If you are looking for real people and not big box businesses to shop from, here is a list of some of my favorites.
These businesses are run by, and support, people I know. DIRECTLY.
These companies (if they have any employees at all) treat their employees as they should be treated. No one is being exploited for their talents, not are they working for less than they are worth.
Both their time and talents are valued to their fullest extent, as they should be.
However, many of these are just people I love trying their best to make a living doing things they love. This is the ideal way to make money happily, so I support that.
So let's support them, huh?
- First off, if you're in Michigan proper, come by our home bar, Parts & Labor at 6pm. They're having a little craft bazaar, including some hand-crocheted items from our fave bartender, Genia! Plus they have the best crinkle fries I've ever had. No exaggeration.
- I know most of y'all have a healthy dash of naughty with all the nice, so my next recommendation is Eng Erotics. They have an amazingly curated selection of pleasure products. Plus! They have their own line of handmade CBD bath products. The Soaking Sand Bath Shots make great tiny lil surprise gifts (or stocking stuffers if that's your game.)
- Getchoo a painting. We own a lot of art here at the Professor Haus. A LOT. I think the artist we have the most pieces by is Sean Beagan. When we moved in and I fell in love with stoop living, Mickey called up Sean and commissioned a painting that now hangs by the front door. I love his work so so much, especially the frames.
- All your sweets deserve some sweets, right? There are so many local bakeries to support in the Orlando area (light on the sugar was my fave at the time I moved away). However, I'ma recommend an actual human being instead: Bake Time With Barb. From cookie decorating parties to cakes that are works of art, do not let this talent go to waste next time you need a baked good.
- I saved this storefront for number five because that is my lucky number and they are one of my favorite artists. Violet Paper Co. literally launched today. I already made an order, but now wish I ordered more. Their designs are incredibly thoughtful and the color palettes are out of this world.
- Not everyone wants more "things" that they need to find a permanent home for. That's why I love flowers. To be fair, I mostly love buying flowers for myself, because then I get exactly what I want. So treat yourself, treat someone you love, but be sure to call the masters at Flower No. 5 when you do so.
- Do you also have a devious inner child like me? One of my favorite Snoopys comes from Deviant Dollz, a shop run by my friend Linda. My Snoopy is wearing overalls, has razor sharp teeth and is covered in blood. Right now, she's doing some incredible work with Day of the Dead animals.
- I buy buttons all the time, which means I frequented Kick Bright Shop & Buttons booth at every single art/craft/cool stuff fair I went to in Orlando. They create a wonderful collection of pop culture, music and other clever sayings. They do custom buttons, too!
- Are you a winner? Yeah, you are. You know who else is? My friend David Jolly. And he sells shirts that proclaim that proudly - and I think you should too!
- You may not know this, but my kid wore cat ears to school every day until they told her to stop. So when one of our old Oblivion servers started her company Alienphant, you know I fell in love.
- Y'all. I know so many people that make soap and they are all incredible. If you need to get clean, try one of these:
- Hunter at Clean & Sober Soap Co makes fantastic soap that smells great and lets you live in your favorite TV and Movies for a little bit. For a whole two weeks, I smelled like Villanelle!
- Florida Soap Company not only makes a wide array of soaps, but Misty also makes some pretty fantabulous bath bombs.
- Rounding out my trio of soapmakers is the team over at Groove Soaps, with some of the prettiest swirls I've ever seen.
So there is a list of things you can buy from people I love.
Here's the thing though - they are open for shopping ALL YEAR ROUND. Not just at the holidays. So keep them in mind 365 for all your gift-giving needs.