2018 Small Shop Gift Guide

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Gift giving is my love language. It’s something I spend (maybe a little too much) time thinking about. Since I love supporting small businesses and I truly feel those are the most personal and well received gifts, I’m always trying to purchase from local and online small shops for gifts.

It was so hard to narrow it down, but here is a round up of JUST A FEW of my favorite shops to find one of a kind gifts that are sure to be a huge hit.

One of the most well received gifts I’ve ever given has been a custom handwriting sign by my friend Ali at Ali Wood Creations. We got my mother in law a small wood sign with my father in law’s handwriting hand cut. To say giving this gift was emotional would be an understatement! If you are looking to find something meaningful and personal, go check out Ali’s work.

White Cotton Crafts creates beautiful jewelry and accessories by using recycled oyster shells. I have been eyeing up their oyster shell nativity scenes for years. This year they have ornaments that are so adorable!

texture design co.  flower box calendar

texture design co. flower box calendar

My best friend, Emily, owner at Texture Design Co., has some of my favorite gifts around. I love gifting her Calendars for Christmas every year. Each month features a hand illustrated Charleston flower box and the best part, you can turn it into framable art! She also has some super cute gift packages she is putting together this year. You’ll definitely want to check them out!

This year I am really loving Noonday Collection. I love the mission behind this company and the light it shines in some tough places throughout the world. Not to mention, the accessories are a true work of art! I browsed this year’s gift guide and could find something for every single person on my list. Including myself. ;)

Staying on the jewelry train, some of my two favorite shops are Minimalist Magnolia and January Jewelry. I love how the jewelry is minimalistic and dainty, yet can still make a statement. You are able to find personalized gifts for that special lady in your life. Some idea’s for the mama’s would be a dainty necklace with their child’s first initial, or a set of small stacking rings with their little one’s birth stones.

The personalized gifts have been big this year. It’s really a great win for anyone! In our shop, the last name signs as well as the custom trays are always well received. Personalized doormats are always a fun touch. I have ordered a few things from Fox & Clover Boutique and they’re great!

I’ve been loving The Painted Press jewelry dishes. They are gorgeously hand molded and hand painted AND you are able to personalize them. These are so practical and a perfect gift for any friend, sister, or mama.

We can’t forget about the kiddos! In the car today my four year old said, “I love Christmas because it’s all about celebrating Jesus and His birthday. But I really love presents, too.” ;) I’m not sure I’ve ever met a four year old who doesn’t enjoy opening a present. We try to be really intentional about gift giving with our kids. We want them to truly appreciate what they are getting. I might put a little too much thought into it, but I will say, my oldest still plays with the things he got for every Christmas in his four years of life.

It’s a little tougher to find budget friendly small shops for the kids, but some of my favorite kid gifts are the ones where they can be creative and use their imagination. Superhero capes are a great option, and there are tons on Etsy! (not just for boys!) A few of my favorite shops are Love Lane & Little Hero Capes. If you are looking for great quality wood toys, check out Little Sappling Toys!

Another great way to support small business while checking off your little one’s list is to shop at local toy stores. I know, I know, Amazon is SO much easier! But if you could just get maybe one or two things from that local toy store in your town, you’ll be supporting a real life family. One purchase will make a big difference, I promise.

By supporting small businesses, you are putting food in little bellies. You are helping keep a roof over a family. You are helping a little girl take dance classes or a little boy play soccer. You are helping a student pay for their education. You are supporting a dream. I can promise that each of the shops listed put all of their heart into what they create, and you would make a huge difference in their life by giving their item as a gift this year.

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Happy shopping!

Third times a charm

People will tell you that small business is hard & entrepreneurship is tough, but I have come to realize that you don’t really know how hard it can be until you are IN it.

Some of y’all may have met us as Salt & Light Designs when we first opened up shop in 2012. If so, you’d know that we changed to Heartwood Creative Co. in 2015 for unforeseen issues (with our shop name). The name was so popular and since we weren't planning for our shop to be long term, we didn't research this prior to opening up. Therefore, we were unable to get any domain names or social media handles matching to our shop name. This wasn't great for marketing. We were both sad to see Salt & Light go, but we know ultimately it’s just a name and doesn’t change our product or who we are.

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Now here we are, yet again, facing another road block. We have prayed over this issue for the past 6 months. We have tried to solve it on our own accord. We have sought wise counsel.
Ultimately, we came to a resting place where we said, “God, this is YOUR business, and we need YOUR help on our next step.” And we have been guided down this new path for our shop.

Changing the name of a business isn’t a cake walk, y’all. But ultimately, it’s not about that. We want what God wants, because His plans are always way better than our plans.

What has come out of this long period of prayer and uncertainty is an answer we’ve been longing for. Such a clear vision, & so much joy and excitement for what our future holds! You can write this name in stone, because it won’t be changing again, we promise.

Heartwood Creative Co. is now The Salted Lantern.

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Salt is a flavor enhancer and it’s also a preservative. It is distinctive in taste, texture, and aroma. We live about 10 minutes from the sea & you can just smell the salt in the air the closer you get. You can even feel the stickiness of the salt on your skin after just a short walk on the beach. It is distinctive, powerful, and there is no hiding it’s there.

The presence of light in darkness is unmistakable. It illuminates, brightens, and shines. It helps you see in dark places. What do you do when you walk into a dark room looking for something? You turn on a lamp, of course!

We are called to be the salt and the light of the world. To enhance the “flavor” of the world. To “preserve” the world with goodness. To bring balance & hope to a broken world. Illuminating darkness by shining The One True Light.

Your circumstances are an opportunity to shine brightly for The Lord and to share God’s overcoming truth with those around you. So that all who see you, will ultimately see Him. And that is our goal.

Just like salt can become diluted in water, we can become “diluted” or altered by challenging experiences we face. Only by remaining focused on Christ and being obedient to Him can we expect to remain Salt and Light in our world.

So, here we are, back to our roots of being Salt and Light, but with our own original twist. The Salted Lantern is a way to shine His light among the world. This shop is an avenue to connect with people we may have never had the chance to talk to. And we hope that our interactions with you would encourage and uplift you and we hope our work would spread Light.

Psalm 119:105
Matthew 5:13-16
Luke 6:35


We can’t wait to see how God will continue to grow us through this.
We are so grateful for your continued support throughout our wild journey and we can’t wait to show you what’s next! 🤗💛