Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Shop Small Part 4: Homemade and Edible

I love supporting small businesses, especially those owned by those I know. 

This year, I am separating them into four categories to share with you all more easily. 

Part 1: Health and Wellness
Part 2: Clothing, Jewelry, and Accessories. 
Part 3: Kids and Family 
Part 4: Homemade and Edible 

I will share their business and link it to their website, a few tidbits and insight into them, and some top picks for holiday gifts. 

Welcome to Part 4: Homemade & Edible


Emily Love Leserman
IG: Makefoodlovely
FB: Make Food Lovely coming soon!!

When my oldest son was about a year old, I read an article that said that if you cut food into interesting shapes and make sure there are lots of bright colors on a plate, that kids are less likely to be picky eaters and will always be more interested in trying new foods. Well, I’m happy to say that three years later my son‘s favorite foods are: milk, white rice, and air. 

Obviously, it didn’t really work to expand his palate: but it did give me a new skill. 

In June, one of my very dear friends announced that he was moving to Colorado to start a new job at Colorado Children’s Hospital (I’m a pediatric audiologist in my real life). We all got together in the midst of a pandemic, to say goodbye. I thought it would be cute if I brought little cheese boxes for everyone. So, I got these little mini cupcake boxes and filled them with goodies. We met at a winery, and everyone absolutely loved these boxes. They all told me how much they would pay for one of the boxes if they were at a winery ordering something like this. It gave me pause, and made me realize that this was something people may be interested in: especially because I could make everything in boxes that would be a socially distance snack. That way people could continue to share food, albeit in driveways, around fire pits, or at a winery and/or park.

Over the next two weeks I looked into what was required in regards to licensing, becoming a qualified food operator, insurance, establishing LLC, etc: and I realized that this is something I really wanted to do. About a month later: Make Food Lovely LLC was born

Next week, on November 16th,  I celebrate my three month anniversary of being open. I cannot believe how much this business has grown, from the original idea I had. I have expanded the business to public and private parties (where it’s essentially like paint night where you create your own food board), gift cards for the holidays, grazing tables for larger events, and a few pop-ups.

This little side hustle brings me so much joy. I love the women I have met; who have supported me, or are doing the exact same thing within their own communities. My husband and I always say “we will stop when it stops being fun”. Well, I don’t see that happening for a very long time. I hope to be able to make lovely food for you all for years and years to come

Name: Jose Serrano
Business Name: Serrano Craft works
I have a ton of extremely artistic and talented women in my family, whom I’ve watched closely and there talented rubbed off on me. It’s very therapeutic to see something come together and know that you are the creator.

Name: Sarah May
Contact info:

Sarah creates original Lino cuts and uses them to hand print shirts, tea towels, hats, etc. She also turns her prints into stickers, washi tape, cards and a variety of other goods. Her work spreads positive messages which is something this world can definitely use right now.  

For my top three holiday choices from her shop I would say, her stickers, the 12 Days of Christmas ornaments, and her “Be a nice human”  tees and sweatshirts.

Each one of these hand crafted candles is made by Lauren Wenker, an active duty military wife. Lauren created Aweigh Candle Company in 2019. Her unique custom fragrance blends are hand poured in small batches, smell incredible, and are adorned with fun labels! The new 2020 holiday collection has launched! There are a variety of options: full-sized votives, sampler sets, wax melts, a gift set, a bonus bundle, and more! 

Lauren handles everything at Aweigh Candle Company.  She built the website, makes all of the products, the labels, takes all of the photos, ships the orders, answers all questions... you name it!  If you contact her, you will get her. This is a small business, run by one gal! 

Name - Jessica Kissane and Rishelle Notghi ( sisters)

Contact info/website -@dappleandgreycards

An overview of YOU and why you do what you do - 

Hi! My name is Jessica and I own dapple + grey with my sister Rishelle. She has a full-time job aside from our business as a graphic designer. She lived in Stamford for the past 12 years and finally moved back to the town we grew up in 2019. I stay at home with my 3-year-old twins. The idea for our business really came out of a place of me needing to find something to focus on as I had just experienced two miscarriages within a few months. Together, with my sisters design skills, and my experience in sales in marketing, we have made quite the team and a bigger business than I could have ever imagined. In Just over a year, we have over 100 designs for all occasions.

An overview of YOUR business and why you picked it -

We were taking part in a town-wide tag sale in 2019 and it was a last-minute idea to start selling some framed art. My sister had been working on some designs for her own apartment. When I threw out the idea that we could actually sell this stuff in 6 days at our sale she seemed to be on board so we went with it! And in just a few days we had a name (You can read more on our website about what our name means), a logo and about 20 designs or so. We worked day and night. Together we work on card ideas and networking opportunities with other businesses. Our cards are designed to be framed or to keep, not just your average throwaway card. Many of our cards have dedications on the back and some help raise money for organizations near and dear to our heart. We have loved meeting so many people in the community, customers who have now become friends. It always touches our heart when someone picks up a card and tells us why it spoke to them or why they are giving it to someone. This business has given me a purpose, other than being a mother, and has healed my heart. 

Name: Melissa Kolenda
FB Business page: Perfect Pieces of Dreams
Contact: Message through business page or personal page on FB.

I have always been creative and have had a love for crafts. My mom owned her own shop over 40 years ago, and passed that passion on to me. I love to create unique gifts for people and help their vision come to life. 

My business is making custom creations....anything from huge wall signs and wreaths, to personalized popsicle holders and personalized beach bags. I can personalize anything you want, but I really love when a customer sends me a picture of something they would love and I am able to create it with my own special touches. 

My top 3 holiday gifts are Personalized Ornaments, Elf Surveillance Cameras, and Personalized Elves. 

When Covid began, I dedicated my non-parenting time of quarantine to creating fluid art. I ended up becoming slightly [very] obsessed, and what began as selling my original artwork, has now transformed into a website with prints and gift items available in over 50 designs!

It has become truly therapeutic for me, not only to create the original pieces, but to share them with others to enjoy as well. To express myself in this creative process, and to then connect with others who are moved in some way by these pieces as well, has been an absolute joy in an otherwise grim year. For me, it's really about connection - me connecting to myself creatively, and then connecting with others in an authentic way.

My website is, and I am on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok @rockwellvibes. 

I love that you asked for small business owners to pick their top 3 holiday gifts, and I had a lot of fun going through and selecting these as mine:

I hope you've all enjoyed these incredible small businesses and when you decide to do your holiday shopping that these move to the top of your list! 

No comments :

Post a Comment