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Shop LGBTQ: Give some monetary love to these Queer businesses this holiday season

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Photo by Angela Larsen
Photo by Angela Larsen

I have yet to hear Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You" this year, which means there's at least some time before the frantic gift scramble of the holiday season.

Petrified of leaving the house for Black Friday? Heavily avoiding buying from Amazon? This guide includes local, Queer-owned businesses to support this year in places where the SGN is distributed.

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Seattle — Capitol Thrill
Anything in the store that isn't owner Jeff Gonzales's original design is curated by him, focusing specifically on other local, independent, underrepresented creators. There's a small section filled specifically with Queer-owned merchandise, called "the little Queer pop-up shop," which is a permanent fixture. Bios of product creators scatter the walls of the area.

Gonzales' favorite item is the Winter Spruce Candle from the Queer Candle Co. That being said, he chose everything in the shop himself, so it was difficult to choose.

"It's all the things that I love," Gonzales said.

There's also a small gallery in the back, which will be used for a show of art costing $150 and under later in the season. If an original piece isn't in the budget, though, all sorts of clothing and trinkets here cost under $30 and can be purchased in-store or online.

1205 E. Pike St. # 1D, https://www.capitolthrill.store

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Tacoma — The Lovesome Dove
The Etsy shop TheLovesomeDove has colorful prints and adorable ceramics (like ghosts with cowboy hats) that cost mostly under $20. A portion of the profits goes to an organization that focuses on environmental or social justice every month.

Angela Larsen, the arts educator who created the business, is a muralist interested in accessible art. They started it to integrate art into daily life, and their favorite item is a calendar beautifully assembled with bright primary colors.

"It's so fun to make, and I love to focus on color palettes and themes for the monthly images. The goal with these images/texts is to encourage a bit of reflection and self-love," they wrote to the SGN.


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Spokane — Atomic Threads
The team at Atomic Threads has brought pin-up and alternative clothing to Spokane's historic boulevard. Every week, the employees make a custom shoe order from their suppliers, so the style enthusiast on the gift list can have a pair that perfectly matches their aesthetic.

The shop is also a venue for a plethora of community events. Workshops titled "Art Across All Mediums" and "Trans Empowerment" can be found on the event calendar. There's also a monthly cabaret show, The Bombshell Revue, that includes performances such as aerial arts, drag, burlesque, and comedy. This month's costs $35 for general admission, and it's perfect for anyone who prefers experiences to physical gifts.

1905 N. Monroe St., https://www.atomicthreadsinc.com

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Bellingham — Third Planet Boutique
Before becoming the owner of the boutique, Erika Millage was a long-time employee. They're the second person in this guide to recommend the Queer Candle Co., and they also enjoy the store's super soft sweaters.

The impressive collection of jewelry, clothing, stickers, crystals, and other novelties can be purchased in-store and online. There will also be a sale Nov. 24—26 offering multiple discounts, including 20% off body jewelry, 30% off clothes, and 50% off clearance merchandise. There are many items in the catalog under $30.

It's Millage's tenth holiday season at Third Planet, and they say this year feels extra special.

"I am overwhelmingly proud of the safe and inclusive space we have created here... and really look forward to helping the wonderful humans in our community find the perfect gifts for themselves or others," they wrote to the SGN.

200 W. Holly St., https://www.thirdplanetboutique.com

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Ocean Shores — Snooter-doots
Each little friend created by Gina McCauley has lovable, wonky, recognizable eyes and a unique name and birthday.

"They are happy, whimsical, stuffed sculptures made of felted wool," McCauley said. "They're just here to make people happy."

Right now, McCauley is working on snowmen in her Ocean Shores home studio to join her collection of animals, monsters, food, and bugs. Her favorites are the fish-related and insect critters, because she taught an insect class at Edmonds Community College. Each one costs $70 and under and is meticulously handcrafted for 4-6 hours at a time.

There are plenty of places to buy Snooter-doots. McCauley has a website and an Etsy shop, but they are also available at multiple retailers across Washington, including the Seattle Art Museum.