I’ve always hated Black Friday. I’ve never enjoyed going shopping, which is part of it, but the other part is it always just seemed like a money grab for large corporations that already have plenty of it. Once I allowed myself to be dragged to a mall at midnight on this “holiday,” which is when I realized that most Black Friday “deals” are not actually that great, and mostly indeed just an excuse for Kohl’s or Target or some other gigantic department store to give you 20% off of an already expensive microwave, trick you into thinking you’re getting a great deal and – yep – make yet more money. The same goes for Cyber Monday, except minus the long lines. (Admittedly, I did find some awesome Alaska Airlines flight deals last year on Cyber Monday, but I digress).
This year, my contempt for Black Friday extends beyond “gigantic companies already have plenty of money.” This year, my thoughts are, “it’s easy to find deals at big department stores, but it’s hard to find deals at small businesses, and during a pandemic, small businesses are who need your $$$ the most.”
I searched online for small businesses with Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, and found an article suggesting that in order to find small businesses to support, consumers should search on Amazon. Excuse me?? To find small online businesses to support, we should give yet more money to one of the richest companies in the world? That seems counterproductive.
Instead, by crowdsourcing on Instagram, I’ve found 9 small online businesses with sales from NOW UNTIL MONDAY NIGHT. If you’re doing your holiday shopping early and you’d like to support some small businesses in the process, take a look at the list below.
Please note: I’m not affiliated in any way with any of these businesses. There are no affiliate links in this post. I just know it’s been a tough year for everyone, and think we should all support each other more (and Amazon less).
Inspired by “everything ocean-related” and the founder’s upbringing in Hawaii, the Daly City, CA-based company Sumofish sells T shirts, masks, stickers, recyclable tote bags, and more, all sporting a cool animal design. Such as, a Statue of Liberty-esque octopus eating a pizza, which is every bit as dope as it sounds. From now until Monday, 11/30, all products on the site are 20% off, except for masks. If you’re in the Bay like me, this is a great way to support local artists!
2. Imani Collective
Based in Dallas, Texas, Imani Collective employs 100+ artists in Mombasa, Kenya to make all the pillows, banners, ornaments and other items sold on their site. According to the “about us” story highlight on their Instagram, they provide each of their 100+ artists and staff with more than 2.6 times the minimum wage in Mombasa along with benefits and access to programs such as child care and tuition expenses. They’re offering the following deals on their site, all of which are valid until midnight on Monday, 11/30:
- 20% off orders $25+ with promo code: BLACKFRIDAY20
- 25% off orders $50+ with promo code: BLACKFRIDAY25
- 30% off orders $75+ with promo code: BLACKFRIDAY30
As it says on their Instagram, “every purchase empowers another human.” 🙂
3. Revolution Art Shop
As Revolution’s Art Shop’s Instagram bio says, “We’re building a movement and clothing it in messages of democracy, hope, humor, and change.” All the way from now until Monday, December 7th, Revolution Art Shop is offering 15% off orders of $50 or more on their site. ALSO, a portion of every sale of their “Don’t Tread on My Uterus” shirt, hoodie, or gift pack is donated to Planned Parenthood. Hell yeah!
4. Steph Littlebird
Portland-based Indigieous artist Steph Littlebird is offering free shipping on all prints over $20 shipped in the US. Check out her store on Etsy featuring prints of animals, people, and a super dope one of Baby Yoda.
5. In Situ Jewelry
In Situ Jewelry sells sustainable, handmade jewelry made right in Santa Cruz, CA a.k.a. my hometown! The designer works with a company in New Mexico that melts down pieces of old jewelry into wire and sheet metal, which they then send to In Situ to create the pieces. They’re offering 30% off everything on their website until Monday 11/30 at midnight. Just use the code SHOPSMALL. All orders are always shipped in packaging that is recyclable and/or biodegradable to eliminate plastic and waste!
6. Insurgent Cat Designs
Based in Sacramento, CA, Insurgent Cat Designs sells stickers, mugs, and patches with important messages. (One of my favorites is their “Librarians: Saving Your Ass Since 300 BCE” shirt.) They’re offering 10% off everything in their Etsy store until Monday, December 7. 10% of the profits from all their sales are split between ACLU, Planned Parenthood, NRDC, Lambda Legal and Native American Rights Fund!
7. Gold Dust Womvn
All of the skin and hair care products sold by the Sacramento-based company Gold Dust Womvn are eco-conscious and handmade with organic ingredients. From now until Monday, you can get 20% off all items on their site with the code SHOPSMALL!
Based in Detroit, Michigan, Diop was founded by a first-generation American whose parents are from Lagos, Nigeria. Their clothes, hats, and masks are inspired by the shirts the founder’s mother made for him from Ankara fabric from West Africa and then had tailored. As the website says, What my mom did wasn’t easy; it took a lot of time and money. And she had to do that because clothing brands weren’t doing it for her.”
Diop is offering a 25% sale off of all the products on their website. This sale doesn’t apply to face masks, but instead there’s a buy 3, get 1 free deal on all the masks on the site. The site has also donated over $100,000 of their sales to several organizations, including the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the LGBTQ Freedom Fund and the Marsha P. Johnson Institute!
9. Stephanie Huang Designs
If you’re looking for handmade jewelry to give as gifts, peep Stephanie Huang Designs on Etsy! Based in Denver, Colorado, the artist is giving 10% off her store before Monday, 11/30. BUT, she says that if you comment on this Instagram post, she’ll slide into your DMs with an even better discount code!