Shop Small, Part 3: Brick and Mortars

Hi friends!  Make sure to get out tomorrow and show your local love for Small Business Saturday!  No matter where in the country you live, you've got plenty of great local options to shop small.  I've rounded up a slew of my favorite brick and mortars for you to check out.  Just scroll to find your state!  

And as a recap, here are part 1 and part 2 of this year's Bert&Lou shop small series: 

  1. Don't forget to support your favorite etsy shops
  2. and consider supporting busineses and artsists that are pledging to support the causes you care about!



Juneau: Kindred Post



Berkeley: Long Weekend

Berkeley: NEEKO

Culver City: The Ripped Bodice

Los Angeles: Otherwild

Los Angeles: Clover

Los Angeles: Outfit Home

Los Angeles: Individual Medley

Los Angeles: Paper Pastries

Los Angeles: Shout and About

Los Angeles: Shorthand

Ojai: Fig Curated Living

Oakland: Nathan and Co.

Oakland: Resurrect

Oakland: Rare Bird

Ridgecrest: Botany's Desire Boutique

San Diego: Gathered Home

San Francisco: Azalea

San Francisco: Lavish

San Francisco: Little Paper Planes

San Francisco: Old Gold

San Francisco: Otherwild

San Francisco: Wink

San Francisco: Rare Device

Truckee: Bespoke

Venice: Burro

Venice: G2 Gallery

Vista: Salud



Crested Butte: The Gypsy Wagon

Denver: Svper Ordinary

Denver: StoreHouse

Fort Collins: Sunday Supply Co.

Lyons: BRICK and Mortar

Longmont: Yore



Fairfield: Pious Bird of Good Omen



Washington: Salt & Sundry

Washington: The Potter's House



St. Augustine: 8 Limbs Yoga and Boutique

Tallahassee: Wonsaponatime Vintage



Athens: Avid Bookshop

Athens: Kristen Ashley Studios

Atlanta: Young Blood Boutique

Atlanta: Citizen Supply

Decatur: Hodgepodge Coffeehouse and Gallery

Savannah: Shop the Fox

Thomasville: Smith Collective



Hanalei: Relish Salon

Honolulu: Eden In Love

Honolulu: Owens & Co



Barrington: Angelina

Batavia: The Postal Annex

Chicago: Art Effect

Chicago: AD HOC Chicago

Chicago: Four Sided North

Chicago: Four Sided South

Chicago: Inkling

Chicago: Gather Home & Lifestyle

Chicago: Modern Cooperative

Chicago: Steel Petal Press

Mokena: Ginger + Bailey

Waukegan: Statera Trading Co.



Bloomington: Gather

Indianapolis: Silver in the City

Fort Wayne: Fancy & Staple

Roanoke: The Trove

Solsberry: Due North



Des Moines: Domestica

Iowa City: White Rabbit

Iowa City: r.s.v.p.



Lawrence: Wonder Fair

Roeland Park: Golden & Pine



Covington: Handzy Shop + Studio



Kittery: Tayla Mac



Takoma Park: Artspring Community Art Store



Boston: Pioneer Goods Co. 

Forestdale: Wish Gift Co.

New Centre: Karma

Salem: Hauswitch Home & Healing

Somerville: Magpie Industries

Westford: CrosenNest Collective



Adrian: Craft Handmade

Ann Arbor: Rock Paper Scissors

Ann Arbor: Thistle and Bess

Ann Arbor: Sweet Heather Anne

Ann Arbor: University Flower Shop

Detroit: Eldorado General Store

Detroit: Signal Return

Detroit: City Bird

Detroit: Pages

Ferndale: Lady Lazarus (in Rust Belt)

Grand Rapids: Have Company

Grand Rapids: One of a Find

Grand Rapids: Woosah Outfitters

Holland: Michigan Pantry

Lansing: Lansing Art Gallery

Mackinaw Island: Little Luxuries

Royal Oak: Rail & Anchor

Wayne: Helium Handmade

West Bloomfield: Made Studio + Market

Ypsilanti: The Eyrie



St. Paul: Honey Guilt

Bemidji: Yellow Umbrella



Kansas City: Maker Goods

Kansas City: Golden & Pine



Missoula: Grain



Wahoo: Found & Flora



East Derry: Ramble & Scout



Asbury Park: Red Moon Lifestyle + Home

Flemington: Three Hearts Home

Jersey City: Kanibal Home

Westwood: Market House



Brooklyn: Concrete + Water

Brooklyn: Life:Curated

Brooklyn: Maha Rose

Brooklyn: Willoughby General

Brooklyn: Leif

Brooklyn: Su'juk

Brooklyn: Pink Olive

Buffalo: Wrafterbuilt

Hudson: Flowerkraut

New York: The New Stand

Rochester: Shop Peppermint



Asheville: Bomisch

Asheville: Elementality

Durham: Indio

Raleigh: Ramble Supply Co.

Raleigh: Gather



Columbus: The Smithery

Toledo: Handmade Toledo

Westrville: A Gal Named Cinda Lou 

Oregon: Floral Pursuit



Norman: The Social Club

Oklahoma City: Sarah Kate Studios

Oklahoma City: Collected Thread



Astoria: Chariot Home

Portland: Dea Dia

Portland: Little Otsu

Portland: Reading Frenzy

Portland: Wanderlust

Portland: Work / Shop



Philadelphia: Moon + Arrow

Pittsburgh: Juju



Providence: Nava



Charleston: Mac & Murphy



Franklin: The House of Belonging

Chattanooga: Fox & Lamb

Knoxville: Rala



Austin: The Gypsy Wagon

Austin: Mana Culture

Center: Center Floral

Dallas: The Gypsy Wagon

Dallas: Jade & Clover

Dallas: We Are 1796, Inc.

Dallas: Vee Caravan

Houston: Local Notables*

Waco: Wildland Supply Co.



Salt Lake City: Fellow Shop



Richmond: Drift Riot



Burlington: The Green Life



Bellingham: Spruce 

Olympia: Compass Rose

Seattle: Ada's Technical Books and Cafe

Seattle: Balleen

Seattle: Butter Home

Seattle: Fleurt

Seattle: Prism



Milwaukee: Sparrow Collective



Wilson: Roam


Up North, eh?

Canada, BC, Victoria : Bliss Boutique

Canada, BC, Salt Spring Island: Salt Shop

Canada, MB, Winnipeg: Tiny Feast

Canada, MB, Anola: Rogue Wood Supply

Canada, QC, Montreal: BUK & NOLA


Didn't see your favorite shop? Shoot me a message and I'll be sure to add it in! :)

Shop Small, part 2: Etsy Shops

One of the best sources to shop small is--you guessed it--Etsy!  No matter what you're on the hunt for, Etsy likely has it (they even have their very own curated gift guides to help with those hard-to-shop-for people in your life).  It is a vast global community where small businesses abound and most items available have been handcrafted or produced in small batches.  You can find unique cards and paper goods, luscious homemade soaps, beer-making kits, travel pillows that looks like doughnuts....  You name it.

You can even find yours truly  ;)

If getting out and about on Small Business Saturday seems exceptionally unappealing to you, just plop yourself down on the couch with a cocoa and your pjs and peruse good ole Etsy.  I've compiled a short guide to some of my favorite shops, some of whom are hosting their own Small Biz Saturday deals and giveaways.  By shopping at Etsy you'll have the opportunity to support small, support handmade, support artists and support local, all from the comfort of your home.


Let's Shop!


House & Home

Clockwise starting top left:  Ring, Ear CuffDruzy necklace, Cat necklace, Tacos necklace, Dinos set



Row 1: just marshmallows, candle, keyring

Row 2: soapring, tree art print


Stay tuned for part 3 in the Shop Small series and a special Thanksgiving freebie, coming next week!

Small Business Saturday, Part 1

It's that time of year, folks!  The time to start considering and squirreling away gifts for loved ones.  The following is part 1 in my 3-part series leading up to Small Business Saturday, and while it is brief, it is also interactive, so get excited!

First, let me explain:  

I have witnessed such an awe-inspiring outpouring of positive action for foundations that support hot and threatened social issues by my fellow artists and entrepreneurs since last week's election that I felt motivated to create some sort of space where these causes and small businesses could all be searched and shopped.  It is still being developed and filled out, but I add to it every day and am hoping to have a good number of resources listed by Small Biz Saturday.  I urge you to check it out and -- here's the interactive part -- encourage your local small businesses to pledge donations to the causes you care about!  Then let me know and I'll list them as supportive sellers!  WIN-WIN-WIN!  If there is a local independent retailer or artist who is already doing so, please send them my way!  I'm hoping to use this platform as a connective tool for those of us interested in supporting small, supporting local, supporting causes that we feel passionately about, buying cool stuff, and networking with likeminded individuals.  

You can search by cause here.

Election 2016: What Now? (or) Why You Should Shop Small Now More Than Ever

Okay people.  The hammer has officially dropped.  America is in for a serious reckoning, much of it unpleasant, I fear.  If you're like me, you're probably pretty devastated.  Maybe you're furious. It's likely you feel discouraged and want to crawl back under the covers (or move to Canada!).

I'll be truthful, this is going to be really, really hard.  But now we movers, makers, dreamers, and doers must take action.  We must fight.  The country is in for some changes that will affect all of us, that will challenge our values and threaten to tear down these glorious things we have built and created and poured our very souls into.  So I urge you, now is the time that matters the most. Take that money you were about to drop at big chain stores and invest in the people, the stories, the dreams. Surround yourself with meaning - goods that have been crafted with intention and love. Support the makers this holiday season.

I am personally pledging to shop small this year.  I'll be honest, I've resorted to careless spending around the holidays for many years, but I am looking forward to spending consciously this year.  This year matters more than most, too.  It matters because your favorite local and independent retailers, diners, coffee shops, etc. will soon face the possibility of total annihilation.  Support them all you can and fight the good fight.  It is imperative to keep small business alive.

Take some time to discover small businesses and brands you connect with, ask questions, let them know what you're looking for, allow them space to use their expertise.  Get to know your local shopkeepers and handymen and baristas.  Support people.  Support small. 

Check out this infographic I whipped up on how shopping small benefits you and your community: 

 (Data reimagined from The 350 Project.) 

Small Business Saturday is November 26 this year, the day after Black Friday (aka the worst day of the year to shop and the best day to stay home and eat leftovers). 

To kickstart your journey to supporting small this season, I've put together a 3-part guide to shopping small.  I will publish these posts in the coming weeks to prepare you for Small Business Saturday and the holiday season beyond. 

In the meantime, for a little inspiration, check out the app below.  It offers recommendations for independent retailers near you!

Click here for the LookLocal app.

Last-Minute Gifts for You Rotten Procrastinators

Happy Yuletide!  It's the winter solstice and here in Chicago we haven't seen the sun for I don't even now how long.  It's the shortest day and longest night of the year, but today is a day to celebrate, because things will only get brighter from here on out (at least that's what I'm telling myself)!  

image via Wikimedia. 

image via Wikimedia. 

Uh ohhh...  It's December 21st.  Christmas is mere days away.  Did you procrastinate getting gifts for someone on your list?  Is it that person who is downright impossible to shop for and you were hoping something would spontaneously appear, wrapped and with a bow on top?  Maybe it's the brother who travels the world and has every indigenous mask, tapestry, and passport case a person could ever need.  Perhaps it's your mother-in-law who still calls you by the wrong name.  No matter the person, one of these gifts will surely help you out of a jam.  The solution?  One word:  Subscriptions.  They're perfect last minute gifts and can be customized to literally any taste.  Take a looksie, hopefully one of these gift subscriptions will strike your fancy!

  • Not Another Bill. Surprise gifts are sent monthly and vary depending on the recipient's preferences (such as whether they like homewares, desk supplies, jewelry, etc.).
  • Heartbreak Coffee.  Great for the coffee addict.  Monthly and bi-monthly options available. 
  • Misto Box.  Another coffee subscription with more personalized options. 
  • Try The World.  Remember this one?  I previously mentioned Try The World in the Gifts for Travelers section of the B&L Holiday Gift Guide.  Carefully curated gourmand gift boxes are sent each month, each celebrating a different country's best foods. 
  • Turntable Kitchen.   A food and music experience delivered to your mailbox on a monthly basis.
  • Barkbox.  Monthly gift boxes delivered for your furry best friend!
  • Just the Right Book.  Yes! This is awesome!  Just the Right Book curators carefully choose and send books for each reader based upon the reader's interests.  The best part is that if a book is not quite the right "fit", it can be exchanged.  
  • Oyster Books.  An electronic version of a book-a-month subscription, Oyster Books delivers books to tablets and readers.  You can feel extra good knowing a portion of your Oyster subscription goes to the children’s literacy organization Reading Is Fundamental.  Sweet!
  • Pigment+Palette.  Absolutely genius for the starving artist in your life: beautifully crafted, hand-curated boxes of 4-5 trial and full size art supplies. 
  • Level Naturals.  Level is a vegan, gluten and cruelty free, all natural company with a couple different box options, depending on how many goodies you want delivered at a time.  They are also certified by Peta and Leaping Bunny! :)
  • Square Hue.  Three new premium nail polishes are delivered each month.  Oh, heck YEA. 
  • Nature Box.  A box of healthy snacks delivered right to your front step.  You can select your snackie preferences, or leave up to chance and get a monthly surprise.  Oh yeah, and for every box they deliver, they donate one meal through Feeding America®! 
  • Don't forget, magazine subscriptions make nice gifts, too!  There are literally countless options for every interest imaginable, be it cooking, fashion, civil war reenactments, deer-hunting or loom-leaving. 

I hope this leads you in a good direction.  If all else fails, just spray-paint something random gold and call it "festive".  Hey, you can't say I didn't try to help!