oh the perks of holiday weekends and watching daytime television. the Today show just had a segment on “Small Business Saturday”, and i think this is a great idea and hope that more people hear about it! while masses of people are camping outside of best buy, walmart and the like (a majority of their purchases to be kept and not given as gifts i would suppose) why not head out on saturday to support your local businesses. sure, we don’t have a local flat-screen TV store, or an independently owned old-fashioned cell phone shoppe, but small businesses offer so many amazing products and services! the statistic quoted on the Today show was that “for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 of that is returned to the community (through taxes, payroll, etc)”. what a great way to make your holiday purchases count – not only for your community but also for those who receive your gifts. many of us live in separate communities from our families, so not only are you giving something unique, you are giving a piece of your home. while i try to resist the urge to shop those local businesses today, here are a few i would like to patronize tomorrow
1. Pigeon Toe Ceramics – i first encountered this company from a gift idea i stumbled upon in Country Living magazine. imagine my surprise when i went to their website and realized they were local! beautiful products and gifts, and a super cute store/studio space on the east side.
2. Powells – as mega-book store chains and small independently owned shops are closing around the country, and people flock to target, costco and amazon for the newest best sellers, powells stands solidly on one entire city block in NW Portland. i don’t think this store will be going anywhere anytime soon, and if it were portland would certainly hold protests, revolts and stand-offs with police to protect her. the city of books it truly that, and the go-to place for any title you may be seeking. sure, amazon has some great deals, and fast shipping… but why not walk over to powells. you can buy new and used titles, and they will even buy your books back for a great store credit.
3. Lark Press – this little store on N Williams has an amazing variety of letterpress cards, gifts and art. with handmade paper products and small gifts from other portland artists, there really is something for everyone (and always something for ME!).
4. Everyday Music – we have powells for books, and Everyday Music for movies and music – both new and used. they will also buy back any and all CD’s and DVD’s to resell. with 2 locations in portland, and great hours (9AM-midnight, every day!) you really can’t go wrong. if you are looking for a specific criterion title or a classic comedy, every rolling stones CD, or a great recommendation, everyday music is your store.
5. Cacao Drink Chocolate – there are chocolate people and candy people, and people who like neither (WHAT!?) but i am a chocolate person all the way. actually i’ll take chocolate, maple syrup and baked goods all together, but that is another story. cacao drink chocolate is not only a great place to get your chocolate fix – liquid chocolate bar in a cup? why not! – they also have a great selection of chocolate bars and chocolate products for sale. they also have coffee and tea, but really, the chocolate is what it is all about.
there are oh so many independently owned stores in Portland, we are truly lucky to have a vibrant community full of entrepreneurs. while it may be easier to stop by the mall, or on the internet, to complete your holiday shopping, why not pick up a thing or two from a local independently owned store? the benefits are endless, and the gift will probably be memorable. i’m really looking forward to this new tradition of small business saturday, and hope that others pick up on it as well.