2020 has hit a lot of people really, really hard. And, some of the people who have been hit the hardest are small business owners! We’ve all had to pivot pretty substantially in different ways — some more than others. It hasn’t been easy. But, it’s also been such a joy to see the ways that our communities have shown up for small biz owners. And, now small businesses need you more than ever! So, here’s a list of (mostly) West Coast-based small businesses to support with your holiday shopping dollars.
Jeff Bezos has enough money, and I can assure you that he doesn’t do a happy dance every time he makes a sale 😉 But, small biz owners? Oh, we do a happy dance every. single. time.
Home Decor Gifts
Apogee Candle Co. is, quite honestly, the only place you ever need to shop for beautifully-scented, eco-conscious things. Not joking, I’m not pretty sure I have at least one Apogee candle in each room of my house at all times. And, don’t even get me started on the scent rollers. They’re the perfect alternative to overbearing perfumes. And, 5% of profits are donated to a revolving number of causes, including bail funds, mutual aid funds, food banks, indigenous land trusts, and more! Based in Southern California
Adrien Miller Art crafts gorgeous ceramic pieces featuring the human body. I can’t decide what I want to buy first — the Ying Yang Bowl, Figure Sculpture Wall Hanging Platter, or Nude Torso Vase. Based in Seattle, Washington
Bands of Color‘s stained glass creations are drool-worthy. I like to daydream about the day that I have a beautiful home of my own where I can hang one of their pieces next to my kitchen. BRB actually going to buy one right now. Based on the California Central Coast
The Moody Blooms is selling holiday wreaths beginning on December 1st. Orange County and San Diego locals only! Based in Southern California
Cupboard Goods mugs and other ceramic masterpieces are nothing short of a dream. I can’t wait to get my hands on some pieces after the mid-December restock! Based in Portland, Oregon
Kitchen & Bath
Wonder Valley has delicious olive oils for cooking and for skincare! The works! All their olives are handpicked, young olives — which means a longer shelf life and more polyphenols. Try this one for your next salad or charcuterie board, or this Wonder Serum to breathe some life back into your skin this winter. Based in Joshua Tree, California
If you’re a pesto fan, you need to try Gigi’s Sauces. It’s actually the family biz of one of my best friends. The habanero pesto is *chef’s kiss* and the dairy-free pesto is perfect for all you vegan or dairy-sensitive peeps out there. While you can’t buy online (yet), it is available at Mother’s Markets in Orange County or Erewhon Markets in LA! Based in Southern California
Does nail polish belong under this section? Sure, why not. Bess & Color is the best vegan, non-toxic nail polish out there. Their tagline is “Wes Anderson inspired color palettes” AKA I was sold the second I read that. Disclaimer: not based on the West Coast. But, the owner is also fellow wedding photographer. And podcaster. And author. Basically a total boss, and I couldn’t help but shoutout this biz. Based in Miami, Florida
Vena CBD is an Orange County-based CBD company with a whole range of CBD products. You can often find them at the Saturday morning Farmer’s Market in Ladera Ranch, or you can shop online here! Their branding is totally on point to (shoutout to one of my rad clients who’s their graphic designer)! Based in Southern California
Wild Minimalist is like a one-stop shop for sustainable, eco-friendly cooking, food storage, and home products. Grab a reusable coffee cup, a cork soap dish, reusable cotton rounds, or silicone sandwich bags! Show your people you love them while also showing Mother Earth some love, too! Based in the Bay Area, California.
THRIVAL is a San Diego-based sustainable and ethical goods shop. Bonus, THRIVAL is a Woman of Color owned business. AND, if you purchase the All Connected tee or There’s Only Us tee, a % of your purchase will be donated to an organization that supports and empowers people of color! Also, check out their sustainable yoga mats — created with zero use of electricity, 100% raw cotton, and 100% herbal dyes. Based in Southern California
September the Shop is a must-stop place for me whenever I visit Seattle. Their Ballard-based store is like a peaceful shopping haven. And, while I won’t be making trips to the PNW any time soon (thanks @pandemic), I’m super happy that their online shop is just as good! Based in Seattle, Washington
Many thrift stores have begun offering online shopping options or virtual appointments (where they Zoom you and walk you around the store!).
Old Capitol Books offers $15, $25, and $100 Book Care Packages — the books are personally selected by their booksellers based on your preferences. Such a fun, special, and unique gift option! Based in Oakland, California
Beach Town Books is the sleepy, quaint, and cozy beach bookstore of dreams. They sell new and used books, and you can even bring in your used books and get a credit for your next purchase! Based in San Clemente, California
If you’re balling on a budget, check out your local Little Free Library, and pick up a few used books to gift to loved ones (be sure to leave a couple of books too, if you can).
A few books I highly recommend: The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, Real Life by Brandon Taylor, Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, Untamed by Glennon Doyle.
Support Local Restaurants
Purchase a gift card for a local restaurant or coffee shop, for your loved one to cash in for takeout or dine-in (post-pandemic only, please!). A few great options are:
- Ellie’s LBC — small Italian restaurant in Long Beach, CA
- Cloud 9 Bakers — organic, non-GMO, dairy/soy/wheat/gluten free bakery in San Juan Capistrano, CA
- Deadstock Coffee— stylish PDX coffee shop with in-house roasted beans
- Azla Vegan — vegan Ethiopian food in LA. My mouth waters every time I think about this place, no joke
Make a Donation in Honor of Someone
One of my favorite family holiday traditions is that we always gift donations to one another. Typically, you can make a donation in someone’s honor & then print the receipt (or email, to save paper)! Some of my favorite West-Coast based organizations are: The Trevor Project, Black Girls Code, The Bail Project, Camp Cocker (where I adopted my dog, Beau!), Friends of Trees, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and South County Outreach. Feel free to comment on this post with the names of other organizations that you support!