Christmas shopping season is upon us! And while it’s easiest just to turn to Amazon and other major retailers to check everything off your list, we’d actually like to invite you to think about the impact of your shopping — not just your giving. The truth is that you make a real difference by shopping small and the holiday season is one of the most important times of the year to understand the power of ethical shopping.
We have the privilege of telling the stories of dozens of artists and entrepreneurs throughout the year — many of them are small business owners. We’ve gathered those businesses that have shoppable websites and included them for you here in our Grotto Network Gift Guide. If you find something you like here, be sure to check out the story of the people who created it!
Alabaster co-founders Bryan and Brian have reimagined the Bible with stunning visuals and an updated design. “It’s not only deepening people’s experience with God, but shaping where Bibles are placed in the household,” Brian told Grotto.
David Simnick wanted to improve hygiene in the developing world so he Googled “how to make soap” and set out to build a business. A few years and six million bars of donated soap later, he knows they are making a difference. Stay clean and fresh AND give back with these impactful soaps.
Vince Hicks was given a second chance when he was hired by Purposeful Design — a furniture company on a mission to change lives and transform the world.
John’s Crazy Socks is a father-son venture inspired by co-founder John Lee Cronin. John has Down syndrome, but he doesn’t let that stop him from running a business that he’s passionate about. John’s affinity for crazy socks paired with his love of making people smile made the mission clear: to spread happiness.
An alpaca farm run by the Sisters of Providence in Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana supports the sisters’ mission to care for creation. Stay cozy with this alpaca yarn handknit beanie or hiking socks.
Working at Homeboy Industries gave Omar a chance to heal from a gunshot wound and gang life. Support a life-changing cause when you buy Homeboy swag.
The Williams family first talked about selling Catholic socks as a joke. But now they run a joy-driven small business called Sock Religious. “People have this assumption that Catholicism is boring — and that is so far from the truth,” they told Grotto.
FOOD AND DRINK
Fudge, fruitcake, and jelly?! These monks do it all — even if to the outside world their contemplative life looks “useless.” We got an inside look at their life through Brother Paul Quenon, OCSO, a poet, photographer, and Trappist monk living at Gethsemani Abbey.
Father Dom Roscioli has been making homemade wine for a long time. After he was diagnosed with cancer, he saw this hobby as a way to serve people and share about the saints, so he started his own winery: Holy Spirits Wine. “Our mission is to make people aware of how good they are,” he told Grotto.
Fine artist Katie Sahm lives and works in Indianapolis, spending most of her time painting, taking photographs, and attempting to make the world a more beautiful place one day at a time. When she took the leap to become a full-time artist, she brought a fresh perspective to religious art, which is often very traditional.
In art school, people told Eric Armusik he would never have a career with his classical figurative style of art. Now he supports his family by paiting full time and his art is displayed all over the country.
Stained glass is one of the Church’s most iconic art forms. Judson Studios in Los Angeles is reviving this art with a new technique. “What fusing does differently is it replaces a lot the darkness with a lot of light,” says lead artist Tim Carey. Today, Judson is the oldest family-run stained glass studio in America.
“If you don’t fail, you don’t succeed,” says hand blown glass artist Cathi Milligan. Her work creating beautiful glass pieces has taught her a lot about learning from mistakes and getting better every day.
When Ted Yoder’s hammered dulcimer cover of Tear For Fears went viral, his music moved people in a way that he never imagined. “What I want to do most with my music is just bring people peace,” he shares, as he plays another beautiful song on this unique instrument.
The Bergamot is a husband-wife musical duo creating music to give people hope and meet them where they’re at in a vulnerable and authentic way. Recently, they held an auction to help fund a music therapy program.
We are so impressed by this journal/planner that we gave it away on our Instagram feed a few weeks ago. It’s a great gift for both super-organized people and that friend who needs a little help getting their life together. Drawing from the wisdom of monastic life, modern psychology, and best practices in personal productivity, the Monk Manual provides a daily system that will help you find clarity, purpose, wisdom, and peace in the moments that make up your life.