13 Awesome Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas From Smaller Indie Brands

13 Awesome Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas From Smaller Indie Brands
Celebrate your one-of-a-kind partner and think outside the (heart-shaped) box.

Let’s get right to the heart of the matter–Valentine’s Day is one of the most dreaded holidays of the year. It’s supposed to celebrate love and connection, but ends up being a vehicle to extract money from frantic people who just want to let their loved ones know how special they are.

Do yourself and your significant other a favor. Skip all the “expected” components of V-Day. The default options are so generic that they’re practically meaningless. We’re not saying you have to burn copies of The Economist in a display of anti-capitalism (unless your partner would be into that! Maybe you could make s’mores together over the flames?). But instead of filling the day with empty gestures, think of it this way: like many things, Valentine’s Day is all about what *you* make of it. It can be romantic, or cheesy, or fun. And even all of the above, if that feels right for your relationship.

It’s never a waste of time or effort to think about what you value and cherish about your partner, and–most importantly–let them know that you value and cherish them. The longer you’ve been in a relationship, the greater the tendency to…not take each other for granted, exactly, but just sort of assume that each of you is well aware that your immovable place at the center of their universe just goes without saying.

Well…say it anyway.

We’ve rounded up a few options from small businesses that are upgrades or fresh, unexpected twists on the subpar chocolates, trite greeting cards, and sad, refrigerated flowers that are the hallmarks of your average Valentine’s Day.

Because this isn’t your average Valentine’s Day.

women wearing a red cashmere sweater from quince


Affordable sustainable fashion

With a manufacturer to consumer model, this startup works with socially responsible factories to cut costs without cutting corners.Translation: cloud-soft cashmere sweaters priced at $50.

women using brujita skincare serum

Brujita Skincare

Natural beauty

Using sustainably sourced botanical extracts, this natural beauty line creates gentle yet potent formulas (many of which are vegan).

women wearing gold jewelry from soko jewelry brand



This line of ethical jewelry is made in Kenya by artisans working with recycled and reclaimed materials, creating pieces that are minimalist yet bold.

women holding a leather bag from cuyano brand


Leather goods – women's

Timeless, stylish clothing, bags, and accessories from a company that believes in making fewer, better things–and pricing them fairly.

assortment of leather goods from corter leather brand


Leather goods – men’s/unisex

Handmade in a solar-powered studio on Cape Cod, these leather goods are built to last, and look better the more they’re used.

two mini cactus plants in a planter from lulas garden

Lula’s Garden


Instead of pink or red, go green with an adorable cactus or succulent in its own little planter.

canisters for coffee from la colombe coffee roasters

La Colombe

Responsibly sourced coffee from a company committed to supporting farmers, communities, and our planet

Is your partner’s love language coffee? Perk them up with some beans, a bottle of cold brew, or maybe even a monthly subscription so they never risk running out.

baking chocolate from askinose chocolate brand


High-end, farmer-friendly chocolate

Founded by a former criminal defense lawyer, this bean-to-bar chocolate company is dedicated to making delicious treats and treating cocoa farmers fairly.

gourmet spices gift box from penzys


Gourmet spices

Tell your favorite cook or food lover that they’re more than worth their salt with a box of specialty spices and seasonings.

ocean sand art in a frame from uncommon goods

Ocean Sand Art

Klaus Bosch on Uncommon Goods

Part artwork, part stress-relieving diversion to enliven that 4:30pm Zoom call.

scotch porter mens skincare

Scotch Porter

Men's skincare

The beard-haver in your life deserves a soft, healthy set of whiskers (and you deserve not to be subjected to beard burn). There are plenty of pampering options for the clean-shaven, too.

chicken and herbs from moink box supplier brand


Ethical meat & seafood box

Support small family farms and enjoy some dang delicious meat and seafood. Take it one step further and cook a Valentine’s steak dinner–may we recommend the reverse sear?

soap box from beekman 1802 brand

Beekman 1802

Handcrafted skincare

How it started: with a herd of goats and some truly excellent goat’s milk soap. How it’s going: with a limited edition Schitt’s Creek collab that’s simply the best.

How are you celebrating your partner this Valentine’s Day? Keep the list going in the comments!

Ali grew up in New York and currently lives in Philadelphia, where she works as a copywriter. She enjoys cooking, playing the guitar, and powerlifting, and has a brown belt in Krav Maga. You can find her collected articles on health, fitness, and other lifestyle topics at https://alibzagat.contently.com/ Instagram: @alibzagat