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10 Exceptional Independent Businesses to Shop This Small Business Saturday

From high-end candles and luxury linens to gifts for the fitness-obsessed and the coffee connoisseurs.


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Small Business Saturday—happening today, November 28—is a time for Americans to refocus their holiday shopping efforts at small businesses across the country. In a year when small businesses have struggled with the impact of COVID-19, American Express launched a Shop Small and Share Joy campaign to encourage celebrities and shoppers across America to share their favorite local businesses on social media. Amex originally started Small Business Saturday 11 years ago and today put out a guide to 10 favorite U.S. small businesses to shop from this year. Further, American Express is now offering exclusive buys to Card Members from each of these businesses.

Related: 6 Ways to Support Small Businesses During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Departures caught up with one of the small business owners featured on American Express Membership Rewards Shop Small Holiday Gift Guide. Ali Kaminetsky, founder and CEO of Modern Picnic, known for their line of fully insulated luxury handbags that can hold your lunch, said that “independent brands can sometimes get lost amongst big-box retailers during the holiday season and there are so many small businesses that need our support!”

For Kaminetsky, the first-ever American Express Membership Rewards Shop Small Holiday Gift Guide is “helping to bring awareness to small businesses, like Modern Picnic, as well as others who need the support too and helping drive sales at a time when small businesses need it most.” As Kaminetsky said, “While 2020 has hit businesses hard, shopping small helps these businesses more than you know.”

Related: See Where Tastemakers and Fellow Shoppers are Heading This Small Business Saturday

Each of the 10 independently-owned businesses on American Express’ guide comes with exclusive Card Member deals—and Card Members can apply their rewards points to select purchases from these businesses. Here, we’ve gathered the 10 businesses that American Express has aligned with this Small Business Saturday.

Kaminetsky’s recommendation is to pair a few of the featured products as a luxury gift set. “Modern Picnic is in such great company on the Membership Rewards Shop Small Holiday Gift Guide, and each brand offers products that are great for gifting,” she said. “I love that you can pair Modern Picnic easily with Harlem Candle Co. and Tanoshi if you’re looking for the perfect at-home set up. You can also prepare your favorite recipes in Hestan Cue’s cookware to carry on-the-go in Modern Picnic!”

Shop directly through the American Express Membership Rewards Shop Small Holiday Gift Guide and check these businesses out on social media.

Harlem Candle Company

Harlem Candle Company specializes in luxury candles with tasteful design and out-of-this-world aromatics. Their fragrances range from woody scents (cedar pine, balsam fir) perfect for the winter months, to floral scents for spring. American Express’ exclusive Membership Rewards include the Harlem Holiday Trio, with a diffuser, a 12-ounce candle, and a room spray.

Modern Picnic

Perfect for the on-the-go professionals in your life, Modern Picnic is the future of luxury lunching. “We just launched a new product, The Large Luncher, in October and are blown away by the interest so far,” said Kaminetsky.

Hestan Cue

Hestan Cue makes smart cookware, for the high-tech gourmand in your life. With heat sensors and an app to guide your cooking process, this cookware takes the guesswork out of the equation.


Therabody takes a holistic wellness approach, with training available through their Therabody app and their line of percussive muscle-relaxing devices, like the Theragun Elite.


Tanoshi makes fun and educational laptops for children, perfect for remote learning. The Tanoshi 2-in-1 Kids Computer is available for purchase with Membership Rewards.

Scotch Porter

Scotch Porter is a line of high-end men’s grooming products for the hair, face, and beard. Their head-to-toe collection comes with a beard wash and serum, face wash, shampoo and conditioner, and more necessities.


Hydration is supremely elevated with Larq, a smart water bottle company that designed a self-cleaning water bottle that uses “UV-C LED light to eliminate up to 99.9999% of bio-contaminants from your water and bottle.”


Ember makes gorgeous, temperature-controlled mugs to keep your hot beverage at the exact temperature you prefer until the very last sip. It’s the perfect stocking stuffer for the coffee drinker in your life.


High-end bedding is the Linoto way: they specialize in linen sheets, perfect for the couple who’s nesting and redecorating while staying home.

Jiggy Puzzles

Are they puzzles or works of art? Hard to say, really. Jiggy Puzzles have gorgeous designs and their founder likes to think of these puzzles as a meditative exercise.


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