Shop Local, Handmade, and Small Businesses this Holiday Season. It makes a difference.

Shopping Local, Small Business, Handmade

It’s shameless self-promotion, but I’m proud of Mireio and I highly recommend shopping there this holiday season. Gift wrap is complimentary (free! though it will say nice things about you if you want it to!) and shipping is prompt. I’ll even ship to your intended gift target if you’re late to the shopping task! Not to mention everything is handmade by me, with love and care and from the best quality supplies I can find!

But Mireio isn’t the only option out there. And I get it if you look at my store and say, “Great work, Wende, but it’s not for me.” There are dozens, if not hundreds, of local options, small businesses, and handmade artists out there who would love your support. And it makes  a difference.

It makes a difference in your local economy. That’s pretty obvious, right? It makes a difference for small businesses, like mine, who rely on those holiday dollars to provide Christmas and clothes and food and to keep those twinkle lights on. Really, our Christmas doesn’t happen without it! And while I don’t believe that a handmade gift is better than a store bought gift (come on, ipad anyone?) I do think a handmade gift makes a difference to the receiver, even if that message is subliminal. YOU are choosing to support other artists or people in your community… that says something!

I know we all compile a gift list and it’s tempting this time of year, with all our pressing responsibilities and engagements, to blitz through that list as quickly as possibly and with the least amount of financial trauma.

Oh, I get that!

But I can’t tell you what it means to independent artists and crafters to realize that you chose THEM to supply a gift. So many of us give our hearts and souls to our little businesses. We put in long hours and a bit of ourselves into everything we make, and we hope and pray that someone will come along and see the beauty we see. So when you do, it’s a great moment. Or, for me it is. Every time. It’s a little bit of validation of what I do. See, your choice makes a difference here too.

However,  I also know that  not everyone on your list is easy to shop for. Some people want electronics and gift cards and all those things that are not local, small business, or handmade. Um, I procreated one of those, so I do get it!

Which is why I’m asking that you make a difference this year buy purchasing just one gift that meets the local, small business, or handmade criteria. JUST ONE. Oh, sure, if you want to go hog wild and do all your shopping at a craft fair… YOU GO GIRL, er GUY, er PERSON! But for the rest of us, with tricky lists and busy schedules, just one will do.

It will make a difference. To so many people. Maybe even to you.