Though I do enjoy shopping, I've admittedly been turning a blind eye to the onslaught of big box Black Friday pitches I've been receiving -- partially because this marketing approach seems awfully tiresome, and partially because I'm a big fan of supporting local indie businesses. As in past years, we plan on adhering to a pretty minimal approach to holiday shopping, but when I do get around to it, I'll start by turning to what's immediately around us. I wanted to share some great ways to shop local -- there's so much talent that warrants your attention!
1. MassArt Made recently opened at Huntington and Longwood. This store features handmade products by MassArt alums, students, faculty, and staff. I haven't had a chance to stop by yet but I hope to soon -- I adore the concept!
2. I have featured Boston Handmade before; this juried group of professional local artists and craftspeople are prominent on the local craft fair circuit. Check their calendar for updates; they are participating in Holly Days in Princeton, the Mudflat Holiday Sale, the Jamaica Plain Holiday Fair, and the Bazaar Bizarre, among other events.
3. I started the Boston Mamas mamapreneur business network as a way to feature listings for local, mom-driven talent. If you need a professional photographer, look no further! There are also lots of great listings for products, indoor activities, and more.
4. Whenever someone asks me about Etsy, I describe it as a beautiful, beautiful rabbit hole. Simply set your location, search for the item you are looking for (otherwise, general browsing could send you down the rabbit hole for hours!), then click on "Local Items" in the left sidebar to shop local artists. Totally awesome.
5. And of course, look around your neighborhood! I'm particularly keen on supporting local brick and mortars because I admire their bravery in taking the plunge in paying rent (one day I dream of being similarly brave and renting studio space). In past years, it's been fun to take Laurel to local stores so she can help pick presents for her grandparents. (I recommend telling the child what the spending limit is in advance!)
Finally, through Weekly Blueprint and my Fun Weekend Picks, I will do my best to call attention to upcoming local craft shows as I hear about them. Please always feel free to comment in if I'm missing something, or drop me a line to let me know about an upcoming event!
Image credit: delicious looking natural soaps by S.S. Soap in Boston via Etsy