There is always much hoopla surrounding Black Friday, especially lately as retailers creep their sales into Thanksgiving or even start “pre-Black Friday” sales as I saw last week. There’s nothing wrong with shopping on Black Friday – my mom, sisters and I have done our fair share of shopping and lunch outings on the day after Thanksgiving, although I personally have never woken up at 4am to go shopping. A new holiday shopping tradition that began a few years ago is supporting Small Business Saturday (I believe that American Express either came up with this idea or was one of the big companies to get behind it – I think it’s a great idea regardless of how it started!). Held this year on Saturday, Nov. 28, Small Business Saturday encourages people to support local, small businesses by shopping at these stores.
There are many great small businesses in our local neighborhoods. I always find fun, sometimes unique items at these small shops, along with friendly customer service. I think having small businesses help create a community feel for neighborhoods so I try to support these when I can. If you’re planning to shop on Saturday, Nov. 28, consider supporting small businesses in your neighborhood. Below are just a few of the many small businesses I like to shop at:
Catching Fireflies, Berkley/Rochester/Ann Arbor – This ‘whimsical gift gallery’ offers a fabulous array of items, from kitchen items to bath and body to individuals and more. You can find some fun gifts for pretty much anyone (including yourself!). There is always something new to see every time I shop this store.
Five15, Royal Oak – This location may be best known for hosting Drag Queen Bingo, but they also have a retail shop that brings a “Greenwich Village or Haight-Ashbury” vibe to downtown Royal Oak. Their items range from outrageous to unique gifts, books, movies and more.
Leon & Lulu, Clawson – An eclectic variety of furniture, art, accessories, gifts and more fill the former Ambassador Roller Rink. If you have a hard-to-shop-for person, you’ll probably have luck at Leon & Lulu. There are always new items in the store. Sometimes, I like to simply wander the store’s shelves and displays for home decorating ideas.
Paint Creek Center for the Arts, Rochester – While this small art gallery may be best known for its art classes and hosting the annual Arts & Apples festival, there is also a gift shop featuring wares from local artists. There are always new items, from mugs to jewelry to journals and more.
Be Happy Designs – This is my online Etsy shop which offers a variety of items (mason jars, wood alphabet letters, jewelry holders and more!) for the home, office, wherever. Etsy offers a lot of great small shops selling unique items. I love browsing Etsy shops. There are some very cool home and gift ideas!
Three Dog Bakery, Rochester – Looking for a special gift for your four-legged best friend? This bakery makes gourmet, all-natural goodies for dogs.
Fitness centers and yoga studios – Great gifts include certificates or workout wear for that person interested in exercise and health. Local fitness centers, such as Twy-Fit in Clawson, and yoga studios, including Explore Yoga in Troy, are offering specials on Small Business Saturday (and through the holidays). Check out these small businesses for class package specials.
Rust Belt Market, Ferndale – This location brings together multiple small businesses in one convenient location. From natural candles and body care to vintage clothing and decor, the Rust Belt provides a fun shopping experience.
Other small businesses to consider are those who sell products such as Premier Designs Jewelry, Tastefully Simple, essential oil items or other products. If you’re looking for Christmas cards, birthday, wedding or other event type invitations, birth announcements or any other card, I can proudly vouch for my sister’s Michigan-based company, Yellow Daisy Design. She offers beautiful custom design work at affordable prices.
What are some of your favorite small businesses?