I am SO EXCITED to share with you some amazing small business finds I came across this holiday season. As much as I love ordering from amazon and well known brands, there is nothing like supporting small business owners ESPECIALLY in the year 2020. Majority of the items I am about to share with you are hand made and many of the businesses also give back a portion of their proceeds to charity! And another AMAZING thing is..they all gave me coupon codes to share with you all so you can SAVE!! So let’s get into it!

The first business I want to share with you is Melian Photography . I met Kara, the owner, during a bridal shoot I was modeling for last year. Funny thing is I had JUST found out I was pregnant so technically she was the first person to ever photograph me and Parker together. Kara has such a creative eye. She can find beauty in any location or with any person she is photographing. Her style is beyond stunning and she would make a wonderful choice for your wedding day, a styled shoot, or even family photos. Her easygoing personality really helps, because we all know how awkward it can be posing for photos. She makes you feel welcomed and beautiful and is someone I would highly recommend to anyone who is in the market for a photographer. She is a fellow mama and her photography business is how she helps support her family. Which is so inspiring to me!

Kara was kind of enough to offer 15% off any regular session with code MAVEN as well as 10% off any wedding packages for her remaining 2021 dates! So be sure to mention me & this blog post when you reach out to her for your session! And be sure to go follow and support her on FACEBOOK & INSTAGRAM!

Next up is Clay And Aloha by Kim Charters. Kim is an incredibly talented jewelry maker who designs hand made clay earrings. And let me tell you…they are DIVINE! ALL of her styles are so chic, so trendy, and they are incredibly light weight. I love a good statement earring but there is nothing worse than when they are too heavy and make your ear lobes droop! With Clay And Aloha earrings this will never be the case. Each pair is unique and made to order so she usually does a drop of a variety of styles at one time. Not only are the earrings superb, but the packaging is amazing. Everything was put together in a cute little box with a hand written note. You really can see that Kim invests a lot of time into what she does and her passion shines through in every little detail of your order. I know for a fact that I will be ordering more of her earrings and expanding my collection of Clay And Aloha pieces!

You can shop her amazing earrings HERE! Kim was so gracious to allow me to offer you all $5 off your order using code MAVEN at checkout! Trust me you are going to want ALL OF THEM!

Be sure to follow Kim on INSTAGRAM & FACEBOOK to show your support as well!.

Next on my list is the shop From The Castle Creations by Margo Del Castillo. I connected with Margo through a mutual friend and absolutely fell in love with the items in her shop! From The Castle Creations offers a variety of hand poured/non toxic candles, hand painted ornaments, as well as some adorable keychains. You can tell that Margo puts so much love into every piece. The candle I received has actual crushed up peppermint in it! Absolutely adorable! Kyle even noticed how cute it was and commented on it which he rarely does lol. And it smells so good. I swear it’s so pretty I’m almost afraid to burn it! These candles are stunning to set out for decor. And her handmade ornaments are something we will treasure forever! She made us one that has a mama and daddy snowman with a baby for Parker’s first Christmas this year and I am OBSESSED. Margo is new to the business world and has plans to begin contributing 10% of her sales between 2 charities near and dear to her heart. The National MS Foundation and the other to a dog rescue called Dogs Without Borders. Her mom was diagnosed with MS in 2003 and she says it has been a long painful road for her family as they have had to watch her mother slowly lose mobility. She has been donating and walking the MS Walk in South Pasadena (Rose Bowl) since 2010. Dogs Without Borders is a great rescue group that takes in dogs from all over the world and fosters them until they’re adopted. Margo recently adopted her 2nd pup from them and she couldn’t be more appreciative. 
Margo has always enjoyed painting and is a big fan of candles ( she has one in each room). After some motivation from her closest friends, she decided to create her own. The name “From The Castle Creations” comes from her last name “Del Castillo”. Her last name literally translates from Spanish to English as “From The Castle”. She says it has been super fun creating such personal items and knowing that her work will be in someone’s home. She hopes that every client knows that everything was made with so much love, passion and thought for them. She is a big advocate for making people feel seen, heard and valued.

Margo has been amazing enough to offer you all 20% OFF using the code MAVEN. As well as FREE shipping on purchases over $35!! You can shop her amazing items HERE!

And don’t forget to give Margo a follow to support her on social media! You can find her on INSTAGRAM & FACEBOOK.

Next on my gift guide is a combo! Blu Ashe Boutique & Just Jr. Designs by Jordyn Trzcinksi. Jordyn and I have been connected on social media for quite some time. She started her boutique Blu Ashe with her girlfriend Kylie at 3am during quarantine. They decided that there was no better time to start than now. Within a week they had everything set up and Blu Ashe was rolling. They do live sales on Facebook every Thursday at 7 and they also have a website you can buy from directly. They both work other jobs right now but their goal is to make Blu Ashe their only job. And I find that VERY inspiring! Being someone who has attempted an online boutique in the past let me tell you..its not easy! It takes a lot of hard work and dedication and I think it’s amazing that these two women have that and each other to lean on.
Just Jr. Designs focus’ mainly on hair accessories for children but also does custom shirt orders! All hair accessories and bibdanas are handmade, during nap times.Talk about a hard working mama! JJD has grown tremendously since April and Jordyn is so grateful.

Jordyn was amazing enough to provide me with an entire outfit for our photoshoot as well as an adorable bibdana for Parker to match me! So first let’s talk about the sweater. The second I saw this gorgeous mustard/gold colored sweater I HAD TO HAVE IT. Not only is it a big & chunky style that I love for winter, but it has this adorable lace up back which adds a really stylish flair to it. It is cozy but not to the point where you feel overheated like some sweaters can be. I am obsessed with the color and feel like it makes my red lipstick really POP!

Now for the jeans. HOLY SHIIIIIIT. You guys. These KanCan jeans are legit. I was nervous at first about trying jeans, because..well you know, postpartum body. But to my surprise they not only fit but THEY LOOKED FAB! They are so soft, have a great amount of stretch, and are high waisted enough to smuggle this loaf of bread I’m carrying around my mid section now. Also a plus the hubby said my booty looked good. If you haven’t tried these jeans YOU NEED THEM.

Then we have these adorable flats. The cream shade makes them a go to shoe for nearly any outfit. And I was really impressed by the high quality! They feel like they have a little weight to them. They are not cheaply made like some other boutique shoes I have come across in the past. I know these are going to be a new staple in my wardrobe.

And last but not least is this adorable bibdana made for Parker. The material is incredibly soft. I was worried that it may be too scratchy or bother him because he doesn’t like things around his neck or face. However, this bibdana is a great material and he had no issues with it at all. Plus he looks so handsome! And its fun that I can still find ways for him to match me and not only dad!

Jordyn has given me the code HOLIDAY20 to share with you all for 20% off your purchase from either of her shops! This offer ends on 12/31/20. You can shop Blu Ashe items HERE & Just Jr. Designs HERE. Don’t forget to follow BOTH pages on FACEBOOK (Blu Ashe) FB (JJD) & INSTAGRAM (Blu Ashe) IG (JJD) to support Jordyn & Kylie!

Next up (seriously..how many times am I going to type next in this blog post lol) is probably one of the most personalized gifts on my entire list. This gift comes from AugiDog Art. I met the owner Nicole through the CMURC in Saginaw. We have a bunch of mutual friends and became connected on social media and have been supporting one another from a far ever since. Nicole started her business after nearly losing her beloved dog August. She knows how special animals are to so many and wanted to be able to create something that helped showcase that. Nicole creates one of a kind canvas art pieces of your animals and to say I am OBSESSED would be an understatement! If you know me, then you know that I am a huge animal lover. We have 4 fur babies of our own and 2 of them are rescues (which by the way, every order made at AugiDog Art a portion of the proceeds go to local animal rescues. AMAZING.) They were our babies before Parker arrived and we consider them family members. When Nicole and I spoke about the canvas she would create for me I had never gone through this process before. Nicole is very detail oriented. She asked questions about my animals, she asked what kind of color scheme I wanted, a long with what colors we have in our home so we can make sure it matches well. She has a variety of bold art work, however our home is incredibly neutral so I was excited to see how she would be able to keep my canvas colored in a way that would compliment our home. She nailed it! We have accents of navy, blush, and gold/bronze in our home. She took that information and created some gorgeous samples for me to choose from. Also she literally pieced together separate photos of our animals to create one big canvas! I had no idea how I was going to get them all to sit together and still for a photo. She made it so easy because I didn’t have to! Her piece of artwork will be the first piece of actual art we have hanging in our home. And it is a piece we will cherish for the rest of our lives. All of our sweet fur babies together in one canvas. This is the perfect gift for the animal lover in your life! The quality is great and it’s just so sentimental and unique.

Nicole has offered all of my following $40 OFF a 20×24 Canvas!! Please be aware that these canvases take time to create so there could be some waiting time. But I promise you it’s so worth the wait to have a one of a kind piece like this!! You can browse Nicole’s art & order your own HERE. And be sure to follow and support her on FACEBOOK & INSTAGRAM.

Another personalized gift on my list would be these beautiful handmade jewelry pieces from A Rose co Jewelry I met Anna years ago through my cousin Sheree. We actually did online sales together for a little while in the beauty industry. She is a very kind hearted and funny woman whom I have always enjoyed conversation with. When I found out that Anna started her own business I was so excited for her! It’s always amazing to see someone chasing after something for themselves and working hard. Anna makes customized metal stamped jewelry. She started in March of 2020. She realized how much fun she had making these for her family members and so she decided to turn it into a business! The pieces that she created for me are by far my new favorite EVER! She created this adorable “M” initial necklace, which I love because it not only stands for Miranda but also for Mama. And then my favorite of all are the bracelets she made me! One has Parker’s birthdate on it and initials in the corner. The other has his initials on the top. They are really lightweight and you are able to manipulate them a bit to fit onto your wrist. It’s nice to have a little bit of bend because lets face it…postpartum and weight fluctuation is a thing!! And I can’t wear half of my old jewelry (including my wedding ring) right now because of it! I think we all can agree from the photos that as amazing as Anna’s pieces are.. I unfortunately have proven that I will never be a good hand model. Sorry Anna, I tried lol As Anna continues to grow her business she has future plans of donating 10% of her sales to local charities. It’s always amazing when small businesses get the chance to give back..so just remember that when you place an order! It helps in more ways than you know!

Anna has offered my following here 20% off her entire boutique with code MAVEN at checkout! You can shop her customized pieces HERE. Please be sure to follow and support Anna on BOTH FACEBOOK & INSTAGRAM.

To wrap up this awesome small business gift guide I have the amazing Gabrielle with Elysian & Meraki. Pronounced E-lis-e-in & May-ra-key the name is greek and to paraphrase, it means beautiful and creative/to do something with soul, creativity, or love. To put something of oneself into your work. I met Gabrielle through a mutual friend online a few years back. She is STUNNING and a super kind woman. She has always given me good vibes in any interaction I have had with her. Gabrielle created her business a little over a year ago with the intent to make fashionable/creative tumblers for people to use. She works in the healthcare field, and noticed that nursing staff was always running around and barely getting a break. By the time they get to even take a sip of a something, it’s warm. There’s nothing worse than having a warm drink when you’re just thirsty. Whether it’s something that’s sentimental to them, holiday related, favorite color, funny phrase, or they simply saw something inspirational that they want recreated, Gabrielle can do it. With a tumbler, it keeps your favorite beverage cold for hours on end or even hot. This not only applies to healthcare, but anyone. Your outfit isn’t the only thing that has to be cute. You can use a tumbler not only has a cup, but an accessory. She not only can design tumblers for women, but she can design for men too. She is completely self taught which I find super inspiring! All of her items are handmade with a FDA compliant epoxy so it’s perfectly safe to drink from. She also includes straws with most of her designs. Her price range is $25-$50. Typical turn time is 2-4 weeks. These tumblrs are made to order so payment is made up front and then she starts on your design! I am absolutely in love with the holiday design she created for me! The tumblr is very well made & super heavy duty. I am OBSESSED with the sparkle in it and I cannot wait to use this every chance I get. I actually am currently staring at it on my coffee table as I type this.

Gabrielle has so kindly offered 10% OFF to my following with code LETSGETLIT10 on either a 20oz or 30oz tumblr. You can message Gabrielle to start your order on her Facebook page HERE. Also be sure to follow & support her on INSTAGRAM as well!

And that sums up my small business gift guide for the 2020 holiday season! I had so much fun coming up with this list for you all. I hope you enjoyed learning about not only the products but the amazing women behind them. I have always been such a huge advocate for supporting other women and shopping local & small whenever I can. I hope that you all have an incredible holiday season! Make sure you are following me on BOTH FB & IG to stay up to date with more gift guides throughout the month of December!

XoXo,

The Maven Life