I know I harp about this a lot, but seriously, shop small or local whenever you can. This year has been particularly hard on small businesses and that makes me sad. If every family made it a point to buy a couple gifts from a local sales rep or small business, imagine the difference that could make in their community.
When I say shop small, not only do I mean the cute little home decor store, but also your friends and family who have their own little side gigs. I don’t care if you think it’s a pyramid scheme, it can still pay their bills or help them buy Christmas for their kids and the products they are selling are still good products, regardless of what you think about their business model.
Sit back and think about all the people in your life who have been negatively affected by COVID and see if they could play a role in your Christmas shopping this year. Do you have a friend who is a seamstress? There were no proms this year and far fewer weddings, so a massive bulk of their business evaporated. Wedding photographer? Again, fewer weddings, so that is income lost again. Waiter or waitress? Restaurants, especially large chain restaurants, are doing ok, but their servers are not. The capacity is lower inside and most people tip far less on a takeout order, reasonably under normal circumstances, but right now these people are struggling. Many people have lost their jobs entirely. If you see these people starting a business, just support them if you can. I promise you won’t burst into flames from buying a product from an independent sales rep.
Just support your friends if you can. If you aren’t making purchases that can support them, share their business. It costs nothing and could open a door for them that could make a major difference in their lives.
Here are some of my friend’s businesses, or businesses I like, that I invite you to support;
- Color Street My best friend started selling Color Street after we both lost our jobs.
- Happy Hens & Highlands Just ADORABLE in every way.
- Two photographers that are amazing: Gustina Photography and Taylor Parker Photography
- Usborne Books & More Great books for kids of all ages!
- Rodan + Fields for your skin care needs.
- Lavender Bee Company Candles, lip balms, and other hand crafted items.
- Scentsy Scented wax, warmers, diffusers, and more.
I have several friends who sell various cosmetics, so message me and I’ll alternate sending their links because I can’t choose just one. Of course, odds are you likely have friends who sell one or many of the products listed above, so support them!
Gift Ideas to Support Small Business
- Gift Certificate for Car Detail (If you’re local, I know a good detail shop)
- Spa Day
- Hand Painted Sign or Decor
- Gift Certificate for Family Photoshoot
- Gym Membership (disclaimer: for someone who likes to work out, not someone YOU THINK NEEDS TO WORK OUT)
- Local Restaurant Gift Certificate
- Custom Printed T-Shirts, Mugs, or Other Personalized Items
- Coffee Beans (My favorite local roaster is Dynamite Roasting Co. which you can buy online or pick up locally at Coates Produce in Asheville)
- Etsy is a treasure trove of unique gifts.
Again, sorry to fuss, but I hate when people say, oh I hate that place closed, when they literally never shopped there. Maybe if you didn’t buy every single thing you own from Amazon, they would still be open..but I digress.
I do understand there are some things that you simply cannot find locally and sometimes the cost difference is more than we can handle. I’m just saying, when you can, do.