Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
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9 Christmas shopping ideas from small businesses during quarantine

It's Small Business Saturday, and more important than ever this year to support small businesses locally and around the Internet. But it's also harder than ever to walk around downtown and pop into local businesses in-person. I've come up with 9 ways to support small businesses safely in COVID/quarantine times, and am sharing my favorite local Portland-area companies, many of which you can shop from anywhere!

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9 ways to support small businesses at Christmas 2020 (gifts and more!)

I've gathered some ideas for gifts as well as other holiday season purchases you can choose to make from small businesses instead of the big online shopping machines. 

1. Coffee subscription or gift set. 

A lot of coffee roasters offer a subscription that would be a great gift, or have gift sets--Nossa Familia is a really wonderful coffee company in Portland and they have these great gift sets!

2. Small shops online. 

But leave extra time for shipping! Unlike Amazon, it takes more than 2 days for a lot of small businesses to pack and ship orders, so plan ahead. 

Re-Play recycled plastic dishware are the only dishes we use for Otto. We have plates, bowls, cups with two different kinds of lids, and utensils. They come in every color in the rainbow (but of course I just get the white, ha). They're made in the USA and super affordable, but are 20-30% off for the holidays! They also send hand-written notes with every order. Great company.

There are also a bunch of small candle shops with great gifts. Wandering Lark is one I tried out last year--my mother-in-law is a connoisseur of authentic evergreen-scented candles and I got her a sample set. Wandering Lark's O' Christmas Tree was a big hit!! She loved it!

3. Subscription or share from a local farm.

If you want to get a really generous, useful gift and support a local business and farm... you could buy a 1/4 cow as a gift! Or just plan ahead for yourself and spend your dollars locally this winter. It often takes months for a share to be ready, so this is a gift that you'd print out at Christmas and redeem later. Our favorite in the Portland area is Kookoolan Farms. You could also do this with a CSA veggie share for the summer!

4. Fitness club membership.

A lot of gyms are small businesses and many are closing these days. Some of the barre gyms near me offer virtual classes right now, though! A month or two of a nice fitness club would be a great gift.

5. Get holiday meals or gift cards from local places.

Since you're probably not hosting or going to any big family dinners, or going out to restaurants, or spending hours in multiple grocery stores... if you want some fancy food, order Christmas Eve dinner or any special meal from a local nicer restaurant. Here are some incredible options in Portland for Thanksgiving dinner that you could try any time this season.

Take out gift cards are also an AWESOME gift--my parents got us some gift cards to our favorite local takeout place, a Hawaiian place called 808 Grinds, right after we had Lucy and we so appreciated it.

6. Etsy.

You could easily buy all your gifts on Etsy. There's so much variety there's seriously something for everyone. A few Etsy shops I have personal experience with or have my eye on:

7. Winery club.

Gift someone a membership to a favorite local winery! Wine clubs usually give you a couple bottles a year, discount on any more you purchase, and unlimited free tastings at the winery. It's hard to use those right now, but hopefully in 2021... This would be a great luxury gift for someone who has everything else!

8. Small shop gift cards or shop online by phone.

There's an antique store in our town that does a Black Friday discount, and I would have loved to go this year but I just don't feel comfortable going out any more than necessary. I'd love to support them, though. Check with local businesses like this to see if they'll sell you a gift card or merchandise credit to use later or give as a gift--my mom would love that! 

  • Local toy stores also could do this. Piccolo Mondo is the one near us (although you can also shop them online!).
  • The shoe store in the town I grew up in, Gimre's, also sells online and has good brands you can buy elsewhere, like Birkenstock, Dansko, etc. They ship and offer curbside pickup.
  • For smaller stores that may not have much of a website--call! They may be able to describe products to you, or may sell things they've featured on their Facebook or Instagram.

9. Make your own gift certificates. We've done this for my parents and in-laws in the past. Often they'd rather spend time with us than have more stuff, so we type up a little homemade gift certificate and add logo and words for what it is--tea tasting at Smith Tea is a really great one! Then they can "redeem" it on a little date together whenever you both have time. In this case, whenever quarantine is lifted and it's safe to go out!

Hope this has been fun and helpful!

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