Shopping small has become a main topic of conversation since the global COVID-19 pandemic forced many small businesses to shut their doors, while Amazon, and other large retail companies, grew their income by billions of dollars. By supporting small businesses you’re not only benefiting the economy (as small businesses provide millions of job opportunities), but you’re also supporting sustainability and your community. It’s also way more fun to give your money to someone making you a unique product, and who really cares about providing you with something you love every time so you’ll come back for more.
With Black Friday coming up it’s easy to just hit the mall and go to the major retailers for sales. However, those big retailers don’t need your help in the same way these other businesses do, especially after the events of last year. So, I’ve curated a list of some great small business options to check out for your Black Friday (and other holiday shopping) needs. Trust me, your spending money will go a lot farther by supporting these creators than it will supporting Amazon.
Isa’s Clay is a polymer clay earring shop run by Isabelle, a teacher from Gatineau, Québec. All of the earrings are handmade, unique, and they sell quickly as there are limited quantities of each design (so you’ll have a one-of-a-kind item for your accessorizing needs). Each set of earrings is beautiful and the shop is definitely worth checking out if you’re in need of a new statement accessory piece.
Lucky Bear is another shop with plenty of stunning earrings, but they also sell rugs, wall-hangings, and other cute items. The earrings have patterns like cow print, clouds, or solid colors, and some have tassels and are dangly while others are studs. There are also rugs in a plethora of shapes and images like fish, suns, mushrooms, smiley faces, and so many more. Each piece is made to order by the shop’s owner, Jill Harrison, and every design is so whimsical and fun, you’re bound to find something you like.
This Boulder-based thrift store is one of my favorites to go to because the clothing they sell is funky, vintage, and unique. If you’re a thrift-lover in the Boulder area and you haven’t been to Apocalypse yet, put it next on your to-do list. There’s a wide range of prices and plenty of items to sift through as they sell accessories, shoes, clothes, and anything else you may need for your closet. And if you have items you’re wanting to sell, you can do that here too!
Grlcollective is a Latina-owned small business that donates 20% of their profits to fund girls’ educations in India through their non-profit partners, the Sambhali Trust. They design each of their products on their own and utilize sustainable and ethical practices. This shop sells everything from clothes to handbags to stationary, so if you’re Black Friday shopping for loved ones who would be interested in these types of gifts, definitely check them out.
Malia Sine launched this business because she wanted a place to showcase her “wearable art” after being inspired by Italy and its fashion designers. Many of her pieces are upcycled, and her vision is “to create her very own fashion house full of couture-esque pieces while doing her best to honor Mother Earth”. Her Fruit sells many matching sets, corsets, and dresses that look like art on the body, and each piece is dreamy, handmade, and sure to deliver on all your vintage, high-fashion dreams.
This black, woman-owned shop is guaranteed to fulfill your needs for chic and vintage streetwear to add to your wardrobe. Ten percent of every purchase goes to fund their FYRE Gives initiative to provide care packages, sustainable clothing, and monetary donations to various women’s shelters in Detroit, MI. The business owner, Dayna, created this brand with her own style-inspiration in mind, and she celebrates creativity and encourages shopping vintage and second-hand clothing. You can also find FYRE Vintage on Etsy and ASOS Marketplace.
Pink Moon is an Asian-owned consultancy founded by Lin Chen who intentionally built the business to work only with female-founded brands that believe in sustainability and holistic wellness. The mission behind this shop is to encourage genuine self-love and self-care to create a more empowering beauty space. Pink Moon has a variety of products like skincare, bath and body, nail polish, and home necessities for you to search through if you’re wanting to switch things up in your beauty routine.
I’m confident you’ll find something on this list for your Black Friday and holiday shopping needs, and when in doubt, Etsy is always a great place to go if you’re wanting to explore small business options but don’t know where to start or can’t shop in person. Shopping small is always a fun time because you never know the things you might find, and you’re guaranteed to feel more fulfilled supporting small businesses versus spending your money at a larger retailer. Who needs Amazon anyways?