Candy hearts for Valentine's Day pouring out of a jar on its side.
These brands will help inspire you to show your love for your customers in various ways, on Valentine's Day and year-round. — Getty Images/CatLane

Looking for inspiration this Valentine’s Day? Look no further than these small merchants who have made romance central to their business model. From an aphrodisiac elixir to sassy cards, these companies might inspire you to launch a Valentine’s-themed product line, create a Single’s Day marketing campaign, or just do something sweet for your employees. Read on to hear about some romantic small businesses that will be leading the celebration this Valentine’s Day.

[Read more: Valentine’s Day Reveals How Brands Are Shifting Their Marketing to Address Singles]

Bijou Candles

Nothing spells romance like candlelight. Bijou Candles is one business putting a fun twist on this key ingredient for love. Bijou Candles, founded by partners Jocelyn and Alaina, sells candles that pay homage to pop culture and smell amazing. Their clean-burning soy candles can burn for up to 140 hours. With scents inspired by icons like Dolly Parton, Cher, and the Golden Girls, Bijou candles make great gifts for a special someone, a Galentine’s day event, or a little self-care.


Speaking of self-care: Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to run a bath and relax. Lilasuds is here to make their customers’ me-time feel extra luxe, with small-batch bath bombs, bath salts, and artisan soaps. This Latinx- and woman-owned brand based in Astoria, New York, creates bath products with sustainably and ethically sourced, cruelty-free ingredients, shipped with biodegradable packaging. They even have fragrance-free options for those with sensitive skin.

Pretty By Her

Pretty By Her is an online store selling sassy greeting cards, wine labels, and stickers that don’t take the holiday too seriously. Started as a side hustle by founder Kelly Broocks in 2016, Pretty By Her now offers Valentine’s Day–themed mugs, cards, and candles that customers can send to their loved ones and friends. The cute designs belie bold slogans (like, “You are stuck with me” in a heart). Pretty By Her may sound sweet, but its customers are certainly putting a unique spin on this romantic day.

[Read more: Looking for a New Business Idea? Here's Where to Start]

While there are plenty of big enterprises that offer floral delivery, it’s also a good opportunity to support other small merchants.

Curious Elixirs

Curious Elixirs targets those looking to extend Sober January—or get a little adventurous this Valentine’s Day—with booze-free craft cocktails, infused with adaptogens to help customers unwind. For example, the Curious No. 2 mocktail is described as “[a] spicy pineapple margarita meets the smoldering ginger and lime Dark and Stormy, infused with damiana to help you unwind.” Damiana is an aphrodisiac from a native Mexican shrub that’s been shown to boost libido.


Feste is a New York–based events and gifting company that makes it easy to host a themed party or get-together with friends. In the past, they’ve offered packages to spice up Valentine’s Day dinner at home. Feste’s Valentine’s package includes goodies like a disco ball, candles and candle holders, confetti, and more. Or, customers can opt to build their own packs with items like a champagne saber, rose gold decor, and confetti poppers. Feste caters to anyone looking to create a romantic evening at home or celebrate with friends.

And, of course, flowers!

Valentine’s Day is the peak occasion for flower shopping. By one estimate, more than 250 million flowers are produced annually for Valentine’s Day alone, with 14 million people worldwide giving flowers to their friends and family.

While there are plenty of big enterprises that offer floral delivery, it’s also a good opportunity to support other small merchants. If you want to give flowers to your employees or reward your loyal customers, you can find a local florist to support using BloomNation. Simply enter your delivery zip code to browse a list of options and prices. For instance, Planting with P is a Black woman–owned and Brooklyn-based brand that offers floral arrangements as well as succulents and potted plants. Or, try The Million Roses which offers preserved roses hand-picked from a private farm in Ecuador. Preserved roses last up to three years with no water needed.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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