Yes I know many of you have a retail hangover from yesterday, but I'd like to put a small biz bug in your ear at this time of year.
One of the most practically radical 'protests' one can make these days is simply buying local goods from local vendors. I realize Cheap is King these days, but you'd be surprised how much extra value you can get from getting your gifts from people who've made or chosen their own inventory by hand. So here's a little list of some creative + hardworking modern merchants who would be mega-blessed by your business this season...Grow Natural:
Eco-baby and very well-made household items
Our friend Jennifer's shop in Fullerton, CA is tucked away at the Carpe Diem complex in the Soho area off Commonwealth and Harbor Blvd. She is always stocking cool new stuff for babies, mums and family. I am partial to their hardwood toys, but we get our steel canteens and bottles from here. They have a cool thermos that keeps coffee hot for half a day. No Joke!CareFree Photography
- Orange, CA
Do you wanna make grandma cry on Christmas? Get an ultra-sweet portrait of the grandkids for her. Or how bout a family portrait shoot coupon (which I'm only guessing she does;) Carrie is an awesome person to get some great memories from. She'll do amazing engagement shots for you and your boo---after you pop the question under the mistletoe. Hey, why not get that on camera? She knows how to hide;)Matt Schutter Photography
- Fullerton, CA
If you'd like make your followers & friends' eyes bulge with wide eyed wonder. Check out Matt's crazy creative imagery. He can photoshop you on a mystical hillside while riding a unicorn (if that's what you're into). The great part is that it is anything BUT cheesy. I've never seen
he's done that's
cool. I'm sure he'll give you a Christmas deal...Found Vintage Rentals
- Fullerton, CA
Have an awesome Christmas party or event coming up that needs the magic vintage touch? Look no further than Found! Furniture, decor and more. Beautiful items both grande y chiquitos. + You might spot a Monk-made table or 2 there.
Created and curated by the very talented Andrea Gutierrez. Something at all price levels. If yours into Whimsy, you'll love her. Great characters to light up any room.
- Art+Photo Gift Prints, Brooklyn + Queens, NY
Yes, not exactly local, but my Instagram amiga Angelika takes some truly awesome photos of Street Art, Decaying Doors and other Urban Beauty found around NYC. What's cool is that she makes calendars and other print options available for you to add an artistic touch to anyone's crib---at very good prices. Any creative person in your fam will love her stuff guaranteed. So return those 'iffy' t-shirts and score some serious cool points with your younger relatives and friends.
I have left people out I'm sure (sorry), but you get the gist. Make this year unique, and don't just let Big Neon sales banners determine the success of your Christmas shopping. In perfect world, we would all give hugs instead of gifts, but like it or not people get sad if left out of your giving stream. By shopping small you aren't just 'giving in' to the consumer circus, but supporting dreams and easing the pressure that it takes to go out on a long limb and start a business. So help these start-ups cross the fiscal finish line and into another year of creative/financial adventure (and the anxious stomach aches that go with it;)
PS Check out our lil' mom and pop shop on Etsy -
Lots of seasonal and timeless goodies to be gotten...