This Mompreneur's Picks For Best Local Shopping This Holiday Season


Shopping Local This Season

During Thanksgiving I found myself stuck in a conversation about what everyone was going to buy the next day on Black Friday. All of the items were from big box stores. As much as I want the newest, shiniest phone, I try my best to support other small businesses and artists. As a small business owner and operator, I know how much work and preparation goes into making a small business work. I think this is important, especially around the holidays.

Small business owners really put their heart and soul into what they do and it shows. They aren't answering to a board of directors but instead exploring a passion. When I walk into Target I don't feel the same warmth and connection as I do with a local business. Some of my favorite aspects of holiday shopping are going into a local store and talking with the owners about great gift ideas. I love to see how excited they get when talking about their products. From my own experience, I know how excited I get when we receive a new Pepper’s Closet order, and my husband can talk all night about the sea creatures he draws. It’s true, many small businesses can be more expensive than the big box stores but I think it's worth the money for unique products and services that cannot be found elsewhere.

Shopping small and local also builds our community and strengthens our local economy (something Little Rhody desperately needs). For example, according to an Andersonville study of retail economics, local business generates 70 percent more local economic activity per square foot than big box retail. So, this holiday season I am going to try my hardest to fight my Amazon addiction and support my community and I challenge all of you to do the same.

Some of My Local Favorites (It was so hard to pick only a few.):

Pepper’s Closet - The goal of this custom branded clothing line is simple - become aware by what we wear. Pepper’s Closet donates 10% of net profits directly to ocean conservation and cleanup efforts. They work to creatively reflect the ocean in their hand-drawn designs, and pair each piece of clothing with an informational tag meant to engage, educate and keep the conversation going. (Disclaimer: My husband and I started Pepper’s Closet.)

Netties Kettle Corn - My daughter Pepper is OBSESSED! They have a few different flavors but nothing overpowering. The kettle corn is just a little sweet and salty, so I don't feel sooo bad devouring an entire bag in one sitting.

 Woof Woof - Our pets need some love this holiday season too. Go check them out and see what all the dogs are barking about this year!

A Gift Card from Providence Power Yoga and/or Salt Cycle!

Beauty and the Bath Is known as a Rhode Island retail treasure and must-stop for tourists and locals alike - a hand curated selection of fine soaps and toiletries.

Nava - Is a sweet little clothing boutique with gifts and home decor as well!

Add A Dash Of 'Pepper' To Your Life

More About Elizabeth 


Elizabeth Stone, MBA is a Mompreneur in Rhode Island with a focus on Social Enterprises. She loves fitness and health and running around with her toddler Pepper. Here latest projects include BioSci Labs, BI Medical and Pepper’s Closet. Pepper’s Closet is a Benefit corp who is helping spread ocean literacy and awareness through custom-crafted apparel. They donate 10% of all net profits directly to ocean conservation, education and cleanup efforts. Their goal is to create a movement that is as limitless and unstoppable as the ocean itself. Together, we can preserve and protect one of Earth’s greatest miracles. Support them here.

Photo Credits: Additional photos courtesy of Elizabeth Stone and Pepper's Closet.

You'll Want To Go Here This Weekend, Especially If You're In Hallmark Holiday Movie Marathon Mode

Sure you've seen Santa Claus come to town, but how about by boat? You'll be able to check that off your Christmas list tonight in Wickford, RI as the 32nd annual Festival of Lights* continues with the official arrival of that jolly, old fat man on the water, followed by hay rides with him starting at around 6pm, all with a festive soundtrack of carols and music by the North Kingstown Community Chorus and The Lafayette Band respectively.

So bundle up (but not too much...I mean, the temps at night have been cold, don't get me wrong, but not bitter and freezing enough to make you wish you'd stayed home wrapped in a mountain of afgans.), grab a hot chocolate (There were at least 2 groups selling hc, coffee, cookies, and wreaths last night prior to the tree lighting, which btw brought out a ton of ppl and a few of the local tv stations to boot.), and enjoy some classic Holiday with a capital H ambiance. I was going to say straight outta a Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas movie marathon but think I've already referenced that in another post recently?

Speaking of which, did you know Prince Harry's bride-to-be starred in no less than 2 Hallmark Channel classics? Sure did. And I also hear that the biggest trend this season, because of her post engagement appearance before the press, is the white, wrap style winter coat. (The actual version she wore, by Canada's Line The Label brand, sold out before you could so much as ask, "Wonder who makes that cute coat?") Now, I don't think Santa will care if you're on trend with your outerwear this weekend or not, but just throwing that out there in case you've caught up in the current Meghan Markle mania sweeping the States. (I kind of am.) Cheers! 

**The Festival Of Lights runs thru Dec 3rd. Check out the I Love Wickford Village FB Page for more deets.**



5 Ways To Add Some Italian Flair To What You Wear, According To This Author

Meet Francesca B, she's an Italian born style blogger (who now calls Miami home) and author of The Cheat Sheet of Italian Style: Confidence and Sustainable Chic in Ten Struts. And she's here spilling secrets for staying true to what suits you style wise and adding some of the 'Italian way' to your everyday. 

It’s official - get ready to empty out the meaningless clutter, and curate an inspirational wardrobe while reclaiming yourself. The book transports you into a world of desirable glamour and rousing style, and shows you how to achieve the understated chicness Italians are recognized for, regardless of nationality, age or budget. 


“Style is not aspirational and Italian style is a free falling experience. A brush of freedom with a patina of elegance and rigor, Italian style will percolate through the cracks of everyday life to become your own personal curator.”


“I frugally curate.” If you practice the exercise of ignoring trends, fashion automatically becomes less intimidating. Looking good and being well-dressed is a balance of taste and brains. 


“What message (do) I want to convey with what I wear, and why I feel good when I look good. I firmly believe that a moment cannot be mass produced and that, the same outfit, worn on different days by the same person, never does look the same.” 

“Your own taste and sense of appropriateness, preferences, attributes, moods and current lifestyle come first and you need to own them with intelligence, passion, determination and a great dose of humor.”


Italian style doesn’t discriminate those who wear luxury from those who don’t, because one side of Italian style is extremely discreet and understated. Quality is what jumpstarts you to a mind of luxury. Luxury becomes a state of mind; it means owning your personal style, never regret wearing something, feeling appropriate and at ease, regardless.


Style has nothing to do with how much money you wear in an outfit, it moves hand-in-hand with personal taste. […] Form follows function: a genteel way of dressing doesn’t look affected.

5 Fun Facts About Me

  1. I am the lucky one in the family who finds four-leaf clovers.
  2. I tasted chocolate for the first time when I was 13 and never stopped.
  3. Make sure I've had my first coffee before you talk to me.
  4. It’s always Christmas time.
  5. I am convinced in one of my past lives I lived in Downton Abbey, upstairs of course, most probably as Lady Violet.

I’d love to hear what you think about the book and wish you a fabulous and scintillating holiday season, 

Xoxo Francesca 


For more from Francesca:


**This post has been updated and revised from the originial version that appeared during Holiday 2016.**