Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, as entrepreneurs create about two thirds of of our nation’s new jobs and employ almost half of the private sector workforce.
Yet, with the ease of online one-stop shopping and free shipping from the eComm Goliath, entrepreneurial run small businesses have to fight for their slice of the Holiday (shopping) pie.
In support of the Mom & Pop run businesses, I’ve compiled a small list of some great gift ideas from entrepreneurial led brands. I’ve met the people behind these brands; each began with a dream and the dream became a labor of love with blood, sweat, tears, passion and determination.
These are brands where the CEO/Founder’s hands will likely have touched the product that you’re ordering or you may even receive a hand written thank you note from the entrepreneur. Seriously.
So, as you purchase special gifts for party hostesses, friends, family and colleagues, consider supporting entrepreneur led small businesses… then you’re actually getting twice the bang for your buck as you gift both a friend/family/colleague as well as an entrepreneur who truly cares about the quality of the product (mostly Made in USA listed here) and the customer relationship and experience.
Here are some of my favorite gift ideas to give this season:
“We are Late Sunday Afternoon, a small lifestyle company with a shop in Venice Beach, California. We sew all our products in our shop. We also collaborate with our creative friends to bring you unique gifts for you and your family. We’ve been making everything ourselves since 2012. We work with dead-stock fabrics from Downtown LA that we transform into scarves, ascots, pocket squares and more in our factory/shop on Lincoln Blvd. Our goal is to be an example of a new paradigm in business. We want our company to create amazing products without being a burden on the planet. We want to make money so we can share the wealth with our crew and our maker friends. We believe that a rising tide lifts all ships.”
Watch this video intro about the company, by founder Matthew Schildkret. Here’s an article that I wrote about his entrepreneurial journey. Matthew is all about making a difference in the world… starting with his employees and working his way out the community, children in foster care and the planet.
KleanSpa: Spirit Lifting, Artisanal and Customized Bath & Body Products
“Products to inspire Inner Bliss & Outer Beauty. KleanSpa’s beautifully scented products are created to assist in the self-care and personal discovery of our customers. We produce high quality, hand-filled body care and pride ourselves on our unique fragrances & natural ingredients. Our mission is to help our clients discover more of who they are and bring them back to basics. Scent is the oldest sensory system of humans and ignites the memories in us all. Prepare to smell delicious!”
Ever since I met CEO/Founder Jen Hardaway at a trade show over 10 yrs. ago, I’ve been addicted to her line of indulgent scented personal bath & body products. Her creativity and passion for fragrance is why her business continues to scale every year. She’s hands on and she is why I mentioned hand written thank you notes!
Art Markit This is where you need to shop for those ‘people who have everything!’ You’ll find something unique and fun that promotes the global creative community.
“Art Markit is the aggregate retail destination for unique gifts and products for everyday use made by renowned and up-and-coming artists from around the world. Proceeds are shared with artists, curators and institutions that promote art and a creative lifestyle. Use, gift, and collect to bring the beauty of art into your daily life.”
Founder/CEO Doreen Remen is also a partner of non-profit Art Production Fund in NYC, a renowned firm that provides public art installations. She curates all the Art Markit products with unique insight and perspective from her longtime love of art.
Back to Basics Box Healthy, non-toxic products subscription box curated by Homeopath Ashleigh Frager.
“A subscription box that will help you take back your health by removing toxic, health-damaging products from your life. Every product in every box is expertly curated, researched, and tested to fit into the Back to Basics health makeover plan.”
Ashleigh’s passion for healthy products has led her to vetting out the best products available and sharing them with subscribers. You get all the benefits of her due diligence in finding the best/healthiest product lines.
Sweetflexx Leggings with built in resistance bands for added calorie burn throughout the day, because don’t we all stay in leggings after the morning yoga or pilates class?!
Now, there’s a real reason to keep those leggings on. Here’s founder McCullough Shriver’s story. It’s a brand new product to the marketplace & they’re Made in USA!
Wish Beads Perfect gift for an entrepreneur or well…anyone with a wish, a dream, a goal! Created by Alexa Fischer.
“Wish Beads. Write. Wear. Watch Your Wishes Come True. A bracelet making kit that inspires you to visualize, write and wear your wishes – into reality. Attract what you want in 21 days! ” Here’s Alexa’s Kickstarter video that launched the biz.
Make someone’s wish come true with this gift!
One Hope Wine Quality Wines, Gift Sets, Coffee & Amazing Give Back! Founded by Jake Kloberdanz. Here’s their start up story.
Take a look at these numbers: “To date we have made more than $2 million* in donations, providing over 2,600* clinical trials for cancer patients, 13,000* forever homes for shelter animals, 1.1* million meals for children, 33,000 life-saving vaccines and much more.”
Once you’ve gotten all the gifts and possibly over indulged in the seasonal cheer…if you want to stay on track with health & wellness for the new year, here are my go-to tribe of women. They’re all so engaging, resourceful and truly care about helping people. I highly recommend following each of them on Instagram for daily inspiration. (and some laughs)
Cassie Piasecki and the WOW Life Program : Fitness, health, wellness and nutrition delivered in inspiring videos and written content with a high energy vibe and genuine spirit…like nobody else!
Elissa Goodman is one of L.A.’s premier holistic nutritionists & lifestyle cleanse expert. Her zest for life and passion for helping people eat well and feel their best is why her book Cancer Hacks is flying off the shelves everywhere.
Elise Museles of Kale & Chocolate. Here’s her story of how she transformed from an attorney to a certified eating psychology and nutrition expert. Her book Whole Food Energy never leaves my kitchen counter.
Pamela Salzman’s blog, Kitchen Matters is so full of content, tips, product recs and simple, healthy & delicious recipes. I know several of her recipes by heart and somehow I’ve become known for them now too! 🙂 (zucchini brownies, grain free banana loaf)
Chef Amber, owner of the Source Cafe in Hermosa Beach does the best Insta stories every single day! It’s like having private cooking class with her. She has an upcoming eCookBook, that I’m so excited to get in my hands. Grateful to live close to her cafe, but you can follow along on Insta and her blog and you’ll feel like she’s your personal chef in no time!
Happy Holidays! Wishing you a wonderful season & a New Year full of wonder and success!
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