#SmallBusinessSaturday and jump start your holiday shopping

After Thanksgiving, Black Friday drives people out to get once-a-year-deals, cramming big box stores to the brim with frenzied shopping. 

But my heart belongs to Small Business Saturday, the day after Black Friday, which encourages patrons to shop locally, and raises awareness for small business owners and their contributions to their communities. 

I love to support local people. I love having that personal connection between what was made and who buys or receives it, and learning about the diversity of local artisans in Boise. As an artist myself, and as someone with lots of artist and musician friends, I know the creative process and what it takes to learn and hone a skill or craft. 

For holiday shopping, I understand it’s easy to go to large corporate stores to snag deals that will put their already-giant bottom line in the black for the year (hence the name, Black Friday), but the personal touch that comes with a locally produced handbag, ring, scarf, or necklace, a sweet gift, adds intimacy to otherwise impersonal transactions. It’s priceless to create a sense of community connectedness through an otherwise cold commercial exchange.

The Treasure Valley is a wonderful place to shop locally and support small businesses because there are so many different kinds of small business owners who embrace their artistry and style. One of my favorite spots for vinyl records and fun magnets and socks is the Record Exchange, which recently was sold to several longtime employees— what’s not to love about that? The Flying M (with distinct locations in Nampa, Caldwell, and Boise) is also a wonderful spot to snag unique trinkets or stocking stuffers in addition to tasty coffee and pastries. 

Especially if you’re out holiday shopping, you can find a lot of wonderful locally owned brick-and-mortar shops that take great care to preserve the workmanship of their products and offer that cozy community feel to the experience. I love the products at Fluff Hardware on State Street in Boise, particularly their jewelry, and the jewelry made by Michelle Keller at Union Studio Metals is unique and elegant. Idaho Made is a darling boutique with a variety of clothes, art, and gifts by local artisans. 

But there is so much to offer outside of brick-and-mortar stores, too. The Wintry Market is an upscale and inventive indie art/craft show that exclusively features local artisans every November, and is definitely worth catching. If I have guests visiting Boise, love showing off the Boise Farmers Market and the variety of shops and restaurants on the Bench.

Especially for those in your life who have plenty of “stuff,” experiential gifts (or gift cards for an experience) can be the way to go. I love Petite 4, and the diversity of Orchard Street with Campos, Tango’s Empanadas, and Food Land International Bistro & Market and Chiang Mai House Thai Restaurant. If they love music, consider an outing to The Olympic, Pengilly’s, Visual Arts Collective, Neurolux, or The Sapphire Room for live shows. 

Boise and the surrounding areas have so much to offer on Small Business Saturday and endless options to buy directly from artists and support our community. Whether you’re looking for paintings, jewelry, bowls, tables, woodwork, plants, or want to give the gift of a great night out, I hope you’ll join me in making gift-giving more local and personal this year.