Small Business Saturday: Chicago Gift Guide

Small Business Saturday: Chicago Gift Guide

5 minute read

The end of November can feel like a whirlwind—turkey day prep, family time, food coma... But there’s a day very near and dear to our hearts that gives folks the opportunity to sloooow things down a little and support local makers. We’re talking Small Business Saturday!

Small Business Saturday began in 2010 as a way to bring shoppers back into their local communities during a weekend dominated by big box stores and Amazon. On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, small businesses all over the country open their doors, tell their stories and provide incredible, hand-crafted gifts! It’s the perfect time to re-center holiday shopping (or just because shopping!) around the artisans and small businesses that we value AND to get a chance to meet the business owners who make it all possible.

So why does shopping small really matter? Well, it…

  • supports local jobs
  • has a lower environmental impact
  • contributes to talented artisans and creators
  • helps build a sense of community
  • promotes ethical products and labor
  • connects you with owners, artists, shopkeepers, farmers, and more!

Here are some Chicago faves we’ll be buying from this year:

Soap Distillery

Wanna smell better than you’ve ever smelled before? Suds up, because Soap Distillery has you covered. Founder Danielle Martin is uber sustainability focused on every level from ingredients to packaging! She and her team make soaps, lotions, lip balms, bath salts, beard oil, and basically everything else you’d ever wanna slather all over your body. Oh, and did we mention that they have a whole line of cocktail-inspired scents? We can finally take our Negroni into the shower with us.


Nikki Darling Confections

Dulce de leche...homemade marshmallows...Malört candies… Wait, hold on, did that say “Malört candies”?! Yes, yes it did. Nikki Darling Confections is the brainchild of food science and confectionery arts expert Evan Coben, who devotes her time to crafting candies that conjure up feelings of nostalgia. Now that’s a mission that tugs at our heartstrings (and our taste buds)!


Edgewater Candles

There’s nothing like getting home on a chilly autumn night, pouring yourself a drink, and lighting a glowing, fragrant candle to set the mood. The only way things could get better is if your candle smelled like gin, or champagne, or even pumpkin bourbon...oh wait, that’s exactly what Edgewater Candles makes. Pro tip: buy one of their Pumpkin Pie candles and they’ll donate $6 to the Greater Chicago Food Depository!


Orange Beautiful

Do you like looking at beautifully designed things? Us too! Emily from Orange Beautiful is the queen of color, typography and (verrrrry) aesthetically pleasing artwork. If you're in the market for cards, prints or stickers this holiday season, look no further! Our favorite design? "Support Your Local Everything."


Soothsayer Hot Sauce

Some like it’s us, we like it hot, which is why we LOVE Soothsayer Hot Sauce. This team makes homemade, all natural, small batch hot sauce that’s meant to actually TASTE GOOD and not just light everyone’s tongue on fire. Even cooler—they collaborate with punk bands to create themed, limited run hot sauces! After all, what’s a spicy dinner without a good soundtrack? 


Facture Goods

If you’re hiding some chipped old serving dishes somewhere or panicking mid-wine and cheese happy hour when you realize you don’t have a cheese knife, Facture Goods is the destination for you! Aron Fischer works in hardwoods, clay, and metals to make all sorts of gorgeous kitchenware and home goods. He describes his style as “primitive modern”—we call it gorgeous.


Anna Montagne

Graphic. Nature-inspired. Handmade. These are a few of our favorite adjectives, and Anna Montagne does ‘em all! Her art features bees, bats, bunnies, and botanicals dancing across a whole array of prints, hats, banners, tote bags, stickers, and pins. All those options mean you can make everything you own very, very cool.


Lilla Barn

We’ve got a wild concept—clothing should be FUN! Don’t get us wrong, we love a simple black shirt as much as the next person, but Lilla Barn’s colorful prints are irresistible. Their clothing is “handmade for modern adventure,” which is a dreamy AND inspiring mission statement! Whether you’re dressing kids or just kids at heart, these slow fashion pieces will be beloved in your wardrobe.


We hope you’ll shop with some of your favorite small businesses this season—and hey, we’re a pretty great small biz too! We’re grateful for every order we get and every member of the A&I fam who appreciates a good cocktail just as much as we do. Y’all are the coolest.

BTW—if you shop in our digital store Small Business Saturday weekend (11/26/21–11/28/21), we’ll sweeten the purchase by throwing in a free Navel Gazer refill pack to your order!

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