We all know COVID-19 has impacted almost everyone's lives these last eight to nine months and it doesn't look like that will be changing any time soon. While billionaires have continues to profit off of this pandemic, *cough* I'm looking at you, Jeff Bezos, small businesses are struggling to keep their heads above water. Even more have closed their doors for good and it is devastating. When you support a small business, you're supporting a dream, a livelihood, a family, a community, and so much more. As a small business owner myself, I know that every time I get a print order or book a shoot, I just smile to myself and think 'wow they really like my work enough to spend their hard earned money supporting my dreams.' I know I'm not alone in this feeling. In a year where it seems like we're pinching pennies more than ever, it means so much to small businesses to still have the support of our customers and clients. That's why I want to share some of my favorite small businesses that create amazing, unique products you won't find on that other massive retailer. Billionaire CEOs don't do happy dances when they receive a new order but I can promise you these small business (and many others!) do.

Pressed Floral Bookmarks by Danaè

While it takes a really good book to keep me interested, my mom and sister are total book addicts and I will definitely be snagging a few of Danaè Reid's handmade pressed floral bookmarks this holiday season! Each bookmark is made with flowers selected individually so you can be sure no two bookmarks will be the same. Then, the flowers are pressed in a notebook the old fashioned way. The bookmarks reflect the colors of nature when you purchase so in the Fall, expect warm, cozy tones of the changing seasons and maybe a pop or two of bright colorful leaves. Also, if you're clumsy like me, you can be sure your bookmark will never get water damaged or ruined. They're waterproof, durable and sustainable! What more could you ask for? The bookmarks come in a variety of sizes starting from small page corner bookmarks up to full 8.5 x 11 sized prints. If you're one of those people who uses whatever ripped piece of paper or napkin to hold your place in your book, or you know someone who is, upgrade to a beautiful handmade floral bookmark from Danaè Reid! You can find these gems on Instagram at @danaethe_. For Black Friday, Danaè is offering Buy One, Get One Half Off for large bookmarks! DM her on Instagram to purchase!

Galactic Sugar

With a name like that, I was instantly intrigued! Galactic Sugar was created by Monique Singh and her incredible jewelry pieces are inspired by the Earth below and Universe above while incorporating crystals, plants, wildlife, and celestial wonderings into each design. All items are handcrafted in small batches in her home studio in Phoenixville, PA. From November 25th to November 30th, you can find select items on sale for 20%-50% off! While writing this post, I may have even snagged a necklace or two for myself! Hey, sometimes you need to treat yourself too! Don't wait too long. The item you were eyeing could be gone in a second so don't miss out! Visit www.galacticsugar.com to purchase!

Kindred Soul Candles

Growing up, I was never really a candle person because my mom had a sensitive nose and could only tolerate certain light scents. Once I moved into my own place, it took me a while to realize 'Hey! I can finally get all the candles I want!' so that's what happened. I quickly became a candle hoarder and every time I'm in HomeGoods or Marshall's, I make a bee line straight towards the candle section. When researching what goes into typical store bought candles, I was alarmed at the potentially harmful ingredients, and this year, as I work on becoming more conscious of the products I buy and how they impact the environment and my health, I've started skipping the candle aisle in department stores and opting for smaller, locally made candles. Kindred Soul Candles creates homemade soy wax candles in Baltimore, MD. Soy wax is natural and burns cleaner than paraffin wax which may contain benzene (a known carcinogen, yikes!) and it's environmentally friendly! The tea cups and vessels used to create Kindred Soul Candles are thrifted which means giving an item that could've ended up in a landfill a new life! These candles are also infused with aromatherapy scents so depending on the scents you choose, there may be some healing properties as well! For the holidays, you can purchase these candles on sale! One candle is $18-$20, 2 candles for $30 or 3 candles for $45! View Kindred Soul Candles on Instagram at @kindredsoulcandles for available candles and DM to purchase.

Kpellé Designs

If you're looking for vibrant head wraps, unique loc charms and more, Kpellé Designs is the place for you. Her pieces are deeply rooted in African culture and each piece is handcrafted with love. Each head wrap collection is made of fabric from Liberia and named by her followers/supporters, lovingly called Kpellé Posse. Explore all the products Kpellé Designs has to offer at kpelledesigns.com!

Old City Canning Co. & The Chandlery

Old City Canning Co is a Philly LGBTQ owned and operated candle business. They offer a variety of scents that will make you or a loved one very happy. Recently, they opened a small holiday store front located at 1533 south street called The Chandlery. The Chandlery features Old City Canning Co. candles and home fragrance products, and unique home goods for yourself or others. You can find them on Instagram (@oldcitycanningco or @thechandleryPHL) or website www.oldcitycanningco.com

Prints by CathAlyse

As some of you may know, a few weeks ago I was diagnosed with a rare cancer found in my cervix. Since then, it's been a whirlwind of doctors appointments, bloodwork, lab tests and even a surgery but I'm so thankful for all the well wishes and prayers I've received along the way. While I've been trying to figure out my health and bounce back and forth between spending as much time as possible with my family in Maryland and working in Philly, I really haven't been able to shoot as much as I'd like. While I'm fortunate enough to still have a full time job during COVID-19, photography definitely helps me make ends meet and now with unexpected medical expenses, things are a little tighter than normal. For the rest of this month and all of December, I am running a sale on my print shop to help cover medical bills and copays that have popped up along the way. Get 20% off all print orders with code HAPPYHOLIDAYS and as always, if there's a photo I've posted on my Instagram, Twitter or Facebook that isn't on my shop, send me a message and I can quickly add it for you. I appreciate the support and hope to get back to booking shoots as soon as possible. Shop prints here!