I am so proud of this gift guide. It's full of some of the most unique businesses backed by the most incredible people. Now, more than ever, we need to shop small, support small, and protect small. Our small businesses are the lifeline of our communities. Many of the people in this list were guests on my Side Hustlers podcast and a lot of them left their day jobs to follow their dreams of being a full-time entrepreneur. This list is "Carla Marie Certified" - I have either shopped, visited, or had the owner of the business on my podcast. I've been obsessed with small businesses and discovering new products for years and have made it my mission to be their megaphone. This list is full of my favorite accessories from small businesses but I've separated some of them into other categories for you; beauty, seattle-area businesses, men, home/things, and clothes.
A lot of these companies are running Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales so I would shop early. Keep in mind, this isn't small business Prime, they will take a little longer to ship because the are small. Give yourself time when ordering.
As you browse the gift guide you'll see I mention the location of most of the businesses, this will help you if you want to shop local to your area or local to the area of the gift recipient.
If you can't support by shopping here are some FREE ways to support that I know ALL of this businesses will love: follow them on Instagram, like their posts when you see them in your feed, comment on their posts with words (emojis don't help the algorithm), share posts with friends who you think will like to see them, and BOOKMARK the post (Instagram weights this very heavy in the Instagram formula). The more people do this for small businesses the more their posts will be shown to others. You're basically giving them free marketing.
HAPPY SHOPPING!! AND THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING!
My all-time favorite gift to give for any occasion. Little Words Project bracelets have an inspirational word on them for the wearer to use as a reminder for whatever they are trying to achieve. The goal is that you'll no longer near the bracelet and you can pass it on to someone else who needs to live by the same word. Little Words Project is based in NJ and creator, Adriana Carrig started the bracelet company in her parents basement and even though it's still a small business it's been recognized by huge brands like SAKS and Nike! Each bracelet has a number engraved so you can track your bracelet and see how far it's gone. There are various styles, colors, and a ton of words to choose from. Listen to Little Words Project on Side Hustlers.
My favorite pair of sunnies ever are Ombraz. The perfect gift for the outdoor adventure-loving person in your life. Unlike other pairs of sunglasses, Ombraz don't have arms! Your ears won't ache from wearing them all day and also they won't fall off of your head which is great for anyone who is active but even better for people who spend time on the water. (Sunglasses are one of the most "littered" item in the ocean because they always get lost!). Ombraz are also basically indestructible and come in various styles. Listen to Ombraz on Side Hustlers.
Buy someone a piece of jewelry from Nordy Made and it's guaranteed to be a hit. It's handmade, minimalist, Nordic-inspired jewelry made in the PNW. Whether you get one piece or several pieces to layer they're all gorgeous and great quality. Cheryl creates everything from her home in West Seattle while being a stay-at-home mom. Shop rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. Listen to Nordy Made's on Side Hustlers.
While there are a ton of pieces of jewelry to fall in love with from Wired by ALP, they're originally for their custom wired rings. Amy, the founder and creator, can be found at markets in the Columbus, Gerogia ariea but thanks to the good old internet we can all enjoy the bracelets, rings, neckalkces, and earrings she created! There's even a unisex collection! Use code carlamarie for 15% off! Listen to Wired by ALP on Side Hustlers.
Shop unique sustainable quality bags from Cement 6, a Nashville-based company, for anyone on your list. Made from actual cement bags found in Cambodia, these bags are perfect for anything from the beach to school. They're really strong and durable and come in all kinds of styles. Jeremy and his wife, Susannah run the company together and the two met while building a home in Haiti during college. Listen to Cement 6 on Side Hustlers.
The only time I will ever tell you to buy socks as a gift is if you buy From The Ground Up Socks. Rami created this Seattle-based sock company after he was sick of having awful experiences with socks while hiking. I have been skiing for years and ALWAYS have issues with my socks until I wore FTGU socks. I wear them hiking and they're great. You don't have to be an adventurer to enjoy them either, you can wear them everyday! I love their compression socks whether you're a runner or a doctorh standing all day. The socks are stitched with images of PNW mountains and while you're there pick up some masks! Listen to From the Ground up socks on Side Hustlers!
Handmade leather handbags make a great gift. Lana Rae Handmade is full of beautiful bags of all varieties from clutches to backpacks. That's me in the picture below and I am obsessed with my backpack, it holds my MacBook so I've used it for everything from a road trip to a run to the grocery store. Roxi hand-makes these bags in-between homeschooling her children from their home in Souther California. Listen to Lana Rae Handmade on Side Hustlers.
If you want to get her a gift that is so perfect for 2020 get her a pair of Dooeys, an at-home shoe. I know you may be thinking "isn't that a slipper?" Nope! Dooeys are built to be comfortable enough to feel like slippers but still have the style and design of an actual shoe so that when you're working from home you actually feel like you are dressed and ready for work. When Jordan moved from Seattle to the Netherlands and began working from home she realized she hated wearing her shoes in the house but wearing slippers made her feel like a bum and not like she was working. That's when Dooeys were born. After launching a successful kickstarter this year Dooeys became available for purchase. I have a pair of the Blush/Cinnamon Loafers and I love them. Listen to Dooeys on Side Hustlers.
You are guaranteed to get a one-of-a-kind gift from Ponderosa Creative. I have a denim jacket I bought when I shopped from Ponderosa Creative a the Full Moon Market and I love it. The jacket is upcycled but stitched on to the back is a quilted design. You'll find many styles like my jacket from Paige, the owner of Ponderosa Creative, but you'll also find quilted pouches, and metallic stickers!
Where else can you get a mask that matches your pet's bowtie?! Ugly Yellow House originated as a handmade bowtie company for humans and pets but once they saw the need for masks they began to make them and they became a HUGE hit. Owners and husband and wife, Amber and Tom, make the best team. Shop quality, handmade, masks, pet bowtie, and human bowties from this West Seattle-based company! Listen to Ugly Yellow House on Side Hustlers.
Anything you buy from The Shop Forward is going to be a great gift but my favorite is their 4 Things Collection. You can customize any of the items from shirts to totes to notebooks with someone's favorite "4 things". I've given the 4 Things Tote as a gift to so many people in my life and it's always a huge hit. Plus anything you purchased from the 4 Things collection will give back to an orphanage in Haiti. Listen to The Shop Forward on Side Hustlers.
After graduating from the University of Washington in the middle of a pandemic, Angelica found it hard to find a job...so she launched her own business. Shop masks, scrunchies, and other accessories. I love love love her masks and am obsessed with her scrunchies! You can even shop masks that match scrunchies!