Unique Christmas Gifting :: Hidden Gems in Collin County

Behind every small business is a family. I know this because I own a small business and know many movers, creators, makers, and shakers who put their hustle day in and day out, most days putting in hours far beyond the 9 to 5, all in an effort to support their families. With the busiest time of the year upon us, a time when most people are looking to buy, buy, buy, it’s easy to overlook a small business because we all have our tried-and-true brick-and-mortar or online stores.

It’s great that there’s a day dedicated to the small businesses of this country. Which, by the way, is still fairly new;Small Business Saturday (SBS) was an idea created by the credit card giant American Express on November 27, 2010. The campaign launched in order to help small businesses gain additional exposure and to change the way consumers shop within their own community during the holiday season.”

This year, I’m challenging myself to become more intentional with my dollar and shop small beyond SBS. I took a drive through Collin County, and listened to the input of local moms, to compose a list of some awesome small businesses we all can frequent not only during the holidays, but all year long.


  • Athlétique & Co.– Whether your goal is to look and feel great while you work out, take the kids to practice, take a stroll, go on a date night, or go to work, their athleisure is super cute, practical, and made for all women!

Athletique & Co

  • Casa Benedetta– A Downtown McKinney business that was started by a mother of two daughters with a passion for fashion. Not only can you find the cutest apparel, but also the accessories to match all the things you’d want adorning your home.
  • BYNDR Leather Goods– If you love the smell of leather and happen to be in the market for a new wallet or iPhone case for the hubs or your brother…or maybe you’re looking to get an expressive key chain, catch-all, or mouse pad for yourself or your work BFF, BYNDR should definitely be your go-to. The story of how they got started is pretty awesome, too.
  • Apple Blvd– This online boutique based in Frisco has everything you’d want to feel your most stylish self without breaking the bank. Also, the Apple family is just so sweet. This husband and wife team, along with their three boys, definitely have my business. Guilty as charged—I’m partial to BOSS parents of three boys, what can I say?!
  • Landry Kate– This boutique is right in the heart of McKinney’s Historic Downtown and offers everything from the most darling dresses to wear to a Girls’ Day Brunch or an everyday chunky sweater that you can wear with your favorite jeans.

Eden Lifestyle Boutique

  • Eden Lifestyle Boutique– This is a beautiful boutique in Frisco where you’ll be able to find staple pieces not only for your wardrobe, but the most adorable clothes for babies and kids, too. Not to mention, she has an array of accessories, home decor, and gifts that will help you stay within your budget and give you that curated “I just stepped out of a magazine photoshoot” look for both you and your littles.


  • Sample House– This Dallas-based retailer was founded in 1958 with a strong belief in doing things with passion or not at all. They offer the best-smelling candles around and are conveniently located in three Collin County ‘burbs: Plano, Allen, and Frisco. If you happen to be near Dallas or Southlake, they are located there, too.
  • Ettiene Market– This is a kitchen and pantry store located in the heart of Downtown McKinney. This thoughtfully curated market offers the most darling kitchen accessories that are likely to get you to transform your entire cooking area (or rethink it all together). What makes a small business great, sometimes goes far beyond what’s offered…it’s the experience you get from the owners. Meet Coryanne and you’ll know exactly what I mean.

Ettiene Market

  • Frisco Mercantile– Arts, antiques, and chic boutiques, OH MY! You can never go wrong with a stroll through a good mercantile. With hundreds of local artisans, collectors, and designers housed under one roof, you’re bound to find what you need and plenty of things you’ll want.
  • Fair & Square Imports– Conveniently situated in McKinney’s Historic Downtown Square, every item in Fair & Square is unique, handmade, and positively impacts our world. Fair trade is a system that not only aims to pay fair wages, but also ensures safe working conditions, community investment, no child exploitation, equal opportunity for women, and is environmentally friendly.

Fair & Square Imports


  • EQ Kids Club– Located in Frisco, this indoor safari play village has everything you could ask for when setting up a play date or birthday party for your kiddo. Parents are provided with complimentary coffee or tea and kids have free rein to explore and use their imagination in all of the cute spaces, from the jungle to the grocery store.

EQ Kids

  • The Kids Play Co– Located in Richardson, this indoor play space has plenty of playhouses to excite and engage your child imagination. They also offer an array of classes such as yoga, fitness, art, music, and story time.


  • Nerdvana– This restaurant is located in Frisco, and if your family is anything like ours and thrives with a “no technology at the table” rule, you will truly enjoy having a dining experience at Nerdvana with the whole family. Play board games for ages 2 to 102 while you wait on your food and even after it’s finished! They also have an awesome happy hour or after-hours libations menu for those date nights or GNO.


  • Crush Taco– Located in Frisco, Crush Taco features a variety of gourmet tacos, house-made frozen margaritas, local beers, and speciality sodas. The menu is inspired by contemporary cuisine with a touch of the chef’s favorites in a fast-casual and fun atmosphere.
  • Elkes Market Cafe– Located in Allen, Elkes is a husband-and-wife team that has worked in the food service industry for over 50 years combined. It opened in 2004 with a motto of “Give back to your community” that has brought them great success and great relationships with customers.
  • The Aussie Grind– This Aussie-style breakfast and lunch cafe has the power to transport you from the ‘burbs of Collin County to the melting pot of Australian cuisine. As mentioned by some Aussie families—they are legit!
  • Durkins Pizza– Located in three Collin County areas: Frisco, and West and North McKinney, this pizza place has been known to have some of the best pizza AND gluten- free pies, too!


  • Be the Light Bakery– This Wylie small business is owned by A BOSS mom of twins and triplets. Nadia makes the most spectacular cookies for all the holidays, birthdays, school events, and more. What started as just a hobby turned into a blessing for her busy home of seven.

Be the Light Bakery

  • Fruitealicious– With six locations to choose from in Texas (two in Frisco alone), the mission of husband-and-wife team, Carmen and Jon, is to empower people to live their lives to the fullest. Each and every day they implement many lessons to help them become the greatest versions of themselves through delicious Boba teas.(MMMM boba!)
  • Mom & Popcorn– Upon walking into their cute store in McKinney’s Historic Square you’d think you went back in time to an antique candy store. Mom and Popcorn offers 50+ flavors of gourmet popcorn perfect for all occasions.They’re often featured as center-pieces for wedding bars; given as gifts for Birthdays, Christmas, and other holidays. Editor’s Note: I passed out gourmet popcorn balls from Mom & Popcorn at my wedding reception!

  • The Dough Dough– If you grew up eating cookie dough, then The Dough Dough is for you. Owner Gina Ginsburg gets to recreate memories with the first edible cookie dough and dough confection establishment in the DFW area. Safe to eat raw, the cookie dough -inspired desserts make this a must-try place for anyone with a sweet tooth.
  • Sublime ChocolateChocolate…NEED I SAY MORE!?! This scratch-made chocolate and coffee shop in Watters Creek (Allen) offers all the things from handcrafted truffles to bonbons, ice cream and craft chocolate.
  • Detour Doughnuts– I heard about this place from another Collin County mom contributor and had to give it a try. Not only are all her doughnut creations and lattes Instagram worthy, but DELICIOUS! I’ve gone three times since first trying it out and each time I find a new favorite.

Detour Dough

  • Tulla Pattiserie & Café– This is a family-owned and -operated business in Frisco. It’s the realization of a dream of its owner and head baker, Jennifer Bezdek. After leaving a successful Fortune 500 corporate career, she decided it was time to pursue her goal of owning her own business and doing something she was passionate about. That passion derived from a love of high-quality sweet treats, aromatic breads, and French pastries. From there, Tulla was born!
  • Cream & Sugar– Located in Fairview Town Center (Stacy & US 75) this local-made ice cream and craft coffee and espresso spot is the perfect place to fill your sweet tooth while shopping local.

Cream and Sugar

This list of awesome small businesses could go on and on. There are so many movers and shakers, makers and creators who put in the work on a daily basis to provide for their families that I challenge you to shop small when you can and make it go beyond one Saturday in November.

Let me know some of your favorite small businesses in Collin County!

Vanessa Sias
Hi, I'm Vanessa. Wife to Jose and mommy to three loving, rambunctious boys ages 12, 7 and 3. They keep us busy in the best possible way. I was born an raised in Dallas, Texas and am a hard-core Dallas Cowboys fan. My husband and I moved to Allen in 2006 after finding our 'just right' home. I taught kindergarten for seven years (in Garland and McKinney) and after having our third son decided to become a stay-at-home mom. Aside from the three boys occupying my time, I'm also a branding and small business photographer as well as a VIPKID teacher for students in China.