Beauties, it's that time of year again!
As big box retail stores gear up for their massive Black Friday sales, those of you who are looking for more unique, quality items may be faced with the same challenge yet again.
Finding a thoughtful gift for that special someone in your life.
A unique, small-batch item that reflects the heart and soul of its creator / maker.
Trust me, I've been there and over the years have delighted in finding the best gifts offered by women owned small businesses.
Because by shopping small and local, we're supporting an artist's dream while boosting the economic health of our local communities.
So if you're looking for unique gifts and women owned small business to support, then I've got you covered!
This year, I've created a holiday gift guide with an theme around the languages of (self) love:
- Physical Touch
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Acts of Service
In it, I honor 6 incredible women (highlighted in this post) while featuring many other women owned small businesses in the Bay Area and beyond.
Chantal and I first met on Instagram, and after commenting on each other’s posts and discovering many shared interests, we decided to meet in real life. She invited me to her home and gave me a tour of her garden which was filled with beautiful herbs, vegetables, and flowers. Before I left that day, I was given a jar of her Golden Bliss, a tasty blend of spices that I often sprinkle onto foods or mix with almond milk for a warming beverage.
As a Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant, Chantal is passionate about helping people feel their best. She loves learning, and having recently been fascinated by the ancient Vedic systems, Chantal is now pursuing her certification to become an Ayurvedic Health Counselor.
Follow Chantal for all things holistic nutrition and Ayurveda related on her Instagram page (link above).
Made with Ayurvedic herbs, Golden Bliss is the base of a drink that traditionally sipped on after dinner or before bedtime. A nourishing tonic that aids digestion and also helps to calm the nervous system, Golden Bliss became a part of Chantal’s wind-down routine because she loves how it feels like a warm cozy blanket in her belly. This powdered Ayurvedic spice blend is also super versatile — it can be sprinkled onto oatmeal, used to make cookies, stirred into drinks, and even used to make curries!
BEGIN WITH TODAY
Christina and I first met at a 10-day silent meditation retreat in Joshua Tree, where I was immediately drawn to her vibrant energy and warrior spirit. I’m grateful that several years later, we still keep in touch on a regular basis and now I also get to experience her wellness & self-care journal called Begin Within.
Based in Southern California, Christina Kantzavelos is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, life coach, and writer whose specialties include chronic health conditions and trauma.
In addition to managing Begin Within Today, Christina is an award winning gluten-free and health-conscious travel and lifestyle blogger @buenqamino.
Learn more about Christina’s incredibly inspiring Begin Within journal below.
Begin Within is a daily healing and wellness journal for those living life with chronic illness, mental illness, or other health-related challenges. This journal allows you to document everything from your vitals to your nutrition, mood, medications, symptoms, challenges, and accomplishments (big and small), with a focus on gratitude.
This journal was created because it didn’t exist, and because Christina understands how helpful it is to observe and process living life with chronic illness, or other health-related challenges. It is her hope that this journal brings you insight and additional support on your path to wellness.
In addition, Christina regularly selects an organization to donate a portion of journal sales to. These organizations promote advocacy, research and resources to/for the chronic illness community.
Wild Kin Botanicals
I had the pleasure of meeting Dana while we were studying herbal medicine in Berkeley, CA. She has taught many of my herbalism classes and even led an annual field trip to the Sierras. Dana continues to inspire me with her knowledge of medicinal plants, her passion for community herbalism, and her handcrafted products (including a beautiful rose flower essence that I still use personally and with my own clients).
An Ashland, OR based clinical herbalist and member of the American Herbalist Guild, Dana Aronson looks for more than just symptomatic patterns. She offers support where healing can express itself in all facets - mind, body, spirit.
Dana’s business, Wild Kin Botanicals, was a creation that was intended to (re)weave our relations with plants. To remind us that nature and humans are kin.
Wild Kin Botanicals is a reminder that plants can empower and heal us, just dive in.
An experienced medicine maker, Dana passionately creates all sorts of herbal remedies, including tonics, tinctures, syrups, and aromatherapy salts. All of her products are made with organic ingredients and mainly sourced from small farms. Can’t decide which product to give to your loved one? Dana offers gift certificates in several denominations!
Bloody Girl Gang
I met Shawna at a holiday fair last year (our booths were right across from each other) and since then I’ve been completely enamored by her brand’s mission and aesthetic.
I love that she creates art that informs and inspires each of us to step up in supporting marginalized groups, especially women of color.
Shawna Chan was born and raised in Singapore of Peranakan descent, now based in San Francisco. Work in Animation and Design, Educator in Color Theory and Design. Happiest when creating illustrations and mixed media art inspired by her love for nature, botanicals, everyday life, as well as decorative art and childhood nostalgia. She spends downtime practicing eco conscious living, watering plant babies and working towards being an owner of a tiny home.
What Shawna creates is true art “from the heart that is alive, aware, unfiltered, and real.”
There’s something so refreshing about items that make a statement, especially those that highlight values of community and women’s empowerment.
Each piece is handcrafted, created with intent to inspire conversations around the movement we are in.
Natalie and I crossed paths in our mastermind group, and we discovered that we’re actually neighbors in Santa Cruz County! I had an opportunity to explore Natalie’s website and artisan wellness products, which look so pure and delightful! Then I got to reading her “About” section and from there, I knew I just had to feature this remarkable woman in the holiday gift guide.
Natalie is a small batch maker of artisan goods, including jams and soaps, in Ben Lomond, CA. After some deep soul searching to find her heart’s true calling, Natalie left her research position to create a beautiful flower & produce filled garden and purchased two Nigerian Dwarf goats. It wasn’t long before she discovered the world of cold-process soap making & small batch jam production.
Natalie donates 5% of Love Cultivated’s profits to The Center for Farmworker Families, a Central California based non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of farmworkers and their families through a broad range of services.
Learn more about her exquisite, small batch creations below!
Love Cultivated soaps are made with milk from Natalie's resident goats, organic & fair trade oils and butter, and blended with essential oils for fragrance.
This spicy bar contains an essential oil blend perfect for winter months (a legendary blend of lemon, clove bud, rosemary, eucalyptus, and cinnamon leaf) but is delightful all year around.
The best part? The chocolate chai tea and organic cacao nibs sprinkled on top!
Natalie's soaps are packaged in reusable hand-stamped muslin bags, and the tag can be planted to cultivate wildflowers in your own pot or garden.
How amazing is that?
THE DIAMOND WILLOW
Kristi and I bonded over crystals and plant-based beauty when we met at Treasurefest, an artisan craft fair, last year. She purchased a bottle of my Smudge Clearing spray and later shared that she smudges her handmade jewelry with it before mailing her pieces out! I was so touched to hear that and since then, we have remained friends connected through the virtual world of Instagram.
A small batch jewelry designer, Kristi Pava was given her first pair of pliers and tweezers in middle school. Although her mother taught her the basics of sewing, crochet, and knitting at a young age, she soon found an independent interest in taking apart and making jewelry. Initially Kristi worked with plastic beads and charms, but soon began experimenting with other materials.
Follow Kristi on Instagram to view & purchase all of the stunning crystal jewelry pieces she has to offer!
Kristi has always gravitated towards using crystals in her pieces. Since having delved deeper into crystal healing, she finds it cathartic to create pieces that lend those benefits and intentions to others. Kristen hopes that through her passion project of handcrafting jewelry pieces, she’ll be able to pass on the natural beauty and healing abilities of crystals to others.
What are your favorite women owned small businesses or unique gift ideas you love? Please share a link in the comment below!