Small Business Saturday & Shops I've Got My Eye On

With the fifth annual Small Business Saturday coming up Nov. 29, I've been working feverishly to get my products, shop and purchase incentives (wink wink) in order.  Such is the case for any small business that has chosen to participate in Small Biz Sat.  Small Business Saturday is an American shopping "holiday" (I use that term loosely) held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving during one of the busiest shopping periods of the year.  First observed in 2010, SBS is a counterpart to the big box retail and e-commerce focus of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  By contrast, Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to patronize brick and mortar businesses that are small and local.  SBS isn't exclusive to physical retailers, either.  Many small businesses have an online presence through their website or Etsy but no storefront to sell from (like me!).  Don't let those sellers go by the wayside--some of my favorite makers only sell online!   Don't forget to use the Twitter hashtag #smallbusinesssaturday on November 29 and the days leading up to it to share everything from your own favorite local shops to selfies of you with your great small biz finds.  It'll make everyone involved feel all warm and fuzzy!

I challenge you to save your pennies and focus your shopping efforts on Small Business Saturday this year.  Rather than braving the crowds and insane opening hours on Black Friday, reserve the day after Thanksgiving to digest your tryptophan food-baby, enjoy a little more time with family, savor a big mug of cocoa... with extra marshmallows, of course! Then head out on Saturday and support the stores and makers that depend on your business for their survival.  You will likely head home with some uniquely beautiful items feeling pretty darn good about having supported your community.   Below are some of my current favorite small businesses and stores in my area that I've got my eye on:

  • Rich Neely Designs makes the coolest iphone docks out of old books!  It turns an eyesore into a statement. 
  • Michael Tatom makes absolutely stunning animal jewelry.  I truly can't decide which piece I love most (the fox with butterfly and the blue gemstone eye is going on my christmas list!)
  • I've watched Valerie McKeehan's chalkboard illustration business LilyandVal blossom over the last few years and couldn't be more happy for her success.  Her work is adorable and so charming. :)
  • Candles inspired by and named after books.  What could be better? 
  • Knot and Bow is a great destination for cute wrapping and gift accessories.  
  • Lauren Finkelstein's shop SelfPress has the most amazing ceramics.  I've already gushed about how much I love her work (here), but seriously.  Every. Item.  Gimme
  • I'm not even embarrassed that I could build my entire wardrobe out of TheBoldBanana's shirts and sweatshirts.  
  • Perfectly modern/earthy artisan jewelry at IsWasAndWillBe.  
  • Well, thanks to HazelAndHunter, now I'm totally obsessed with tapestries and fiber wall art. 
  • Tiny felted bears from Latvia! 
  • I'm seriously tempted this year to just give everyone delicious flavored marshmallows and cocoa from WhimsyAndSpice.
  • I've got my eye on the craft beer tie from CyberOptix

Are there any small business you've got your eyes on?  I want to hear all about them!  Support each other! Support the Makers!  Support handmade!  Support local!  Support Small Businesses!