What We’ve Bought From Our Favorite Small Businesses To Help Our Sanity (Activities, Beauty and A Little Decor)

Welcome to another installment of Afternoon Snacks: SMALL BUSINESS EDITION.

Today marks two weeks since the EHD team has started working from home. At this point, we’ve all finally started to lean FULL FORCE into some new hobbies. We’ve decided to learn calligraphy (Jess), paper mache (Emily), and embroidery (truly, so many of us that I’m starting to wonder if EHD will pivot to an EM-broidery studio when all of this is said and done. Get it? Em-broidery?). 

Since we’re a small business and know how much your support has meant to us during this time (SO UNBELIEVABLY MUCH), we have been making a conscious effort whenever possible to also support other small businesses. And guess what?! Small businesses and independent makers absolutely kill it when it comes to providing fun and beautiful distractions. That’s not really a big surprise, but we all can’t stop talking to each other the awesome things we have found. We’ll probably have a Zoom Happy Hour Show and Tell, but today we are sharing all of it with you 🙂

So if you’re looking for some family-friendly activities, some self-care ideas, or if you just want to take a second and window shop for your home 🙂 you’re in the right place. We’ve compiled a BIG OL’ LIST down below, so you can help support a real person’s dreams AND learn something new. (You ready to start bookbinding? Maybe you can turn your whole family into a group of bookbinders. WHAT A SKILL!)

What We’re Learning and Practicing

From Emily: I know this is so “mom” but I really want to ramp up my paper mache sculpture skills with the kids so I’ll be downloading this kit.

From Jess: I really dislike my handwriting and have always dreamed of being able to write in calligraphy. So I found this awesome handbook kit that is perfect beginners (so perfect for me) to maybe help fix my ailment. Guys, I am determined to come outta this insane time with at least one new skill.

From Julie: Now seems like the perfect time to slow down and spend a few hours learning how to make my own candle. (PS. from Caitlin – Gretchen, the shop owner, has TONS of awesome craft kits available!)

From Emily: Birdie is on a real unicorn kick right now, so I know she’ll love painting all over these signs. I can pick up one for Charlie, too.

From Ryann: I’ve been wanting to take up knitting for years so I finally pulled the trigger and bought this big blanket knitting kit. Alert my family. Everyone’s getting blankets for Christmas!

From Jess: I bought this cool a$$ puzzle from LA local business Slowdown Studio and cannot wait to spend hours making my brain think away from a screen. ALSO after Julie peeked into this post yesterday (sneaky, sneaky:)), she told me her friend works for them and said that they are coming out with a NEW PUZZLE likely next Friday. So I guess I will be the owner of two beautiful puzzles come next Friday as I have no will power over beautiful things.

From Julie: I took a bookbinding class at my art college and haven’t tried my hand at it since. It’s surprisingly fun to do and you can journal about these crazy time in it once you’re finished.

From Jess: This embroidery kit made my heart leap with happiness. I bought it immediately. This vendor, Miho, has a ton of really special kits that you should grab now. 

From Julie: Embroidery is also something I have always wanted to try since I saw the one’s my mom did when she was a teenager. This Washington-based shop is stocked up with options for all you nature lovers out there 🙂

How We’re Treating Our Homes

From Caitlin: I’ve been upping my plant-care game and trying to propagate some succulents. I found this brand, Likha, and am crying because everything is SO CUTE. Can’t wait for my next baby shower cause someone’s gonna be getting a planter shaped like a puppy!!!

From Mallory: I NEED THIS VASE IN MY LIFE. Her whole shop of handmade ceramics is insanely adorable.

From Sara: I LOVE crocheting, I learned from my grandma, and right now feels like a great time to get back into it and make me a blanket. Wool & The Gang is small, independent company working to make knitting and crocheting modern and easy.

From Veronica: I have been wanting to get framed paintings to bring my room to life, and I plan on using my weekend time at home to do just that! I’ve had my eye on these babies because they are digital downloads and printable meaning you have free range when picking frames.

From Caitlin: My version of self-care includes me window shopping (read: pinning everything) on the Cool Machine website. I could stare at these ceramics for hours. (Update: I *HAVE* stared at these ceramics for hours. If you can support these indie artists and you add one of these pieces to your home, please do it and then send me a million photos.)

From Emily: If you’re mid-renovation (and a fan of the beechwood we used at the Mountain House), Ross Alan is offering 10-20% off orders. Check this IG post for details.

…and How We’re Treating Ourselves

From Emily: Here in LA, the Reckless Unicorn is making custom kid survival kits filled with activities, books, and toys. And they can do Easter baskets! Call or send them a DM and get 20% off and free delivery when you mention us 🙂

From Veronica: First of all, who doesn’t love coloring books? Even as an adult, they are so fun and calming. I think this one is hilaaaarious because I was a huge One Direction fan as a teen and Harry will forever be in my heart. (If you haven’t listened to his new album, wyd?!)

From Mallory: I’m one for dainty jewelry so you bet I’ve been eyeing this necklace for QUITE some time.

From Sara: This independent wine company is doing deliveries in LA.

From Caitlin: I’m having a REALLY FUN TIME growing out my gel manicure right now. One of my friends recently introduced me to Habit, which is an indie, non-toxic, vegan nail polish brand — they have a ton of cute colors and I love their bottles.

From Ryann: After reading yesterday’s afternoon snack, I was #emfluenced and felt compelled to buy myself these sweatpants from Sundry. Emily always raves about Sundry and their quality and comfort so I am REAL excited to try them out.

Who’s Giving Back

Last (but not least!!!), we wanted to highlight some of our favorite businesses who are going above and beyond to help out their communities, first responders, and volunteers everywhere. Let’s close with a quick roundup, yeah?

  • Our office’s go-to mattress brand, Tuft & Needle, is offering 15% off for ALL healthcare workers. Medical workers who wish to place an order can call their customer service team at (877) 842-2586.
  • If you recently stepped up to foster a cat (or a family of kittens, like our own Velinda), Smalls will donate 30 days of human-grade food, care, and play products to keep your new feline friend feeling fine. Email community@smallsforsmalls.com for details. (From Caitlin – And someone, please stop me, I’m on an alliteration spree!)
  • Otherland, the maker behind one of our all-time candle favorites, is donating 10% of their sales to Food Bank for NYC with code SUNSHINE.
  • Site favorite Rebecca Atwood is donating 15% of her proceeds to the Food Bank for NYC.
  • Revival Rugs is donating 10% of their sales to the CDC Foundation. (From Caitlin – I’m trying to figure out where I could fit this Turkish mint one, because…I love it, you guys.)
  • Our friends at Hedley & Bennett normally make the most beautiful aprons (amongst other things), but they’re currently repurposing their factory to help make masks. You can buy one and donate one here.
  • Courant makes VERY CUTE wireless charging pads (see here) AND they are donating 10% of sales to the Fund for Public Schools. (From Caitlin – this is the tech version of someone who is smart AND nice AND beautiful. Like, leave something for the rest of us!)
  • When you select “Support My Local Store” at checkout, Corkcicle will credit a local retailer as if your purchase was made directly at their shop.
  • Everlane is donating ALL of their proceeds from the 100% Human collection to Feeding America. (From Caitlin – I ordered this hoodie to dress up my daily stroll from my bed to the sofa.)
  • Our go-to ceramicist, MQuan Studios, is offering a very rare 20% off everything (including gift cards!) AND donating 5% of sales to three great organizations.

That’s it for us, but do you have any favorite small business brands that you’d like to share? Have you picked up a new skill (or started practicing an old skill)? COME CHAT WITH ALL OF US IN THE COMMENTS.

Fin Mark

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