The semester is coming to an end, and maybe you’re feeling like rewarding yourself after a long (and even tedious) academic year. Or maybe you’ve been eyeing your jewelry box and you somehow noticed there’s something missing. You might even be in the mood to give to a loved one. In either case, you deserve to honor yourself after so much hard work. What better way to do this than by supporting up-and-coming local businesses? The good news is that you’ve got loads of options to choose from, and today I’ll be showcasing 5 local businesses that specialize in making handmade and locally sourced gifts.
- Serrot's Jewelry
This local jewelry line has so much to offer! Just visit their Instagram at @serrotjewelry and see for yourself the variety of earrings, bracelets, rings, and necklaces they sell. Specialized in golden-chained accessories, they also incorporate dainty and unique materials to their gorgeous creations such as tiger’s eye, pearls, aragonite, and rose quartz, just to name a few. Serrot's Jewelry is also known for adorning their creations with charms of all shapes and sizesーmost of which include leaves, moons, suns, and hearts. Some of their accessories even come in sets, so you can further step up your jewelry game or add a nice touch to a family member or a friends’ gift. To purchase, all you have to do is DM them. Their payment methods include PayPal and ATH Móvil, and they ship to PR as well as to the US.
- KM Crystals
Founded by undergrad student Karibeth Santiago Franceshi, KM Crystals’s specialty is offering handmade jewelry adorned with semi precious crystals. Among these, you can find a wide assortment of earrings, rings, and necklacesーeach one with their special stone or quartz embellishment. Additionally, they have even experimented with creating nose studs and key chains! So trust me when I say you’ve got a variety of accessories to choose from. To order, send them a DM at @km.crystals with the details of the accessory you’d like. Like most local businesses, KM Crystals accepts payments via PayPal and ATH Móvil. They also ship to both the US and PR.
- Grace Marie Art
This eponymous brand, created by young artist Grace Marie herself, is perfect for fans of anime and woodworks anywhere (they ship internationally, as well as to the US and PR)! Her artistry mainly consists of incredibly detailed laser engravings on objects such as journals, earrings, necklaces, and keychains. She’s also made prints, stickers, and rings. A really cool feature of hers is that she handpaints the laser engravings, so each one is exactly up-to-par with the anime characters and themes she adds into her products (yep, she’s done everything from Naruto to Sailor Moon-inspired accessories). For orders or inquiries, her DMs are always open at @grace.marie.art. However, you can also order her masterpieces via her website here!
- La Impresora
La Impresora, found at @laimpresora, is a local women-led art studio, publishing press, and cultural project that uses traditional printing and book-binding techniques. This editorial experimental workshop focuses on publishing local contemporary poetry, such as the most recent creation of IUPI and HC at UPR alum Agnes Sastre Rivera. This poetry book, titled pequeñas catástrofes, is the perfect gift for a friend or family member that wants to feel inspired. An artist through and through, Sastre Rivera also founded Fractal Puerto Rico, an artistic project that focuses on providing a creative space for emerging artists, writers and photographers. pequeñas catástrofes is available for purchase through La Impresora's Etsy shop here, where you'll also find all of the works they've published.
If you have a pet, you need to check out LICK at @lick.co! Created by a team of pet owners (meet Valerie, Doriann, and Jean Marcel), their whole business is dedicated to manufacturing and providing premium quality pet goods, including bandanas, leashes and collars, pet care and wellness products, and even ice cream for dogs! All of their products are organic and specifically curated to improve the wellbeing of their canine customers. Also, their IG feed is so adorable! If you feel like pampering your pet (or a loved one’s furry friend), check out their website here. They accept PayPal as their preferred payment method, and they also ship worldwide.
There’s probably no better feeling than the one you get when you buy yourself a new gift while simultaneously investing in the local commerce industry. Now that you know a few, go show them some love and check 'em out! Also, stay tuned to our 5-day giveaway event on Instagram at @hercampusupr, where you’ll have a chance to participate in order to win a goody from one of the previously-highlighted local businesses!