My favorite places to shop small

Every year I like to send out an email highlighting some of my favorite small businesses.

But this year feels particularly important to shop small. The pandemic has forced thousands of independent shops to temporarily or permanently shut down.

I'll be honest, before I started Ugmonk I never thought much about “shopping small” but now being the owner of a small business I've come to realize how much every dollar counts to keep us little guys going.

2020 has been a wild ride, but we’re grateful for such an awesome supportive community to keep Ugmonk going. We’re ready to keep zigging and zagging with whatever lies ahead.

As we get into gift-buying mode for the holidays, let's vote with our dollars and support other independent creators and brands.

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❤️ Here are some of my favorite small brands and products that also make great gifts:

  • Hestra Gloves – A fourth generation family-owned company in Sweden that makes well-crafted gloves. I got this pair last year and they are like clouds for my hands.
  • PlanetBox – Eco-friendly stainless steel lunchboxes. My kids love these! Helped us to cut down the amount of single-use plastic we were using.
  • Spectrum Handcrafted – Minimalist jewelry made by hand in Chattanooga.
  • A Kids Book About — Beautifully designed kids books that kickstart conversations about important topics.
  • Malvern Buttery – My favorite local spot here in PA. If you're ever passing through this area, this is a must stop for the best made-from-scratch sourdough, pastries, and coffee around! 
  • Magic Puzzle Company – I backed their original Kickstarter and the trick at the end blew my mind. If you know someone who likes puzzles, this is perfect! (Amazon affiliate link since they aren’t available on their own site yet)
  • Quoddy — Handmade shoes in Maine. I've been wearing this pair for 6+ years and they are still the most comfortable shoes I've ever owned.
  • Peel – If I have to use a case on my iPhone it's a Peel case. Great company run by my friend Marshal in Dallas. 
  • Letterfolk — Nicely designed letterboards and home goods run by husband and wife team in Utah.
  • Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams — I’ve tried a lot of ice cream but Jeni’s still reigns my all-time favorite. And who doesn’t love receiving ice cream as a gift?
  • Manual — A collection of homewares that celebrate living slow, run by my friend Craighton in Chicago.
  • Fruition Chocolate – Amazing bean-to-bar chocolate made in Shokan, NY. I would not be mad if this showed up under the tree :)
  • Slimfold – Super slim, durable wallets and bags designed by my friend Dave in California. 
  • Studio Neat –  A design studio run by my friends Dan and Tom that makes simple products that solve problems.
  • Fellow — Thoughtfully designed coffee and tea products. We carry the electric Stagg EKG Kettle, which I use almost every single every day.
  • Some of my favorite coffee roasters— PassengerMethodical, Ultimo, Jitterz, Portrait

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Thanks for supporting our growing family and business these past 12 years!
It's a privilege to keep creating new products for you every year.
- Jeff & The Ugmonk Team