Small businesses and brands I buy from

8:00 AM

 


A little while ago, I wrote a blog post urging you all to support small businesses and brands wherever you are, this year more than ever. 

I had plans of writing about small businesses I support on a regular basis, but life got in the way and it became a case of too many work projects coming in the way for me to focus on a blog post series. That promise to give a shout out to small biz and brands I buy from has not be forgotten though. And I decided to make one blog post listing small businesses I bought from recently, along with some of my favourite less known brands based in India.


Charming Irony by Aalia

Aalia is a fellow Etsy seller based in Mumbai and I've known her for over a year when the Mumbai based Etsy sellers started meeting once a month. 
She makes awesome wire and semi-precious stones jewellery that you all must check out on the Instagram page linked above or in her Etsy shop. She also has a Facebook page, and you can place order with her via DM if you live in India. 

I recently bought a quartz face roller from her when she launched a pre-order offer and she sent me a cute wire earrings set along with it. 
I absolutely love that face roller, I've been toying with the idea of getting one for a little while now, and I use mine as a end of the day relaxing ritual after my evening shower. 




Sparkle Kavi

Kavita is another Etsy seller based out of India, and we've been following each other for a while now. She lives in Pune, and makes fabric bags, passport covers, keychains and now face masks. 

I bought several of her face masks and am a repeat customer. Her masks come in several kids sizes and an adult size, each with two different tie option : elastic ear loops or tie string. The cut of these masks is SUPER comfortable, it contours the face nicely leaving no gaps and has plenty of room in it so that the nose isn't squished against the fabric, which means you can wear them for a prolonged time without feeling like breathing back your own sweat. I've been wearing mine to go on brisk walks for an hour, and to run errands around, last week I wore one for over 2 hours without feeling it. 

Masks are part of our new normal, they might as well be cute and comfy to wear. 




Lucky Next

Lucky Next has been my to-go to place for years when it comes to art supplies, the shop I used to visit once a week to stock up on all the artsy stuff I need to create my commercial art and run my art classes. 
This pandemic has made me spend a lot less regularly in the art supply department. But when I do, it's usually from Lucky Next.


During the lockdown, this neighbourhood shop went above and beyond and re-invented how they sell art supplies by opening an Instagram account and taking orders via WhatsApp and DM all the while delivering across Mumbai. 
They have all the big artist grade quality brands like Winsor & Newton, Copic, Prismacolor, Caran D'Ache and Pebeo as well as Camlin products for those with a more modest budget. 



My small brand picks of the moment

I tend to favour smaller brands whenever I can, especially when it comes to food stuff, and I usually find them on Amazon these days, so all the following links are Amazon affiliate links. This means if you click on these and make any purchase on Amazon, I get paid a comission at no extra cost to you. 

Mittal Teas

I'm a tea addict, I love tea, all kind of tea, and my day has to start with a fruit flavoured black tea, my favourite is peach flavoured tea, and I recently found out about a small Indian brand of tea called Mittal Teas who has so far the best peach tea I have ever tasted. Each time I order from them, they send me a sample of one of their other tea flavour and I recently fell in love with their Jasmine tea as well, and plan to order the Lychee tea soon. 

The tea bags are hand made with muslin cloth and each is individually packed in a tiny ziploc bag. I am normally not a fan of plastic, but then all the big brand tea bags brand have foil wrappers that have a layer of plastic and unlike these ziploc bags can't be sent for recycling. 

The brand also has several loose tea leaves options if that is what you prefer. 



I have been a big fan of this brand since finding it out a few years ago in my local supermarket, and I continue to order it on Amazon. Not having it during the lockdown was really hard. All their muesli variant are made with jaggery and are much lower on sugar than the regular big brand, a bowl of any of these cereals keeps me full for the whole 2-3 hours until my next mini-meal in my diet plan. 
My favourite is the Oats clusters and Ragi flakes with banana variant, I have tried most of the others, but that's the one that does it for me. 
I also like that the packaging is fairly minimal compared to other brands, you can't do away with plastic when it comes to cereals, but it would be about time for other brands to stop selling a plastic lined foiled package or plastic pouch INSIDE and cardboard box. Monsoon Harvest prints the info on the zip pouch in which the cereals come and said pouch is the type I can send to the recycler that comes for plastic waste twice a month. 


This is another brand I first found out about visiting my local supermarket and my prefered brand of natural, unsweetened, unsalted crunchy peanut butter

They have other variants of nut butters I want to try next, but since I limit sugary stuff in the home, I haven't planned a purchase yet. I am particularly interested in trying their Hazelnut spread which is a more natural alternative to Nutella.

Last but not least

There are all the small neighbourhood shops I visit and order from whenever I can, the local bakery that makes fresh bread and pastries, the non branded packs of cookies my local kirana store sells and which I favour over the big brands, and of course all the salty munchies we inevitably stock on each time we step out, or the local brands of papads that probably don't even have a website I could point you to. 

For now that is all I have in the small biz and brands department, but I will probably do another check in with more brands and businesses in the future, so stay tuned. 


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