I will admit it.....I shop on Amazon occasionally, for the items I can find no where else locally, and where it just makes more sense to buy some items in bulk, for economical reasons. But for the holidays, it makes SO much more sense to check out all the local shops located as close to you as possible, supporting your friends, artists, women, and minority-owned small businesses. Sorry men, I will support the ones I know are not adding to our cultures problems! But please do your research, and get to know the owners you are supporting. Collaborating with other businesses is also a wonderful way to support your community. Here are some ways to make it easier choosing local, over Amazon!
Find your local Apothecary store....my favorite store in the world is the Red Antler Apothecary store, at Mill No. 5 in Lowell, MA. Now on the top floor of a mill building, they have expanded to a much larger space, and I couldn't be happier, or more excited for them. Every loved one on your list could use handmade soaps, lotions, teas, and tinctures, all made by a local company, with absolutely zero fillers or toxins. We all know Amazon is NOT great at that! Also check out Wild Soul River in Williamstown, MA, they have a shop online, full of herbal teas, tinctures, and ethically sourced crystals from an amazing couple partnership, who own the store. Rebecca and Justin are so knowledgable about all they do, knowing many in the community as well.
Think about your small business owner local friends that could use your support. Just send them a text, and see what holiday sales they are offering. You may be pleasantly surprised, and find something special. Also....no need to wait for it to come in the mail!
Think less about material gifts, and more about experience gifts. Many local businesses offer specials for massages, local events, concerts and theater shows, or maybe a class you could take with your loved one, for something new to learn. After the pandemic, I think all of us can say, we are craving connection! I am personally offering Reiki healing, 3 sessions for the price of 2! For a low price of $180. Contact me for gift cards :) Also, see my friend Elizabeth on her website, offering Thai Yoga Massage in Lowell, MA. Who doesn't love a good massage? This practice is fully clothed too, which I find makes me so much more comfortable. I am being trained in this practice in January! See her website here.
Support your local farm and artisan shops. Who doesn't love a basket of cheese and chocolate....yum!! Or make your own basket, full of your favorite goodies. An excellent way to get a party started! I have hear great things about the Concord Cheese Shop.
And of course...don't forget about the artists in your life. I can say that my sales have been way down this year, and I know a lot of it has to do with people spending their extra cash on vacations recently, me included! A lot of us struggle to get paid for our passions, as our culture doesn't place a lot of value on art, until you are deceased anyways. Buy art from artists that are alive, they will be so grateful, trust me. A few artists that I support whenever I can, because they mean the world to me! Goodbites and Glasspints- My sister, Ally, and her partner, Chris, have a joint creative company focused on helping out the restaurant industry with branding, and social media. But also, they make the most beautiful silkscreen prints in their skoolie bus. I personally love the new Lunar calendar they designed for 2024 <3 Other artist contacts that bring me joy :) Sealacanth Studios, Angela Ales, Bethany Peck, Pamala Wamala, KaryLynnJewelry.com, and Irene Stapleford.