On-site small businesses play a critical role in enhancing the quality of walkable neighborhoods. Micro-retail businesses help foster personal relationships between shop owners and customers, are more attainable retail spaces for first-time business owners, and are conveniently located for residents and visitors.

Kinkan Gifts

Kinkan Gifts is a Japanese gift store inspired by the small mom-and-pop businesses in small Japanese towns. The Japanese word for kumquat, Kinkan is a small citrus fruit from China and Japan that packs a surprisingly powerful burst of flavor despite its small size. Holly was inspired by the fruit’s ability to bring sunshine wherever it goes: “By giving small but beautiful gifts, we too can bring a bit of sunshine to the people around us.”

Kinkan’s owner, Holly, felt compelled to bring back a piece of the simplicity and peace she felt while visiting Japan back to the United States. Kinkan was founded with the intention of bringing together the simplicity and beauty of Japanese design, with the color and spirit of the American Southwest. Offering a wide selection of Japanese items, Kinkan is the perfect stop for unique stationery, authentic teas and snacks, beautiful homewares, and special clothing pieces.

Instagram: @kinkangifts

ITO Brand

The goal of ITO Brand is to help make the world a better place through art and fashion. Inspired by the small things in life and designed with intention, Adrian’s garments range from tanks, tees, and hoodies to shorts and sweatpants. Committed to quality, sustainability, and ethical sourcing practices, ITO emphasizes the importance of providing high levels of satisfaction for its customers. Adrian believes that “creating a positive impact on the world is the most important thing a clothing brand can do,” which is why the brand promises to donate a percentage of its profits to charitable causes and organizations. “ITO clothing is made for everyone. Whether you’re a skater, a rock climber, a cook, or a homebody, ITO is made for you.”

Visit ITO Brand’s storefront at Culdesac Tempe, or stop by The Small Things Fashion Market at Culdesac on April 27th from 3 to 9pm! The Small Things Fashion Market promotes small brands and creatives and includes food, streetwear, accessories, and art vendors. We hope to see you there!

Instagram: @ito.brand

Brite Candle Co.

Inspired by nature, travel, and the art of relaxation, Brite Candle Co.’s scents are designed to transport you to different places and evoke pleasant memories. Jada, the owner of Brite Candle Co., used to suffer from intense migraines caused by burning candles that release harmful toxins until she received an all-natural candle as a gift and her headaches stopped. Jada was inspired to open her own candle business, focusing on creating products made from all-natural ingredients that would be safer for people and their homes. Every product from Brite Candle Co. is vegan, cruelty-free, and phthalate-free, in addition to having lead-free cotton wicks and clean oils that allow for a more healthy, non-toxic burn.

Mark your calendars: Brite Candle Co. will open at Culdesac on April 18th from 6 to 9 pm! At Brite Candle Co., you will have the hands-on experience crafting your own natural soy candle from scratch! With over 40 vessel options and 20 fragrance varieties available, enjoy the flexibility of creating your own unique candle in a relaxed, independent atmosphere. Home fragrances are also available for purchase in-store.

Instagram: @britecandle.co

Kinkan Gifts, ITO Brand, and Brite Candle Co. each bring a special energy and connection to the community. By fostering relationships between small business owners and our neighbors, we are able to create a deeper sense of community in the neighborhood. Keep following along or take a trip to Culdesac Tempe to meet more of our amazing on-site small business owners!

Do you love supporting local? Ready to try a retail space? Visit these businesses or email live.tempe@culdesac.com to learn more.