Shop locally with these 20 South Korean artists/businesses/services

“The academic world usually classifies a nation as a multicultural society, if its percentage of foreigners is in excess of 5 percent. By the criteria, South Korea now appears to be on the threshold of becoming a multicultural society with 4.9% mark in 2019.” Yonhap

Of those registered, 68.6% are long-term stayers and the rest are short-term stayers such as students, short-term workers, or visitors. When I first arrived, like many other English Teachers, I was planning for a short stint in South Korea. 12 years later, I’m comfortably settled in with a dog, a husband, and a great job which I’ve had for the past 9. While some pessimists may call South Korea our “Golden Cage,” I’ve never personally felt this way. On the contrary, Korea has afforded me opportunities to pay off my student loan, save, travel to over 20 countries, meet my wonderful husband, paraglide, model for various studios/campaigns, start a travel blog, start a photography business, work with/teach some incredible individuals, and the list goes on! Like Shonda Rhimes in her popular book, I feel like I’ve been saying “YES!” ever since I got here, while solo and open-minded, back in 2008. A lot of the support and ideas definitely came from online communities such as those on Facebook, Meetup groups, and others. There foreigners and locals (for foreigners) organize events, fundraisers, markets, and meetups in order to feel less abroad and more at home. This holiday season and beyond, let’s help keep these artists/businesses/services thriving because we’re all in this together short-term or long-term.

Table of Contents

  1. Waste Upso (meaning No Waste)

  2. Frida Skincare

  3. Daejeon-based Pottery Classes

  4. Pinuccia’s Kitchen

  5. Gwaja Bar

  6. Kelly Approved Bakery

  7. Shui Candle

  8. Otahni Studio

  9. Christine’s Candle Co.

  10. Sit Stay Love

  11. Lizzie’s Fizzies

  12. Izzy’s Bakery

  13. Soapy Sundays Soap Co.

  14. Refleurish

  15. Misty Rose

  16. Vegan and Beyond Bakery

  17. Daejeon Paint Night

  18. Bénédicte Joly

  19. Daejeon Cares

  20. Trazy

  21. Alla Ponomareva Photography and Prints

  22. (hello! is it me you’re looking for!)

#vegan foods, #environmentally friendly, #zero-waste kits

This is a zero-waste shop, where you can buy food and goods for the home that not packaged in a typically wasteful way, with a focus on sustainability, recycling, and guilt-free shopping. Deliveries are also shipped with sustainability in mind while recycling newspapers, boxes, jars, and other items. Waste Upso also provides educational and consulting services for schools, individuals, and offices.


#skin care, #body care, #hair care

Frida and her husband Sam started this business in Daejeon a few years ago with soaps and quickly grew into a shop-owner power couple who aspires to care for your skin, body, and hair, only without the use of harmful chemicals. She devoted her free time to researching what makes products beneficial but in a nurturing and helpful way, all the while keeping her prices low and customers happy.


Daejeon-based Pottery Classes

#daejeon, #pottery, #romantic if you close your eyes and imagine Patrick Swayze guiding your wheeled creations

Jin Jeong is an award-winning artist, that teaches pottery classes in her private studio in Mok-dong in both Korean and English. She is a regular at Daejeon art exhibitions with her wonderful bowls, cups, tea cattles, and more. You can attend two types of classes: hand-building or wheel throwing.


Pinuccia’s Kitchen

#lasagna, #italian food, #tiramisu, #lemon ricotta cookies, #meatballs

Seoul-based service, offering the best of what Italian food has to offer, such as lasagna, meatballs, tiramisu, lemon ricotta cookies, and other delicacies. If you’re looking to spice up your holidays with a taste of something incredible, then Pinuccia’s Kitchen is your best choice for those Italian cravings.


Gwaja Bar

#handcrafted candies, #handcrafted chocolates, #sweets for kids and adults

Let’s just say: chocolate-covered cherries, biscoff cookie pieces in milk chocolate, almond chocolate bars, toffees, praline pecans, pink champagne adult gummies, chocolate covered pretzels, coffee bars, and more to satisfy your already decaying sweet tooth!


Kelly Approved Bakery

#apple-cider donuts, #choco chip cookies, #brownies, #pound cake

Not sure where Kelly is located, but it doesn’t really matter, because every one of her sweet creations can be delivered anywhere in Korea! So what are you waiting for, grab that glass of milk and get to ordering!


Shui Candle

#handmade candles, #soy candles, #wood wicks, #fragrance oils

Who doesn’t love to lite up a well-fragranced candle on a cold, wintry evening, or while meditating, or while setting the mood for a romantic evening, or while soaking solo in a steamy tub or to light your way down a dark corridor while at your rented Airbnb Bavarian Castle. With smells such as Black Cherry, Pine Eucalyptus, Lemon Rose, Coffee Hazelnut, Coconut Pineapple, and Chamomile Patchouli, who wouldn’t want to fill their room with such amazing aroma!


Otahni Studio

#paintings, #cards, #posters, #korea-inspired

Original art and design by Tahni Osterman, who has created quite a large collection of beautiful artworks and loyal fans, who are able to purchase her paintings, cards, posters, and other designs such as on notebooks, cell phone covers, mugs, and stickers. I’m a proud owner of two of her posters, which are hanging on proud display in my living room.


Christine’s Candle Co.

#candles, #home decor, #apple and maple bourbon, #cinnamon spiced vanilla, #cranberry apple marmalade

Some of the candle flavors available from their holiday collection look good enough to eat! I bet these wonderful aromas make for wonderful gifts or keep them for yourself, because who doesn’t love a good smelling candle filling up our lonely one rooms.


Sit Stay Love

#dog treats, #natural-made, #recipes, #spoil your dog, he deserves it

Have you been a good pup? You deserve a treat!

lol ok, maybe not you, but your four-legged best friend sitting on his pillow like a good boy. Look at his cute nose and those “Puss in Boots” eyes. Oh, look! He is even wagging his tail because he knows you’re thinking about him. So go on, get him a tasty treat, he deserves it!


Lizzie’s Fizzies

#bath bombs, #shower melts, #shower steamers, #shower bombs

Now treat yourself to a handmade bath or shower bomb, which are sure to make those daily routines extra aromatic! Hey, invite your partner in for “quality control” because who doesn’t love a hot, steamy session of “research.” Oh-la-la!


Izzy’s Bakery

#yes, another bakery! #gluten-free, #american-style treats, #you're welcome

Let’s play this game again: Snickerdoodle Gluten-Free Banana Bread, Chocolate Marble Gluten Free Cake, Chocolate Crinkle Gluten-Free Cookies, Blueberry Zucchini Gluten-Free Bread, Pound Cake Gluten Free, Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Protein Cookie. That’s it, I can’t take it anymore, I’m officially fat, just from writing this. Got milk?


Soapy Sundays Soap Co.

#handcrafted soap, #lavender dream soap, #candy cane soap, #winter forest soap

Feeling dirty and unsanitary? Soapy Sundays to the rescue! Get your hands on their Hot Cocoa, Lush Succulent, or any other yummy flavor/kind and you’re in for another steamy, cleansing, shower time.



#handmade and upcycled items, #pendant diffuser necklaces, #christmas ornaments, #etc

All crafted and unique, Refleurish offers a wide variety of handmade and upcycled items. Small yet relevant items, such as Airpods have been handcrafted with YOU in mind!


Misty Rose

#baby and toddler clothes, #couple clothes, #family looks

Misty Rose provides stylish and clever clothes for you and your family, ranging from toddler to grandmother. Now, baby Hanna can match Grammy for those epic IG shots! #justlikeNana


Vegan and Beyond Bakery

#oh snap another vegan bakery! #there goes my diet, #new year, new you, #worry about it in 2021

You know I love you! and would only wish you the sweetest and most delicious holidays/time! I love everything that makes my sugar spike and if I had my way, every single piece of that Carrot Cake would have MY name on it!

Quick, order it before it disappears into the black hole of my impulse buying. Did you read that hashtag (my sweet tooth talking) – Worry About it in 2021!


Daejeon Paint Night

#daejeon-based, #painting class/hobby, #date night activity, #bring your kids, #exercise your creative side

Ready for a bit of an arm/hand workout? Not like a real workout, but a creative brain side workout. Created and ran by Da Eun, this painting class features the cutest artwork, which looks actually achievable the way Da Eun explains and illustrates. All the materials are usually provided, all you need to bring is a few man wons and a lot of enthusiasm!


Bénédicte Joly

#hand made kids clothing for 3-24 months, #super cute, #super unique

Your baby no longer needs to wear that generic (insert Baby Brand) outfit. With items such as handmade knitted ponchos, leather shoes, and embroidered dresses, your little mini-me is going to look adorable for his/her next outing! Just take a look at how darling those outfits are and you’ll be asking for a real size one without a doubt.


Daejeon Cares

#daejeon-based, #volunteer organization, #orphanage visits, #giving is in

A group of kind-hearted volunteers, who visit orphanages (children’s homes), raise money for good causes, and try to do so on a regular basis. Check out their Facebook page for fun and entertaining activities that you too can partake in, make friends, and put a smile on someone’s face.



#korea travel packages/trips, #online shopping service, #quarantine care package service, #taxi service, #flower ordering service, #order certificates, #order flowers, #order wifi eggs, #moving services

An all-around useful service that you can’t ignore the importance of for expats and Korean-language challenged. Trazy has been around for a while, starting with just trips around Korea, then eventually Thailand, and adding on other useful services like WIFI egg rental, flower ordering, quarantine care packages, spa packages services, and more! Take a look at their extensive website, you’re bound to find something for you and yours.


Alla Ponomareva Photography and Prints

(hello! is it me you’re looking for!)

#shameless self promo, #photography, #prints for sale, #photography sessions

With a decade of photography experience and obsession, let me create a timeless photograph with the very best version of you. Be it for a dating profile (ask me about a young man who shortly after got hitched), a maternity session (those moments are so preciously fleeing), an engagement (my favorite type session), or a product photography shoot for your growing business or startup. Get in touch for a quote!


Look at you! Scrolled/read all the way to the very end! 21 points for you (for each business/event/service on the list)!

My holiday wish for you is to recline in your comfy reading chair, light up (one of the aforementioned) candles, soak your sore feet in a tub with Lizzie’s Fizzy bomb, unwrap and bite on that sweet baked dessert (from any of the aforementioned bakeries, of course). Then, look lovingly at your loyal pooch, who is snuggled in a blanket by your side, chewing happily on his “Sit Stay Love” treat. You’re actually chewing in unison because it’s just funny. You get up to the sound of a beeping oven, where Pinuccia’s lasagna has finished warming up. It looks soo good! You grab one of the plates that you personally made at Jeong Jin’s pottery classes, grab a bamboo fork and knife set from Waste Upso, and settle in behind a table, which sits adjacent to a wall, which proudly displays the art from Alla Ponomareva Photography, Otahni Studio and classes with Da Eun.

#shuicandle #Trazy #jeongjinpottery #christinescandlecompany #shoplocalsouthkorea #otahnistudio #shoplocalkorea #fridasskincare #pinucciaskitchen #shoplocalinkorea #mistyrose #benedictejoly #refleurish #englishfriendlybusinesskorea #daejeoncares #kellyapprovedbakery #gwajabar #veganandbeyondbakery #lizzysfizzies #izzysbaking #wasteupso #soapysundays #sitstaylove

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