It’s that time again — Christmas is just around the corner, and you’re scrambling to find gifts for your friends and family. This year, you want to get them something special, something you can’t find on the shelves of a big brand’s store. While you’re making your Christmas list (and checking it twice!), you should really consider shopping locally. Why? Well, thank you for asking!
Shopping locally is something I’m very passionate about. After all, I’ve dabbled in my own small business endeavors. The thing is, small businesses don’t see you as just a means for profit. They care about you as a customer, and it brings them joy when you take an interest in the business they’ve put their heart and soul into. That’s not all — some offer products that they spent hours putting together by hand. Let’s take a deeper look at local goods.
Local Handmade Goods
…Are unique. Odds are that something you buy from a local shop will be completely original with its own little quirks — aka, a completely irreplaceable and one-of-a-kind piece. Sometimes, what you buy may truly be a one-off product, making it even more special, such as some of the works I’ve purchased from the Orlando resin artist Jatudier. Furthermore, when you shop small, your money is going to a real person who needs to put food on the table, just like you. Your purchase may fund materials so the artist can keep making what they love, or like in the case of Urban Woof, it may be a step closer to a pain-relieving surgery for their beloved pet. Either way, when you look at it, shopping small is a win-win situation. You walk away with a beautiful handmade gift for your loved one, and the shop not only makes a new friend in their customer but they also gain the financial support they need to keep doing what they love.
So, You’re Looking to Shop Small?
In conclusion, shopping small is the best thing you can do this holiday season, and if I’ve convinced you, there are a few places you can start looking for handmade goods. Many small business owners house their shops on Etsy.com. While this is a great place to start, it’s better to look for the artist’s actual website since Etsy takes a cut from every product ordered on their site. Instagram is also a great place to find small businesses, especially if the business pays for sponsored ads. These ads can connect you to just the kinds of gifts you are looking for. What if Instagram isn’t your style? No worries — I’ve found some of my favorite small businesses, like Charming Weyand, from local markets. With the holiday season approaching, there may be Christmas markets where you can connect with local shop owners.
Here is a list of some of my favorite small businesses — some local to Tampa Bay, some far — but all of them are wonderful options for choosing the perfect Christmas gifts.
- Hippie’s Homemade Candles – Tampa.
- Ark Naturals – Tampa
- Photos by Mikaela Rose – Tampa (for the best Christmas photos money can buy!)
- Apricot and Merle – Tampa
- Pup Yeah! Apparel — Arkansas
- Wild Roots – St. Pete
- Made Coffee – Clearwater
- Frankie Sue – St. Pete
- Stefanie Shank
And with that, don’t forget that YOU make a real difference in someone’s life when you shop small. So go out there and show your favorite small businesses some love.