One Design Recommendations: 73 Small Businesses and Organizations to Support this Holiday Season

Products from left to right: Desk Clock from Varyer; Riffle Taper Candleholders from Field and Florist; Bouquet Jug from Field and Florist; Space Becomes You—A Mythology from Someoddpilot

If you subscribe to The Weekly, you know we’re a big fan of lists. Consider this one our best yet.

Our local businesses and neighbors deserve some major love and support as we head into the holiday season. Below, you’ll find a studio-and-community curated collection of 73 small Chicago-area businesses and organizations to back if you’re on the hunt for meaningful, thoughtful gifts.

Product featured: Tiger And Sun Art Print by Cody Bond from Bon Femmes

Art & design

Adé Hogue

Adé is a phenomenal designer, art director and letterer. His wares include pins, shirts, hats, and more—and worth noting, he donates 25% of all proceeds from each quarter to charitable, 501(c)3 organizations led by people of color.


Bon Femmes

Bon Femmes is “a happy space celebrating amazing women, their beautiful designs, and good stuff in life!” I mean—hell yeah. Prints, apparel, and accessories galore, plus a percentage of sales is donated to women-led organizations.


Buddy Chicago

Buddy, a collaboration between Public Media Institute and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), is "a hub for making connections between friends we have and those we have yet to meet." Adorable! More specifically, they give artists and small manufacturers in Chicago a place to showcase and sell their goods and artworks. (Yes, we want to gift it all...and simultaneously have it all for ourselves.)


Design Museum of Chicago Shop

The Design Museum of Chicago’s shop is quite the treasure. They have an Artist Series product collection—created in partnership with a variety of artists and designers—a poster exchange, and a whole bunch more.


Field Notes

We have too many good things to say about our friends at Field Notes. Gift one of their subscriptions and you’re sure to be met with joy no matter who you’re gifting for. I mean, the entire sentiment “I'm not writing it down to remember it later, I’m writing it down to remember it now?” Timeless.


Flatmade

Gifting for a design fanatic? Flatmade boasts curated editions from the history of graphic design. Oh yeah. Pick up a few while you’re at it.


Lampo

Did someone say “gift a membership?” We did! Lampo supports artists working in new music, experimental sound and other interdisciplinary practices. If you, too, believe that curiosity, open questioning of established forms, thoughtful listening and discussion can be transformative—go in.


Nourishing Notes

If there’s a chance you know a foodie with impeccable taste, Nourishing Notes have the cutest gift sets and tote bags.


Ponnopozz

Chicago-based artist Adrianne Hawthorne’s personal practice Ponnopozz is named after two imaginary friends, Ponno and Pozzer, that she had as a child (which we think is incredible). Her work follows suit; an unabashed display of childlike playfulness and joy.


Someoddpilot

Our pals at Someoddpilot are always up to really cool shit, and if you needed proof, check out their shop. From celebrating a beloved Chicago bar that is closing its doors to supporting local music venues through artists collaborations, there’s plenty to love (and buy).


Sorry Studio

“Sorry” is what this design-duo says to “the landscape of in-vogue visual trends, overreaching client demands, and anything and everything that we think compromises the quality of our work.” Support them as they do their thing by way of apparel, posters, pins and more.


Varyer Shop

These “objects made for everyday,” created and curated by the talented folks at Varyer, are all show-stoppers. One-of-a-kind, intentional, impeccably designed.


Wolfbait

“A treasure trove of over 300 local artisan’s creations (apparel, accessories, art, and gifts), as well as a handful Chicago based, women run, fair trade companies; The Bait highlights our city’s local talent [through and through].”


5x7

5x7 curates, designs and prints limited edition, 5x7-inch-art editions of collaborations with artists and designers from all over the world. And this just in, you can get 35% off of your order with the promo-code “MATH” (talk about a deal, friends).

Product featured: Space Becomes You—A Mythology from Someoddpilot

Books & music

Bookends and Beginnings

“The speakeasy for books.” Plus, Bookends and Beginnings has a unique collection of children’s books in 48 foreign languages, including Kurdish, Maori, and Basque. Very cool.


Inga

Pilsen-based Inga is definitely a bookshop we drool over on the regular. They focus on self-published and independently distributed artists’ books on art, design, film, theory, and more. Don’t sleep on this one.


International Anthem

International Anthem is Chicago-born recording company whose mission is “to vitalize the demand for boundary-defying music by presenting unique sounds in appealing packages to untapped audiences.”


Semicolon Bookstore

Semicolon Bookstore is a shop “committed to nurturing the connection between literature, art, and the pursuit of knowledge; while also using the power of words to better our community.”


Space Oddities

Equal parts bookstore and gallery. A carefully curated selection of new and used books; paintings; framed drawings; archival prints; ceramics; sculpture; hand-created jewelry; candles; tarot; and oracle decks. TLDR; something for everyone!


Steel Petal Press

Steel Petal Press shares beauty and humor with the world through handmade, letterpress stationery (plus an adorable selection of other gifts, like puzzles and mugs and patches).


The Seminary Co-op / 57th Street Books

These Hyde Park shops’ storefronts are closed at the moment, but their web store is open and backed with incredible finds. Happy exploring.


Volumes

Volumes is a family-owned business, brought to life by two Chicago area sisters. We’d recommend scanning their Staff Recommendations for some must-gift reads.


Women & Children First

This Andersonville staple is “one of the largest feminist bookstores in the country, stocking more than 20,000 books by and about women, children’s books, and the best LGBTQIA+ literature.” Kind of a no-brainer on this one. Gift away!

Product featured: Popsicle Tee from Kido

Boutiques

Apartment 528

“Quirky, colorful wares to help you rest, work, play, cook, clean and live.”


Deep Field Aromatics

“Artisanal natural perfumes [that] are lovingly crafted with rare and unique botanical extracts sourced from across the world. A profound appreciation of nature comes together with the art and science of perfumery in [their] small-batch and limited-run offerings.” Welp. There goes all of our money.


Embellish Chicago

From Winter accessories and face masks to every-day jewelry and body-care packages, this North Center shop says they “want you to look and feel good about what you buy, wear, and give.”


Foxtrot

Another one of our “if you aren’t already a die-hard fan, you’re missing out” inclusions. Download the app, gift some small luxuries for yourself, then head over to their Ship Shop where they’ve curated sets that ship state-wide.


Kedzie Avenue

A small Chicago shop that makes eco-friendly, colorful, waterproof accessories with ethically sourced materials.


Kido

A South Loop childrenswear gem that is all about “representation and inclusivity.”


Neighborly

A bunch of locally-sourced goods? Curated into gift bundles? It doesn’t get much easier.


Notre

If you’re from Chicago, we guess you might already have a few Notre items on your list as it is. Which means you know how lovely it would be to receive something them. ...Just do it.


Mack’s Bikes & Goods

Put simply by Mack’s owner, “life is too short not to ride a bike.” We strongly agree.


Penelope’s

Accessible, comfortable clothes. Elevated style. A healthy dose of play. Penelope’s is the way to go if you’re shopping for anyone with discerning taste.


RR #1 Chicago

From socks and cookbooks to embroidery kits and ceramic sets, RR #1 has it all.


ShopColumbia

ShopColumbia is a showcase and shop filled with work of emerging Columbia students, faculty, alumni, and staff.


Smallflower (The online shop for Merz Apothecary)

Before quarantine, this was one of our favorite shops to stop into when visiting Lincoln Square. We’d recommend you carve out an hour or two just to sift through all of the wonderful apothecary goodies. We guarantee you’ll find something for you and whoever you’re shopping for.


the SHUDIO

Vintage home goods. Plants. Accessories. Apothecary items. the SHUDIO is the place if you’re looking for something that’s one-of-a-kind.


The Silver Room

Hyde Park’s The Silver Room is on a mission “to create a global community, acting at the intersection of art, community, and culture.” If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop, your search ends here.


Urban General Store

Fun. Functional. Well-designed. Music to our ears. Urban General Store embodies “general stores of the past—but updated to meet the needs of today’s modern shopper.”


You are beautiful.

A simple, powerful message goes a long way. A sticker for everyone on your list!

Product featured: Calathea Picturata ‘Argentea’ from Plant Shop Chicago

Flower & plant shops

Adams & Son Gardens

If you haven’t been to Adam & Sons yet, you’re missing out. They don’t have an e-commerce site but if you’re down to shop distantly and safely, you’ll find some of the city’s best plant deals here.


Asrai Garden

Asrai is much more than just plants and flowers, but boy do they make some of the most stunning arrangements we’ve ever seen. Good luck not throwing everything into your virtual basket.


Cultivate Urban Rainforest

A lush array of plants plus consultations, repotting, workshops, local delivery, and space planning services.


Field and Florist

A bouquet + chocolate + a card + a book about plants = a happy gift receiver. It’s science. Field and Florist make it happen with ease.


Flowers For Dreams

Twenty-five percent of Flowers For Dreams net-profits go to local charities. Spreading holiday cheer (and good smells) is in every year.


Plants Delivered Chicago

A word from our resident studio plant person: “The Plants Delivered truck has a dog logo on it. And that dog is also riding shotgun for the plant deliveries. He hand-delivered a gorgeous and healthy peace lily to me and asked if I needed any care tips as he handed it over.” Now that’s what we’re talkin’ about.


Plant Shop Chicago

“Where the houseplants are.” And on the topic of houseplants, we’re decidedly maximalists in case you were wondering.


Succulent City

This Humboldt Park shop was shopping for a new storefront when COVID hit. Now online-only, they’re slinging some of the best looking green stuff.


Zin's Flower Shop

This lovely Pilsen-based shop (named the owner’s daughter, which gives us the warm fuzzies) is filled with a huge variety of plants, locally sourced gifts and flowers.

Products from left to right: Piranhanas and Lost Lake Exotica Ale from Marz Community Brewing

Food & beverages

Black Cat Kitchen & Dinner at the Grotto

One true pairing. This weekly meal delivery service always is on our “uh, everything sounds too good to be true, must-order immediately” list. Gift some delicious food this year.


Chicago French Press

Freshly roasted in our beloved Windy City, CFP “delivers premium certified organic, fair-trade and non-GMO coffee to coffee lovers nationwide and ‘grinds for a cause,’ donating 5% of the proceeds from each bag sold directly to select 501(c)3 organizations.”


Heavy Vegetable

“Our healthy meals are pre-prepped. Vegetables are pre-cooked and chopped, with yummy sauces and vinaigrettes. We give you detailed instructions on how to put our custom recipes together quickly. Unmatched freshness and quality from seasonal local farmers markets.” We think that’s about all the convincing you should need.


Hewn Bread

Made-from-scratch, naturally leavened, local grain breads, pastries and sandwiches.


The Hopewell Brewing Co.

We fine folks at Hopewell brew some of the best tasting brews in town. “Seeking to connect people through thoughtful beer,” they’ve opened up The Supermarket, where you can safely pick up some of their drinks, merchandise, and other handmade goods.


Justice of the Pies

Justice of the Pies is “committed to delivering amazing pies, quiches and tarts while positively impacting the lives of those who work for them.”


Lo Rez Brewing

Pilsen-based Lo Rez’s goal is to “create great beer that draws inspiration from traditional styles, modern ideas, the highest quality ingredients, and local partnerships.” We’d recommend The Dullahan, a Red Ale with coffee—we’re confident any beer drinker would be over the moon to receive this one.


Luella’s Southern Kitchen

Southern cuisine inspired by the chef’s great grandma, Luella, is literally the perfect gift. Full stop.


Maria’s

Bridgeport staple Maria’s and neighboring Kimski has been transformed into the “Community Canteen,” a take-out restaurant serving free (or pay as you can) meals to anyone and everyone. The worsening of the pandemic and the closing of dine-in restaurants in Chicago prompted Public Media Institute, in partnership with Kimski and Maria's, to expand their aid to farmers, hospitality workers, and those affected by food insecurity. Show your support!


Marz Community Brewing

We miss nights at Marz in Bridgeport more than most things. Not only are the drinks delicious, their packaging is always on point. A gift that’s sure to garner a 12/10 rating.


Perman Wine Selections

Anyone not want incredible wines at affordable prices? Didn’t think so. Go crazy, friends. Our best recommendation is gifting someone a really special Wine Club subscription (and one for yourself while you’re at it).


Side Project Coffee

Side Project Coffee is a Bowmanville joint that encourages new beginnings. We’re a sucker for lovely sentiments.


Sol Cafe

This Rogers Park cafe draws “inspiration from what [they] serve and the community [they] serve it to: [their] dynamic neighborhood, and the bright cultures and environment of [their] coffee growing regions.”


TeaPot Brew Bakery

TeaPot Brew Bakery is chalk-full of small batch, fresh treats. Dare we say everything is delicious?


Vosges Chocolate

You know that saying, “it looks too good to eat?” Calling all gifters who want to cause a real-life internal dilemma within their giftee: To eat or to somehow frame and stare at until the end of time?

Product featured: Riffle Taper Candleholders from Field and Florist

Home Goods

An Orange Moon

Uber hip, vintage interior furnishings and design center—specifically focused on mid-century modern wares.


Edgewater Candles

Big, lovely smelling candles. Made in Edgewater. And the price is right? Yeah, you guessed It—we recommend you throw one in the cart for yourself, too.


Five Elements Home

If whomever you’re gifting for is in need of some serious calm, this Andersonville shop has the most beautifully made, simple home goods. Pillows, journals, tea sets. The whole nine yards.


Manual

Manual creates objects that celebrate slowness. An infallible sentiment always, but especially now? What a breath of fresh air. Dive in for goods that help you go about your day a little more intentionally.


Mint Home

A Ravenswood staple. Browse here for all of your custom benches, paintings, and vintage furniture needs.


Unison Home

“What does it mean to stand in Unison? It’s where modern meets timeless, where original joins with versatile, where quality and transparency move forward in lockstep. This is our intersection, the space where our team sits rooted in modern perspective.” Oh yeah. Plan to spend a long time scrolling through (and drooling over) everything at Unison Home before you cash out.


Woolly Mammoth

If you’re in the neighborhood and feel safe popping into a shop to pick out a gift, Woolly Mammoth in Andersonville is a must-see. We won’t give away too much if you haven’t been, but we will say it’s a trove of the strangest, most delightful treasures.

Mutual aid organizations

Grocery Run Club

Start volunteering at and set up recurring donations to Grocery Run Club, a community driven initiative that partners with organizations to supply fresh produce and everyday necessities to underserved neighborhoods in Chicago.


The Love Fridge Chicago

If you're looking for a sustainable, lasting way to take care of your community, commit to donating time and resources to The Love Fridge monthly, a Chicago-based initiative created to nourish our communities through mutual aid by offering solutions to food scarcity and food waste.

One Design Company is a research-driven design and development studio. For over a decade, we’ve explored the intersection of experience and technology—where powerful brands come to life. Want to learn more? Let’s chat.

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