Hands up if you feel as sad as we do when local small businesses announce they’re closing down? And it felt like we were sad more than usual in 2016.
We’ve seen the downtowns of quite a number of cities–nationally and internationally. Guess what? St. John’s is still our favourite. Sure, the brightly coloured rowhouses and view of The Battery have something to do with that, but it’s mainly because the streets are still lined with so many local businesses. (Okay yes, you’ll find a Subway here and a Tim Horton’s there, but they’re balanced out with the Rocket Bakerys and Fixed Coffees). We’re strong advocates of #supportlocal–we depend on it ourselves to make a living. So, this past Christmas, we attempted to put our money where our mouth is and buy as many presents locally as possible.
A word on downtown parking for a sec. This past November/December, we had more difficulty finding a parking spot at the Avalon Mall than we did downtown. And we visited both pretty equally. (But we agree, parking downtown is not much fun when there’s snow).
We didn’t limit ourselves to downtown St. John’s, either. A local business uptown is just as lovely as those downtown. And there were no increases in the spending budgets–the gifts cost what we’d typically spend on family and friends at Christmas. Here are some of the presents we purchased:
Jack and the Manger was purchased at the Heritage Shop, 309 Water Street. (I read it twice before wrapping it up. It’s the best/most hilarious adaptation of the Christmas story EVER. For example, the three wise men get mistaken for Mummers.)
The Newfoundland & Labrador Colouring Book was picked up the last time Some Good Market was in St. John’s.
Also found this AMAZING concrete moose with wooden antlers at Twisted Sisters. (They’ve really stepped up on the home decor!)
Infinity scarf from Posie Row. Took a long time to choose one because their selection was THAT good.
Also from Twisted Sisters? This triple scoop sparkly ice cream cone ornament.
Pokemon Plush from Entertainment Center on O’Leary Ave. (It was the closest we got to the mall that day).
And those marshmallows? They’re homemade and really, really, good. Purchased when Spindrift Swirl Fine Marshmallows were at Some Good Market. (The flavours they make are delicious! Yes, those are “lassy bun” marshmallows.)
And if there are any children at all on your shopping list, then you should probably pay Gingersnap a visit. We weren’t disappointed. (They also have their own parking lot–bonus!)
We picked up a few locally handmade cards at Some Good Market, too. Meghan’s a wonder woman behind Driven to Ink’s adorable designs. (C’mon, two cats in a stocking?!)
Wax Melts are from Bubblepixie Soap Co. If you’ve ever smelled Bubblepixie products, then you don’t need us to tell you how yummy they are. We’ve been using their soap for a couple years, so the wax melts made us pretty happy. (Plus, they’re all locally made, which is even better).
We know, we know, gift cards?!?! Say what you will about how impersonal gift cards are–some people love getting them, haha. (Neither of us have ever complained about getting a gift card).
The majority of these gifts were picked up in a single weekday afternoon–from noon until around 4:30. Minus the half an hour spent eating a wrap at Rocket Bakery. Didn’t hurt that the weather was bright and crisp and perfect. Needless to say, it was an enjoyable shopping experience. **We should probably point out we weren’t asked or invited or sponsored to write this blog post, haha. This was entirely our own experience.
Supporting local was best kind. We’ll try to keep it going in 2017. What about you? Anyone else out there trying to buy a little more local?