If there’s one thing we’ve all learned during quarantine, it’s to show our support by shopping from small businesses (all my homies hate Jeff Bezos). Not only is shopping from small businesses more ethical than large corporations, it’s often more personal— small shops will do custom designs, offer discounts or bundles, and include thank you notes in their brand’s packaging.
Thanks to the internet and social media, shopping small and local has become easier than ever. RIP to my bank account. As an Etsy lover since my Disney phase, I could go on and on about all of my favorite shops and the unique products they offer. But as a UCSB Gaucho, I’ve tried to find shops owned by students and people located in Isla Vista, Goleta, and Santa Barbara. There are hundreds of others that I’d love to shop from, but here are my four favorite small businesses in Isla Vista!
- The Crystal Fairy Isla Vista
I had to buy an earring display to hang up on my wall because every pair is so gorgeous, and the best part is they leave little notes and surprises in every order like any fairy godmother does. The extras she includes can be anything from earrings to necklaces, and you’ll soon be sparkling in the sun or on Zoom like no other. I usually give the extras from my orders to my friends as gifts, and they love them so much. I can’t recommend this shop enough.
- Thoroughly Taylored
Support a Black-owned business! Taylor is a 2nd year BFA Acting and Black Studies double major, and she has the cutest seasonal/monthly collections of earrings. I’ve bought everything from ghosts, to Grinch hands, to lil tea bags (the Leo in me couldn’t resist the drama). She has Black History designs and also offers bundles on past collections. They’re so cute and colorful, and I promise you’ll get compliments every time you wear a pair.
- Outlashed Art
These are the only lashes my friends recommended for months, and I’m so glad that I finally had a reason to invest in them! The collections are super fun and inspired by everything from the Zodiac signs to holidays to student life. On top of that, there’s a Zodiac collection of loungewear, including embroidered crew necks and sweatpants. You can look like a baddie and show off your sign with pride! (Unless you’re a Gemini.)
- Blue Hour Goods
I have anxiety and am always looking for anything that helps, however temporary or slight it may be. A friend recommended me their lavender pillow, and y’all, I’m obsessed. It looks so cute as a decoration, especially under LED lights, and smells lovely. I definitely will be repurchasing from this aromatherapy shop. Treat yourself.
Happy Spring quarter and happy shopping!