It’s that time of year to put together your Christmas List! If you are one of those people like my sister in law, you are already half way through and I am so jealous!
Every year, I feel like my options for authentic, small shops dwindles. The bookstore I used to frequent closed a couple of years ago. My favorite kitchen shop that used to be right next to my work, closed. When was the last time that you saw an icecream shop that wasn’t TCBY or FROYO or Coldstone Creamery? The people who owned these shops were my neighbors and friends. These shops were their dream. That’s why every year when I make my list, I try to think of the local shops where I could purchase. It’s so easy to just go on Amazon or to TJ Maxx but I really want to support the little guys, like my family’s shop. I know how hard it is for these guys to stay in business with retail giants and the internet chipping away at their already small piece of the puzzle. The dilemma for me always comes in the cost of things. I want to shop local but I still have to stay on budget. Sometimes there is no competing with Amazon on price but then I remember that they are part of the reason that we barely have any local bookstores anymore and I get re-focused on how important it is to support the little guys. I’d rather get a smaller gift from a local shop. So, here are some of my favorite local shops. These are all places that I have shopped so these are not empty recommendations.
Coastal Cupboard – Everything kitchen, this place is like cook crack.
Wonderworks – Awesome kids toys!
Carolina Girls & Rich Girl Rags – Really cute and affordable women’s clothing, jewelry and accessories plus fun gifts like candles, kitchenware, note cards, purses, etc.
Hand Picked – This is probably my all time favorite jewelry shop. They used to be one little store in the Five Points area in Columbia. Now they have multiple shops around the state. They have beautiful jewelry at really good prices.
II Brunettes – This place is pricier but I love it anyway.
Lowcountry Baby Boutique – Beautiful new baby shop in Belle Hall. It’s a good place for baby shower gifts as well.
Princess of Tides – If you have a little girl and you haven’t been to this shop, you are missing out. This is a little girl’s dream shop. Fairies, princesses, bow . . . it’s a dream come true.
Hyams Garden Center – This is an all time, go-to favorite of mine. If you have never been to their Christmas shop . . . you must go! It’s amazing! They have a garden center as well as a gift shop.
The Scratch Pad – I love this little shop. They have the cutest stationary and gifts. I use them whenever I need new stationary for myself. I’ve always valued handwritten notes and have a slight obsession with stationary. I have less time now to write these notes but one day. I’ve given monogrammed stationary as gifts in the past, even to some of the guys in my life. People don’t write notes often but it’s nice to have something personal when they want to.
Mikes Bikes – Mike’s has a great selection of beach cruisers to mountain bikes and all the accessories. We got our baby seat here as well as bike baskets, horns and other goodies. They also do bike maintenance.
The Backpacker! – I know, shameless plug. But seriously, The Backpacker is the best. And most of our prices can’t be beat, even on Amazon.
Here is another great resource for keeping your dollars local Lowcountry Local First.
And don’t forget about second hand shops and facebook group swaps. I’ve gotten some great second hand toys from these outlets. My kids tire of toys too quickly to buy everything brand new. My favorite facebook groups are James Island Mom Swap and Charleston Mom Swap Drama Free.
I’m sure I will think of some more to add to this list so check back or message me if you are interested in more ideas. And if you have ideas for me! firstname.lastname@example.org
I almost forgot . . .
Check out my latest post on the Charleston Mom’s Blog! Here’s a little blurb. Read the full article here.
I wasn’t less excited for your arrival, I was just too busy to document it. But you know what? I remember it (well, some of it) and so does your daddy and so do your brothers. I bet we all remember different things and that the picture we can paint together is better than the picture I could have painted on my own.