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!
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
Facebook (Click here.)
- Thursday, Dec 7th from 10am to 2pm at Social Change Market Place at Bryant University (tons of limited edition merch that's not available online!)
- Saturday, Dec 9th from 10am to 6pm at Art Providence Holiday Show. For more deets and ticket info, go to artshowprovidence.com.
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.