The Holiday Shopping Guide for Good
We often don't realize how much power we hold in our hands (or wallets). The holiday season is a shopping boom. We've got Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and more that I probably don't even know were invented. The kicker is, if you do a wee bit of planning, you can use your hard earned dollars to buy gifts for those you love AND support a worthy cause. The good ole fashion win-win. This blog highlights some examples sent to me by my network, but use this list as inspiration to support a small business, charitable organization, or worthy cause of your choice this holiday season. Everything underlined is a link to shop!
Opening a gift box to a timeless piece of jewelry? Priceless.
Joan Strott- Alvini, Jeweler/Enamelist, works out of famed Jeweler's Row in the heart of historic Philadelphia where she creates beautiful pieces of jewelry and art. Joan also hosts workshops for those that are local to the area.
Sandra McEwen creates stunning enamel jewelry, custom pieces, and hosts workshops in the Raleigh, NC area. She is influenced by all the gorgeous jewelry of the past, but tries to give it a modern twist. You won't see many artists with this kind of talent!
This one covers the categories of jewelry, hand crafted, and pets. Beads Fur Rescue was created by Cheyenne Nieves in 2013 for the purpose of creating hand crafted jewelry and gifts and donating all proceeds to homeless, orphaned and rescue animals and their veterinary care. It is her goal and passion to do something she enjoys and has been doing for many years and be able to help animals in need while doing it.
For the nature lover in your life, Four Pines is an Earth conscious maker of one of a kind jewelry and art pieces crafted from reclaimed, re-purposed, and natural materials.
If you've never perused around Etsy, that platform is a great marketplace for handcrafted goods. Here's a list of some crafty and unique gifts!
At The Crafty Corgi, flowers are in bloom year round! Wood flower arrangements are customizable and perfect for your home, gifts, weddings, and more. I know Rebecca personally, and can't say enough about how talented and sweet she is.
Driver Designs is a veteran owned small business for handmade metal decor and gifts. He can create just about anything, but will have a nice selection of metal gifts to choose from this holiday season. Even if I wasn't his wife, I'd recommend his impressive work (but maybe I'll get some bonus points too 😉).
Anchor Custom Design specializes in home art and stationery for loved ones. This includes personalized and monogrammed stationery (I know some of you can't resist a good monogram).
For anyone that loves wood decor, here is a South Jersey Pyrography Artist that creates amazing custom wood pieces!
Psychotherapist and healer by day, intuitive artist Jessica Young channels her daily insights in mental health and healing into works of art that express the inner workings of her mind and the mind of those she helps. She offers wonderful pieces of art in addition to weekend healing getaways (sign me up!).
Caroline creates NC wheel thrown pottery, backyard art and wood dabblings. Currently she's got beautiful wreaths available in her store.
Kathryn is a self-taught painter and former forester from British Columbia, with no formal training in art, but she's been selling her artwork professionally since she was thirteen. Because she loves the outdoors, and because she's grateful to be a cancer survivor, she shares her art sales with nature nonprofits and has donated over 20k so far.
Emily is a freelance artist that creates pieces of impressive artwork including paintings, ornaments, pendants and custom pieces. Looks like she does a little bit of everything!
Started by Suzanne Molyneaux, this shop has a great selection of signs, decor, cards, bags, accessories, and receives custom orders!
Brittany creates adorable crocheted hats, ear warmers and scarves.
This shop offers 100% soy wax candles in jars, novelty hand cut wine, beer, liquor bottles and other unique items. A portion of their sales go to local animal shelters!
Bar S Ranch is a custom artisan woodworking and soon to be organic farm business. They sell wood slabs and beams from a sawmill, and can also help with custom woodworking projects.
If you're like our family, pets get gifts too! Consider giving the gift of seeing a happy doggo, or unimpressed cat this holiday season.
Find healthy and high quality goodies for your cats and dogs in Dr. Morgan's shop! Founded and owned by a world renowned veterinarian, you really can't go wrong with anything in this store. I personally recommend the chicken heart treats for cats, ours are willing to commit pantry burglary for those suckers.
Founded by twin animal advocates Janine and Thomas Ling, kin+kind offers pet products with your pets health and well being in mind. No need to worry about harsh chemicals in this store. Shop high quality bath products, natural flea and tick remedies, supplements, and more.
This woman owned and operated business was "born" from Eliot's dedication to helping keep our oceans and beaches clean, and generating awareness about marine debris by finding ways to re-purpose it. Shop their recycled fishing line dog leashes, and additional pet products.
Dr. Melissa Shelton is an internationally recognized holistic veterinarian, who specializes in using medical grade essential oils for complete and natural care of all animals. By using essential oils along with nutrition, whole food supplements, and other holistic modalities, Dr. Shelton has helped many animals for which traditional medicine has no answer.
Wags to Whiskers is a small pet boutique in Peachtree City, GA focusing on educating customers on nutrition and healthier, safer options regarding other aspects of their pets lives.
This shop offers homemade pumpkin peanut butter dog treats carefully crafted with love in her kitchen for your four legged friend(s).
Clothing & Such
Macy's schmacy's. There are plenty of boutiques waiting for your business!
Salt Lickers is a shop for women that work hard, have an inner chic gypsy cowgirl soul, support local mom & pops over department stores, and would rather take a back road than a highway. Don't worry guys, there's stuff for you too. From hand made soaps to clothes and shoes, you won't be disappointed in this boutique, I shop there often!
A good friend of mine and her mom own this sweet boutique in Cape May, NJ. You'll find clothing, shoes, jewelry, and accessories that are always high quality and chic. Visit them locally, or check back soon to shop online!
Reclaimed Consignment Boutique is an Earth friendly consignment shop located in the historical village of Warwick, New York. Their mission statement of “Recycle, Reuse, & Restyle” inspired them to create a shop using reclaimed wood and re-purposed items. Their high-end consignment boutique has clothing, shoes, jewelry, handbags and accessories.
There's a little bit of everything in this shop! Clothing, art, accessories, stickers and more.
Buy JJ's Stuff is an online store focusing primarily on women's clothing and home goods. JJ was placed on Medical Disability from his employer of 20 years due to a health condition. With a background in sales, he started his own store as a hobby which quickly developed into a business.
Health & Wellness
While giving your loved ones a gym membership may not always be received with joy, consider giving the gift of health and wellness this holiday season.
Revibe Connect is a product I helped to invent *shameless plug* that is a vibration reminder wristband to help guide users back on-task, increasing focus and attention. It's a helpful tool for school and work, and also a great gift, making it a win-win-win.
This company is owned and operated by a single mother and nurse. They offer THC-free CBD oil that is third party tested.
While we primarily focus on gifts that fit in pretty boxes that we can touch and feel on the special day, let's not forgot that charitable donations make great gifts too.
Pony Power Therapies is a non-profit organization that uses horses and an accessible farm to enhance the physical, social and emotional well-being of children and adults who need extra support. They accept monetary donations and volunteers local to the Mahwah, NJ area.
Regardless of your political affiliations, Planned Parenthood offers a variety of crucial healthcare services, like cancer screenings, to those who may not have access to other affordable options. I donate every year!
This nonprofit Earth skills gathering and organization educates people about the importance of living with the Earth through skill sharing like animal husbandry, plant foraging, gardening, finding clean water, living outdoors in all seasons, processing animals, sustainable crafts etc. You can attend their North Carolina gathering or show your support through donations.
The Might Hearts Project gives hope to owners of dogs with mitral valve disease.
What was once considered only a palliative prognosis, surgical intervention to repair the mitral valve and heart chords is now possible. Soon this organization will be able to accept donations as well!
Food & Drink
Sometimes we don't need more stuff that sits on a shelf or in a closet. Consider a food and/or drink option!
Located in Scotch Plains, NJ, Soul Bowls is a family owned business that offers 100% vegan smoothies, juices, and acai bowls using locally sourced and organic ingredients. Their mission is to spread kindness and awareness about healthy and happy lifestyles.
Handcrafted spirits with a focus on bourbon, rye & barrel aged rums. They mash, ferment, distill, age, and bottle on-site at their distillery in Clifton, NJ.
Cosmetics & Beauty
Amazing stocking stuffers, teacher appreciation gifts, or a little something to make the season brighter!
This shop has a grand selection of health and beauty products, with a twist. They source their products from individuals and brands with missions to create a positive environmental impact. The Founder can fit all of the waste she has created over the last five years into a mason jar. WOW!
Their mission is to provide humanely and sustainably produced soap and skincare to our community, and to encourage other small businesses to embrace land stewardship and sustainable production. They believe in humane treatment of animals, clean energy, and being eco-conscious.
Saucha offers a wide variety of handmade health and beauty products for use during daily self care practices, created with love and intention.
A friend of mine recommended trying Beauty Counter, whose mission is to get safer products into the hands of everyone. Their products don't have common harmful chemicals found in many cosmetics.
No idea what to get grandma? She probably just wants to spend quality time with you, but buying a session with a professional photographer is always a sentimental gift option for those loved ones that already have it all. Most photographer recommendations are based on location, but if you're in the NC or NJ areas, check these two out.
Megan Morales Photography in North Carolina. Can't say enough great things about her, she's amazing!
Dana Zarin Photography in New Jersey. Dana is a jack of all trades and does product shots, weddings, babies, family photos, and more.
I couldn't create a shopping blog without mentioning that Amazon takes 15% of sales from businesses. I know we all love the convenience of prime, but that's a hefty chunk. Wherever possible, try to buy direct from your businesses of choice. Just by using their website to order, you can ensure 100% of proceeds go to them instead of a trillion dollar business.
While this list is nowhere near comprehensive, my hope is that this blog opened your eyes to the possibilities of how your hard earned dollars can positively impact others in more ways than one.
Happy shopping and happy holidays y'all!