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Brace yourselves. CHRISTMAS IS COMING.

Radio stations have been playing Christmas songs on loop 24/7 since Halloween ended, and all stores have decked their aisles with bounds of holiday cheer. With Black Friday – or as I like to think of it, the “Super Bowl of Shopping” — it’s going to be VERY tempting to brave the crowds in order to get great deals on Christmas presents for friends and family. And I can’t blame you, because who doesn’t love a good deal?

But let’s consider this: shop small.

American Express launched Small Business Saturday back in 2010 as an alternative to both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Much like the Plaid Friday movement that began in Oakland, Small Business Saturday is meant to encourage shoppers to support mom and pop retailers both in person at local shops and restaurants and online retailers to help small online businesses reach a global market.

In case you need a few ideas of where to shop for presents (or yourself), let us help you! Here are a few of our favorite small businesses that you can find online:

photos via Bottle of Clouds

Based in Oakland, Bottle of Clouds is a cute little Etsy store that sells laser cut wooden brooches that are hand painted with whimsical designs. I received their wonderful unicorn brooch as a present earlier this year and I’m so in love with it! Upon checking out their shop, you’ll notice there’s a bevy of cat related brooches, so if there’s a cat person in your life, consider taking a look at Bottle of Clouds.


photos via Stay Home Club

Stay Home Club was once a one-woman run apparel/accessories business running out of Montreal, but it’s now run by three folks in a nice lil’ studio. Their designs are both hilarious and utterly relatable to those who are disgruntled and “have no life.” They have some great patches and pins that would make perfect stocking stuffers — my personal fave is their “Sad Songs Forever” patch (which I gifted to myself last year). Their tees are also unisex, so sad boys ran rock ’em too.

photos via Unicorn Crafts

If you’re in need of some quirky baubles, look no further than Unicorn Crafts! Many of their pieces are made of shrinky-dinks with the sweetest looking art. From earrings that feature bacon and eggs with smiley faces, to a brooch with Totoro hanging from soot sprite balloons, there’s bound to be the perfect gift for someone in their shop. 🙂


photos via Jordandené

Jordandené first got their start by selling chic geeky inspired aprons, but later branched out with subtle geeky t-shirts (unisex), tanks, pullovers, undies, and totes that sport quotes from beloved fandoms such as Marvel, Disney, Star Wars, Harry Potter, etc. The typography used is pretty fancy too so if you (or someone you know) are looking to wave your nerd flag simple and fashionable way, Jordandené is the way to go.


photos via Kate Gabrielle

Kate Gabrielle runs the cutest pastel-fueled fashion blog, Scathingly-Brilliant, but on top of that she creates the most insanely adorable brooches, pins, t-shirts, and paper goods you’ll ever lay your eyes on. Some feature silly puns like her “Beethoven Bae” tee and brooch, and she also has “Nostalgia Kits” for 90s kids who pine for simpler times.


Nina Penalosa is a self-proclaimed geek that has a penchant for fancy things. She loves taking inspiration from characters she adores from different walks of pop-culture and blending them into her everyday wardrobe, which she hopes will inspire Wear Your Voice readers to seek fashion inspiration beyond the pages of a magazine. She lived in the Bay Area for a brief period of time as she earned her B.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. When she's not working her day job or writing, you can either find her running marathons of the Netflix variety, hanging out with her dog, working on a craft project, window shopping, or being nose deep in a book. Nina also runs her own personal fashion/lifestyle blog called Le Fancy Geek where she writes about all things geeky and fancy (of course). You can also find Nina on: Instagram: @lefancygeek Twitter: @lefancygeek

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