Shop size-inclusive lingerie, pop-culture-inspired candles, gender-affirming accessories, and more from these small, queer-owned businesses.
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When Pride month comes along, big-name companies come out of the woodwork, flying rainbow flags and releasing colorful collections. Some help our community, others don't. And while there is certainly something to be said about the feeling that one gets in seeing businesses recognize our humanity, many members of the queer community don't necessarily want to become consumers of rainbow capitalism, a term used to describe "the commercialization and commodification of LGBTQ+ movements." 

bijoucandles.com
Credit: bijoucandles.com

So, during this Pride month, consider instead supporting queer business owners, artists, and makers who spend their time working to make a difference, support their families, and often give back a portion of what they earn. 

It's important to keep in mind that supporting a small business doesn't just mean buying something. Follow them on social media. Share their work in your Instagram stories. Recommend their products when someone is looking for something they excel in. Even commenting on social media posts helps amplify their work and their message. 

To get you started, here are 15 small queer-owned businesses that you'll love.

Queer-Owned Fashion Brands

Curve Conscious

Thrifting as a plus-size person can feel impossible, but Curve Conscious, a Black-owned Philly-based plus-size clothing resale store is working to help change that. With clothing in sizes 12 to 28+, Curve Conscious owner Adrienne Ray sells clothing on her website, and on Instagram and Facebook. If you're looking to revamp your wardrobe, you can book a virtual styling session, and Ray will help you find clothing for school, work, or your next vacation. With everything from swimsuits to loungewear to mini skirts in stock, you're sure to find something to love. Worried whether you have space in your closet for another outfit? No worries—Ray also buys clothing, too.

Where to shop: curveconscious.com

Transfigure Print Co.

To some, a T-shirt is just a T-shirt. But to the Transfigure Print Co., a T-shirt is a vehicle for so much more than that. The small Grand Rapids-based screen-printing shop celebrates queer identity, builds community, and actively gives back, with the small business donating $24,500 to date. Choose from its collection of tees, tapestries, beanies, prints, and stickers, or commission your own custom screen-printed design. Sizes go up to a 6X.

Where to shop: transfigureprintco.com

Hey Mavens

Everybody deserves beautiful, well-fitting lingerie, and Hey Mavens is making that happen. The Nashville-based brand specializes in brightly colored, gender-free lingerie that is available in sizes XXS-10X with custom ordering slots open a few times a year. Hey Mavens also prioritizes ethical fashion, making every beautiful garment by hand, and paying its U.S.-based sewing team a liveable wage. You'll love the velvet bralette and undie sets and stunning rainbow designs.

Where to shop: heymavens.com

Peridot Robes

Robes and lounge dresses as a fashion statement? Yes, please. While this category might have lots of businesses in the straight-size space, plus-size options (especially luxurious plus-size options), are relatively limited. Peridot Robes are offered in sizes 14-40 and made sustainably, using fabric remnants for lower waste options, and are made in fair-wage sewing rooms in Los Angeles. 

Where to shop: peridotrobes.com

Queer-Owned Jewelry and Accessories Brands

Ode'imin & Sage

For the jewelry lovers out there, Indigenous-owned and Milwaukee-based Ode'imin & Sage is a must-visit Etsy shop. Selling a large selection of hand-beaded earrings in beautiful colors and a wide range of styles—including hoops, dangling earrings, and rosettes—the earrings are clearly a delicate, stunning piece of art that is sure to be a conversation starter. Most jewelry is made-to-order, with the current turnaround listed in the Etsy page announcement. If you are partial to a specific color combination, the shop does accept some requests, depending on available inventory. 

Yas Petit Poulet

For the queer science nerds, you'll have to check out Yas Petit Poulet, which is both the name of the business and the pen name of the artist. Founded by a non-binary, trans, disabled, Lebanese designer and illustrator, Yas Petit Poulet focuses on "exploring queer identities through the lens of science." You can find a variety of artworks that blend identity with science, including mugs, stickers, hats, pins, and more. Yas Petit Poulet donates 15 percent of its profits back to the community, including organizations like the Piamp, which supports young people who are sex workers. 

Where to shop: yaspetitpoulet.com

Garbage Humans

Are you a fan of subscriptions? How about earrings? Cathy Aycock, the artist behind Garbage Humans, designs the coolest earrings and offers a monthly subscription through Patreon for just $23 a month. If you'd rather just grab a pair, you can do that too. With options like a hanging composition book with the words "The Gay Agenda" to menu board earings and everything in between, you'll find a quirky, handmade-to-order set of earrings that's a perfect fit for your style. If you're not an earring person, you must check out their mirror knives, a total conversation starter at any dinner party.

Where to shop: garbagehumans.us

The Crafty Queer

Card stores often don't cater to queer people and the occasions we may wish to celebrate, but Alister, the trans, nonbinary, foster care survivor behind The Crafty Queer is working on changing that. Head to the shop for gender and sexuality affirming greeting cards and stay for the extensive collection of pride-related jewelry, clothing (T-shirts go up to a size 5X), pins, and even tote bags.

Where to shop: thecraftyqueer.com

Adroit Valentine

Earrings can take a simple outfit to the next level, especially when they are as unique as the handmade earrings from Adroit Valentine. Valentine Schwaner, a nonbinary artist based in Albuquerque, describes themself as "a lover of all things gaudy and garish," which influences their art. Each earring is made out of polymer clay, with many being sold individually so you can mix and match to create your own unique combination, or just wear a single statement earring. If earrings aren't quite your cup of tea, you'll find a select number of hair clips, too!

Where to shop: adroitvalentine.com

Queer-Owned Skincare

Cocoa Bean Skincare

If you have sensitive skin and are looking to upgrade your skincare routine, consider the small-batch, handmade skincare products from CocoaBean Skincare, a Black-owned, Madison, Wisc.-based business that ships nationwide. Plant-based, paraben-free, and organic, the brand has an extensive collection of face and body products, including facial oils and cleansers, lip scrubs, different styles of body scrubs, and even beard care treatments. For spiritual care, CocoaBean Healing is an extension of the skincare brand, offering virtual and in-person "energy werk" including ritual oils and divination readings. 

Where to shop: cocoabeanskincare.com

Queer-Owned Beverage Brands

Birdhorse Wine

Founded by queer life partners Corinne and Katie after working a grape harvest in South Africa, Birdhorse Wine "strive[s] to showcase regions, varietals, and humans that have long had a presence in this industry, but have yet to been celebrated by many of its constituents." Buying a bottle of wine from Birdhorse isn't like picking up a bottle at the grocery store. You'll find detailed flavor notes, and learn exactly where the grapes were grown and by whom. Each bottle is its own unique experience.

Where to shop: birdhorsewines.com

Friday Tea

If you're a tea drinker, or just looking for a new beverage to add to the rotation, you'll find a wide selection at Friday Tea. And Friday Tea isn't just another beverage shop. The owner, Friday Elliot, has a condition called lexical-gustatory synesthesia, a rare form of synesthesia in which hearing, speaking, reading, or thinking about certain words triggers specific tastes. Friday uses this "superpower" to create unique tea blends. You'll find everything from white to aged teas, fandom-inspired blends, and seasonal favorites. Not sure what to get? You can indulge in a sampler and discover a new favorite! Friday Tea also offers a custom tea blending service that would be perfect for unique wedding favors, business gifting, and other special occasions.

Where to shop: fridaytea.com

Queer-Owned Candle Brands

Bijou Candles

Bijou Candles was started by self-described luxury candle hoarders Alaina and Jocelyn. They turned their passion for collecting luxury candles into a business, celebrating pop culture, women, and all things witchy. "Our candles are inspired by women in pop culture history and they carry the moniker of their iconic namesakes." From '70s, '80s, and '90s icons to the Golden Girls, Bijou has a candle for nearly everyone—luxury at an accessible price point. As if those options weren't enough, the list of available scents is nearly endless, with woodsy, floral, fruity, musk, and many other intriguing smells available. If you are struggling to narrow down the perfect scent, order a scent sample to help make your decision easy.

Where to shop: bijoucandles.com

Nose Best.

A candle that comes with a cocktail recipe pairing and its own playlist? Sign me up! POC-, woman-, and immigrant-owned Nose Best offers a full sensory experience with each purchase. The 4-ounce mason jar collection is the perfect gift for the astrology lover in your life, with scents celebrating each sign. If you're feeling flirty, pick up a candle from the Cheeky Collection, with scents like banana nut bread and honey, which it calls "Send Nudes." If you love subscriptions, you'll want to sign up for the monthly candle club, which will give you access to unreleased scents, special holiday collections, and a biannual special gift.

Where to shop: nosebestcandles.com

Queer-Owned Bookstore

Loyalty Bookstore

For all the avid readers out there, you can support a queer-owned small bookstore simply by ordering the same books that you might get from a massive company. Located in Washington, D.C., Loyalty Bookstore, which is Black-owned, has a brick-and-mortar location where you can shop and attend community events, as well as a website where you can submit orders online. Additionally, it has an incredible subscription program where it will send you a book signed by the author, an invite to an event with the book's author, and some carefully curated goodies quarterly. The subscription intentionally features books by marginalized authors.

Where to shop: loyaltybookstores.com