Hat tip to Casey Betzold for giving me this idea
This year, this annus horribilis…. This 2020. Hand to God I put my Christmas decorations up the first weekend of November. My husband thought I’d gone mad, but my son noted the sooner we put this damn year behind us the better. More lockdowns loom for many of us and limits set on Turkey day attendees, more cheer is needed this winter. I could drone on and on about the winter of our discontent. The Cromwellian shouts of “cancel Christmas” echoing out of the television. Followed by the films crowds of grabbing hands, grabbing all the cheap mass-produced crap they can.
At the beginning of the initial lockdowns in March, most social media feeds were filled with pledges to support small businesses. Well, nigh on Nine months later, here we all are. This year, actually every year, I seek out products from like-minded people who make cool and unique items to give as presents. I’ve put together a list of products from small businesses from within our community. It is by no means a comprehensive list, but they are businesses I have purchased goods from or have worked with as a WOMA board member. I mention this not only for editorial purposes but because I put my money where my mouth is.
All of them are small businesses, staffed by hard working Americans who employ other hard-working Americans, who put food on the table and pay into this American dream. This holiday season uses your US Legal tender power to support the people in our wider community.
-Badass babe is made in Montana, one woman (and two dogs) spent ammo jewelry enterprise. Each piece is handcrafted by the BAB herself. If you are in the market for a bit of sparkly bijou for under the tree, look no further. Earrings and necklaces are up for grabs, as is a lovely rose gold key chain with a Badass crystal skull…. Yup, I bought one and yup I’m keeping it! Get started here: https://www.badassbabeusa.com/collections
-Gnat Warfare not only produces some of the best content on social media, but they developed the Tactical Pig. Fondly dubbed “Kevin Bacon” it’s a remote-controlled target system. For the parents and grandparents reading this, Kevin Bacon looks like it could tire out a preschooler faster than anything else. I would bet money Kevin Bacon would run circles around those amazon delivery droids!! Order yours here: https://gnatwarfare.com/product/tactical-pig/
-Operator Coffee is one of my true delights! Operator Coffee has 14 roasts from light to dark, including a decaf on offer, and none of them will disappoint! Two new roasts have hit the market, and I’ll be trying them soon. I can recommend the Indebted Patriot & the Bore Cleaner blends to fuel your holiday hustle. They have been generous in donating a ton of coffee to She Never Quit, and they have given us a discount code “WOMA15” good through 12/30/2020. Head over here to stock up on brews and merch: https://operatorcoffee.com/
-Team Never Quit is not just a podcast but a whole community of people who get it done daily no matter what. Their online store offers t-shirts, flags, coffee mugs, as well as signed books. So, grab some of their wares for yourself or for someone who needs a little “never quit” inspiration in their life. Get shopping here https://shop.teamneverquit.com/
-Doc Spartan is an Ohio based veteran owned natural skincare company. Their Grenade soap is a favorite of mine for gift giving, and their Lemongrass deodorant and Battle-Ready ointment are permanent fixtures in my knife roll. The ointment is a great remedy for kitchen burns, and they make the ah-mazingly decadent Badass Chic scrub (Hmmm... maybe a BAB Doc Spartan crossover?). Check them out at https://docspartan.com/, read about their mission to aid recovering addicts.
-K-Bar Soap is the vision of a retired Marine who produces cold pressed soaps with all-natural ingredients in Clover, S.C. I’ve tried two or three of their extremely long-lasting bars, but this Christmas I’m putting a few bars of “Gunny Claus” into some Christmas stockings. The names of all the scents are based on terminology from the military, and each bar weighs in at 7.62 ozs.! Which is hilarious on a few levels! K-Bar has a new product called Knife Hand Rehab, and yes, I have ordered it for days when my knife callous acts up. You can shop their products here: https://kbarsoapco.com/
*Please note: Both Doc Spartan and K-Bar soaps make beard care products as well. If this lockdown BS happens again and my waxing lady is forced to close again, I may look into these products as well!
-WSI Sports is a premium maker of all types of sportswear and climate gear. Designed, cut and sewn proudly in Eagan, MN, their products are worn by professional level athletes and sportsmen throughout the United States. WSI also has a beautiful “freedom collection” perfect for the active patriot on your list. https://wsisports.com/collections/usa-collection
-Staccato is the ultimate version of the Red Rider under the tree. Besides being handmade by Patriots in Georgetown, TX, these pistols are incomparable in quality. Having had the opportunity to put a few models to test at various events, you really never find a Staccato’s equal anywhere else. Basically, once bitten forever smitten. https://staccato2011.com/
-Tactical Distributors has something for everyone. No joke! What do they have that no one else has? Battle Briefs!!!! I kid you not. These cats offer premium underwear for both men and women in amusing and fun prints. The even offer a subscription service for a monthly delivery of drawers. For an even better present, grab two matching pairs of skivvies for yourself and your main squeeze for quality time under the mistletoe! Editorial note: I received a free pair at SHOT 2019, and they immediately went into the rotation. Hey, when I returned home, they were clean! If that’s wrong, I don’t ever want to be right. Get yours here: https://www.tacticaldistributors.com/collections/battle-briefs
-Heels to Holsters by Shirley Watral is her account of battling back from an abusive relationship. While it’s an emotionally tough read, it’s an honest description of the grit and strength she possesses. A no holds barred memoir of her path to intellective independence and discovery of the Warrior Goddess within her. https://shirleywatralfirearmstraining.com/my-journey-from-heels-to-holsters/
-Combat Flipflops is a footwear and apparel company started by two Army Rangers (and possibly a bass player). They purposely produce their wares in area in desperate need of economic growth, especially for women. Proceeds from sales benefit education for Afghan girls and clearing land mines! I bought a pair after hearing about the company on the TNQ podcast in 2018, and they are still in excellent condition. They are so tough, even my dog hasn’t bothered to chew on them. https://www.combatflipflops.com/
-Crossbreed Holsters is your one stop shop for all things carry. Operating out of the Show Me state, they manufacture some of the best concealed holsters and systems available. The Modular Belly Band with the A.R.M.S. holster and spare mag carrier is the basis for my E.D.C. The belly band is comfy during the dog days of a DC summer as well under most outfits. I’ve also taken to wearing their new Chest Rig when needed. Crossbreed’s website is easy to navigate, and their customer service is top notch. https://www.crossbreedholsters.com/
-Prym1 Camo is that perfect blend of American ingenuity and function. Started by Stacie Walker, a passionate outdoors woman and artist, Prym1 Camo designs camo patterns which blend the rich textures and complex colors nature offers. https://www.prym1camo.com/?page=2
I don’t promote to swipe free swag, I leave that for the Artful Dodger.
Merry Christmas to you and yours!