As the holiday season approaches, it’s time to start gift shopping. For some, braving the crowded mall during Black Friday might be a long-standing tradition. If navigating through hordes of shoppers isn’t quite your thing, however, you’re in luck: Amazon is poised to be one of the top holiday shopping destinations this year – you just have to ask Curry Aisha.
The entrepreneur, author, restaurateur and mother of three is a small business owner whose own Ayesha Curry Kitchenware Collection is sold on the online retailer, so she knows Amazon’s offerings go beyond the big brands. Between Black-Owned Small Businesses, artisan shops founded by women, and even local stores that might be from your area, more than half of all products sold on Amazon’s platform are from small and medium-sized businesses. So if you’re looking to be more conscious buyer while enjoying convenience, Amazon has your back.
For Curry, shopping for small businesses on Amazon has proven to be both a convenient and impactful way to buy holiday gifts for her whole family, and she’s teamed up with the online retailer to bring value small businesses and share her gift guide picks. Here, she chats with Bustle about her favorite artisans on Amazon, the benefits of buying small, and how she’s making the most of the holiday season this year.
How do you shop for small businesses on Amazon?
There are over 500,000 small businesses in the United States selling on Amazon, but that’s growing day by day. It says under the business name if it’s a small business, and we also have these amazing small business gift guides coming out for the holidays to help you shop around.
It really is a great tool. What are some of the benefits shoppers can expect when buying from small businesses on Amazon?
There’s just that level of care, quality and attention to detail that you’ll get with everything you order. Small businesses are babies in a sense – the people who created them nurture them from the ground up, and the buyers become that part of the community in which they find themselves.
What are some of your favorite small businesses that are sold on Amazon?
There’s a black-owned jewelry line called PARCHARI which makes amazing pieces that you can wear with anything. Everything is handmade in Los Angeles.
I’m also really into wellness and feeding from within right now, and I love this company called liveliness. It’s a black-owned, women-founded company that makes yoga mats and other tools for your practice.
Nona Lim is a small business in the AAPI community based locally in Oakland, and they make these amazing bone broths, pad thai kits, and ramen noodles. I constantly buy these ramen noodles.
What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?
I host a lot of dinner parties. This year I plan to decorate the house a little more than usual and do some baking. I can’t even believe I said that – I love to cook, but I’m not the biggest baker, so I can’t wait to try it more.
What are your tips for making the holidays magical for your whole family?
My biggest advice would be quality over quantity. At the end of the day, kids and family won’t remember minor details like decorations. They will remember the time spent together and the conversations that took place.
Also, when it’s time to have people over, just make sure your meals are prepared. Do things ahead of time so you can just turn the oven on, set it and forget about it – then it’s ready.
What’s on your holiday wish list?
What are some of your favorite dishes or cocktails that you always look forward to making or serving this time of year?
I love making any type of cocktail that has hot baking spices in it, like cloves, cardamom, star anise, and cinnamon. Usually I make a holiday punch with rum and it’s always a hit. I also like root vegetables during the holidays – beets, yams and parsnips. I put parsnips in everything, whether it’s soup, stews… you name it. I love the texture and the sweetness it gives to dishes. And on our Thanksgiving and holiday table, there will always be crab mac and cheese with three kinds of cheese. It is the welfare of the soul.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.