Home Decor

The Small Businesses We Fell in Love With This Year

From makers of soaps and candles to ceramicists and perfumers, Home52's editors share their favorite new finds.

December 17, 2021
Photo by Erica Moody / Field + Supply

One of the first things I do when planning my travels is scope out the best vintage markets and design fairs. Needless to say, it’s something I’ve missed tremendously in the last couple of years as things turned inward: that sense of not knowing what you’re going to find; conversations with sellers (and depending on the market, the haggling); coming home with a haul of new treasure—and yes, even brushing up against hundreds of other treasure hunters.

Online shopping never really plugged that hole for me. So, imagine my thrill when my inbox threw up an invitation late this summer to celebrate—in person—the return of Field + Supply, a large independent makers fair in New York’s Hudson Valley.

Field + Supply at Hutton Brickyards Photo by Field + Supply

Since its inception in 2014 when it was a biannual fair, the Field + Supply market has expanded to include more than 150 independent makers and artisans, welcoming thousands of collectors and shoppers from across the country. Some of that experience can be found online where you can shop its curated assortment of brands—but to me, there’s nothing like being immersed in the real-life version, rushing from stall to stall, resisting (and failing) temptation all along.

This year, I saw some brands that I already loved, like Tantuvi, whose handmade rugs you’ll find in my home, and Hetta, whose holiday-forward Glühwein-like Glögg I’m a fan of. But there were plenty of others I encountered for the first time. Here are a few of them, along with other new-to-us maker discoveries from Home52 editors Caroline Mullen and Jada Wong.

1. Estelle Colored Glass

Estelle Colored Glass gets its name from founder Stephanie Summerson Hall’s grandmother, aka "Big Mama," who had a passion for antiquing and uncovering new treasures (just like us!). This set of hand-blown jewel-colored wine glasses will bring unrivaled joy to your tabletop, but don't overlook its cake stands—the smoky amber one has my heart!

Photo by Ty Mecham

2. Helen Prior

This Hudson Valley fabric designer with more than 20 years of experience has the most unique craft that cross-pollinates her textiles expertise with her love of ceramics. Her organic, handcrafted clay objects reference wildflowers, leaves, and weeds through delicate hand-painted and carved patterns. I bought one of her small “leaf anatomy” dishes for a friend and immediately regretted not buying one for myself...

Photo by Field + Supply

3. Lake & Skye

Using only natural ingredients as much as possible and keeping things free of sulfates and parabens, Lake & Skye’s scents and candles are designed to be a form of self-care. “Each one is intentionally designed to reflect how scent is intertwined with wellness,” says founder Courtney Somer. And while 11 11 is its signature scent, as someone who has struggled with quality sleep lately, my favorite is this all-new, ultra-calming Lavender & Sandalwood pillow mist. Bedtime never smelled so good.

Photo by Lake & Skye

4. J.M. General

J.M. General’s Castile Goat's Milk Bar Soap makes it so easy to switch out from single-use bottles and leaves your skin feeling so soft, so fresh. But J.M. Generals is no one-trick pony: working with independent producers, farmers, and artisans, its range of wares includes the coziest merino wool cushions, handwoven bath towels, and even accessories like this soap dish that would make the perfect companion to the castile soap.

Photo by Field + Supply

5. Flamingo Estate

A brand described as “created from our orchard, garden, and friends”—how can you go wrong? There’s much you’ll want to add to your cart, but start with this oil and vinegar set. The olive oil is grown on small family-owned farms in California, and the vinegar is made from old-grove fuyu and hachiya persimmons (aka, it's best enjoyed on everything). Next stop? Try its Mineral Milk Bath, replete with the goodness of camellia seed oil, golden chrysanthemum, and marigold—it gives a whole new meaning to forest (garden?) bathing.

Photo by Flamingo Estate

6. Erica Moody

Erica Moody's stall was the first one I encountered at Field + Supply's fair, and I recall literally gasping. Using old-world metalworking techniques, Moody hand-forges fine serving tools at her home studio in Maine. The materials she uses primarily consist of brass, copper, stainless, or steel, with some wood accents, and trust me: they're actual works of art.

Photo by Field + Supply

7. Isabel Halley

Find me a more joyful set of plates than these hand-pinched, hand-painted plates from Brooklyn-based ceramicist Isabel Halley. They come in various sizes along with a matching set of wine cups that will pep up any open shelving situation in your home (oh, and soap dishes and water cups and planters...)

Photo by Isabel Halley Ceramics

8. LBE Design

Speaking of planters, why is it so hard to find a good-looking yet practical one? This California-based creative duo is taking some of that pain away by teaming up with talented artists all over the world to create handsome and sustainably made planters. My ever-forgiving snake plant, which is thriving despite neglect, needs a new home, and I have my eye on this olive-colored one that comes with clever details like an extra-deep saucer to prevent windowsill spills and stains.

Photo by James Ransom

9. Haus

Okay, so technically I discovered this brand last year, but this year was when I really discovered the breadth of its offerings—and it certainly has made my home a cheerier place to be. Founded by techie Helena Price Hambrecht and third-gen winemaker, Woody Hambrecht, the brand is attempting to bring back the laidback, feel-good European apéritif culture. My favorite is its customizable sampler kit that lets you pick any four flavors so you can enjoy them depending on your mood (or the day of the week—Wednesdays are for Pomegranate Rosemary!)

I discovered Haus this year after seeing how much Arati loved it—and because I was looking to experiment with boozy drinks beyond wine, beer, and cocktails. The flavors are so unique and interesting that I actually prefer to drink them over ice instead of making a mixed drink (though that’d be equally as delicious—looks like I’ve got a new drink to try!) —Jada Wong

Photo by Haus

10. Kosterina

Greece is one of the most beautiful places I’ve visited, so I was excited to discover Kosterina this year. Founder and entrepreneur Katerina Mountanos and her husband Kostas (see where the company name comes from?) harvest and produce extra-virgin olive oil from Koroneiki olives found in Koroni. I can taste a difference in how fresh and delicious it is compared to whatever I’ve gotten from the local grocery store; the bottles are even painted to help keep out the light. Kosterina also makes EVOO-based facial oil and lip balm, both of which are moisturizing and absorb quickly into my skin, instead of sitting on top like a mask. —Jada Wong

Photo by Kosterina

11. Cedar and Stone Garden

I found Cedar and Stone Garden during my seemingly endless hunt for a sugar bowl. I’d been looking high and low for an attractive one that was neutral enough to go with the rest of my kitchen, but not finding anything I liked in big-box stores. So I turned to Etsy and found this absolutely adorable salt cellar (that can also be used as a sugar bowl) with a contrasting wooden lid. The shop, which is family-owned and based in Michigan, has been crafting gorgeous candle holders, trays, planters, organizers and more out of concrete for 25 years. I already have many of its other products in my cart!

Photo by Cedar & Stone

12. Wild One

My favorite Christmas gift actually came early this year in the form of a sassy little French bulldog, which I was somewhat unprepared for. That left me scrambling for all manner of dog products that were not only safe and good quality, but attractive, too. This is how I came to find Wild One, a one-stop-shop for well made, aesthetically pleasing pet products. We got the harness walk kit in Cocoa, which includes a harness, leash, and poop bag dispenser. I’ve even seen some other stylish dogs at the park in the Lilac and Tan versions. The treat pouch is on my list because we’re always stuffing our pockets to the brim with treats, toys, keys, wallets, and just so. much. stuff for a quick walk around the block. —Caroline Mullen

Photo by Ty Mecham

13. Tiipoi

I first discovered Tiipoi—a product design studio based between Bangalore and London—via my beautiful spun-brass Diaspora Co. x Tiipoi Masala Dabba (that comes with 7 single-origin spices sourced from small family-owned farms in South Asia). Ever since, I’ve had my eye on Tiipoi's cookware and kitchenware—in particular, their Karipot, a burnished clay cooking pot that’s naturally nonstick and ideal for slow cooking—and reminds me of the traditional manchattis, or chattis used by my grandmother and great-grandmother in Kerala.

Photo by MJ Kroeger

14. Mosser Glass

I started baking more this year, so I bought myself a nice cake stand to keep me motivated. This one from Mosser Glass has a traditional shape, but the soft pastel colors keeps it fresh and modern. I have the one called Jadeite—obviously the folks at Mosser named it after me. The stand has a slight ombré effect on the surface and slight variations in color all over, owing to the fact that each cake stand is made by hand. It’s a little imperfect, which is also how I describe my bakes. —Jada Wong

Photo by Ty Mecham

This is far from an exhaustive list, so we'd love to hear from you! What were some of your favorite small-brand discoveries this year?

This post contains products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. Food52 earns an affiliate commission on qualifying purchases of the products we link to.

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Arati Menon

Written by: Arati Menon

Arati grew up hanging off the petticoat-tails of three generations of Indian matriarchs who used food to speak their language of love—and she finds herself instinctually following suit. Life has taken her all across the world, but she carries with her a menagerie of inherited home and kitchen objects that serve as her anchor. Formerly at GQ and Architectural Digest, she's now based in Brooklyn.