Holiday Shopping from Small Business Owners We Love

A little stumped when it comes to holiday shopping? You’re in luck. We tapped some super creative, small-business babes for their insight into holiday gifting (and getting!). And as small business owners themselves, they know how important it is to support other artists & makers by spending with intention this holiday season and always. 

Holiday Shopping from Small Business Owners We Love

Taylr Anne Castro, Etto Oil 

Tell us about Etto Oil and what led you to start it. 

Etto Oil was created out of the desire to have a simple skincare routine, made with only the purest organic ingredients to nurture your skin. Living in coastal California, I acquired a love for the slow life with an appreciation for the art of self care. Approaching life in observation and intention, I wanted to curate a life that included only what was necessary and of pleasure. I created Etto Oil because I wanted to create a brand that was thoughtful and a product that would be used every day (my husband and I both use it daily!). I have always found that oil nourished my skin the best and it always feels like an act of self care when applying. Founded on the idea of making your skincare routine a time for yourself, Etto Oil was created to nourish your skin with botanical ingredients while enjoying the aroma of sweet citrus and subtle spices mixed with oils from around the world.

What are you focusing on when it comes to shopping for gifts? 

This year, I am thankful for so much! I feel very lucky to have my health, a job and a wonderful small home. I plan on being very intentional with my gift giving this year by giving gifts that will be used every day. Supporting small business is the only way I will be shopping this year, and I plan on wrapping all of my gifts thoughtfully using eco-friendly gift wrap.

Why is shopping small so important? 

When you shop small, every sale makes our day. We get so excited!! Your support helps us keep going! I read a really beautiful quote the other day that states it perfectly. "When you shop small, you are not helping a CEO buy a third vacation home. You are helping a little girl get dance lessons, a little boy get his team jersey, a mom or dad put food on the table, a family pay a mortgage, or a student pay for college.” Shopping small is so important, especially this year with everything that has been happening. Shop small and make all of the small business owners do the happy dance after each sale!

Shop Taylr’s Picks:

Holiday Shopping from Small Business Owners We Love

Katra Awad, To The Nile 

What’s the story behind your brand?

To the Nile has evolved through my love for making small batch jewelry and print pieces while paying homage to my heritage. I have a collection of digital art prints I’ve made called ‘The Heritage’ series, they are colorful and are rooted in cross-cultural memories growing up. My father is first generation from Egypt and my mother’s lineage is of Zacatecas roots from Mexico. I’m proud of my heritage and have always been inspired by the stories of our ancestors and their history and the ways they tended to the earth, their art and communities. To the Nile’s collection is handcrafted and made with my passion for making wearable objects and art while still incorporating storytelling with an intention to create quality pieces that can be enjoyed and are accessible to all.

What are you focusing on when it comes to shopping for gifts? 

This year and on, I am buying gifts for friends and family from small businesses and brands that are ethically made and have a lesser impact on the environment. I wish for love, understanding, community care and awareness during this holiday season for all.

Why is shopping small so important?

We need ALL our communities to thrive so I think it’s very important to shop small, local and support BIPOC as well for those who can afford to.

Shop Katra’s Picks:

Holiday Shopping from Small Business Owners We Love

Aarica Nicole, Aarica Nicole Vintage

Tell us about how you got started buying and selling vintage. 

Aarica Nichole Vintage was a dream of mine I brought to fruition back in 2018.  When I was younger, I always had an interest in fashion and even took sewing lessons after school in 8th grade. Thrifting was also something I did in my free time as a hobby with friends and my mom. Growing up, I always wanted to own my own store or become a fashion designer, but I wasn’t exactly sure how I would get there. When I started studying fashion merchandising and digital commerce in college, I knew for sure starting a business online was the way to go. While I was in college I really began experimenting with my style using pieces I found at thrift stores. That’s when I really fell in love with creating fashionable, trendy outfits almost completely second hand. My love for styling and secondhand clothing only grew while working in the fashion industry. Sustainability had also become a big passion of mine - the excess of the fashion industry didn’t sit right with me. While I was working in the corporate world I decided to start selling vintage clothing on Etsy whenever I could find the time. I loved how I was combining my passion for secondhand, sewing, and helping the environment all in one swoop. When my shop started gaining traction, I took the plunge and dove deep into my Etsy business and I haven’t looked back since.  Sometimes when you have that gut feeling you have to take a risk!

What are you focusing on when it comes to shopping for gifts? 

This year, most of my wishlist will be from small/locally owned businesses, specifically black-owned. I love buying gifts from antique stores to find really unique memorable gifts that I know no one else will have or local shops that carry a variety of brands and vendors because I like to know who I’m supporting when I’m shopping.

Why is shopping small so important?

Shopping small/locally is important because small business is a big part of our economy in this country and it helps communities thrive.  Small businesses create a sense of community, jobs, individuality, and transparency which are often not key drivers for big businesses. 

Shop Aarica’s Picks:

Holiday Shopping from Small Business Owners We Love

Jasmine Black, Mine

What was your inspiration for starting Mine.? 

I started Mine. after I fell in love with flowers and the powers they hold. My friend and I were having a girls night while drinking wine, and we just listed off brand names, formulation ideas and product potential. So it kind of started from there. Following that evening I began to grow my own flowers and infused them into hand selected oils suitable for all skin types, genders and sexes. Following the success of product creation I launched my first batch without a set price. I wanted the product to not only be inclusive of everyone based on their sex, gender, and skin type but also people’s budgets. Not everyone can afford a $40 facial oil. So I made it donation based with 25% of the proceeds donated to The Trans Women of Color Collective Fund. That was successful and we were collectively able to raise over $150 for TWOCC. Later on I started creating makeup bags, headbands and a couple other products to go along with my first baby, Everything Oil. We’ve also been able to raise money for other organizations as well, which I’m very proud of! 

What are you focusing on when it comes to shopping for gifts?

This holiday season I’m really looking to purchase skincare and makeup for myself, friends, and family that I know will work and they will use. I’m focusing on products with good ingredients that I know will work and I will want to reach for. I’m hoping this will minimize my waste along with my friends’ and families’.

Why is shopping small so important?

It’s so important to shop small and local because that can make a small business owner’s day. One order can help them pay for more products or to pay for their groceries that week. 

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Holiday Shopping from Small Business Owners We Love

Ariel Rezek, Rezek Studio

Why did you start Rezek Studio?

Rezek Studio is an LA-based clothing company with colorful, feminine pieces that can’t go unnoticed. I launched the brand at the end of 2018 after seeking certain staple silks pieces with no luck. At the time everything was black or white. I decided to make my own and ended up developing them. I figured if I wanted them, others would too.

What are you focusing on when it comes to shopping for gifts? 

I've been shopping mostly for loungewear this year, so I’m going to start manifesting the day I can dress up and go out. by wishing for something for that day, whenever it may be!

Why is shopping small important? 

It’s important to shop small now more than ever. Small businesses are the real drivers of creativity and employment growth.

Shop Ariel’s Picks:

We know there are so many options when it comes to holiday shopping; ones that are easier, cheaper, and quicker - but we really appreciate when you take the time to support us and the businesses we carry by shopping local at Prism. Our Gift Shop is full of hand-picked presents everyone on your list will love.

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