Shopping for gifts for friends and family is my favorite part of the holiday season. A few years ago, Jeff and I made a point to shop small as much as possible. This holiday season, we encourage you to trade off shopping on Amazon, Walmart, or Target for businesses in your area or small online businesses like ours!
We love a good gift guide, and I haven't seen a ton of small-business-oriented ones yet. So, I figured I could help out some of our friends and favorites and share them with you lovely readers!
West Virginia Favorites
Magical Preasts Design Co.
Our very own small business is a perfect way to check off the WVU fan or West-Virginia lover on your gift list! We have officially licensed apparel and accessories featuring our Blue Lot Saturdays® , Hail! Yes® , and Horns Down© designs!
We are currently offering 20% off most items in our Etsy store, or use code MPBLOG for 20% off our website throughout the holiday weekend! Also be sure to follow us on Instagram like our Facebook page, and join the Blue Lot Saturdays® official group!
I always keep our home smelling seasonal with my beeswax melts from Howe Sweet It Is! The Howes are such sweet people and produce the best local, pure beeswax candles, wax melts, and honey made in Clarksburg, West Virginia! You can find them on Facebook, Instagram, and shop their products through their Etsy shop!
Another great Charleston-based small business is Capital Letter! Jordan is an amazing artist, creating gorgeous hand-lettered home goods. We have purchased ornaments for family and friends from her in the past and love to see the new things she comes out with throughout the year!
Ooh La Lucy
If you are looking for high-end, stylish looks to wear for your holiday gatherings, or need a swanky new dress for an office holiday party, or have someone on your list who loves boutique clothing, Ooh La Lucy is a perfect fit! Located on Bridge Road in Charleston, WV, this small shop is owned by a boss babe who we have loved getting to know over the past few years! Mikayla has a never-ending supply of fabulous fashion pieces curated from all over the country! She even has a mobile boutique for vendor events (like Bridge Day)! Be sure to check out her Facebook page, Instagram, and website for all things sparkly and fab this holiday season!
Elizabeth has been one of our “shop friends” for a few years now and has so many incredible offerings! From macrame, to stickers, to West Virginia-inspired apparel… there’s surely something for everyone on your list in her shop! You can shop with thehippiesdaughter on Etsy, and follow her on Instagram!
Country Clay Designs
We have become close friends with Carol & Travis at Parties and Peonies after doing countless events together and sharing a love of all things Mountaineer football. They’re based out of Hurricane, and are a husband-wife power couple with their 3 girls!
We love all of their pepperoni rolls-inspired apparel and home goods and know you’ll be able to check off your list by shopping with them this holiday season. You can join their VIP Facebook group, shop their Etsy store online, and follow them on Instagram, too!
The West Virginia Company
We met the crew at The West Virginia Company at our very first Bridge Day in 2018. They are consistently coming out with incredible designs inspired by all things West Virginia. One of my favorite things I've purchased lately is from their line of Adventure Blankets. We snagged the Morgantown one with hot fingers on one of their restocks and LOVE IT! You're sure to find a great gift for the adventurer on your list with this business. You can shop with them through their website and follow their social media on Facebook and Instagram!
We’ve known Katie at The Initialed Life for a few years, and she’s become a great resource to us since the start! I’ve made purchases for gifts on my list, as well as a few things for myself, over the years, and everything has been top notch! If you’ve got a lady on your list who would love something personalized, monogrammed, or unique, you’ll find it with The Initialed Life. You can shop the Black Friday sale on her website and follow TheInitialedLife on Facebook and Instagram! BONUS — you can do local pickup on your order available through Ooh La Lucy on Bridge Road in Charleston!
This Elkview-based small business has just come online in 2021 and is already making its mark! Danielle is a great curator of scents to make your home smell cozy and festive! Shop their products through the Etsy shop!
Lost Appalachia Trading Co.
We met the folks at Lost Appalachia a few years ago at Bridge Day and fell in love with their Appalachian wilderness inspired apparel and goods! They’re from right in the heart of downtown Fayetteville, West Virginia, which is Jeff’s high school alma mater!
Love Child Toy Store
During one of our trips to Lewisburg, Magnolia and I found LoveChild! They have an amazing variety of kids toys, apparel, accessories, and anything in between available for all ages. Some of our favorite big-name brands (like Little Sleepies and Melissa & Doug) are available there, too! You can shop their storefront (933 Washington Street W / Lewisburg, WV) or shop online and pick up in person! They are also on Facebook and Instagram.
I am such a lover of watercolors and handmade artwork. A very talented artist I’ve had the pleasure of meeting is Marisa of MarisaMade. She’s the creator of amazing art prints, cards, stickers, and much more inspired by the state of West Virginia and surrounding states! As a bonus, she’s located right here in West Virginia! Some of her products also help raise awareness for FOXG1 Syndrome! You can shop MarisaMade on Etsy and follow her on Facebook and Instagram!
Magical Adventures Travel with Betsy Walker
If, like us, you’re ready to travel and get out of your house this coming year, there’s no easier way than to use a travel planner! Our friend Betsy over at Magical Adventures Travel has planned multiple trips for us and always makes our vacations easy peasy. You can contact Betsy through her Facebook page or follow her on Instagram!
Country Roads Exotics
Looking for a more non-traditional gift this year? Look no further than Country Roads Exotics! This West-Virginia-owned business can find you (or your gift recipient) the perfect new pet! With a wide selection of reptiles, you’ll be sure to find exactly what you’re looking for with Jodi & Phil’s business. We’ve been lucky enough to add to our family with a new crested gecko named Gus!
You can find them on Instagram and reach out through there to purchase!
Bear Wood Company
One of the coolest local businesses on this list is Bear Wood Company, originally from Hurricane, WV! Their specialty is handcrafted wood products made from real West Virginia wood! Their products are so high quality, unique, and beautiful that anyone on your gift list is certain to fall in love with them like we have! You can find them on Instagram or on their website. If you’d rather shop in person, they have locations in Hurricane, Charleston, and Morgantown!
Goin’ Postal Martinsburg, WV
As an authorized retailer of Magical Preasts Design Co. apparel, we love this small business located in Martinsburg, WV! They are a great place to shop for not only our gear, but also stamps for holiday cards and mailing and shipping services with all the major retailers! Find them at their storefront (839 Winchester Avenue / Martinsburg, WV) and on Facebook!
If you’re in the Logan, WV area and looking to shop in person for your gifts, you’ll find a wide variety of gifts and apparel at A Boutique. Located in the heart of downtown Logan, A Boutique has been a go-to for my family for many years. They are also an authorized retailer for Simply Southern, Girlie Girl, and many other big name brands! Check them out at their downtown Logan storefront (103 Stratton St. / Logan, WV), on Facebook, or on their website!
Helping Make the World a Better Place
We have been trying to find ways to reduce our impact on the environment over the past few years, and some of the ways we’ve done that is to switch to paperless towels and stainless steel party tumblers!
I have a soft spot for clean beaches, oceans, and reefs. I try to use reef-safe sunscreen, always pick up trash from our beach days, and, since 2018, I’ve always kept my Pirani party tumbler in hand! We fell in love with these stainless-steel, vacuum-insulated party tumblers shortly after their public launch post-Kickstarter and haven't looked back since!
Their famous line is “the last party cup you’ll ever need”… and it’s true! I take one everywhere — holiday parties, to the beach, and even to work as my daily water cup. They are the absolute perfect size and I love to give these as gifts! You can check out Pirani on Instagram and shop their Black Friday sale on the website!
I found generationMe on Etsy in 2019. The paperless towels we have come to love are lightweight, not made of fleece (a personal preference), and are able to be tossed right in with our dish towels when they’re ready for a wash. We use them for EVERYTHING – oil, grease, runny noses, spilled drinks, spray-n-wipe countertop cleaning… the list goes on and on! I never realized what an impact these would be to our use of traditional paper towels until I noticed we only buy a 6-pack or 12-pack of paper towels 3-4 times a YEAR. What a change! You can shop with them through their Etsy shop and use coupon code REPEATME for 10% off your order!
From the U.S. and Across the Pond
doodle & jack
Magnolia’s absolute favorite pants she has are her D&J ones. We’ve had her in a pair since her very first ones in early 2020. Run by a couple of mamas from Buffalo, NY, Doodle & Jack quickly became a staple for our daughter. They have buttery soft leggings, shorts, and skirts available in sizes NB all the way up to kids sizes! The best part is you can order LONG sizes (which are perfect for our skinny babe) for when your babe isn't quite ready for an increase in waistband size.
You can find Doodle & Jack through their Facebook page, VIP group, and Instagram. You can also shop their Black Friday sale on their website or use code MAGGIELANE for 10% off your order any time of the year!
Jeff introduced this company to me after reading an article about the amazing products Justin at Caddie Uniforms was making for PGA Tour professional golfers and their families for the Masters Tournament Par-3 Contest. PGA Tour players can have their children, wives, or close family members as caddies for this round, and a significant number of them use Caddie Uniforms for their outfits!
We have built a great relationship with Justin and encourage you to support his small Arkansas-based business this holiday season. Check out the holiday sale going on in the Etsy shop and be sure to follow on Instagram!
This business is such a unique one, and I've been such a lover of Sarah's work since I started following her a few years ago. She creates gorgeous illustrated art prints, coloring books, and home goods featuring big and small cities all across the US (and some of my favorite fictional cities, too)! We also love her Good News Calendar and deep-dive-style illustrated videos on her SarahSumsItUp page! You can follow her on Instagram and purchase from her Etsy shop or main website! Her Black Friday/Small Biz Saturday sales start tonight!
Happy Place Print
I always strive to bring magic into our home in subtle ways. This UK-based small business was a delightful find one afternoon when searching for decorations for our kitchen. We own four prints now -- a Haunted Mansion and Magic Kingdom Halloween print for the fall, as well as a Wilderness Lodge Christmas and Magic Kingdom Christmas print for the winter months.
But what if I can’t shop small this year?
We know the past two years have been pretty rough on everyone. Small businesses like the ones I’ve listed in this post are no exception. While we are not known for having the lowest prices or for delivering your order within 2 days of when you placed it, we ARE known for things like……
• unique, personalized, creative gifts
• handmade products from right here in the US
• care and concern for customer satisfaction
• support for our communities and other small businesses
Most of the time, the people who are posting on social media are the same ones selling products at in-person events and making items for upcoming seasons months in advance. Small businesses don't have the extra money (most of the time) for high-end commercials, fancy marketing campaigns, mainstream digital advertisements, etc. Small businesses depend on word of mouth to spread their customer base. If you can't afford to shop any more this season, or if you've already finished shopping using larger retailers, that's okay. The best way to help out a small business is to ENGAGE with their content. If you're seeing a post on social media, like or follow their page, comment on a few of their posts, like multiple posts, share their posts to your stories, tell a neighbor, write a positive review on their Facebook page, text your friends, post about it on your own social media, etc.
There’s no limit to how much you can help a small business by simply spreading the word — and it costs $0.00 to do so.
I hope this post has been helpful and inspired you to support small businesses close to home and around the world this holiday season. We wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas, and a safe and healthy New Year!!
- The Preasts