It’s that time of year again! Time for me to do my first blog post of the year! (Insert forehead slapping emoji). I REALLY miss this space. I miss the writing practice and the community, but I barely have time to READ a blog these days, much less write one. Someday baby, someday.
I couldn’t resist sharing some of my favorite treasures with you though. This year the list is focused on MAKERS. There is a lot of talk these days about ‘shopping small’ and I wanted to dig a little deeper on what that means (to me.)
Everything on this list has been dreamed up, designed, produced, sometimes even crafted by the hands of a real person. The work that goes into making that happen in real life is staggering, but these folks get up everyday to make it happen over and over again because they are visionaries. Many of the people on this list are creating the product AND running the business. Feeding the pig and making the bacon if you follow me. It is an incredible side-effect of living in a time and place where possibility is at our fingertips and we have had the freedom to express and explore and bring things into being. To say what we need to say in the way we need to say it and have access to our customers in a mostly unfettered way. This has allowed many of us to provide for our families, create jobs (that in my case anyway, means meaningful jobs for women (and men) and their growing families with health benefits and crucial flexibility to make sure they can juggle everything) and make important contributions to their communities. THIS CANNOT BE UNDERSTATED.
As you can imagine, my feelings about Net Neutrality are intense. And though I don’t like to use this as a soapbox (oh, who am I kidding?), I urge you to dig into this list of makers and sellers and artists and providers and think of all of that possibility being stifled so that internet companies can make more money and politicians can get kick backs. It’s not a good scene.
I will stop there, because I want you to thoroughly enjoy this list and all the magic that it contains. I have provided links to the makers and some brick and mortar counterparts. There are loads of coupon codes so make sure to tell them I sent ya! Now, put your Santa hats on and put on some Mariah Carey (I see you.) and dig in!!
As usual, I love hearing your thoughts!!
(P.S. Ruby and Graham have compiled a list of their own… stay tuned!)
1.Constellation Bell from MQuan Studio
This is straight fan-girling. I don’t know Michele Quan, but I love her work. Handmade ceramics just get me, but add symbolism and perfect design and I’m a gonner. This bell seems like it needs to hang on the beautiful back porch of my someday house in somewhere northern California.
KEEP IT LOCAL: In Massachusetts? Find her work at Seed to Stem
2.Buddha Charms Necklace from Bittersweet Designs
When I die, bury me in my Bittersweet. Seriously, I want to be dripping in it. Like Mr.T
I met Laurie at my first-ever trade show about one million years ago and she has been a soul-sister ever since. I have watched incarnations of her business and seen it evolve into one of the most soulful and beautiful collections of jewelry I have ever seen. Her gypsy soul speaks to me and I am asking Santa for one of these. (is asking Santa for Buddhas weird? Think they know each other? Don’t answer that.)
Use code: happy15 for 15% off any item until 12/25
3. “Worthy” Print From The Marble Jar by Brené Brown
If you are like me, you have read and re-read the words of Brené Brown and shouted “Hell Yes!” out loud in a public space more than you are comfortable admitting right now.
Well, you are not alone. And you are in luck. The Marble Jar is a labor of love that marries Brené’s love of beautiful retail experiences and art with her life’s work and service.
They have created a line of beautiful prints and products from your favorite Brené quotes and ideas. I had the honor of being a small part of this and working with Brené and her team. They are every bit as wonderful as you hope they are and are doing something worthy of our attention. This letterpress print is one of my favorites of the current offerings.
Use Code: SHOPSM10 and get 10% off your purchase until 12/31
4. Long Striped Hand Warmers from French Knot
If you follow me at all you know that I have been obsessed with the gorgeous work of Lindsay and her crew at French Knot. If the temperature is under 60 degrees you will find me in any number of gorgeous hand warmers and I can’t seem to stop. Working closely with artisans in Nepal, Lindsay’s designs come to colorful handspun life. We used to be in neighboring towns, but she has set up shop in the Midwest now and is keeping it cozy.
Use Code: curlygirl for 25% off your order until 12/31
KEEP IT LOCAL: In Charlotte, NC? Find them at City Artworks
5. Lumiere Body Oil from French Girl Organics
Oh French Girl Organics. You OWN me. Seriously, just take all my money and never look back.
I seriously love the rose face cream I have been using for a couple of years now and covet the neroli face oil, but this body oil made the list because it is gorgeous, smells amazing and is useful for so much. Oil is the way and the light and I am a full convert. I even joined the choir.
KEEP IT LOCAL: In Brooklyn? Find the line at Catbird
6. Wander Bottle from Papaya!
When I first opened my shop, I was only going to carry ONE other card line: Papaya! I was so mesmerized by Anahata’s art (and let’s face it, the glitter) and still am to this day. Her ability to take my breath away with an image never stops being surprising. It’s like she has a direct line to the goddess network.
I am lucky to now call her a dear friend watch her work as it evolves and gets even better. And can confirm her goddess network connection. These new water bottles are just gorgeous and so luxe you’ll need to book a quick trip to Bali to show it off.
KEEP IT LOCAL: In Boulder, CO? Find them at Bliss
7. Grey Flannel Teton Tunic by CPShades
CPShades is not the smallest maker on this list, but they are a company that makes beautiful, uncomplicated clothing in America and this style the “Teton” is my uniform. A grey flannel version? Yes please. I have linked some small boutiques here and here that have a solid online shop where you can find this and others.
KEEP IT LOCAL: In Porland, ME? Bliss is my go-to. (Check out Blanche + Mimi while you’re at it!)
8. “D” Gold Hoops by Freshie and Zero
These are not technically on my list anymore because I already bought them for myself. Yeah. Sorry. Good news is, I have barely worn anything else since. They make me feel cool and kind of pulled together, which is an accomplishment.
I met Freshie (Beth) through trade shows and carried her line at the shop for many years. It is useful, beautiful and tough as nails. Not unlike it’s maker.
Use Code: Curly for 15% off your order until 12/31
KEEP IT LOCAL: IN Ft. Myers, FL? I got mine at Lulu’s!
9. Freaking Great Job Mug by Emily McDowell Studio
I do not know a single person that does not need this mug.
Emily is a dear friend, a sensei, and part of my essential-to-survival emergency kit. Things I would save in a fire. You get the picture.
Her work is brilliant, poignant and she says out loud what most of us mean. If you can’t think of how to say something to somebody, come to me for a card. If you can’t think of what to say, go to her.
Use Code: FRIENDOFCURLYGIRL for 20% off your order until 12/31
KEEP IT LOCAL: In Ann Arbor, MI? We love Rock Paper Scissors.
10.Bees Knees Salted Honey by Bushwick Kitchen
You guys. I am not a fancy honey person. Ok, not MUCH of a fancy honey person. But this is the most ridiculously delicious bottle of bee-made magic I have ever eaten straight from the bottle. Er, had. Made in a kitchen in Brooklyn with local-to-them incredients, this is worth getting fancy for. Try it over oatmeal with bananas and pecans. Thank me later.
KEEP IT LOCAL: If you are in the Boston area, you can find it at Pinestraw Shop
11. Fir & Grapefruit Candle by K.Hall Studio
Coming in hot from my hometown is the best smelling candle on the planet! I carried K.Hall candles for nearly 10 years while I had Marmalade and sold gazillions of them over the years… this ONE fragrance is the one that I miss the most (miss taking home all the testers that is!) and it simply cannot be fall or winter without it in the house.
Based in St. Louis, this incredible company lights up the landscape with their beautiful stores and wares. Made right there in river city!
KEEP IT LOCAL: Near Knoxville, TN? Find them at Bradley’s
12. Suzie closed toe Clog by BRYR
Vanessa Hellmann is a shoemaker. Each pair of clogs that Bryr Studio makes in their San Fransisco shop takes about a week to make and is made out of wood, staples, glue and U.S. Leather. I don’t know her personally, but obsess over her beautiful creations on Instagram. These Gold Clogs with the back straps called my name… they probably should be worn with all of my Natalie Martin dresses right? Someone call the director!
13.Constellations iPhone Case by 1Canoe2
It’s hard to make friends as an adult. It is right? Maybe it’s just me, but I find it tricky.
I met Beth through the trade show circuit a bunch of years ago. She asked me straight-shooter questions and I think was surprised when she got straight-shooter answers. It was real friendship from that moment and I am so grateful for it. We are both hearty Missourians and I think the thing I love most about her business and the beautiful things that they make is that it reminds me of home. I am BEGGING Santa for this constellations phone case (I have a 7…ahem…)
Use Code: FRIENDOF1C2 for 20% off your purchase until 12/31
14. Fiore Dress by Natalie Martin Collection
I stalked a stranger to find out where she got her dress in order to find out about Natalie Martin. I don’t know her (yet!), but her work looks like she was hired as the costume designer for the movie about my life. The fabrics, the flowy, the prints, the vibe is right on and I would be happy in any one of these.
KEEP IT LOCAL: Near Ojai, CA? Find her at Blanch + Sylvia
15. Bye Bye Birdie Planter by Allen Design Studio
Michelle Allen is a dear friend and an inspiring entrepreneur. We have been near and far together. She is a wonderful travel buddy and someone that I would definitely want on my team if I had to be on “The Amazing Race” or something like it. Based in the PNW, she turns her incredible, colorful paintings into clocks and other gifts, but has recently added these planters that just make my heart so happy. I am plant-obsessed and obviously need all the quirky planters that I can get my hands on.
Use Code: CGlove to get 15% off your purchase through 12/10
KEEP IT LOCAL: Near Berkley, MI? Find this at Catching Fireflies
16. Herban Essentials Eucalyptus Essential Oils Wipes by Herban Essentials
I can’t stand hand sanitizer. Really. I understand the need, especially with two small gross children in tow all the time, but I just can’t bring myself to keep in in my bag. I DO, however like nice smelling towelettes that kill germs naturally with essential oils and make everything seem suddenly fresh (I’m looking at you aisle seat…)!
I always have these in my bag. I give them to all the girls during travel season. I stick them in the glove box of my car. My kids now get on a plane and stick our their hands and say “Smelly Wipe Please” (they like the smell… Graham prefers the lemon).
I don’t know the folks that make these, but they are a family in Santa Barbara and they make one thing beautifully.
17. 365 Gathered Truths Box from Sugarboo
Rebecca and Rick of Sugarboo & Co were my neighbors at my first Gift Show in Atlanta about a million years ago, we are kindred spirits and I have loved watching them grow and become a leader in artistic home décor and retail. Everything they put their hands on is cool. If they weren’t such lovely lovely people it would be annoying.
This has been a long-time favorite gift to give. A rustic box that holds a thoughtful quote for each day of the year. I like to pull them like fortunes…see what wisdom comes my way. Available in black or cream.
Use Code: CURLYGIRL get 15% Gathered Truth Boxes until 12/31
KEEP IT LOCAL: IN GA, AL, FL, KY, or TX? You are in luck! Sugarboo has a gorgeous selection of retail shops.