2022 Small Biz Gift Guide
Hello weary gifters, fear not! 'Tis I, Nate, the obsessive small business stalker, here to offer a typed out amalgam of my "christmas gifts" Pinterest board, saved Instagram shop posts, and all the open tabs on my cell phone. I've been doing this for a few years now, so if you don't see something that hits the spot here, allow me to direct you to those other posts as well. Happy shopping! And as always, fuck Amazon!
For The Green Queen
These ceramic garden accessories mimic the look of flowers and the colors that are most attractive to bees. They hold a teaspoon of water to give your bees a safe space to land and rehydrate. And that's another great day of ~saving the bees~.
Everyone knows someone who has curated their perfect cozy, cottage core lifestyle. She gardens, she makes her own sourdough starter, she does mindful crossword puzzles every morning while her pour over coffee drains, and she definitely needs colored pencils that she can plant in her garden. Right? Right.
Vegetable gardens and handmade pasta go together like...like vegetables and pasta (Sorry, I didn't have time to workshop that one). Fiona is a master of edible art. Her pastas look almost too good to eat, but that's a tasty sacrifice I'm personally willing to make. Because these pastas are so gorgeous on their own, they're an ideal vehicle for a brown butter and herb sauce or a primavera, ie. the perfect use for those garden spoils!
For The Fangirl
Whether you're only halfway through ACOTAR or are deep in Sara J Maas conspiracy TikTok, House of Jupiter has everything a bookish girl could need. I'm a big fan of gifting books to people you know really well, and the collection of books HoJ has created merch for is incredibly curated (and just the right amount of spicy). If anything, you can use their merch list as inspiration for a new book to buy your bestie. Featured books include: A Court of Thorns and Roses, Crescent City, From Blood & Ash, Shadow and Bone, Throne of Glass, and Harry Potter. If your giftee has read all of those and is looking for more, my personal recs are Gideon The Ninth, Legends and Lattes, Ice Planet Barbarians (I'm dead serious), and The Ninth House.
My personal favorite thing A Fan Of Shop has ever released is a tee shirt that says "May The Force be with y'all!" on it, so that gives you a pretty good taste of what you're in for here. It's Star Wars with all the charm of that one girl in your sorority who always hand painted everyone's cute coordinated water bottles. Bless her heart (sincere).
My favorite thing in my office right now is a Howl's Moving Castle piece from Lottie, and again, she knows how to pack an aesthetically pleasing parcel. Her anime-themed stained glass creations take a bit of time to arrive, but they are incredibly well made and guaranteed to spark joy hanging in the window of the right nerd.
This one goes out to my Ren Faire queens. If your giftee likes to play dress up and go frolic in the woods, they will squeal over a gift from Roxy Rose. Crowns, crystals, swords, and dragons abound in this fantasy accessory shop fit for a Fae King.
Here's one more for the fantasy lovers, the maladaptive daydreamers, and disassociators. Alone on a Journey is a one player adventure in the form of a handmade journal. The adventurer works their way through the journal to play three solo games within the confines of its pages. What a great excuse to put your phone down, right?
For The Anti-Fast Fashionista
One of the best things about shopping small is the thought and design sense that creators put into not only their products but the packaging it comes in. Ressa is the queen of this. Her Soft Gift Box comes with clam shell and flower shaped jewelry boxes reminiscent of everyone's favorite childhood tactile experience, Polly Pockets.
If you're looking for jewelry that is shipped direct from The Fae Realm, then this is it. Katie's sense of style is a mix of gothic glamour and swamp witch. Her treasure trove of tiny mushrooms, sword-shaped hairpins, and charms in the shape of animal bones are all hand-cast metal which definitely adds an extra bit of magic to each piece.
KNESS CERAMIC ANIMALS I'm strategically linking her shop storefront here because everything she makes is incredible, but allow me to direct your eye to the jewelry section and get ready to giggle like a school child at how insanely adorable these wearable sculptures are. Kness' ability to distill the personality of a family of opossums into a gilded and glazed piece of porcelain that hangs around your neck is unfathomable to me. If you're looking for a gift to get ME, actually...this is it.
I follow Alexandra's instagram like a hawk. Her specialty is hand painted vintage purses, and many of them are put on fire sale in her IG stories, so you have to be quick if you want to snatch one up. I have yet to be successful, but you can also commission her to make you something special that fits your exact aesthetic. You can buy prints of her work and some originals as well in her shop, but just know that if you're able to score one of those handbags, you're on my rob list.
Unfortunately for me, these accessories cater toward the the elementary school sized human, but believe me I would own everything they sell if it came in big kid (read full-ass-adult) sizes. If your giftee is a child who has too many tiaras and plastic princess shoes to count, might I suggest a slightly more practical application of costume glam in the form of bejeweled swim goggles or winter gloves with a "diamond" ring pre-attached to the finger? You see why I want these in my size right?
For The Interior Curator
Handmade in O'ahu, HI, these brightly colored shelves will add a pop of whimsy to any corner of your home. These are a great gift for a work-from-homer who is trying to curate a happy space in their home office or a skincare hoarder whose collection of pretty packaging needs an equally pretty bathroom pedestal.
You know I always have to put a candle on this list. This year's selection is from Snif. I have some of their perfumes, and all I can say is, if you need to ship a package directly to your gift recipient, this is the shop to do it with. The box my perfumes came in was so beautiful that I instantly felt like I had made a luxury purchase even though it was under $100. Their customer service is also very attentive if you're worried about shipping during the holidays.
Small batch ceramics and glass works are having a moment, so these next few suggestions are going to fit into that category. Sarah Rozie's medium of choice is fused glass. This unique process of kiln firing flat-lays of tiny glass shapes produces pieces that feel like they belong in the window of your friendly neighborhood witch's window. She also makes the most adorable earrings using the same process.
Here's a stained glass option for the goth girls. I'm a sucker for handmade stained glass, especially when the available options are iridescent mushrooms, moths, butterflies, and snakes. The details on these are so beautiful, you might just feel like you've stepped into a magical apothecary instead of your apartment kitchen.
For The Hobby Hopper
Die Trying is one of the coolest creative accounts I follow on Instagram. They hand make patches and embroidered goods in Austin, TX and also sell them on their site, but this kit lets you take the process into your own hands! Cross stitch art is super beginner friendly for someone who is looking to get into embroidery, and the patterns Die Trying offers are a fun twist on the classic grandma pillow.
CROCHET PATTERNS (INTERMEDIATE)
Destiny Makes is not your average crocheter. Her patterns are cheeky, a little bit complex, and a lot fun to look at. This is a great gift for someone who has graduated past scarves and beanies and wants to try something a little more advanced that won't be as time consuming as a sweater or a blanket.
Mrs Moon & Heaven is where you'll find a pattern for Gen Z's coveted crochet two piece set. They also have patterns for cropped sweatshirts, coffee cup cozies, and the cutest handmade bralettes your boobs have ever seen.
My vision for this gift is a gorgeous thrifted blanket plus all the supplies to make it into a coat. This pattern from An Erin is kind of genius and is strategically engineered to fit on an old wool blanket. You could also take the extra step and make the coat for your giftee, but this is a beginner pattern, so if you know it would be a fun project for someone, then no need to take the craftiness into your own hands.
Amigurumi is a style of crocheting in 3D (I know, the future is here!) to create a little creature that you can stuff with fluff and maybe even make little crocheted clothing for. As someone who has tried this craft before, it can be really hard, but these kits are the most basic version of amigurumi, so beginners are welcome!