The 2020 Small-Business Friendly Gift Guide (for Procrastinators)

Photo by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash

This one is for all the procrastinators out there. If you’re anything like me, you always wait until the last minute to find gifts. But you still want the gifts to come on time, be affordable, and support small businesses and creators.

My mom always says you can’t have everything, and I’ve always believed her. I usually 2-day-free-delivery my way through Secret Santa. But this year, I went searching through the 11th page of Google to find some gems that were bank account, small business, and time friendly. Grab your credit card and let’s go shopping!

A quick note about books: All the books below link to Bookshop.org, a website that supports local, independent bookstores. These are affiliate links. However, it’s not likely that your Bookshop order will come by December 25th. Instead, use Bookshop as a platform to find local bookstores. You can call your local shops directly and ask about the availability of the book you want. Many of my local shops are doing curbside delivery!

For the Caffeine Addict

  • A personalized coffee subscription box from Trade Coffee. Boxes start at $10. Trade Coffee also offers other fun coffee-themed gifts, like Cold Brew Bags ($7.50), a French Press ($36), and coffee bundles ($40).
  • Merchandise from the recipient’s favorite coffee shop. Many small shops have hoodies, tumblers, and hats. If yours doesn’t offer merch, try a gift card instead.
  • Thanks a Thousand. A fun book that starts as a journey of thanking everyone involved in the process of making your morning cup of coffee, from the farmers to the chemists to the artists to the truckers. It contains a larger message of gratitude and hope. A great read for anyone who hates when you tell them “coffee isn’t that deep.”
  • A framed coffee print. Buy an instant digital download from Etsy and then have it printed at your local print shop. Put it all together with a frame from a local craft store. Check out this informative print, this aesthetic print, and this funny one.

For the Creators, Builders, and Entrepreneurs

  • Show Your Work. A book by Austin Kleon about how to share your work online. Filled with helpful tips, fun graphics, and black-out poems, it’s a great choice for the creative in your life who needs an extra push of encouragement. Kleon is both an artist and an author, giving him a unique perspective into the life of a creative.
  • Access to an Online Learning Community. There are tons of creators building online communities right now. My favorite, Ness Labs, is an awesome platform for people to share ideas, ask questions, and meet up with each other. The founder, Anne-Laure Le Cunff, explores mindfulness and productivity in her content. Membership starts at $5 a month or $50 for a year.
  • Think Outside the Odds. A book that tells the diverse stories of underdog entrepreneurs whose disadvantages fueled their innovation. It’s currently available for preorder with an invitation to join an online community and get a behind-the-scenes peek into the making of a book. Great for anyone who is curious about the book-writing and/or innovation process (full disclaimer: this is my own book).
  • A grown-up coloring book. This is a great gift for that one friend who loves art but is horrible (you’d never tell them) at drawing. I love this Harry Potter one.

For the Wanna-Be Plant Parent

How we used plants in bottles for our decor at home.
  • Plants in bottles. Head to your local dollar store (or your recycling bin) for some small glass bottles. Fill them with water and plants. We used sample drink bottles from airplanes and indoor air plants that don’t need soil to survive. These are low-maintenance (water them once every few weeks), aka perfect for your friend whose plants are always dying, and make adorable room decor.
  • Paint a pot. If you’re feeling artsy, pick up a clay pot from your local craft store and paint it. Something as simple as color blocking can make the receiver feel special.
  • A framed plant print. Buy an instant digital download from Etsy and then have it printed at your local print shop. Put it all together with a frame from a local craft store. Check out this minimalist print and this text one.

For the Everyone Else

  • A personalized video of their favorite celebrity wishing them happy holidays. This is made possible through online platform Cameo. Many of the personalities offer 1-day delivery, including Perez Hilton and Howie Day.
  • A gift card for a local place. Do they have a favorite museum? Which shops remind you of them? Where do you guys spend the day out together? Are there any places nearby that offer experiences centered around their hobbies (ie. a wine and paint night)?
  • Tiny Trinkets Box. Head to your local dollar store or Five Below and pick up any small items that remind you of them. Arrange them nicely inside a box. Some things to look for include stickers, bookmarks, mugs, accessories, and home decor.
  • Online Classes. Get them a gift card or subscription to an online class platform. This is great for someone who loves picking up niche skills. ClassPass offers dozens of fitness classes. MasterClass has awesome classes taught by celebrities and experts in everything from writing to cooking to negotiation. MasterClass is an especially cool choice if you can find their favorite idol/celebrity/personality teaching a class on the platform.
  • A gift card to a subscription box service. There’s one for everyone! Some cool ones include CauseBox (a box of socially conscious products) and The Beautiful Book Company (a box of books personalized to the recipient).

Keep Up with Me

If you found this article helpful, you can find me on Twitter, Instagram,
LinkedIn, and at my weekly newsletter, Caffeine for Your Inbox.

Student, author, and wanna-be plant mom. Studying Business & Data Science at UC Berkeley. Thinking about how we can live more intentional, innovative lives.

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