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Small Business Christmas Vol. 1

My focus this Christmas is on small businesses as I hope to bless a group as much as I have been blessed this year. As a small business myself, I have worked with many small businesses over the year and have developed relationships that have been vital to me.  I pride myself on being picky with my selections and brands and am thrilled to share I get to work with the best of the best.  Whenever a brand reaches out, I deep dive into their business, products, and people before I partner.  With all but a tiny few, I have continued to work with the same ones year after year. 

As you know, this year has been huge for me.  Finishing the year with a 10-page spread in Better Homes & Gardens is a dream come true.  My assistant Anna Grace and I used to talk about the vision gets, and this was one of them.  BHG is a fantastic magazine celebrating 100 years ... 100 ... of publication.  It doesn't get any better than that.  I am proud that they have changed and adapted over the years to continue being relevant and popular with their readers and subscribers.  I am pleased to be both and have such a unique project on their pages. 

So, with all of that being said, let's dive into some great small businesses.  I am dividing this blog post into three parts to dive into.  I will share the companies, their products, and what I would gift and buy from each.  These companies all have two things in common.  They are women-owned and do what they do really well. I am proud I get to work with each of them. 

Dress For Cocktails

I met Leslie Dasch in 2017 and loved her from the first hug.  Leslie's business centers around dressing for cocktails, hence the name Dress For Cocktails.  She has many products I love, but her signature clutch, the original cocktail clutch, is genuinely the best, in my opinion. It is the only bag you need for days or evenings out on the town. This darling bag is small, but it is mighty.  You can use the bag with or without its gold chain and change the bows and adornments to suit your mood and outfit.  The bag alone holds so much.  I can fit my phone, glasses, lipstick, small wallet, and keys all inside without trouble. The clutch comes in various colors, and the adornment options are endless, with a small but mighty magnet on the front. I have a number of her bags, and I use them all the time. One of my favorite aspects is her fabric selections for the bags.  Fabrics are limited in quantity and will not be restocked to ensure you are the ONLY gal in town with the most fabulous accessories!

Leslie exudes grace and love; I feel her presence whenever I use one of her bags.  She is a true lady in all senses, and every product she creates strives to make dressing and accessorizing a no-brainer. I have taken many road trips where I took a few of her clutches and a variety of bows to change up from day to night.  I can store the adornments inside the bags for travel and then choose right before leaving.  I love a great pattern on pattern, and I find her products so much fun to wear. I am telling you, once you get one, it is hard to stop there. 

If you are new to the Dress for Cocktails collection, the best way to begin is with the Starter Collection.  This set runs $148 and includes the Original Cocktail Clutch in Pink, one Buffie Bow in Petunia Pink, one Buffie Bow in White, and one Buffie Bow in Black. The Starter Collection is the perfect choice to begin your own collection of handbags and bows to go with almost any ensemble. From here, you can add to your repertoire of interchangeable bows and flowers, along with beautiful bags and hats. Once you have your first Cocktail Clutch, you'll see how this singular gorgeous bag will be your go-to clutch for cocktails and dinner. With its ability to match an array of outfits by simply changing the bow, The Cocktail Clutch adds a feminine flair to any look.

All of the bags in the Dress for Cocktails Collection feature interchangeable adornments. Exclusively available during the holidays are the Tartan bow collection ($36) which adds a festive flair to all our bags, our best-selling Feathered Plumes ($48), our newest Golden Jewel Adornments ($48), and, of course, the traditional Buffie Bow ($36).

Leslie has given me a code to share with you ... use CHEERS! to save 20% on the entire order until December 31st. Dress for Cocktails offers free shipping on all purchases over $125! Also, sign up for her newsletter to get advance notice of sales, new products, and VIP savings.  

This is a perfect holiday party gift idea for yourself.  I use mine all the time and always get comments on them. Gifting a new holiday bow is fun for a friend or family member who already owns a clutch.  How fun are the new sequin bows? And either the starter collection or a holiday bag + adornment is perfect for anyone on your list that loves a fantastic clutch.  These are genuinely amazing bags, and I can not recommend them enough. 

Chronically Chic

Kallista is a precious woman who found a need in the market and created a line of products that will immediately improve your day. She suffers from a chronic illness and found medication storage and organization needed some TLC.  Her pill organization products for your home and travel blend perfectly with your stunning décor and travel pieces.  Her boxes are beautiful, and mine sits on my bedside table on a stack of books. I loved them from the moment she emailed me introducing herself.  Why should vitamins and medicine be stuck in their bottles, taking up so much space in our lives?  Her boxes are beautiful, functional, necessary for so many, and a perfect fit for the company name, Chronically Chic.  I have loved mine since it arrived, and I excitedly organized my medication and daily vitamins. Being type A as my daily box and travel container fits perfectly into my lifestyle.  What appears to others as a stunning blue and white container is one of my day's most valuable things.  I have recommended these to many and have bought a set as a gift for someone special.  I can't wait to give it this year. 

Her suggestion for getting started includes this beautiful Rose Medallion Pill Organizer Box and the camel Jetsetter with your choice of monogram. The Rose Medallion pattern is inspired by classic rose medallion china, hand painted by Chelsea Hill, then digitized so that everyone can have this beautiful design on their bedside table. Each box is compact yet can still hold up to 228 pills per day. Each day box contains four compartments: morning, noon, evening, and night and it is printed in English, French, and Spanish. 

I would purchase this for your girlfriends, mothers, grandmothers, and anyone who takes medication and vitamins daily. Heck, why stop at just women?  The wicker, wood, malachite, and tortoise (my favorite) are perfect for any man.  I know my husband needs one asap to combat the basket he leaves on his counter for daily medication.  Why did I not think of this earlier?  When you place your order, the code PINKCLUTCH gives you 20% off.

Mae Wearable Art

Handcrafted in North Georgia, MAE Wearable Art is a modern-day costume jewelry concept created to inspire. Margaret is the most adorable human.  I do not think I have ever seen her without a smile. Her designs are fun, unique, and so easy to wear.  I own a few of her pieces and need to add them to my collection for the holiday and the coming year.  Her Darden Hoops and Huggies are my go-to for myself and for happy little gifts for others. They are lightweight, easy, and y to pair with all my outfits, and the balls make the hoops even more fun. 
The Darden Hoops and Darden Huggies are at a fantastic price point at $36 for the large hoops and $29 for the Huggies. With 35 color options, there is literally something for every single person.  They are incredibly lightweight, and I often forget I wear them until someone asks me about my darling earrings.  These are perfect for stocking stuffers, friends' gifts, teacher gifts, gift swaps, and anyone on your list that loves a great earring. 

The Oyster Bangles + Solid Stud Bangles come in four sizes, from minor to extra large. To find your perfect size, use this tutorial.  I made the mistake of ordering the wrong size for me once and gifted my bangle to a truly overjoyed friend. At $27, these are ideal for giving as a single or creating a stack.  I would recommend stacking 3 to 5 for the ultimate arm party. 

The Morgan Bows ($43) are brand new this year for the holidays!  They are perfect for Christmas, NYE, brides, and every day if you are just feeling fancy.  They are handmade, as all of her pieces are, and each pearl is hand placed.  I think they are stunning!

The Anna Studs ($20) was my first product from Mae. This collection is a passion product of Margaret's as she lost a friend to cancer to kidney cancer.  She has created this product, and 100% of the proceeds are donated annually to the O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB in Birmingham to one day construct a building in Anna's memory. The studs are one size, and each color represents a type of cancer or illness. You can find the full details on these unique and exceptional studs here
The Starburst Hoops ($40) are a classic holiday hoop. They are perfect for Christmas and NYE, and they would be so much fun to add to your outfit for date night.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
Use code PaigeMinear for 15% off all collections, except the Anna Collection, sale items, and gift cards. This code is valid until 12/15, so shop early and often until then.

Holly Shae Design -

I speak of Holly's designs all the time. She creates the best clothes, and I wear them more often than I share. Her Arden shift dress is hands down my favorite item she sells, closely followed by the Gigi!  It is the most effortless dress to put on and can be worn daily to evening.  I love her new corduroy pieces for a holiday; the Caroline with those darling sleeves is just the best. 

Holly's newest designs for Resort are absolutely magical. The gorgeous shell pattern is one of the prettiest things she has created. The way was designed with Studio Betsy in Charleston, and I can easily spot the coastal influences.  I love that the pattern is available in several options, allowing you to choose from something casual, like the Ruth Tunic or the Arden, to the Blythe, which I think would be darling dressed up for an evening on the town.  As the winter months get to us all, I love the idea of already focusing on a resort and a trip somewhere warm and sunny. 

I can not recommend Holly's pieces enough.  I have a closet full of them, and I do not see that ending soon. Holly is not only talented but has a true heart of gold.  I enjoy working with her and knowing her, as everyone who knows her does.  Use code PAIGE20 for 20% off every single time you order. 

Palm Beach Sandals - 

This next brand is very close to my heart as a Florida girl. Palm Beach Sandals creates the most comfortable and classic sandals around.  You might recognize the sandal style made famous in the 1960s when Jackie O debuted a sandal made for her. This super popular sandal has been made by another brand, but Palm Beach Sandals are the only ones with 100% soft, supple, tanned leathers and kidskins for quality and comfort. "A perfection of proportion and scale that makes even less-than-pampered feet look flawlessly chic. Thick, expertly fashioned soles that mold to your feet, cradling them in comfort. If you seek iconic elegance and quality that is superb – astonishing, really – we are honored to create our Palm Beach Sandals for you."

The sandals have always been made in Palm Beach and remain family-owned.  Their sandals are made to order and arrive just a few weeks after the order is placed.  You can choose from the classic option, the fun tassel option, the super chic Wellington version, and, my favorite, the monogram version. I own several pairs and recently purchased a navy and white monogram pair to add to my ever-growing collection.  

PBS recently collaborated on two sandal collections; Susan Albright and Giddy Paperie.  Susan's collaboration is super fun and includes patterns she hand-paints and then transforms into fabric to create many items.  I own the Fuschia Gator and think it could not be more me.  The Giddy Paperie sandal is an adorable pink and green nutcracker pattern sure to make your feet super festive this holiday season.  

I could go on about why I have loved my PB sandals for so long, but I say two things repeatedly. The original is always the best, and these are comfortable from the first time you wear them with no break in time.  Does it get any better than that?

Please check out each of these businesses and stay tuned Monday for volume 2.

Happy Weekend!

ps. Every small business I support this year can be found on the sidebar with links to their products and a remainder of any coupons available.  As a small business myself, it means the world to me to support others. 💗

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