The Delight of Discovery
There’s just something about unearthing a small business that speaks to us. Is it the serendipity of finding new treasures or the joy of supporting someone with a good idea and the courage to hang up a shingle? We’re pretty sure it’s both—and we’re so thrilled to share a few gems we discovered through our recent #dsgives shoutout to fellow small businesses.
Gatopard, Washington, DC
An offshoot of their eponymous design firm, sisters Griffith and Blythe launched Gatopard to fill their self-identified need for sophisticated, whimsical, timeless linens in the marketplace. The brand just officially launched on April 1, so building the business amid a pandemic has been a bit of a whirlwind. “While it is definitely a unique time to introduce a new business, we went forward and have felt very fortunate to receive incredible support,” they say.
The fledgling brand is pivoting in part by donating 10% of sales to No Kid Hungry. “We’ve always contributed to food shelters, and since Gatopard is a small business centered around the table, we wanted to give to an organization that provides food, particularly to children in need.”
The brand’s exclusive tablecloths, napkins, placemats and tabletop accessories are available on Gatopard’s website and, once safe, via future pop-ups.
Urban Wood Goods, Chicago
Unable to find a job in her existing field, art education, after relocating to Chicago, Erin took the opportunity to discover and pursue a new passion: reclaiming old wood and turning it into beautiful furniture for the home—first her own, then slowly for others via the Etsy marketplace.
Today, Urban Wood Goods has grown into a maker of creative, modern furniture from salvaged wood for designers, architects and individuals. Though the brand had moved from residential to mainly commercial (offices, restaurants, universities, retail) over the past couple of years, with businesses shuttered they’ve pivoted back, with an uptick in home office furniture such as desks and bookshelves. “I've been relating this time of crisis to a very challenging divorce I went through recently,” says Erin, founder. “Both times, I’ve felt panicked by the thoughts of worst case scenarios. So you have your freak out moment that brings you to tears, but pick yourself up and remember you’ve been successful for a reason.”
With its wood shop just north of Chicago, Urban Wood Goods sells to customers via its own website as well as an Etsy shop.
Beau & Stella, New Orleans & Seattle
Designed in New Orleans—with plenty of NOLA/Southern inspiration—and made in Seattle, this female-founded jewelry company makes unique, feminine pieces to inspire confidence and allow for self-expression. Though the current health crisis has challenged supply flow and decreased orders, owner Kat has continued to find inspiration for future pieces.
“'Love and luck' are the words guiding me through this unprecedented time. I love what I do, and love bringing beauty & joy to the women, moms, daughters, sisters, cousins, friends, and small business patrons who support small businesses across the country,” she says. “Lately, I've been collecting symbols of luck (horseshoe, clovers, jade), and keeping them in a beloved trinket tray from a local artist. With some luck, we will come out on the other side of this stronger & more connected than ever.”
Kat’s collection of delicate necklaces and bracelets can be found on the Beau & Stella site as well as on Etsy.