjana jewelry – Gorjana is an AZ girl who has had huge growth and success with her namesake jewelry line. I first started to wear her pieces years ago when she got started and now she has 13 stores across the country, including her newest one here in Scottsdale! While she might no longer seem like a “small business” per se (the line is carried in Nordstrom, etc.) that’s how it was started and I’m all for supporting that continued success. I am currently eying that ring set you see above. (PS they did tell me that they are doing Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales!)
5. Val Marie Paper prayer journals – for a friend or family member that you know would love to enrich and strengthen their prayer life, this journal would make a beautiful, meaningful gift. I was so honored to help them select their 3 colors for their 2020 line : white, olive, and french blue. The founder, Val Woerner, was just recently on our podcast where we chatted about the backstory of this journal and the company dedicated to prayer, as well as motherhood and her book, “Grumpy Mom Takes a Holiday.” That book is a great gift for moms, too!
6. The Polished Jar – I decanted all of our kitchen counter and shower products into these matching jars. It’s run by a mom of 4 in CA. Streamlining the look of all the mismatched bottles in your shower and kitchen makes a HUGE visual difference. If you have a friend who loves interior decor, has a pretty kitchen, or just loves organization, I would gift these; the hand soap and dish soap combo would be a good start! I have the classic label style.
7. Emme Diane masks – my go-to masks from my favorite skincare line! The pumpkin enzyme one is one that can be used to brighten all skin types, the sulfur is amazing for acne-prone skin, and the cucumber is her newest that is cooling and soothing. I have all three, but my go-to routine for Sunday nights (that’s my face mask night) is to do the sulfur mask followed by the pumpkin enzyme mask. I leave on the sulfur just long enough to dry, and then do the pumpkin for about 10-20 minutes, while I either pick up around the house or I sit in my massage chair. These are the only masks I’ve ever used that not only make my skin feel better after – but I see an actual, visible improvement. And I’ve tried a LOT of skin masks 😉 Bonus : Emme is the sweetest person on earth, and should you choose to go for all her skincare products, she will give you an online consultation to help you choose what products would be best.
8. Sage Aubrey handbags – I think the picture above says it all : that’s Sage herself, standing on her kids’ trampoline in her backyard, rocking her beautiful handbag. I love Sage because her mission is to challenge the luxury brand market by allowing women to enjoy beautiful, classic yet on-trend pieces without the “exclusionary” feeling of those high-brow brands. She is also really funny and I love her personality. I’ve been eying the white bag for spring/summer, and I’m hoping she brings back her silk scarves – they are so chic to wrap around the handle of any bag.
Wishing all these ladies above lots of success in their businesses, and I hope you will join me in supporting them this holiday season!