gift ideas

Small Business Gifts

As I get my ducks in a row for holiday gift guides (don’t worry I’m waiting until November… otherwise it’s going to be a LONG eight weeks of content, yea?), I wanted to open up space for a post of small businesses owned by blog readers as a gift guide. I know a lot of you have your own businesses (and yes, side hustles 100% count). Especially this year, I know many people who have taken the plunge in starting a creative or entrepreneurial endeavor in the midst of the pandemic.

So… if you started an Etsy shop with face masks, or if you bake cakes locally in Chicago, or launched a service and would like to be included in the gift guide, please fill out this form!

(UPDATE: I received over 100 small businesses so I’m closing submissions for now.)

(I have no idea how many entries I’ll receive, but my intention is to include all if not as many as possible. If that changes, I will post an announcement with the cap number and it will be on a first come, first serve basis.)


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This is a great idea Carly! My side hustle is I teach (usually) 20 plus piano lessons a week after my full time music teaching job! This year I have fewer since they’ve all on virtual on zoom. While I don’t wish to be featured, maybe featuring giving the gift of local lessons from musicians or creatives in the neighborhood? Whether it’s piano, guitar, knitting, needlepoint, what have you—that might be a good idea to let people know that lessons for a new skill could be a great gift!


Yes, this is such a wonderful idea! Especially as a gift for kids who don’t need more toys! Helping to pay for swim lessons or virtual music, dance classes, etc would be SO appreciated!
I recently took an online calligraphy class with a local woman who does wedding calligraphy in Toronto and it was terrific- was thinking of gifting that to my mom this year!


What a great thing to do. Small businesses need the love, and I hope to buy from many while shopping this year. I will appreciate all of your lists, no matter when you post them. Start tomorrow, I say! Between needing the dose of cheer (who doesn’t appreciate every opportunity to smile these days, right?) and the expected delays with shipping, I am starting my shopping this weekend!


Good for you doing this!! It’s amazing that entrepreneurs are still taking the plunge even in 2020 with everything that’s going on!


Thank you Carly! This is wonderful. I plan to “shop small” this holiday season so I can’t wait to see them all.


great idea! I do hope you do the gift guide a little early this year, I know a lot of people (myself included) are trying to shop early with anticipated delays this year with shipping and stock


This is such a lovely idea! Especially this year, I have been trying to shop locally or support small businesses whenever possible. Being a small business owner, I know how much each customer is appreciated. You are very kind and generous to share your platform like this.


This makes me so happy that you are doing this! I’ve been trying extra hard to shop at and support small businesses, and can’t wait to learn about more!


I love this idea! I am hoping to do most of my holiday shopping with small or female owned/founded businesses this holiday season and have already started my shopping, so can’t wait to see this gift guide.


Just wanted to say how much I appreciated seeing this today. As a small business owner (and a human in general) this has been the craziest year and we’ve had to be so scrappy. And with everything else going on in the world, I have been feeling a bit worn-down. But reading this today has reminded me of the power of human connection and kindness and the positive impact they can create. So a HUGE thank you to YOU for putting a smile on my face this morning.


I love this idea and cannot wait to see the gift guide! I plan to avoid Amazon & other large businesses when holiday shopping this year.


Ooh love this! Thank you for highlighting small businesses! Maybe you could temporarily make it into a weekly post (Small Business Sunday?) since I’m sure you’re getting lots of responses.


Can you please share where your jeans are from and what style they are? They’re really nice!

Michaela Love

Hi Carly! I saw you are closing submissions for now, but in case you ever look for more, you should check out Rethreaded! They have amazing gifts and an incredible mission! Their website is