November Obsessions: Small Businesses to Support During Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday

Hello all!

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I love to highlight and support small businesses both around the DMV area and when I travel I try to shop local and shop small. In addition, anytime I find a women- or minority-owned business I always try to highlight and showcase them as well!

While I was always a fan of shopping small, the past two years of the pandemic have really highlighted how important supporting our local communities is. So, in the spirit of last year’s post highlighting some of my favorite smaller businesses for a holiday gift guide, I’ve decided to do an updated gift guide for 2021!

Fashion: Clothing and Accessories

  • Sarah Flint – I love that this female-founded shoe brand focuses on comfort, style, and female empowerment. These shoes are truly fabulous and make a great gift! Be sure to use my code SARAHFLINT-BAOPALS during the Buy More Save More event for $50 off one pair of shoes, $100 off 2 pairs, $150 of 3 pairs, and $200 off 4+ pairs – online now until 11/28!
  • Occasionally Luxe Jewelry – my friend Lisa from Occasionally Luxe launched her jewelry line in September and recently added the Luxe Charms collection just in time for the holidays! This jewelry is the perfect way to give a personalized gift to your loved ones this holiday season – and she has a cross and Star of David charm for both Christian and Jewish celebrations – we love an inclusive collection!
  • Tori Radday – this Richmond, Virginia textile artist takes secondhand textiles and scraps and makes beautiful, sustainable collections of blankets, scrunchies, tote bags, and aprons. I also adore her latest addition of adorable mushroom ornaments for the holidays!
  • Dudley Stephensstylish, environmentally friendly fleeces to keep you cozy!
  • Theresa Kelly Art Prints – a local DC fashion artist I’ve loved for years now – she has the best fashion and holiday prints and her art would make the perfect present!
  • The Tiny Tassel – I adore this Black-owned, female-owned, Charleston-based business! They currently have a whole section of the site devoted to a Season’s Greetings Collection and the signature tassel earring comes in every color of the rainbow to suit every style!
  • Raina Belts – You all know how much I love my Penelope Dragon Belt!
  • Nicoletta Carlone – you all saw my fabulous Medusa tiara for my Halloween look, but I’m a huge fan of the Old Hollywood Style Starburst Halo Crown for holiday party looks (60% off)!

Wellness and Beauty

  • Rhythm & Tone – my favorite online workout class has class packs and gift cards so you can enjoy staying healthy and learn some dance moves from the comfort of home!
  • Habit Cosmetics Vegan Nail Polish ($18) – I love the range of colors in this non-toxic, cruelty free line!
  • Moroccan Magic Tinted Lip Balm – my favorite moisturizing lip balm from a female-owned business comes in the loveliest pink tinted duo for a adding some easy color to your holiday look.
  • Rael – up to 50% off for Black Friday – I love that this company has vegan skincare (love these face masks) and is a company committed to making natural and effective menstrual products for all women as part of their effort to bridge the gap between period poverty and menstrual dignity.

Local DC Businesses

  • Practically Picnics – This was the female-owned picnic company that I used for my birthday party and I can not recommend them enough! They were so professional, perfect at making my vision come alive, and can do both indoor and outdoor picnics! They are based in the DMV and NYC area, so you can have an incredible experience in two amazing cities!
  • Grazed by Amani – the woman-owned DC caterer I used for my birthday picnic was so wonderful to work with. She can create amazing holiday cheese and sweets platter and has a smore’s platter option that’s perfect for any holiday party!
  • Mocktail Club – $17 for the variety pack of delicious drink mixes – you can choose to add sparkling water, alcohol, or drink them as is! I love bringing these to any holiday parties as an easy hostess gift that takes the pressure off mixing drinks!
  • Take Care Shop – my go-to location for all my favorite vegan/organic/cruelty-free beauty products. I’d try one of their incredible face creams or serums, their DC Inspired Mani-Pedi Gift Set, or maybe buy a gift card for one of their fabulous facials. Take 20% off your entire Take Care order with code TAKECARE20 – and delivery tip will be donated to City Dogs & City Kitties.
  • Petite Soeur – French pastries, but made in DC? This Black, female chef was trained at Le Cordon Bleu and worked in the DC restaurant scene for many years before starting this business. I’d recommend the Chocolate Hazelnut Diamant Sablé cookies for $12.
  • Meet the Curator – a wonderful guy who’s so inspiring and constantly representing DC! I’m a huge fan of his Increments Hoodie ($30).
  • Baseblue Cosmetics – I love this local brand’s makeup sponges and brushes, but definitely snag the cute Holiday Snowman Makeup Sponge as the perfect stocking stuffer ($13)!
  • Lucy Blossoms – Lucy Blossoms is a female, veteran owned event rental company based in Leesburg, Virginia, and serves DC, Northern Virginia and Maryland areas. Her balloon displays make any party or event extra special. I highly recommend checking her out if you’re planning any fun festivities!
  • Springvale Floral – If you’re looking for beautiful floral arrangements for the holidays, be sure to check them out! They also have beautiful dried flower crowns and hair combs!
  • Own Your Wonder – having a virtual makeup party is such a fun way to get all dolled up for the holidays in a safe way! This is also a great way to break out your makeup and try out a look you’ve been intimidated by or revamp an old palette! One-on-one express makeup lessons are $45, full face lessons are $80, and group lessons start at $25-$35 per person.

Fabulous Shops for Gifts

  • Shop Made in DC – This local business features fabulous artists and creators around the DMV. You can find everything from cards to artwork to clothes to seasonal gift boxes! I highly recommend checking out both their online store and in-person Georgetown shop to see the wide variety of products they feature!
  • ACK4170 – one of my favorite Nantucket haunts, this shop features high-quality, Nantucket-inspired accessories, apparel, jewelry, home decor, stationery and art that’s created by mainly small makers and artists.
  • Northshire Bookstore – my favorite bookstore is my go-to for gifts! Their collection is so extensive, it’s worth giving them a shot if you’re looking for a very specific book as a gift. They also have free holiday shipping on any US orders over $25.
  • Vis a Vis – one of my favorite Nantucket haunts carries the best delicate and whimsical jewelry in their online shop!
  • Gift & Box – this boutique shop carries everything from treats and snack to soaps to hand painted shells and ornaments! You can also choose from one of their curated gift boxes or build your own gift box.

Vintage Shops

For the Home

  • Slow North Candles – I’m obsessed with the unique scents of these transparent, high-quality, 100% natural, and sustainable ingredients. I have different scents for different seasons, but the seasonal candles Cheer and Merry + Bright are two faves!
  • Vermont Macrame – this female artist creates beautiful, handmade woven pieces. You can find wall and home decor, earrings, and planters from her beautiful designs. She has a lot of discounts and fun mystery box options for the holiday sales!
  • District Mineral – I adore this Georgetown-based crystal shop located in Take Care Shop. I have some of their crystals around my apartment and have given them to family and friends as gifts – the centering energy is so balancing and always appreciated! It can truly a transform your space and your mindset.
  • REWILD – This DC-based plant store is where I get a lot of my favorite plants. I highly recommend taking advantage of the 15% off sale happening right now!
  • VT Kitchen Supply Store – my favorite place to shop for handy and unique kitchenware, the garlic peeler and garlic chopper have made my life so much easier when cooking! Definitely browse their website for some of the most useful kitchen tools – I also love these cute Hanukkah napkins!
  • Greenwell Farms Peaberry Kona Coffee ($26/per starter pack) – when my family went on a trip to Hawai’i we discovered this coffee and it’s now our favorite holiday treat. The highest quality coffee beans and best brew!
  • 1000Grams soap – these handmade soaps made in NYC are plant based and direct to consumer (about $6) prices make them the perfect affordable, useful, and unique gift!

I hope this gift guide inspires you all to shop small this holiday season! And if you’re looking for something specific, please let me know and I’d be happy to help you look!



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