If you know me, you know I’m a big time supporter of shopping local. This came about initially because of the creative endeavors of my friends and family…but when I became a realtor, turns out I attracted industrious, artistic, entrepreneurial clients as well. Soon I was surrounded by hardworking, authentic folk making a living making – using their skills, hands, and hearts to bring quality goods to the people. It’s not an easy living, but it’s easy to support them. And during 2020, it became even more critical that we boost local talent to help them through one of the toughest economical challenges in our lived history. I’m proud to support small businesses, because not only does it keep our local economy afloat, it also promotes a vibrant, ethical marketplace of quality skills and goods. Here’s my 2020 list of 50 small businesses who need your holiday $$$: in no particular order, mostly Portland (but a cheeky handful of OR/WA artists, too), with recommendations from friends, family, and clients on great items for gifting under $50. Even if you only purchase from 1 or 2 of these vendors, you’re making a big difference in their economic survival. Cyber Monday is on the horizon, so take advantage of any sweet deals and offers that may be available:
1. Amelia: An amazing array of jewelry, décor, and knick knacks, many of them under $50. A client recommended the mini diamond skull studs, $32 in silver or bronze. Skulls are never out of style, and you could be THE coolest aunt, ever, if you pop a pair of these beauties in your witchy niece or nephew’s holiday stocking this year. Bonus: free shipping for $25+!
3. Girl Meets Dirt: I’m a little bit fascinated by this award-winning jam and preserve farm on Orcas Island across the way from Bellingham, WA, based on their intriguing range of small batch flavors, perfect for your holiday charcuterie board: Lavender Rhubarb. Quince Marmalade. Shiro Plum with Mint. Even if jam ain’t your…jam, I’m pretty sure someone in your family would love to be the recipient of one of these. Jams and preserves range from $12-$14 and up, and there’s gift packs, too!
4. DanaHerbert.com: You know I love locally-made/woman-owned, and a friend brought this one to my attention, recommending the gunmetal magnolia earrings for $45. Psst: you can also get face masks here, with $1 from each purchase going towards Oregon Food Bank!
6. Kindred Kid + Baby: Woo! This one you can get 30% off your purchase until Nov. 30th (Cyber Monday), so if you know someone who has had a Pandemic Baby (ie: 70% of your friends list), here’s an excellent ethical and sustainable baby goods and décor option. My buddy recommended a gift card towards their gorgeous indigo plant-dye quilt.
12. Claws Out: 40% off storewide until Cyber Monday AND each color polish donates to a different non-profit. Plus free shipping over $30. Ahem, get to it. Some of you may relate to “Exhausted Empath“.
28. Studio Catawampus: Longtime local Portland artist and tattooist – check out this cute set of animal stickers for just $20, or surprise a friend with a $50 gift card towards their next tattoo at Oak Iris Studios.
32. Madina Designs: A fave on the summer street fair circuit, these gorgeous earrings are made by a local woman of color, and they are badass and super affordable, starting around $18 a pair. Love these lunar cycle earrings for $28.
39. Bread + Badger: Sand carved drinkware, and it’s “buy 3, get one free” with free shipping over $35 until Nov. 30th, so you could knock out several holiday gifts in one fell swoop. Customize your color on this Cat Stretch Mug, or give the gift of a Spider Mug, $26 each.
43. Kenton Antiques + Collectables: Thank goodness we can still thrift shop online! Buy sustainable, unique, and affordable crystals and vintage jewelry, like this stunning Sterling Silver Malachite Ring for $38.
45. Sweetheart St. Johns: Get in on a weekly pastry share from one of Portland’s most celebrated and decadent bakers, $50. This is a great way to support small businesses who work in the wedding industry, which has been particularly hit hard by Covid.
50. Sardine Head: Give the Francophile fish lover in your life the gift of a socially distanced tinned fish picnic for two, starting at $20 – add more fish or natural wines to bump the fun. This is a super unique gift that supports a rad local restauranteur, and you can even rent a boombox (with free mix tapes!) for the experience.
Phew. Hope you enjoy the tips and recs for shopping local this coming Cyber Monday, and all year ’round, basically – it’s a good habit to get into. I can’t wait to hear about what you got, and please share this post with all your people!