Gift Guide - Small Business Edition!

When I was growing up, my grandmother, who I called "Nina" was my number 1 hero. I always loved going over to her house on weekends and the holidays. She was an amazing cook (except for her "experiment" where she made lasagna with blue cheese) and always made you feel welcome in her home. She was truly the best! One "quirk" of hers that I never fully understood was how she would not start Christmas shopping until Christmas Eve. I'm not joking. Come Christmas Day, if you were an adult, you were lucky if your gift was formally wrapped and not in the bag she bought it in. (She usually wrapped my presents because, well, I was her favorite ;).) There were many a year where my parents would receive their gifts in Bradlee's or Macy's bags as their "wrapping".

I don't know about you, but that would totally stress me out and have me passed out in bed on Christmas Day recovering from all the chaos!

Luckily, these days, you don't have to fight the crowds on Christmas Eve like Nina did to get those last minute gifts. You can easily do all your shopping online from the privacy of your own home in your PJs.

One thing my family and I have tried to do over the past few years is shop small vs. getting our gifts from big box stores or Amazon whenever possible. In fact, one of my favorite holidays now is Small Business Saturday! I enjoy going to local stores and finding the perfect gift for that special someone on my list. Plus, they're usually not crazy crowded, will have unique specials, and the owners are typically pretty awesome people!

If you missed the boat on Small Business Saturday, have no fear. I've compiled a list of some of my favorite small businesses. The best part is that you can support them in the privacy of your own home without having to fill up your gas tank.

For Your Favorite Sweet Tooth - NaughtyGood Bites

I love NaughtyGood because they offer a yummy chocolate bite made from whole ingredients and less added sugar. You don't have to feel guilty when you eat these! What I doubly love is that each flavor has a unique name that honors the recipient of the delicious treat. I highly recommend PASSION-NUT (peanut butter) and MOCHA-VATE (mocha), although I don't think you can wrong with ANY of their flavors.

For Your Favorite Female Athlete - Her Tribe Athletics

If you have a special someone in your life who has workout clothing on her wish list, Her Tribe Athletics is a perfect fit (pun intended)! I'm pretty much obsessed with both the capris and the leggings.

They're comfortable, stay put when you're working out, AND they have pockets on the sides for your phone! I actually happen to be wearing the leggings right now as I'm writing this.

The shirts and tank tops are pretty awesome too. They're sweat wicking and have some great inspiring messages on them. PLUS, Her Tribe recently launched a seasonal subscription box, which would make the PERFECT gift. Meg, the owner, designs everything and makes sure they're of the best quality for her customers.

For The Person Who You Have No Idea What to Get For Them - Native Candle

I'm sure this probably happens every year. You get that someone on your holiday gift list that you have NO idea what to get for them. It could be your child's teacher, a coworker, you name it. I feel candles are always a safe bet, especially beautiful ones, like the ones Alanna makes at Native Candle.

If you've been a fan of Friar Tuck Design for a while, then you might remember Alanna's guest post on the Dos and Don'ts of Candle Burning (yes, there are dos and don'ts!). She is incredibly knowledgeable about candle making and takes the time to fully research all the ingredients that go into her candles so that they're all natural and free of funky chemicals that can seep into the air when you burn them. My personal favorite is the Saturday Morning candle. It brings me back to my childhood every time I smell it (I'll leave it up to you to figure out why). It sits on my desk and when I need a boost of creativity, I'll light it.

For Your Stylish Friend - Wildcraft Co.

Shauna is the owner of Wildcraft Co. NH. She makes the most beautiful macramé decor. From mug rugs to wall hangings to plant holders, she's got you covered. If you're looking for a cool Boho vibe for yourself, she's got you covered there, too! Shauna has stunning keychains and earrings that she makes by hand! I've put these beauties in black on my wish list for Santa:

For the Bookworm - Indie Bound

Mini Me and I have been doing a bookstore tour over the past year and a half. He LOVES reading, so it's always fun to check out new local-ish bookstores whenever we have the chance.

Picture #1 is from An Unlikely Story in Plainville, MA, Picture #2 is from Barrow Bookstore in Concord, MA, and Picture #3 is from Toadstool Bookshop in Keene, NH (they also have locations in Peterborough and Nashua, NH).

If you're not in my neck of the woods, have no fear. Indie Bound is a great website that connects you to independent bookstores in your area. Your local bookseller can usually order the books you want (if they don't already have them in store) and have them delivered either to you or ready for pickup.

And finally...

For the Busy Mom That Desperately Needs A Sanctuary - Yours Truly!

You may not automatically think of the gift of design for the busy momma in your life. But, as a busy mom myself, I know how important it is to have a space in your home to go to for some peace and tranquility - whether that's a reading nook, a zen den, a she shed, or anything in between. I can work with your favorite momma to carve out a space that's both beautiful and functional and that's theirs and theirs alone.

There you have it - my gift guide, small business edition! Do you have any favorite small businesses that you'll be purchasing gifts from this holiday season? Let me know in the comments! Until next time... Happy Designing and Holiday Shopping! - Angela :)

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