I don't know about you but today is the first day this week that I felt like I could breathe a little easier. News from Georgia (KICK ASS, STACEY ABRAMS!), Nevada, and Pennsylvania overnight has things looking better, more brighter, more...blue.
Then we realized that we don't have to do much more when there are SO MANY of you out there already doing amazing work. So we rounded up a few of our favorite makers devoted to making the world a better place and bettering their community and are declaring today Blue Friday!
Blue Friday is just like Black Friday, except instead of spending our money on killer deals for things we only sort of need, we're going to spend our money supporting makers making a difference.
Drop your favorite local maker in the comments or on any of our social feeds and we'll signal boost them through the weekend!
(Image courtesy of Melissa Grant Zehner)
Melissa Grant Zehner
Melissa is a woman's college grad, mom of two, champion of progressive causes, and calligrapher extraordinaire. She hung up her pen a few years ago to focus on family but was inspired by Kamala Harris's perfect debate moment to pick it up again.
She penned the perfect t-shirt for all those fed up with being spoken over and interrupted. She's selling them again for a limited time with proceeds going to the ACLU.
(Image courtesy of Flying Giraffe Studio)
Michelle Schiro is the creative genius behind Flying Giraffe Studio. When she lost her job due to COVID-19 layoffs at her company, she decided it was finally time to take the leap into freelance and design for herself. Since then, she has delighted the internet with narwhals, rainbows, hedgehogs, hot dog dogs, and, of course, giraffes.
She too was inspired by the loss of our great RBG and created a set of stickers to commemorate her viral nickname and her greatest quote of all time.
(Image courtesy of The Oakley Soap Co.)
According to Laura, founder and genius behind Cincinnati-based Oakley Soap Co., "The Oakley Soap Co products are designed to be a guilt-free treat for those who rarely take time for themselves. All my products are 100% vegan. No beeswax, no honey, no ground bugs to make the coloring (yes, that's a thing). I make each and every product by hand in small batches to ensure quality. The oils and butter used are sustainably sourced because I don't want my kids to inherit an environmental sh*t-show. I do not use palm oil because I don't want to contribute to the deforestation of orangutan habitats. Finally, 98% percent (I'm trying to make it 100% but patriarchy makes it hard) of my supplies are purchased from women-owned businesses because I believe if women entrepreneurs stick together we can make the world a better place."
As a bonus, the soaps are dope as shit. Especially Born this Way, a wonderfully-lemongrass scented rainbow bar that benefits Transform Cincinnati, an organization that provides free clothes and styling to trans and non-binary kids.
(Image courtesy of Best Life Beauti)
The skincare genius behind Black-owned Best Life Beauti is Richmond-based maker Tamra. She is dedicated to creating vegan skincare products with your sensitive skin in mind. Their products are free from dyes, fragrance oils, and are completely non-toxic. She not only creates skincare products, but also products for a solidly relaxing bath and beard maintenance.
This continent's original makers are still creating amazing and breathtaking products. And that's where Beyond Buckskin comes in. I'll let them take it from here.
"Beyond Buckskin launched in 2009 by Jessica R. Metcalfe (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) as a website dedicated to showcasing and promoting our continent's first artists and original designers. In 2012, the original blog website expanded to include an online boutique as well. The origin story of this boutique is rooted in positive activism and a desire to share our cultures with the world through fashion design."
They currently work with 40 Native American makers who are dedicated to using traditional methods, designs, materials, and stories in their art.
(Image courtesy of Mister Domestic)
One of the great things about supporting makers is finding those who are dedicated to teaching and inspiring, as well as creating amazing things to sell. One non-traditional place where these kinds of makers are popping up is the world of quilting. Mister Domestic is one of the growing movement of social justice quilters.
Mister Domestic is Mathew Boudreaux is a Washington-based creator who started sewing again to connect with his daughter. He is known for his wide and deep knowledge and skills, posting about everything from crochet to English Paper Piecing to traditional sewing and quilting to fabric design.
You can buy his quilting and weaving patterns and sewing notions on his website. Check out his Instagram and Facebook pages for occasional auctions and sales that support a variety of causes.
Nov. 7 Update
Well it's official! We have a new president and a FEMALE FUCKING VP!!! Now let's celebrate with another round of small businesses doing good thanks to your suggestions!
(Logo courtesy of Fetch & Co)
This one is near and dear to my heart because it's a local-to-me business I did not know about! (Full disclosure: My name is Carrie and I am not Lianne. I live in Cleveland, OH and help out occasionally when she magnanimously decides to let me have access to this fucking awesome community.) Fetch & Co is a size-inclusive boutique located in Lakewood, OH, just outside of Cleveland.
Stocked with seasonal, trendy, hand-picked items, Fetch & Co is a boutique for everyone. All of their fashions are available in sizes S-2X and are all things I want...no NEED for my wardrobe. This woman-owned business is also engaged with their community and currently participating in a fashion show-themed holiday shopping event with 10% of sales going to women and children's programs at a local mental health community center.
(Photo courtesy of The Broken Plate)
If you're like me, you've inherited a few (or a bunch) of pieces of china from your parents and grandparents. If you're like me, you have no fucking idea what to do with them. Jules at The Broken Plate does. She creates amazing pieces of wearable art with the china plates, bowls, cups, and assorted dishes you don't know what to do with.
(Logo courtesy of Fablebands)
Comfortable, literary-themed headbands hand made by a bridge engineer in Miami? YES PLEASE! Mylene is a woman inspired by myths, legends, and all the stories that our lives are made of. She was inspired to start Fablebands in 2019 to bring those stories back into her life. You can commission custom headbands or choose from one of the many fandom-inspired designs in her shop. She even makes scrunchies!!
(Logo courtesy Blissfully Bookish)
Blissfully Bookish is a shop where all your literary dreams come true. This woman-owned shop creates t-shirts, sweatshirts, and enamel pins galore inspired by your favorite fantasy series. Owner Kathryn loves having a creative outlet to share her love of books with the world. When you're done shopping, keep an eye on her pages for great book recommendations and new product drops. If you're looking for new holiday gear, 50% of the profits from her holiday collection will be donated to the Pajama Program, a non-profit that donates new PJs and storybooks for children facing adversity as well as resources for caregivers.
Nov. 17 Update
(Image courtesy of The Allspicery Facebook page)
This Sacramento-based spice shop was founded by Heather Wong in 2015 when she was frustrated by the lack of ethnic spices available to pursue her love of baking. Since then, this amazing store has grown and expanded it's offerings to include everything from green cardamon pods to cinnamon sticks to makrut lime leaf powder. Heather makes a point to partner with small businesses throughout Sacramento and regularly donates proceeds to benefit local nonprofits.
(Full Circle Gifts & Goods logo courtsey of Full Circle Gifts & Goods Facebook)
West Virginia-based Full Circle Gifts and Goods began when Noelle Horsefield wanted a way to invite the Huntington, WV community into her ceramics workshop. Since then, she and her partner Scott have expanded Full Circle to include a specially-curated selection of gifts and goods that fill their 900-sqft shop.
As for their commitment to their community, they say it better than I ever could:
"From our political views (decidedly and firmly anti-Trump) to our support of LGBTQ+ rights, we at Full Circle have never shied away from expressing our opinions and taking a stand on important social and ideological issues. We pride ourselves on cultivating a real connection with our customers and we believe that as a business so closely intertwined with the community, it is imperative for us to fully support organizations and causes that share our values and the values of our customers."