At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
Welcome to Small Wonders, our list of R29-editor-vetted small businesses we love — and love to support. With all the attention on mass retailers, we’re here to shed light and showcase small shops, from AAPI fashion brands to Black-owned businesses to mom-and-pop shops, that deserve your utmost attention. Specializing in everything from sustainable clothing to nameplate necklaces to beauty products to vintage popcorn-making sets, there’s something for everyone.
These products from small businesses aren’t just great for giving yourself, though: they’re also the perfect way to surprise someone special with something they won’t find in their local mall. So get excited as you peruse our growing list of fashion, fine jewelry, beauty, and homeware brands ahead. We’ll be consistently adding small businesses to our list every month, so don’t forget to bookmark this page and find new shops to support. And if you have a small business you’d like highlighted, make sure to drop it in the comments below!
Small Fashion Businesses
Ahead, prepare to discover new fashion brands like Salter House, Les Belles, and AAPI-owned Verloop, where you’ll find essentials like cozy home slippers, clogs, and more.
Our interview with Verloop founder Ella Lim revealed that the AAPI-owned accessories brand has so much more to love than just its focus on sustainability. It’s an heirloom brand that draws from experiences and family history through use of deadstock yarn sourced directly from the factory owned by Lim’s family.
Its cheerful site sells colorful mini totes, pouches, trendy bucket hats, slippers, and countless home decor items, all created with leftover textile materials.
Cottagecore enthusiasts will be over the moon when they explore the dreamy, eco-conscious offerings from homestead lifestyle brand Salter House. The label puts a contemporary and sustainable twist on must-haves like clogs, boots, airy dresses, and pajamas, made from organic cotton and hemp plastic using natural dyes derived from sugars in hemp plants, pomegranate rinds, and more.
Don’t settle for suffocating tights that’ll tear after one wear. Les Belles creates breathable, seamless, and extra-strong double-covered yarn tights created with a 3D-knit technology that makes them rip-resistant. The lightweight and buttery-soft tights are unisex, with sizes running from XS to 3XL and offering the option of a classic or high waistband.
Small Jewelry Businesses
Whether you’re searching for an up-and-coming jewelry brand that’ll have everyone asking, “Where’d you get that?” or looking for the perfect gift for a friend, these small businesses don’t disappoint. Add a personalized necklace or two to your collection from some of our editor and celeb-favorite brands.
Kinn Studio Jewelry is a personal favorite of mine, as the brand taught me a new way to love my Korean name. It’s the first Korean-owned fine jewelry brand I found that specializes in nameplate jewelry for Asian names.
The Heritage Collection is the brand’s latest Asian-scripted line to celebrate Korean American Day on January 13th. It comprises of five 14k gold pieces, from bracelets and necklaces to rings and customizable charms in Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, or Japanese.
Amelia Rose Design is one of Oprah’s cherished brands — and one we’re loving, too. The jewelry brand’s handcrafted sterling silver diamond initial necklace was voted one of the media mogul’s favorites in 2023.
Small Beauty Businesses
After all our daily stressors and hard work, our self-care routine can always include more lush and hydrating skincare products to look forward to. We’re eager to score these self-care musts, from hair oils for wavy, curly, and afro hair to award-winning Gua Shas.
Sorry to break it to you beauty fanatics, but you just might be using your Gua Sha in the wrong way. Our Senior Travel Writer, Venus Wong shares tips and tricks on how women in China actually incorporate the skincare tool into their lives with a review of AAPI-owned Pink Moon.
Black-owned haircare brand Bread delivers “hair care basics for not basic hair” with its critically-acclaimed selection of everything from glossy serums to conditioning masks and gentle shampoos all formulated specifically for 3a to 4c hair textures. Give it a whirl with the brand’s bestselling hair oil and duo set.
Enjoy luxurious soaps, lotions, and fragrances all at an affordable price under $25. The products are made with a short list of vegan and cruelty-free ingredients, like niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and lush mango butter.
Small Lifestyle/Homeware Businesses
Give your home a makeover with fresh homeware products like a sturdy new skillet, scented candle refills, and other quirky items. These little luxuries will elevate your home and make for a homey vibe in an instant.
Are you a candle-holic like me who goes through countless candles every month? Boojee’s scented refills have come to the rescue! The scented candle refills come in a paper container that is easy to remove and place back into a colorful pigmented ceramic Boojee vessel.
Cat lovers, this one’s for you! Light up your hallways or rooms with a playful motion-sensing cat night light. Pick from the three colors: pastel pink, black, grey, or white. The quirky light has a five-star rating from customers, with over 300 stellar reviews raving over the perfect amount of light it delivers and its adorably petite size.
The new year is the perfect time to unleash inner Giada by treating yourself to a set of better pots and pans. Xtrema Pure Ceramic Cookware serves up non-toxic everyday kitchenware, with its bestselling 7 to 11-inch skillets leading the pack.
Small Food Businesses
If you’re getting a bit tired of the same old snacks and tried-and-true teas, consider giving one of the businesses ahead a try. From popcorn sets to healthier and tastier teas, these small business purchases are sure to become kitchen staples.
Instead of microwavable popcorn, bring back the fun of old-school popping with Popsmith — I know I have. In fact, it’s now my favorite way to start Friday movie nights. The chef-crafted and pre-measured kits allow you to create crisp, light popcorn with its classic stovetop popping. All I need is right in the kits — coconut oil, salt, and popping corn.
The Starter Bundle is a great introduction to Popsmith; it includes a stainless steel stovetop Popper that comes in retro shades like Butter, Poppy, and Cobalt, and ten kits of the brand’s Oh Sooo Buttery and Sweet n’Salty Kettle Corn.
Keep your tea drawer stocked with goodies from AAPI-owned Kola Goodies. There’s everything from rich chai and creamy oat milk teas to super healthy green latte mixes that’ll keep your mornings and nights nourished and balanced.
For more can’t-miss shopping stories delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our Most Wanted newsletter.
Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?