Shop (Locally) ‘Til You Drop

Shop local, shop often: Isn’t that how the saying goes? As we gear up for the gifting frenzy of the holiday season, we want to stop and consider the effects of where we choose to do our shopping.
The horror.

The horror.

Over half of the working population works in a small business, and, according to Forbes, businesses with fewer than 500 employees generated over 65 percent of the net new jobs since 1995.  When you shop locally, you put money directly back into the community, which helps create even more jobs and new products. Besides, who would know better what items to provide to Houstonians than our fellow neighbors? Looking for ideas inside the city? Here are some upcoming shopping events that combine gift searching with some fun for you and friends or family: Discovery Green Flea: Saturday, November 16 360x320-explore Anyone can walk into a store and purchase a gift card or mass-produced gift. However, for those who are truly dedicated to finding that perfect, unique gift, pop over to Discovery Green Flea. On the third Saturday of each month, local vendors offer vintage, recycled and repurposed goods that will ensure no two gifts you wrap will be the same. This month you can listen to live music performed by Jacqui Sutton and the Frontier Jazz Orchestra while you stroll and vote for your favorite holiday décor vendor display. Bring the kids along to make Thanksgiving crafts in the “Kids Zone.” 11th Annual Junior League Holiday Market: Friday, November 15 through Sunday, November 17 JL-Holiday--logo_noDate The Junior League of North Harris and South Montgomery Counties puts on this annual holiday shopping extravaganza to benefit several charities located in North Houston, including The Woodlands Children’s Museum, St. Luke’s, the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Art and Kids in the Kitchen. Local vendors will offer shoppers wares ranging from personalized gifts and ornaments and made-to-order flower arrangements to artisan foods and handmade jewelry. Winter Holiday Art Market: Friday, November 22 through Sunday, November 24

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Feeling artsy? Support Houston’s local artists at Fresh Arts’ 8th Annual Winter Holiday Art Market at Winter Street Studios. This is not your ordinary market.  Shoppers can enjoy an open bar and live music while they peruse arts and crafts ranging from paintings and pottery to jewelry and clothing.  Get a first glimpse of the goods at the Friday night preview party for $10, or enjoy free admission on Saturday or Sunday. You might even catch a glimpse of some 20Kers floating around the market Saturday morning, so be sure to say “hi.” Small Business Saturday: Saturday, November 30

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Shop small on Small Business Saturday and support your local business owners. American Express created the relatively new shopping holiday in 2010 as a small business counterpart to the big box retail centered holidays, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Local, small businesses reflect the character of their communities, and with so much Houston pride flowing through our veins, why wouldn’t that be reflected in where we choose to shop? Glassel School of Art Student Art Sale: Friday, December 13 and Saturday, December 14

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Browse original works of art by Glassell School of Art students, and you’re sure to walk away with a once-in-a-lifetime gift. Featuring paintings, ceramics, prints, watercolors, drawings, jewelry, and more, proceeds from the sale benefit students in two ways. 75 percent of the sale price of each object goes back to its creator, and the remaining 25 percent is used for Glassell School scholarships. This event is free and open to the public. If you want first pick, be sure to attend their preview party December 12. This holiday season, instead of falling back on ye old gift baskets or bland gift cards, go on a Houston treasure hunt for unique pieces found in local markets or small businesses. You’ll be sure to bring joy not only to those who receive your gifts, but also to the community your purchase supports.

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