Looking for small businesses to support with your gifting dollars? Look no further — we’ve got what you need in this holiday gift guide.
As a longtime resident of Richmond and lifelong lover of style, I’ve been so fortunate to have spent the last few years surrounded by creatives of all types. Though I myself am a writer, I most admire people who can make real, tangible items like visual art or clothing.
Small businesses are all around us and while we should aim to support them year round, it can feel especially meaningful during the holidays as an opportunity to give unique and unusual presents. If you’re doing gifts this year, ditch the Amazon wishlist and opt to support one of these six independent shops instead.
Because the first three businesses listed are locally based, I’ve had the chance to patronize them for years and never been disappointed. But I’m also one to appreciate new treasures and makers from throughout the world so the last three businesses are recent discoveries of mine from other parts of the U.S. (sparing everyone global shipping). I’ve thrown in the scores I would/have bought from each store for the people on my own list, keeping all suggestions at around $50 or less.
This entire guide was largely inspired by the “shop small” story on Jini & Tonic’s Instagram so it’s only fitting her pithy pins and prints are first on my own list. I’m a fundraiser for Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project, so of course I’ve gifted and been given the safe and legal abortion pin ($10) before. But I also love the boooooobies tee ($50) and vintage vibes not vintage values pin ($10).
The earthy, balanced fragrances from Na Nin make me feel like a luxurious, high-class hippie. Cripple Creek ($20) is my personal go-to but as a gift, I suggest one of their Travel EDP Trio sets which contain 3 best selling scents for less than fifty bucks ($48 to be specific). For a bit more, spoil the polish lover in your life with the J. Hannah mini polish set ($50).
Rosewood Clothing has the most charming gift for the smoker in your life; these Holly Francis pipes ($40), which at first glance could be mistaken for jewelry. For actual minimalist jewelry pieces, check out these hoops ($44), gold chain studs ($56), or simple chain ($36).
Be your own craft bartender these holidays thanks to Aged and Infused’s kits ($25). These elegantly packaged mixtures contain ingredients which will liven up your spirits (alcohol and otherwise) with classic, nostalgic flavors like Rose Ceremony or Spike the Punch.
Diaspora Co. aims to decolonize the spice industry through its direct trade, single-origin business model. They offer quality, equitably-sourced individual spices great for stocking up your own pantry, but it’s their collaborations that really make unique gifts for foodies. Turmeric popcorn spice ($9) is perfect for home movie nights, while their date chai caramel is any sweet tooth’s dream. As a “home barista” these days, my personal favorite is the turmeric latte blend ($22).
Devi Arts Collective uses recycled metals and ethically cut gems to create elegant jewelry at a variety of price points. They make it easy to give a personalized gift through their zodiac necklaces ($58-$68), or for something with a bit more color, try the birthstone necklace ($52-$72).