Shop small, Gift BIG!

holidaysIt’s that time of year again–The Holiday Rush. When malls and shops are jam packed with last minute shoppers hunting for the perfect gift. When it comes to the holiday season, it seems as if everyone gets so caught up in what they’re going to get or give, they forget the point of the holidays in the first place. To enjoy the time with loved ones and to celebrate the amazing year we’ve had. Despite the hardships or the obstacles we had to face, we’ve made it to the end of another chapter in our story.

I’m a planner by nature. I tend to have everything scheduled and ready weeks in advance but this year, that didn’t happen. Instead, I’m left scrambling because I’m a picky gift giver. I want every gift to resonate and connect with the recipient and this time around, I found that hard to accomplish until I started shopping small. The holiday season is a great time to explore small local businesses in your area to find one of a kind pieces that will click with your friends and family. Having grown up in New York City, small businesses were constantly popping up around me and thus I’ve decided to share a few of my favorites that have saved me this holiday season.

bird and stoneBird and Stone -A Socially Conscious Jewelry Company

Based out of New York, this company uses 15% of their proceeds to help empower women in third world countries. Coupled with the effortless and beautiful designs created by the Bird and Stone team, these pieces make a wonderful gift that give to not only the recipient but someone elsewhere in need. One of my favorite pieces that I’m excited to gift this year is the Love Necklace, which was actually inspired by a loyal customer’s request for something beautiful to give his girlfriend for their six month anniversary thus explaining the six  effervescent crystals that make up the piece.

blue-apronBlue Apron – For the foodies in our lives

Blue Apron is perfect for people like me. Who love the idea of making a gourmet meal but lack the skill set necessary to make it happen. It’s a grocery shopping service that delivers all the ingredients you need to cook a meal right to your home. Combine fresh ingredients, original recipes, and a max. prep time of 35 minutes, whipping up a delicious meal becomes a lot less complicated. It’s a weekly subscription service and it’s a great gift give to the food lovers in your life. The gift options let you give anywhere from a week to a month’s worth of deliveries and allows those in your life to try it out before fully committing to the service. It’s honestly one of my favorite gifts this year.

 Glamsquad – Beauty on the Go in NYC, LA, and Miamiglamsquad

This is a great treat for the ladies in your life that need a bit of TLC. It’s an on demand affordable service that allows you to have fully trained stylist and makeup artist at your front door to help you get ready for a huge event or just to be pampered for a day. It’s a sweet gesture to give and is perfect for any of the beauty obsessed girls in your life. Glamsquad offers great gift card packages that are instantly sent to your email and can be personalized with a message for the recipient. You have the option of picking enough services for a day to purchasing a package deal that can be used throughout a period of time. Personally, I think this is a great gift for a new mom, who doesn’t necessarily have the time to treat herself.

Prohibition Bakery – Please Eat Responsiblycupcakery

Found along Clinton street in Manhattan, this bakery isn’t your typically cupcakery.  It takes sweets to another level and is known as New York City’s original alcoholic cupcake company. Ranging in flavors of cake and alcohol, this is a delicious gift for those with a bit of sweet tooth in your life. It’s an affordable treat with a twist that is both memorable and enjoyable. They also ship throughout the US for anyone curious to try them but not located in New York City.

Twisted Lily – One of Kind, Hand-Blended ScentsPhoto: Thatcher Keats

Based out of Brooklyn, this is a unique hand-blended perfume and cologne boutique.Here you’ll find niche, indie, and natural fragrances from all around the world that you won’t find in department stores. It’s a fragrance lovers’ paradise and carries a wide range of scents to please everyone. Their gift guide is full of options varying from stocking stuffers to gift sets and coupled with their complimentary shipping upgrade, can still make it under the tree for anyone not able to make it out to the shop. Besides the range of scents available, Twisted Lily also sells bath and body, makeup, and skincare products. This is perfect for those who want something a bit more special and one of a kind.

Regardless of what you give or receive this holiday season, I hope your time is full of laughter, good food, and even better company. The holidays can become a bit overwhelming and stressful but remember to breathe. Every problem is only as big as you make it and every joy as big as you celebrate. So celebrate everything that happens and forget your troubles. Tis the season to enjoy, smile, and laugh the days away. Happy Holidays, may they be as incredible as all of you!

Be Bold, Be Brave, Be-YOU-tiful 

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