It’s officially holiday-shopping season, and it’s always a good time to shop locally! Read my Bay Area Small Businesses Gift Giving Guide below for ideas on what to buy for your loved ones these coming months.
1. Elizée Shoes
Look no further than Elizée’s website, a local Los Altos brand, for a pair of heels that are actually comfortable enough to wear all day. Not only are Elizée shoes made of organic, plastic free, and ethically sourced materials, each pair is made with high quality Italian leather. These babies are built to last! I like to style my Deia booties with a silk slip skirt when I go downtown.
- Get 15% off your first order!
- Shop the Cyber Sale and save up to 70% off!
2. Scented Designs Candles
This just in: high quality candles meant for gift-giving don’t have to be $100 and up. Based in San Jose, Scented Designs is a woman-owned brand that offers a wide selection of phthalate, lead, and paraffin-free candles. Made with soy wax, safe fragrances and essential oils, their heavenly scents include sweeter varieties like “Very Vanilla” and “Almond Rum Cake”, or Holiday themed ones like “Christmas Hearth” and “Spiced Cranberry”. I’m obsessed with my “Christmas Tree Farm” candle — it’s one of those scents that I could never get tired of, because it’s just so refreshing. The “Christmas Tree Farm” scent brings me back to my childhood when I’d lay in my living room admiring all of the twinkling ornaments on our tree. Scented Designs offers gift boxes of three, as well as convenient travel sizes for those who seem to always be on the road.
- Free local pick-up!
3. Love of Gold Vintage
I’m going to let you in on a big secret: Love of Gold Vintage is an it-girl essential resource. Each luxury piece is verified by expert suppliers as authentic to brands including but not limited to: Chanel, Dior, Gucci, and Versace. I personally love my Louis Vuitton lock necklace, which I bought in perfect condition. If you wanted to pick up the latest necklace-layering trend, Love of Gold Vintage is your one-stop online shop!
4. DIARRABLU Clothing
DIARRABLU seeks to modernize and preserve unique styles and patterns from Africa, using sustainable materials that allow for adjustable wear over a strong lifecycle — and boy do they make sustainability look stunning. There’s a DIARRABLU dress for everyone, and any occasion. I wore my UMY jumpsuit in Garden Vert at the last fashion pop up event in Los Gatos, and I have my eyes on Khew earrings in sterling silver to match my jumpsuit. The colors are all so vibrant, making the unique designs all the more memorable.
- 50% Off DIARRABLU Online Outlet! Ends today, 11/28
5. Softgood Studio Jewelry
Based in Oakland, Emilie Jehng of Softgood Studio prides herself in crafting wearable bonds with Asian-American identity and beauty. Her sterling silver rings, bracelets and necklaces are laden with meaning and visual metaphor, like the fan-favorite rounded signet ring, engraved with the Chinese character for longevity. Once in a while @softgoodstudio on Instagram will release limited slots for custom designs, which can be made with all karats of yellow or white gold.
6. Sinta Floral
Born amidst the gloom of the pandemic, Sinta Floral is a queer Pilipinx-owned floral studio based in Union City that offers gorgeous arrangments for a range of occasions. A bouquet or table arrangement would make a lively and heartfelt gift from far away, with guaranteed freshness being a local Bay Area business.
7. Lisa Fleming Ceramics
Minimalist interior design was in long before Kim Kardashian’s barren house tour. Lisa Fleming Ceramics is a refined yet playful expression of modern forms and silhouettes, inspired by mid-century Scandinavian ceramists. Lisa recycles all of her clay trimmings into her colored pieces, letting no material go to waste. Her Crystalline White Matte Geo or Lichen Glazed bowls are perfect for showcasing seasoning fruits, or for no functional use at all besides just being a beautiful statement piece for your countertops.
Olori is a woman-owned, and female-empowering brand that donates a percentage of their profits from every bag sold to girls’ tuition in under-resourced African communities. Made with hand-loomed Adunni aso-oke fabric from Nigeria, styles range from the work and travel-friendly Bolanle Backpack to an easily dressed up-or-down Tola Classic Shoulder Bag. Pieces like their Stronger Together Charm and Adunni Mini Pouch would make excellent stocking stuffers, too.
- Free U.S. shipping on orders over $190!
9. Benjamin Babadi
The up-and-coming House of Benjamin Babadi is a luxury Tuscan leather goods brand, with limited workshop availability to learn how to craft your very own customized purse. I had the opportunity to see and feel the quality of the bags when I styled the video and photoshoot on the website: and I can affirm that each design is a piece of functional art. Although the soon-to-be-global luxury house is a small business for now, keep an eye out for the public launch of his bags in early January. Until then, snag a spot, or book for a whole party as a memorable experiential gift at one of his workshops by contacting him directly through the form on his website.
10. Vintage Fusion Jewelry
Sustainable fashion is here to stay, and no one does it quite as beautifully as Vintage Fusion Jewelry. Based in Santa Cruz, luxury jewelry designer Elizabeth (who was recently featured in New York Fashion Week!) offers repair services for your well loved accessories, as well as custom re-designs for the items that you think could use a fresh new look. If you’re looking for a unique statement piece for a themed event like a crown or a pair of modernized Victorian-era earrings, you’ll know where to go from now on.
I hope you enjoyed this curation of small businesses in the Bay Area, and that I inspired new gift ideas for those hard-to-shop-for people in your life. Refer to Ali Fiorella’s Holiday Wellness Gift Guide for the people in your life that are starting to take wellness more seriously these days! Until next week, happy holidays, and happy shopping!