Shopping Small this Holiday Season: An Ultimate Gift Guide


Graphic by Olivia Finnegan

Both Artisans and Our Gift Biz provide unique opportunities to support local businesses while picking up a last-minute holiday treat for a loved one.

Holiday shopping can be difficult, as trying to find things that everyone will like (and actually utilize) can sometimes ruin the holiday spirit. So to make your lives easier this holiday season, here is a quick gift guide to help with some last-minute ideas that also supports Rockville’s small businesses.

Shopping small is something many students would like to do, but it can be a challenge when they aren’t aware of the local businesses Rockville has to offer.

“I mostly shop on amazon,” junior Ethan Marbles said. “I would definitely like to shop locally, but I don’t really know any small businesses around here to be completely honest.”

One small business to support this year is Artisans, a women-owned local gift shop, located at 12147 Darnestown Road, Gaithersburg, MD a 20-minute drive from Rockville High School. Artisans carries a wide variety of products including children’s toys, books, clothing, bags, purses, jewelry, houseware, and much more; so finding items that loved ones will like won’t be a problem.

If you know a tea drinker in your life, a tea testing box could make a great holiday gift. Artisans sells many different varieties of boxes from different brands and with different flavors. The Single Steeps: Warming Joy box, for example, is only $17.50 and contains five different blends of holiday-themed tea — raspberry ganache, rum raisin biscotti, spiced ginger plum, winter chai, and harvest apple spice.

If those flavors don’t sound appealing, the Single Steeps: Lotus box, which includes flavors like darjeeling quince and mountain oolong, may be a better choice for the same price.

If tea isn’t the answer, check out the jewelry, like the Pineapple Stud Set: 2 pairs of pineapple-inspired earrings with 18kt matte gold-plating, and opal gemstones for only $20. You could split the set and give one pair to 2 different people or gift them together.

Another women-owned small business to support this holiday season is Our Gift Biz, located less than 3 miles from Rockville high school at 303 Potomac Street.

Our Gift Biz curates gift baskets for companies as well as everyday patrons for all sorts of different occasions. Customers can work with a gift concierge to create a custom gift or purchase one of their pre-curated and ready-to-ship baskets.

An example of a ready-to-ship basket is the Snack Attack, which contains caramel popcorn, sausage, cheese, cheese straws, crackers, and smoked salmon with a cute pineapple spreader. This basket is on the less expensive side as far as their baskets go and costs $55.00.

A mid-tier basket in terms of pricing is the $95.00 Holiday in a Box which contains a variety of items including a cheese please cutting board, Tate’s white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, Naturally Wild smoked salmon, slow cooked mustard and more.

To really splurge on your loved one this holiday season, consider the extravagant Noel Party Box #2, which retails at $139.00. This box contains smoked salmon, marcona almonds, biscotti, rosemary and olive oil crackers, Angel Lane English shortbreads, sausage, mustard, several cheeses, Popinsanity caramel popcorn, olives, and several other treats.

Shopping small is always the best way to go when looking for unique gifts during this season as well as all year round. You get a beautiful high-quality gift, and you know with every dollar you spend, you are helping to support the businesses that keep our community special.