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The Perfect Gift Guide for Shopping Small, Online!

As we all know, small businesses need help more than ever. Since Pao is all about shining light on the best hidden gems around the world, we want to do our part in helping keep them alive! So, we decided to put together a holiday gift guide highlighting some of the coolest and most unique gifts you can get online from small businesses around the world. We hope you enjoy and have a safe and happy holiday season!

A custom T-shirt based on your fave song!

This could be one of the coolest stores ever! Basically an artist teamed up with a programmer and made a software that allows you to transform a song into a piece of artwork! You can choose whatever song you want, pick your favorite part of the song, and then have it transformed into a barcode. The barcode looks like artwork and is put on a T-Shirt! Also the shirt material is SUPER soft and real high quality. This is truly the perfect gift for any music lovers in your life and they ship worldwide!

Sustainable and Eco-Friendly kits!

Package Free

Package free believes in the Zero Waste Movement and has created some of the coolest sustainable products we’ve ever seen! From health/beauty, to kitchen supplies, to stuff for your pets, they’ve truly got it all. When it comes to gifts, you should definitely check out their kits. They’ve created packages with products based on what activity you’re doing. For example, traveling, going to the market, doing laundry, grooming your dog, making cocktails and many, many more. Prices range between $20 and $100 dollars depending on how big the kit is so check them out online now!

Unique statement pieces!

Lazy Oaf

Sick of seeing the same sort of clothing and accessories over and over again? Lazy Oaf has super unique statement pieces like cherry berets, cloud tights and fluffy green bucket hats that we’ve truly never seen before! If you’re looking for something that’ll stand out, this is the spot! Ps. if you’re ever in London, it has a fun and funky store front to check out too!

Award Winning Cheese!

Beecher’s Handmade Cheese

This is a cheese lover’s heaven! All Beecher’s cheese is homemade in Seattle, WA and you can order tons of their products online! Check out the “Gift Collections” online, including the “World’s Best Mac Kit” and “The Land of Cheese and Honey Kit”. The Pao co-founders got a taste of their goodness this fall and all they can say is WOW!

A luxury glamping excursion!

Under Canvas

If you’re looking to give a special weekend away to someone, this is TOTALLY the perfect excursion to gift! Under Canvas has campsites in numerous National Parks like Yellowstone, Zion and Glacier! It’s the perfect way to social distance in the wilderness while also keeping things clean and cozy! Check out their gift cards online.

Body butter, soap and scrub!

Body Butter Lady

One of our interns discovered this hidden gem shop in LA when she was exploring cool Black-Owned businesses in her area! The founder is Marianne Ndiaye, a Senegalese Entrepreneur who takes pride on using only Organic Fair Trade soap and shea butter from Ghana and Mali! The “body butter ladies” make almost all thier products in store and each one has a fantastic, unique smell!

Signature coffee blends from Santa Cruz, CA!

Verve Coffee Roaster

This local coffee shop started off in Santa Cruz, CA where they prided themselves in making their coffee only with vintage roasters! Their culture is very much based around surfing and other beach oriented activities. On top of their cool coffee blends they also sell teas and fun merch!

Sparkly ornaments and stocking stuffers!


This local San Diego shop has everything from plants to decorated Hydro Flasks, funny shirts and self-care products! This year they are selling a ton a really cute ornaments for all your holiday decor needs! This is the perfect place to get some stocking stuffers.

A pouch of teas from France!


This is a very tasteful and aesthetically pleasing tea shop based in Paris, France! They have so many cute little packaging options and fun items to pair with whatever tea you buy. During the holidays they have special holiday blends and gift packs like a surprise tea pouch where you get a bunch of different tea bags inside!

Eco friendly, reusable products of all sorts!


This LA based store focuses first and foremost on making their products eco-friendly! They make reusable containers that hold all sorts of cruelty-free products and zero waste utensils, jewelry and house hold goods! A huge added bonus is that their stuff is actually really cute too!

A modern tiny cabin experience!


These might be tiny cabins but they still come will a fully equipped kitchen, a queen bed and bathroom! Each one has one wall that’s basically a window so you can see outside your cabin. It’s the perfect romantic getaway. They have multiple locations across the US in states like Oregon, New York and California!

High end unique trinkets (gradient puzzle, goober candles and more!)

Coming Soon

Head to Coming Soon for all the art lovers in your life who appreciate a well-designed trinket. Even though a ton of their pieces are on the higher-end side, you can still find some cool items for under 50 bucks. Our faves are the gradient puzzle, the goob candles, and fake cocaine coasters. Their storefront is open if you want to check it out in person or head to their website where they’ve made a whole gift guide section for you!

Indigo dyed specialty items from Jaipur, India!

The Nila House

This concept store is fairly new in Jaipur, India. They remolded an old, beaten down building and turned it into a piece of art! They are selling some of their intricate textiles online and this year they are featuring native indigo into their products! This store has perfect gifts for your culturally curious, traveler friends and fam!

Epic sunglasses!

Etnia Barcelona

This Spanish glasses shop knows how to make some pretty eye catching sunnies! They are a bit on the pricer side so they would definitely be that one BIG present. They also have a bunch of cool and trendy prescription options to check out too!

A funky bag or mask!


This shop specializes in reusable bags and they come in tons of different patterns and sizes! The patterns are constantly changing and they even did a collaboration with the MET and made patterns based off of famous paintings! The bags are super affordable and you can get travel packs as well! We love love love this brand.

Chill tips (nail stickers)!


The must-go shop for all things self-care! One of their most popular products is their “chill tips” which are nail stickers you can get in all sorts of colors. They’re selling all their beauty supplies online now and they have some really cool items that go well together (chill tips, hand creme, nail files, etc).

Celebrity face cookies!

Funny Face Cookies

A unique gift no one will see coming. Is your sister obsessed with Harry Styles? Did your fam binge watch Tiger King or Harry Potter during quarantine? Funny Face Bakery makes delicious cookies that are so pretty and detailed you may not want to eat them. Better yet you can actually customize a cookie with whatever face you want! Even a dog or cat for the animal lovers in your life! If this isn’t a thoughtful and unique gift, we don’t what is. Order yours online now!

Those are just a couple of the thousands of small businesses that are online for you to buy from this year. Click the button below to explore all the small businesses on Pao that you haven’t seen yet!

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Holiday Gift Guide to Shopping Small in the Bay Area

Welcome to the Bay Area Gift Guide for shopping small! We’ve hand picked 10 of our fave local shops around the Bay and shared gift ideas for each spot! It’s super important to help support small businesses this year since so many of them are facing closures due to the new difficulties of operating in a pandemic. Show your support by shopping small this December in the Bay!

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Anna Zervos


Anna graduated from UCLA in 2017 where she studied psychology and cognitive science. Her passion for travel, design, and psychology fuel her passion for Pao. On the Pao team she is in charge of feature development, business strategy, UI/UX, and big picture marketing strategies. Anna has been to over 40 countries and plans to keep that number growing. She hopes to inspire people to get outside their comfort zones and eventually give back to people who aren’t able to.

Favorite food

Tacos, burritos, nachos, quesadillas

Favorite band

The 1975

Favorite movie genre

Psychological horror/thriller

Favorite hobby

Singing and playing guitar

Favorite place in the world

Antipaxos, Greece

Sara Zervos


Sara is has a PhD in Economics and spent 22 years in the finance industry managing teams and over $20bn in assets. She is Pao’s CFO and CTO, and also spearheads business development and AI initiatives. She has traveled to over 57 countries, adores animals and the outdoors. Sara loves to connect with people and help them learn and strive to be their best selves.

Favorite food

Peanut Butter

Favorite band


Favorite movie genre

Sci Fi

Favorite hobby

Salsa Dancing

Favorite place in the world

Kauai & New Zealand are tied