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Shop Small, Gift Big: Embrace the Joy of Mindful Giving

As the holiday season approaches, it has me thinking about gift-giving: how we buy, what we buy, and who we buy from.

I used to be the last-minute shopper, making a frantic dash to the mall to hastily fulfill my social obligations. But there was no joy in it. Gift giving is supposed to be a precious moment in life, for both the giver and receiver. As life speeds by, the act of giving becomes an opportunity to be present with our loved ones, a precious ritual to be savored. 

As I worked on becoming more mindful in my life, it transformed my approach to selecting gifts. The more present I became, the less mass-produced items appealed. They started to feel sterile, impersonal, and unworthy of my loved one. Naturally, my gaze turned toward small businesses, where quality and uniqueness are unmatched. The experience of giving shifted from the chaotic mall frenzy to a thoughtful, intentional act. It’s the difference between a lovingly prepared home-cooked meal versus greasy fast food.

Finally, being a small business owner myself, creating toys and stories that celebrate South Asian children and help them feel seen and valued  (, I understand an added bonus: shopping small businesses means that we are investing in our community and families rather than faceless corporations. This year I encourage you to be present when buying for your loved ones. The most valuable suggestion I can offer to help you give lovingly this year is to start early. It’s that simple.

To get you started, I’ve compiled a list of other South Asian Owned small businesses I love:

Sin tiffin:

A Fusion dessert boutique. Sin Tiffin is a journey of culinary decadence, connecting one end of the world to another. Their specialty? Infusing cultural flavors within western classics to achieve the most unique dessert experience.

Kaur & Co:

18k gold-plated custom jewelry inspired by Desi roots. Bringing a touch of culture to your everyday elegance


A gifting and lifestyle brand for anyone who appreciates the Indian subcontinent’s unique charm.

Roshni Wellness:

Roshni Wellness creates premium scented candles that inspire moments of connection and aim to bring love, light and joy to your space

Gable & Co:

At the Gabble Company, they are passionate about helping people celebrate life’s special moments, whether big or small. What sets their greeting cards apart? Each one is designed by hand; takes inspiration from Desi & Punjabi roots; and is proudly printed in Canada on premium quality cardstock.

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