Local businesses have everything you need to make the holidays bright and they’re hoping for a big turnout on Shop Small Saturday, Nov. 24.
Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Shop Small Saturday encourages people to look within their own community for the best gifts for the holidays. Ahwatukee Foothills is home to a whole range of businesses to cover everything from the latest fashion to home décor and even gifts for pets.
“It’s all about shopping local and supporting locally-owned and not big-box stores,” said Leslie Grady-Atwood, owner of Expressions Boutique, 4025 E. Chandler Blvd. “We’re very fortunate that we have that support from the community. I think so many people come in and say they just wanted to shop at a small boutique and support the local economy. I have a lot of handmade items from local people and they love that.”
Expressions Boutique is part of a shopping center that features many local businesses from Wedge and Bottle Cheese Shop, Hot Yoga, Another Bead Please and Pomegranate Café to Something Sweet Bakery and more. Grady-Atwood said many of the businesses in the shopping center support each other, which is nice. They’re all encouraging residents to stay local for Shop Small Saturday.
Kimber Lanning, founder of Local First, said their organization is encouraging a Shop Local Week beginning with Black Friday. Lanning said there are many bigger businesses in Arizona that are still locally based.
“There’s a million different ways to go local,” she said. “It doesn’t mean you have to go to the local boutique. It can mean check out the pricing at Spencers, which is locally owned, for electronics. They actually have outstanding prices. There are tons of local furniture companies and bike shops. Check them out to see how their pricing is. There’s also service providers. You could get someone a years worth of oil changes at a local mechanic or auto store. You can get someone a Harkins gift pass this year. That’s a local theater. There’s lots of ways to get creative and put your money to work for your community.”
While Local First encourages people to shop local, it is not about getting people to shop only locally-owned businesses all the time.
“We’re not Buy Local Only First or Buy Local Always First,” Lanning said. “We’re just Local First. We just ask people to go local when they can and remember that three times more of the money they spend stays local when they shop local… Whenever you support a local business, that local business in turn hires a local accountant, graphic designer and web developer. That keeps more money re-circulating in the community and it creates more jobs.”
On Shop Small Saturday Wedge and Bottle Cheese Shop, 4025 E. Chandler Blvd., Suite 44, has a special Alpine-style cheese plate for sale Friday, Nov. 23 through Saturday, Nov. 24. The platter can be enjoyed in shop or taken to go.
Pet Planet, located next door to Wedge and Bottle Cheese Shop, has just introduced its private label of dog treats that are a healthy alternative to rawhide. They’ll also have sales on other treats and Angel Leather products.
Ahwatukee Foothills is full of unique, locally-owned eateries like Yoasis Yogurt or Naked Pizza. For holiday dinner Von Hanson’s Meats and Spirits has deals on turkeys, sausages, pork and chicken.
Local First has a list of locally-owned businesses at www.localfirstaz.com, though Lanning said they definitely don’t list all of them. She encourages residents to ask if a store is locally owned.
“You can kind of tell if it’s independent because it’s going to be more unique.”
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