Shop Local and Find Unique Gifts this Holiday Season
Small businesses are the backbones of their communities. They provide employment, give towns their individual character and charm, and keep money within the community to support local services and other endeavors. This year has been tough for small businesses, many of which have struggled to stay open during quarantine. They have survived and kept people safe by adapting their business models to come up with new and ingenious methods of reaching and serving their customers. Many businesses have changed their hours, opened new lines of communication, offered carryout and curbside pickup, increased their e-commerce presence, and offered special events. Read on to discover how to support Waynesboro small businesses and how to benefit from their offerings.
Shenandoah Valley Art Center Winter Market
Many professional artists and artisans depend on festivals and art shows to promote and market their work. Unfortunately, many of these opportunities were cancelled due to COVID. The Shenandoah Valley Art Center Winter Market, an annual opportunity for artists to sell their work, will feature extended hours and a longer time frame this year. The market showcases handmade artisan works from local and regional artists. Browse 2020’s gift-shop-like format for jewelry, original paintings and drawings, cards, pottery, wood, glass, textile art, and more. Buying unique gifts for those you love will support local artists this holiday season. The market will run from November 13 to January 8, 2021 at the Shenandoah Valley Art Center. Its hours are: Tuesdays-Fridays: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. (Thursdays until 7 p.m.), Saturdays: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
After Hours “Shopportunities” at Initial Inspiration
Initial Inspiration wants to make your shopping experience as personal as the items you buy. The shop sells trending apparel, jewelry, and bags that can all be personalized with in-house embroidery to identify the owner or commemorate a special event. You can also bring items that you already own to have them personalized. Normally Initial Inspiration celebrates with a holiday open house, but in order to reduce crowds and contact, they are doing it differently this year. You can book an appointment after regular business hours for you and up to 15 friends to have the store entirely to yourselves. Bring snacks and have a fun time shopping for meaningful one-of-a-kind gifts and catching up in an intimate, but safe space. Best of all, Initial Inspiration will donate 10% of the event’s proceeds to the charity of the host’s choosing.
Shop Online as Local Merchants Go Virtual
Quarantine has brought us more online shopping opportunities. Here’s a sampling of local stores that have amplified their offerings and allow you to browse from the comfort of your couch.
An e-commerce veteran in downtown Waynesboro, the Silver Gallery, is another great place to find personalized gifts. Browse elegant silver picture frames, baby gifts, home decor, awards, barware, and holiday decor that can all be personalized and ordered online.
The Faded Poppy creates incredible floral arrangements and offers top-notch planning services for weddings. They also run the Mercantile to offer unique, small-batch gifts and home goods. While the storefront remains closed, the Faded Poppy Mercantile’s entire inventory of fresh flowers and merchandise appears online, so you can select and purchase items from home. Check out their collection of clothing, soy candles, quirky gifts, greeting cards, home decor, and more.
You’ll want to make time to visit the P. Buckley Moss Galleries, Ltd. to admire a large collection of work of this local artist who has been painting in her distinctive “Valley-style” for 50 years. You can also see and purchase her work online.
Pyramid sells an eclectic assortment of loose spices and herbal teas, raw honey, candles, a wide variety of handmade wears from local artisans and craftspeople, and much more. While the store is open for in-person shoppers, you can also buy much of their merchandise online. The beauty and organization of the webpage make the shopping experience a pleasant one.
Shenandoah Hemp Supply supports area farmers by selling locally grown hemp and CBD oil products. Not only can customers visit the shop on Wayne Avenue, they can also shop the online store that carries wares for both people and pets.
You can’t go wrong with edible gifts. Check out Bubba’s Sweet Nectar, which has been selling local, organic, pure clover and wildflower honey since 2014. Or head to Simply Cheddar’s website to pick out an award-winning cheeseball for the perfect hostess gift.
Head to South River Fly Shop for your fishing and outdoor recreational needs. You’ll find hammocks, clothing, high-end rods and reels, and more. South River Fly Shop offers an in-person as well as an online shopping experience, which promises to save you time and give you “more time one the water.”
Historically, Small Business Saturday, part of a nationwide Shop Small movement, has been held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and encourages people to bring their holiday shopping business to local establishments. This year’s Shop Small push is less formal and will extend over a number of weeks to cut down on crowds. In fact, since your business is more important than ever, it’s good to not wait for a particular day or time of year to give your business to local venues. Every purchase helps pay the bills and keep employees working.