Shopping Small 2016

I’ve already shared my Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for this year BUT I also wanted to give you some of my favorite ways to shop small OR shop charity.

I’m the crazy gifter… I seriously LOVE giving gifts to others. I don’t care to receive…. I just like buying gifts for others. However, over the last couple of years, I’ve learned that quantity is not best… sometimes quality doesn’t matter much…. it’s all about the thought and heart that goes into it. This year, I decided to try something different. Instead of spending money on large, ‘top rated’ gifts, I decided to stick to gifts from small businesses, local business, or charities. It’s going to be a new tradition at our house!

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As a small business owner, I completely understand the need to have customers who value what small business owners have to do. For example, I’m the sole owner, operator, employee of my bakery. I bake the food, wash the dishes, advertise, do the books, etc. My business’ success depends on my customers, whom I value so much. There are so many other small business like mine or local farmers who work endlessly to provide quality produce or meats. All those little notes floating around the internet about “when you buy from a small business, you aren’t paying for a vacation home, private plane, etc.; you are paying for dance lessons, college tuition, Christmas presents, etc. ” It’s very true.

You can find my bakery items at the Webb City Farmer’s Market each week along with dozens of other vendors selling produce, meats, jewelry, soaps, coffee, candy, etc…. all made my the vendors and locally. I encourage you to check out some of the options at your local market. I was able to snag some locally roasted coffee, honey, jewelry and soaps.

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Local shops and boutiques can have the perfect items for those hard-to-buy-for people. Root Coffeehouse in Downtown Pittsburg is a great supporter of local businesses. They have vendors who sell hand-painted coffee mugs, t-shirts, scarves/hats, jewelry, jams, coffee, body products, etc.

Art is something that fascinates me but also baffles me! I love looking at work from local artists with admiration and some jealousy – I love it but can’t do any of it! ha! Check out some local artists – ceramics, jewelers, wood workers, painters, etc. I recently snagged a beautifully hand crafted ceramic vase for my MIL who has everything and I LOVE it!

Many local kids are participating in fundraisers to raise money for various events. Girl Scouts are selling chocolates, popcorn, etc. Sports teams are selling baked goods, ornaments or poinsettias. Grab a couple for stocking stuffers, neighbor gifts, etc.

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National charities not only accept monetary donations, but sometimes offer products to buy that you can gift to friends and family AND support the charity’s efforts. Here’s a couple that we supported this year:

Love Your Melon: is an organization that supports kids with cancers. They sell ball caps, shirts and the cutest stocking caps with their logo. For each purchase, a donation is made to children with cancer. I found out about them through the local chapter at Pittsburg State University. As a PSU alumni, I LOVE seeing students supporting efforts like these. Keep up the awesome work Gorillas!!

St. Jude’s : the nationally known organization for helping those children battling illnesses and their families also has an online store. You can find clothing, household items, toys, etc. We snagged some cute puzzles and coloring books for gifts!

Yumbutter: this brand of delicious nut/seed butters is participating with some other great brands that all support different efforts (feeding children, protecting wildlife, and fair-trade/equal opportunity farming). You can grab one of their holiday gift boxes featuring products from Yumbutter, Ona’s paleo snacks, Equal Exchange Coffee & Chocolate).

There are SO many other ways to support charities… if you have a favorite – check them out to see what options they have! Chances are you can probably support them AND find a gift for a loved one!

Got any other ideas? Share them so we can all have more ideas for support small business, locals or charities!

 

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