11-27-2021

6 Businesses You Should Know for Small Business Saturday

FILED IN: Holiday & Seasonal, Small Business Spotlight

Posted By: Jamie Kutchman Wynne

shop small small

One of the most rewarding parts of owning Marigold & Grey is getting to know the artisan makers we intentionally source from. (We also source from well-known brands like Yeti, Sugarfina, Corkcicle, and others to make sure the gifts contain what your recipients are looking for. But gift contents from artisan makers offer the element of surprise and are the bulk of what we source.) Gift contents from small businesses not only make our gifts more interesting, unique, and memorable but it feels amazing to get to know these hard-working business owners as we source product from them all throughout the year for bot our Ready-to-Ship Collection as well as our signature Custom Gift Design Service. In lieu of doing a sale for Small Business Saturday and promoting our own business, we take this opportunity to introduce you to business owners and businesses we think you should know so you can go and support them directly on this very special day. 

Meet our lineup for 2021...



Yoco Confections

We recently met the owner of Yoco Confections when looking for locally-sourced and beautifully packaged snack items. Not only is Yoco talented but also incredibly easy to work with. She makes the entire buying process completely stress-free for us which is especially important when we're juggling custom gifting for multiple events, ongoing client appreciation gifting, as well as gifts for our e-commerce side of the business.

small business owner
women owned business

Business name and a brief explanation of what you do! 

YOCO CONFECTIONS is a family owned and operated gourmet gifting company. 

We specialize in creating sweet, savory and surprising confections. Each item is perfectly packaged for gifting others and treating yourself.

How did you get into your business? 

This amazing journey of entrepreneurship began with corporate event planning and evolved into a passion for confections.  I always enjoyed meeting people and working with clients. To express my appreciation,  I gifted handmade chocolate covered pretzels at the end of each event. In a matter of months the requests for pretzels and other items surpassed the request for event planning.  It was a wonderful surprise because it led my husband and I to develop YOCO CONFECTIONS.

What makes your business unique?  

Our business is unique because every item is created with our clients in mind. As a small business we are able to create unique flavor profiles specific to our clients needs and package the items in a way that reflects their desired outcome.  

What do you like most about being a small business owner?

I love everything about the experience of small business ownership.  Every day is different and there is always so much to learn.  I learned a great deal about resilience and how to pivot during the early days of the pandemic.  The simple joy of creating delicious treats and hearing from customers how our products helped make a moment even more special kept us focused on the impact our small business makes.  Delicious food is always at the center of a great moment and we're happy to be there as well. 

What challenges do you face as a small business owner?

Like most small business owners, I wear a number of hats which can be a bit trying but I'm constantly focused on creating processes that help improve how we do business daily.  

What advice do you have for aspiring business owners that you wish you knew when you started?

"Analysis to paralysis" is real. Believe in yourself and go for it! Don't hold back on an idea or a desire to launch your business because you fear the product isn't perfect.  Time and experience will provide the opportunity to edit and improve as needed.  

Is there anything you want our audience to know about you or your business? 

We truly appreciate your support! It's like they say...a real person dances when you shop small. 

For Small Business Saturday we're excited to offer a 15% discount on our site. Simply enter the code SBS15 at checkout.

*Free gift with purchase for all orders over $100. 

How can our audience find you and support your business?

Please follow our journey on Instagram @yococonfections and visit our website at www.yococonfections.com



Tea with Tae

When Tae sent us samples to review her product line, we were immediately blown away! We knew we wanted to incorporate her product line into our new Ready-to-Ship Collection earlier this year when we were beginning the design phase. As our collection grew and grew, the amount of times the Tea with Tae line would appear in our collection increased as well! She is responsive, accommodating, and insanely hard working! 

small business owner

small business owner
Business name and a brief explanation of what you do! 
Tea with Tae - We are a woman-owned tea company offering premium teas from all around the world and luxury tea gifts. 
How did you get into your business?
I've always been passionate about really good tea and have been a lifelong tea-drinker, but I was frustrated with the lack of options for a premium bagged tea. Most of the high-quality teas on the market today are loose-leaf and require special tea hardware to make a cup, but as a working professional, I needed something more convenient that still preserved the quality. And that's how Tea with Tae was started.
What makes your business unique?
We're not just another tea company, but rather a tea gift company. Our mission is to not only offer incredibly delicious tea, but also encourage community and connection with friends and loved ones over a cup of tea. That's why we put so much thought into the packaging design and presentation of our products. We want the tea-drinking experience to be memorable for our customers, and that's what truly makes us unique. Our tea is really good, but spending time with friends and family is priceless.
What do you like most about being a small business owner?

Everyday is different and presents new and unique problems that need to be solved. I love that aspect of running a small business. I also love the day-to-day interaction with my customers and getting their feedback about our products. 

What challenges do you face as a small business owner?
Right now, the global supply chain crisis is the hardest problem we've been facing, since a lot of our tea and packaging is held up in transit. This problem, however, has required us to be flexible and nimble with our product offerings and explore new (and even better) product options that we otherwise probably wouldn't have considered. 

What advice do you have for aspiring business owners that you wish you knew when you started?
Be wary of investing too much money in marketing and sales agencies too early. As the founder and CEO, you are the chief salesperson, and you have to own that role from Day 1. There is nobody better-suited to market and sell your products than yourself because you have the most skin in the game. As your business grows, then you can consider hiring outside agencies to help you scale.
Is there anything you want our audience to know about you or your business?
We are woman-owned, and we proudly hire women in our community to help pack and ship all of our tea.

How can our audience find you and support your business?
Subscribe to our email newsletter at www.teawithtae.com or follow us on Instagram or Twitter at @shopteawithtae.

 
The Spice Suite

I've admired Angel, the founder and owner of DC-based The Spice Suite, since discovering her brand several years ago. She is passionate about what she does while at the same time offering opportunities for other local business owners to display and sell their creations and build their brands. We've recently had the opportunity to incorporate The Spice Suite into a large corporate holiday gifting project of ours and she's been an absolute dream to partner with. Angel is  enthusiastic, responsive, and delivers an exceptional and high-quality product. We can't wait to source from her for years to come!

small business owner

small business owner

small business owner

Business name and a brief explanation of what you do! 

We are a spice shop and dream incubator. Curating unique spices and food flavorings as well as sharing space with Black women business owners to help grow their businesses. 

How did you get into your business?

It was the most random thing I’d ever done. I was an assistant principal and stumbled upon a random shop for lease and now I’m a SpiceGirl 

What makes your business unique?

I travel the world for spices and spice inspiration to share with my guests 

What do you like most about being a small business owner?

The freedom and independence 

What challenges do you face as a small business owner?

Understanding that everyone will not understand every business decision you make, yet every decision has impact. 

What advice do you have for aspiring business owners that you wish you knew when you started?

Start now, perfect later. Perfection is the illusion of progress.

How can our audience find you and support your business?

@thespicesuite @spicegirlin

www.thespicesuite.com



Simply Curated
Simply Curated owner Sarah reached out to us a year or two ago to introduce us to her brand of luxury soy candles. Upon reviewing her samples, we were hooked. Her candles are not only high quality and luxe but also packaged in sleek, clean, modern boxes which work well in virtually any of our gift designs. We are so proud to feature her in our Ready-to-Ship Collection as well as custom gift design projects too. 

 

small business owner

small business saturday
small business saturday
Business name and a brief explanation of what you do!

Our brand is Simply Curated, we're a home fragrance brand with a minimalist design style, making high-quality candles, reed diffusers, hand wash and lotion.

How did you get into your business?

I started Simply Curated because of my love of interior design. I wanted to curate products for the functional styling of your space (it didn't start out as a fragrance brand). But I started making candles and they just took off. I kept the business name and started curating fragrances instead. But at the core, design has always been at the heart of everything we do. 

What makes your business unique?

I feel like this question can be difficult to answer as a small business owner because a lot of the things that make us unique also apply to a lot of other small businesses. We're woman-owned, all our products are made by hand, we use eco-friendly materials in our products and packaging, etc. But I think what really sets us apart are our fragrances. I was always very sensitive to fragrances and I didn't actually like scented candles (ironic, I know). I tried launching without fragrances, candles that were unscented, and I quickly learned that wasn't what customers wanted. So I set out to find fragrances that I loved and that didn't give me a headache. And I'm proud that 20 fragrances later, that is still true for every last one. I know how difficult it is to sell a scented product on the internet, but you'll just have to trust me, they are all good. And if you can't pick one, I'm always happy to give recommendations.

What do you like most about being a small business owner?

I think I like the flexibility that being a small business owner gives me. Sure you work really hard, easily 80+ hrs/week, but if you want to take a week-long vacation or take a day off in the middle of the week to re-set, you can. You're the one making the rules. 

What challenges do you face as a small business owner?

I think our biggest challenge is cash-flow. You can dream big but if you don't have the funds to get those dreams off the ground, it really can slow things down. It has always been a struggle, even after 9 years in business.  
What advice do you have for aspiring business owners that you wish you knew when you started?
"It takes ten years to become an overnight success". This quote has stuck with me and I have to remind myself of it all the time. Consistency is the key here. Day by day, just keep going, put one foot in front of the other, and the business will grow. But people might not notice, you might not feel like anyone sees what you're doing, but it is working, you might just not be getting the recognition that you wanted. And then, all of a sudden, people will start to notice. And they will think it all happened overnight. 

Is there anything you want our audience to know about you or your business?
I want them to know how incredibly grateful I am to be able to wake up every day and live my dream. Sure it's hard work, but I honestly can't imagine doing anything else and I feel so lucky to be able to have a small business that has supported me, sustained me, picked me up when I stumble, and seen me really grow into the person I am today. Simply Curated is my first child in many ways, but I was the one who was growing up. 

How can our audience find you and support your business?
We're on Instagram @simplycurated, you can shop online at simplycurated.com, and we also have a list on our website of stores that carry our products so that you can shop local to you. 

Sarah Hart
Founder & Creative Director


The Trendy Baby Mocc Shop

When designing new baby gifts for our new 2021 Ready-to-Ship Collection, I thought we had the lineup finalized. That is, until I stumbled upon this small business on Insta. I knew these would be a perfect addition to the collection even though we were really far along in the process to the point where I should not have been contemplating any new vendors or changing up any gift designs. (We even had the photographer on-site and already shooting!) I reached out, got samples immediately, and voila! We proudly feature this brand in several of our new parent and baby gift boxes

small business saturday

small business owner

How did you get into your business?

I was a schoolteacher looking for a supplementary income as well as a creative outlet. I started out making baby skirts but soon realized I wanted more of a challenge. I had never made baby shoes but saw there was a number of ways I could work with beautiful fabrics to create something both adorable and functional for my nieces and nephews to enjoy.  Within 24 hours, I researched baby shoe patterns, made my own pattern, bought fabrics, made a pair, photographed it, created an Etsy shop and had me first sale. Within my first month, I had made 100 sales and 100 pairs of shoes. :)

What makes your business unique?

Our quality! We have compared our cloth moccasins to others on the market, and because of the layering system I implemented in my pattern, we create one of the best, most comfy baby moccasins out there.  And not only that, we do it fairly efficiently! In our retail store, we offer moccasins in minutes, where a customer can choose their fabrics, choose a personalization tag, and have a quality, custom, personalized pair in 5-10 minutes. 

What do you like most about being a small business owner?

The creativity! I love being able to innovate new designs. Also, the networking. I am always inspired by my fellow business owners and I’m always left wanting to improve my business after seeing how others grow and create.

What challenges do you face as a small business owner?

Growing pains.  I am the only seamstress in my business currently, sewing up to 300 pairs a day. We have a difficult time scaling while I look for employees that care about quality as much as I do. 

What advice do you have for aspiring business owners that you wish you knew when you started?

Don’t be afraid to take a risk, but do your homework.  Too many people have a great idea but get afraid of the investment of time and energy.  Anyone can be successful in this day and age—you just gotta put the time and passion in, and let those creative juices flow!

Is there anything you want our audience to know about you or your business? 

How can our audience find you and support your business? We are on Instagram @trendybabymoccshop! We have a website at trendybabymoccshop.com :) we also love our wholesalers!

City Bonfires

We first began working with City Bonfires when designing gifts that would be perfect for recipients during Covid lockdown. During our holiday season of 2020, we designed countless 'cozy at home' inspired gift boxes for our corporate gifting clients and City Bonfires offered the perfect product to bring these concepts to life! They were able to deliver extremely large quantities of mini bonfires with very reasonable lead times and, not to mention, an item that was interesting, memorable, and a conversation piece for sure! 

small business owner

small business owner

small business owner

Business name and a brief explanation of what you do! 

City Bonfires is a portable fire pit that is handmade with love in Maryland by two Dads whose jobs were impacted by the pandemic. 

How did you get into your business?  

Chris and Michael both lost their jobs due to Covid-19 and created City Bonfires! What started in their garage has taken off and they now are in a large warehouse space in Rockville, Maryland and employ more than 30 people! 

What makes your business unique?  

City Bonfires is the first portable bonfire! Every City Bonfire is handmade with American-made materials. 

What do you like most about being a small business owner?  

Being able to work with family and give so many people a job! We also support other small businesses locally through the wax we purchase, our steel tins, and even all of our printed materials and packaging! 

What challenges do you face as a small business owner? 

Keep up with demands and the considerable supply chain issues that the pandemic has caused. Working 24/7! 

What advice do you have for aspiring business owners that you wish you knew when you started?

JUST DO IT! Take the leap, create the LLC, just make a step every day towards your goal! 

Is there anything you want our audience to know about you or your business? 

We truly appreciate all of the support! Our favorite part of starting City Bonfires are all the other small business owners we have met along the way! 

How can our audience find you and support your business?

You can shop for City Bonfires at www.citybonfires.com and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Twitter @citybonfires  

We hope you've enjoyed this year's lineup, their unique and inspring stories, and the common message of "just take the leap!". To take a trip down memory lane and meet businesses from years past (and show them your support!), you can view them here: 2020, 2019, and 2017

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