Keeping Up With Gen Z: Popular Items From Small Businesses

gen z items
Thumbnail courtesy of Radiya

Are you looking for trendy products that reflect the lifestyle of Gen Z? EnVi is here to highlight some products made by small businesses that are popular with the Gen Z market. From day-to-day apparel to handmade accessories, these items are sure to fit Gen Z and Gen Z-alike’s tastes. 

SHIN+HA: Reversible Bucket Tote

Haeshin Park and Hanna Choi are the faces of the minimalistic brand, SHIN+HA. They both have a love for design and aesthetics and decided to make their dreams come true in 2017 with SHIN+HA.

In addition to running the shop, they are involved in all other aspects of their brand, including material sourcing, production, and marketing. SHIN+HA brings a lot of functional items to the table, but the reversible bucket tote is its best-selling product. Cotton serves as the perfect canvas for the Los Angeles-based designers to create durable, everyday bags. 

Minimalism is loved by Gen Z because of its aesthetic, sustainability, and convenience. Haeshin believes that their reversible bucket tote bag resonates with the everyday needs of their Gen Z customers because of its minimalistic style and super functional design. “Our design goal is to create timeless products,” she told EnVi. “The reversibility is a bonus feature for customers to stylize or carry in a way to suit their needs and fashion.”

gen z items
SHIN+HA
Reversible Bucket Canvas Tote

Cloudverse: Handmade Earrings

Introducing Cloudverse, your go-to destination for one-of-a-kind earrings that will elevate your fashion game! Paige Peterson created her small earring business in July of 2020, in the midst of the pandemic. Cloudverse provides hypoallergenic and affordable earrings that are both trendy and stylish. 

One of the shop’s best sellers is the heart lollipop earrings. The quirky and brightly colored food item-turned-accessory is perfect for the individuality Gen Z embodies. Whether you’re looking for bold and edgy earrings or something more subtle and delicate, Cloudverse has got you covered. There are over 100 different styles of earrings to choose from, so everybody can find a pair that reflects their style. 

Cloudverse
Heart Lollipop Earrings

sonjie.art: Artisan Keycaps

Bring a cute and colorful twist to your mechanical keyboard with these handmade keycaps by sonjie.art. In spring 2022, Sonja found her artistic talent in creating custom keycaps by watching another artist. “I did a bunch of research and went into a whole rabbit hole learning about mechanical keyboards and the community. That’s when I decided to make my own keycap designs!” Sonja shared with EnVi. 

Most of their polymer clay keycap designs are based on animals and well-known film characters, like Yoda from Star Wars. Their most popular design is inspired by Yae Miko, a character from a popular video game called Genshin Impact. Each design is posted on their Instagram account for a special sale and is available to ship worldwide from Canada. 

gen z items
sonjie.art
Yae Miko keycaps

Allchlosu: Parasocial Support Person Photocard Holder

Allchlosu is a jewelry and K-pop accessory business founded in July 2020 during the pandemic. Chloe, the founder of Allchlosu, is a graphic designer and jewelry maker, but more importantly, a K-pop multi-stan! Allchlosu’s Parasocial Support Person Photocard Holder perfectly represents Gen Z’s irreverent attitude. The generation is known for analyzing the deeper meaning of parasocial relationships and then using humor and irony to make light of them. This product is the perfect way to do that and wear a stylish accessory. 

The photocard holder comes in pink and blue and is bordered with diamond accents. The holder has a chain that can be attached to bags and phone cases so you can take your parasocial support person wherever you go.

Allchlosu
Parasocial Support Person Photocard Holder

Savagely Stitching: Crochet Stuffed Animals

There’s no age limit to owning stuffed animals, and Gen Z is into collecting them. Savagely Stitching, an online shop based in Utah, found a way to add a unique twist to common cotton plushies. During the pandemic, Gen Z had grown an interest in crocheting due to its popularity on TikTok. “Many people needed to find ways to be entertained while being confined to their homes,” Vanessa Savage, the shop owner, shared. “I noticed a lot of people started using crochet as a way to connect with others and as a way to express who they are through a unique art form.” She then began to crochet in the summer of 2020. After learning to crochet amigurumi, 3D crochet figures, she then founded her small business in October 2020 with the encouragement of her parents.

Each crochet plushie of Savagely Stitching is handmade with love and comes in different sizes, from keychains to huggable ones. Most of their crochet patterns are designed by pixieplushies, who also sells their own handmade crochet plushies. The shop’s most popular item is The Lovey Cow in Overalls. Dolled up with a cute heart design on its overall outfit, it catches the heart of many plushie collectors. The plushie is 9 inches tall by 5 inches wide and is made using soft Bernat Blanket yarn from Joann Fabrics and Sweet Snuggles Lite yarn from Michaels in pink and white colors.

Savagely Stitching
Crochet Funfetti Cow in Overalls

The Juice Box Club: Boba Friends Collection

Crystal Jiang is the artist and founder of The Juice Box Club, an online shop that sells various items such as stationary, apparel, tote bags, etc. Jiang does everything from choosing a concept design to creating social media content, packaging, and tabling at pop-up events. Her Boba Friends collection is inspired by her own friend group. She decided to go with the concept of boba plushies because of the rising love for boba gatherings within Gen Z. In respect to the characters themselves, the plushies are based on the pets the friends each have as well as the personalities of the owners. The collection includes two cats (Platinum and Luna), a rabbit (Sesame), a Shiba Inu (Kona), a frog (Ribberto), and a bear (Lemon). 

“I think what I have in my shop is definitely special because every design you see is inspired by my life,” she told EnVi. In addition, her other inspirations include video games, anime, and shows that she enjoys and/or grew up watching. “All of the designs tie into my life somehow,” she expressed. “and I personally and specifically felt like a lot [of] Asian Americans would relate to it since our culture [was] looked down upon or made fun of growing up.”

The Juice Box Club

Each of these businesses has curated items that have found the hearts of many Gen Zers. The taste of the late ’90s to the early 2000s generation is a mix of old, modern, and even futuristic styles. Whatever you may be into, you’ll be sure to discover items you love within these shops.

This article is part of EnVi’s Gen Z Issue. Get your physical copy here!