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Gift Guide 2020: Support Small Business!

by Stacey Trock

November 24, 2020

Here at Aeolidia, we’ve always been passionate supporters of independent businesses. However, in 2020, we’re even more fervent supporters of local, handmade, and creative businesses. It’s been an unprecedented year, but as always, we spend our gift dollars at shops we want to be around in the future. And, we also continue to use our money to support businesses whose values promote the world we want to live in. That’s why we’ve put together a gift guide with items from a few businesses and products we love. We hope you like them, too.

And if you’re looking for more inspiration for your gift shopping, you can browse our gift guides from previous years: 2017 (organized by staff picks), and 2018 & 2019 (all gifts under $50).

For the Home

We’re all spending a lot more time at home these days, so gifts that make your house a little extra comfortable or beautiful are sure to be appreciated by all.

Linoto makes beautiful, soft, artisanal-quality linen products for your home. From linen sheets for a sound night’s sleep to linen tablewear for your entertaining, each product is proudly made at their workshop in Westchester County in New York. Their items are handmade, washed in natural laundry soap and shipped in plastic-free packaging.

Reflektion Design began with founder Anitra’s background in textile buying + love of African-inspired design and artistry. The Black White Mud Cloth Pattern Mug reflects the iconic fabric native to Mali, West Africa and at 15oz, holds enough coffee or tea for whatever your day will bring. Reflektion sources stunning fabrics for its homeware items and crafty types can purchase Ankara African print fabrics for their own sewing.

Harlem Candle Co. is the manifestation of founder Teri Johnson’s love affair with fragrance, jazz, and Harlem.  Each candle is handcrafted using a soy/vegetable wax blend and is infused with one-of-a-kind-fragrances that take you on an olfactory journey. For the ultimate gift, splash out on the Ultimate Luxury Candle Gift Box, 4 delectable candles in a reusable box with an iconic print.

Archd is run by sisters Kristen and Lindsey Archer, who design and create handmade home décor that empowers women. Give the gift of fabulous quotes by Kamala Harris or Maya Angelou with their Feminist Icon Illustrations on Wood.

For the Foodie

In 2020, many of us have shifted from chatting about what restaurant we’re going to eat out next to discussing at-home cooking tips and our at-home-coffee set up. Send those you love the gift of deliciousness (and sustainability) with a well-chosen present for the taste buds.

BLK & Bold combines specialty coffee & tea with community impact. They offer a range of micro-roasted coffees and specialty loose-leaf teas, and donate 5% of their profits to a non-profit organization to support at-risk youth.

Zach and Zoë is a family-owned business in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. After discovering that raw honey helped alleviate youngest son Zach’s seasonal allergies, the newly-rural family dove into learning about beekeeping. Their raw wildflower honey is a blend of many flowers gathered at different times of the year, giving it a unique flavor each harvest.

Spread the Love crafts artisan peanut butter and jams, naturally made without artificial ingredients or fillers. For the ultimate spreadable collection for the foodie on your list, check out their Gift Set featuring nut butters, jams from Pacific Northwest berries and the PBspoon – a clever cross between a spoon and a spatula, perfect for getting every last bit from the jar.

T Project offers artisan teas collected from around the world, but hand-blended in their Portland, Oregon shop. Featuring the best organic, hard-to-find ingredients, the unique loose leaf blends are unlike any other. For the tea lover in your life, a tea subscription may be just the thing.

For the Paper Enthusiast

Have a dreamer, doodler or organizer on your list? Good books and writing tools never go out of style.

There’s no such thing as having too many notebooks. The Friends notebook by Carolyn Suzuki Goods features happy people on printed FSC certified paper. Shop the illustrated gift wrap and holiday cards to round out your cart.

The Ohto Horizon Flash Dry Gel Pen is Aeolidia Designer Christine’s favorite new pen. With an ultra fine .05mm needle point and retractable tip, it creates precise lines with a lightweight package. Available from Shorthand, a shop in Highland Park, Los Angeles specializing in beautiful supplies for your desk.

Semicolon Bookstore is a community-focused bookstore committed to nurturing the connection between literature, art, and the pursuit of knowledge. Located in Chicago, the shop actively works to raise the literacy rates of youth through their #ClearTheShelves campaign. Readers across the country can shop their curated collection of books.

Kwohtations creates paper products that celebrate the diversity of experiences, complexity, and kinship in our lives. All cards are printed by hand on an antique printing press in Brooklyn, NY. Send a realistic wishes for the year card, some awesome stickers, or a gift pack.

For the Kiddos

The little ones in your life may have had a tough year this year. These holidays will no doubt be different from previous years, but you can give them a gift that reminds them of what’s really important: learning, getting creative, and spending time with those you love (when you can).

Brave and Kind Books is a thoughtfully-curated neighborhood kids bookshop in Decatur, GA . They offer a unique selection of diverse, classic, and artful stories. While they are currently closed for in-store browsing, they are shipping and also offering online book fairs and monthly subscriptions.

Little Nomad curates fashion forward and environmentally + socially conscious children’s brands in Richmond, VA. From baby to big kid, you’ll find trendy and unique affordable clothing that your little one will love to wear, and that you feel good about. We love the Miles Baby Windbreaker. It boasts pockets, a big hood, and elastic waistband- making it super-practical for those rainy days.

Chelsea & West is owned by our own Designer Jess. The company makes beautiful, modern play tents designed to fit in your home- not take it over (anyone else living in a small space?). Created for secret hideaways, reading nooks, and superhero headquarters, each tent is designed in NYC and made with non-toxic dyes for hours of safe fun.

Does your family have a tradition of matching jammies for the holidays? If not, it might be time to start! Little Sleepies creates adorable, super-soft pajamas for kids that are available in matching family sets. Too cute!

Let’s Support Small this Holiday Season!

If you’re reading this gift guide, we know you already know the importance of supporting independent businesses. We hope we’ve introduced you to a few new, awesome brands that you can check out.

If you’re a small business owner yourself, we’re giving you a virtual hug because we know this year has been tough. Whether you muddled through staffing issues due to COVID restrictions, a website that wasn’t quite prepared for the influx of online shopping, or managing a whole new level of work-life ‘balance’, we have your back. Black Friday is coming up, and if you’re feeling unprepared, you might like to read our post on 12 Black Friday Tips or how to get your shop ready for holiday sales. You’ve got this.

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