10 Holiday Gifts to Show Small Businesses Some Big Love - Skillful Cook
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10 Holiday Gifts to Show Small Businesses Some Big Love

Like everything else this year, our focus is switching to something smaller. For this year’s Holiday Gift Guide, we’re highlighting small businesses and shopping locally, wherever you are.

10 holiday gifts

Well, here we are in November and for many of us, it feels like it's the 268th day of March, but nope, we're headed into the holidays. And it probably doesn’t look the way any of us hoped it would.

So, like everything else this year, our focus is switching to something smaller, something closer to home, something that throws more support behind those in our immediate communities. For this year’s Holiday Gift Guide, we’re highlighting small businesses and shopping locally, wherever you are.

Our teams (Skillful Cook, Food Blogger Pro, WP Tasty, and Nutrifox) span far and wide, so when collecting ideas, there wound up being several different locales to choose from. Minneapolis, Portland, Vancouver, Pittsburgh, and more - all over the map. Maybe one of them is near and dear to you too! But if not, most things can be shipped almost anywhere.

You’ll find ideas of things and places that we love and love to support, and more about why we love them and how you can love them too! From jewelry, craft spirits, awesome local bookstores, to apparel, we’re excited to share the things we love with you.

And while this year has been so hard in so many ways, and things aren’t going to be the way most of us planned, gifts or not, we hope you find ways to share joy during the holidays with the people you love. However you are able to gather this year, no matter how small, love each other big. ❤️

1. The Comfiest Earrings You'll Ever Wear

Image of earrings made from leather

Leather and Cork Earrings from JCelineJewelryCo // Based in Minnesota

Ever put in a pair of earrings and then subsequently take them off because OUCH MY EARS? If that's you or someone you love, then these will make those ears extremely happy. Handmade from upcycled leather and cork, they're super lightweight and versatile - all different colors, patterns, textures, you name it.

2. Plant-Based Beauty That's, Well, Really Beautiful

beauty shot of Woodlot gift set

Photo credit: Founded in Beauty

Bestseller Gift Box from Woodlot // Based in Vancouver, BC

Woodlot is a line of premium, plant-based home and beauty products founded by Sonia and Fouad, a husband and wife duo based in Vancouver. The aromas are sophisticated and clean, and the ingredients are simple and ethically-sourced (yes!). The bestseller gift box is a great place to start - it features three of Woodlot's most popular products, including their Original candle that smells of fir, cedarwood, pine and sweet orange which honestly, is just what we really need right now.

Recommended by Jasmine, Affiliate Manager at Food Blogger Pro

3. Locally-Sourced Books Wherever You Are

4 books from my local bookstores

Black Garnet Books and Bookshop.org // Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota and wherever you are

We love when a community comes together to make big things happen, and this is the story of Black Garnet Books. In less than a month, the idea was generated, shared widely, and then the GoFundMe fully backed (well beyond the stretch goal) for Dionne Sims to open the only Black, woman-owned bookstore in the Twin Cities. Their focus is on contemporary literature that amplifies racially-diverse, underrepresented voices and stories. Right now, while the search for a physical space continues, they are running pop-up shops around the Cities, but they are also a great book-shopping choice to support through bookshop.org, which is also a great place to stop to find other locally-sourced books in your own community as well.

Recommended by Rita, Writer at Skillful Cook + Alexa, General Manager at Food Blogger Pro

4. The Holly-Est Jolly-Est Beer Around

mad elf ale

Mad Elf Ale from Tröegs Independent Brewing // Based in Hershey, Pennsylvania

This is almost guaranteed make this time of year the holly-est and jolly-est it can be! A seasonable malty beer that's fermented with honey and cherries that's only available once per year. If you're not local to PA, you can find it near you using the brew finder.

Recommended by Alexa, General Manager at Food Blogger Pro

5. When You Need (Excellent) Curry In a Hurry

Local red curry paste

Curry Pastes from Thai and True // Based in Portland, Oregon

A Portland favorite, Thai & True curry pastes and sauces are handmade by owners and Thai natives Susie and her husband Pon Kasem. Order a few for a simple tasty gift, or honestly, just maintain a steady supply for a curry in a hurry any (every?) night of the week. Which, honestly, what else do you really need in these times?

Recommended by Katie, General Manager at WP Tasty

6. A Little (Big) Boost To Your Cocktail Game

Coffee liqueur

Frieda Coffee Liqueur from Du Nord Spirits // Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Du Nord is America's First Black-Owned Distillery and that's an amazing thing all on its own. And on top of that, they also have a coffee liqueur that's just...yes. It's a little something special to give to friends or family (or yourself!) that feels so super cozy in this very long winter. Excellent in a something like a White Russian or all on its own to sip. Or maybe even over ice cream?? Please report back.

Recommended by Jenna, General Manager at Skillful Cook

7. Earrings That Will Just Make You Happy

Image of acrylic earrings

Confetti Earrings from JillMakes // Based in Lafayette, Louisiana

Whimsical jewelry is the name of the game in Etsy shop JillMakes. And Ann from our WP Tasty team has not one, but TWO pairs of confetti earrings, because you really can't have too much confetti. Every piece is handmade by Jill and her team in her jewelry studio and she even offers DIY kits (in true Etsy fashion) so you can make your own earrings. Seriously the coolest.

Recommended by Ann, Customer Success Agent at WP Tasty

8. Show Your Love In Cap Form

Custom baseball cap

Custom Baseball Cap from R&D Designs // Based in Wilmington, North Carolina

Husband and wife team Ronnie and Debbie Stubber are the driving forces behind the Etsy shop RandDDesignsILM, where they specialize in customizing apparel and gifts, like this Schitt’s Creek baseball cap that is just really, truly, one of the best things we've seen.

Recommended by Ann, Customer Success Agent at WP Tasty

9. Just Really Good, Snob-Free Coffee

Deadstock coffee

Photo credit: Deadstock Coffee

Fresh Prince Coffee from Deadstock Coffee // Based in Portland, Oregon

Saturday mornings are best spent with Deadstock Coffee’s Fresh Prince. Does it really taste like fruity pebbles? Yes. How do they do it? Nobody knows. But it’s magic. But if your morning isn’t feeling so fruity, the Breezy blend is another great choice. Locally owned and roasted, Deadstock is the place in Portland for really good, snob-free coffee.

Recommended by Katie, General Manager at WP Tasty

10. When You Want To Just Mix Up Everything After This Year

Mixology dice

Foodie and Mixology Dice from Two Tumbleweeds // Based in Colorado

Created by two sisters from the Midwest, Foodie Dice & Mixology Dice are a super fun way to mix up your at-home meals and cocktail hours. The Foodie Dice helps inspire new combos for dinner, and the Mixology Dice (along with a well stocked bar) will really up your cocktail game.

Recommended by Emily, Video Specialist at Skillful Cook

Sending lots of love and cozy holiday feelings in this hard, strange time, from all our team members to you.

What are some of your favorite local shops in your area? Comment them below so we can all share in a little more love. ❤️

Filed Under: Life Lifestyle

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    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I noticed one comment mentioned a gift box of Chai. I couldn’t find it in this post. Would you please post it? Thank you.

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Hi Emma! I believe the person who commented was sharing her favorite local shop called The Chai Box. We didn’t share it in the post. I’ll reply to her comment and hopefully she can share the exact link to the site.

  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    Love this round-up! Thanks for focusing on small businesses who need our support now more than ever! My fave local pick is The Chai Box- the BEST chai blends and chai concentrate, and it’s a BIPOC, female-owned company. Her IG stories are super soothing, too.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Hi Hilary! Thanks for sharing! Would you mind posting the link to their site?

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    This is awesome! If you get additional feedback in the comments with small business gift ideas, can you do a follow-up post (or share via Instagram)?

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    This was such a great idea! Just ordered some of that coffee! Curious what fruity pebble coffee tastes like 🙂

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    I just ordered curry paste and am so excited! Thank you!

    I love Kobi Co (https://www.lovekobico.com/). It’s a candle and bath soak company owned by a Minneapolis high school student earning money to attend an HBCU. They ship as well.

    Tawa Threads scarves are a staple of my gift-giving this year as well.

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love all of those earrings! Haven’t been wearing jewelry much since I work from home full-time, but it’s always fun to sport a pair anyways :). Thanks for sharing!

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Crunchy Red Fruit is also a great small business! They are curated wine boxes from a top sommelier in the world and the coowner is a labor and delivery nurse on the front lines.

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    Troegs is one of of our favorite breweries! I’m about 45 minutes way & (especially in pre-COVID life) my little family would make our way up to Hershey often for the incredible food, beer, & atmosphere.

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    I was delighted to learn that my J. Celine Jewelry Co. leather and cork earrings were going to be included as a favorite in your gift guide! I so appreciate it. The response from your fans and followers has been truly incredible! 💟My sincerest thanks.

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    I really love that you and the team put this together!! I’m definitely purchasing some things for myself and family!! So cool

    Happy holidays!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      What a lovely idea to make a list for the small business ideas! … The “Ew, David” cap is priceless! Definitely ordering few of these for Christmas presents. Thank you again!

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    Hi Lindsay. Coffee from Peace Coffee, based in Minneapolis would be a good addition to this list. All their coffee is organic and fair trade. I’m a decaf girl and I LOVE their decaf morning glory blend. It’s the way I start every day.

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

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