Small business spotlight: 4 spots worth checking out this month
You’ve probably heard that shopping small is better than a weekly Amazon haul or Walmart run, but choosing to shop from small businesses is easier said than done. When convenience is key, shoppers tend to go for big-box retailers that offer fast shipping and cheap products.
Even though inflation is top of mind right now and many shoppers are tightening their purse strings, we’d like to make the case for shopping from small businesses (when possible). Small businesses help to create jobs, support local economies, and often give back to their communities, among tons of other benefits that big-box stores lack. Plus, having a cute candle, bag, or piece of clothing that no one has seen before is way cooler than buying whatever the algorithm bumps to the top of your search.
As a little push to shop smaller, we’ve rounded up four of our favorite small businesses to shop from this month, and we made sure to pick a variety of BIPOC-owned, woman-owned, and immigrant-owned businesses for you to diversify your shopping cart. Read more about our faves below:
Cuzen Matcha is a brand for true tea connoisseurs, selling single-origin tea, carefully curated matcha blends, and a killer luxury matcha maker (which Mashable reviewed and loved). Founded by Eijiro Tsukada and Oki Hatta, the Cuzen Matcha maker serves freshly-ground matcha, pulling inspiration from the “early era” of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. The resulting tea is more flavorful, more fragrant, and more sustainable than powdered matcha blends. Mashable reviewer RJ Andersen said that the Cuzen Matcha Maker “brings an ounce of luxury to […] daily life,” and highly recommends it to other matcha lovers.
Inspired by Latinx culture, Bonita Fierce has candles with scents ranging from Puerto Rican coquito to cafecito con leche — all hand-poured with coconut soy wax and finished with earth-friendly packaging. Founded by Melissa Gallardo in 2020 during the pandemic, Bonita Fierce Candles aims to bring Latino heritage into the home through comforting, cultural fragrances. “We’re revolutionizing the candle space for Latinx communities by bringing scents that feel familiar — times with la familia, warm feelings of home that are whole and welcoming, and feel like you belong,” Gallardo told Mashable. “We’re thoughtfully creating curated home fragrances for your cultura, your experiences, and the cultural crossroads of being Latinx and American, and the cafecitos that kept you going.”
Andean Blue will convince you to ditch your plain hiking pack for one adorned with intricate, Andean fabrics. A self-proclaimed one-man business owner, founder Christian Vinces told Mashable that while “growing up in Peru, it was common to see people adding Andean textiles to their clothing and accessories.” He started Andean Blue to bring the rich history of Peru’s textiles to the U.S. — all while promoting a sense of adventure and supporting Andean culture by donating a portion of profits to an organization that protects the biodiversity of the Amazon Rainforest and the Andes. “This operation brings my past into my present, the culture I grew up in, and the culture I’m in now, ” said Vinces.
If you consider yourself a maximalist and want your dog to be one too, Daisy by Shelby is the small business to shop from. From faux fur-lined collars to gen-z-inspired printed bandanas, Daisy will basically outfit your dog to be the next stylish dog influencer (dogfluencer?). “Our canine companions are an extension of ourselves,” founder Shelby Eastman told Mashable. “Daisy was created to visually represent that connection by taking a modern, design-first approach to pet accessories inspired by current (human) fashion trends.”