This year, 86% of American shoppers are planning on buying at least half of their gifts from small businesses. If you’re reading this, you’re probably one of them! Since the COVID pandemic has decimated our small business community, purchasing from them this holiday season is one of the most impactful ways to help save them. In addition to supporting the local economy, saving neighborhood diversity, and keeping your friends and neighbors employed, purchasing holiday gifts from small businesses have another major advantage: they are super cute and much more thoughtful gifts. More than ever, consumers are turning away from mass-produced, generic purchases from big box stores and choosing the unique, one-of-a-kind gifts that small businesses specialize in.
What’s even better than shopping small? Shopping local! Here is our guide for some of our top gift ideas from some of our favorite, LA-based small businesses. From cute cork bags to full on spa experiences, we have something here for everyone – even the kids! So sit back, relax, and start clicking – the best way to support small businesses during this holiday season is shop early!
Yabisí’s stylish, unique, eco-friendly cork products are the ultimate gift for the stylish influencer in your life: handmade from cork, with biodegradable packaging and sleek, instagrammable designs, Yabisí’s products are sure to delight. From bags and belts, to plant hangers and macraweaves, a gift from Yabisí is both eco-friendly and utterly unique.
The candle has a reputation as a boring gift, but having been a part of some questionable white elephant gift swaps, we’d disagree. Candles are functional, beautiful, and especially delightful when someone else pays for them. Lucin candles are hand-poured from all natural coconut wax for that extra luxurious touch, and with different kinds of candles for different phases of the moon, that perfect quirky something for your astro-loving friend circle.
Artisanal pottery hand-made in Los Angeles, Humble Ceramics embraces the philosophy of “wabi-sabi,” or perfectly imperfect beauty. Unlike mass produced ceramics from big chains, no two of their products are exactly the same – making each piece distinct, unique, and even more beautiful. Finding the beauty in imperfection is a lesson we could all learn from 2020; Humble Ceramics just got there first.
One of our long term favorites, La Petite Rosette is having a going out of business sale! Which means that this holiday season is your last chance to get their all-natural rose serums, lotions, and bath bombs. Their stylishly packaged, high end beauty products were always a steal, and now with half off it’s the perfect time to stock up on this limited edition classic.
Got that friend who’s a feminist, and a freak about matte lipstick? Lip Slut is the sassy makeup line for them. From a line of lip gloss named “Male Tears,” to a tribute to the late judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg with line of matte lipsticks “Notorious RBG,” this is a brand that literally puts its money where its mouth is.
If it’s good enough for Beyonce, it’s good enough for us. A high end body product, proudly Black-owned brand, our favorite SK+N/MUSE product is their luxurious body oil. Made from vitamin E, rosehip, moroccan oil, and Egyptian honey, it’ll have you feeling like a queen – or a Queen B.
KIDS & FAMILY
Need something new for your kids to do during quarantine? Give them a break from screen time and sneak in some STEAM time with the Code Break Kids kit, CODE.CHELLA. A coding festival in a box, this “virtual Coachella” STEAM kit includes over 15 hands-on activities aimed at middle school kids. Squarely at the intersection of art, music, and tech, there’s something in here to keep them engaged no matter where their interests lie. And while they’re busy learning, you get a gift too: some time to yourself.
Another stocking stuffer to parents of little ones are the lollipops from Nature Soothie.These herbal lollipops are all natural and soothe the throats, tummies, and immune system of little ones, all while tasting like candy. In a time where kids coughing causes more anxiety than ever, these sweet treats offer the best gift: peace of mind.
Some gifts are more for the parents. Joju’s foods’ healthy, organic baby food, made locally in Los Angeles, is one of those gifts. The fact that they offer free delivery? A holiday miracle. The aesthetically-pleasing packaging is another bonus. The parents in your life who are tired of the treadmill of cooking for their kids will appreciate the biggest gift of all: more free time.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever gotten a gift certificate to Starbucks at your office holiday swap. Us , too. Even if the office holiday party isn’t a thing so much in 2020, a gift card to your local coffee shop is an easy way to let the people you care about know you appreciate them and you wish you could, you know, grab a cup of coffee someday. When you can.
You don’t need to have a family to be tired of cooking after a year full of quarantine. Now that the holidays are here, give yourself an actual break and order delivery! Many of your favorite small businesses and restaurants are offering special deals and meal packages for customers for the holidays, as long as you order far enough in advance. One of our favorite local choices is World Empanadas. With meat options, vegan options, and quirky nouveau ingredients, there’s something for everyone – and they’re all delicious.
Post 21 is an online marketplace featuring modern and design-forward products from black-owned businesses. 2020 was a year many people became conscious of exactly who is making their products so they can source them consciously, and Post 21 is taking it to the next level. We love their curated gift boxes that feature themed products from a variety of vendors. Check out their Phenomenal Gift Box for the high end business boss in your life.
Even though the LA County Store has moved fully online, they still have the same highly-curated selection from the best local artists and artisans that Los Angeles has to offer. One of our favorite features is their “Support LA Makers” gift box service. All you do is choose a theme from their menu (like New Home or Self Care) and they’ll select from their store for you! While you can’t recreate the vibe of wandering through their stacks of cute cards and gifts, you end up with the same result: an adorable selection of unique, carefully curated gifts.
2020, as they say, has been A Year. It won’t be like this forever, we promise. Give your loved ones the promise of some rest and relaxation with a gift certificate to Wild Plum Wellness. This holistic spa and yoga center has been offering socially distanced outdoor yoga, reiki ceremonies, and a variety of treatments guaranteed to help you keep your zen into 2021 and beyond.