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By Lee Clifford and Julie Schlosser
The holiday season is crucial for small businesses--especially those in retail. As the owners of a start-up retail operation--it's called Altruette, and we sell jewelry charms associated with charitable causes--we found that last year close to 60% of our sales came in the weeks leading up to the end of the year. This fact radically changed how we do our own shopping. To us, there's no better feeling than supporting entrepreneurs who have poured their heart and soul into getting a product they truly believe in to market. To that end we've rounded up our favorite gifts made by small companies. Happy holidays!