The holiday season is fast-approaching and with everything going on this year I think its so important to not only consider staying home and shopping online for gifts, but to also support small businesses! You really can't beat a handmade, hand designed or created items! There is something so special about supporting someone's dream while being able to buy unique gifts you cant get at your local big-box stores!

Here are a list of small businesses that you can buy some gifts from this season or just some things to treat yourself! Some of these shops I have purchased from myself and loved and others were recommended by some of you!

Kampus Kustoms

For the college pal or sports lover in your life!

Kampus Kustoms is owned by Kristina in Chicago and was recommended to me by one of you! She started selling these amazing and unique college tees that she customizes from her thrift finds! I think we can all benefit from a sustainable clothing option and how cute are these for game day?! The best part might be that you can send her a shirt you already have and she can customize it for you! Beyond bleach and tie-dye, Kristin can completely redesign your piece from adding zippers, adding a cute custom cut, or redesigning a flannel! Check her out on Instagram @kampuskustoms to order one or her designs or chat with her about a custom piece for you or a friend!! I might just have to get a custom Texas Tech one for myself!

Meet the owner, Kristina!

"I started my business as a senior in college (last August) when I attended the University of Kentucky. I have always loved to thrift clothing since the pieces are usually super unique and can't be found anywhere else. I started my first corporate job after college in January and was laid off in March at the beginning of the pandemic so I thought I would focus my time and energy onto my business that I started at school. I have always loved sports and in a family of all girls my dad made sure we were always educated about our favorite teams (Cubs, Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks) I am currently in the suburbs of Chicago!" -Kristina

Tal & Bert

Gift a home decor statement piece for that hard-to-shop for friend!

Another recommendation to me is Tal & Bert! Let me just start by saying my jaw about hit the floor when I saw their Instagram page, their work is s t u n n i n g! This company started just this year and has taken off! They specialize in hand poured concrete work where they take the cracks and turn them into these gorgeous geodes! They have a variety of items like their smaller Mod Planters and even have high-quality soy wood wick candles, a favorite of mine, the sound of a wood wick burning in the winter is unmatched, in my opinion. The best part might be getting to keep the candle vessel after your candle is done and repurpose it for a planter or how cute would it be as a key bowl by your door?! It's such a statement piece that you can keep in your home forever or gift to a sweet friend!

Meet the owners, Ray & Val!

"Tal & Bert was founded in February 2020 by husband & wife duo, Ray & Val Talbert. Their creations combined their love of outdoors, recreational mining, and art..

Tal & Bert is the meeting point of raw natural minerals and industrial concrete. Our designs are made from hand poured concrete that has been casted by hand in small batches. Our work is inspired by the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, finding the beauty in imperfections. We take the breakages in the designs and turn them into stunning geodes." -Tal & Bert

Hip Sip Hooray

For the wine buddy or coffee lover we all know and love!

Hip Sip Hooray Co. is one I have personally ordered from and can vouge for amazing customer service and high quality pieces! I got the Basic Witch Mug for the spooky season and have my eye on this Good Morning Mug! Hannah is located in Louisiana and brings that southern charm to everything she makes. I can't think of anyone in my life that wouldn't love on of these mugs or wine glasses, it's the perfect gift! From teachers to your best friend, even your mom! Cute and functional, you really can't go wrong! You can order from her Etsy shop, HipSipHoorayCo and find her on Instagram!

Meet the owner, Hannah!

"Hi friends!! My name is Hannah and Hip Sip Hooray is my baby! I opened up my Etsy shop in the midst of the pandemic/quarantine and haven’t looked back since. I still work full time as an engineer, but having a side hustle during these tough times has kept my spirits high. Hip Sip Hooray was inspired by my love for wine, cutesy sayings and a firm belief that everyday is worth cheers-ing for! My goal is to provide wine glasses and coffee mugs for everyday life, occasion and holiday! Come check out my shop, so we can all cheers together!" -Hannah

Pressed By Mei

A gift for a friend... or maybe your new manicure for the holidays!

Pressed By Mei is relaunching for Black Friday featuring her new hand-painted press-on nails! If you follow me on YouTube you've seen me try a few different brands of press-on's and these might have to be my next ones! They are unique, feminine, one of a kind and just stunning! One unique thing she offers is different size sets! This is great for someone like me that has smaller nails, I always have a few that are just too big on my hands and I think she has solved this problem! Her designs range from rhinestones to gold flakes, even Halloween and holiday themes! You can check out her work now on Instagram @pressedbymei and follow her to make sure you don't miss her big Black Friday Launch!

Meet the owner, Meilani!

"As someone who always believes “when you look good, you feel good”, joining the beauty industry was a no brainer, but I realized after cosmetology school hair wasn’t for me. Nails, that was my passion! Due to personal reasons I’ve had to start and stop the nail business more times than I’d like to admit but I started doing friends nails again two weeks before COVID shutdowns hit and was stuck with all this creativity that had no where to go. So I decided to start a press on line! I saw others doing it and thought it wouldn’t be possible to compete but then sales started to creep in. I used shutdown as an opportunity to work in my art skills and take workshops, watch YouTube videos and just freestyle after just looking at a picture. Once we opened again I started with clients again but press ons were still in process behind the scenes so I decided to officially launch my store and give an easier way for customers to purchase a set they love. Whether it’s for a night out, event, holiday or daily life. I also have cuticle oils in the works, working on real clients showed there is a lack of people using it as they should for nail health. So why not create two items that people love?" -Meilani

ELJ Collective

A thoughtful handmade gift for your favorite jewelry lover (she's size inclusive!!)

ELJ Collective is another shop I found through y'all on Instagram! These size-inclusive, hand made bracelets are such a great gift idea this season! I love the one where you can add initials or a name, its so personable and would be so cute for a new mom with their baby's initials or name! There are so many options to choose from so if you're shopping for a statement piece or an every day piece, she has you covered! Take a look at all of the stunning pieces she offers, a few of my favorites are the Rose Quartz , this Be You Motivational set and the custom name Black Lava Beads bracelet!

Meet the owner, Erika!

"COVID-19 has affected us all differently. As an unable to work hairstylist, my creative outlet was being squandered away until one day I decided to do something about it. I’ve never been much for hobbies but it’s amazing to me the inspiration I found from other friends who were starting to do other ventures on the side. ELJ Collective was born out of my mom’s house in Maryland while I was quarantining there to get out of my beloved Boston for a bit. Every ounce of my soul was put into these bracelets and it ended up being not only fun, but an incredible stress relief from the crazy world we all find ourselves in! I believe in size inclusivity always and for all things. I accommodate all sizes and love to work on your own custom designs." -Erika

The Craft Candle Co.

For your scent-loving, eco-friendly, cozy-house lover!

The Craft Candle Co. is a newly launched business selling eco-friendly soy candles and wax melts and y'all... I think this one is going to be BIG! You can almost smell the candles by looking at her gorgeous photos and her packaging is so stunning you don't even need a gift bag! I love adding candles to gift baskets or pairing with a nice wax warmer or cozy blanket for the ultimate comforting gift. She has covered all of my favorite Christmas scents, especially Christmas Pine! *Added to cart* She also has some yummy, unique scents like Coffee House and Apple Strudel, yes please! And they are all dye-free keeping your home chemical-free and smelling amazing!

Meet the owner, Katie!

"Hello my name is Katie Craft! I’m 30 years old and live in Salt Lake City, UT with my husband and dogs. I, like many others, enjoy when my house smells like a bakery, a flower shop, the seaside, fresh clean laundry, and all the holidays. I decided to try my hand at making a candle that I could feel good about burning in my home. It quickly turned into something that I was passionate about and wanted to share my product with others! I love being a small business owner."


Outwokentea Environment

For the tea drinker in your life who loves eco-friendly items and all things natural!

This small business was recommended to me by one of their customers! You can find them on Instagram