Our Favorite Small Businesses to Shop for Small Business Saturday

·8 min read
Photo credit: Tom Werner - Getty Images
Photo credit: Tom Werner - Getty Images


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Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday sales tend to dominate the pre-holiday shopping conversation, but there's another important day for retail on the November calendar — and it's one that deserves more love. Yep, we're talking about Small Business Saturday.

What is Small Business Saturday?

Small Business Saturday is a reminder to consumers to give back to their local communities by shopping small. It's also a great opportunity to discover new women-owned businesses, Black-owned businesses, Latinx-owned businesses, AAPI-owned businesses, and other favorite local spots.

Small Business Saturday takes place annually on the Saturday after Thanksgiving — and this year, it falls on November 27, 2021.

Where to Shop on Small Business Saturday in 2021

Whether you prefer to shop small businesses online due to the ongoing pandemic, or you want to visit local shops in person (while adhering to the state's current COVID-19 precautions, of course), we've rounded up a list of some of the best small businesses to shop for holiday gifts this season. We've got picks from across the country — many of which have virtual shops — so no matter where you live, you can feel good about where your dollars are going.

By supporting members of a community, be it yours or one around the world, you're doing your part to help small businesses stay afloat as they recover from the pandemic. Plus, many of these one-of-a-kind businesses curate super unique products and amazing gifts that will wow even your most difficult to shop for family members, friends, and coworkers. Talk about a win-win!

Of course, Small Business Saturday is far from the only day you can or should buy from local business owners. We suggest shopping local all year 'round, whether it's from these or other stores.

Vintage India NYC

What They Sell: One-of-a-kind products and fine retail sourced from India.

Region: NYC

About the Owner: Ishwari L. Keller has a background in film, music, advertising, and fashion. She studied Indian spirituality for 35 years, which was ultimately her impetus for opening Vintage India NYC. Her deep appreciation and understanding of Indian culture and spirituality is apparent from her knowledge and the joy with which she selects the items she sells in her store.

Fun Fact: Will Smith wore a jacket from Vintage India in the November 2021 issue of GQ.

Stormy Kromer

What They Sell: Iconic caps

Region: Ironwood, MI

About the Owner: Since 1903, the Stormy Kromer brand has come to embody the independence, wit, and grit of the upper Midwest. It all started with a cap. George “Stormy” Kromer, a semi-pro baseball player and railroad engineer, kept losing his hat on the train. He asked his wife, Ida, to sew an ear band on his favorite ball cap to keep his ears warm and the hat snug. It worked! Ida turned a simple wool cap into an icon and cornerstone of a brand that remains fresh and authentic more than a century after Ida’s very first stitch.

Fun Fact: They sell matching hats for your pets, too!

Aloha & Light

What They Sell: Island-inspired products for the whole family in the form of baby slings, blankets, scarves, and accessories.

Region: Hawaii

About the Owner: Founded in Honolulu, Hawaii in 2013, founder Janel Santa Ana, a mother of 4 boys, draws from things seen in nature to create island-inspired products. She stands firm in the belief that the most beautiful designs and colors occur naturally in our everyday lives, making Mother Nature the ultimate artist. This artistic approach combined with Janel’s ability for hand-dyeing and hand-painting, allows Aloha & Light to create products that are functional, unique, and beautiful. Plus, all Aloha & Light items are eco-friendly, ensuring a happy and healthy experience with every use.

Pink Chawkulit

What They Sell: Nail polish

Region: Connecticut

About the Owner: Khandice O’Kelley was burnt out working her corporate job from home while homeschooling daughter Taylor, then 7, who was struggling to learn remotely. Pre-COVID, their mother/daughter manicures were their bonding time, so Khandice set out to bring back that quality time together by launching their very own line of nail polishes — also a great way to sneak in some hands-on learning. Taylor helped with inventory (math!) and got a huge confidence boost from starting a business with her mom.

Alicia Boateng Designs

What They Sell: Festive mugs

Region: Florida

About the Owner: Alicia Boateng, proud Cuban mother of 4, left her career as a wedding planner and teamed up with her husband Edward — who she calls “an outstanding black gentleman” — to turn her designs into a full-time business. You can purchase from her Original Afro Glam Collection of handmade mugs.

Gifts That Give Back: She partners with Girl Pride Africa and a portion of the proceeds of each cup is donated to the charity to help educate and empower teen moms.

Fun Fact: Octavia Spencer is a big fan and highlighted her cup on Instagram.

Rebel Nell

What They Are: A jewelry social enterprise that employs women with barriers to employment.

Region: Detroit, MI

About the Mission: Rebel Nell began in 2013 with the mission to provide employment, equitable opportunity, and wraparound support for women with barriers to employment. By repurposing meaningful materials into wearable art, they embolden women to embrace their infinite strength, and to define their own future. They say: “Our jewelry serves as a reminder that there is power in being ONE OF NO OTHER KIND.” There are several collections, all with a charity tie-in.

Pasolivo

What They Sell: Olive oil

Region: California

About the Owners: Pasolivo is a family-owned olive orchard known for its award-winning, tree-to-table olive oils. Using olives that are grown, picked, pressed, and bottled on their 140-acre property in Paso Robles, CA, each of Pasolivo’s premium extra virgin olive oils and flavored olive oils are expertly crafted by their Master Blender and Level 2 Olive Oil Sommelier.

Fun Fact: Pasolivo’s orchard used to be owned by legendary Hollywood producer, King Vidor, who is best known for directing the iconic tornado scene in The Wizard of Oz.

Sustainable Haus

What They Sell: Zero waste home goods

Region: Summit, NJ

About the Owner: Owner Janette Spiezio is a first generation American whose father had a large organic garden, and whose mother is a professional seamstress who worked for years in a health food store. Janette wanted better choices for her two daughters and started pursuing a zero waste, non-toxic lifestyle that ultimately led her to open the store. They carry more than 50 refillable products, and make all of their soft goods from organic, recycled, and vintage finds. They’re also plastic-free and package-free.

DOMUS

What they Sell: Handcrafted goods from around the world

Region: Hell’s Kitchen, NYC

About the Owners: Owners Louisa and Nicki travel the world in search of handcrafted goods that show the individual mark of the artisans who made them. They pride themselves on paying what the artisans ask rather than imposing a low wage, which would devalue their work. Whether you purchase a handwoven runner from Guatemala, an inlaid wood box from Morocco, a telephone-wire basket from South Africa, or a hand quilted coverlet from India, your purchase has enormous impact on improving the standard of living of the people who made them.

Partake

What They Sell: Super delicious cookies that are also gluten-free, vegan, and allergy-friendly.

Region: Jersey City, NJ

About the Owner: When founder and CEO Denise Woodard's daughter was diagnosed with severe food allergies as an infant, her search for flavorful, healthy snacks that were safe to eat came up short. Frustrated by the lack of options, she left her corporate job and set out to make her own, and that's how Partake was born.

Showfields

What They Are: Showfields calls itself “the most interesting store in the world.” It’s a curated online and brick-and-mortar marketplace that sells mission-driven, design-oriented, innovative, unconventional products from around the globe. Right on the homepage, you can choose to shop by mission: Cruelty-Free, Women-Founded, Give Back, Locally-Made, Plant-Based, POC Founded, Sustainable, Vegan.

Region: Stores in Miami Beach, FL & Noho, NYC

Featured Small Business Owners at Showfields:

Mai Johnson & Company

What They Are: Men's grooming brand focused on skin care and body powder for the modern man.

Region: California

About the Owners: Best friends Rodney Williams and Alvin Hathaway founded Mai Johnson & Company because they believe every man should be “clean, dry and well-groomed,” but there wasn’t a men’s beauty line just for them.

Pholk Beauty

What They Sell: Vegan, natural, and affordable skincare, celebrating women of color as innovators of culture.

Region: New Jersey

About the Owner: Founder Niambi Cacchioli was born in Georgia and raised in Kentucky with a green thumb. As she got older, she had a hard time finding products that suited her combination skin and she began whipping up her own skincare. Niambi thinks of herself as an academic-turned-beauty activist, infusing Pholk with her love and knowledge of the African Diaspora’s healing and herbalist traditions.

Jam + Rico

What They Sell: Handcrafted costume jewelry made with antiquated metals and colorful textiles.

Region: New York

About the Owner: Owner Lisette Scott grew up with immigrant grandparents from both islands of Jamaica and Puerto Rico. Her jewelry line (Jamaica + Puerto Rico = Jam + Rico) was inspired by her travels to the islands and an attempt to bring her closer to her cultural connections to her ancestors.

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