I don’t need to tell you how important shopping local is. After almost a year of COVID lockdown and quarantines, almost 60% of our small businesses have closed down permanently. It may be the big businesses that dominate the stock market but its small businesses and starts ups that that keep our economy moving.
When you shop local:
• For every $100
• You embrace and support the creatives who help make your community unique
• You help create local jobs
• Buying locally is an environmentally friendlier option (By buying local you conserve energy and resources from transportation and packaging.
• You invest in creativity and entrepreneurship
• You help put food on the table or pay a bill for a PERSON and not put money in the pocket of billionaires
If you follow me on Instagram (Follow me HERE) you probably saw the December 21 days of giveaway I had going on all month! We got to partner with some really cool local Miami brands and each of them have such unique and interesting stories, I wanted to share their unique story behind the brand!
I was introduced to Balia Wear in 2019 when I opened my popup store on Lincoln Road Miami. This brand immediately stood out to me for a few reasons:
One piece = many outfit options
The owner is absolutely adorable
There is someone for everyone; no matter what shape or size
Baliawear is a unique convertible clothing brand that puts versatility and fit first. Baliawear was created by Founder & CEO Alvina Lam. A California native & seeker of the sunshine, she is the definition of a hustler. She moved to Miami in Dec 2018 from NYC after years of grinding with world famous brands like Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic and more. Today she is not just the CEO of BaliaWear, but also the customer service department, janitor and head designer – Alvina loves the challenge of creating a brand from the ground up and is motivated by competition. In March 2019, Baliawear was born!
Early in her sample process, she discovered she could design pieces that fit the body, in addition to being able to transform into different styles. With sustainability in mind, Alvina wanted to use her transformative designs to give her customers more use out of their purchases as well as allowing them to transition effortlessly throughout the day. Heading to happy hour from the office? No problem! Their bestseller is a wrap pant that transforms into a backless jumpsuit.
Soy Rosas is a luxury affirmation candle brand with one goal in mind: to uplift & empower! Not only is every candle handmade, hand poured, each candle has positive affirmations that begin with the most powerful two words known to man, ‘I AM’.
‘Soy’ in Spanish means “I am” so I found the connection to name all of the candles with “I am” relating to the time and season. Soy Rosas was born at the start of COVID and has continued to grow. What makes this brand unique is that it is made with Soy Wax and all the candles have a rigged sleek look that connects to your space with an enlightening energy to each jar.
Soy Rosas has already started to expand her new businesses and is starting to create matching soaps with matching scents to her candles and more.
As a huge candle enthusiast (and supporter of my friends!) I was blown away by how elegant and beautifully detailed these candles were. The smell was perfect and the minimalistic design is sure to add a touch of sparkle to your home (and to boost your mood!)
Shop Instagram: www.instagram.com/soyrosas_
Black Reef Company was established in the summer of 2018 with a revolutionizing mindset: to bring thoroughly and creatively built spearfishing products to the spearfishing world. Noticing a significant lack of ingenuity in the spearfishing world, Black Reef Founder, Quade Kirby decided it was time to shake up the industry and little did he know this would earn him the title of being a ‘problem solver’ and creativity in the spearfishing industry. After hours of failed prototypes, CAD work, and countless broken parts he was able to make a prototype that not only worked, but exceed all expectations!
Since then, Quade has been able to grow his company inventory to many patented designs, sell his products in retail stores all over FL, partnered with celebrity fisherman all while earning his industrial engineering bachelors degrees at The University of Miami.
“The passion for excellence and innovation is what inspired me to create products that exceed all standards. Originally developed here in Miami, FL, each product is assembled by hand; no two are the same. My products are built around the gripes and issues in which divers, my self included, are seeing with others. I thoroughly believe my products are 110% what a spear will need to handle some of the most menacing fish out there. And if not, I’m sure I could build it for them.’ CEO & Founder Quade Kirby
In the 1950’s, Havana society raised its rum drinks at grand social clubs, Big Five Rum celebrates the breezy, cosmopolitan leisure of those clubs and the Cuban spirit that flowed through them.
Like old Havana’s social clubs, being a member puts you in good company. This club is a state of mind. It’s the spirit of old Havana, where island relaxation meets the decadent excitement of the cabaret. Where mojitos, cuba libres, and daiquiris are a way of life. And where you’ll find reason to celebrate, no matter what the occasion.
Big 5 Rum is founded by two 1st generation Cuban Americans. (One of our founder’s parents met at the Miramar Yacht Club)! Both founders are veterans in the wine & spirits industry and childhood friends who grew up in Miami, FL. Big 5 Rum was born out of a desire to give back to their Cuban heritage.
Big 5 Cafecito has the delightful bitterness of
I am NOT a rum girl (nor am I a shot girl) but damn I love anything Cuban coffee-flavoured and I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth and rich this rum was. I can’t lie- I totally threw some in my morning cafe con
Gaetani Brand is a brand I wish every woman in Miami knew. I met her years ago through another blog Collab and instantly I loved this woman’s vibe! Like most of the other entrepreneurs in this post, GAETANI is a one woman show. From the ideas, designs, marketing, website and everything in between Laura does It all. Even though GAETANI is based in Brooklyn, Miami was a huge inspiration behind this brand. From the beauty, functional fashion, and endless summer Miami has to offer, GAETANI offers its clients unique statement pieces that are also sustainable and versatility.
GAETANI brand was one of the most unique companies I ever collaborated with. I recently was introduced to their one piece bathing suit, and I AM NOT LYING when I say it’s the best bathing suit I have ever owned. I was surprised mostly by the detail. The suit had a large front zipper so I could control how much skin I was showing, had the PERFECT little collar at the top (it looks great but it wasn’t big enough to feel annoying) and it came with a removable mesh hood (because why not switch up the looks in the middle of your day).
Committed to not only providing her customers with stylish and unique pieces that can be used for the beach, the gym, or as the perfect fitted body suit, Laura is also committed to making our environment a better place. Making sustainability and giving back to the community a priority in 2021, in addition to rebranding!
GAETANI Brand is all about building your wardrobe on items that are uniquely hand-made, super comfortable, and effortlessly versatile – staples that have style & purpose! The design factor of her pieces is what makes her brand really stand out. The bikini tops are reversible and can be used as a sports bra or even a crop top. I have one-piece swimsuits that double as bodysuits and have removable hoods which I have never seen before. I want to deliver pieces that are fashionable, functional, comfy and sustainable.
WHEN I SAY THIS IS THE BEST ONE PEICE I HAVE EVER OWNED I AM NOT BEING DRAMATIC. I wrote that in all caps bc yes I want to scream it! I am NOT a one piece girl but damn this suit looks good one everyone! Refer to the photos below for reference.
Meet Selina & Ian Tepoot, the creators and couple behind ‘Cloud & Joy’(healthy ice cream) & self-proclaimed lovers of ice cream. Inspired by the unique flavors, spices and cultures from their travels, they started making ice cream from scratch in their own kitchen!
After a serious hiking injury, Ian was put on bed rest for almost a year. While in recovery the doctors informed him he would have to cut sugar from his diet which meant no more ice cream. After months of trying many low sugar, low calorie desserts, they started making their own flavors in the name of health.
Meet Selina Tepoot
After Ian recovered, the Tepoots knew they wanted to create a better, delicious ‘healthy ice cream’ alternative full of rich flavor & anything but basic flavors. After a lot of effort, a lot of taste tests, a lot of frustration and tears, they finally came up with a formula they both loved and were ready to share.
When I say they have a clean product they are not messing around. They spent months ensuring the ingredients they use & nutrition profile were one of the best on the market. They have strict rules and high standards when it comes to production:
- No Added Sugar (with the exemption of unfiltered honey)
- No Artificial Sweeteners or Processed Sweeteners
- Full Transparency on Ingredients Lists
- Low Fat & Saturated Fat
- Low- Net Carbs (carbs kept at a minimum!)
- Non-GMO Organic Ingredients
- All Ethically Sourced
Their mission was not only to share the product they loved with the world, but to share a product that would help people live a healthier lifestyle without giving up all of life’s sweetnesses — but to do it in a way that didn’t associate guilt, sin or other value judgements to food or encourage diets and binging. Cloud & Joys main goal is to empower their customers to enjoy life’s simple pleasures (like ice cream!) while still living their best healthy life for a lifetime.
Life is all about balance after all! They do not have a store but you can place an order on their Instagram or website and it will be delivered right to
Pink Coral Miami was inspired by all the beauty Miami has to offer. Founded by Jessica Burns (aka Author of Tagged In Miami), Jessica grew up in Canada spending her summers with her family playing on the lakes in Michigan.
Always been a fish and a lover of swimming, in 2011 Jessica took a chance and moved to a city she had never even visited. Growing up in the cold north, it was defiantly a culture shock but moving to Miami Beach was the first thing she did for HER and the best thing she ever did. Inspired by the colors, shapes and beautiful art deco colors Jessica wanted to design a collection of vacation and resort clothes for every woman, and she did a pretty damn good job of it! No matter what your size or style, there is something for every woman.
NimNim Laundry & Dry Cleaning Delivery Service
NimNim was born in 2014 with the following beliefs behind their launch:
- You shouldn’t have to struggle to get everything complete in your life (laundry can be a hassle on top of life’s other demands).
- Small businesses as important and we need to support them as much as possible (small business owners too)
- You deserve the best (including the best help with your laundry!)
Founded in Boston by brothers Nimish & Akshay who struggled with the same day to day issues as the rest of us and they wanted to help make life easier for the hardworking professionals, students, entrepreneurs, even parents who are finding it difficult to balance the life work balance.
The brothers decided to solve this problem with one simple fix: NimNim laundry & dry cleaning services.
- Quick, fact, reliable service with a smile (laundry & dry cleaning complete in as little as 12 hours).
- Launder shirts & Dry cleaning services
- Wash household items (this is my favorite service! They help keep my sheets & blankets looking perfect without me having to go wait at a laundry mat every week!)
In addition to offering several services that will help your schedule, your wallet, and your to do list, Nim Nim offers its services on an easy to use APP available in the app store. With this ordering service you don’t have to worry about a thing, whether you live in a dorm or in the penthouse, NimNim will pick up your laundry and take it from there!
NimNim is new to the magic city aka Miami, launching in just 2019 and NimNim found a new home they love here! Miami is the city on the move, with so many different backgrounds and cultures and NimNim has been accepted with open arms!
I was so happy when I discovered NimNim, I LOVE doing laundry but moving from a building with amenities to a small art deco apartment in Miami Beach, doing laundry became kind of a mission for me and I knew it was time to delegate this chore (even though I still love doing laundry).
The best part of the business (according to the brothers!) is meeting and greeting their customers. By opening their services to Miami, NimNim was given a chance to work with and service one of the most truly international cities in the world, and in return it allows them to connect, build and service professionals and businesses from all over the world and contribute to the bottom line of having a stressless experience when it comes to handling mundane tasks because NimNim only believes in meeting and greeting its customers with the most optimal experience!
Queens NYC is a dope local brand, based from Brooklyn NYC (and inspired) but Miami based. Founded by native New Yorker Christina Prudenti. In 2008 Christina used her artist background and inspiration from her unique experience and familiar surroundings to create wearable art. Using clothing as her canvas, each piece is hand designed and each design emulates unique experiences and familiar surroundings; all filled with color and commotion inspired by the pulse of the city she lives in. She pulls inspiration from all corners of life keeping her designs authentic and raw.
Christiana not only creates each design by hand (no computer here!) most of her silk screens and stencils are created and cut by her and not a machine. She uses inspiration from the beauty all around her and are all screen printed by hand, stenciled or hand painted into the apparel. Making each piece is unique and special.
Christina started as a painter but after purchasing a screen printing starter kit and teaching herself to do it, her apparel line was born. At the time she was carving dogs out of linoleum and printing them onto mini canvas’s she got the idea to make her first shirt with dogs on it and the rest was born!
Christina is a good friend of mine and I have watched her turn anything into a beautiful piece of wearable art. It is rare that you find an artist so talented and so enthusiastic about her work. She is always creating and inspiring those around her! She recently helped me turn an old thrifted jacket into a badass art piece that I cant walk wear down the street without being stopped and complimented on.
FETCH is local apparel brand with a unique mission, find ways to get our local community involved and making memories! They do this by inspiring us to extend a helping hand in the community wherever possible through empowerment and play!
Created by Miami local Garret, who is obsessed with his own dog Marshall. Through his love of his dog he decided he wanted to create something to help support dogs but also give back to the community. Garret has a love of fitness, athletic apparel & sports FETCH was born.
Fetch has a lot of meanings but his
With slogans like ‘GO GETCH’ and ‘GO GET IT’ they really do lead by example. Garret is always out and about in the community and involving as many people as possible (I have yet to see him charge for the activities he puts together which really makes us have no excuse)!
I have been following FETCH for just a few months but in that time I have seen them do many cool activities including a local tennis camp and was (is) free to Miami locals. I’m sad I missed out (Caro was there AND crushing it though!) but I will be at the next one.
Thank you to everyone who participated in our giveaway and a big thank you to all the businesses that participated!!
- Treehouse Miami
- Pinecrest Gardens
If you would like to be apart of our upcoming giveaway, please send me an email! firstname.lastname@example.org or DM me Instagram @jessburns16!