[Photo via Ladyfingers Letterpress]
The holiday season is here and you’ve probably been scouring the internet for rad Christmas presents for your sister, a cool Hanukkah gift for your best friend, or a great gift to your partner to let them know how awesome they are. The perfect present can say a lot, things your words might not be able to.
It can be hard to shop for the holidays when you want to be a conscious consumer who buys ethical goods that don’t exploit workers, and leaves the smallest effect on the environment. The good news is that more and more LGBTQ owned and operated shops, small business owners, and artisans are focusing on where they source their goods and the impact they could have on both people and the environment.
Here are eight stores owned by LGBTQ people that can make gift purchasing just a little bit easier for you.
Looking for the perfect piece of clothing for your favorite person? Check out HAUTEBUTCH. KMichelle created HAUTEBUTCH for butch women, androgynous people, and trans men, crafting menswear with these bodies in mind. Wanting to “build a great company” because of the struggles gender nonconforming people face, KMichelle wants to “change minds and hearts” through fashion. While a lot of menswear comes in boring patterns and styles, the items at HAUTEBUTCH are fun and attention grabbing without being distracting. Some of my favorites are these rainbow suspenders, this spectacle tie clip, and the blue bubble gum bow tie and pocket square set.
Brandi Taylor’s line of soy-wax candles are lovely to look at and are created with essential oils, herbs, flower essences. Each candle is “lovingly crafted, spelled, and charged with clear intention” and, at the bottom of each candle, you’ll find a gemstone imbued with energy. Brandi refuses to “profit off the harm of others,” and even recently stopped supplying candles to a store owned by an abuser. Love would be a great gift for anyone you care about and Celebration is a great choice for the holiday season.
This shop, owned by wives Morgan Calderini and Arley-Rose Torsone out of Colorado Springs, is everything you could want in stationary. There are cute notebooks, cards, and folders, and they even offer workshops on lettering and calligraphy! They’ve also helpfully organized all their holiday stuff on one page. I absolutely love their palmistry card and the pink tote bag that says “this bag holds my gay agenda.”
From pins that identify your pronouns, to gorgeous botany cards, to floral facial scrub, Otherwild carries a little bit of everything. They have locations in both Los Angeles and New York, and host events like craft fairs, various workshops, comedy nights, and more. Otherwild supports “ethical practices, advocacy and activism” and are always evolving their business practice to make it less exploitative. With so many cute items listed in their shop, you’ll definitely be able to find something your giftee will love!
Owned by Pittsburgh artist Cat Conley, Cat Call Designs is filled with cute accessories. Cat specializes in wood creations and transforms them into adorable sets of earrings, pins, and rings. My favorite are the set of Golden Girls rings and this pair of glittery unicorn earrings.
Aubrey, the owner of Luna Sagre, creates each item by hand in their home studio. They live in southern California and draw inspiration from their “cultures, ancestors, and the neighborhoods [they] grew up in.” The care and quality put into the creation of each item is evident throughout the shop. A few items that really stand out are this hand-painted moth pin, these “La Jardinera” hand-painted shoes, and this pair of pomegranate statement earrings.
Australian owners Sharni and Nikki craft “food for the skin” in their non-edible bakery, making a variety of different bath and body products. All products are vegan with ethically sourced ingredients, aren’t tested on animals, and even have recyclable packaging. I can’t wait to try the banana bread face cleanser and the blueberry donut bath bomb. They even have a subscription box that would make a great gift for anyone.
Sade Petlele and Kit run Queer Supply out of Toronto. Their shop began as a way to have “conversations about identity” that reject “oppressive social structures,” focusing on community and self-love. Offering an array of t-shirts, sweatshirts, pins, and magnets, Queer Supply commits to making everything they sell a “positive statement about our lives, relationships, identities, [and] the right to love ourselves.” The magic black femme t-shirt and bae pin would be excellent gifts for your girlfriend or significant other.
Kelley O’Brien is a chronically ill and disabled lesbian freelance writer living in Ohio with her partner. She is a contributing writer for HelloFlo, and has also written for Self, Bustle, INTO, and more. You can find her on Twitter @killjoy_kelley and her website kelleyobrien.com