Posts Tagged ‘Shop local’

Although the U.S. may be negatively known for Black Friday, a day-after-Thanksgiving day of consumer excess, we also have Small Business Saturday,  sandwiched between Black Friday (in-store excess) and Cyber Monday (internet excess.) (There’s more than a little irony about the URL of the SBS website being prefaced by “American Express”, but…)  In England, Small Business Saturday is Dec. 2.  I’m not sure about elsewhere.

At any rate, on that day we’re encouraged to shop locally or at small businesses via the internet.  I love this idea.  Since I’m not very handy at making things, other than food, I have to fall back on shopping.  I can’t disclose gifts, as my family might be reading my blog (at least I hope so).  But so far, I’ve managed to avoid Amazon, Google, and the other big name giants.  I’ve gotten gifts at art shows, local shops, and from talented individuals.  I’ve also bought some things from bigger places such as Costco, but they don’t threaten to rule the world the way Amazon/Google/Apple do, at least in my eyes.

Of course, where you get things can depend on what you need to buy, but I’d encourage you to buy at least some things from small businesses or individuals this year.  When looking for a gift for someone who has everything, a donation to a charity is a wonderful choice.  And if we struggle with trying to come up with a gift list for those who want to get us something, we are indeed blessed, a priceless gift.

Here are some of my blogger friends or other small businesses (in no particular order) who have something to offer for holiday giving.  If I missed you, please forgive me and add your information and link in the comment section.  I hesitated to do this so that I wouldn’t hurt anyone’s feelings by missing them, but I decided to go ahead, with apologies at the ready.

Wild Ozark

Located in Kingston, Arkansas, Madison and her husband, Rob, sell wild American ginseng (if you can pick it up; see website), shagbark hickory syrup, books, handmade notecards, and more as well as Rob’s gorgeous handmade wooden keepsake boxes.

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

An accomplished artist and author, Rochelle has written a three-book series that takes her heroine from the pogroms of Eastern Europe to the difficulties faced by Jewish immigrants in 1908 Kansas City.  She also does portraits by commission.

Beth Carter

Beth left the corporate world to write books.  She’s written women’s fiction, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and children’s picture books.

Our French Lifestyle

If you’re in Europe, or France specifically, Susan offers a variety of vintage finds or you might like to contact her about escaping to their luxury cottage for a getaway.

Jan Morrill

Jan is an author and speaker.  Her novel, The Red Kimono, takes place in 1941 and is about the Japanese internment.  She also has several other books, including on of haiku in which I have one haiku.  (Couldn’t resist adding that!)  In addition to writing, she’s available for workshops about writing.

Claire Fuller

Claire’s first book, Our Endless Numbered Days, won the 2015 Desmond Elliott Prize.  She’s published a second and has a third coming out in 2019.  You can find links for buying her books on her website and, although can buy them from Amazon, in the spirit of Small Business Saturday, I’d encourage you to order through your local independent bookstore.

Isadora and Al De La Vega

A former New York policeman, Al makes whimsical copper and brass items, many with a distinctly nautical/ocean theme.  Besides blogging, Isadora makes beautiful jewelry.  Stop by both sites for a look.

Hannah of Bittersweet

Hannah is an amazing vegan cook and food photographer.  She has a new cookbook, Real Food, Really Fast: Delicious Plant-Based Recipes Ready in 10 Minutes or Less, coming out in January and you can preorder it by clicking on the link to her blog.


Full disclosure: I worked here for two year and don’t now only because the business is completely online now.  That makes me able to assure you that the commitment to quality and service can’t be bettered.  With close to 140 teas or tisanes (herbal or floral mixes that don’t contain actual tea) and the ability to ship to anywhere in the contiguous US, you can’t go wrong buying from SereneTeaz.

Le Chocolat du Bouchard

If you can’t make it to Paris and you’re anywhere near Naperville, Illinois, stop into Le Chocolat for French ambience, macarons (not macaroons), pastries and chocolate truffles of all sorts, drinks (wine, coffee drinks, or chocolate drinks), or lunch or dinner.  I currently work there, so maybe you’ll even meet me.  🙂



OK, as I said, if I missed you, I apologize and please leave your link in the comments, along with a short description of your product/book/art/whatever.  Thanks!

Any links that are just to blog posts or blogs and not relevant to Small Business Saturday will be deleted.

A week ago, I mentioned how difficult it is to find products made in the US and not in China.   I said I was going to challenge you to help people shop for the holidays from, if not locally, at least from the US or from whatever country my readers live in.  You should have been on the hunt.  Now it’s time to see what you’ve found.  Here are some products I know are made in the US.

WeatherTech, located not far from us in Bolingbrook, Illinois, makes all sort of products for cars, from floor mats to license plate holders to pet barriers to keep your pets safely in the second or third row.  Look into them for the man or pet owner in your life or just to keep your vehicle clean!

Many/most of Nordic Ware’s products are made in the US and they also use US ingredients whenever possible.

Buy Titleist golf balls for the golfer in your life.  They’re made in New Bedford, Massachusetts.  Not sure about their other products, though.

Consumer Reports had a useful article in 2013 about which products are actually made in America, a list including major brands and such stalwarts as Crayola crayons, Little Tykes toys (here’s a list of which toys are US made), Stetson hats (for over 150 years!),and other major brands just right for gift-giving. has listings for all sorts of products made in the US as does USA Love List.

Of course, you can always shop close to home, from people who make their own products, whether food, clothes, crafts, etc.   Buy local cheese, wine, craft beers, maple syrup, honey and candles made from bee’s wax, food and crafts from farmers markets, etc. and you’ll be buying from not only your own country but from local merchants and artists.

Now over to you.  What can you recommend?  Thanks for participating and feel free to post any other related comments or, if you sell something, to let us know what it is and where we can find it. Extra points if it’s also made from US ingredients/products (or from those in your country, if you’re not from the US.)

In the U.S., Saturday, Nov. 26 is Small Business Saturday, a day when shoppers are encouraged to shop at small, usually local businesses.  I work part time at a small business, a tea shop called SereneTeaz, and I know how important these businesses are to vibrant communities and to both owners and employees. Shameless plug: Just to show you don’t have to shop local on Saturday or any other day to support a small business, we ship anywhere in the continental US and if you spend over $50, shipping is free and if you check out the website and watch, you’ll see me.  🙂

Whether or not you live in the US, shopping at local businesses is a great way to support the community around you.  But as the holidays approach, I want to take one day to challenge you to participate in another way.