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Small Businesses We Love

November 23, 2021


Erin Schrader

It’s no secret that we do our fair share of shopping, but one of our favorite ways to shop is small! From Etsy shops and brand we’ve discovered all around the country to local boutiques we love to pop into, we feel so lucky to be able to support small businesses! Today we’re sharing some of our favorite small businesses we frequent, and hopefully you’ll find one or two along the way that speaks to you so you can shop small too!

Erin’s Small Business Favorites

Life in Lilac

Holiday Dreams Candle

I just received my first Life in Lilac order and I can already tell you that I will be going back for more. Created by a fellow blogger, Sister Studio, I was so excited to see her candle business come to life! The scents and the hand-painted jars are beautiful and have been such a fun addition to sit around our house!

Taylor Wolfe Shop [use code LIY15 for 15% off]

Vintage Santa Sweatshirt [true to size, wearing in small]

If you don’t own a sweatshirt or tee from Taylor Wolfe shop yet, you are missing out. The entire LIY team is obsessed with Taylor as a human [truly, she’s hilarious], and her shop is full of funny, seasonal, super cozy items! Whether you need something for tailgating, the holidays, or the 4th of July, she has you covered on all ends!

Shop Living in Yellow [use code TURKEY for 25% sitewide!]

2022 Life + Style Planner

I may be a little bias here, but I am so proud of the work that the LIY team has done to create our Life + Style products and LIY Merch. Our Life + Style Planners are my favorite product and so much love is poured into them with thoughtful details scattered throughout. It’s been such a joy [and learning process] figuring out how to do it all, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!


Plaid Sign // Oh What Fun Sign // Watercolor Sign // Precious Life Sign

It is absolutely no surprise that one of my all-time favorite small businesses to support is Joyfully Said, which also happens to be my sister’s store that she created a few years ago. Her handmade wood signs bring so much joy into our home. They are all so fun, beautiful and high quality. What once started in her living room has now turned into a team of 17 employees, her husband included, making it a truly family-owned business. Whether you’re shopping for your home or gifting to somebody else, I can’t recommend Joyfully Said more! Don’t forget to use the code LIY20 for 20% off your order!


Bel Koz Beaded Bracelets // Bel Koz Charms

It turns out that I have several powerhouse friends who are doing BIG things. Insert Mustard Seed Marketplace which is another small business that was started by my friend, Lisa. There is so much purpose and intention behind this business, Lisa started Mustard Seed Marketplace born out of an idea to only sell fair-trade, sustainable, give-back, or locally made products. She is a woman on a mission to help change the world and her business is doing just that. My favorite product from her shop are these Bel Koz Beaded Bracelets that come with a free charm. These bracelets are created by artisans in Haiti from the clay that lives there. By purchasing this bracelet, you are helping to provide a better life for women and their children in Haiti. Bonus: they are beautiful and make for perfect gifts!


Messenger Bag // Interchangeable Bag Straps

Here at LIY, we are so lucky to have been introduced to many small businesses over the years, one that we fell in love with years ago [and remain in love with] is Social Threads. Social Threads was started by and is run by two of the nicest, funniest, loving sisters-in-law who pour their hearts into this business while simultaneously pouring their hearts into their families. They carry so many brands that you all love and know and speciality items as well. At the top of my list? Their bags and interchangeable straps. I use mine every single day to carry my laptop, planner and other necessities.


Wellness Care Package // Click here to help change the lives of women

Oh Soup of Success, how much I care about you. A year or two ago, I was asked to sit on the advisory board for this local organization who pours their heart and souls into empowering and bettering the lives of women who are in a position to be helped. Soup of Success provides an intense 20-week program that a woman can apply to be apart of that helps transform their lives from job training, emotional counseling, and so much more. The women learn on-hands job skills by creating and manufacturing a variety of products like soups, dips, cookie mixes, etc. These products are then sold and the proceeds go back into the organization to fund the program. Added bonus: the products are so delicious, we love making their hearty potato soup on cold winter days!


Coffee + K-Cup Options

If you know me at all,  you know I’m several cups of coffee per day type of gal. Insert my love for this local roastery, Main Street Roasters. Not only do they have the most welcoming and beautiful coffee shop to hang out at in Nappanee, IN, they sell all of their delicious coffee online for everybody to enjoy. I’m a BIG flavored coffee girl and they have it all – from blueberry cinnamon crumble to salted caramel and coconut dream, fill my cup with it all please and thank you. My husband loves the Main Street Blend and makes sure we have it on hand at all times. If you’d like to support a local roastery, raise your cup to this one!


How fun is this personalized mug?! When I saw that I could have my dog’s faces all over my morning drink, I was in. Type League Press creates all types of personalized gifts and is owned by a girl out of Chicago, Sara, who makes them all! Whether you are a dog lover or want your kiddo’s face on your mug or heck, just want a cute mug in general, this is your place!

Hannah’s Small Business Favorites

Vintage Charm


I wish you could smell this candle through the screen [it’s amazing]!! If you asked my husband, the last thing I need is another candle but ahhhh I can’t stop won’t stop! Not only does this one smell good but I love the overall look of it! AND once it’s completely burned, I plan to repurpose it for a jewelry holder, which basically makes it multipurpose lol 

Vintage Charm

A Day at the Bookstore Puzzle / Twinkle Town Puzzle

I recently stopped at a new, to me, local boutique [Vintage Charm] and let me just say WHOA!! I wasn’t in there nearly as long as I would have liked to be but there was so much to see, buy and try on lol From pretty things for your home, hosting and gifts to what to wear, jewelry and so much more! I could have been in there for hours! I walked away with these beautiful puzzles!!!  I love that they are pretty enough to set out on the coffee table as decor but they’ve been so fun to do with the kids!! You will not be disappointed shopping this store!! 


Initial Necklace

I think this is by far my favorite gift I’ve ever received. My husband and kiddos gifted this to me for Mother’s Day a couple years ago and it’s still the most worn necklace I own! I love that you can customize it with the letters and can decide what to include! They did our family initials! And the quality is amazing!  


Kids Bathrobe 

I’d be lying if I said she didn’t wear this almost everyday [even in the Summer]! She has been asking for a robe for awhile and this one was perfect! It’s cozy, washes well, she loves the hood and the fact that it has her name on it! If you have an upcoming wedding and need a flower girl gift, highly recommend this for an option too!


Personalized Crayons  

For the kiddos who love to color, these crayons have been a HUGE hit!! They loved that each crayon was a letter for their name and they work so well! Bonus — they didn’t come broken and each name had an extra crayon included [robot and unicorn]!


Personalized Puzzle 

Continuing the trend of personalized items [what can I say, I’m a sucker for stuff like this], for the puzzle lover in your life, this astronaut one has been a winner! He has loved putting this together, taking it apart and putting it back together almost daily! He also thinks it’s pretty cool that the astronaut looks like him and the puzzle has his name on it! Customize the astronaut to resemble your kiddo, add his or her name and they will be using this gift constantly!

Steph’s Small Business Favorites


Cadorah Earrings – Zoe Tan Stripe [Use LIY15 for 15% off!]

Cadorah has so many cute and affordable earring options. I chose this Zoe Tan Stripe pair several months ago and have worn them so many times! Be sure to use LIY15 for 15% off!

Taylor Wolfe Shop [use code LIY15 for 15% off]

Heart Sweatshirt / Summer Weekends Sweatshirts / Stay Home Joggers / Peace Sweatshirt / Use LIY15 for 15% off of everything!

I’ve never received anything from Taylor Wolfe I didn’t love. In fact, as I type this I’m wearing my Social Distancing Club sweatshirt which I just realized I don’t even have a photo of. Taylor’s sweatshirts are always comfortable and cozy, making them a reliable go-to gift. I tend to size up in all of her products, typically wearing L or even XL to create some bootie coverage for leggings. Use code LIY15 to save 15% on all these cozy gifts.


Pet Feeding Mat 

I prefer to keep a mat under our dog’s food and water bowls because girlfriend is a MESSY drinker and this helps keep the floor a little cleaner. Our previous mat was getting old, and when I saw this cute  personalized mat I thought it was time for an upgrade. I love the way it turned out!

Little Donkey Supply Co

Tug Ball

My 2 year old Australian Shepherd Mix, Zoey, loves to play tug o’war. When I saw this tug ball I knew I had found the perfect next toy for her to have! I love that I could buy a dog toy while still supporting a small business this holiday season. The sellers, Little Donkey Supply Co., only offer earth friendly natural products, and donate 10% to animal rescues.  

Mud Love

Mud Love Bracelet – Enough / Mud Love Bracelet – Worthy

I’ve known about Mud Love Bracelets for several years thanks to seeing Ben Higgins wear them during his time on The Bachelor, but never got around to purchasing them until now. These products are hand made with production shared between semi-local to us Warsaw, IN and the Domincan Republic (in partnership with Vida Plena). Every product sold gives a week of clean water to someone in the Central African Republic. I purchased one for myself, and one as a gift for now, but this is definitely a business I’ll be buying from again.

Hey June

Diamond Ear Cuff [Use LIY15 for 15% off]

Love the look of  a cartilage piercing but not sure you want to commit to the extra hole in your ear? OR have a teen daughter that wants her cartilage pierced but you’re not sure she’s ready for the permanent commitment? I present to you – the best solution! True to consistent Hey June quality, this diamond ear cuff is comfortable to wear, looks great and feels like it will last a loooooong time. I love the look of it with my diamond huggies. I’ve purchased probably 10 pairs of earrings over the last few years, and each has been the best quality, arrived quickly and looked great in person! Be sure to use code LIY15 for 15% off your purchase!


Hand Lettering Kit

I purchased this hand lettering kit during quarantine last year for something new to try. I really like all of the components that come with it. It makes for a unique gift for someone who is crafty, or aspires to be.

Lauren’s Small Business Favorites

Vintage Charm

Billabong Shacket [true to size, wearing medium] 

The second I spotted this in store I knew it had to come home with me. Once I put it on the deal was sealed. Long enough to wear with leggings, can be worn open or buttoned up, and CRAZY soft and warm!

Vintage Charm

Leopard Tank [true to size]

This leopard layering tank is just the tank I’ve been looking for! The perfect length, a toned down leopard print, and perfect for wearing under blazers, moto jackets, and cardigans this season!

Vintage Charm

Sweater Dress from Vintage Charm [not currently online] [true to size]

This sweater dress is the trifecta – insanely soft, the perfect not-too-loose not too-tight fit, and priced right! It feels like the softest fleece and I might actually sleep in it – don’t judge me. Maybe I’ll wear it to a holiday party first, more bang for my buck! 


Grand Adventure Sign – Use code LIY15 for 15% off!

Erin’s sister owns the best sign-making business around [if I do say so myself], and that includes making this sign! I’ve had it in my oldest son’s room since he was a baby, and the saying holds true – there’s nothing that kid loves more than a grand adventure!


Monogrammed Leather Pouch

Lip gloss, hand sanitizer, extra contacts, ibuprofen. I feel strongly about a “catchall” pouch inside of my purse for all these little on-the-go necessities. Add in the fact that I’m a sucker for a monogram, and this cute leather pouch was speaking to me. I chose black with gold foil, but there are plenty of other combinations as well!

Sawyer Candle Co

Sawyer Hand Poured Soy Candle

Can you ever have enough candles? I think not. I’m constantly buying them to “have on hand for gifting” and tend to end up using them myself. Oh well! These candles are SO good! The owner, Annie, is a fellow Indiana University alumni [hoo hoo hoo, hoosiers!], and the scent combinations are unique and spot on [hello Bergamot + Tobacco!]. *Gently* toss one in everyone’s stocking this year.


Lavender Salt Scrub

Wow! I loved this lavender salt scrub! The smell, the texture, the real dried lavender in the mix, the end result – all of it! I used this while relaxing in a bath, but you could also use this in the shower! The scent was wonderful – I LOVE lavender, but there are also other scents to choose from!

Claire’s Small Business Favorites

Ambre Blends

Ambre Body Cream // Ambre Essence

Ambre Blends is a woman-owned business based in Indianapolis, IN. All of their high quality organic body products are handmade with 100% pure and natural vegan ingredients. I fell in love with Ambre Essence after smelling the oil on several of the girls on the LIY Team [seriously, one whiff and I was hooked]! I started small for my first purchase with the 10mL oil pump bottle and have been a fan ever since. The larger 30mL bottle is a great option for us repeat customers refilling the pump bottle. I couldn’t get enough and splurged on the body cream [2oz // 8oz] to add to the collection too! It’s a light and clean yet woody fragrance, but you can read more about that and find the official description here.

Katy’s Small Business Favorites

Grey Suede

Rose Petal Distressed Hoodie Sweater

Katy here! My friend Raven (if you’re a bachelor fan, you may know her from there!) has a cute boutique called Grey Suede that I wanted to share with y’all! They have so many fun pieces, but I grabbed this hoodie that I thought was perfect for Fall! They also have a $10 section, so I definitely recommend checking that out for some great finds at an amazingggg price!


Phone Case

This purple is my favorite color right now (although the Kelly green REALLY caught my eye) and I love the little heart, gold detail, and “smile everyday” inspirational quote on this phone case! Perfect for a little pick me up throughout your day 💜

Soapy Gnome

This is a local shop from here in Indiana! I love going in here and taking in all the scents. They hand make almost every type of soap scent that you can imagine. From Lavender Eucalyptus, to Snow Day, to Milk & Honey. If you’re not a bar soap person, not to worry! They also make foaming liquid soaps, deodorant, and more! These would make a great stocking stuffer for someone else, but why not grab a gift for yourself while you’re at it 🙂


Where We Met Map

This may be called the “Where we met” map (which I think is SO cute), but I ended up making this for my husband’s Grandparents with the coordinates of the land they live on now.  It’s been in their family for a long time and is special to them so I thought they would enjoy a tribute to it. I love that this Etsy shop makes their items so personalized and that this gift has the exact location. You can personalize this however you’d like! They were great to work with and made changes I asked for even after I ordered! I highly recommend this for a special someone in your life.


Tiny Hoop Earrings [Rose Gold Shiny]

How cute are these little hoops!? This was a gift for myself. Sometimes we need those, right? I love that they are simple and dainty, but add a beautiful touch to any look! The packs come in a pair, so I ordered 2!


Custom Recipe Cutting Board

I’ve seen this idea on Etsy for a few years and have always thought it would make a super special gift. You can choose the shape and wood type you would like and then you will message the seller a scanned copy of the recipe you would like on the board! I have a box of recipes from my Great Grandmother. She was here until 2015 and was a huge part of my family, so having something with her handwriting will be a special, personalized gift for my Mom or Grandma.


Personalized Wallet

I gifted this to my Pa (Grandpa) last year after  I realized he probably hasn’t bought a new wallet since I was a kid haha! There’s nothing wrong with that, but I wanted to get him a new one with his name on it. I know something like a wallet (especially for men) can sometimes be at the bottom of the list when you’re shopping for yourself, so I hope he loves this new, personalized gift! You can also choose different monogram styles and leather colors.

Joyfully Said Signs

Kind Words Are Like Honey Sign [LIY15 for 15% off]

Joyfully Said Signs has such great items and I loved the saying on this sign! It’s such a good reminder and a beautiful way to display it in your home or to give as a gift!

Cassidy’s Small Business Favorites


Where are our pet lovers at!? How cute are these customizable pet gifts from HitherRabbit on Etsy!? My pup is in love with her newest toy–is is strong and durable while being oh so cute! It does also have a squeaker in it for extra fun! When I saw these embroidery portraits of your pet, I HAD to get my hands on one! It is obviously adorable but is such a sweet ode to your pet as well as a conversation starter! Carolyn from HitherRabbit was so easy to work with and absolutely nailed it! I cannot recommend this shop enough! If you are a pet lover or have one in your life, this is the shop for you! Creation + ship time is 2-3 weeks! 

LIY Ambassador Small Business Favorites

The Pretzee Company

These cute and yummy pretzees make a great addition for any holiday or event! Jen, the creator of Pretzees, can make these sweet treats in so many fun designs!

Ella Jayms

Top // Similar Skirt

For each item purchased at Ella Jayms, one item will also be donated to a local women’s shelter. When I first met the owner of Ella Jayms, Sami, we instantly clicked. We shared our stories, and she was like a dear friend I had not seen in years, and we picked up right where we left off. I support the store quite often (as my hubby will attest to!) but at the heart of who I am, is fashion and philanthropy. I like to see the new trends and styles and incorporate them into my daily life, while supporting a great mission; it encourages me to shop more often knowing that Sami and Ella Jayms truly do support meaningful causes in the community, where so many live and work. 

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