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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 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.

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1 year ago

Finding Beautiful Truth has some really wonderful photographs in her etsy shop.

1 year ago
Reply to  Teri

Thanks for the recommendation Teri!

1 year ago

If you have kids, a birthday we can’t attend or just plain love cute stuff. Leanna Lin’s Wonderland is chock full of books, activities, pins, cute figures etc. It’s also a female, minority owned business:

Watson Kennedy has the most gorgeously curated small gifts, home décor, food and stationery. I could explore his store up in Seattle for hours. They are offering free shipping for orders of $100:

If you like or learning knitting or crochet, take a look at Purl Soho. They have lovely supplies and also learning kits:

If you are in the California and need a delivery for cbd or thc items, Weden is delivering to: Bay Area, Orange County, San Diego County and Sacramento areas.: or (800) Cannibis.

1 year ago
Reply to  Jeanne

Definitely going to be ordering something from Purl Soho, thanks Jeanne!

1 year ago
Reply to  Jeanne

Thank you for all these resources!

1 year ago

I love that you guys are taking up new crafts and I expect to see some fails for fun! We learn SO much from making mistakes.
Perhaps in addition to your progress you could share a few “craft masters” in your chosen medium for inspiration, especially if they are small business sellers. (As so many are)

1 year ago
Reply to  Lisa

O that’s a great idea!

1 year ago

SoulFoxJewelry on Etsy (and same handle for Instagram) – silver and turquoise jewelry with a desert boho vibe. I love her designs! Cher also teaches metalsmithing and I have taken some classes with her (way back in the before-time when we could go places and do things with other people in close proximity).

It’s not local for me, but Olive and June has been doing fun nail painting tutorials on Instagram that have been a welcome escape from reality and they sell manicure kits on their website. (I know money is a huge concern right now and I don’t mean to trivialize that with my suggestion – even just watching the tutorials is fun and that, at least, is free!) I haven’t taken the time to do my nails in a really long time, and it feels like something easy I could do to brighten my spirits.

1 year ago
Reply to  Kat

Kat I totally agree! All happy distractions are welcome:)

1 year ago

I’m a paper mosaic artist and I have classes posting Tuesday/Thursdays for a bit here. I made them with kids in mind for SAH “art class” but anyone can do them. They’re 1000% dorky but are 100% free. They use things that are in your house so you don’t have to leave. Enjoy!

1 year ago
Reply to  Andi

Love your mosaics! Following!

1 year ago
Reply to  Andi

Thank you so much!

1 year ago

Emily! Can you please share the source for the miniatures on the photo at the top of the page? It looks like maybe an interior design tool, or dollhouse furniture? Adorable!! Thank you ❤️

1 year ago
Reply to  Esther

Hi Esther! I believe her miniatures are a mix of vintage ones she’s had forever and ones from Michaels. I am sure Etsy has a bunch that are great!

1 year ago

Ladies, superb read AGAIN. Thank you for these suggestions and for being my daily dose of *for sure* happiness.

Also, I recommend House Party over zoom for your virtual gathering. Such a better interface and you can play trivia and apples to apples together on it!

1 year ago
Reply to  Sara

Thank you so much for saying<3 And we have heard about house party and absolutely want to try!

1 year ago

Guys, your privilege is showing again.

I’m a dental assistant who just got furloughed for two months because the governor in my state shut down all non-emergency treatment until May and my office is a general practice so all emergencies are going to be referred to an oral surgeon.

How the hell am I supposed to rationalize spending my cushion to support a small business when I need every penny to keep my own family afloat?

1 year ago
Reply to  crcr

Please know that there isn’t a second that goes by (even when we are feeling helpless and scared) that all we don’t know how incredibly lucky we are. We also know that when people are losing their jobs this kind of content can feel insensitive and infuriating. But we are honestly trying to do our absolute best in creating content for a wide range of people as a way to add a little light to their day. We know that purchasing a craft is not currently an option for a lot of people right now. But if there are those who can we want to be able to be a resource, especially when it means supporting small businesses so they can stay afloat during this time. Right now it’s awful and scary and I can’t tell you how sorry I am to hear about your job. We are not perfect and we will likely mess up from time to time but I hope that if you continue to come to the site that we can provide some form of community and/or escapism if even for a couple of minutes.

1 year ago
Reply to  crcr

I am sorry that you are having such a tough time, but taking it out on Emily and her co-workers is unfair to them; unfair to their readers who come here for a bit of joy; and does not help you in any way, unless you just needed to vent, in which case you should vent in the direction of those who caused your problems rather than at people who did not cause your problems.

No one is asking you to spend “your cushion” supporting small businesses – Emily, through Caitlin, simply is suggesting that it is a good thing to do at this time if you can afford it.

If you can’t afford, you’re in good company. But you still can be creative by taking the projects as starting points to be crafty with what you have around the house. One of the posters, Andi, has a website offering free classes in making paper mosaics. So there’s a free project, too.

Please take care and be well.

1 year ago

GoshiGoods has awesome chunky knit blankets or if you want to DIY you can buy their “Blanket in a Box” that comes with the chunky yarn and an easy instructional video (I am horrible at crafts and had no problem!). She’s also one of the sweetest people on the planet and donates a portion of her profits to a local children’s hospital. Look them up on Etsy!

1 year ago
Reply to  Kelli

I totally will!

1 year ago

Just an FYI regarding recommending Everlane… they just laid off a bunch of their employees 3 days after they asked for union recognition. (And apparently after assuring them no one would be let go during COVID-19). Pretty terrible – I’m especially shocked bc the company is supposedly all about good biz practices.

More details on twitter account @EverlaneU but wanted to let y’all know. This has totally changed how I feel about this brand and won’t be shopping there again.

1 year ago

I ordered 1600 feet of macrame cord last week, and I’m teaching myself how to braid macrame! My mom doesn’t understand why I chose this new hobby, as she lived through the height of the macrame craze in the 70’s and doesn’t want to go back, but my husband is thoroughly impressed that I’m already able to make plant hangers and table runners.

This is where I bought the cord, in case anyone else is interested in buying such an absurd amount of macrame cord:

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