By Arielle Champion

This holiday season is very different from what we’re used to. The pandemic has had a significant impact on just about everything. Stores are only allowed a certain occupancy which results in long lines just to get in. Black Friday isn’t even here yet and there are already lines forming.

This time of the year is always hectic and with the pandemic here, it’s only adding on to the chaos.  For this holiday season, avoid crowded stores and shop small. Gift something homemade and created with love this year. Nothing beats a thoughtful gift. 

With hundreds of small businesses to choose from, we’ve gone through a ton just to provide you with some of the best. Most of these small businesses function on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Etsy, and even their own websites.

Candles will always be a classic gift. SoulScape Candles offer a variety of calming scents and beautiful packaging. Jaelyn Cofer is the owner and says her candles represent spirituality, manifestation, creativity, and healing. Cofer sells crystal candles that are layered with rose petals, lavender buds, rosemary, and more. “They’re made for those who enjoy meditation, manifestation, rituals, or even those who are just candle lovers.” 

After Christmas comes New Year’s Eve, which means resolutions. Working out and being fit is always on someone’s list. Give them a head start and purchase comforting activewear. Kelly Balkissoon is the owner of MTVTN and says, “I want them to feel motivated enough to get up and get moving.” MTVTN Activewear sells active and athleisure wear that can be worn both inside and outside the gym. With many different colors and styles, they make the perfect gift.

Tie-dye is a trend that will always stick around. Carter Grey CO is a small business run by Jennelyn Clopino. Straying away from your traditional rainbow tie-dye, Clopino’s designs are more modern. Each of her pieces resembles a beautiful watercolor blend. “I decided to share my love for tie-dying in my own way.” Clopino’s brand has sweatshirts, hoodies, and even onesies. Each item is one of a kind.

Trips to the nail salon were once fun and relaxing. With the pandemic still prevalent, it’s understandable how it may not be the same. Pressed By Dani is a small business owned by Daniela Ramirez. She sells handmade press-on nail sets. Each of her sets are custom made for customers to purchase whichever color, shape, and design they may choose. “My brand is a safe place for all who desire to express their style in the most affordable way.”

When purchasing from a small business, you’re not just buying something. You’re supporting a dream. Small business owners work hard to create items customers will love. You’re putting money into the pockets of someone who genuinely cares instead of the pockets of major companies. When thinking of gifts this year, keep small businesses like these in mind. Skip the extra chaos and shop small.