Holiday Gift Guide: Shop Small, Shop Sustainable, and Support Our Veterans!

Holiday Gift Guide: Shop Small, Shop Sustainable, and Support Our Veterans!

With the holidays right around the corner, and sustainability always top of mind here, we've rounded up some of our favorite veteran-owned, sustainable small businesses in celebration of Veteran Small Business Week. These eco-friendly holiday gift ideas epitomize that adage about buying from small businesses - except this time, when you support these businesses, it's a veteran or a military spouse that does a happy dance. 

Brb, going to make our wish list now...

Meet Our Favorite Veteran-Owned, Sustainable Small Businesses

Learn about our veteran and military spouse founders as they share how their companies support a vision for a more sustainable world.

Vie Verte (pronounced Vee Ver)

Functional Handbags & Backpack

Branch:  Marine Corps veteran

sustainable handbag brown with strap and handles

At Vie Verte, each and every one of our bags embraces the concept of slow timeless fashion, and is crafted to effortlessly integrate into your wardrobe. We aim to reduce waste in the accessories industry, so we stock our collections in limited editions, based on only the quantities we need. With a “fewer but better” philosophy, each piece is made with integrity and kindness from the highest-quality materials, and created by skilled craftsmen. 

Striving towards sustainability we aim to source only the most innovative, cruelty-free materials we can find. Each of our bags are lined with recycled plastic bottles. We are exploring more environmental friendly alternatives and will be launching a new collection next year.

Follow the journey + order products here: 

IG @shopvieverte

Facebook: Vie Verte

Shop the collection!


Upcycled Whimsical Island Art

Branch: Navy veteran (ret.) and military spouse

up cycled pallets hawaiian themed home decor

Aloha! We are “Momma” and “Padre” to two surfer boys. We make things we love, and we make them tough to survive teenagers and military moves! All of our art is upcycled: we use discarded pallets for our wood art, upcycled clothing and plastic bags for our soft sculptures. Just trying to do our part to minimize Hawaii’s landfill waste. 

upcycled recycled pallets in shape of hibiscus flower, yellow

I am an interior designer, and whenever I needed a certain piece for a client that I couldn’t find, I would make it. But with each military move (and there were tons), I would have to reinvent myself, get my name out, build clients and their trust. It was very slow and frustrating. So, with the help of my hubby we started Artsyfartsy 8 years ago. It was a job I could take with me, and shelve when needed. After our move to Hawaii, we started back up and it has exceeded our expectations! We feel incredibly blessed from all the support and Artsyfartsy love! Plus, I get to work with my best friend -- double bonus!

Follow the journey + order products here: 

IG: @artsyfartsyhawaii 

Facebook: @artsyfartsy Hawai’i 




Home of Handmade Rainbow Crayons

Branch: military spouse of retired Army veteran

 Meet Liz, craft enthusiast and the creator behind Krayonshop. Since 2002, Liz has been creating color combined crayons and candles in heart shapes using recycled crayons from her own kitchen

Born and raised in the Philippines, Liz drew inspiration for her newly found creation from her resourceful mother, Philippine culture, artistry and her background in business. Liz started selling her rainbow shaped crayons locally during holidays while keeping her primary focus on her family and her career. After her husband retired from the Army (and over 600 shapes of crayons later), Liz made a decision to turn her crayon gig into a full-time business.

recycled handmade custom crayons


Krayonshop opened in Spring of 2019. Putting “hand” in "handmade," the crayons are peeled, broken into pieces and reshaped with heat to make a new, uniquely designed crayon. In addition to recycling crayons, Krayonshop uses recycled paper and reusable packaging materials and adds lettered names on reusable gift boxes for personalization. Buyers keep coming back because of the quality and its handmade touch. "When you receive the crayons from Krayonshop®, it is more than just an item from a store, it’s a personal gift created just for you!"

founder of Krayonshop with retired army veteran spouse

Follow their journey + order products here:

Pinterest - Krayonshop

Instagram - @krayonshop      

Shop Krayonshop products! 


Pit Polish Natural Deodorant 

Natural, Organic Deodorant

Branch: Military spouse (to a former Navy guy turned full time Air National Guard Member)

sustainable tin of natural deodorant in outdoor setting

At Pit Polish, I wanted to make sure I was selling a product that was totally safe, natural and organic. I decided to try and make my own deodorant after failing to find a brand I liked. Fate was in the air when my first recipe knocked it out of the park! I tinkered with it for about a year, testing in the hot Texas summers, and finally perfected it. 

Having had two aunts with cancer, one who didn’t make it, using safe products became paramount. The possible links to cancer and Alzheimer’s from the dangerous chemicals in conventional deodorant has made switching to a natural brand so important. And, choosing a packaging that doesn’t hurt the earth was a definite must for me. My tins are great because they’re recyclable and reusable! They are great for things like crafts and other things that need organizing once the deodorant is all used up!  I’ve had customers like them so much they’ve even offered to buy some empty!  

I’m so happy to be contributing something good in the world, no matter how small.  

sustainable natural deodorant tin on the beach 

Follow their journey + order products here: 

IG: @pitpolish

Facebook: PitPolish

Shop Pit Polish!

Private Pit Polish group


Repurposed microplastics from Oahu’s beaches

Branch: military spouse of active duty Marine (hoorah!)

recycled micro-plastic refrigerator magnets on driftwood

I hand collect microplastics off our local beaches and repurpose them into letters, magnets, coasters, bookmarks and so much more. Because I know just how much work and how many volunteer hours go into cleaning the beaches and educating others, I also give back 15% annually to local beach and ocean conservation groups. I’m so grateful to have such a fun and unique product that not only gives back, but educates people around the world on plastic pollution. Since starting about one year ago, I have helped friends, family, and even those I’ve never met to make positive changes towards reducing plastic waste and making more sustainable choices with their day to day items.

Micro meaning “tiny” and Mahalo meaning “thank you”

military spouse founder of MicroMahalo


Follow the journey + order products here: 

IG @micromahalo 


Shop MicroMahalo products!


Cranky Veteran Candle Company

Hand Poured Soy Candles & Room + Linen Sprays

Branch: Retired Army and military spouse co-founders

hand poured soy candle on blue tea towel by veteran entrepreneur

The spark that ignited this business originated in 2014, when Ryan medically retired from the US Army. The transition from soldier that serves our country to civilian is hard for many, and that was true for Ryan. For the past handful of years, he's struggled to find a profession where he "fits" and that led us here. Because of his struggle with PTSD, it was important that we found a solution that also allowed him to work with his hands as an outlet for his symptoms. Our products are made with 100% soy wax, phthalate and paraben free fragrances, and reusable containers. 

cranky candle company veteran co-founders holding hands

Follow their journey + order products here:

 IG: @crankyveterancandles 

Facebook: Cranky Veteran Candles

Shop Cranky Veteran Candles! 


Day Planners Designed to Help Calm the Chaos of Military Life

Branch: Co-founder, Brittany: active duty Army officer and married to an active duty Army officer.  Co-founder, Julia: military spouse (married to an active duty Army officer)

military family planner on red background

We are Julia and Brittany, two planner obsessed friends who wanted to make the planner world a better place. After years of dreaming of creating a day planner for military spouses, we decided in late 2018 to make the leap and Spouse SERVE was born. The planner provides resources specific to military life and life in general ranging from duty station bucket lists and deployment resources to a habit tracker and meal planning guide. The sleek and simple design benefits military families in all seasons - newlyweds, families with young children, working moms, stay at home dads, empty nesters, and any other combination you can imagine. Military life is full of chaos, let us help you calm it with a Spouse SERVE Planner. This life is anything but average. Why should your planner be average?

blue military family planner on white background

Julia and Brittany will be incorporating recycled paper into their future planner products! 


Follow their journey + order products here: 

IG: @spouseserve

Facebook: @SpouseServe

Shop the SpouseSERVE planner!