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The Huge Impact of Shopping Small

As the owner of a small business dedicated to inspiring girls, I consider myself so fortunate to have met and worked with so many incredible female entrepreneurs. I feel such a spirit of cooperation & sense of shared success with these amazing women. That’s why I’m excited to share them with you today.

There are so many reasons to support small businesses, from the beneficial effects in local communities to the work and creativity of artists. But to me, the best reason to shop small is the relationship that you establish with the person behind the brand.

Nearly 6 million Americans are employed by a small business with five or fewer employees. In many cases, these are solo operations. When you support a small business with your purchase, you are making a tremendous difference in the life of a person.

I’d like to invite you to get to know these makers a little bit. To read their stories. To understand what makes each of them special and unique. 

Because every maker has a story.

Maybe it’s the memory of summer road trips with her mom, like Anne-Marie Esposito. Maybe it’s a product she made with love to care for her own beautiful child, like Rachel Najera and Cindy Hanson. Maybe it’s the desire to connect more deeply through words lovingly written, like stationer Melissa Wert and author Rachel Toalson.

But in every case, you become a part of their story when you buy from them. And when you give a gift from one of these businesses, you are sharing a piece of that cherished story with someone you care about.

And if you choose to purchase from them, you’ll have more than their gratitude. You’ll have mine as well.

Our 2016 Gift Guide

Home Goods & Furnishings

  • Unurth, Jenn Lamb - Artistically crafted ceramic goods for your home
    Unurth by Jenn Lamb
    photo by Unurth
  • Janery, Jane Hoffman - Pet beds & home goods in cool contemporary styles, with 5% of proceeds supporting animal rescue and resources for the homeless
  • The Chemist Tree, Rovena Tey - Geek-chic featuring molecular structures in creative ways—coasters, totes, posters & more
  • Sparklefly Candle Co, Anne Marie Esposito - Exquisite candles and flame-less “Sparkle Stones”
    Sparklefly by Anne Marie Esposito
    photo by Sparklefly Candle Co

Body & Skin Care

  • Rachel’s Plan Bee, Rachel Najera - Nourishing, plant-based skin care lovingly-made by artisanal hands
    Rachel's Plan Bee, by Rachel Najera
    photo by Rachel's Plan Bee
  • Zandra Beauty, Zandra Cunningham - Fun, wholesome skin care products from a teen entrepreneur, with 10% of net profits donated to girls’ education
  • Bonblissity, Elissa Choi - Uniquely crafted “Candy-Wrapped” hand scrubs and “Body Truffles”
    Bonblissity, by Elissa Choi
    photo by Bonblissity
  • Celtic Complexion, Jennifer Waller - Luxurious moisturizers, serums and scrubs specifically formulated for delicate skin
  • Euphoric Herbals, Cindy Collins - Teas, salves & herbal blends for moms and their families

Handmade Soap

  • Outlaw Soaps, Danielle Vincent - Soaps, lotions, lip balms & colognes that capture the spirit, style and smell of the Old West
  • Cloud Nine Soap Co., Lisa Thorstenson - Small batch bath & body products crafted by a master soapmaker & Registered Nurse
    Cloud Nine Soap Co., by Lisa Thorstenson
    photo by Cloud Nine Soap Co.
  • Comfort & Joy, Lisa Buteaux - Amazingly uplifting soaps, body oils & room fragrance made with essential oils & natural botanicals
  • Cindy’s Suds, Cindy Hanson - All-natural, fragrance free soaps, salves & body butters made for the whole family

Stationery & Prints

  • Print Therapy, Melissa Wert - Artistically designed cards & calendars that help express authentic emotion
    Print Therapy, by Melissa Wert
    photo by Print Therapy
  • April May, Smudge Ink - Letterpress and offset printed stationery locally produced in New England
  • Wholesome Soul, Kajal Dhabalia - Yoga-inspired stationery, wall art & home goods designed to uplift the heart and inspire the spirit
  • Make My Notebook, Sara BletteChoose your size, color, binding & filler paper for a custom premium notebook with your unique style
  • Kelley Frisby Art, Kelley Frisby - Distinctively illustrated fan art and custom commissioned artwork

Clothing & Accessories

  • Compliment., Melissa Camilleri - Delightfully designed jewelry and home goods that deliver a compliment as well, with 5% of sales supporting educational scholarships for women
    Compliment., by Melissa Camilleri
    photo by Compliment.
  • Charlie Madison Originals, Wendy Hively - Beautiful necklaces and bracelets to help celebrate the important little moments in life, with 5% of sales supporting military charities
  • Eddy & Scout, Holly Wills - Fun, functional domestically produced clothing for girls & boys that captures the outdoor spirit of childhood adventure


  • Family on Purpose, Rachel Toalson - The daily journal of a year of intentional parenting, filled with beautiful personal reflections, raw emotions, helpful references & funny tales from the front-lines of motherhood
    Family on Purpose, by Rachel Toalson
    photo by Rachel Toalson Writing
  • The Power of Free Publicity, Roberta Perry - Incredibly insightful guide to gaining media attention for your business or organization by building relationships with working reporters, written by the owner of the successful skin care brand ScrubzBody™
  • The Art of Schlepping, Kismet Andrews & Lisa Thorstenson - Written by two veterans of craft shows & makers’ markets, this book is filled with strategies and tools for showcasing your business at live events



  • Wendy Hively

    Thank you, thank you! This is an incredible honor to be included among some pretty amazing ladies!

  • Lisa Buteux

    Oh, Stacia! What an honor to be included in this wonderful group! Thank you so much, my friend! You are a blessing and an inspiration! XO

  • Stacia Guzzo

    Roberta, Rachel, and Lisa,
    I am so happy to include you in this year’s gift guide. You inspire me and help me to be a better businesswoman. Every. Single. Day.

  • Rachel Najera

    Thank you Stacia! I am so honored to be included among all of these wonderful women doing great things! XO

  • Lisa Thorstenson

    Thank you so very much for the shout-out my friend! Love you to pieces.

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