While behemoths like Amazon and Walmart have more than doubled their profits in 2020 (raking in an estimated $133 billion in combined revenue), small business owners have been fighting to keep the lights on. This winter, rather than throw your money into the hands of big businesses, we encourage you to check out our holiday gift guide and shop these women-owned companies instead. From handcrafted olive oils to woven bags that support global artisans, these gifts both impress and put money in the hands of female entrepreneurs.
Because it is the season for giving, this month Unearth Women is giving back to a very important non-profit. Since 1993, Women for Women International has helped 500,000 marginalized women in countries affected by war and conflict. Their non-profit offers support, tools, and access to life-changing skills to move women from crisis and poverty to stability and economic self-sufficiency.
For the month of December, we’ll be supporting Women for Women International by donating 20 percent of all new paid subscriptions to our newsletter. Become a subscriber or gift a subscription to someone special. Paid subscribers will receive an exclusive printed copy of our 4th issue, a printed feminist city guidebook to NYC, and weekly exclusive newsletters. Now on to the gift guide.
Gifts for foodies & cooks
Milk Bar – Founded by chef Christina Tosi, Milk Bar is a sweet and savory bakery that creates unique treats. Order from their holiday shop to surprise your loved ones with some Milk Bar goodies. I love their compost cookies and crack pie.
Brightland – This family-run, Californian farm cultivates custom-blended olive oils with zero preservatives. I bought their Chili Olive Oil a few months ago and put it on absolutely everything. From salads to pasta to soup, it makes all my food taste better.
Diaspora Co. – Diaspora Co. is a single-origin spice company dedicated to building a better spice trade and supporting Indian farmers. I’m especially loving their Pragati Turmeric, which you can add to just about everything, from eggs to roasted veggies.
Emmy Squared – Thanks to Goldbelly, you can support today’s restaurants by ordering meal kits. I love Emmy Squared, which is an NYC staple and female-founded pizzeria serving Detroit-style slices.
Emily G’s – Emily G’s is known for its natural jams and sauces, which are crafted from seasonal and locally harvested ingredients. The jams are perfect stocking stuffers that can be used as marinades or condiments, adding flavor to any dish.
Daily Harvest – Rachel Drori is the founder behind Daily Harvest, which has a mission to create easy-to-make healthy meals. Daily Harvest has bowls, smoothies, flatbreads, and hearty soups that can be frozen until you’re ready to enjoy them. Check out their gift boxes.
Jars by Dani – Created by Danielle Beckerman, Jars by Dani shares baked goods in a bitesize, easy way—in jars.
Alison Roman’s cookbooks – I’ve been cooking my way through Alison Roman’s Nothing Fancy and Dining In cookbooks since the start of the pandemic. I’m talking paprika crusted chicken, frizzled chickpeas with crumbled feta, and spicy stews with preserved lemon. Her recipes are simple, straightforward, and easy to follow.
Cheese & Things – I recently discovered this Black woman-owned business, which curates artisan cheese boxes. Inside the box you’ll find crostini, fig butter, cornichons, and fancy cheese—everything you need for a superb cheese board. If you live within NYC, you can place an order here.
Gifts for pet parents
Jonathan’s Journal – Jonathan’s Journal is my favorite dog Instagram account. Illustrated by a local dog mom in my neighborhood, her Etsy shop sells everything from cute Christmas cards to holiday sweaters to custom pet portraits.
Stellar Villa – Designed by an independent artist, Stellar Villa creates stunning line art and painted portraits. You have the option of a custom line art pet portrait or a custom portrait of you and your pooch. Or, to save on both money and time, opt for one of Laura’s original works.
Found my Animal – This is the only leash I use for my dog, Chico. After a scary incident where Chico’s leash unclipped itself from his harness, I found these locking leashes. Found’s leashes are hand-crafted and made to withstand hundreds of pounds of pull. Each end of the leash features a solid brass lockable carabiner, which ensures dogs can’t Houdini their way off-leash.
Beauty and self-care gifts
Around the World Beauty – Founded by Stephanie Flor, Around the World Beauty is a travel company offering beauty tours and experiences. Her curated beauty boxes feature hard-to-find ingredients ethically sourced from around the world.
The Qi – I absolutely love their blossoming rose tea, which is cultivated in Shangri-La at 10,000 feet above sea level. Order their daily ritual set, which is just about the prettiest before bed, self-care practice you can ask for. For more on this company, check out our interview with The Qi’s founder.
Arrow Beauty – There really is no excuse to not shop for clean, vegan, and cruelty-free products nowadays. I discovered Arrow Beauty through Birchbox and fell in love with their daily face lotion. It has a subtle sheen to illuminate your skin and hyaluronic acid and aloe to hydrate and soothe.
The Herbs & Bees – The Herbs & Bees is a cruelty-free, vegan company that handcrafts skin products that nourish, hydrate, and help defy the aging process.
Sunday Riley – Because this is my go-to skincare brand, it comes as no surprise it has made its way onto this holiday gift guide. Their products are cruelty-free, clean, and vegan with the promise of instant results. My two favorite products are their CEO Glow Vitamin C and Tumeric Face Oil and their Luna Sleeping Night Oil.
Briogeo – I recently discovered this BIPOC female-owned company and had to add it to this holiday gift guide. My scalp gets particularly dry and itchy in the winter months. I’ve tried everything from smelly tar-like shampoos to vitamins, but Briogeo’s charcoal and tree scalp oil is a game-changer, especially when paired with their scalp massager.
Little Shop of Oils – This apothecary shop sells handmade ritual candles and oils meant for setting intentions. From creative wishes to inspiring joy, this shop promises to add a little magic to the everyday. I am especially loving their winter solstice ritual candle and their enlighten-themed gift bundle.
Gifts for the home
The Sill – The Sill offers indoor potted plants delivered directly to your door. Shop their holiday collection or choose from one of their faux plants. After trying (and failing) to grow a cascading vine on my bookshelf this summer, I ended up ordering their faux pothos, which I absolutely love.
Xela Aroma – Offering candles and diffusers made from the best natural fragrances and essential oils, Xela Aroma is committed to sourcing locally.
Kelly + Jones – I first discovered Kelly + Jones when staying at a cabin in upstate New York. I had stumbled into a local store and discovered frosted glass candles with the perfect cozy autumn scent. Since then, I have been obsessed with their Wine Cabin Candle. Beyond candles, Kelly + Jones sells unique perfumes inspired by the art of wine tasting.
The Madison Collection – The Madison Collection sells ethically-made, eco-luxury bath linens, and textiles. They’ve reimagined the classic bathrobe with stylish, lighter, and more absorbent alternatives. Their robes are perfect for pampering someone special.
Gifts for travelers
Purposeful Nomad – This female-founded company curates small, immersive group tours to countries like India and Cuba. I had the pleasure of traveling with them to Guatemala last year and had the most incredible time meeting local Mayan weavers. Check out our interview with Purposeful Nomad’s founder to learn more about their trips.
Origin Travels – Another great female-founded tour company is Origin Travels. Specializing in adventures for women, their trips take you everywhere from Kenya to Costa Rica. Not sure which trip to surprise your loved one with? You can purchase gift certificates that can be used on any future booking.
Travel Bodega – Rani Cheema is a culinary travel consultant who recently launched an online travel bodega showcasing her favorite products. Every featured business is a woman or BIPOC-owned business that Rani has tried and tested. Ten percent of her monthly commissions from the shop go towards supporting organizations like the ACLU and Black Lives Matter.
Ms. Jetsetter – This Black woman-owned company creates unique organizing solutions for female travelers. From toiletry bags to jewelry organizers, you can find stylish and convenient gifts for women-on-the-go.
The Little Market – The Little Market is a fair-trade gift and decor shop that sells ethically-sourced, artisan-made products. The shop’s larger mission is to empower artisans around the world by extending their products’ distribution and supporting sustainable income opportunities.
Stellar Villa – Beyond custom pet portraits, this independent artist also creates hand-illustrated portraits inspired by travel photos. For the travelers in your life, this is the perfect way to turn their globetrotting memories into art.
Gifts for children
Lockwood – Lockwood is a woman-founded shop in Queens and Brooklyn that sells everything from clothing to candles. For children and babies, Lockwood has an adorable collection of toys and onesies to choose from. I’m especially loving these Superheroes are Everywhere book by Kamala Harris. Learn more about Lockwood and its founder by watching our #WomenOwned episode.
Little Adventures – Little Adventures makes comfortable dress-up clothes for everyday play. From princess gowns to dragon outfits, they even have adult-sized outfits so you can play right alongside your kids.