RnR’s Shop Local Gift Guide

This year, as 2020 has hit most of us very dramatically and especially businesses, we wanted to showcase some of the wonderful small businesses we personally support, but also in keeping in line with our goals for 2020 to make a smaller footprint when it came to where we spent our money. It just so happens that we know a lot of very talented hustlers. Please do check them out, not only this time of year, but also throughout the year because they really do work very hard on their craft(s)! Maybe you’ll be able to find some wonderful, unique items for your loved ones. Happy Shopping!

In keeping with one of our goals this year, to shop small and to also support more Black businesses, we decided we would tabulate a list of small businesses which we not only personally shop at but also fully support. Have a look and we are confident you will be able to find something you like, either for yourself or for those you love!

Sweetly Knotted Boutique

This brand sells such adorable headbands, hair clips and accessories for kids, it’s honestly the cutest thing! Earlier this year, I bought matching headbands for my niece and Neveah and was not only impressed by their service and the speed I received them but also the lovely note that came along with it. On top of that, it’s run by a team of 2 sisters, Black, living in Toronto- the similarities with us and our brand was for too awesome to not want to be a major fan! Their creations are really cute, but also, I loved the fact that their headbands aren’t tight and are especially soft for babies and toddler’s heads- they really have thought of it all.

Lagenuine Boutique

Unique, one of a kind fashion, Black female run, local and trendy!? I mean, can you really ask for more?! I actually came across this brand on Facebook and sometimes in the sea of ads you miss the small shops. I clicked and I was like 🤩, not only was the fashion just different enough it was speaking my name, the prices were reasonable and I could see myself wearing it to the office! Not only was the service remarkably quick, it was warm. I received a personalized thank you note! This is why shopping small is impactful- small touches you wouldn’t and don’t get in big box stores. Plus, her items are statement pieces and I am all here for it!

Bearded beaver

Have you ever had a friend who has so much talent in all that they do? I mean T-A-L-E-N-T~ that is Alison. She is not only a pastry chef, a jewelry maker ( see her line further down ), painter, teacher and recently became a certified yoga instructor on top of all that! When I heard she was launching her own brand of salves, beard oils and bath salts, I knew I needed to not only support her, but I also needed to buy some for Bae’s beard. It can be said that I may be biased in some ways; as she is a friend, but one thing I know for sure, I trust her choices in ingredients and in making her products as eco-conscious as possible. I can definitely attest that her products 100% work, I have cheated and used her hand salve on the dry patches on my face and have seen a major improvement on the dryness and itchiness.


This will come as no surprise, because we have bought jewelry from this brand for many members of our family, as well as ourselves! They are the epitome of beautiful, trendy jewellery, but also you can personalize everything! We’ve bought a necklace in the above shot for our mom’s birthday, with the initials of her grandchildren and as another is on their way, we can’t wait for him to make an appearance and then we’ll buy the charm to be added to her necklace, Their jewelry evoke such a wonder sentiment and especially this holiday season when it might be a bit tricky to be near our loved ones, gifts packed with sentiment are so much more meaningful.

Handmade mtl

Quirky, fun, whimsical and one of a kind, did we say fun?!! Handmade MTL is another business run by the extremely talented Alison. When I say they’re one of a kind, I mean it- these aren’t mass produced jewels you can find anywhere- they are select and they are made with care. Some of my favourite pieces, to this day are items I bought from Allison a few years back, I have supported her business and will continue to do so, because I believe in shopping small, but also because I genuinely love anything she touches. You will not be disappointed! Especially as she’s just a wonderful person.

thick as THIEVES Paper

If you’re looking for a place to get one of a kind, homemade cards, then look no further than Thick As Thieves Paper. They’re fun, fresh and different. Not only will you know that love and care goes into every work of art, but it’s also fun and simplistic in its beauty. I am lucky to know Charlotte personally, I used to be her babysitter many moons ago, but I am genuinely a full on supporter and in awe of her talent! She creates cards, digital wallpapers and even commissioned work, I have a beautiful painting of hydrangeas on my wall and I’m planning on adding peonies to my collection! Definitely reach out to her on her Instagram or check out her Etsy page where you can purchase these set of 5 Christmas cards, just in time for the holiday season!


I came across this brand on a Facebook group I’m in and was very excited to give Peggy and Hairlistica my full support! She not only recently launched her brand in August, but she has a genius idea of having silk lined beanies! If you know anything about Black hair, then you know how sensitive it can be during the winter months and the rubbing of hats during this time can be tough on our hair. She also sells various hair products, from hair oils to creams and sprays. As soon as my collection of hair products begin to diminish, I will be giving her brand a try, I just wanted to share so that others can see and support this brand. Give her a follow and an order while you’re at it!

Hailey James Design

I actually went to school with this wonderful mom of two, she was even one of our RnR Interviewees- she is ambitious, driven and hardworking. Her printing business puts a smile on my face every time I come across it on Instagram, because of the humour and hilarious prints she comes up with, but also because in some way it doesn’t take itself too seriously. This upcoming winter season and as a lot of us are working from home, comfort and slices of humour are very much necessary. You can customize her items and she is very flexible and honest about what she can give you- I love that. It’s a full on collaboration, bringing what you want to life. I can’t wait to see the smiles when gifts are opened, even if it’ll through zoom or FaceTime!

Studio Foliage

Out of all the shops on the list, this is one of the ones where we have yet to make a purchase from, but it’s not for lack or interest, or love of their products. There’s the issue of knowing what to choose as there are so so many awesome items! I waited too long once and it was sold out (whoops), but also because I may have too many plants in my house already, is that a thing??! Not only do they sell plants, they sell plant accessories and all sorts, they are supper warm and very informative. It’s a family, women run business and I love everything about them and their brand. Let it be known, that I will eventually give in and make a purchase- it’s far too hard to resist.

glam it with grace

I have always been a massive lover of accessories, but especially earrings. They are my kryptonite, but also they allow me to express aspects of my personality without having to speak. So, when I decided to gift myself some earrings, I had a really hard time choosing. Trust me when I say her choices are beautiful and you will have the same problem! One of the reasons we wanted to shout out this brand is because: Local. Black Owned. Female Run. Small Business. ✅ So when you find the combination of all those things along with it being fashion, ✅✅✅. The perks of buying small is the fact that you get cute, small touches- I got my earrings with a wonderful note and even received a cute little wipe to clean the earrings with. These are the type of touches you don’t get from big box stores. Give them a follow and support them because we know it literally makes a difference.

We recognize that this isn’t a majorly extensive list, but we were also conscious of not making it too overwhelming as Christmas can be a super stressful time. The list of people to buy for can seem like it’s only getting longer and longer and our bank accounts tighter and tighter. Sometimes shopping local can mean spending more and we equally recognize that’s not something everyone can do (we’re a single mother and student duo). This Christmas especially, try not to get too overwhelmed with it all, and do what you can with what you have. If it means sticking to a budget or knocking a few people off the list or giving homemade presents, there is literally no harm in that. The spirit of Christmas isn’t in the consumerism- happy shopping small!

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