Every year around this time I get panicked! It all starts with overstocked shop shelves and frantic Christmas carols of yesteryear and then I know … the festive season is upon me and I am yet again not really mentally or physically prepared.
For the past two years I have avoided shopping malls due to the madness and did all my gift shopping at the local nursery. They have a selection of small shops that sell everything from wine to coffee. It also made me feel good that I supported my local small businesses.
So I decided to share a list of why it is important to shop local and add a few online shops that will help you avoid the rush all together .
10 reasons why you should buy local
- You support local artisans, and therefore your local economy and community.
- You get high-quality items that are built to last, not all the stuff that has the “How cheap can I produce this?” mentality.
- Your gifts are the best on the block: cool, trendy, unique, and usually one-of-a-kind, you can find some really awesome handmade stuff that’ll make everyone ask “Where can I get one?”
- Customization! Since each and every item is made by hand and you are usually talking directly to the person making it, you can tweak the color or size of something you are interested in. You can sometimes even get a fully commissioned custom order done! This avoids you having the excuse of “it was all the store had left.”
- You’re helping the environment. It’s always a nice feeling to go green isn’t it? Handmade items aren’t made in a waste-producing factory and shipped halfway around the world using fuel and energy. Buying handmade (especially really local) can greatly reduce your carbon footprint.
- You gain a unique connection with an artisan. You can be in direct contact with the person who made the item with their own hands.
- Let’s not forget the warm fuzzy feeling of knowing you helped support someone very directly.
- Avoid crowded stores. Buy handmade items at local craft fairs, markets and boutiques, or shop online to avoid people altogether.
- Get it gift wrapped. This may not apply to all handmade goods, but a large number of sellers do offer a gift wrapping service – sometimes even for free!
- Get it all done at once. Find a large craft show in your area and get all that holiday shopping done at once.
If you really want to make it personal this year, why not get your photographs or Instagrams printed into a photobook with ORMS? You can do it all online and it’s bound to get you lots of brownie points.
My list of local online shops that supports local!
1. Hello Pretty – South Africa’s top designer marketplace
2. Mzansi Store – Local brands handcrafted with integrity and soul
3. Local Fair – The online marketplace for people to sell, buy and be inspired by beautiful, unique and handmade items