It’s time for my favourite blog post of the year…. my annual “Handmade Holiday Gift Guide!” Being a ‘maker’ myself, I come across so many artisans online who are working really really hard every day to give the gift of their creative expression to the world. Now more than ever, during our worldwide economic downturn, it’s so important to support small businesses. Liking and following these makers on their social media platforms would be a really great way to show your support too. (Their social media links are all listed below with their bio and business descriptions.)
Here is this year’s fabulous line up of 3 incredibly talented makers who will inspire you, plus a ‘special’ feature of a new small business that deserves all of our love! At this time of year, let’s remember to support small business and handmade xo
And don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post by leaving a comment telling me which handmade gift you would like to receive: macrame earrings, soaps, candles, or one gardeners box (Your comment might not show up until it’s approved). NOTE: SCROLL DOWN PAST ALL THE COMMENTS TO LEAVE YOUR COMMENT (instead of clicking REPLY on someone else’s comment).
Meet Brianna & Nick of “Red Rock Candle Co.
Hi! We are Brianna and Nick, the owners of Red Rock Candle Co. As Ohio natives, we were eager to get out and explore Utah when we first moved here back in 2015. Inspired by nature and our travels, we have worked to encapsulate our experiences into something that is perfect for the wanderer in everyone.
While we enjoy road trips and exploring new places, we also love being cozy at home with our fur babies which resulted in our vision being brought to life through our Utah-based home fragrance company. With our hand poured candles and wax melts we aim to evoke memories of big adventures and create the ultimate vibe in any space!
All of our products are handmade in small batches so we can ensure the best quality in each of them. When you purchase from Red Rock Candle Co. you can trust that you are receiving products that have been made with love, care and attention to detail!
Meet Shammah Flaman of “Jaina’s Handmade”
Our family moved to Canada from the Philippines when I was 16. Like many other immigrant stories, we strived to achieve the Canadian Dream. I went to university while working a full time job and finally landed that “office job”. Never did I thought starting a creative business would be a part of my daily hustle. I’ve always been a creative person growing up, and I owe this to my mom. See, she is very creative, and she encouraged her children to discover our own creativity by sending us to music lessons, painting lessons, dance lesson among many other activities, and I am so thankful she did!
This idea of running a small business became a reality when I became a mother myself. After having our first baby, I was worried about losing myself while being a new mom, so I decided to go back to doing macramé among other creative things that have been dormant for a really long time to keep me grounded. I had done macramé in the past, but I truly enjoyed it while I was on maternity leave and made a bit too much and starting selling projects on various social media platforms. I then realized that I wanted to make this as a business when I started receiving encouraging feedback from customers as well as custom orders. I never thought of myself as an entrepreneur because I was taught to go to school and land that job. Even the word intimidates me! But I was able to overcome that self doubt and break through personal barriers that would have prevented me to acknowledge my skills. And not without the support of my husband and family of course!
4 years later, I continue to sharpen my skills and grow my small creative business. Not only do I make macramé but teach it as well as an avenue to keep myself grounded amidst the various different roles that I perform on a daily basis! It doesn’t matter if you’re single, a parent, male or female, we need to constantly remind ourselves that we are a work in progress and there is always room for us to grow and thrive in settings we didn’t realize was possible. And most times the only hindrance keeping us from what we want is ourselves. So let go of the fear and just do it!
My name is Lara Lamb
. I am the founder, owner, and principal creator at Lamb’s Soapworks
, a Canadian-based business whose mission is to provide the best hand-crafted artisan soaps and natural bath and body products
with a commitment to cruelty-free products, the environment, and giving back within our community.
With a previous culinary career working in restaurant and commercial kitchens, crafting soap seemed like a natural progression. After that first batch of soap, there was no going back and Lamb’s Soapworks was born at the end of 2014. I am so fortunate to have left my 9-5 job in 2017 and focus all of my creative energy and passion on Lamb’s.
My most rewarding moments as a business owner are those interactions with customers who tell me their stories of how much they love our hand-crafted products and what a difference using them has made to their skin. I love what I do and am inspired each and every day to create and infuse a little slice of joy into someone else’s world!
Our special feature is a new small business subscription box for gardeners!
We’re Irma & Hayley. We’ve been gardening for years. Irma enjoys flower gardening and Hayley enjoys growing vegetables. We met while homeschooling our kids, bonded over gardening, and became fast friends. We traded plants and seeds until we were both growing a variety of flowers, herbs, fruits, and vegetables.
In 2020, we found ourselves gardening in the pandemic, which felt very different, more urgent. We were getting DMs from anxious people, worried about going to the grocery store, who were interested in starting a garden. That’s when we realized that a garden subscription box could help new and seasoned gardeners alike and that’s how Dig was born. Much of that anxiety remains with reported shortages, shipping delays, and pricing increases in the grocery stores. It’s our hope that having a measure of control of our food supply will alleviate some of that anxiety. We even added a kids box, so that we can help parents pass these skills on to their children. It’s never too early to introduce them to growing.
Our core principles are excellence, sustainability, simplicity, and collaboration/cooperation over competition. We’re a business, but we lead with our values. These boxes are put together by gardeners, for gardeners and they’re a direct reflection of our own garden needs and wants. We’ve made it a point to minimize our impact on the environment by choosing packaging that is recyclable and compostable, and we promote the establishment and maintenance of pollinator-friendly spaces. We provide simple, straightforward planting instructions in every box, and we’re working on adding grower support to our website. Finally, we partner with small businesses wherever possible. From the stamp for our boxes to the self-care item in our premium box, we buy from and collaborate with small businesses just like ours. We believe there’s enough business for all of us and we’re better when we work together.
It’s still early days for us, which is good for our subscribers, because it means we’re still small enough to respond to every inquiry personally and we’re open to making changes to best serve your needs.
Leave your comment telling me which handmade gift above you would like to win: macrame earrings…candles…soaps…or one gardeners box. Contest closes December 1, 2021 midnight MST. 4 WINNERS will receive an email from Kelly Creates and the makers will ship out the prizes. Good luck and thank you for your support!