I love small businesses! Of course, it doesn’t hurt that I am one. Fundamentally, however, I love the idea of supporting local companies making a difference, providing jobs and services, in our communities.
Yes, we live in a global economy. I understand and totally support that, too. But there is something awesome about knowing the person behind the product or service … and that usually only happens with small businesses. Which is why I wanted to highlight a few of my favorite companies for #shopsmall Saturday (otherwise known as, the hipster’s answer to Black Friday).
Of course, I couldn’t do a #shopsmall guide without highlighting my favorite candle-making company. Ella B.’s neighborhood candles may call Charlotte home, but they are quickly becoming the “go-to gift” in cities across the South and beyond. You’ll also remember that Ella B. creates my Traci Zeller Home signature candle, which was just featured in What We’re Loving: Holiday Gift Guide Edition by Carolina STYLE magazine. Thank you, Carolina STYLE!
You can find a complete selection of Charlotte’s neighborhood candles in store in at Cotswold Marketplace and online at Sercie. Sercie is also chock-a-block full of personalized presents … and you know I love a monogram … so you may come away with more than just a candle or two!
No surprise here, but Etsy is also home to many of my favorite small businesses. A new discovery? Beyond-clever pouches by Pamela Barsky. You’ll find the perfect quip for anyone. Tweens? I bought this one for my niece. Teens? Maybe this one or oooooh, even better. Your best girlfriend? Depends on whether you want to be sentimental or a touch sardonic (in the nicest possible way, of course).
Do you have a little one in your life? Mark my words — if you like Blabla dolls (and who doesn’t?!), you’ll love Hazel Village. Hand-crafted in Brooklyn, Hazel Village is a woodland world of delightful stuffed animals including Zoe Rabbit, Flora Fox and Oliver Mouse. Each creature has a delightful little story about his or her personality! My personal choice? Lucy Owl in a sailor-striped dress is headed to one of the most precious little girls I’ve ever seen.
If shopping whets your appetite, perhaps you should buy a few edible gifts! I looooooove the salted caramels from Nunu Chocolates, so I make a point of picking up a box (or two) anytime I am in the city. Charlotte-based friends? Try The Secret Chocolatier! YUM. Fortunately — or unfortunately, depending on your point of view — their Cotswold location is a teensy bit too close to my house.
A few more small businesses that I love – Whitney English for her incredible tools for creative entrepreneurs, Pencil Shavings Studio for all things girly, colorful and personalized, winestore for the most fun way to buy great wine at a reasonable price (three locations in the Charlotte area, plus available online!), lettergirl for her handwritten stamps and the Quote of the Month Club, and Hidell Brooks Gallery for gorgeous art by many of my favorite artists.
And there you have it. A few of my recent (and not-so-recent) favorites. Over to you! What’s the best small-business-fairly-priced-purchase you’ve made this year?
Photos via Entrepreneur, Traci Zeller Home, Pamela Barsky, Hazel Village, Reese Vaccarezza (she’s responsible for Nunu’s fabu packaging; check out her other clients!), and Hidell Brooks Gallery (Kate Long Stevenson’s painting Snow Waltz).