It's been a personal mission of mine to replace as many corporate/chain-store purchases as possible with ones from artisans, makers, and small businesses.
Back in March 2020, money felt tight because my day job was in jeopardy at a corporation laying people off during the pandemic, but my partner and I knew that small businesses were surely feeling that crunch too. And using goods made with care added special, happy daily rituals to our lives.
No matter where you are in the U.S., here are my top picks for everyday goods that you can purchase online! I feel so fortunate to say that many of these small business owners are now friends of mine too. I'm also proud that so many of them are actively working to improve their communities or the world in some way. I know you will love them as much as I do!
Kitchen & Pantry
- Wild Clementine Co. (Walla Walla, WA) - Woman-owned - Ali is a fish biologist by day and hand crafts reusable dish/bread proofing covers the rest of the time, in the most fun, colorful fabric prints. We love her reusable hand warmers and hot & cold therapy packs too!
- Yun Hai (NYC) - Women-owned, Asian-Owned - Taiwanese pantry staples like Amber River Soy Sauce (the best soy sauce we've ever had!), black vinegar, and dried tropical fruits. They're also the only U.S. distributor of TaTung electric steamers/rice cookers
- Funky's Hot Sauce Factory (Bellingham, WA) - Matt makes fantastic hot sauces from organic ingredients and with eco-friendly packaging. He's won awards! It's that good!!! My favorite is the fermented, medium-heat Terra Luna (green version)
- Native Seeds/SEARCH (Tucson, AZ) - Non-profit org whose mission is to provide free heirloom seed varieties to Indigenous families and community gardens. If you're a home gardener, this is a stellar place to buy seeds, but also where you'll find my favorite prickly pear syrup and jam (made in Tucson by Sheri's, another small business!) in their "Sonoran Pantry" section
Skincare & Soaps
- Little Bear Big Bear (Spokane, WA) - Woman-owned, Asian-Owned - Loanne makes the very best soaps, shampoo & conditioner bars, and skincare that our family has ever tried. Love her focus on eco-friendly materials like the compostable tubes for lip balm and glassine paper bags for her soaps. An extra special feature is that several product listings allow you to choose your own scent from her extensive catalog of creative blends. Also, if you're East/Southeast Asian like me and Loanne, the "Cherry Tomato" lip/cheek tint is the perfect color for you! A bit of profit from each order is donated to Feeding America
Candles & More
- Lulumiere (Seattle, WA) - Woman-owned, Asian-Owned - Linda came up with so many of our favorite candle scents, and each candle always burns perfectly. U.S.-grown soy wax + non-toxic fragrances and essential oils. If you're local, you can get those empty vessels refilled at her brick-and-mortar to reduce waste! And if you haven't tried her relaxing shower steamers, you absolutely should!!!
- Kos Candles (Seattle, WA) - Woman-owned - Kailey's scents are delightfully complex and so cozy with their crackling wooden wicks. Themes are inspired by her Norwegian heritage!
- Big Dipper Wax Works (Seattle, WA) - A great selection of bold-colored, hand-dipped beeswax taper candles! I've even bought the discounted seconds versions before and they still fit all my candle holders well. These look lovely on our kitchen table.
Houseplants & Supplies
- Arrows Aim Greenhouse & Supply Co. (Whidbey Island, WA) - Queer-owned - Leeann is a ceramic artist AND runs a WA State Dept of Agriculture-certified micro-greenhouse that donates 10% of profits to orgs supporting individuals impacted by incarceration. Plants and supplies ship nationwide! Including the most beautiful grow lights I've ever seen and matching planters that were thoughtfully designed to help prevent root rot