5 Small Businesses to Support this Holiday Season

I can’t speak for everyone but I feel like many of us have the best intentions to support small businesses. We really do. But sometimes it can be a little more work to find those small businesses + (especially in the middle of December) can just feel like we don’t have the extra bandwidth to suss them out. 

But I got you - here are my top 5 favorite small businesses that I return to again + again. One year I will get a list together of all of them published. There are really so many creatives out there doing so much rad work. I see you! 

There are lots of great reasons to shop small this season + my buddy Lucia from Malia Designs wrapped it up nicely  (whoooo! Christmas pun right out the gate!) on Instagram the other day so Imma let her kick it off.

 Malia is women owned + run, offers super cute accessories often made from cast offs (end of fabric rolls that will normally get thrown out) or recycled materials (see their dope fish feed bag line) all while being Fair Trade Certified + helping to fight human trafficking.

Shopping with them is seriously a win-win. They have hair ties, big bags, small bags, planter bags, + men’s wallets (my husband rocks one) but I'm most fond of their recycled laundry bag. Throw in stuffed animals, toys, laundry, or damp wetsuits + towels in your trunk - it’s perfect for all the things!

malia designs
Next is my girl Katie's skateboard company Kateboards.

Isn't that so fun to say that? To know who + what you are supporting? To have a name + face to a company - it just feels good.

Kateboards is all about being inclusive, kind, bold, + building community. 

Katie will help you pick out your rig, offer lessons to learn to ride it + even invite you to skate meet ups too if you're in San Diego! She’ll make you feel like skateboarding has been waiting for you to arrive + are glad you made it. Yeeewwwww!

Kate boards with three board styles
Next on my list, taking up the most space in my closet, is Her Waves! It is by far one of my favorites + not just because my talented girl that has an awesome name, Jennipher, started it.

It is t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, + tanks you’ll actually like + want to wear designed by dope a$$  independent artists then made locally + shipped sustainably.

Their stuff is so dope they got me to wear red. RED! I have a red shirt. One. It's the only red thing I own. It's Her Waves.

Go check them out. Then high five yourself for making good choices.

The infamous red shirt!
vw bus with her waves skater  her waves artist box
The next business is a one woman show called Craft and Cunning by my girl Cayla. When she's not momming, gardening, fixing stuff with essential oils, reading rad
books, or just being kindness goals in general, she makes cute stuff by hand. We’re talking plant baskets, diffuser bracelets, macrame plant hangers, + keychains that hold things (think hand sanitizer + essential oil rollers).

Check out her Etsy shop + smile because it's all pretty adorable.

craft and cunning

Last, but not least is Hakuna Wear. Jessica is one big welcoming smile who carries science around in her pocket like a set of keys unlocking solutions to surfer problems everywhere. The first issue she tackled was how to keep your swimwear in place in the water. Bikini lock. It’s a thing, it’s glorious + guaranteed. Another problem is where to stash yo’ stuff. Jessica’s answer is in a pocket. In your bathing suit. Not board shorts. Bathing suit! Join me now in an enthusiastic happy dance.  

If you do wear board shorts, however, there will be a pocket for your stuff. And a side tie! A tie on the side. So you don’t lay on it + have it digging into your belly the whole time. Genius!

And once I borrowed my niece’s Hakuna Aloha Shirt Rash Guard at a new surf break and was immediately greeted in the line up by, “Cool shirt!” to which I enthusiastically shouted back, “It’s a rash guard!!” so they also guarantee to make you new friends too. I’m joking. That’s a lie. I think those people were just cool + would have chatted anyway but it doesn’t hurt to be wearing a conversation starter. The shirt will also dry fast enough to wear to tacos afterward with your new friends. That part is true. 


I hope this list was a little helpful + you got a few gift ideas. Even if they’re not for December. And remember there are other ways to support small businesses in addition to purchases. They will always appreciate sharing of this list, of their posts, follows + likes or supportive comments on their threads + tags of you rocking your gear! 

Thanks for hanging out. Merry Happy St. Nicolas Eve, Bodhi Day, Santa Lucia Day, Hanukkah, Yule, Christmas + Kwanzaa Everything!

how to support small businesses
Jenny is the founder + artist at Ait Sona. Ait Sona (pronounced /och sonna/) is Irish Gaelic for happy place. She suspects life is all about looking for happy places. Farting around with resin + metal, writing, dance parties with nonsense dance moves, hanging with people with an outrageous sense of humor, the ocean, + the skate park are some of her happy places. 
Jenny founder of ait sona


1 comment

  • Cayla: February 09, 2023

    Love it!! Thanks for the shoutout and great ideas for shopping small!!

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