As we kick off the holiday season, we here at team Fire Cider like to shop small for our friends and family. It's time for Small Business Saturday—a day to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities. It’s the perfect day to begin your holiday shopping, focusing on artisan makers and small business owners in your area or from around the world. Here are a few ways we are shopping small this year:
Craft Fair Connection: One of our favorite holiday fairs in our city of Pittsfield is the Shire City Sanctuary's annual Holiday Shindy. Not only is it where Dana and Amy introduced Fire Cider to our local community 7 years ago, the even talso features makers and local producers. Our area has several wonderful craft fairs that help us find that one-of-a-kind gift and allows us to meet the makers behind the product. Check out your local Facebook events feed, and keep an eye out for flyers at the local coffee shop for area craft fairs and artisan markets!
Main Street Stroll: Whether it's your local downtown or in your neighborhood, check out the locally owned shops and business. On my own downtown block, I could get a handmade piece of furniture, a gift certificate to a yoga studio, and a beautiful arrangement of flowers from businesses that are all independently owned and operated. Dollars spent at these businesses stay in the community, and allow for the opportunity for the community to grow. It's a win-win!
Off the beaten path: Look outside of your traditional retail spaces to find interesting gifts for friends and family. Dottie’s Coffee Lounge, one of our local coffee shops, features a line of branded apparel, as well as a half a dozen artisan-made items. These items range from handmade coffee mugs by a local potter, to jewelry and cards, each product selected by Dottie's owner, Jess Rufo.
Another local favorite, No. Six Depot Roastery and Cafe, features over a dozen local and regional artisanal food producers, from cider syrups and bitters, to their own house blended teas and coffees for the coffee and tea fan in your life. Township Four, my local flower shop, is home to a range of antiques and keepsakes as well as terrariums and potted plants. Many of their creations feature locally foraged plants and greenery. Locally sourced and locally owned!
Gift Shopping on aisle 3! Another great place to check out is your local community food markets! Co-ops and specialty food stores often are a great place to find hostess gifts or something special for that foodie friend or that perfect bottle of wine. Staff at these stores can direct you to local food and beverage brands. In addition to food items, many of the stores will carry artisan made products for the home or will offer gift baskets featuring local foods.
Shop small, with your slippers on! If you happen to live an area without a lot of retail options, there are many ways to shop small from the comfort of your own home. Sites such as Etsy.com features small and medium-sized business that range from innovative to the quirky. Etsy was made for small businesses, and many of your questions will be answered by the makers themselves. Looking for a one-of-a-kind? Many Etsy sellers will accept custom orders, feel free to message them and ask!