I’ve said it before, and I will say it again… SHOP LOCAL! This year more than ever, our local makers and businesses need our support. The pandemic has punched our economy in the face. Small businesses are shuttering forever every single day… businesses owned by our neighbors and friends. These business owners ARE our community, and unless we support them with our dollars, their dreams will die. I am NOT ok with letting that happen. Over the last few years I have discovered so many St. Louis area restaurants, wineries, breweries, distilleries, and shops that I have poured my money and my passion into. My hope is that I have the power to help them continue to succeed. So, I implore you… save our community and shop small this holiday season.
The Saturday after Thanksgiving is known as Small Business Saturday. This is a day where shoppers make a concerted effort to visit locally owned stores to complete their holiday shopping list. Make 2020 the year that your local makers feel loved beyond measure.
If you live in St. Louis and are unsure of where to start, let me give you a list of my favorite STL small shops. As an added bonus, each business listed is run by a fierce lady-boss who has worked tenaciously to make her dreams a reality. (Some of them, I am even lucky enough to call my friend.) In each of their shops, you will find the perfect gift for everyone on your holiday shopping list.
Cozy Shop by Argaman & Defiance: I love a space that not only sells fantastic handmade products, but also teaches you how to make them yourself. Cozy Shop, now located on Main Street in St. Charles, is that space. Not only does the shop offer hand crafted, natural dyed clothing and accessories, but they offer classes all year long. Classes include everything from gift wrapping, to rug crafting, to scrunchy making. I LOVE my tie-dye sweatshirt from Cozy Shop. There’s also a variety of beautiful Missouri made gifts and products in the store. (I may need the Schitt’s Creek tree ornaments in my life.)
Happy Camper Clothing Co.: Cozy, adorable tees are a wardrobe staple in every closet. I’ve found some of my absolute favorites at Happy Camper Clothing, a screen printing shop located on Main Street in St. Charles. Their tees are unique and beautiful and hand-lettered, featuring outdoorsy prints, Missouri locations, and holiday phrases. The shop uses Bella Canvas tees for their shirts, which are crazy soft and wash well. Happy Camper also does custom orders if that is your need. The store is a festive, camper-chic, bright spot on Main Street.
FR & Co.: Part fashion boutique, part gift shop, FR & Co. has some of the absolute best gifts to give your friends this year. I really enjoy giving their snarky totes, magnets, wine bags, and mugs as part of a gift. There are candles, and paper goods, along with jewelry, hats, and handbags to choose from. My favorite part of the shop is… they are the only small boutique on Main Street that carries Plus Size clothing. That is a BIG bonus in my eyes.
Bijoux Chocolates: Who doesn’t love chocolate?! It’s even better when it looks as beautiful as it tastes. The chocolates from Bijoux look like gemstones. You can taste the handcrafted love that goes into each bonbon. The Collection Box makes a great gift, giving the recipient a chance to try all the flavors. The shop also has hot chocolate bombs that are absolutely incredible. Pour warmed milk over the bomb and watch magic happen!
Praxis Design Studio: At the beginning of 2020, I committed to sending more snail mail to show love to the people I care about. I had NO idea how important that goal would become in just a couple of short months. Receiving a card in the mail has been a lifeline of encouragement to many this year. I was very happy to find Praxis Design Studio. This local designer offers creative cards and stickers, along with party decor to brighten a person’s day. I love giving the card packs as a gift. For the holidays, the shop is selling tinsel earrings (I am anxiously awaiting my pair) and festive candles.
Fellow Ceramics: As an Enneagram 4, I am ALLLLL about feelings! When I found Fellow Ceramics this spring, it hit me in all the feels. Each adorable, handcrafted piece includes a cute little fellow, expressing themselves to the fullest. There are bowls, mugs, and planters to be adopted… each cuter than the next. Your loved ones will enjoy being the parent of one of these loveable little creatures. I have a thriving succulent plant in a pot named Herbert. He is a sad little fellow, but I sure love him.
Blooming With Joy Tea: One of my favorite daily rituals is enjoying a quiet moment over a cup of tea. Tea is a terrific way to promote mental and physical wellness. I discovered Blooming With Joy at a women’s event a few years ago…and fell in love. The teamaker creates all the blends by hand and offers more than 70 varieties that are each equally tasty. (For the holidays, may I suggest the Hot Sassy Cinnamon?) The most popular gift option is the Tea Lovers Set which includes three teas of your choice, an infuser, and a measuring spoon. My favorite part of the business is how the owner infuses a little extra dose of joy and encouragement in every order.
Long Row Lavender: Long Row is a lovely, family owned lavender farm, located between Wright City and Warrenton. The farm is a wonderful afternoon destination where you can stroll through the lavender plants, enjoy a latte in the cafe, and shop a selection of locally made gifts. The hand crafted bath products include lavender, grown right at the farm. There are lotions, bath bombs, room spray, candles, tea, and more. This year the shop is offering new products including, facial serum, cuticle cream, and a men’s line of spa products.
Evergreen View Farm: This is not even remotely a St. Louis business… in fact, it’s in Northern New York… but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention it. I will definitely be gifting from their shop this year. Evergreen View Farm is a Cut-Your-Own Christmas Tree Farm in Lowville, NY. Their online shop sells divine smelling goat’s milk bath products, tasty treats, and other handmade gifts… and the goats who provide the milk are adorable. As a bonus… everything is made by my husband’s aunt and cousin who now own the Nafziger family farm. (Giving gifts from the farm helps me imagine Jeff playing in the barn and riding his bike to the creek as a little boy.)
Just like they did in Bedford Falls, please love your local businesses this holiday. Empty your pockets and show some love to the George Bailey’s of your hometown. Their dreams matter. Happy Holidays, St. Louis!