The season is almost upon us. The season where we find treasures to share with our nearest and dearest. But getting caught up in that post-Thanksgiving horde of shoppers waiting outside big-box stores at crazy hours in the morning? No thanks, I'll pass. Honestly, it means so much more to me to find unique gifts that my loved ones might not have already considered. Gifts that have soul. AND, buying from local artists and supporting small businesses is huge for me. With this in mind, I want to share a couple of my favorite small businesses with genius artists that you can support. And while these artists have local ties to my home towns (Kansas City and Seattle), they also have online stores as well. Best of both worlds! I can't wait to share where to get these unique, thoughtful gifts.
Shop local business #1: Monarch Glass Studio
Home of beautiful, quirky blown glass, add one of Tyler's one-of-a-kind creations for instant personality in your room. I am the proud owner of a tumbler set from Monarch Glass, and I suppose it would be perfect in a guest room…..if I were willing to share. Maybe buy two while you're there. Tyler's rolling out a brand new line of lighting that is honestly stunning. See some of his creations at Monarch Studio Glass Lighting
Insider tip: if you're in the Kansas City area, drop Tyler a line, you may be able to watch him and his crew at work. Crazy fascinating!
Shop local business #3: Ballard Sock Critters
Okay, you knew I had to get some kiddo décor in here, right? Well, I won't disappoint. These adorable creatures are not your grandmother's sock monkeys. They are monkeys with 'tude. So cute. So unique. Perfect for the tiny in your life. We have three :)
Shop local business #4: Three Sisters Go Shopping
Three Sisters Go Shopping is my favorite kind of shop. Phyllis scours the nooks and crannies for treasures that are quirky, fun and have history. Items range from vintage salt and pepper shakers to retro needlepoint wall hangings. Inventory is constantly changing, so check back often.
Sidebar: while interior décor is not the majority of her work, I couldn't do a small business post without giving a shout out to Sarah Meranda at Magpie Mouse Studios. I mean, please. Look at the gorgeous babies!
I have been a huge fan of Sarah Meranda's for years. I remember when she first started taking jewelry classes, and how much I loved her pieces then. But now? Jaw dropping work. She manages to not only make stunning jewelry, but she inserts her brand of humor and whimsy as well.
Well, I don't know about you, but I'm ready to get shopping. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. A few of the artists I am pleased to know. But, you? You should get out there and discover your own artists in your own neighborhoods! Short of that, there's always Etsy where you can support these artists directly. Isn't that what makes this important? Helping each other and growing in return. In my mind, when it comes to finding special, one-of-a-kind gifts for my loved ones, shopping local and supporting artists directly makes it all the more meaningful.