The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
It’s that time of year again. Yes, the time when being single feels like the worst thing ever and when being in a relationship leaves you in a scramble to find the perfect way to show your sweetheart just how much they mean to you. Though the media loves to tell you to buy giant, heart-shaped candies and pink teddy bears from big corporate stores like Walmart and Amazon, Valentine’s Day doesn’t need to be about contributing to hyper-consumerist capitalism. No matter what your relationship status is, here are five small businesses to shop from this Valentine’s Day.
If your significant other is into cute crochet fashion, this one’s for you. Founded in 2020 and run by Lilianna Kealey, a Toronto local who is a barista by day and crochet master by night, @bylilikealey is a wonderful shop to find crochet tops in all different colours and styles. Lili also sells scrunchies and hair scarfs, with the occasional custom order if you want something extra special! Her items are made with natural materials and she offers Canada-wide shipping. So, head on over to her page if you’re interested in a beautiful, handmade piece, crafted with love.
Looking for something intricate and personalized for a friend or family member? Look no further! @craftsbysonal is the shop for you. Owned by 4th-year university student Sonal, this business specializes in resin coasters, keychains and various other decorative items. Based in Brampton, Ontario and founded in 2020 within the confines of Sonal’s room, her business page has grown to over 900 followers and countless happy customers. Just a few clicks away, @craftsbysonal is worth checking out.
Instead of opting for mass-produced, mainstream jewellery, give @itsnaturallyknotty a peak and find a unique gift that your significant other will never stop loving. Founded by Toronto university student Dorian Charrette in 2020, @itsnaturallyknotty offers handmade sustainable jewellery ranging from earrings and necklaces to mask chains and custom rings. Dorian decided to start his business because he wanted to find a creative way to make money while giving back to environmental activism. His shop donates 20% of its proceeds to the charity @sealegacy!
Speaking of unique gifts, @gemini.gems.by.joey sells some of the most unique gifts out there, including crystal suncatchers and other soul-cleansing crystals. Jordyn, the owner, had always been interested in crystals and their connection to spirituality, so she decided to turn them into a sustainable form of decor! @gemini.gems.by.joey offers to ship and pick up orders in Brampton, Ontario as well as to create custom orders. So, go ahead and brighten someone’s day––and room. Buy your Valentine something from @gemini.gems.by.joey!
To finish it off, a Waterloo-based shop, @biophillia, focuses on sustainability through the creation of phone/laptop collages with upcycled products. Victoria Viveiros, a 3rd-year university student, sells handmade and custom phone cases to anyone and everyone looking for a zero-waste gift. Inspired by her desire to make her tech accessories fun, Victoria puts her best creative ideas into every order. Swing by @biophillia on Instagram and find your next favourite gift to give.
Whether you're shopping for a significant other who loves jewellery or a family member who wants to add crochet to their wardrobe, there are countless small businesses to shop from and support this Valentine’s Day and, frankly, any day.