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    32 Things From Small Brands So Good You'll Wish You Got Them Last Summer

    "Summa summa summa timmmme." 🌞🎶

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. Handpainted watermelon mason jars to give your picnic decor major summer-I-missed-the-heck-outta-you vibes from Redwood Home.

    mason jars painted like the outside of a watermelon on one half and the inside of a red watermelon on the other half

    They're by a small business based in New York that handmakes rustic decor out of recycled materials. The shop also fulfills custom orders if you've got your heart set on something more specific.

    Promising review: "I have these on my dining room table along with a watermelon runner for summer decorations. Jars are really cute and were packaged well to prevent breakage and chipping. I'm keeping the box and bubble wrap for winter storage!" —Djh

    Get them from Redwood Home on Amazon Handmade for $34.99.

    2. A Radiate Portable campfire (yes, from Shark Tank!) for when you need a quick warm-up at the beach, in your yard, or when you're out camping. And all it'll take is a single match!,

    Promising review: "Saw this product on Shark Tank and bought it immediately. I am a campfire enthusiast. Sometimes I want a quick fire to sit by and have a cocktail. This is perfect. When you're done you put the lid on and go in the house." —Eric

    Get it from Radiate Portable on Amazon for $27.99 (also available in more quantities).

    3. Huarache sandals handmade in Mexico that'll have folks asking where you got 'em with every step you take. Take it all in (stylish) stride, babe.

    the ankle-strap woven shoes with black and white diamond pattern on the top
    Macarena Collection / Etsy

    BTW — Macarena Collection is a small biz based in Buena Park, California! All of the shoes are handmade by Mexican artisans. Since they only make whole sizes, they suggest sizing down if you're in between sizes, as the shoes will stretch and mold to your feet as you wear them.

    Promising review: "Can I give these 1,000 stars? They are soooooo comfortable!!! I was afraid because my feet are on the wider side, but, oh my, do they fit absolutely amazingly well!! Don’t hesitate to buy them!! I love them! I love them! I love them!!" —Jennifer Baez

    Get them from Macarena Collection on Etsy for $39.99 (available in women's sizes 5–10).

    4. A watermelon ball you'll be surprised to see move through the water nearly as easily as it goes through air. It's not magic. The ball's designed to be easy to throw underwater so game time in the pool is even more fun.

    left side shows a kid underwater with their watermelon ball in a pool and the right is an image of a reviewer's watermelon ball on their floor / Via

    BTW, this water toy is suitable for children who are 8 years old and up with parental supervision. Also, a surprisingly good number of reviewers actually came back to give an update on how their ball is holding up a year or two after the first purchase — and it's still holding up super well.

    Promising review:  "I ordered this ball because it’s different. The first day it came we had company over swimming. Perfect timing to try it out! The kids loved it and it bounces great underwater and is easy to pass. The kids were surprised how light it is under the water being that you fill it up with water lol. Great product, made very well and durable!" —Ralena

    Get it from Amazon for $25.99.

    5. A yacht dog float made with puncture-resistant material to help your fur baby join you in on the water fun this year. Plus, it'll have a treat compartment so they won't have to ~ruff~ it out there. 

    white and orange pool float sized for a dog with a yellow lab chilling on it in water with a model next to it

    BTW — Funboy is a family-founded small biz that has been creating fun pool floats for all (including babies and pets) since 2015!

    Get it from Amazon for $59.99 or from Funboy for $55.46.

    6. An oversized baby doll dress that'll look so pretty with all your favorite summer shoes. And guess what else? It's got pocketssssssssss. 🥰

    Olola Boutique / Etsy

    It's from Olola Boutique, a small shop based in Los Angeles, California with a tonnnnnn of clothes for folks like us who live for cozy, comfy attire no matter what the occasion is.

    Get it from Olola Boutique on Etsy for $64.75 (available in two colors and sizes S–L)

    7. A pop-up outdoor tent so you can get all your fun in the sun — with the luxury of lots of shade and privacy.

    blue tent that's pretty tall with a floor and coverage all around. The front has an opening.

    It'll comfortably house up to four adults!

    Promising review: "Amazing product. We took it to Fort Walton Beach, Florida, and it was the only product that withstood the wind. We had nearby beachgoers ask us about the tent after all the umbrellas had fallen. It was easy to build and carry. Plus, my dog loved it!" —Lmm291

    Get it from Outdoor Master for $79.99 (available in four colors).

    8. A sleep dress from the Sheex bedding brand that's made of the same performance fabric as the brand's breathable bedroom sheets so you won't overheat on those summer nights.


    Sheex is a Black woman-owned brand that makes cozy bedding and clothing inspired by the comfort and flexibility of fitness wear. Like the brand's sheets, this sleep dress is made of breathable, moisture-wicking material to help regulate your body temperature while you sleep and help resist odor.

    Get it from Sheex for $69 (available in sizes XS–XXL).

    9. A jumbo handwoven hammock so relaxing and beautiful it just might become your go-to sleep spot at home. It's also able to be hung indoors or outdoors.

    Hammock outside next to plant with pillows on top
    Etsy / Hamanica

    Hamanica is a small business based in Masaya, Nicaragua. The brand specializes in adult and children's hammocks and chairs. Most of their items are made to order and customizable. 

    Promising review: "Literally one of the most beautiful things I’ve bought to complete a dream space. It’s high quality and so so comfortable, I can’t recall being this happy about a purchase. And shipped incredibly fast! Worth every penny." —Charlene Kim

    Get it from Hamanica on Etsy for $124.30.

    10. A soft gauze jumpsuit to hit the summer '21 functions looking like you actually, factually tried to dress up.

    Olola Boutique / Etsy

    Promising review: "I love this jumpsuit! It's SUPER comfy and lightweight. Perfect for really hot summer days! It's also very cozy and can definitely fit many different body types. I ordered the berry color and it's very pretty! Looks exactly as pictured. Very happy with this purchase! I also received a free face mask, which was a very kind gesture." —Jenny

    Get it from Olola Boutique on Etsy for $58.27 (available in five colors and sizes S though L).

    11. Dry shampoo so you can literally wash-n-go without worrying about sitting under a hot dryer in this summer heat.

    reviewer's hand holding the bottle of dry shampoo

    This cruelty-free product is from a woman-owned small business, Act + Acre. It's made for all hair types and formulated with only seven plant-based ingredients.

    Promising review: "This is a very unique packaging and formula for a dry shampoo. Eco-friendly packaging is important to me and this packaging is much better and recyclable than the aerosol cans. It's much smaller than the traditional aerosol and sprays out a powdery formula onto your hair. Although it is powder-based, it doesn't leave a white residue on your hair when you rub it in as instructed. It absorbs the oils from my scalp really well! The compactness and non-liquid formula also makes it especially great for air travel." —Sherry 

    Get it from Act + Acre on Amazon for $22.

    12. A stylish DIY tabletop fireplace – it might make you wanna host fireside chats with the fam every evening this summer — especially since these glass panels can be removed for s'more-roasting.

    1 Man 1 Garage / Etsy

    The DIY kit comes with 11 wood pieces that snap together without glue or special hardware to create the base, lava rock (for decoration), and sand. It operates on gel fuel (sold separately; not included) so it'll light instantly — and it's safe to use indoors and outdoors.

    BTW, this 1 Man 1 Garage shop, is based in Nashville, Tennessee and has the COOLEST designs. The shop builds the pieces, then provides the instructions so you can put something beautiful together and actually use it going forward. I also recommend the DIY vintage camper-style birdhouse and the DIY Japanese-style Pagoda lantern candle holder. Soooo thoughtfully designed and fun.

    Promising review: "Bought this as an anniversary present for my boyfriend and he (we) absolutely love it! The care and detail that went into this is amazing! The wood and glass are high-quality and well packaged and they even included s’mores forks in the kit! So great! Will definitely be purchasing more for gifts in the future!! Keep up the great work!" —April Rojas

    Get the tabletop fireplace from 1 Man 1 Garage for $19.20+ (available in two styles plus a deluxe box set).

    13. Garlic N Peperoncini sauce to drizzle over all the delectables you create during your outdoor grilling sessions. Spice level: 🌶️.

    bottle of hot suace
    Hot N Saucy/ Aliza J. Jsokolow

    Hot N Saucy is Black woman-owned and NYC-based, baby!

    Get it from Hot N Saucy for $10.

    14. Or! A chili sauce to upgrade your grilled eats with a fresh family-owned condiment you'll reach for on repeat. Ready your taste buds for a burst of spicy, sweet, and savory garlic flavor. 😋🌶️

    jar of chili sauce
    Me's Way / Instagram / Via

    The sauce is from Me's Way — a family-owned, Seattle-based brand founded by Chau Tonnu, a proud first-generation Vietnamese foodie. Peep this blurb from the brand: 

    "Chau holds many precious memories of Vietnam — from eating street foods with friends to biking to school under the crimson shades of phượng vĩ (royal poinciana). These memories of her formative years and her experiences as an adult living in the US led her to wanting to share a piece of Vietnamese culture through what she knows best: the language of food... 'Mẹ' means mom in Vietnamese, and as our name sake suggests, this sauce was made using our mother’s recipe, her way." 

    Get one jar from Me's Way for $25.95+ (available in two sizes).

    15. Ready-to-eat beans inspired by Caribbean and Latin American dishes — for dog days when ya don't have it in ya to stand in front of a hot stove. Eat 'em with rice, tacos, nachos, burritos, quesadillas, salads, chips and dip, or whatever. Endless possi-bean-ities here, folks!,

    Btw, this brand is Black-owned and based in California. All the beans are 100% plant-based, non-GMO, made with avocado oil, and gluten-free. 👅 Bean choices include Cuban black beans, refried pinto beans, refried black beans, Mexican pinto beans, and more. I tried all of them except the refried ones and they are so very good! They're seasoned but not overly so, and they actually don't taste like they came out of a bag at all, which is a delicious plus!

    Also, the brand provides an annual grant (and volunteer support) to non-profit organizations that are working to eliminate socio-economic health disparities in the US. Gotta stan a brand that wants to fill my belly and make the world a better place.

    Promising review (from someone who isn't me, LOL): "Quick and easy dinner for late working evenings. Made burrito bowls and Indian bowls and loved it!" —Heather A.

    Get a variety pack of six from A Dozen Cousins on Amazon for $24.99 (six-pack; free shipping) OR buy a variety pack of 12 directly from A Dozen Cousins for $49.99.

    16. Pineapple Shea body butter hand-whipped with a yummy tropical scent and ingredients meant to keep skin popping with ingredients like jojoba oil, vitamin E, and 100% virgin olive oil.

    jar of body butter plus slices of a full pineapple
    Amani & Co. / Etsy

    The body butter is handmade and from a shop based in Atlanta. The shop recommends that you do not use if you have a nut allergy so please take heed my loves.

    Promising review: "This smells just like pineapples! I love it! It leaves the skin feeling and smelling amazing! Thanks!!!" —Kemyada

    Get it from Amani & Co. on Etsy for $15+ (available in two sizes).

    17. A DIY rum punch cocktail (or mocktail!) kit because you def deserve to treat yourself to a tropical vacay in a glass babe!

    InBooze / Etsy

    They're from a brand based in Chicago! For the rum punch: Just place the infusion bag in a container (like a mason jar) with tequila. Infuse for at least three days, then just take out the bag and make your drink! All the packets are handmade, filled with dehydrated fruits, veggies, spices, and herbs — and each kit is enough to infuse 8 to 10 cocktails. Bottoms up, babies!

    Promising review: "This was fantastic! Quick shipping, too. I followed the steps completely and it tastes just like a Moscow Mule. Great to know it was made with all fruits and spices. There was no mystery about what was in my cocktail! Highly recommend and will definitely be purchasing from this shop again." —Jay RA

    Get the rum punch kit from InBooze on Etsy for $18 (more kits available in 17 flavors).

    18. Or! A self-care cocktail kit that'll come with cocktail syrup and dried fruit garnish, a drink recipe book to guide you, and a positive thoughts massage candle to light while you're winding down.

    the cocktail kit box

    The kit is from a Black-owned gifting shop called Bifites that specializes in customizable gift boxes as well as pre-curated ones. Also, the drink recipe book you'd be getting is called Tiki Modern Tropical Cocktail by Shannon Mustipher. She is the resident rum expert at Glady’s Caribbean restaurant in Brooklyn, New York.

    Get it from Bifties for $85.

    19. The Brilliant or BS card game to bring something fun and hella competitive to game nights at the crib. It'll be an easy play since knowing the *actual* trivia answers isn't really the point. It'll have players questioning their judgment, their friends' and fam's knowledge, and maybe doing a lil' lying y'all 🥴😂.

    Brilliant or BS, Instagram / Brilliant or BS / Via

    Da Rulez 💚💞: Each player has to use their A, B, or C cards to answer a trivia question but that's not all. They have to provide a very convincing reason to convince the designated "judge" that their answer is 100% right. The judge awards the "Brilliant" card to the person who's spiel they believe. The person who earns the "Brilliant" card gets points for convincing the judge (whether they're right or not). Then there's the big reveal: Each player reveals their answer (f/ the A, B, and C cards). Players who got the right answer get a point. The judge gets a point if their "brilliant" card went to someone who got it right but loses a point if the person got it wrong. The person with the most points after everyone's been the judge twice wins the game. May the best BS'er win!

    Promising review: "Super fun trivia game! I played with the family during quarantine and everyone had a blast. The questions were a nice mix of challenging yet reasonably familiar." —Collette Benson

    Get it from Amazon for $15.99 or Target for $15.99.

    20. And! The Rhyme Antics game — so all the people in the place with style and grace (and rap skills!) can flex right quick. Each player must come up with words that rhyme with the main word on each card — all set to a timer of course.

    the game box
    Rhyme Antics

    To play, you rap a line and score points for each ending word you use that's on the list of rhyming words on the round's card — fun! Here's a how-to-play video for ya! Also, I bought this game from BuzzFeed BIO's IRL 2019 pop-up shop and had a great time playing with friends and family. You get points for rhyming with words listed on the card but also extra points for words that aren't on the card. (And you KNOW whose team won the game, right? Crown me, baby! 😏🎤.)

    Get it from Target for $18.99 (psst... there might be a same-day pick-up and/or delivery option if you actually wanna play it with the squad on Juneteenth, btw 🥳.) or straight from Rhyme Antics for $27.99.

    21. A science-themed eyeshadow palette called "Sodium Fine" (get it?! 🤣🧪🔬) so you can ~experiment~ with fun colors to go with all your bright summer lewks.

    @makeupscientistcosmetics / Via, @makeupscientistcosmetics / Via

    From the beaker shape to its science-themed shadow names like "Comet" (shimmer coppery red shade), "Area 51" (a matte highlight shade), and "Dexter" (a purple glitter) — this palette is beyond cool. It's also cruelty-free and vegan! And, you'll be supporting a small woman-owned business based in Greenville, North Carolina. Aye, 252!

    Promising review: "This palette is amazing!!!!! It’s so pigmented. The colors pop extremely well. I can’t wait to see what other palettes this brand has to come." —Jasmine

    Get it on Amazon for $45 (Prime two-day shipping) OR directly from Makeup Scientist Cosmetics for $45 (features 12 colors in a mix of shimmers, glitters, and matte shades).

    22. A bottle of Black Girl Magic Rosé that'll pair well with whatever you're eating in whatever season. Translation: It'll always be wine o'clock whenever this bottle's around.

    BuzzFeed editor Kayla Boyd's hand holding a bottle of the wine
    Kayla Boyd / BuzzFeed

    It's got the aromas of raspberry and orange blossom plus a fresh stone fruit and citrus palate. Treat yo' self, babies! BTW, it's got an alcohol volume of 13.5% and you DEF need to be 21 or older to enjoy so keep that top of mind!

    Promising review: "I’m a sweet-wine drinker but I was willing to give this flavor a shot. I really enjoyed the taste. It wasn’t too dry or bitter. It left me in a great state of mind and feeling so relaxed. I will buy the rosé again and continue to gift it to friends." —OsMom

    Get a bottle from McBride Sisters on Target for $18.99 or buy directly from McBride Sisters for $19.99.

    23. Luv Scrub mesh body exfoliators for a more sanitary version of those bacteria magnets — oops, I mean loofahs. Wet or dry, they can be used to cleanse, exfoliate, and remove ingrown hairs. Perf if you plan to have smooth, exfoliated legs out all summer long!

    Marquaysa Battle / BuzzFeed

    Luv Scrub is a Black woman-owned business, and its mesh cloth design is inspired by a traditional West African morning routine. Several folks on your friendly neighborhood BuzzFeed Shopping team swear by this mesh scrub, including your girl! I have keratosis pilaris, which is a fancy-schmancy way of saying I have to work a lil' harder to exfoliate my body.

    This baby makes the skin all over my body feel literally softer and smoother than it's EVER felt. Scrubbing with it also feels super soothing — like I'm using a body scrub minus the gritty mess leftover to rinse from the shower afterward. I also dig how fast it dries so I'm not putting a bacteria magnet on my skin each time I use it. Def get this if you wanna invest more into your body care/self-care routine. 30 outta 10, mos def recommend.

    Get from beauty supply shop Beauty Beez (also Black-owned) for $18 OR directly from Luv Scrub for $18.

    24. A self-cleaning Larq water bottle that'll purify your water within 60 seconds on its own using a UV light and keep your water cool while you're out. No water filter around? No probs thanks to this genius invention.

    reviewer holding the black water bottle

    I own it and can say it's super convenient to use and easy to charge. It's basically a water bottle with its own filter. I love that I can carry it with me on the go like a regular water bottle and then when I need to refill when I'm out and away from my filtered water at home, I can drink freely without feeling all icky about it. It's definitely a handy investment for anyone who likes to keep water on the go — especially if you're into nature walks, hiking, or camping. 

    Promising review (from someone other than me lol): "I’m very happy with my new Larq bottle! I love the sleek simple design and it looks great in all black. I washed upon receiving it and tested it out by leaving water in it through the weekend & letting it clean itself this morning. It had no smell or metallic taste like every other water bottle I’ve used. The insulation works really well as well. I will definitely be taking it with me when I go on backpacking trips. Now, I will easily be able to get cold water from a lake and use the UV cleaning to drink it immediately. I love that I have a cleaning system and water bottle all in one. No more boiling or bringing multiple parts just to have clean water! Part 2: A second purchase. I bought a second one! Took it camping with my dad and he mentioned how nice it was so got him one as well. Still would highly recommend it. They even have a bigger size now for all you thirsty folks." —Tyler D.

    Get it from Larq on Amazon for $95+ (available in two sizes and five colors).

    25. A vintage camper birdhouse so all the birds you typically watch come to and fro will have a nice place to stick around a stay awhile! An Airbnb for birds, of sorts. 🐦

    1Man1Garage / Etsy

    This one is also by the Tennessee-based 1 Man 1 Garage shop.

    Promising review: "I love this so much! I just built it, so I'm not sure if I will get any inhabitants or not, but that's okay because it’s SO CUTE. Took a little brainpower to put together cause the pieces aren’t labeled, but it’s (clearly) doable and a fun little project regardless. The little details are so fun, and it is very well-made. Highly recommend!" —Lauren Woods

    Get it from 1Man1Garage on Etsy for $32+ (available in 10 colors).

    26. A multi-purpose grilling rack for any carnivores who plan to cook up as much meat as possible — and wanna do it fast. Flip it on one side to cook up to 36 drumsticks at a time and the other side for three racks of ribs. 🤤🍗

    Best South BBQ / The Grommet

    It's from a small family-owned business called Best South BBQ. It was started by husband and wife duo John and Donna Irwin who share a passion for perfectly grilled chicken wings. And I dunno, I'm kinda down if they want me to move in 😂. What say you?

    Promising review: "This rack is so easy to use and oh my — the chicken wings came out very nice. a little crisp but not too much. I heated up my gas grill on high. Put the wings on the rack and onto the grill turning down to medium and waited 12-14 minutes and did another minute or 2 on high and they were done to perfection! Amazing. I am sending them as gifts now!" —Wendy

    Get it from Best South BBQ on The Grommet for $45.

    27. Squat-proof leggings with pretty silhouettes of people working out. These are designed so they don't slide down or twist up when you're running — all thanks to a hidden adjustable drawstring to cut out an annoying waist gap.


    Lukafit is a Black woman-owned business that churns out super stylish activewear you'll probably wanna work out and hang in. Check out the brand's squat-proof leggings, moisture-wicking sports bras, and more.

    Promising review: "Aside from having a fun pattern that makes everyone look twice, these tights are incredibly comfortable. They demonstrate their quality by standing up to swipes and snags during trail runs, countless times in the washer/dryer, and of course, a good stretch." —Lukafit Customer

    Get them from Lukafit for $64 (available in women's sizes S–3XL and five colors).

    28. A fun pancake mold that'll successfully entice the picky eater kiddos that'll be eating breakfast at home more this summer. Just heat it up in a frying pan, pour the batter (only up to the line!), let it cook, then flip it, and eat. Easy peasy!

    Zavery Cakes

    The pancake molds are made with a mini-lift for easy flipping with a spatula and a line inside to prevent over-filling. They're also dishwasher-safe, BPA-, and lead-free. So ya know, they're from a Black woman-owned brand!

    Get it from Zavery Cakes for $12.99 (also available in butterfly and rocket shapes!).

    29. A portable canvas cupholder so you'll finally, FINALLY have the answer to the iced-coffee-balancing-while-opening-a-door dilemma.

    Dreamy Daisy / Etsy

    Dreamy Daisy is a small accessory shop based in Washington, DC. It's got all the handmade canvas backpacks, spa headbands, scrunchies, and loads more. Treat yoselffff.

    Promising review: "The product is super cute and fits cups perfectly!!! I bought this for my coworkers and now I need to order one for myself." —Wendy

    Get it from Dreamy Daisy on Etsy for $15.99+ (available in four colors and sold individually or in sets of two, three, or four).

    30. A flutter-sleeve wrap dress made from breathable linen material so you can serve lewks in it this summer without catching the sweats.

    Model wearing the short-sleeved wrap dress in light blue
    Linen Fox / Etsy

    Linen Fox has been hand-making every piece of clothing out of 100% linen from Kaunas, Lithuania, since 2014. This dress is made to be oversized, so if you want a closer fit, then you should size down. You can also customize the dress and lengthen or shorten the skirt or have it made without pockets. Reviewers love the classic style and all the colors that this dress comes in.

    Promising review: "This dress is amazing!!! I love it so much and have gotten so many compliments. People have reached out to me asking where I bought my dress, and without hesitation [I] send them right to Linen Fox. The dress is so comfortable and has great breathability in high heat. It also fits nice and snug while having plenty of fabric to loosen up and cover my legs without fear of my upper thighs showing as some wrap dresses do. I am so happy with my purchase and plan on adding another of this shop's pieces to my wardrobe soon." —Alexandra de Rivera

    Get it from Linen Fox for $113.90+ (available in women's sizes XS–XL and 23 colors).

    31. An quirky-cool blanket perfect for pulling off your picnics in comfort and style. Plus, you could also use it as a throw in the crib.


    It's from Valfre, an LA-based shop founded by Mexican artist, Ilse Valfré!

    Get it from Valfre for $60.

    32. Tie-dye sweat shorts to serve up a '70s-inspired look on days when temps are in the 70s but you're still gonna wear sweat-something because that's who you are and who you'll always be. Me too.

    Big Bud Press

    They're from a small shop based in LA that specializes in unisex items! Peep the blurb from the brand ahead:

    Get the black and gray pair from Big Bud Press for $65 and the purple pair for $65 (available in sizes XXS–7XL) .

    Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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