I have major respect for anyone running a retail business. In the fall of 2015, I took the plunge into running my own business full time. But offering a service, I don’t have to carry inventory, deal with late FedEx deliveries that cost business, or worry about break-ins at my storefront. These business owners do. They hustle to sell great products, create jobs, and build great communities people want to live in.
Because I truly love them, I want to share the small businesses love this holiday season. So, while I’m late to the game, here are X small businesses that I recommend shopping (who needs Amazon when they don’t pay taxes, anyway?)
Shimmer, New Bedford, MA: This shop sells clean and ethical beauty products (i.e. nothing is tested on animals), so you know you can feel good about every.single.product. (And, truly, everything I’ve bought here has been amazing.)
Over the last year I’ve swapped all my generic products with bajillions of unknown ingredients for clean products and it’s made such a difference for my skin.
(An aside: Bisbee is also home to a fabulous brewery… if anyone can get them to ship me some of their Salut and gin, please let me know.)
Paris Market, Savannah, GA: This shop is the place to go for your Francophile friend. They’ve got a fantastic selection of everything from home good and furniture to jewelry from local makers (helloooo, SCAD!).
King’s Books, Tacoma, WA: King’s Books has everything you want in a bookstore: new books, used books, fun gifts (T-shirts and the like), and a cat. Foggy Pine in Boone, NC, is another fabulous option that also ships and also has a resident cat. So many bookstores…
Buggy Town Coffee, Carthage, NC: Everyone has their favorite coffeeshop, but sometimes it’s nice to branch out and try coffee from other shops. If that’s you, try the all the roasts from this coffeeshop: light roasts, dark roasts, and a holiday blend–’tis the season.
They also ship their loose-leaf teas. I swear by their cold and flu blend.
Formaggio Kitchen, Boston, MA: If you didn’t know you could ship cheese anywhere in the country, now you know. The gift baskets are incredible, but you can also shop any of their specialty products. Wine is optional for orders, but highly encouraged (by me…but I’m sure the folks at Formaggio support that statement, too).
Castello Potentino, Italy: Yes, you can get wine shipped straight from Italy. Charlotte moved to Tuscany from the UK decades ago and crafts wines that truly capture a sense of place. Read more about her winemaking philosophy here. And when we can travel again, book a stay.
Westport Rivers Winery, Westport, MA: I love Champagne. I don’t love a Champagne price tag. But I also don’t want to pay $20 on a prosecco I hate (and I hate prosecco). So, it’s a good thing Westport Rivers makes one of the best Champagne-style sparklers I’ve found (the RJR Brut and the Blanc de Blanc). It’s not a bazillion dollars. And it ships.
Olympia Provisions, Portland, Oregon: When you need meats for your cheeses from Formaggio, hit up these kings of homepade charcuterie. This is Oregon’s first USDA-approved salumeria, and while it has grown over the years, their salami and sausages are quality.
Patricia, Southern Pines, North Carolina: There are many reasons to loathe fast-fashion (just Google it). So, if you want to invest in quality, timeless pieces this is your store. Many of the brands Patricia carries are from small, independent makers, too, so you’re supporting multiple small businesses in one purchase.
And while I’m on sustainable fashion, Whitney Madueke has amazing pieces crafted to order.
“Shopping local” these days often means you can support small businesses around the country (thanks, Internet). Those local shops you find when you’re traveling? Or the local shops in places you used to live? You can still support those business owners and know you’re making a major impact.
But I’d also encourage you to find your own local, independent shops, too.
Studies show that for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 stays in the local community. Less than half that amount stays in the community when you shop at a chain.
Final thought: is it really worth the $1, $2, or $3 dollars saved by purchasing a product on Amazon that you found at a local shop?
These folks do the work of finding and curating a great mix of products. If you like them–and want them to stay in your town–support them.