There are few things in life I enjoy more than the feeling of giving someone the perfect gift. You know, the thing that the recipient doesn’t know they’ve been needing or wanting their whole life and you just happened to figure it out and they LOVE it? Yup, that feeling.
It’s even better that those gifts are usually purchased from small businesses instead of big box stores. Why you ask? Because shopping small matters. By shopping small, you’re directly supporting your community, local artists, and local makers. And in return, those gifts are usually handmade, made locally, or super unique. Or all of those things.
So I’ve scoured my neighborhood (and the internet) for small businesses making amazing gifts that you can purchase online and have delivered right to your front door. Or, if you’re actually near any of these shops, pop in and say hi! Here are my faves for the 2018 holiday season.
Don’t let the man get you down print: Louder for the people in the back! This print is a tasteful addition to your friend’s bedroom or office when they need a little reminder to keep their head up. Or, you know, just a beautiful print to add to their collection.
Incense papers: Last year, right before the new year, the APW team got together and manifested what we wanted for 2018. We burnt our intentions and released them to the universe and guess what? One of those things was abundance. And we got it. These beautiful embossed incense papers come in a set with the words “abundance,” “intentions,” and “release.” The perfect way to start off the new year.
Signet ring: Looking for a simple, personal, or classic gift for the traditionalists out there? Look no further. Signet rings are a classic way to personalize a gift that the recipient will have for years to come. You can use someone’s initials, a nickname, or a one-worded phrase to make these rings extra special.
Shell Comb: Why opt for a regular comb when you can get a fancy shell comb instead? They come in four different colors and if you’re looking to switch it up, update their compact with a round comb for your friends who need to get their frizz in place when they’re on the go.
Check you later t-shirt: File this under the category of “I want that for myself.” Camp Collection makes beautiful vintage camp–inspired clothing that will have you flashing back to your summer camp days. They recently released a line of kid’s clothes so you can get your favorite stylish toddler a new tee for their collection!
Hand-blown votive holder: Are you looking for something simply beautiful? Glassybaby makes one-of-a-kind, hand-blown candle holders in almost any color you can imagine. Seriously, check out their site and see for yourself. These gorgeous candle holders are made in Berkeley and Seattle, and the craftsmanship alone is sure to make anyone have heart eyes once that flame is lit.
Speckled Ring Dish: For those that like to keep it short and sweet, personalize this minimal ring dish with important dates like anniversaries, birthdays, or even initials. Even though this ring dish is simple, the gold accents really give it the pop it needs to make it extra special.
Migraine Mask: Do you have anyone in your life who is a dreaded migraine sufferer? Do them a solid and get them a mask that does both—hot and cold, I mean. Not only are these masks super cute and functional, but they also use Rifle Paper Co. fabric. Win-win!
Wooden Bowling Set: What do you get for the kid that has everything? Well, a custom tabletop bowling set, duh! This gift is something that they’ll have forever, and maybe even be able to pass on to the next generation. Fun for kids, and of course the adults can join too!
Record dividers: We all know that one person who hasn’t been able to give up their love for vinyl. And of course, that means their collection probably keeps growing and growing. Help them stay organized with this sleek tabletop record display so they can have their favorites on deck at their next dinner party.
Rainbow Wall Hanging: Looking for something handmade without having to do the handmade part yourself? Peach & Apricot on Etsy makes the cutest rainbow wall hangings for you to gift to the most pride-filled people in your life. These rainbows come in a whole variety of colors, from traditional rainbow colors to monochromatic hues.
Dog Starter Kit: Woof, woof! Make your pooch super happy with the Dog Starter Kit from Wildebeest. It has everything you need to take Fido on adventures with you, including a pop-up water bowl, collar, leash, tennis balls, biodegradable poop bags, and a backpack to carry it all in!
Ceramic Cactus Planter: Right on trend, this ceramic cactus planter checks all the boxes. Cute, modern, and easy to keep alive! Seriously though, this planter comes with a cactus (that only needs watering once a month) included, which makes it a perfect gift for your friend who doesn’t always have a green thumb.
Lunar Calendar: Hello, moon! These lunar calendars that double as a beautiful art print from A Little Lark are real stunners. Color options are many, including copper, silver, or gold ink printed on white or black paper. The 2019 calendar has additional features this year: super-moons, solar eclipses, lunar eclipses, solstices, and equinoxes!
Boob Bracelet: Calling all fierce feminists! Where ya at? OHME creates beautiful, minimal jewelry for feminists as a visible reminder of your feminism and your body love. Turn heads with the TT bracelet (I have the ring version of this, and it’s always a conversation starter). The quality is top notch!
Mamas Throw Blanket: Keep the mamas warm and cozy this winter season with a pink knit throw from Calhoun & Co.! If you’re not shopping for a mom in your life, Calhoun & Co. has quite a few amazing designs to choose from. My other favorites include their where the magic happens throw and their tiger lily throw.
Pour Over Coffee Maker: Add a touch of elegance to someone’s morning routine with this beautiful glass pour over coffee maker from YIELD. These pour overs are lab-quality glassware, and they not only come in clear glass, but amber and gray too!
Woman’s Work Pin: Deck out your lady crew with the Woman’s Work pin, and they can really wear their heart on their sleeve, or their backpack, or their jean jacket. We’ve got work to do and there’s no stopping us now (this pin is just a super cute friendly reminder)!
Womankind Magazine Subscription: Print may be “dead” but Womankind mag truly makes you remember what is so special about print in the first place. Each issue is based on a different country and filled with work from women from that issue’s country. Womankind mag is free of advertisements, so that means all of these pages are filled with beautiful essays, poems, and art from women around the world.
Acrylic Earrings: Fashionistas! These acrylic statement earrings will have people asking you “WHERE’D YOU GET THOSE?” BRWNGRLZ makes super lightweight earrings that add a pop of color to any look with their many layers.
Lemon Pistachio Soap: Spa gifts seem to be a staple during the holidays, but this lemon pistachio soap isn’t one of those gifts that will just collect dust. Organic and all-natural, Etta + Billie soaps are always at the top of my list for an easy gift (you might want to get some for yourself too)!
Magic Flag: Because the magic is in everyone and sometimes people just need to be reminded of that. Secret Holiday Co. makes handmade felt flags and pennants with a handful of positive mantras on them. This one is always my favorite!
Teardrop Keyring: Don’t ever lose the keys again with this teardrop keyring from Karl Zahn. The screw clasp makes it easy to hook onto your bag, belt loop or you can carry it as is!
Spice Set: The key to anyone’s heart is usually through their stomach, right? Well, the first place to start is with spices. Oakland’s favorite spices to be exact. Oaktown Spice Shop offers a ton of different spice gift sets that you can impress the amateur cooks, bakers, and bartenders in your life with. Bonus: they come with recipe cards!
Floss Gloss Zodiac Nail Polish Set ($25) *Comes with three different nail polishes specific to each zodiac sign. Libra pictured here.
Zodiac Nail Polish: What’s better than one new nail polish? Well, three of them that are specifically color coordinated to your zodiac sign. Floss Gloss has all the glitter, neon, and holographic shades you can’t find anywhere else, and they are cruelty free! Nail game on point.
Who are your favorite independent designers or small (local) businesses right now? How are you doing your holiday shopping this year?