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Any small-business owner knows that starting a company comes with challenges. When the coronavirus swept the country, keeping up with the struggling economy sparked a new challenge.
While your household essentials might come from big-box stores, you can do your part to support small businesses by turning to them for gifts, personal splurges or one-of-a-kind items. TODAY lifestyle contributor Jill Martin joined the show to share stories of some of her favorite shops and their owners. She focused on businesses with a self-care emphasis — because we could all use a little more of that right now.
Whether you're looking to create an at-home spa experience or up your wellness routine, there's a small business that can help.
Small businesses seen on TODAY
This hair care line was founded by two beauty newcomers, Robbie Salter and Ross Goodhart, who had their minds set on changing the game for scalp-friendly haircare. All the products in their dermatologist-tested line promise to treat dandruff and soothe your scalp. Plus, with their minimal and sleek design, they look nothing like the bottles of dandruff treatment that you'd hide in your bathroom cabinet.
Their balancing shampoo is one of the brand's most popular offerings. It uses zinc pyrithione to provide relief from scalp irritation and flaking. Every time you wash your hair, you'll be enveloped in the soothing scents of mint, vanilla, sage and lavender.
Since we've all been spending more time at home this year, everyone is on the hunt for a new way to brighten up their space. Lighting a candle can do just that. These make-your-own candle kits add fun into the equation. Founded by a brother-sister duo (hence the name “Siblings”) the brand offers candle-making kits, which can be an exciting family activity or a way for adults to relax and unwind.
The calming scents of clove, lavender and cedarwood will make you feel like you're at the spa. Just draw yourself a hot bath and relax. To make, simply melt the wax and add to a jar or ceramic vase that you have on hand.
Whether your New Year's resolutions includes starting a new fitness routine or getting outdoors more, there are bound to be a few bumps and bruises along the way. Enter Welly: Founded in Minnesota by entrepreneurs Eric Ryan and Doug Stukenborg, the company makes first aid a little more fun. Their products include kits, bandages and other supplies in bright colors and exciting patterns.
Let's face it, accidents happen. So you'll want to keep this handy kit in your car, bag, kitchen or any other location you frequent. It includes ibuprofen, antibiotic packets, wound pads and boldly patterned bandaids that you'll wear like a badge of honor.
Husband-and-wife duo Kam and Summer Johnson founded this brand out of necessity. Their son, Zach, suffered from bad seasonal allergies and while searching for a remedy, they discovered immunotherapy and how consuming raw, local honey could help prevent allergies. Their honey, produced at their home in Huderton County, New Jersey, was featured as one of Oprah's Favorite Things for 2020.
There's nothing better than curling up with a cup of tea on a cold winter night, and a spoonful of their honey will make the perfect addition to your preferred brew. Their wildflower honey is packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They also offer plenty of flavored options like lavender, matcha, raspberry, ginger and more.
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DigestLive was developed by a mother-daughter duo, but its roots go back even further in the family. The herbal recipe was created by the founders’ grandmother, a Moroccan healer, to help the women in her village with severe bloating and digestion issues. They use the same formula today.
These vegan, gluten-free capsules include herbal ingredients that are said to stimulate your digestive system to help with uncomfortable issues, like bloating or constipation.
Made Trade makes small business shopping easy. It was founded by husband-and-wife duo Cayley Pater and Andy Ives to help people find ethically made and sustainably sourced home products all in one place. They partner with brands, small businesses and independent artisans to provide exquisite and quality products.
An upgrade to your typical around-the-house shoes, these chic denim slippers will make your WFH outfit feel fancier than it actually is. They feature an anti-slip sole and a cushioned heel, for ultimate comfort.
Founded with sustainability in mind, Buffy uses earth-friendly fabrics and responsible business practices, so you can feel better about your bedding. Their offerings include sheets, bedding, pillows, comforters and more, made from materials like recycled plastic, water-saving eucalyptus and hemp. They're constantly working on ways to be more eco-friendly and are super upfront about the areas that still need improvement. (To see what they're working on, check out their goals for the next decade.)
With more than 15,000 five-star reviews, this ultra-soft comforter is one of the brand's most popular offerings. Made from eucalyptus fiber, with a recycled plastic filling, reviewers say the aptly named product is like sleeping on a cloud. Warning: If you get it, you might never want to leave your bed.
While they are a small business, Billie has already made some big waves. In 2018, the company became the first razor brand to feature women with body hair in its ad campaign (crazy, right?). Since the start, the brand has been focused on being a women-first company, eliminating the stigma that comes with body hair and removing the "pink tax" from its products. Beyond razors, Billie sell a number of beauty products, from dry shampoo to body lotion.
The razor that put the company's name on the map doesn't just owe its popularity to the groundbreaking ad campaign. The five-blade razor is designed to get a close and clean shave every time. This kit comes with a handle, two replaceable blades and a wall holder for storage
In 1998, The Happy Planner co-founder Stephanie Fleming curated an idea that would completely change the scrapbooking world: stickers designed specifically for planners and scrapbooks. What started in a tiny garage turned into an industry-leading brand that offers a wide variety of products including planners, stickers, stencils and more. Now, the corporate headquarters sits in a 41,000-square-feet building in Southern California.
Fleming and her mother, Terri Gick, still adhere to their mission to spread happiness wherever they go and to empower people to embrace the positive.
During the pandemic, headcount has significantly impacted all areas of The Happy Planner's business. Employees now work from home and after re-evaluating some teams, they're trying to focus on growing the business despite the circumstances.
This 12-month planner is one of the bestsellers on The Happy Planner's website. It's perfect for those who are staying at home but still want to keep track of their to-dos.
As a new homeowner, Sunday CEO and co-founder Coulter Lewis had no idea how to take care of his lawn. He had a background in agriculture and wanted to find products that were safe for the planet, safe for his children and pets, effective and easy to use.
Frustrated with what the market had to offer, he launched his own subscription lawn care company to help people care for their lawn without any guesswork.
The Boulder, Colorado-based company uses climate history, soil data and the size of your property to determine what nutrients are most beneficial for your yard. After curating a specific nutrient plan, they ship products to your door when it's the right time to feed your grass.
Each lawn care kit includes a pouch designed to tackle your specific lawn needs. You can opt into a seasonal plan and the company will deliver the box when your lawn is in need of feeding.
If most of your nights involve staying in, lighting a candle and queuing up a movie on Netflix, you'll appreciate this brand. The Seattle-based husband and wife team, Spencer and Kenzie Findlay, pour each candle by hand. Rather than your typical scents, their offerings are more relatable, like "Social Anxiety," which smells like sage, oak moss and amber or "I Miss High Fives," which has notes of sea salt, cotton and other cool scents that will take you back to days of physical touch.
If there was a scent for the feeling you get when you silence your notifications and finally log off for the day, this would be it. The beautiful candle features notes of spice, sea salt, vanilla and cedarwood. Just light the wick and unplug for the night.
For more stories like this, check out:
- 13 face masks you can buy on Etsy to support small businesses
- Ring in the new year with these fun at-home celebration ideas
- These popular, chic ankle weights got me excited to work out again