Gifts you can feel good about
This year has been especially challenging for small businesses. So it’s my pleasure to bring you my first ever gift guide, highlighting some of the wonderful (and unique) offerings available from small players you might not have heard of.
I started this guide initially to give a shout-out to my website clients, but it grew rapidly to include friends both “old” and new!
Please keep in mind that because these products and services are from small companies, the item you’d like may not be in stock forever. So I suggest you browse – and shop – early.
If you contact any of the small businesses featured, please mention you found them here.
Jump down to gifts:
Gifts available in the USA
Optimistic, and inspired by nature
Uplifting essential oil
Because stopping makes you unstoppable, why not give a special friend this essential oil blended to support intention-setting, slowing down, inner listening, and deep gratitude?
The Pausibility Essential Oil arrives in a complimentary golden gift pouch accompanied by a raw, clear quartz crystal to help amplify your energy.
Fashion and fine art
Ellen Brook‘s work has been called visual poetry and I can confirm that in person, it’s absolutely stunning. Whether painting or designing, Ellen says she prefers to let the colors lead the way.
For gifting inspiration, I warmly recommend her collection of silk scarves. Silk wine bags and small pieces of art are available too.
Coins that grow!
These handcrafted parsley & oregano seed coins are made of recycled paper pulp embedded with seeds. Lovewild Design then letterpress prints each coin and ties them in a stack of 20. The set is tucked in a gift bag with planting instructions.
This Brooklyn, NY studio specializes in sustainable gifts, so I suspect there will be lots more here to tempt you.
Carefully curated chocolate
Not only does Cococlectic bring you delicious chocolate from makers who create chocolate bars using nothing more than cacao beans, sugar and cocoa butter… but it’s available as a subscription gift too.
If you’re reading this gift guide the week it’s released, look out for their virtual chocolate tasting event on Nov 21st!
Needle felting moose kit
This is a season when I find it easier to make time for crafts, so I was delighted to come across this quirky kit to make your own moose. Now, admittedly, I’ve not tried needle felting before, so I can’t vouch for the difficulty of this project. But he’d make an adorable gift for someone with nimble fingers.
Toast & Jam tea
You had me at “tea”. Or was it “toast”?
Handcrafted in small batches, Thistle & Sprig teas feature sustainably grown herbs, spices and flowers. They’re sourced from family-run tea farms or cooperatives with strong social and environmental standards.
For Toast & Jam, roasted Japanese Houjicha is blended with organic hibiscus to provide a mellow toast flavor complemented by mildly tart jammy notes.
Art by Stacy Russo
So, what’s behind you on the wall when you’re on a Zoom call? My office art needs a gentle upgrade and I was especially drawn to these upbeat mixed media examples from Stacy Russo. Inspiring titles include Follow Your Bliss and Moon Prayer. If you’re not 100% sure of the taste of your gift recipient, check out the Women’s Wisdom notecards.
Love & Light Kit
There’s a good chance that somebody on your gift shopping list has lost a loved one this year. Or maybe they have a December bereavement anniversary, making the “festive” season perpetually difficult.
The Love & Light Kit is an especially thoughtful choice for this situation, offering carefully selected items to help remembrance.
Gifts available in the UK
Premium, therapeutic grade essential oils are blended for you by Esessence, with a handy way to shop by the benefit you need: boosting energy, reducing anxiety, promoting sleep and so on. How about Crimson, a seasonal blend to fill your home with festive fragrance, including antiviral properties too?
Shipping also available to Europe and the USA.
Fashion accessories to give... or to keep
Gifts for everywhere
Silver and gemstone jewellery
Discover new authors
When I published my own collection of light-hearted novels, I realized that most readers think we authors are aloof, famous, wealthy, and not-to-be-disturbed.
The reality is that many of your favorite authors love to hear from readers. We’re delighted to respond to your messages and many of us will sell you a signed book if you ask in good time.
For a special reading treat this year, why not send a note to one of these lovely authors, and ask how you can support them by gifting their work?
- Julie Valerie (new release coming Nov 24!) – humorous women’s fiction
- Colleen Sehy – for Shakespeare fans + Anglophiles
- Shoshana Kobrin – memoir +self-help
- Joanne Phillips – women’s fiction + mysteries
- Debbie Kaiman Tillinghast – memoir + women’s fiction
- Zakiya Fatin – self-help
- Tracey Gemmell – women’s fiction
- Martha Reynolds – women’s fiction
- Melissa Addey – historical fiction
- Cat Lavoie – chick lit
- Matty Dalrymple – thrillers + suspense
- Lisa Manterfield – coming-of-age dramas
And for all your reading needs, remember your local independent bookstore will welcome your support!
Custom family tree
It’s been several years since I discovered the inspiring artwork of Evajuliet. She now specializes in custom family tree art which is not only beautiful, but it would make an especially meaningful gift in a year when families may not be able to gather in person.
Free shipping for the USA and Canada.
Migrateful cooking classes
Migrateful is a registered charity, so not technically a small business, but I love their mission to help refugees and vulnerable migrants to run their own cooking classes. You get an enriching culinary experience, and your host chef enjoys income, a boost in confidence, and some English practise.
There are 25 cuisines to choose from! Classes take place online and (subject to restrictions) in south-east London.
For the man in your life: a style upgrade!
Men can be sooo hard to buy for, right? And, is this a year where your husband, partner, brother or dad has neglected his personal style and grooming?
Many men would benefit from a style boost but don’t know where to start. That’s where a gift certificate from The Fly Square comes to the rescue. Consultations are online, with advice including color analysis and investment dressing.
Gifts for yourself and your small business
And now to my favorite section of the guide: treats for yourself and/or to help your own business. Because you can never have too much stationery, right??
Learn to take better photos... of yourself
If you’re a small business owner with an Instagram presence, you won’t be surprised to know that sharing photos of yourself can really help to build the know, like and trust factor with your audience. Personal branding photographer Sophie Carefull understands many of us flounder when it comes to taking pics of ourselves. She’s offering this affordable online workshop to help you put your face on Instagram with confidence!
Gorgeously affordable business cards and stationery
Love stationery? Running your own small business is a great excuse, I think, for investing in some quirky personalized bits and pieces. I have “standard” business cards too, but I get loads of compliments on the round cards I ordered from Posh Girl Boutique. If you’d like a personalized gift for a friend (notecards, for example), this is a great store to browse.
Design your own planner
I’ve already admitted I have a thing for stationery. Even though I keep my appointments now in Google calendar, I love to do my weekly planning on paper. But… well, you know how it goes: you can never quite find the perfect planner. That’s where Agendio comes in: it’s a premium service, but you get to specify what you want on every single page. Be warned, once you fall down this rabbit hole, it may be a long time before you emerge. I loved my Agendio planner and am getting ready to order another. Read my full review here.
Agendio (affiliate link)
One of my favorite business books
Give yourself a new website!
And of course I must leave you with a plug for my own services to make your business marketing dramatically easier.
For a custom-designed website that’s both professional and attractive, learn more here.
Want to learn to build a basic website yourself? Join my free course.
And you’ll find further free resources from me here.
If you enjoyed this year’s small business gift guide, please help by sharing it with a friend!