Shop Local & Support Small Businesses with Our Holiday Gift Guide

Shop Local & Support Small Businesses with Our Holiday Gift Guide

‘Tis the season for giving! Shop local and do double-duty giving; find sensational stocking stuffers and thoughtful gifts right for your loved ones while supporting these DC small businesses. From toys for kids to the best gifts for DC parents, here are our favorite places to check off a holiday shopping list locally.

Stocking Stuffers

For Glam Girls (and Guys!): Janet & Jo

Tuck a little bottle of beauty in your favorite glam girl (or guy's) stocking. Black woman-owned nail polish company Janet & Jo was named as one of the top nail lacquers on the market by beauty magazines like Allure, Nylon and Cosmopolitan; this DC-based business boasts bright, vivid colors perfect for your next holiday bash. You can purchase Janet & Jo at The Wharf's Shop Made in DC shop or online at


photo: Tea Collection

For the Matching Family: Tea Collection

These snuggly, footed pajamas can be rolled up and tucked in baby's stocking with coordinating PJs in mom's and dad's stockings (perfect for Mama Bears and Papa Bears!). Tea Collection even has scarves for your pup, so the whole family can be coordinated for Christmas morning pics! Other pajama party picks include Swedish-inspired prints, like these winsome reindeer. Matching pajamas aren't just fun on holidays; family game nights and move nights are also a great time to be twinsies with your mini me.  Mom-and-Pop shops Wee Chic in Fairfax, VA and Kindhaus Toys in Alexandria, VA carry the line. 



photo: City Bonfires

For the Outdoor Enthusiast: City Bonfires

When two Maryland Dads unexpectedly found themselves home with their children once their jobs took a hit from pandemic-related closures they knew it was time to get creative. Chris McCasland, a sports and concert industry broker and restaurateur, and Michael Opalski, a senior restaurant industry salesman, wasted little time learning new skills. They put their heads together and  founded City Bonfires, a portable, reusable mini bonfire that you can take on all of your outdoor adventures or trips to your backyard. These small bonfires, created from a non-toxic soy wax, are perfect for making s’mores even if you don't own a firepit. Because they are made in Maryland each purchase helps support multiple local families. And their pint-sized packaging makes them the perfect fit for stockings! 


For a Gift that Keeps Giving: A Local Membership Pass

Fill 2022 (and those stockings) with more family adventures! Tuck a membership card to a favorite museum, zoo or play space in a stocking (with care) and give the gift of family fun all year long. For the best deals on family memberships, go here


Gifts for Kids

photo: Little Likes Kids

For Pint-Sized Puzzlers: Little Likes Kids

Up your problem solving with an illustrated educational game by DC company Little Likes Kids. These picture puzzles come packaged in their own cardboard tote so you can easily pack an activity when you visit relatives or head for your winter break vacation. Joyful Carousel is a 24 piece set perfect for kids 3 & up featuring a whimsical carousel with a ride-on zebra, horse, rabbit and more. 



When You Want to Celebrate Black Girl (and Boy!) Magic: Epic Everyday

When a couple of DC Moms got tired of seeing only fair-skinned princesses and could not find many images portraying Black and Brown girls and boys in positive ways they decided to do something about it.  The result is Epic Everyday, a collection of backpacks, t-shirts, towels and more featuring kids in a range of mocha-hued skin tones and hair types. Epic stands for Empowered, Positive, Innovative, and Creative!


photo: Hooked and Loopy

For the Stuffie Obsessed: Hooked and Loopy

Hand-crocheted from 100% cotton, these winsome stuffed animals, Sheroes, Creatures of Politics and dinosaurs make great gifts for babies, toddlers and even adults! You can even have a custom doll created to match your favorite furry friend, resemble your favorite star or honor an extinct animal. 


For Kids Under 7: Finding Feelings

Penned by Ashburn, VA mom and former teacher Jennifer Gafford, Finding Feelings is a must-read for kids 7 & under, but even adults will find this delightfully illustrated children's book enlightening. Each page presents daily scenarios where readers have to search-and-find emotional clues; it's an excellent springboard for helping little ones tackle big feelings. 


For Your Favorite Foodie

For Moms-to-Be: The Mocktail Club

Skipping cocktails because of pregnancy, being the designated driver or staying sober for whatever reason used to mean sipping Shirley Temples or another bland drink.  One DC Mom said no more and founded Mocktail Club to ensure that everyone has access to tasty drinks weather they want alcohol or not.  A four-pack of Mocktail Club’s bold flavors makes a great gift to get any parent who doesn’t drink through the holidays. Bonus: kids can upgrade from juice for a festive holiday toast! Mocktail Club is sold at local Whole Foods and served in some restaurants so look for it in the wild.



For Gluten-Free Fans: Pure Love Macarons

Mom-on-a-mission Kim Moehnke started this home-based, gluten-free bakery business after wrestling with food allergies in her own home. Choose from an assortment of flavors or custom order a batch of an inventive flavor for a true aficionado (custom orders require at least 3 business days).  Moehnke recently competed in the World Food Championship with chocolate macarons filled with Bacon Fleur de Sel; it's the perfect sweet treat to fill a bacon lover's stocking with! 


A Gift They'll Flip Over: Wilma's Pancake & Waffle Batter

Wilma’s Pancake and Waffle Batter was inspired by owner Tamara Cole's grandmother's southern cooking.  Cole has perfected her late grandmother's recipes and now offers the original mix in gluten-free and sugar-free options. You can also find sweet mixes with blended ingredients like blueberries, chocolate chips and butter pecans, as well as savory mixes, like garlic and herb and cheddar bay. 



For Tea Lovers: Ivy's Tea Co.

Not a coffee drinker, but still need a caffeinated kick in the morning? Ivy's Tea Co. is a MD based pop culture and Hip-Hop inspired holistic tea company. Owned and operated by first-generation herbalist  Shanae Jones, she aims to introduce African holistic health remedies into the holistic health industry. Her goal is to make the industry as inclusive and reflective and accepting of all cultures as Hip-Hop. 


Distinctly DC

For Pet Lovers: Naked Decor

Play I-Spy a Presidential pup with this playful tea towel from Naked Decor. George W. Bush's Scottish Terrier Barney makes an appearance, as does Barack Obama's Portuguese Water Dog, Bo; a hound represents the twelve beagles that lived with George Washington and a German Shepherd as a nod to Joe Biden's dogs. 


photo: Beasties & Besties

For Your Furry Friend: Beasties & Besties

If you have a beloved dog, you have to include something under the tree for your most faithful companion! Beasties & Besties lets you coordinate with your pet by matching you dog's bandana to you mask. So very 2021!


photo: Bailiwick Clothing Company

For the Best Dressed: Bailiwick Clothing Company

From raglan tees to hoodies and knit hats, Bailiwick Clothing Company celebrates all things 202. Choose from clothing emblazoned with Douglas Commonwealth (in honor of Frederick Douglas), District of Champions, The 51st State and more. These gifts showcase hometown pride in the hippest way. 


That’s a Wrap

photo: Erica Nordberg

Wrap It Up in Local Love

From holiday recipe cards to gift tags to wrapping paper, local artist Erica Nordberg has created a whimsically winter-themed paper suite that is Santa-approved. From a North Pole Postal Service wrap to Nordic Dala horse-themed gift tags to candy cane recipe cards, you'll find everything you need to get your gifts Christmas Day ready.


—Meghan Yudes Meyers, Wendy Miller and Jamie Davis Smith

featured photo: iStock


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