Best Holiday Gifts: 4 Coolest Stores You’ve Never Heard Of

Holiday Gift Guide Revised

Although Small Business Saturday is November 28, there are many ways you can support small business throughout the holiday season. Started in 2010 by American Express to help get small business in on the holiday shopping conversation, the company promoted the idea that spending your money at local businesses not only improves the local economy, but supports your community as well. In a world where big business and chain stores dominate, it helps those with growing businesses, while also supporting creative, unique endeavors. In fact, Small Business Saturday garnered support over the years from politicians across the United States, including vocal support from President Barack Obama, pledging to support the day as Neighborhood Champions. Last year on Small Business Saturday, $14.3 billion was spent on what is now becoming a yearly shopping tradition. American Express continues to promote it, and if you have an account with them, they provide local business suggestions in your area.

Support your local businesses this year and shop small with some of our top picks for small business in New York, Austin, Detroit, and Chicago, which are also available online. Not only will you be getting creative products, but you’ll feel good (or even better) about shopping this holiday season.

1. The Bearded Bastard

beard oil

Source: The Bearded Bastard

The Bearded Bastard is a must for the bearded men of the world. The e-tailer is based out of Austin, Texas, and offers a new brand of mustache wax. The founder, Jeremiah Newton, who sports an impressive face full of hair himself, started the company to not only hop on the bearded craze, but to help soften the burliest of beards and tame the unruliest of mustaches. The product line includes the Woodsman mustache wax, Woodsman beard oil, and natural shave oil, and is in the process of developing many more new man-inspired oils and tonics.

2. City Bird

City Bird

Source: City Bird

City Bird, which is based in Detroit, Mich., but also has a shop on Etsy, is not your typical crafts store. Founded by two siblings who are proud to be “seventh-generation Detroiters,” the store combines their love for the arts, as well as their hometown of Detroit, creating a space that functions simultaneously as both a studio and gallery. City Bird sells everything from housewares to accessories to paper goods that celebrate Detroit and feature artwork by hundreds of American artists. Ideal for the art lover on your list or the person who is into little pieces for home decor.

3. MakeItFor.Us

MakeItFor.Us is an online marketplace based in Chicago where you can request anything to be made by people who know how. The coolest thing about the site is that you are the person in the creative driving seat. Think of it as a sort of eBay for everything that doesn’t yet exist. There’s a list of things on the site that MakeItFor.Us can make for you, and Requesters can request items the Makers promote. But what’s great is that the Requesters don’t have to limit themselves to items listed on the site either. If you see something on Facebook, Pintrest, or on other sites that strike your interest (that sound do-able) you can request that they be made by a Maker on MakeItFor.Us. Save the MakeItFor.Us gift for someone very, very special on your holiday shopping list.

4. My.Suit

Although this shop is located in New York City, it’s still worth a look. If you’re looking for a custom made suit, then this is the place to go. It allows you choose suits either in person or online, but it makes mostly made-to-measure suits for men in New York. Once you measure yourself or are measured by someone else, you can either choose to go to the store to build your new suit from hundreds of fabrics and cut options, or you can use the innovative online tool to tweak it to your specifications. My.Suit will even take more measurements than a typical tailor, making sure your suit is expertly tailored and ready to wear in two weeks.

If you’re in New York for the holiday season, then you’re definitely going to want to stop by for a custom fitting. What better gift could you give to yourself?