Black Friday and Cyber Monday are pretty much here.
Are you worried about how this year’s holiday shopping spree may add fuel to the dumpsterfire of America’s late-stage capitalist nightmare? You’re not alone.
Maybe you should try: Supporting Small Artists™
“But isn’t finding and purchasing from small artists difficult/expensive?” you say. Don’t fret! I’ve come up with a handy holiday gift guide supporting ten small artists and artisans I know personally, most local-to or from Texas with a wide range of pricing options.
Even better, you can shop all these great vendors from the comfort of your own home. It’s just like Amazon, except we aren’t going to sell out humanity to the AI overlords… and you have to wait a few more days for shipping. Tee-hee.
Sam’s 2018 Small Artists & Artisans Gift Guide
For that self-care friend:
She smells like lavender and radiates self-assuredness. Her house plants are thriving and she never misses a therapy appointment. She seems to somehow take on the world from the comfort of her bathtub. But she’s still vulnerable about her weaknesses, making you love her even more. Here’s a few shops I’d recommend to find the perfect gift for your self-care friend.
Monthly Magickal Record by School of Life Design
Got a goal-getter in your life? Here’s a little organizational magick for the upcoming year. School of Life Design, the brainchild of Jessica Mullen and Kelly Cree, creates zines and manifestation manuals. Their latest project the Monthly Magickal Record, inspired me to write this post.
This 158-page monthly planner has loads of exercises to help one explore their inner selves, pave the way to manifesting greatness, and empower themselves for the entire year. The perfect planner for anyone who is big on emotional and psychological self-care. And it’s only $20 right now on pre-order!
Ritual Cleansing Goods from Black Star Henna & Apothecary
Incense. Face masks. Bath bombs. Candles. Everything someone needs to have the fanciest bath time. Real talk. I’ve bought myself a little care package from Black Star Henna & Apothecary for the past couple of years on my birthday. It is always worth it. Refreshing, relaxing, and smelling like some otherworldly, majestic being.
Additionally, Ashtyn Nyx, artisan behind this shop, has an incredible energy that he weaves into everything he does. Now even more so, since he started doing reiki. Whether it’s tarot readings, intuitive henna (Dallas-area), crystal jewelry or meditation foci, he can help reveal and empower the goddess in anyone.
For the “not like other girls” friend:
She’s not like other girls. She’s from outer space. Her unique style sense and gravitation towards all things colorful and psychedelic let you know she’s blazed a new trail once or twice, cannabinoidically-speaking. Her bizarre tastes make her a little difficult to shop for, but you know when you see something she’ll love. Here’s some fun suggestions for this out-of-this-world friend.
Not Today Satan from ThirdEyeMonsters
Know someone who has just about had it with humanity? Get this amazing Not Today Satan design printed on a mug, phone case, or t-shirt for that special someone from the ThirdEyeMonsters Threadless store. There are plenty of other colorful designs on her shop, including a toadstool ballerina, model-inspired psychedelic mashups, and references to those little stamps hippies eat.
ThirdEyeMonsters is run by my sister, Jesseca Soper, who is also a talented artist and designer. It runs in the family! Additionally, she makes some really cute polymer clay figurines and pendants. I have a little third eye alien pendant I got from her that I love and wear often!
ToddMart by Me&Todd Co.
Know someone who loves occult symbology and psychedelic art? Well, strap the eff in and let me tell you the mono-myth of the ME. The ME is a symbol developed by Todd Mein of Me&Todd Co. which just looks like a face at a glance. It’s also a representation of the self. The mustache, or mouth, represents five mountain peaks, symbolic of the peak ages of one’s life, while the eyes represent the rising sun and setting moon, symbolic of birth and death. The encompassing circle tying together the cosmogonic cycle that everyone walks through. Pretty deep, huh?
The ME is painted almost graffiti style on various found art pieces, onto hats, and into various situations and identities to further the idea that ME can be everyone and everything. Aside from his various MEs, Todd also has several pop-art canvas pieces with his distinct comic stylings; think Sigourney Weaver with her cat or a psychedelic Aquarius portrait of shirtless Tom Selleck and Burt Reynolds.
For the fashionable friend:
Her color blocking game is always on point. She is a master at thrift store finds. She’s somehow classic and timeless, while also being modern and trendy at the exact same time. She knows her hat is a little extra, but she also knows you have to be a little extra to be iconic. Here’s a couple of my fashionable friends who opened their own vintage resale shops, where you can find something for yours.
Eleganza Extravaganza from Austin Vintage Vibes
Shopping for someone who lives for the elegance of fine draped fashions from the 50s through 70s? Austin Vintage Vibes is a small vintage shop with an amazing selection of dramatic dresses, gowns, nighties, and accessories. Shop curator Bibi Fedell combines her background of working in boutique costume and retail shops with her love of old Hollywood to bring great finds to her shop.
She’s on a short break for her birthday and Thanksgiving, but her Etsy will be back up soon after. I also got the inside scoop that she is perusing some of the thrift stores we went to back in high school for even more amazing finds over her break. Favorite her shop and give her a follow so you can know when she comes back from her break!
Bold & Beautiful Realness from Blue Suede Vintage
Maybe you have someone who flaunts the bold colors and patterns from the 80s and 90s? Casey Shumake from Blue Suede Vintage has you covered with more modern vintage options. She is an absolute shark at finding colorful and fun patterned statement pieces that are sure to please even your most fashion-conscious friend.
Additionally, she has some killer home decor finds. There’s a BOGO sale going on right now through November 26th in her store. And if you’re in the Memphis-area, she’s having a holiday pop-up shop on December 7th.
For the home makeover friend:
She’s lived in the same place for three years but the interior is ever-changing. Her hobbies include constantly rearranging her furniture and repainting her house. Oh look, she just taught herself how to reupholster a chair as a fun weekend project. You never know what she’ll be working on next, but here are a couple of vendors that might have just what she’s looking for.
Home Decor by Calloway Studios
Have someone on your list who is constantly redecorating? Gift them some pops of their signature color. Robert Calloway, owner of Calloway Studios, creates beautiful ink-suspension resin-cast home decor, including trays, coasters, and abstract artwork. Each item is completely one-of-a-kind.
For the price conscious gift giver, he also has loads of fun keychain designs and bold jewelry. Black Friday through Cyber Monday he’s offering 15% off everything on his website with promo code GIVETHANKS.
Independent Contracting by Draper Construction Company
Maybe someone you love has been dreaming about a big home renovation project: A new deck? A refresh of the kitchen backsplash? A custom-built storage bed for the kids? Amber Draper, sole proprietor of Draper Construction, is an Austin-based construction contractor, who is nothing short of an artist when it comes to carpentry.
No job and no space is too big or small for Amber. She works with precision and can cater to your budget. E-mail her today to get a custom quote to help get the Jr. Bobby Berks in your life get started on their next big home makeover project.
For your nerd friends OR your mom friends:
She’s either raising a kid or still acting like one. Whether she’s reading science fiction and playing Dungeons & Dragons or trying to teach a kid to read and changing diapers & more diapers, you can find a custom gift she’ll love here. Maybe she’s a human mom, maybe she’s a dog mom, maybe she’s a cat mom. It doesn’t matter. These ladies love educational materials and custom portrait work.
Custom Portrait Commissions by… Wait, this is a self-promotion, isn’t it?
Yes, it is. Hello. Surprise, b*tch, it’s me.
Imagine the look on your loved one’s face when they open up a beautiful hand-drawn portrait of their child as their favorite superhero or themselves as a magical mermaid warrior or their cat as a space queen. Think of the possibilities… I can also reproduce a photograph, if that’s what you want, but fantasy portraits are way more fun. My multi-step process results in the perfect final artwork every time.
I have limited commission slots available for the holiday season. My rates page says closed right now, but it’s about to be open soon. Commissions will be serviced on a first-come first-served basis and you can email me to reserve your spot in advance.
I can even make up a gift certificate, if you’d prefer to leave their options open!
Art Prints by BAMFaktory (I’ll have another!)
But really, Brad and I have a lot of nice, cheap prints available on the BAMFaktory Etsy shop. The majority of our prints sell to Montessori schools, professors, and doctors because they are educational in nature and true-to-form. The focus on natural sciences, geometry, meditative mudras, and modern music history makes them great decorations for rooms of children and nerdy adults.
We also have a full line of fantastical airbrushed zodiac prints, loaded with esoteric symbology, that are perfect for the astrology lovers in your life.
Onward to a more connected, personal holiday shopping experience!
Thank you so much for reading my suggestions. I mostly wanted to lift up the other creators I know making a name for themselves independently. And you know… do a little shameless holiday self-promotion.
So go ahead…
Bask yourself in the post-shopping glow of knowing you helped one individual person make ends meet and get gifts for their own during the holidays.
Rest assured, you’ll find super unique gifts that your loved ones will love and see the personal touches throughout your order buying from any of these wonderful people.
Be happy knowing you’re supporting female-owned, feminist-owned, queer-owned, and black-owned (or any combo of the four) independent small businesses.
Feel the interconnections of the human experience providing happiness to not just your gift recipient, but the vendor, as well, which is something you cannot get shopping on Amazon or at a big box store.
Try it out. You might really like it. Shower yourself with gratitude from both ends of the gift giving cycle by supporting small artists and artisans this holiday season.
I’d love to hear about your favorite small artists and artisans. Leave a comment below with the friends you turn to to get the coolest, creative gifts!