Black Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season next week, and the average shopper will spend around $998 on gifts and holiday items this year.
Now imagine the positive impact it could have if we all spent even a fraction of those dollars at disability-owned and -employed businesses!
With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of options for you to check out when you’re looking for a disability-owned or -employed shop to support this holiday season, organized by category. From candles to coffee, you’ll find something for everyone on your list.
Candidly Kind was founded by Grace Key, who was born with Down syndrome — or as she prefers to call it, “Up syndrome”. Candidly Kind brings Grace’s uplifting sayings to life with clothing and accessories like this ‘Be The Light’ Tee (from $30) or Canvas Tote Bag ($28).
John’s Crazy Socks is a disability-owned, father-son business on a mission to spread happiness through socks. John’s Sock of the Month Club ($13.99/month) is a gift that’s guaranteed to make anyone smile.
The Spotlight Project specializes in handcrafted bracelets made by adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Each piece is inspired by its maker’s unique style, like this limited edition Purple and Pink Beaded Bracelet ($24) designed by team member Laura.
100 Percent Wine Project donates all profits from sales to creating jobs for people living with disabilities. If you’re attending a holiday party this year, consider bringing a bottle of their Sauvignon Blanc ($13.29) as a gift for the host.
Anastasia & Katie’s Coffee Shop in Livonia, Michigan, employs workers with developmental disabilities, who serve up tasty food and strong coffee to local residents. If you’re not in the area, you can grab a bag of their signature Good & Strong Bagged Coffee ($16) through their online shop.
Bitty & Beau’s Coffee opened its first shop in Wilmington, North Carolina in 2016 and employed 19 individuals with disabilities. Today, it has grown to over 23 shops across 12 states with over 200 employees. A bag of their bestselling Beau’s Blend ($16) would make the perfect stocking stuffer for the coffee lover in your life!
Common Roots Farm is an urban farm where people of all abilities grow healthy food and build friendships. Wrap up a bottle of their organic Bloody Mary Mix ($10) with a mini bottle of vodka and a jar of olives for a cute homemade gift basket.
ExtraSpecial Teas is a Massachusetts-based teahouse that helps adults with disabilities reach their full potential. EST serves over 50 different teas, but their Tea Flight Gift Box ($25) lets recipients try their three most popular: Blue Skies, S’more Love and Sunny Vibes.
Furnace Hills Coffee’s first employee and Chief Roaster, Erin Baldwin, was the inspiration behind the brand’s motto “Special Coffee Roasted by Special People”. A bag of Erin’s Breakfast Blend ($13) and a travel mug would make a great gift for a tired teacher, nurse, or caregiver.
Gabi’s Grounds was founded by mother-daughter duo Mary and Gabi Angelini to empower employees with disabilities. Their online shop offers a number of different gift baskets made by Gabi and her friends, including this thoughtful coffee and candle combo Hostess Gift ($22).
ONEHOPE lets you customize a Wine Club Membership (starting at $95 per shipment) to suit the recipient’s tastes — or let them choose with a Wine Club Gift Card. Every purchase donates 10% to a nonprofit of your choice, and ONEHOPE employs several individuals with disabilities as well.
Two Cafe & Boutique is a farm–to–fork coffee shop that provides real work experience and employment for individuals with disabilities in Ohio. Fuel your caffeine-loving friend or family member’s obsession with a Two’s Coffee Club Subscription ($55/month), which includes your choice of two 12-ounce bags of coffee and two homemade Italian biscottis.
Wander + Ivy is a women- and disability-owned company that offers premium wines in single-serve packaging (from $8). They’re the perfect gift for someone who wants to enjoy a glass of wine without the guilt of knowing most of the bottle will go to waste.
Big Al’s Best is a San Diego-based toffee and candy company run by a young man with autism. Alex’s bestselling Dark Chocolate Almond Toffee ($12) comes in a festive mason jar for holiday gifting. Add a Greeting Card ($4) made by Alex himself, and your shopping is done!
Bundled is a women-owned gifting company that sources products from small businesses and employs adults with disabilities. Choose from premade gifts like this Local Goods Snack Pack ($26) filled with Michigan favorites, or build your own bundle.
Collettey’s Cookies is a disability-owned business that grew out of founder Collette’s passion for baking. Pick up a dozen of her signature Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Cookies ($30), which have been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, BBC, CBS Evening News, and People Magazine — to name a few.
Matthew’s Bonfire BBQ is another great disability-owned business to shop this season. Owner Matthew was inspired to launch his first line of barbecue sauces — Carolina Gold and Blueberry Chipotle ($30) — after training at the award-winning Haywood Smokehouse in North Carolina during college.
North Coast Corn makes delicious gourmet popcorn while supporting creativity and providing employment opportunities for individuals with autism. Their colorful popcorn comes in your choice of sizes and flavors like savory Cheddar Cheese and fruity Watermelon (from $12.50).
Popcorn For The People is a disability-owned business that makes popcorn like nobody else. Their Popcorn Tins (from $45) are the perfect holiday gift, and you can pre-order so it arrives in time for Christmas.
Poppin Joe’s Kettle Korn is sold at festivals, local events, fundraisers, and retail outlets in Georgia — but you can get your hands on a Holiday Sampler ($15) through Joe’s Etsy Shop. Joe, who has DS-ASD, is the business’ sole proprietor and pops and bags each order.
Rechutti Chocolates San Francisco Icons Truffles ($23) are the perfect gift for travel enthusiasts. Each chocolate is adorned with the city’s iconic sights: Cupid’s Span, Ferry Building Marketplace, SFMOMA, and the Transamerica Building. A portion of the proceeds go to Creativity Explored, a San Francisco nonprofit that showcases and sells art created by artists with developmental disabilities.
Spectro Dolce’s staff is made up almost entirely of adults with autism. Their Dessert Truffle Gift Pack ($9.95) comes in a variety of mouthwatering flavors like Butter Pecan, Sea Salt Caramel, and Tiramisu.
Texas Sweet Heat Jams are as unique as the team that makes them. For a crowd-pleasing appetizer to bring to a family gathering, spread a layer of Holiday Heat Jam ($7) over a block of cream cheese and serve with crackers.
The Chocolate Spectrum was started by Valerie for her son Blake, who has autism. Today, they’ve trained over 50 individuals with disabilities in chocolate-making and other business skills. Order their Truffle 4-Piece Assortment (3 boxes, $34.50) to keep on hand for last-minute gifts.
Aspire Accessories specializes in jewelry, purses, clothing, home accessories, and custom gifts made by adults with autism and similar special needs. Their Mini Fall Candle Gift Set ($24) includes two small tin candles made in their workshop, along with a set of matches.
Beloved Bath grew out of two moms’ desire to create a community that would empower and employ people with autism. The shop carries a variety of candles, soaps, bath products, and gifts like this Fabulous Fall Set ($62).
Blissful Seeds is more than soap — it’s a place where young adults with autism can have meaningful jobs and a sense of community. Their Unicorn Soaps ($7) would make fun stocking stuffers for all the little ones in your life.
Da Bombs is owned by Missouri native Morgan Tibbens, who has Down syndrome. Morgan’s dream is to eventually open a store front and hire her friends, but for now you can buy her Bath Bombs ($8) online or in local stores.
EV Gifts’ neurodiverse team sells handmade soy wax candles and other treasures. The EV Candle Tin Gift Set ($35) features four of their most popular scents: cool citrus basil, strawberry kiwi, pink grapefruit, and eucalyptus.
ScentsAbility creates beautiful artisan scented candles while providing meaningful work opportunities for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Whether you go with the mandarin and bergamot POSITIVITY Candle ($30) or the whole Core Values Gift Set ($75), every sale goes toward supporting individuals with I/DD on their path to independence.
Seeds for Autism was created by Mary Ann LaRoche as a path from “learning to earning” for young adults with autism, like her brother, Paul. Fill their Handmade Double Wine Bags (two for $10) with two bottles — one to share, and one to keep — for a no-fail holiday hostess gift.
Texas Made Soap is run by Sophia Marie, a teen entrepreneur and soap maker with autism. Check out her creative designs and scents like I Love Coffee A Latte ($12.99) and gemstone-shaped You’re A Gem Soap ($9.99).
Gateway Arts is the place to find unique holiday cards for your family and friends, like this Happy New Year Card ($3) featuring partying penguins by S.C. Maher. Your purchase supports careers in the arts for people with disabilities.
NOVICA, the Impact Marketplace, supports artisans working with disabilities. When you browse NOVICA’s shop, you might see a few things you want for your own home — like a set of Hand Crafted Balinese Wood Ornaments ($19.99) to add to your tree.
Doggy Delights founder Allison is an entrepreneur with Down syndrome, but she just wants you to know her as the Dog Treat Chef. Her healthy freeze dried treats ($9.35) have been featured on the Rachael Ray show and in Women’s World magazine.
These disability-owned and -employed shops are just some of our favorites and ones recommended by our team. We’ll be updating this list with more, so be sure to let us know on our Facebook page which shops we should add!
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