We love small businesses over here at The Mom Edit, and this year — with so many hit especially hard by the pandemic, we’re all making concerted efforts to shop small. So it’s no surprise that, when starting on a regular ‘ol gift guide, I was almost halfway through and realized that the products I chose were all from small businesses.
Shop Small: A 2020 Holiday Gift Guide Of Seriously Cool, Wildly Unique & Practical Presents
So. Consider this a gift guide of the seriously cool, the wildly unique and the practical gifts — for everyone on your list — that also happen to support small businesses. Many of these small businesses are based in Philadelphia, many focus on sustainability, and some are Black-owned. But these are all businesses or products that I can personally recommend (either I’ve bought from them, or a friend has), and these are all products I’d be delighted to receive as a gift.
(Also, I’m dropping some mad hints below, so can someone make sure Mike reads this??)
I’ve been a fan of Pittsburgh-based Moopshop for years. The paperback crossbody was on near-constant rotation until, tragically, a greasy sunscreen exploded and stained the bag (RIP). In any case, either the paperback bag OR this gorgeous backpack would make an amazing gift. All bags are designed and made by hand in their Pittsburgh studio.
featured product: Moopshop Backpack No 1
This organic cotton tee (from local Philadelphia designer NINOBrand) gives me alllllll the Anine Bing vibes. I have this exact one — it has a borrowed-from-the-boys fit and is really soft, too. (If you purchase something from NINOBrand during cyber week…she’ll give you a gift card for the exact same value to use later!)
featured product: NINOBrand Amore Organic tee
These recycled felt pillows from Etsy seller Alexandra Ferguson would make such a fun, quirky gift. The pillows are all made in New York, using recycled felt from New Hampshire, pillow inserts from Tennessee, and zippers from California. There are a bunch of irreverent phrases to choose from (“THERE WERE RULES?” is definitely my next purchase) or you can even customize your own. (Currently 20% off!)
featured product: I Love This Place Pillow
Not only do Leon & George have the most beautiful range of plants and planters, but their customer service is top notch. They list their plants not only by size, but also by a helpful set of categories: low light, pet safe, easy care (for people like me), etc., And if all else fails and your plant is dying, they have a plant doctor on staff — just call (or send pics) and they’ll try and help. You can also sometimes find their smaller plants on sale at Verishop, too.
I’m a huge fan of Morgan, the designer and founder of Shop BURU. BURU started as a shopping destination specifically for nursing mothers, and has evolved into one of the most wildly glamorous-yet-practical brands I’ve found. Morgan is focused on an earth-friendlier, slow fashion lifecycle, so I recommend following her on IG to see what’s new, participate in her design process, and get special little sales codes. That said, the girl can fancy up a t-shirt. I’m stalking either the black or white, but the olive is good, too. And, full confession, I just ordered the gold tiered skirt — we’re going to go all-out glam for the holidays (we’ll be home and why not?) so I’ll be rocking it with a graphic tee, big earrings and dark eyeliner.
featured product: Long Sleeve Sivas Statement Tee
Black-owned business Mantra Mugs is one of my very favorite gifts. Not only can you customize your own (I live for inside jokes), but Katrina has a pretty stellar range of sayings, too (obviously she’s no stranger to jokes, either). These mugs are nice and big, yet comfortable to hold. (For a better idea on size, I’m holding one in this article.)
featured product: Fragile Like A Bomb Mug
I have a giant crush on Black-owned, sustainably made Valerie Madison jewelry. If you are in the business of getting married, she has some really gorgeous engagement and wedding bands, but, for the rest of us…these stackable birthstone rings are calling my name. Currently 20% off with code BLACKFRIDAY20.
featured product: 14K Gold Garnet Diamond Kiss Ring
8. X & O Studs
Another Valerie Madison item I’ve been coveting for months. I held off hoping that *someone* would gift these to me…hint…hint… (Currently 20% off with code BLACKFRIDAY20.)
featured product: X & O Studs
KidO Chicago is a black-owed, baby-and-kids store that focuses on representation and inclusivity and, as a result, carries the coolest stuff. A purchase of one of these hand-knit bears will donate ten meals to kids in need. (And these types of hand-knit dolls are my typical go-to baby gift. We had similar ones for each kid, and my boys LOVED theirs. Raines still has his stashed somewhere.)
featured product: Oliver The Bear
Representation matters, and this book would be an amazing coffee table book for all families. Bookshop.org says, “With stunning images of natural hair and gorgeous, inventive visual storytelling, GLORY puts Black beauty front and center with more than 100 breathtaking photographs and a collection of powerful essays about the children.” (Currently 20% off at Bookshop.org.)
featured product: Glory: Magical Visions Of Black Beauty
Local designer Amy Voloshin’s latest venture, Printfresh, makes the most jaw-droppingly gorgeous printed pajamas. If you aren’t into tigers (and I very much am), there are also unicorns, lions, stars, etc. SUCH a good gift. (And currently 25% off with code CYBER25.)
featured product: Bagheera Short Sleep Set
12. Hot Cocoa Bombs
A friend of mine started a chocolate company (like…in her kitchen, by hand), and she is now making these seriously genius hot chocolate BOMBS. Put them in a mug, pour warm milk over (of any kind) and as the chocolate bomb melts…marshmallows pop out. There’s light, dark and white chocolate (the white has peppermint omg omg omg).
featured product: Hot Cocoa Bombs
Tesoro Design is another local Philadelphia-based brand specializing in leather goods. Britt, the founder, sources almost all of her materials in the United States, and each bag is made in Philadelphia. Personally, I love the vintage-luxury-with-a-twist vibe (seriously, that blue chain makes my heart beat fast) and I can’t recommend this one enough.
featured product: The Chelsea Bag
14. ILIA Sunrise Kit
Clean makeup brand Ilia popped on our radar last year, and now many of us are obsessed. The mascara is shockingly good (natural with one swipe, but surprisingly buildable), and I love their all-over-color sticks. This entire set would be fun to receive.
featured product: ILIA Sunrise Kit
I find Yubi, a Black-owned business, seriously intriguing. What this brush seems to do for makeup application is pretty phenomenal. Who doesn’t want flawless coverage? Currently 50% off for Black Friday!
featured product: Yubi Miracle Brush
The Little Market, a mission-driven nonprofit, has the most amazing selection of items. You can seriously get lost in their gorgeousness, and could likely buy gifts for everyone you know. I’m currently eyeing up these candles as gifts. Each candle purchase empowers women artisans at Prosperity Candle who have resettled as refugees in the US. This champagne scent is “sweet with a hint of effervescence” and YES PLEASE.
The other candle from The Little Market that I’m coveting is the surfer, with notes of pineapple, mango and sandalwood. My surfer boys would get a kick out of this one.
I’m such a huge fan of The Tiny Closet, a Black-owned, slow-fashion brand making cool, timeless designs. I purchased the Tourist dress last summer, and it’s one of the easiest, most comfortable pieces I own. The Curator dress would be a stunning winter replacement, but I can’t stop thinking about this gorgeous poncho. I’d wear it now over a black turtleneck and jeans…and in the summer with denim cut-offs.
featured product: Mud Cloth Poncho
Boon Supply donates a percentage of each sale to a charity of your choice! You can either fill out the paperwork to add a charity of your choosing, or choose from one of the ones already supported on their site. These pencils are going into my boys’ stockings this year.
featured product: Inspirational Pencils
Another pretty little find from Boon Supply. I actually want this for mahself, so I know if someone has stolen my charger.
featured product: Hand-Woven iPhone Cord
It’s like someone listed all of my favorite things on a shopping bag. Of course, there are a ton of other designs, here…or check out their market baskets, too. You can pick a basket and add a tassled pom-pom. So cute.
featured product: Reusable Shopping Tote
22. Smitten Mittens
I bought this as a cute Valentine’s Day gift for Mike years ago…but Raines, who was three at the time, LOVED it. Our Smitten Mitten has now been used almost every winter by both boys, wanting to hold my hand as we walk. Worth. Every. Penny. (Oh — this version is currently 20% off.)
featured product: Smitten Mittens
When the boys were small, I bought a dragon set from Etsy Seller Hunting Faeries and was blown away by the quality and beauty. Years later…we still have it. Such a fun (and unique) gift for littles who love to dress up. (I swore by a few Etsy sellers for much of our dress-up costumes when the boys were little — you can see all of my favs in this verrrry old article.)
featured product: Hunting Faeries Felt Dress-Up Pieces
I’d love to know other small business you guys are planning to support this year! (And your favorite Etsy sellers, too. Am thinking we should make a directory…??)
PS: Have you checked out Holiday Central yet? Go now…holiday sales, gifts and outfits all in one spot. It’s a happy place.
This one’s for the Pinners…