If you're here, chances are you already understand the importance of shopping small and supporting independent makers and retailers. In today's Amazon age, it's more important than ever before.
When you shop small, you open new doors for small makers and artisans. From creating new jobs to expanding their studio spaces and allowing for more innovation, more quickly.
We're so very proud and excited to highlight the following makers for their innovation and success in their respective fields. Each saw an opportunity and acted on it, and we're grateful for the ability to partner with them and share their unique products with our customers.
In our first few months in business, we've already had some many fantastic interactions with the entrepreneurs we partner with. Here are a few of our favorite news-worthy stories:
When I first met the founders of Mike & Jen's Hot Cocoa, they had just learned that their product was named the #1 gift of Holiday 2019 by Minnesota Monthly magazine. "We were screaming in Barnes & Noble [when we flipped to the section and saw we weren't just featured... we were first!]."
2. Locker Lifestyle
A college student's experience having her belongings stolen at the gym drove her to invent these wearable storage solutions. Locker Lifestyle founder Katarina then went on to win the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest and snag the first-place prize in the 2019 WBENC Student Entrepreneur Program Pitch Competition.
Then there's the reality of being tiny... Teaspressa did so well in Q4 2019 that they completely sold out for months! This innovative "coffee inspired tea" brand has been seen on Shark Tank, Forbes, Vogue, and Refinery29 and at specialty retailers across the U.S.
4. Earth Harbor NaturalsAnother media darling, Earth Harbor Naturals has been featured in Vogue, Glamour, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, Brides. Based in Saint Simons Island, Georgia, Earth Harbor Naturals is a new skincare line centered around high-performing ocean nutrients and active botanicals. All products are synthetic-free, sustainable, organic, vegan, and cruelty-free, and they partner with 1% For The Planet® to save marine life.
Two friends, Shannon Zappala and Regan Kelaher, began collaborating on all things ‘wine’ in 2015. Their passion for great wine, dislike of plastic glasses, and a love for Southern California’s outdoor lifestyle led to the birth of GOVERRE. Not long after launch, these founders found themsleves on ABC’s hit series, Shark Tank. SPOILER: Shannon and Regan secured investments with sharks Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, and Robert Herjavec!
6. Tea Drops
For the uninitiated, Tea Drops are organic, pressed teas that dissolve in hot water. Think a bath bomb, but it's tea and 20% less waste than a tea bag. Tea Drops are made with actual tea leaves, spices, and lightly sweetened with organic cane sugar. They are loved by Giften Market customers alongside GMA, Forbes, Oprah Winfrey Network, and the Tory Burch Foundation.
7. Cait + Co.
Good Morning America also loves Cait + Co., a line of handmade bath, body, and home products. Their products paired with Cait + Co's greater goal—to give people across the globe access to health and wellness, has earned ample attention. Since 2017, Cait + Co has partnered with the Lovin’ Soap Project (LSP), a nonprofit that works with women and girls in developing countries, educating them about hygiene-related illnesses. In addition to GMA, Cait + Co. has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Seventeen, and established partnerships with American Eagle and Anthropologie.
We profiled Pretty Rugged Boating Blankets in our Maker Spotlight series (check it out if you're curious about their full story). We're super impressed by their Prestigious Awards, being named - "Best in Market" and "Best New Product" at NY NOW. Upon hearing the exciting news, founder Tracy shared:
“For me, to have come up with a product that I love and turn it into a business is amazing” ... “NY NOW is my first ever trade show and to have won both a Best New Product and Best in Market Award is a perfect example of following through on something you love and making your dreams come true."
9. KIND Lips
If you're not familiar with Kind Lips, they produce 100% natural lip balm and donate twenty percent of net profits to stop bullying. Just this month Kind Lips was featured on the Ellen Degeneres Show and included in the BE KIND by ellen subscription box.
10. Folly Coffee
Last but certainly not least, is Folly Coffee.
Launched in January 2018, Folly was born by a deep passion for high end specialty coffees and a lot of hard work from scratch. Folly Coffee Roasters is independently owned and operated, roasting all of our small batch coffee in Silver Lake, MN.
In 2019 Folly Coffee was chosen from among hundreds of the nation's finest roasters as a Good Food Award Winner. In addition, Folly has been rated and reviewed as "exceptional" by coffeereview.com.
When you shop Giften Market, you're supporting real people with dreams and aspirations.
I'm so very thankful to be in the position to be inspired by these dreamers doing their thing, putting their goods out into the world, and wearing all of the hats.
While my credit card use has never been higher stocking up merch for this new shop, I can sleep soundly knowing these dollars are fueling the teams producing high-quality items, and doing so much good, too.
Founder & Owner, Giften Market