Connections - 11.30.22

Holiday Gifting: Disability-Owned & Employed Companies To Support

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The average shopper will spend around $998 on gifts and holiday items this year. Now imagine the positive impact it could have if we spent those dollars at disability-owned and employed businesses! With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of disability-owned and employed shops to support this holiday season.

Clothing, Jewelry & Accessories

Access is Love aims to help build a world where accessibility is understood as an act of love. Show your support with a ‘Disability Justice Is Love’ Sweatshirt ($33.99).

Candidly Kind was founded by Grace Key, who was born with Down Syndrome — or as she calls it — “Up Syndrome.” Candidly Kind brings Grace’s uplifting sayings to life with clothing and accessories like this ‘Be The Light’ Tee ($30).

Girl wearing a gray Be The Light' Tee

John’s Crazy Socks is a disability-owned, father-son business on a mission to spread happiness through socks. John’s Sock of the Month Club ($13.99/month) is a gift that’ll make anyone smile.

Special Sparkle is a disability-owned, mother-daughter team that makes unique handmade jewelry, like these Sand & Sea Aromatherapy Bracelets ($16).

The Spotlight Project specializes in handcrafted bracelets made by adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), including this Beaded Bracelet ($24) designed by team member Laura.

Coffee, Tea & Wine

Anastasia & Katie’s Coffee Shop in Livonia, Michigan, employs workers with developmental disabilities, who serve up tasty food and strong coffee to local residents. If you’re not in the area, you can grab a bag of their signature Good & Strong Bagged Coffee ($16) online.

Bitty & Beau’s Coffee opened its first shop in Wilmington, North Carolina in 2016 and employed 19 individuals with disabilities. Today, it has grown to over 23 shops and 200 employees. A bag of their best-selling Beau’s Blend ($16) would make the perfect stocking stuffer for coffee lovers!

Common Roots Farm is an urban farm where people of all abilities grow healthy food and build friendships. Wrap up a bottle of their organic Bloody Mary Mix ($10) with a jar of olives for a cute homemade gift basket.

ExtraSpecial Teas is a Massachusetts-based teahouse that helps adults with disabilities reach their full potential. Their Tea Flight Gift Box ($25) lets recipients try their three most popular blends.

Furnace Hills Coffee’s first employee and Chief Roaster, Erin Baldwin, was the inspiration behind their motto “Special Coffee Roasted by Special People.” A bag of Erin’s Breakfast Blend ($13) and a travel mug would make a great teacher gift.

Gabi’s Grounds was founded by mother-daughter duo Mary and Gabi Angelini to empower employees with disabilities. Their online shop offers gift baskets made by Gabi and her friends, including this thoughtful coffee and candle Hostess Gift ($22).

Wander + Ivy is a women- and disability-owned company that offers premium wines in single-serve packaging (from $8) — the perfect gift for someone who wants to enjoy a glass without letting the rest of the bottle go to waste.

Food & Sweets

Big Al’s Best is a San Diego-based toffee company run by a young man with autism. Alex’s bestselling Dark Chocolate Almond Toffee ($12) comes in a festive mason jar for holiday gifting.

Collettey’s Cookies is a disability-owned business that grew out of founder Collette’s passion for baking. Pick up a dozen of her signature Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Cookies ($30), which have been featured on CNN, Good Morning America and the BBC.

Matthew’s Bonfire BBQ began with a line of barbecue sauces — Carolina Gold and Blueberry Chipotle ($30) — inspired by Chef Matthew’s training at the award-winning Haywood Smokehouse in North Carolina during college.

Poppin Joe’s Kettle Korn is sold at local events and retail outlets in Georgia — but you can get your hands on a Holiday Sampler ($15) through Joe’s Etsy Shop. Joe, who has DS-ASD, is the business’ sole proprietor.

Spectro Dolce’s staff is made up almost entirely of adults with autism. Their Dessert Truffle Gift Pack ($9.95) comes in a variety of mouthwatering flavors like Butter Pecan and Tiramisu.

Texas Sweet Heat Jams are as unique as the team that makes them. For a crowd-pleasing appetizer to bring to a family gathering, spread a layer of Holiday Heat Jam ($7) over a block of cream cheese and serve with crackers.

The Chocolate Spectrum has trained over 50 individuals with disabilities in chocolate-making and business skills. Keep their Truffle 4-Piece Assortment (3 boxes, $34.50) on hand for last-minute gifts.

Four assorted chocolates in a box

Home Goods

Aspire Accessories specializes in jewelry, purses and custom gifts made by adults with autism. Their Mini Fall Candle Gift Set ($24) includes two tin candles made in their workshop, along with a set of matches.

Beloved Bath grew out of two moms’ desire to create a community that would empower and employ people with autism. The shop carries a variety of bath products and gifts like this Fabulous Fall Set ($62).

Blissful Seeds is more than soap — it’s a place where young adults with autism can have meaningful jobs and a sense of community. Their Unicorn Soaps ($7) would make fun stocking stuffers for the little ones in your life.

Unicorn shaped and designed bar of soap

Da Bombs is owned by Missouri native Morgan Tibbens, who has Down Syndrome. Morgan’s dream is to open a storefront and hire her friends, but for now you can buy her Bath Bombs ($8) online.

EV Gifts’ neurodiverse team sells handmade soy wax candles and other treasures, like this Gift Set ($35) featuring four of their most popular scents: citrus basil, strawberry kiwi, pink grapefruit and eucalyptus.

ScentsAbility creates beautiful artisan scented candles like this mandarin and bergamot POSITIVITY Candle ($30) while supporting adults with I/DD on their path to independence.

Texas Made Soap is run by Sophia Marie, a teen entrepreneur and soap maker with autism, whose creative designs include this gemstone-shaped You’re A Gem Soap ($9.99).


Gateway Arts is the place to find unique holiday cards, like this partying penguin New Year Card ($3). Your purchase supports careers in the arts for people with disabilities.

NOVICA supports artisans with disabilities. You might see a few things you want for your own home — like a set of Hand-Crafted Balinese Wood Ornaments ($19.99) for your tree.

SpArc Marketplace offers ceramics and original art by artists with developmental disabilities. This Colorful Coil Pot ($10) would make the perfect gift for your green-thumbed friend.


Bradley’s Blocks makes wooden leash holders ($45) adorned with a custom portrait of your pet. Bradley creates each leash holder by hand, so leave 6-8 weeks to complete your order.

Bradley posing in front of four wooden leash holders

Doggy Delights founder Allison is an entrepreneur with Down Syndrome, whose healthy freeze-dried treats ($9.35) have been featured on the Rachael Ray show and in Women’s World magazine.

Gracie’s Doggie Delights is run by an enterprising young woman with Down Syndrome who loves dogs. Gracie’s Chicken Heart Delights ($8.99) are a bestseller with over 700 5-star reviews.

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