- You can stay at home in your pajamas and shop to your hearts content! No lines or rude shoppers to deal with.
- You'll end up with unique gifts that aren't available in department stores.
- Many stores offer free gift wrapping all year long... save your money & time!
- They offer more generous sales than major retailers so you will get more than your moneys worth.
- Small businesses really care a lot about having stellar customer service because that is how they grow their customer base. You will almost be guaranteed to have a great and problem-free shopping experience.
- Have green animal-loving friends or a relative with allergies? Many small cosmetics companies are committed to 100% vegan mineral makeup made with high quality ingredients that haven't been tested on animals.
- Want a customized gift?? No problem. Lots of artisans craft lovely personalized items perfect for that special someone in your life.
- Making a purchase intended as a gift for someone is a great way to help the businesses you love to grow! Chances are that if someone loves your gift they may want to make a purchase of their own.
- Most importantly you are helping a small business owner ( many of whom are single parents, military spouses, college students and families just like yours) pay for their holidays. You'll get the satisfaction of knowing that you may have helped a mother to pay for her kid's Christmas presents or for a broke college student's bills that month.
In these tough economic times I feel it's more important than ever to support our indie shop owners and local businesses. For many people this is their lively-hood. Their shops put food on the table. Not only that, but you almost always end up saving money. I was spending at least $70 a month at Sephora before I started doing most of my shopping at smaller businesses. I wasn't getting nearly as many products as I am now, and I wasn't always happy with my customer service experience (although I would like to say that Sephora & the MAC counter in the Franklin Park Mall in Toledo, Ohio has some of the nicest employees ever!). For a mere $25-$30 I can get an entire eye makeup collection from Abigail's Boutique Designs whereas $25 will get you 1-2 high end eyeshadows if you're lucky. Who doesn't like saving money and getting better stuff?
In addition a lot of independent artisans use their skills to help others in need, not only during the holiday season..but all year round. In fact just last month I told you about all the wonderful auctions put on by TeamPinkEye to benefit breast cancer awareness. April's Army, a disgruntled group of hilarious crafters assembled by Regretsy-is constantly donating to charity. Often times to other etsy sellers and small indie business owners who have fallen on hard times. People who commit themselves to doing things like that on a regular basis really kind of restore some of my faith in humanity. So yeah, I'm pretty sure i'd rather visit their etsy stores this Friday instead of Walmart. It just makes sense.
Here are some of my top picks for practical gift ideas from a few of my favorite online shops :)
For the wild gal in your life:
|Mango Tango Smoothie collection available for $15 at www.abigalsboutiquedesigns.com|
|Available from Pretty Addictions HERE|
|Available from My Sweet Escape HERE|
For your girlfriend who loves earrings:
|Available from Ma'iingan Treasures HERE|
|Available from Addie LaDawn HERE or HERE|
For your favorite teacher/neighbor/work friend:
|Cinnamon Sandalwood Bath Bombs BOGO this Friday at Abigail's Boutique Designs|
For the socially conscience:
|$5 of each purchase of this collection is donated to the APBA. Available from Abigail's Boutique Designs.|
|$10 of each sale of this $15 collection will be donated to lung cancer research. Available HERE|
|ALL proceeds are being donated to the education fund of two little boys who lost their father this year. Available HERE|
For your favorite vampire-obsessed teen:
|Rag Doll's Bath & Beauty Breaking Dawn collection. Available HERE and HERE|
|JujuBead's Jewelry Vampire's Desire earcuff. Available HERE and HERE|
For the little ones:
|CC Bums cloth diapers & accessories available HERE and HERE|
|Resin vanity pendants available HERE and HERE|
|Ed Hardy Bow from Abigail's Boutique Designs. Bows will be BOGO black friday AND cyber Monday!|
So there's my little wishlist for you guys. What is on your wishlist this year?