Top Ten Small Businesses

1. American Dakota

The colorfully-designed, artisanal textiles of American Dakota are something to be treasured, for each pattern comes from unrivaled authenticity that bleeds a craftsmanship you won’t find anywhere else in the nation. The defining trait of American Dakota is their dedication to creative collaboration with Native and Indigenous artists, providing a platform for names like Naiomi Glasses (Diné/Navajo), Rande Cook (Kwakwaka’wakw), and Steven Paul Judd (Kiowa-Choctaw). Their textiles are made-to-order in Calhoun, GA, a region renowned as the “Carpet Capital” of the world, and because of their homegrown operation, all materials and dyes are sourced in the US, ensuring star-studded quality that reflects the patchwork of North American Native identities. Drawing inspiration from diverse landscapes, all designs are dyed in EnduraStran fibers, whose quality yarns repel water, hold color, and lie flat. The team at American Dakota is ever-evolving their approach to earthly textiles, and they make notable strides to give back in their communities wherever possible, working closely with One Spirit and Re-Member charities to support the Indigenous art forms they celebrate. Having been granted a Phoenix Award from Friends of New Echota in 2019 and approached by Bass Pro Shops for exclusive designs, American Dakota is a notable mill you should consider when filling a space.

2. NoNetz

What started as a hobby eventually turned into a full-time business for NoNetz. Cathy Paraggio, founder of NoNetz, was diagnosed with cancer in the winter of 2016 and in order to sustain an active lifestyle, she banded together with other neighborhood women to create the swimwear line. The company wasn’t given the attention it deserved until Paraggio’s son expressed interest in studying music in college. Worried for her son’s success, Paraggio sought a revelation in her son’s understanding of business models. This was the catalyst that led her to buying out the other hands involved in NoNetz and making the venture a full-time commitment. This allowed her to utilize the business as a teaching tool for her son on how a business works. Today, NoNetz manufactures the leading swimwear shorts for men and boys who wish to get rid of mid-thigh rashes or unwanted sweat stains with the help of their moisture wicking polos. As their name suggests, the mesh net is non-existent in their shorts. Additionally, every purchase saves one pound of plastic from being released into the ocean thanks to their materials made of recycled plastics and reclaimed fishing nets. If that’s not enough, each time someone signs up for their newsletter, the Paraggio’s plant a tree.

3. Mara Paris

The stunning, head-turning jewelry line of former architect, Ayça Özbank Taskan, has successfully turned accessories into personable and unique keep-sakes for the wearer. Each piece is adjustable and does so without compromising comfort, creating the perfect synthesis between aesthetic and design. The goal is to produce timeless pieces that are elegant and charming, igniting curiosity from onlookers. Additionally, each piece is issued in small batches and personally handcrafted by a team of nine individuals to ensure that adequate time and care is delegated to each piece. Their incredible attention to detail is not surprising as their pieces are heavily respected and worn by notable celebrities like Rita Ora, Halle Berry, and Joey King as well as shipped to over 70 countries worldwide. Mara Paris’ most popular creations include the Dina, Poem Necklace, Flux, and The Pod Cuffs – all of which can be found on their website.

4. Hellhound Leather Co

Founded in 2018, Hellhound Leather Co is dedicated to providing unparalleled American craftsmanship of the highest quality. Sourcing their leathers through some of the oldest and most renowned American tanneries, such as Wickett & Craig of Curwensville, Pennsylvania, and Hermann Oak from St. Louis, Missouri, the artisans at Hellhound craft with only the very best materials. Hellhound Leather Co prides itself on its top-notch customer service and prioritizes its reputation and family name in order to ensure one thing – the Hellhound Leather legacy. Boasting over two decades of highly skilled leathercraft experience, you’ll find few leather shops that offer the level of customization & attention to detail that Hellhound provides. No matter the length of time it takes, their team is willing to put in the energy & care needed to ensure that the customer is absolutely satisfied with the end product. For those interested in adding to their gun collection the very best custom gun leathers or for those that simply want to indulge in the “Old West” spirit, Hellhound Leather Co is the place for you.

5. Kilig Candle Co.

Known for their eco-friendly, vegan candles, Kilig Candle Co. has since expanded their product line with self-care products such as lotions, soaps, and perfumes. Sean Blishen, founder of Kilig Candle Co., proudly operates a woman-owned business and is constantly exploring additional ways to become more eco-friendly. Each of their products are sustainably sourced and as a tribute to her Filipino Canadian upbringing, each purchase provides a meal for one impoverished child in the Philippines. Operating out of East Vancouver, the company boasts a wide spectrum of candle scents from Muni Muni and Oasis to Mahal Kita and Pillow Talk. Each consists of 100% soy wax, led/zinc-free cotton wicks, phthalate-free fragrances, recyclable vessels, and biodegradable packaging, so you can enjoy “me time” in peace and without any toxins.

6. Masami Hair

Lynn Power and James Hammett, co-founders of Masami, sought real solutions with real ingredients when they founded their line of hair care in 2020, serving a parched market in desperate need of safer, more creative options. High-performing hair care is essential to daily hygiene, and with the addition of ultra-hydrating formulas from Masami Hair into your routines, clean beauty never felt so good. The secret to Masami sustainability is their relationship with the healing powers of the sea, harvesting all natural botanicals to compliment any hair condition. Their prized ingredient, mekabu, is a byproduct of Japanese wakame seaweed, found to hydrate our skin without heavy baggage. The mekabu is ethically sourced from northeastern Japan, and is further supported by other earthly components, like apricot oil, aloe, and blueberry extract, among other beneficial nutrients. All Masami products are vegan, cruelty free, and void of parabens, sulfates, or toxic additives. The Masami team retains an intimate relationship with the ocean as well as with their customers, and since their founding, Masami has earned the 2021 Beauty Innovation Awards “best product” certification, as well as secured their post among the leading salon-quality hair essentials with an added element of true vitality through healthy hydration.

7. Petite Maison Kids

Inspired from her Soviet Union and NYC upbringing and with a desire to fill a void in the US market of children’s luxury clothing, Katerina Azarova (Founder & Owner of Petite Maison Kids) made it her mission to offer traditional children’s clothing with modern & chic accents at the highest quality. Founded in 2018 in New York, Katerina imported European designers and eventually coupled this with her own clothing line. Ever since, she has successfully created a platform that offers one of a kind pieces starring popular products like their tulle dresses, lace socks, and leather booties. The company boasts an impressive audience of just under a hundred thousand followers on social media showcasing numerous family portraits highlighting Katerina’s beautiful & elegant creations. Made in small batches and with each piece being handmade, Petite Maison Kids customers often describe their products as “Fit For Royalty”. With an unwavering determination to provide her kids as well as the parents of children around the world with the best there is to offer, Petite Maison Kids has since partnered with numerous children’s charity organizations to give back whenever they can. Today, you’ll find Petite Maison in boutiques across the globe and worn by celebrity children, like Stassi Schroeder’s daughter, Hartford.

8. People’s Jewelry

 As a response to painstakingly slow processing times for new body jewelry for piercers, People’s Jewelry was born. Their sole purpose is simple – ship quality jewelry fast. As owners of their own piercing studio, they were well acquainted with the long wait times associated with acquiring more jewelry for their shop and rather than dwelling, they created the solution. As the name suggests, they are for the people and as a result, they make it a priority to have real people readily available to answer your questions and concerns versus an automated machine. Offering customer service at the highest level is not simply a goal of People’s Jewelry, but rather a company precedence. Moreover, their metals are all implant-grade titanium coupled with synthetic stones and opals proudly sourced from the U.S. Additionally, you’ll be happy to know that there’s no order minimums and they are constantly expanding their available inventory/designs to be able to consistently satisfy the ever-changing needs of their consumer base.

9. Tonic

TONIC is a woman-owned and operated wellness outfit based in upstate New York, where dozens of small businesses are building community and shifting social norms through their unique line of work, resulting in superior, unconventional approaches to hot markets around the globe. Founded by Brittany Carbone, TONIC sprouted from years of experience working as a personal trainer and health coach, in which Carbone sought elevated solutions to managing anxiety and depression. After experimenting with CBD and ashwagandha, TONIC took shape and the first crop was planted in June of 2018 on their farm, Tricolla Farms. What separates TONIC from its competitors is their dedication to the planet and their communities, which may sound familiar, but TONIC stays true to form. This family operation recognizes that nature was here before us, and as a result they do the heavy lifting to ensure that they’re giving back to the land as much as they harvest through regenerative forest practices. Since March of 2019, TONIC has donated to a different non-profit each month through their self-driven Purpose Program, focusing on social and climate justice, marginalized communities, and youth development initiatives. Additionally, by launching Bardo Labs in 2020, they ensure full transparency in their seed-to-bottle strategies, proving that earthly provisions are a fully attainable reality.

10. Micro Gainz

As a way to prevent plateaus in your strength gains, Micro Gainz has successfully crafted fractional weights that can be added to any barbell or dumbbell. 2.5 LBS and/or 5 LBS plates can occasionally be too much a jump, which is why the brand offers incremental plates of 0.25 LBS, 0.5 LBS, 0.75 LBS, and so on. Micro Gainz fractional plates are made from sintered metal, calibrated for precise weight, and coated black for durability, carefully executed in Clearfield, PA. Micro Gainz’ founder, Michael Reed, developed the idea for fractional weights in 2016 after his own experience in strength programming. In 2020, Reed left his full-time job to center his energy on Micro Gainz, and at the height of a pandemic, it’s clear that his determination overcame the obstacles.The truth is, strength training and physical fitness is unique for each person, and like the fractional weights themselves, there is no one size fits all. People interject their training at different levels and paces, which is why Micro Gainz excels in the wellness market. Their weights provide more options for more people, and with over 40 unique products to help athletes break their plateaus, Micro Gainz is setting the bar for strength trainers nationwide.

Written in partnership with Ascend