As the holidays approach or you have that upcoming birthday party right around the corner, it can be so easy to run to the nearest big box store or turn to the online convenience of Amazon. Sometimes that may be the only option or a necessary one, but I’ve been challenging myself to be more thoughtful about my gift giving and I encourage you to do the same. That’s why I’ve compiled this globally-inspired small business gift guide so you can support small business owners while buying the perfect gift for the travel lover in your life, or simply treating yourself.
$100 + shipping
As Afghanistan faces a Taliban takeover, women journalists are particularly at risk. Journalists for Afghanistan has organized this photography collection to raise funds for these local women journalists by selling prints of images from the Afghanistan coverage by The Associated Press. The AP provided permission for this project, which provides snapshots of daily life in Afghanistan for over 20 years. All proceeds will go toward helping women journalists in Afghanistan in any way possible, like settling in new countries, finding safe houses, or re-building small media start ups.
Prices starting at $29.95
My various Waypoint Goods scarves are my secret weapon when traveling. I can stash so much in the hidden zipper pocket that’s built into the scarf that I really don’t even need to carry a purse! Plus they are are super soft, high quality, and wrinkle resistant. Waypoint Goods is my go-to for all kinds of globally-inspired swag. They also have laser cut city maps, handmade candles with fragrances inspired by cities around the world, and even a jewelry collection that celebrates women.
Waypoint Goods was started by my friend Caitlin after she needed to come up with a way to hold her belongings without a purse on a cycling trip through Scandinavia. She is constantly innovating and creating new products, so be sure to stay connected for the latest product updates!
Prices starting at $10
Did you know that spices may spices change hands more than 10 times before reaching you, the consumer? And did you know by that time, the spices may be a year or more old? At that point, there is likely little to no flavor remaining. Created out of a need to revamp the spice trade in a more equitable (and flavorful) way, Sana Javeri Kadri started with just one spice — Pragati Turmeric — and Diasporaco now sources 30 single-origin spices from 150 farms across South Asia. They even offer a build-your-own-pack option, which makes for a perfect gift set!
Prices starting at $169.99
Despite the fact that I haven’t been able to add any new pins to my map this past year, I still love my Push Pin Travel Map all the same! It is by far the highest quality and best looking map of its kind that I’ve seen, and still remains the focal piece of my living room. Now it’s time to start making plans to hit some of those bucket list locations!
Push Pin Travel Maps was created by Denver-based couple Mike and Brenda after unsuccessfully trying to find a good quality and reasonably priced push pin map that they could use to track their travels, so they created one themselves! Read my full review for more details on why every traveler needs a Push Pin Travel Map.
Starting at $29/month
Whether or not you are actively traveling again, being a Wanderful member is a great way to connect with other travel loving women from wherever you are at the moment. There are virtual events happening nearly every day in the portal, and members have exclusive benefits such as members-only discounts, access to Wanderful’s resident experts, as well as an on-demand content library with the recordings from all past events. Sign up for a Wanderful membership or gift one (gift cards are available!) to the travel-loving woman in your life and she will thank you later. If you end up joining, drop me a message in the portal to say hello!
Starting at $22
These socks, called jorab, have been a part of Azerbaijani culture for centuries. Azerbaijani Socks provides employment for women in rural Azerbaijan, where they hand knit each item from their homes, allowing them to earn income for their families. They come in both adult and child sizes, and they have a variety of other cozy knit items as well besides just socks. I’ve been wearing mine every day since the weather cooled off and I can’t get enough of how cozy they are!
In the midst of a global pandemic, Local Purse co-founders Lola Akinmade Åkerström and Sara Mansouri recognized the devastating impact on the travel industry, especially for travel operators, professional guides, and local artisans. Now with Local Purse you can travel virtually from wherever you are to meet those operators, guides, and artisans from all over the world through live video shopping experiences! Discover the Bai community in Yunnan, China, experience Artisan coffee in Costa Rica, learn the art of Slovenian porcelain making, and more, plus you’ll also have the opportunity to purchase goods from them to further support their work.
Prices starting at $16.99
Started by two sisters, one raised in Monterey, California and the other in Marlborough, New Zealand, who didn’t even know each other existed until 1999. They had the same father but were raised on separate continents, and coincidentally they both grew up in two of the most iconic wine-growing regions in the world. Fast forward, and they have not only helped to pave the way for younger women in the wine industry, but they have also grown McBride Sisters into the largest Black-owned and women-led wine company in the United States while being one of the most sustainable, inclusive, accessible, and socially aware as well.
Prices starting at $16.93
Founded by Margaret Kemunto Nyamumbo, Kahawa 1893 sources their coffee directly from women farmers in Kenya and Rwanda. Margaret grew up on her grandfather’s coffee farm in Kenya and discovered how African farmers were not paid adequately for their work, especially women farmers. Kahawa 1893 pays their farmers above industry standards, and they match all tips sent to them. They also sell tea if you’re like me and that’s more your vibe!
Prices starting at $2.55
Bring the flavors of Costa Rica to you while supporting local artisans at the same time! Local Keeps works with makers who are small companies and artisans in Costa Rica, and they interview and vet them to ensure they are not only creating high quality products but that they are also giving back to their communities and using eco-friendly production and packaging processes. They also sell all sorts of curated items like health and beauty products, books, food, and more.
Starting at $45
Started by a Somali-American entrepreneur and former refugee from Kenya, Epimonía donates 50% of all its profits to refugees communities in the United States to provide them with educational opportunities and job trainings. Each bracelet is handmade by refugees in Minnesota and made with recycled life vests worn by refugees during their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean Sea. Show your support to the millions of refugees and stand in solidarity with them, while also helping to raise awareness about the refugee crisis with these bracelets.
This is one of those ‘can’t put it down’ type of books. I sat down one Sunday to read a chapter and ended up finishing the entire book. The way Lola reveals the complexities of each of the three women, the cultural differences between places, and how their lives are intertwined made me feel invested in each one of their stories and hanging on to each word until the very end.
Please note that some of the links on this page are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a small commission that will help support this site if you make a purchase. Every little bit goes a long way these days! All opinions are my own. If you have any questions about the companies or products mentioned on this page, please reach out to me and I will happily answer them.