A Small Shop Christmas

Guest Blog Post by: Cole Torres

The holidays are rapidly approaching, and with all of the preparation and festivities also comes the fun of choosing gifts for our loved ones. I love the thrill of trying to find that one gift that will put the biggest smile on their face. Purchasing from small shops makes it possible to find unique, quality gifts that make an impression on the recipient. And by far, the best thing about choosing to shop small for your holiday gifts is that you can also put smiles on the makers' faces and the family members they support. 

 

If you're already on board with shopping small, I'd like to introduce you (or maybe reintroduce you) to some of my favorite shops to help you cross off your list. If you're just considering supporting the handmade and small business movement this year, I hope that this might inspire you to make even one small shop purchase. Every one counts!

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KEEPSAKE GIFTS

If your little one is about to celebrate their first Christmas or if you'd like a lasting memento for them to hang on to into the future, these shops can create something beautiful and meaningful that will last.

 

Dolce Dreams is the first place I send anyone looking for a special gift for their child. Not only is it truly customizable with a plethora of options to choose from, these velvet-edged blankets are so pretty to have on display. The soft and cozy muslin will quickly become an item of comfort for your child and the lovely embroidery by Nathalie's own hand will swiftly become precious to you.

The shop is still taking orders, but they will not arrive by Christmas. However for a very limited period of time, Nathalie is offering a free doll sized lovey with your purchase of $70. The doll sized lovey will arrive in time to wrap for Christmas. This is only available for a short time, so act quickly!

Beaming Amber Sun is the only place we purchase our amber jewelry. Not only is it carefully sourced, but the jewelry is so beautifully designed! The shop currently has a number of gorgeous bracelets and necklaces, but in my opinion, the most special is the Birthstone Collection. They are designed to be lovely keepsakes for your children to wear now and save as an heirloom later. The TAT is currently two weeks, and ready to ship orders must be in before December 14th!

 

HOLIDAY OUTFITS

Still searching for the perfect outfit for your daughter for holiday photos or for Christmas festivities? I've got you covered! Boy mamas, I may have failed us in this category; I'll do better next year!

 

The Path Less Raveled is the perfect stop for dresses and bonnets, many of them made from repurposed material. Megan's is a wiz at using nearly every bit of the vintage linens and beautifully embroidered fabrics that she sources to fulfill her vision. She can take something that doesn't look like much at all and turn it into a dress, romper or bonnet. I love shops that create a new use for items that could end up in the trash.

There are currently some Christmas dresses and embroidered bonnets in the shop and there will be another limited drop on 12/6.

Sebby and Sister is one of my favorite shops and currently has pieces that are perfect for the holidays and beyond. Right now, there are some gorgeous dresses - a classic Peppermint Plaid, the Evergreen Dress that inspires all the Tannenbaum feels, and the sweetest gingerbread print! And if you’re looking for a something lovely for your daughter to wear on Christmas day and after, the Green Ivy Dress is perfect! The last day to order is December 1st! 

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Starry Knight Design shoes are always in my kids' closets! The soft soles are great for developing feet and they are so cute! The holiday collection is gorgeous and surely has a color and style to fit every outfit. Ready to Ship styles, including Zimmerman Collab hard soles are available in the shop, and it opens again for all orders on November 23rd.

 

TOYS

What would Christmas morning be without a new toy or two to play with? These are some of my favorite shops to find unique and high-quality toys that will hold up to active play and look beautiful at the same time.

 Wild Child Bohemian has wooden gifts for all ages. Hand-lathed rattles made from one piece of wood, gorgeous block sets for your toddlers, magical wands for your little wizards, and ornaments for the adults on your list. Shop owner, Brae so generously gave me a discount code to share with you!  Place that Christmas order BEFORE December 15th and use discount code ILOVEMYWILDCHILD for a 15% discount!

 

Tato & Toddle is my go to for special hand-carved toys. Michelle carves the sweetest little wooden animals with wheels, aptly called fidgets. They are the perfect size for small hands and the wheels fit on wooden train tracks. Block sets are carved from logs and are perfect for inspiring creative building. My favorites, however, are the beautiful pull toys. 

Foxes, ducklings, bears, and more are intricately carved and painted with the sweetest expressions. If you're looking for a beautiful toy that will last, be ready for pull toy drops on 11/29 and 12/6 because they go fast! Use code TorresTribe10 to save, but get those orders in before December 13th!

 

Chalk Full of Design has a huge variety of chalkboards for play. From their original Trace-n-Erase boards to Fill-in-the-Blank and Doodle boards, they have everything you need for practicing letters, numbers and just having fun! If you know an expecting mom or dad, Chalk Full of Design's Bump Update boards and Monthly Baby photo boards are a fun gift for keeping track of those milestones!

 

GIFTS TO WEAR

Even though the kids are most excited about the toys they receive , this gift-giving time is also a great opportunity to give some items to wear beyond the holiday season.

 

JuneBee Baby is the place to look for lovingly-crafted pieces knitted by hand.  We have several pieces June's shop and my favorite thing about them is how soft they are. These are not the scratchy versions that I think of when I conjure up images of hand-knit sweaters. They are made from a super soft cotton-bamboo blend that truly is seasonless. It keeps you warm in the winter, but won't overheat in the summer.  These rompers, dresses, and sweaters are made to grow with your little one and June is the sweetest to work with on going through options and selecting the right size. Orders currently can be placed by sending her a DM to her Instagram account @junebeebaby. But look for her new website in the coming year!

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Pierra and Pierre Handmade is the prettiest little bow shop owned by one of the sweetest people. Vivian's bows are so well made from carefully chosen fabric. Her holiday release is coming up tomorrow at 5pm CST. Look for gorgeous holiday designs and velvets and use discount code TorresTribe15 to save!

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Sweet as April bonnets are always on our list. My bonnet babe is definitely a fan of the fit, form, and style of Carrie's bonnets. I love that they are made from vintage and repurposed materials, not only because it's good for the environment to reuse that long-forgotten fabric, but also because it lends so well to unique and beautiful bonnets that style so well. The Sweet as April Holiday bonnet drop is tonight at 6pm EST! Get your fast fingers ready because they will go fast!

 

MORE SHOPS TO CHECK OUT

Thread and Rose - beautiful animal loveys with the softest fur and sweetest faces

The Della Rose Boutique - beautiful felt wands for playtime and blooms for your little ones hair.

Lewie and Berg Littles - handmade teethers, bonnets, and the cutest crochet octopus you ever did see!

August Stitches – handmade bonnets, apparel, and cozy knits

Treasures From Jennifer - a one stop shop for wooden toys and educational items.

 

This is my no means an exhaustive list of small shops, or really even a comprehensive list of my favorites. But I do hope that this might help you to find something you've been wanting, cross someone off your list that is difficult to shop for, or source some new items that you may not have even thought of. Shopping small has effects that spread much farther than a simple transaction between you and a shop owner. You're also allowing that person to do what they love to support their family. You're putting food on their table or paying for their children's education. You're funding a home, or a vacation, or opportunities for their family that may never have been possible without the existence of their shop. There's a lot of kindness and love in that kind of purchase, and I think it's the perfect way to celebrate this season of light, don't you?