Update: Many of these featured small business owners have reached out to say how appreciative they are of readers like you who chose to support their business this year. Some of them even provided us with exclusive promo codes and shipping deadlines to make sure you have the best holiday shopping experience possible.
This year, it's more important than ever to shop small, and according to a Groupon survey, that's just what 75% of Americans plan to do. While the Walmart's and Targets of the world were thriving during pandemic closures earlier in the year, small and medium-size businesses were desperately trying to think of creative ways to survive. Now is your time to show them support by shopping small this holiday season.
We asked our social followers, co-workers, and the business.com community to share their favorite small businesses. As a result, we received an outpouring of impressive leads. We are proud to present business.com's ultimate small business holiday shopping guide featuring 48 amazing small businesses, as well as our hand-selected gift recommendations from each company.
Originally, we'd planned to feature 15 to 20 small businesses, but after reading the captivating stories behind each of the business leads we received, it was nearly impossible to cap it at that number. This list is only a micro percentage of the number of incredible small businesses that are out there. While we hope you can find the perfect gift from our guide, we encourage you to find small businesses in your communities.
Our guide is organized in a way that we hope will help you discover the perfect gift for your loved ones based on their interests, passions and personality while consciously supporting a cause or community that touches your heart. So many of these small businesses overlap to other categories, but we did our best to capture the true essence of their mission.
Mission-driven and charitable businesses
Stone Candle Bar
Reclaimed Bottle Candle, $15.00
Father and son duo Daniel and Michael are committed to creating products that are natural, eco-friendly and sustainable. In 2015, Stone Candles partnered with Exceptional Children's Foundation to create Light 4 Life Cause, a private-label manufacturing facility that has created numerous jobs for people with disabilities, who account for 60% of their workforce.
Home Glassybaby, $90.00
Lee Rhodes came up with the idea for Glassybaby after being sick from cancer for the third time. Each votive purchase donates $3 to the glassybaby foundation, which has provided over $10.7 million to organizations that promote love, kindness, hope and healing.
Chris Adams started Appalachian Furnishings following many years in the mining industry. After seeing many people struggle with addiction, he made it his goal to help by providing recovering addicts with job training and employment.
Sugar Plum Dress, $160.00
Sandra Zhao and Ashleigh Miller spent a combined decade in Kenya, where they were inspired to start Zuri. By partnering with an ethical manufacturer in Kenya, they are employ 93 people full time with fair and salaried wages, job security, benefits and guaranteed pay.
Firepot Normadic Teas
Matcha Lovers Box, $85.00
Firepot's mission is to connect tea lovers and tea growers in an effort to improve the lives of both. They donate 1% of every sale to causes that are close to their heart and have partnered with a women's university in Rwanda to help provide means for a sustainable future.
All of Us Crayons
The Skin Tone Crayon Set, $20.99
After becoming aware of the extremely limited crayon colors that accurately represent different skin tones, Sabine Josephs decided to take things into her own hands (literally). Made from beeswax, carnauba wax and natural earth pigments, the 8-color crayon set provides a much more realistic selection of skin colors for young artists. The shipping cut-off for delivery (in the United States) before Christmas is December 18th.
Valerie Madison, Fine Jewelry
14K Gold Tiny Bar Studs, $95.00
Valerie Madison, a Black Latina entrepreneur, founded her company in 2014 after being exposed to the dark history of the jewelry industry. Her collection promotes environmental sustainability by using recycled metals and offering eco-friendly stones.
Le Beurre Shop
Beurre Bundles, $35.00
Shirley Menard is an Ivy League-educated lawyer turned entrepreneur whose love for shea butter inspired her to create products with a focus on universal skin care using natural ingredients. The company's shea butter is ethically sourced and traditionally handcrafted by a group of female entrepreneurs from Ghana.
Frugal Bookstore eGift Card, Starting at $15.00
Leonard and Clarrissa Egerton have owned and operated Frugal Bookstore as a family since 2008 with a passion for promoting literacy within our children, teens and adults. Their mission is to "change minds one book at a time." Don't see the book you were looking for? Let them know, and they'll track it down for you.
Fun Weird Science
Ronnie Thomas founded Fun Weird Science to provide K-12 kids with an opportunity to learn each component of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) through exciting and engaging activities. The kit features five educational experiments to provide hours of excitement.
Marie Hunter Beauty
Boss Lady Matte Lipstick, $32.00
KéNisha Ruff founded Marie Hunter Beauty after years of professional experience in the beauty industry, becoming an expert in cosmetic product formulation. Ruff travelled the world for five years to find quality, ethical cosmetic laboratories to manufacture her products.
Custom Signature Necklace, $220.00
Tina Cheng launched Capsul so she could wear her young daughter's handwriting every day. As a former jewelry executive exposed to the harsh conditions in production facilities, Tina ensures that her products are made in the most socially responsible and eco-friendly way possible.
Bobbles & Lace
Hold Me Tight Sweater Dress, $67.00
Bobbles & Lace is run by aunt and niece team Valerie White and Lindsay Rose, who previously managed mobile/popup stores before joining forces to open the six locations that exist today. Each item is hand-selected by a member of their team to ensure you are making a stylist-approved purchase.
Flip & Tumble
Trailblazers 24/7 Bag, $12.00
Eva and Hetal launched Flip & Tumble in 2007 as a result of never having their reusable bags handy when they needed them. Their company is 100% owned by women.
Virginia Dare Dress Co.
Janie Wrap Dress, $118.00
While traveling the world as a wedding photographer, Rebekah struggled to find dresses that made her feel confident, she learned that other women felt the same. Developed to inspire women from all over the world, Virginia Dare Dress Co. allows women to celebrate their lives through fashion. Virginia Dare Dress Co. is giving business.com readers an exclusive discount. Use promo code SHOPPINGSMALL at checkout for 15% off.
Faux Fur Blanket, $88.00
Patti Hughes, inspired by her mother's love for crafting and creativity, found her passion in taking black-and-white photos of things she loved. After experiencing success selling small keepsake versions of her photographs at local markets, Patti's creations (and business) expanded. Fast-forward to today, Patti has invited talented artists to join her team and help grow Natural Life.
Flannel PJ Set, $44.00
After losing her job due to COVID-19, New Jersey-based Sammie created Shop Simplicity after an effort to find the perfect loungewear. What started as an idea for a T-shirt company quickly transitioned into an online boutique focused on style and comfort. With every purchase, 10% of proceeds are donated to Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care.
American Bench Craft
Brothers Jason and Chris Angelini started American Bench Craft in an effort to find a job that offered adventure, fulfillment and passion all in one. After raising over $20,000 in 30 days on Kickstarter for their riveted leather wallet, they were able to hire more staff (many of which are also veterans) and expand their product offerings. They recommend placing orders by December 18th for delivery by Christmas.
EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Use promo code BUSINESS15 for 15% off your purchase.
Mountain Mat Solo, $47.99
While deployed in Oman, Jennifer and her military family were amazed at the number of people who used plastic woven mats to "claim a space" at parks, beaches, sporting events, you name it. After being transferred back to the U.S., Jennifer came up with the idea for Mountain Mat; much like the ones she saw in the Middle East but with a few upgrades. Orders must be made by 12/14/20 to ensure Christmas Delivery.
Brandon Busch served as a heavy-lift helicopter pilot in the Marine Corps, serving two combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, he is still serving as a forward air controller in the Marine Corps Reserve, all while running a small-batch gourmet chocolate shop.
Because you can never have too many candles
Chai a Little Harder Candle, $21.99
Anchored Northwest makes candles the "old-fashioned way." Every step of the candle-making process is done by hand, and Anchored Northwest uses only American-grown 100% soy wax. Their signature wood wicks burn slower and longer than cotton wicks and are harvested in sustainable forests in the U.S. Unfortunately, Anchored Northwest has paused their 2020 shipping/delivery, however they are accepting orders for January 15th shipment startup.
EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Use promo code BUSINESS20 for 20% off your purchase
All of DotBeeCo's candles are hand-poured in small batches using locally sourced beeswax.
EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Use the promo code BUSINESSDOTCOM at checkout for 15% off your entire order (now through December 19th)
Oates Home Co
Fa La La Candle, $24.00
Julianna and Tyler Oates created their candles after discovering there were very few options that were made without harmful toxins and that matched their scent preferences. Their candles are free of phthalates, paraben, paraffins, zinc, and lead.
For the one who is all about self-care
Windy Hills Lavender
Your Special Day Gift Bag, $56.00
The Windy Hills Lavender Farm has been owned and operated by the Schooley & Hunt families since 1988. The families grow their own lavender organically (no pesticides or herbicides), weed by hand, source water from their own well and use solar electricity to power their farm.
Flourishing Travel Set, $25.00
Akima was working as a licensed esthetician when she started making natural skin care gifts for friends and family. After an overwhelming amount of positive feedback, she turned it into a solo-run business, formulating and handcrafting everything from the product to the label.
Little Seed Farm
Holiday Head to Toe, $49.99
Eileen and James Ray started Little Seed Farm out of a passion to provide humanely and sustainably produced soap and skincare. Their business model is based on caring for the well-being of their team (including their beloved goats) and customers.
Macklin Bath and Home
Self Care Box, $100.00
Macklin Bath and Home is founded on the belief that personal care and safety are basic human rights. A percentage of all proceeds benefit victims of domestic violence and domestic violence organizations.
EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Use promo code BUS20 for 20% off your purchase through the 12/25/20
For your four-legged friends
Found My Animal
Black Rope Cat & Dog Collar, $56.00
Bethany Obrecht and Anna Conway met while walking their rescue dogs (both chihuahuas and both named Walter), and the rest is history! They designed leashes made with marine-grade rope, brass and waxed canvas. A percentage of proceeds support animal welfare and rescue organizations.
Orthopedic Bed, $229.00
All of The Houndry's beds are handmade to order in Georgia, with the team making every single bed from start to finish.
Made by De
Quilted Winter Dog Coat, $85.99
Made by De was created as a solution to the lack of customizable dog coat options that would meet every dog (and owner's) needs. Made by De hand sews each coat, and when you buy a dog coat from Made by De, free alterations and repair for the life of the product are included.
Rippys Dog Toys
Rip Apart Pig, $12.00
Frustrated with dogs destroying their new gifts within minutes? So was Julie Theel. She created a dog toy with re-attachable velcro pieces to satisfy her dogs' "ripping instinct," all while saving her from frustration.
For the foodie
Scratch Pasta Co.
Quarantine Care Package, $55.00
While running the kitchen at a wedding venue, Chef Stephanie Fees was granted the opportunity to attend "pasta school" in Chiavari, Italy, where she was inspired to bring fresh, homemade pastas back to her hometown.
Make Your Own Pint, $79.99
Becky App and Abby Jordan formed eCreamery in 2007 and have garnered nationwide recognition since then. Each flavor is created by an ice cream artist and made in a small batch process, hand-packed and personalized with love.
Curio Spice Co.
The Culinary Essentials Set, $30.00
Over the last decade, Claire Cheney has visited and worked on spice farms in over a dozen countries, sourcing the best sustainable spices to bring back to New England. Place your orders quickly! Their holiday shipping cutoff is 12/11. Their processing time before shipping is currently 8-9 business days.
Monthly Cheese Club, $100.00
Cowgirl Creamery was created in 1997 inspired by a dream shared by college friends Sue Conley and Peggy Smith. Today, their mission is to uphold the craftsmanship of local sustainable agriculture in their local communities.
For the accessorizer
The "It's Mine" Luggage Tag, $20.00
Soon after graduating from UMass Dartmouth with her MFA in textiles, Shara Porter created quirky printed designs on thrift-shop leather goods. After much practice and a growing following, she expanded her creations into the line she sells today. Each piece is printed by Shara herself in her New Bedford, Massachusetts, studio.
Esh Jewelry Collection
Tasha Hussey, an Atlanta-based eco-conscious mother of three children, uses raw semi-precious stones, chez glass, intaglios, resin and lucite paired with 24k-plated brass and gold to put her own spin on vintage and resin jewelry.
Breck and Grier
Barbara Tote, $80.00
Inspired by a hunt for the perfect functionable and fashionable beach bag, sisters Breck and Grier took matters into their own hands. The sisters partnered with a family in Marrakesh, Morocco, who creates the hand-woven bags from palm leaves and then passes them on to Breck & Grier to hand paint and personalize each item. Unfortunately, Breck and Griegr informed us that their cut-off for holiday orders was this past week but they are trying their best to get others that were placed after done.
EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Use promo code GIVETHANKS for 25% off your order
Best Selling Men's Hat - "The Gent", $148.00
SALMAGUNDI is founded and operated by husband and wife duo Andria Rapagnola and Jessen Fitzpatrick. With shops in Boston's Jamaica Plain and North End neighborhoods, they offer the largest and most diverse hat selection in New England; stocking over 12,000 hats in store.
EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Use promo code SMALLBIZ10 online or mention in store for 10% off total purchase through 12/24/20.
For the homebody
Two States String Art, $100.00
Katie started making string art as a hobby in college. In the midst of the pandemic, she began looking for ways to free her creativity and decided to expand her offerings to include handmade terrazzo home decor items.
EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Use promo code HOLIDAY10 for 10% off the entire shop
Avocado Mug, $42.00
After earning a bachelor's in fine arts in ceramics (followed by years of teaching pottery classes), Abby Berkson opened a full-time business and expanded her line of designs and ceramic forms. All of her products are thrown and trimmed on the potter's wheel using the highest standards of craftsmanship.
SMS Home Decor
Personalized Wood Serving Tray, $50.00
Based out of Cary, North Carolina, SMS Home Decor specializes in farmhouse-inspired products such as mason jar decor, wine bottle decor, wood signs, burlap wreaths and welcome door mats.
For the youngins
Treehouse Kid and Craft
Box of Stocking Stuffers, $50.00
Sister duo Kristen and Kim created Treehouse after realizing there were no local children's stores in their area. They are passionate about finding unique, kindly-made products from around the world to encourage imaginative play among all kids.
Brave + Kind Books
StoryClub Month Subscription, $120.00
Bunnie Hilliard founded Georgia-based Brave + Kind Books with a passion to provide a curated selection of diverse, classic, artful stories.
Faux Taxidermy Narwhal, $38.00
While working as a graphic designer, Jen Gubicza came up with the idea for Zooguu as a result of sewing her own handmade creations. Jen works with her husband, Brian, and Ivy Fowler, a painter and illustrator, to design, produce and sell Zooguu's products.
For your clients
Delicious Orchards is a family-owned business based in Colts Neck, New Jersey. With over 100 years of history behind the brand, Delicious Orchards has maintained the same philosophy: providing uncompromising quality and making the customer No. 1.
Silver Whisp Bake Shop
The Petite Four Gift Box, $45.00
Nancy got the idea to start a bakery as a result of feeling that something was missing from her life. Today, she is happier than ever by helping her customers bring the cake of their dreams to life. Pre-orders for The Petite Four will be accepted until 12/16 for delivery by 12/24.
"The Regular" Gift Box, $40.00
Childhood friends Holly and Shawn took a leap of faith when leaving their corporate careers to start Rook Coffee in 2010. From its humble beginnings to the expansion they've seen over the years, their mission has been to inspire genuine human connections. They have just launched their 2020 Holiday Collection, which includes seasonally inspired specialty coffees, cold brews and merchandise (spoiler alert: for the first time ever, they have the absolute coziest blankets you'll ever find - perfect for snuggling up by the fire with a warm cup of coffee). Some old favs like Vanilla Spice Style Cold Brew and Mocha Mint Style Cold Brew have made their highly anticipated return, while they've welcomed a couple of new, very special coffees, like the Limited Reserve Peru Las Damas.